There is great danger in me; for who doth not understand these runes shall make a great miss. He shall fall down into the pit called Because, and there he shall perish with the dogs of Reason.
The Djeridensis Comment
Aiwass admits the danger of these doctrines: to go astray as to their meaning is to risk making "a great miss". One risks falling form the world of Will ("freed from the lust of result") to that of Reason.
The Old Comment
The importance of failing to interpret these verses. Unspirituality leads us to the bird-lime of Intellect. The Hawk must not perch on any earthly bough, but remain poised in the ether.
The New Comment
Humanity errs terribly when it gets 'education', in the sense of ability to read newspapers. Reason is rubbish; race-instinct is the true guide. Experience is the great Teacher; and each one of us possesses millions of years of experience, the very quintessence of it, stored automatically in our subconscious minds. The Intellectuals are worse than the bourgeoisie themselves; a la lanterne! Give us Men!
Understanding is the attribute of the Master of the Temple, who has crossed the Abyss (or "Pit") that divides the true Self from its conscious instrument. (See Liber 418, "Aha!" and Book 4, Part III). We must meditate the meaning of this attack upon the idea of "Because." I quote from my diary the demonstration that Reason is the Absolute, whereof all Truths soever art merely particular cases. The theorem may be stated roughly as follows.
The universe must be expressible either as +/- n, or as Zero. That is, it is either unbalanced or balanced. The former theory (Theism) is unthinkable; but Zero, when examined, proves to contain the possibility of being expressed as n-n, and this possibility must in its turn be considered as +/- p.
This thesis appears to me a reductio ad absurdum of the very basis of our mathematical thinking.
We knew before, of course, that all reasoning is bound to end in some mystery or some absurdity; the above is only one more antimony, a little deeper than Kant's, perhaps, but of the same character. Mathematicians would doubtless agree that all signs are arbitrary, elaboration of an abacus, and that all 'truth' is merely our name for statements that content our reason; so that it is lower than reason, and within it; not higher and beyond, as transcendentalists argue. I seem never to have seen this point before, though "men of sense" instinctively affirm it, I suppose. The pragmatists are mere tradesmen with their definition of Truth as 'the useful to be thought; ' but why not 'the necessary to be thought?' There is a sort of Berkeleyan subjectivity in this view; we might put it: "All that we can know of Truth is 'that which we are bound to think.' " The search for Truth amounts, then, to the result of the analysis of the Mind; and here let us remember my fear of the result of that analysis as I expressed them a month ago.
This analysis is the right method after all.
Now, are we justified in assuming, as we always do, that our reason is either correct or incorrect? That if any proposition can be shown to be congruous with 'A is A' it is 'true,' and so on? Does the 'reason' of the oyster comply with the same canon as man's? We assume it. We make the necessity in our thought the standard of the laws of Nature; and thus implicitly declare Reason to be the Absolute. This has nothing to do with the weakness of error in any one mind, or in all minds; all that we rely on is the existence of some purely mental standard by which we could always correct our thinking, if we knew how. It is then this power which constrains our thought, to which our minds owe fealty, that we call 'Truth;' and this 'Truth' is not a proposition at all, but a 'Law!" We cannot think what it is, obviously, as it is a final condition of philosophical thought in the same way as Space and Time are conditions of phenomenal thought. But, can there be some third type of thought which can escape the bonds of that as that can of this? "Samadhic realization," one is tempted to rush in and answer — while angels hesitate. All my 'philosophic' thought, as above, is direct reflection upon the meaning of Samadhic experience. Is it simply that the reflections are distorted and dim? I have shown the impossibility of any true Zero, and thus destroyed every axiom, blown up the foundations of my mind. In failing to distinguish between None and Two, I cannot even cling to the straw of 'phrases,' since Time and Space are long since perished. None "is" Two, without conditions; and therefore it is a positive idea, and we are just as right to enquire how it came to be as in the case of Haeckel's monad, or one's aunt's umbrella. We are, however, this one small step advanced by our initiations, that we can be quite sure this 'None-Two' is, since all possible theories of Ontology simplify out to it.
Nevertheless, with whatever we try to identify this Absolute, we cannot escape from the fact that it is in reality merely the formula of our own Reason. The idea of Space arises from reflection upon the relations of our bodily gestures with the various objects of our senses. (Poincare - I note after reading him, months later, as I revise this note - explains this fully). So that a 'yard' is not a thing in itself, but a term in the equations which express the Laws according to which we move our muscles. My knowledge consists exclusively of the mechanics of my own mind. All that I know is the nature of its norm. The judgments of the Reason are arbitrary, and can never be verified. Truth and Reality are simply the Substance of the Reason itself. My demonstration that "None-Two is the formula of the Universe" should then preferably be re-stated thus: "The mind of the Beast 666 is so constituted that it is compelled to conceive of an Universe whose formula is None-Two."
I note that Laotze makes no attempt to announce a Tao which is truly free from Teh. Teh is the necessary quality of Tao, even though Tao, withdrawing Teh into itself, seems to ignore the fact. The only pause I make is this, that mine own Holy Guardian Angel, Aiwaz, whose crown is Thelema, whose robe Agape, whose body the Lost Word that He declared to me, spake in Book Seven and Twenty, saying: "Here is Nothing under its three forms." Can there then be not only Nothing Manifested, Teh or Two, a Nothing Unmanifested, Tao or Naught, but also a Nothing Absolute?
But there is nothing incompatible with the terms of this verse. The idea of "Because" makes everything dependent on everything else, contrary to the conception of the Universe which this Book has formulated. It is true that the concatenation exists; but the chain does not fetter our limbs. The actions and reactions of illusion are only appearances; we are not affected. No series of images matters to the mirror. What then is the danger of making 'a great miss?' We are immune - that is the very essence of the doctrine. But error exists in this sense, that we may imagine it; and when a lunatic believes that Mankind is conspiring to poison him, it is no consolation that others know his delusion for what it is. Thus, we must 'understand these runes;" we must become aware of our True Selves; if we abdicate our authority as absolute individuals, we are liable to submit to Law, to feel ourselves the puppets of Determinism, and to suffer the agonies of impotence which have afflicted the thinker, from Gautama to James Thomson.
Now then, "there is great danger in me" – we have seen what it is; but why should it lie in Hadit? Because the process of self-analysis involves certain risks. The profane are protected against those subtle spiritual perils which lie in ambush for the priest. A Bushman never has a nervous breakdown. (See Cap.I,v.31). When the Aspirant takes his first Oath, the most trivial things turn into transcendental terrors, tortures, and temptations. (Parts II and III of Book 4 Elaborate this thesis at length.) We are so caked with dirt that the germs of disease cannot reach us. If we decide to wash, we must do it well; or we may have awakened some sleeping dogs, and set them on defenceless areas. Initiation stirs up the mud. It creates unstable equilibrium. It exposes our elements to unfamiliar conditions. The France of Louis XVI had to pass through the Terror before Napoleon could teach it to find itself. Similarly, any error in reaching the realization of Hadit may abandon the Aspirant to the ambitions of every frenzied faction of his character, the masterless dogs of the Augean kennel of his mind.