John St. John


The Ninth Day

Thus I began this great day, being in my Asana firm and easy, and holding in my breath for a full minute while I threw my will with all my might towards Adonai.
Have settled myself for the night. Will continue a little, learning the Ritual.
Having learnt a few passages of a suitable nature to go to sleep upon, I will do so.

… Now I hope that I shall; surely the Reaction of Nature against the Magical Will must be wearing down at last!

I wake. It takes me a little while to shake off the dominion of sleep, very intense and bitter.
Thus John St. John — for it is not convenient further to speak as "I" — performed 45 Breath-cycles; for 20 minutes he had to struggle against the Root of the Powers of Sleep, and the obstruction of his left nostril.

During his Kambhakham he willed Adonai with all his might. Let him sleep, invoking Adonai!

Well hath he slept, and well awakened.

The last entry should extend to 3.30 or thereabouts; probably later; for, invoking Adonai, he again got the beginnings of the Light, and the "telephone-cross" voices very strongly. But this time he was fortunately able to concentrate on Adonai with some fervour, and these things ceased to trouble. But the Perfume and the Vision came not, nor any full manifestation of the L.V.X., the Secret Light, the light that shineth in darkness.

John St. John is again very sleepy. He will try and concentrate on Adonai without doing Pranayama — much harder of course. It is a supreme effort to keep both eyes open together.

He must do his best. He does not wish to wake too thoroughly, either, lest afterward he oversleep himself, and miss his appointment with Michael Brenner to continue moulding Siddhasana.

Again I awake…. [O swine! thou hast felt in thyself "Good! Good! the night is broken up nicely; all goes very well" — and thou hast written "I!" O swine, John St. John! When wilt thou learn that the least stirring of thy smug content is the great Fall from the Path?]

It will be best to get up and do some kind of work; for the beast would sleep.

John St. John has arisen, after doing 20 breath-cycles, reciting internally the ritual, 70 per cent. of which he now knows by heart.
To the Dôme — a café-croissant. Some proofs to correct during the meal.
Having walked over to the studio reciting the Ritual (9.25-9.55 approximately), John St. John got into his pose, and began going for the gloves. The Interior Trembling began, and the room filled with the Subtle Light. He was within an ace of Concentration; the Violet Lotus of Ajna appeared, flashing like some marvellous comet; the Dawn began to break, as he slew with the Lightning-Flash every thought that arose in him, especially this Vision of Ajna; but fear — dread fear! — gripped his heart. Annihilation stood before him, annihilation of John St. John that he had so long striven to obtain: yet he dared not. He had the loaded pistol to his head; he could not pull the trigger. This must have gone on for some time; his agony of failure was awful; for he knew that he was failing; but though he cried a thousand times unto Adonai with the Voice of Death, he could not — he could not. Again and again he stood at the gate, and could not enter. And the Violet Flames of Ajna triumphed over him.

Then Brenner said: "Let us take a little rest!" — oh irony! — and he came down from his throne, staggering with fatigue….

If you can conceive all his anger and despair! His pen, writing this, forms a letter badly, and through clenched teeth he utters a fierce curse.

Oh Lord Adonai, look with favour upon him!

After five minutes rest (to the body, that is), John St. John was too exhausted on resuming his pose, which, by the way, happens to be the Sign of the Grade 7° = 4, to strive consciously. But his nature itself, forced through these days into the one channel of Will towards Adonai, went on struggling on its own account. Later, the conscious man took heart and strove, though not so fiercely as before. He passed through the Lightnings of Ajna, whose two petals now spread out like wings above his head, and the awful Corona of the Interior Sun with its flashing fires appeared, and declared itself to be his Self. This he rejected; and the Formless Ocean of White Brilliance absorbed him, overcame him; for he could not pass therethrough. This went on repeating itself, the man transformed (as it were) into a mighty Battering Ram hurling itself again and again against the Walls of the City of God to breach them. — And as yet he has failed. Failed. Failed. Physical and mental exhaustion are fairly complete.

