Care Fraters et Sorores:
Since the publication of The Newaeon Newsletter, Vol. III, Dual-No. 5/6, on March 21st 1981 E.V., being AN ACCOUNT OF THE CROSSING OF THE ABYSS, some of you may have wondered just what has become of Frater Keallach, who therein claimed to have attained to the Grade of Magister Templi 8°=3° of the A.·.A.·.. (For those who dismiss the claim: Keallach merely smiles and shrugs his shoulders. So be it. It matters not in the least to the Master of the Temple who is above all such minor concerns.)
You have all read in MAGICK IN THEORY AND PRACTICE (haven't you?!), in 'One Star in Sight', that "Any neophyte of the Order (or, as some say, any person soever) possesses the right to claim the Grade of Master of the Temple by taking the Oath of the Grade." And further: "It is hardly necessary to observe that to do so is the most sublime and awful responsibility which it is possible to assume, and an unworthy person who does so incurs the most terrific penalties by his presumption." And surely you are familiar with Frater Achad (O.I.V.V.I.O.), Charles Stansfeld Jones, and how he rashly rushed up the Tree and claimed that Grade, and how, soon after his usefulness to the Logos, in the aspect of the Child, ended he was abandoned, no longer held aloft, and fell from grace, going utterly mad. However, many of you at this point in your magical careers may still be a little confused as to the hows and whys of this. Therefore this brief Encyclical Letter from one whose Point of View, if its position be accepted, can hardly be refusted by those who are below the Abyss--despite the dubious claims of some others.
Here it is interesting to note that some, such as that ancient bearded one in California with the meaningless title of Caliph, claim that to write of one's Crossing and Attainment, if successful, is improper and that it should be kept a secret between the Master and his Angel. Commenting briefly: HOGWASH. If this be so Our Father Aleister Crowley is the biggest offender! The truth is that this particular Ordeal SHOULD be explained to aspirants, as clearly and concisely as possible, so that each aspirant, as he or she reaches adepthood, may possibly achieve mastership, perhaps more quickly and surely. The idea is to assist aspirants along their Way by lighting the Path for them. Not to inhibit their progress by keeping them in the dark. The silence that such men as this Caliph maintain is merely the silence of fear that speech may reveal their lies--as in this case it certainly would.
The TAO TEH KING tells us that "he who speaks does not know, and he who knows does not speak", but remember that the Master is above the Abyss and by virtue of Samadhi beyond such distinctions as the knower and the thing known. In such cases as this Caliph's, silence does not mean that he has Attained, but rather that he is totally ignorant of the nature of that Attainment he pretends is his and wishes to hide the fact from the people he would beguile and so profit from their natural ignorance in these difficult matters.
Certainly anyone...anyone...may claim the Grade in question and by virtue of that be hurled into (hopefully across) the Abyss. However, to do so without the proper education and training is the greatest folly. Jones did this and it drove him to obvious madness. Why? There are many reasons, but the major reason is that once one has claimed that Grade, if one survives the Crossing and becomes a Master of the Temple, the Ordeal is not yet done--as he may at first believe. The new Master is indeed that, but not yet fully. It took Our Father about three years to become a full Magister Templi. It has now been about three years since Frater Keallach's successful Crossing and subsequent Attainment.
The number three is important. It is the number of Binah, to which is attributed this particular Grade. Looking at the somewhat confused, hybrid mythology that the Christians ignorantly believe to be factual, mundane history, the Initiate Jesus was said to have been crucified on Golgotha, which we have made mention of in our Yule Encyclical. In fact, probably no such man was physically nailed to a Cross. The crucifixion is but a symbol of the Initiate's Crossing. Then, as the story goes, though it makes no logical sense if examined by reason, being one of three men crucified, placed in the middle, he gave up the ghost at three P.M., was entombed, and rose from the dead on the third day. During the time of entombment the Initiate descended to hell--a very personal and relative concept as one man's hell may be another man's heaven. On this third day he was resurrected, apparently raised from the dead, and for a time, in a more glorified manner and form, he continued to instruct his followers.
What occurred to this Initiate in this Myth has occurred to others, such as Osiris long before 'Jesus', and continues to happen to this day, albeit only in rare and isolated cases so far.
After Frater K's Crossing it was as if he too had died (yet the rumours of his death and/or madness, I can assure you, have been greatly exaggerated!) and been placed in the tomb, or as we Thelemites would say, placed in the womb of Our Lady BABALON as Nemo, and as a Babe (helpless as a babe) there to grow into a fully mature Master. This has been Frater K's lot. Virtually homeless, without any income whatsoever in this economically oriented society, Frater K has been as helpless as a babe, while maturing, his having to cope with such a disgustingly helpless state being a part of the maturing process.
Truly Frater K has descended into hell--being helpless the worst imaginable hell for his independent character. And in that hell has he judged the living, the spiritually awakened, and the dead, those spiritually sleeping or dead.
The resurrection? It has been nearly three years since TNN III.5/6 appeared and we can only hope that soon the Master of the Temple will be among us, giving us of his Light. Already, as evidenced by this second Encyclical Letter, some of his Light is entering the darkness to chase away the shades and those nocturnal qliphothic forces that lurk therein.
But what is so awfully difficult about his Ordeal, once the Abyss has been Crossed (if it is Crossed!) that could destroy such as he physically and/or mentally? Something that, so far as I am aware, has never been put into simple words.
