Silent and Secret Shins
So I've recently joined lashtal. I've been trying to "catch up" with the people and the conversations from the last six months or so. I have also started one thread so far about some book recommendations for a loved one (daughter) who may try to understand thelema. This is perhaps a bit ironic, that we deem to try to explain anything to anyone, since it presupposes we are in a position to judge something. (Really the topic of this thread: are any of us in a position to judge/explain anything? Someone has to right? or how would we learn anything...) Well, one of the book recommendations which I added to the book list was "The journey to the East", by Hesse. (Thank you @hadgigegenraum and everyone who commented.) I'd never read this one before, but am very much enjoying it so far. In this book I feel like he's oh-so-cleaverly trying to caution us. Let me try to elaborate. For years I've been writing in my magickal diary. Trying to record, explain and expound upon the things I've experienced. My intent is to give this diary to my daughter someday. What will she do with it, I can't know. My working title of this diary is "The kabbalistic Tree of Life, 'And the kisses of the stars, rain hard upon thy body'". Are we allowed to write about the mysteries? Where does our obligation (meant NOT in an initiatory obligation kinda way, but more of a human way) to silence end (in the magickal sense)?
To this point (of 'silence' or not) I spent a bit of time researching what the experts had to say. Here's some of what I found:
1. (Earl King, Jr.): "...keeping silence is one of the four magical
virtues. To speak too soon about one’s magical work is like pulling up
seedlings to help them grow faster. To speak too soon can be to cast
oneself into the realm of the contest between persecutor and
persecuted, where one attacks by defining, by speaking the definitive
word, and defends by putting on a show of being what one is seen to
be, like Sartre’s waiter, who pretends to be an actor acting the part
of a waiter, and thus eludes “being” a waiter.
The puzzles and enigmas of certain Hermetic texts are a manifestation
of esoteric secrecy and its possible corruption. Their proper esoteric
function is not to give us an answer, but to wake us up to the nature
of the answer we seek. The common jokes about the great Master who
responds to a question about the meaning of life with some answer like
“a carrot”, or “42”, play implicitly upon this point. The meaning of
life is not the solution to a code, or a problem in translation or
arithmetic. The meaning of life is what makes life meaningful. The
trade secret of mastery of life is not something one can find by
looking it up in the back of the book. The point of an enigma is not
the answer, but the expansion that comes as a result of the work done
in solving it. In an important sense, to focus on the answer is to
defend oneself from the task of transformation, and, even more, from
the transforming effects of the task."
2. J. Daniel Gunther: (paraphrasing) ‘we don’t write all of the mysteries down, that would deprive students of the opportunity to experience that “magic of discovery”’
3. Bible, 'don't cast pearls before swine', etc.
and finally, from "The journey to the East", the Hesse book mentioned above, writing of his quest ('to the east') "...but I see more and more that in my description of my journey I am only aiming at ... saving my life by giving it meaning again." (by writing).
So the more that I read (here and everywhere) and the more I write, the more these thoughts cloud my mind.
An an aside, I have considered adding a sub-sub title to my diary, "also known as Arresting the Flux, the Life and Times of Frater EPH." The flux being the zen "now" which is forever fleeting past us, as we try to grasp the nothingness of a moment. Maybe @tiger has it right and usually the most appropriate response is a poem or "mu". 🙂
But in our collective defense, I would submit this: There is always a silent letter, a silent "shin" (spirit) if you will, no matter how much we dissect the mysteries! Think about this: long ago we had the Yahweh (YHVH) formula. Father Mother Son Daughter... but the sun supposedly taught us that there was a 'secret shin' contained in there and then they named it... YHSVH... and then we had Yeheshua (YHSVH) or Jesus, a man proclaiming that the missing and secret Shin was now proclaimed, the christ. Now we still have secrets (I guess the IX degree qualifies here) with their own new secret shins. Maybe the Aeons are more about initiation formulas mostly???
'Thus ye have star and star, system and system'... wasn't Crowley saying that without the 'secret shin' understanding, we might still read something and see the old aeon interpretation? I submit that Christians might still be seeing YHSVH as YHVH, even though the secret Shin was proclaimed long ago. Perhaps we Thelemites could be accused of this in our own reading of Crowley. (Speaking for myself, I know I haven't penetrated all of the mysteries!) Anyway I'll end it here, hoping to get some comments on this.
Yes, terms like Silence, Emptiness, the Void, etc have been around for quite a while. It really helps to realize the "The Path" ends in a Black Sun, which is a clever symbol for a Black Hole, one of which lies at the center of our galaxy, and one of which is found at the center of anyone's being.
I am glad my suggestion regarding Herman Hesse's book, Journey to the East, resonating with you..
I did receive notification of your post back when and I note that it in reading yours I was reminded of a dream from the evening before that had a flavor, within my own biography, which spoke of this "journey to the east", meeting with others in the dream relative to 'occult pursuits" to which in a sense this forum serves, though is not its purpose per say...
It has been years since I read that book, but my lasting impression was that there was a scattering of the band of people, and that the quest never ended...
Certainly going "East" is a chasing one's tail affair ultimately, it all depends upon how one defines the word orient!
Now you have provided these forums, with what is a very interesting invitation, one that through your call of books, ostensibly for your daughter, has provided a link with your own journey, one with which you now mention your own diary to which you descriptions above are quite intriguing.
Now since this is the Aleister Crowley Society, I will note that AC left the world many diaries, some suppressed unfortunately, and others perhaps he should have burnt, or not, the issue is that certain records speak of what speaks to will and love intersecting....
Your love for your daughter I suppose is found in this desire to communicate a world, of her father, and her father's spirit, presumably that she might take part in a greater heritage of her own self.
The issue of course is that she is her own person, and such fine overtures may or may not be appreciated, which I suppose is a caveat that speaks to our own quests, that they are done for our own inner love, that intuition, of our inner will and purpose, that it is ours to discover, and to honor in others, that same freedom and dignity.
So before I go further may I pause, for this issue of the hidden Shin is important. From the Tarot we are reminded that this is the Aeon and many have recognized that we are in a stage of the redemption of the daughter to which Liber L vel Legis is a heralding of that which redeems the son at the same time, to which one might say the HGA is the secret Shin that unlocks the formula from its four fold sleep to something else...
And on that note may I add this to the weave...