Adonai, look with favour upon Thy slave!

He has walked, reciting the Ritual, to Dr. R— and H— for lunch. They have forgotten the appointment, so he continues and reaches Lavenue's at 12.4 after reading his letters and doing one or two necessary things. He orders Epinards, Tarte aux Fraises, Glace au Café, and ½ Evian. The distaste for food is great; and for meat amounts to loathing. The weather is exceedingly hot; it may be arranged thus by Adonai to enable John St. John to meditate in comfort. For he is vowed solemnly "to interpret every phenomenon as a particular dealing of God with his soul."
During lunch he will go on correcting his proofs.
Lunch over, and the proofs read through.
He will make a few decorations further in his Ritual, and perhaps design the Fontispiece and Colophon. He is very weary, and may sleep.
He has done the illumination, as far as may be. He will now lie down as Hanged Man, and invoke Adonai.
He was too tired to reach nearer than the neighbourhood of that tremendous Threshold; wherefore he fell from meditation into sleep, and there his Lord gave him sweet rest thereof.

He will arise, and take a drink — a citron pressé — at the Dôme; for the day is yet exceeding hot, and he has had little.

One ought to remark that all this sleep is full of extravagant dreams; rarely irrational and never (of course) unpleasant, or one would be up and working with a circle every night. But O.M. thinks that they show an excited and unbalanced condition of John St. John's brain, though he is almost too cowed to express an opinion at all, even were the question, Is grass green?

Every small snatch of sleep, without exception, in the last three or four days, has these images.

The ideal condition seems likely to be perfect oblivion — or (in the Adept) is the Tamo-Guna, the Power of elemental Darkness, broken once and for ever, so that His sleep is vivid and rational as another man's waking; His waking another man's Samadhi; His Samadhi — to which He ever strives — ?????

At least this later view is suggested by the Rosicrucian formula of Reception:

May thy mind be open unto the Higher!
May thy heart be the Centre of Light!
May thy body be the Temple of the Rosy Cross!

and by the Hindu statement that in the attained Yogin the Kundalini sleeps in the Svadistthana, no more in the Muladhara Cakkram.

See also the Rosicrucian lecture on the Microcosmos, where this view is certainly upheld, the Qliphoth of an Adept being balanced and trained to fill his Malkuth, vacated by the purified Nephesch which has gone up to live in Tiphereth.

Or so O.M. read it.

The other idea of the Light descending and filling each principle with its glory is, it seems to him, less fertile, and less in accord with any idea of Evolution.

(What would Judas McCabbage think?)

And one can so readily understand how tremendous a task is that of the postulant, since he has to glorify and initiate all his principles and train them to their new and superior tasks. This surely explains better the terrible dangers of the path….

Some years back, on the Red River in China, John St. John saw at every corner of that swift and dangerous stream a heap of wreckage.

… He, himself in danger, thought of his magical career.

Alcoholism, insanity, disease, faddism, death, knavery, prison — every earthly hell, reflection of some spiritual blunder, had seized his companions. By dozens had that band been swept away, dashed to pieces on one rock or another. He, alone almost upon that angry stream, still held on, his life each moment the plaything of giant forces, so enormous as to be (once they were loose) quite out of proportion to all human wit or courage or address — and he held on his course, humbly, not hopelessly, not fearfully, but with an abiding certainty that he would endure unto the end.

And now?

In this great Magical Retirement he has struck many rocks, sprung many leaks; the waters of the False Sea foam over the bow, ride and carry the quarter — is he perchance already wrecked, his hopeless plight concealed from him as yet by his own darkness?

For, dazzled as he is by the blinding brilliance of this morning's Spiritual Sun, which yet he beheld but darkly, to him now even the light of earth seems dark. Reason the rudder was long since unshipped; the power of his personality has broken down, yet under the tiny storm-sail of his Will to Adonai, the crazy bark holds way, steered by the oar of Discipline — Yea, he holds his course. Adonai! Adonai! is not the harbour yet in sight?