The equivalent in the Mysticism of Yoga is briefly mentioned in THE SIVA SAMHITA (translated by Rai Bahadur Srisa Chandra Vasu), to wit:
"Then, let the Yogi destroy the multitude of karmas by the pranava (OM); let him accomplish kayavyuha (a mystical process of arranging the various skandas of the body), in order to enjoy or suffer the consequences of all his actions in one life, without the necessity of re-birth.
"... The Yogi, having destroyed all the seeds of karma which existed from the beginning, drinks the waters of immortality."
When one claims the Grade of Magister Templi 8°=3°, one automatically opens up the karmic floodgates, so to speak, and assumes the burden of all his karmic debts, incurred throughout the centuries via numerous incarnations, instead of dealing with this karma a little at a time spread out over many future incarnations. This burden is an awesome weight and even the well prepared, educated and trained, perfect or near-perfect, initiate finds it a bit much to handle. The unprepared individual or insufficiently prepared person is literally crushed by this awful burden.
Karma might be defined as "Action", and the Law of Karma as the "Law of Action and Reaction", or "Cause and Effect" if you will, but it should not be interpreted moralistically. One merely does something (and even doing nothing has its effect) the results of which one must sooner or later deal with. In Frater K's case, for instance, he (meaning the essential Self, not the persona) was once incarnate in Dynastic Egypt (wasn't everyone?!) as the child of a wealthy man. He took his wealth for granted and abused it. Thus, during this incarnation, and especially now that he has assumed the full load of his karma, he is made and kept (at least for the present) materially poor so that he may learn to deal with this, overcome its effects, and mostly learn to appreciate the spiritual uses of great material wealth--hopefully to then be able to put this education to good use.
Dealing with the smallest fraction of one's karma during any given incarnation is most difficult for the initiate as well as the common man, so imagine how awesome is the task of dealing with ALL of one's karma in a single incarnation!
How can I, if this and my claim be true, write in such a light and cheerful manner about my present descent into hell?
It is because I am a Master of the Event that I can do this. Certainly that human part of me feels sadness, frustration and anger at times. Even a Master is only human, don't you know. To think otherwise is not to think at all with a comic book mentality that is ignorant and infantile. Hopefully the Master will not have to pay off his karmic debt with his life in this incarnation, which, however, would not stop his resurrection at least in the spirit, but if it must be...so be it.
As this is being written, on the eve of Crowleymas 1983 E.V., Frater K, having eaten poorly and little during these many months, while busily at work, living under various roofs, none of which he owns, is now facing the fact that the Mt. Nebo Hermitage is soon to be sold, leaving him quite literally out in the cold. Shelter has been offered by those who are able to offer it, but to accept any of these offers would have necessitated a move from his home city, and it is here that he must stand and fight as the magician-warrior that he is and either overcome his enemies or die. Any kind of a retreat at this point would do him serious harm and although he could recover from it the cost would be high and much time would be lost.
Still...no guts, no glory! No pain, no gain!
October 12, 1982 E.V. Frater K was confronted with a hard test of the heart and he passed so gloriously that even he was surprised!
September 6, 1983 E.V., the same date in 1980 E.V. that Soror Cyn and he first met in person, Frater K was murderously attacked by one that duty and honour forbad he raise a hand against. He did prepare to strike back most effectively, but changed his mind, gave up his opportunity, and employing wit and intelligence used psychology instead of physical violence. Having chosen the Path of Least Resistence, he overcame his antagonist without wasting energy or adding to his karma. His course of (Taoistic) Non-action thus also managed to cancel many of the results of his past actions and also did he pass a hard test of the mind and intellect. Finally he realised himself as a Master of the Event.
As Cyn's arrival (see TNN III.5/6) initiated a hellish period in his life via a great taste of heaven, it just may be that this attack upon his person, an intensification of this hellish period, may indeed initiate a more heavenly period. Perhaps before this Encyclical is printed and distributed it may come to pass that Frater Keallach, as a full Magister Templi, will have 'risen from the dead' (as it will seem to many) to begin his ministry in earnest, having created a new heaven and a new earth, to share his Light with all who deserve and desire it.
As for such pretenders as the so-called Caliph of a bogus O.T.O., it is most sincerely hoped that these false prophets of Thelema DO claim the Grade of Magister Templi for we KNOW, from personal experience, what this would evoke and call upon them, and we would, shortly thereafter, finally be rid of their nonsense and lies!
If these simple words somewhat lessen the darkness for you, the work has been well done--although far from finished.
A true Master's position is hardly threatened by the attainment of others to mastership. Those who attain can do nothing else but confirm the first Master's words and claims and prove him to be just that--a Master.
The charlatan, however, posing as a Master, seeks to hide behind a tattered veil of sham mystery and impressive silence, while purposely hampering the advancement of others so that they do not attain and thus come to a clearer state of perception in which they can easily perceive the quackery of the charlatan.
The Path of Adepthood is very difficult, and few can successfully travel far long that Way. The higher Path to Mastership is nearly impossible and even fewer have so far made it. At the present time I am aware of only three others, two men and a woman, and another would-be Magister Templi, a woman, whom I met in the astral state during my stay at the LeGrogan Hermitage, but whom I cannot here name, though I would surely recognize them if we met upon the lower planes. Yet, with a little help, perhaps in the near future, more will attain unto the highest heights and to all those who would attain I heartily welcome you! I have nothing to fear or hide and would welcome the company! Six Hundred Three Score and Six Masters of the Temple could not lessen my Attainment, but it could certainly help our poor confused society and perhaps save our world.
May these simple words, lightly written, assist others to Attain unto the Highest.
Fondly and Fraternally yours,
Frater Keallach 93/676
(Vernal Equinox 1984 E.V. Encyclical Letter)