Therefore strike hard & low, and to hell with them, master!
The Djeridensis Comment
(59-60.) Must I therefore be careful how I strike out, lest, thinking to slay a knave, I kill one of my peers? There is no danger of this. One of the tests of kingship is that he should be able to defend himself against the world. I am therefore bidden to strike hard with all my might, and strike to kill.
The Old Comment
Hit out indiscriminately therefore. The fittest will survive.
This doctrine is therefore contrary to that of Gallio, or of Buddha.
The New Comment
The Christians to the Lions!
An XVII Sol in Libra, I am reminded of Samuel Butler's observation that the apotheosis of love is to devour the beloved. Indeed, one cannot say that one has perfectly attained to love or hate until the object of that passion is assimilated. The word "hell" is significant in this connection. One must never be so careless as to let oneself think that even "the Style of a letter" (how much less a phrase!) in this Book is casual. The expression "to hell with them" is not merely an outburst of colloquial enthusiasm. The word "hell", that and no other, serves the purpose of the speaker. This would naturally be suggested to us, in any case, by the reflection that our Law does not indulge in the frothings of impotent fury, like the priestly frauds of Moses, the Rishis, and Buddha, in the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth of the Galilean fishwife. Our Law knows nothing of punishment beyond that imposed by ignorance and awkwardness on their possessor. The word 'hell' must therefore be explained in terms neither of virile vulgarity, or theological blackmail.
I quote Liber Aleph, p.24, p.129, p.130, from which the peculiar applicability of the expression to the problem of the text will be evident.
De Nuptiis Mysticis.
"O my Son, how wonderful is the Wisdom of this Law of Love! How vast are the Oceans of uncharted Joy that lie before the Keel of thy Ship! Yet know this, that every Opposition is in its Nature named Sorrow, and the Joy lieth in the Destruction of the Dyad. Therefore must thou seek ever those Things which are to thee poisonous, and that in the highest Degree, and make them thine by Love. That which repels, that which disgusts, must thou assimilate in this Way of Wholeness. Yet rest not in the Joy of Destruction of every Complex in thy Nature, but press on to that ultimate Marriage with the Universe whose Consummation shall destroy thee utterly, leaving only that Nothingness which was before the Beginning.
So then the Life of Non-action is not for thee; the Withdrawal from Activity is not the Way of the Tao; but rather the Intensification and making universal of every Unity of thine Energy on every Plane."
De Inferno Palatio Sapientiae.
"Now then thou seest that this Hell, or concealed Place within thee, is no more a Fear or Hindrance to Men of a Free Race, But the Treasure-House of the Assimilated Wisdom of the Ages, and the Knowledge of the True Way. Thus are we Just and Wise to discover this Secret in Ourselves, and to conform the conscious Mind therewith. For that Mind is compact solely (until it be illuminated) of Impressions and Judgments, so that its Will is but directed by the sum of the Shallow Reactions of a most limited Experience. But thy True Will is the Wisdom of the Ages of thy Generations, the Expression of that which hath fitted thee exactly to thine Environment. Thus thy conscious Mind is oftentimes foolish, as when thou admirest an Ideal, and wouldst attain it, but thy true Will letteth thee, so that there is Conflict, and the Humiliation of that Mind. Here will I call to Witness the common Event of "Good Resolutions" that defy the Lightning of Destiny, being puffed up by the Wind of an Indigestible Ideal putrefying within thee Thence cometh colic, and presently the Poison is expelled, or else thou diest. But Resolutions of True Will are mighty against Circumstance."
De Vitiis Voluntatis Secretae.
"Learn moreover concerning this Hell, or Hidden Wisdom, that is within thee, that it is modified, little by little, in respect of its Khu, through the Experience of the Conscious Mind, which feedeth it. For that Wisdom is the Expression, or rather Symbol and Hieroglyph, of the True Adjustment of thy Being to its Environment. Now then, that Environment being eroded by Time, this Wisdom is no more perfect, for it is not absolute, but standeth in Relation to the Universe. So then a Part thereof may become useless, and atrophy, as (I will instance) Man's Wit of Smell; and the bodily Organ corresponding degenerateth therewith. But this is an Effect of much Time, so that in thy Hell thou art like to find Elements vain, or foolish, or contrary to thy present Weal. Yet, o my Son, this Hidden Wisdom is not thy true Will, but only the Levers (I may say so) thereof. Notwithstanding, there lieth therein a Faculty of Balance, whereby it is able to judge whether any Element in itself is presently useful and benign, or idle and malignant. Here then is a Root of Conflict between the Conscious and the Unconscious, and a Debate concerning the right Order of Conduct, how the Will may be accomplished".