He has returned home and burnt (as every night since its arrival) the holy incense of Abramelin the Mage.

The atmosphere is full of vitality, sweetened and strengthened; the soul naturally and simply turns to the holy task with vigour and confidence; the black demons of doubt and despair flee away; one respires already a foretaste of the Perfume, and obtains almost a premonition of the Vision.

So, let the work go on.

7 Breath-cycles, rather difficult. Clothes are a nuisance, and make all the difference.
John St. John is more broken up by this morning's failure than he was ready to admit. But the fact stands; he cannot concentrate his mind for three seconds together. How utterly hopeless it makes one feel! One thinks one is at least always good for a fair average performance — and one is undeceived. This, by the way, is the supreme use of a record like this. It makes it impossible to cheat oneself.

Well, he has got to get up more steam somehow, though the boiler bursts. Perhaps early dinner, with Ritual, may induce that Enthusiastic Energy of which the Gnostics write.

This morning the whole Sankhara-dhatu (the tendency of the being John St. John) was operating aright. Now by no effort of will can he flog his tired cattle along the trail.

So poor a thing is he that he will even seek an Oracle from the book of Zoroaster.

Done. Zoroaster respectfully wishes to point out that "The most mystic of discourses informs us — his wholeness is in the Supra-Mundane Order; for there a Solar World and Boundless light subsist, as the Oracles of the Chaldeans affirm."

Not very helpful, is it?

As if divination could ever help on such exalted planes! As if the trumpery elementals that operate these things possessed the Secrets of the Destiny of an Adept, or could help him in his agony!

For this reason, divination should be discarded from the start: it is only a "mere toy, the basis of mercenary fraud" as Zoroaster more practically assures us.

Yet one can get the right stuff out of the Tarot (or other inconvenient method) by spiritualising away all the meaning, until the intuition pierces that blank wall of ignorance.

Let O.M. meditate upon this Oracle on his way to feed John St. John's body — and thus feed his own!

Out, out, to feed!
Trimming his beard in preparation for going out, he reflects that the deplorable tone (as one's Dean would say) of the last entry is not the cry of the famished beast, but that of the over-driven slave.

"Adonai, ply Thou thy scourge! Adonai, load Thou the chain!"

What the devil is the matter with the time? The hours flit just like butterflies — the moon, dead full, shines down the Boulevard. My moon — full moon of my desire! (Ha, ha, thou beast! are "I and Me and Mine" not dead yet?)

Yea, Lord Adonai! but the full moon means much to John St. John; he fears ("fears," O Lord of the Western Pylon!) lest, of once that full moon pass, he may not win through….

"The harvest is over, the summer is ended, and we are not saved!" Yet hath not Abramelin lashed the folly of limiting the spiritual paths by the motions of the planets? And Zoroaster, in that same oracle just quoted?

Hors d'Œuvres, Bouillabaisse, contrefilet rôti, Glace. ½ Graves.

The truth is that the Chittam is excited and racing, the control being impaired; and the Ego is springing up again.

This racing of the Chittam is simply shocking. John St. John must stop it somehow. Hours and hours seem to have passed since the last entry.
!!! He is in such a deuce of a hurry that (in a lucid moment) he finds himself trying to eat bread, radish, beef and potato at a mouthful.

Worse, the beast is pleased and excited at the novelty of the sensation, and takes delight in recording it.

Beast! Beast!

