WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
I have been told that “Left Hand Path” and “Right Hand Path” are merely convenient labels to distinguish the routes to the Abyss. At that point, the distinction ceases: one either crosses it or does not cross, and, having crossed, the Adept has access to everything, so labels are irrelevant.
Accepting this, let us consider the two routes. Is one easier than the other? Is one more likely than the other to get us where we want to go? I am assuming that the intention is to cross the Abyss, but many Occultists would be horrified at this thought. Power and Knowledge – they couldn’t handle it. Maybe it’s the wise ones who know their limitations.
To enable the reader to assess the validity of this article, I should state my position: somewhere along the Left Hand Path. Struggling towards the Abyss. How far, I am not yet in a position to estimate, so my assumptions beyond a certain stage may be wrong. If so, I hope I shall, at some time in the future, be able to correct them.
Why does one want to become an Adept? Motivations differ. There has to be something beyond this life, and I want to know about it. Quite simply, there would seem to be no point in enrolling at university without intending to take a degree; and every Occultist has enrolled.
So let us consider the two courses available. I do not need to explain to the readers of this magazine that the notions that the LHP is “evil” and the RHP is “good” are too simplistic to be useful. If we spent all our time trying to do “evil”, we would have no time for personal progress. Similarly, it seems that many practitioners of the RHP dissipate all their energies in trying to help others, dealing with every request for healing, clairvoyant guidance, trying to put the world to rights at the expense of their own development. All very well if you have the time for it. But we who live in the everyday world have so many other calls on our attention: household routines, earning a living, relationships, etc.
I therefore conclude that the way to Adepthood is a form of balanced selfishness. Both words require further definition.
Selfishness means putting oneself and one’s development first, but this has to be done in a balanced way. “Balance” is far too complex for analysis here, but it is the prime requisite in all things and a balanced form of selfishness does not mean a churlish disregard for everyone else. Inter-action in the world is necessary unless one has chosen the life of the recluse (and this might be considered unbalanced selfishness). Other people will make demands on your time. Give them as much as they deserve and no more (and assess those amounts honestly).
There will be some complaints from friends with whom you are no longer involved in social activities. They do not share your aspirations and could not even understand them. Now you have time to think, to concern yourself with your own development. Note that I do not say “study”, because there are no books that will tell you how to become an Adept. A few books or magazines may give you guidelines, but there is no standard recipe for achievement. Some Adepts have attained their present eminence in isolation, others were, at the beginning of their journey, guided. I do not know if one method is better than the other, though I think it depends on the individual, nor do I know how far the instruction goes; probably not very far and certainly not all the way. No-one can be assisted to Adepthood, because the Adept must be able to do all things alone.
So, follower of the Left Hand Path, you have put yourself in a position where you can make the attempt. You are on your way, up that steep and slippery slope. It has been compared to climbing a mountain, but there are more pitfalls than on Everest and the Yeti is a friendly creature in comparison to the monsters you will encounter in your subconscious mind. For most people (not all, but far too many), the Right Hand Path leads round in circles, always safe in the lower slopes. Following the Left Hand Path, you might get where you want to go. The onus is on you, and that is where it has to be.
Anonymous article taken from the Dark Lily Journal No 8, Society of Dark Lily (London 1989).