!!!! After myriads of aeons. He has drunk only about one third of his half-bottle of light white wine; yet he's like a hashish-drunkard, only more so. The loss of the time-sense which occurs with hashish he got during his experiments with that drug in 1906, but in an unimportant way. (Damn him! he is so glad. He calls this a Result. A result! Damn him!) O.M. who writes this is so angry with him that he wants to scrawl the page over with the most fearful curses! and John St. John has nearly thrown a bottle at the waiter for not bringing the next course. He will not be allowed to finish his wine! He orders cold water.
Things a little better. But he tries 100 small muscular movements, pressing on the table with his fingers in tune, and finds the tendency to hurry almost irresistible. This record is here written at lightning speed…. Attempt to write slowly is painful.
The thought too, is wandering all over the world. Since the last entry, very likely, the beast has not thought even once of Adonai.
The Reading of the Ritual has done much service, though things are still far from calm. Yet the mighty flood of the Chittam is again rolling its tremendous tide toward the sea — the Sea of annihilation. Amen.
Returning home, with his eyes fixed on the supreme glory of the Moon, in his heart and brain invoking Adonai, he hath now entered into his little chamber, and will prepare all things for the due performance of the New Ritual which he hath got by heart.
Nearly ready. In a state of very intense magical strain — anything might happen.
Washed, robed, temple in order. Will wait until 10 o'clock and begin upon the stroke. O.M. 7° = 4 will begin; and then solemnly renounce all his robes, weapons, dignities, etc., renouncing his grades even by giving the Signs of them backwards and downwards toward the outer. He will keep only one thing, the Secret Ring that hath been committed unto him by the Masters; for from that he cannot part, even if he would. That is his Password into the Ritual itself; and on his finger it shall be put at the moment when all else is gone.
Ceremony works admirably. Magical Images strong. At Reception behold! the Sigil of the Supreme Order itself in a blaze of glory not to be spoken of. And the half-seen symbol of my Lord Adonai therewith as a mighty angel glittering with infinite light. According the the Ritual, O.M. withdrew himself from the Vision; the Vision of the Universe, a whirling abyss of coruscating suns in all the colours, yet informed and dominated by that supernal brilliance. Yet O. M. refused the Vision; and a conflict began and was waged through many ages — so it seemed. And now all the enemies of O. M. banded themselves against him. The petty affairs of the day; even the irritations of his body, the emotions of him, the plans of him, worry about the Record and the Ritual and — O! everything! — then, too, the thoughts which are closer yet to the great Enemy, the sense of separateness; that sense itself at last — so O. M. withdrew from the conflict for a moment so that the duty of this Record done might leave him free for the fight.

It may have been a snare — may the Lord Adonai keep him in the Path.

Adonai! Adonai!

(P.S. — Add that the "ultra-violet" or "astral" light in the room was such that it seemed bright as daylight. He hath never seen the like, even in the ceremony which he performed in the Great Pyramid of Gizeh.)

11.14 - 11.34.
O. M. then passed from vision unto vision of unexampled splendour. The infinite abyss of space, a rayless orb of liquid and colourless brilliance fading beyond the edges into a flame of white and gold…. The Rosy Cross flashing with lustre ineffable…. and more, much more which ten scribes could hardly catalogue in a century.

The Vision of the Holy Guardian Angel itself; yet was He seen as from afar, not intimately….

Therefore is O.M. not content with all this wonder; but will now orderly close the temple, that at the Beginning of the Tenth Day — and Ten are the Holy Sephiroth, the Emanations of the Crown; Blessed be He! … He may make new considerations of this Operation whereby he may discover through what error he is thus betrayed again and again into failure. Failure. Failure.

The Temple is closed.

Now the, O Lord Adonai! Let the Tenth Day be favourable unto O. M. For in the struggle he is as nothing worth. Nor valiant, nor fortunate, nor skilful — except Thou fight by his side, cover his breast with Thy shield, second his blows with Thy spear and with Thy sword.

Aye! let the Ninth Day close in silence and in darkness, and let O.M. be found watching and waiting and willing Thy Presence. Adonai! Adonai! O Lord Adonai! Let Thy Light illumine the Path of that darkling wight John St. John, that being who, separate from Thee, is separate from all

Light, Life, Love.

Adonai! Adonai! let it be written of O. M. that "The Lord Adonai is about him like a thunderbolt and like a Pylon and like a Serpent and like a Phallus — and in the midst thereof like the Woman that jetteth the Milk of the Stars from Her paps; yea, the Milk of the Stars from Her paps."

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