Dialogue Between Adept and Novice
Why do you use the term Left Hand Path, when that title has such a sinister
MASTER: The first answer is
simply practical: how else could we be designated? The term “Middle Way” has
been suggested, but that implies compromise, and we are not about compromise.
The second answer is that the fearsome implications are useful, in that they
deter those who cannot come to terms with our way. Because so many Occultists
are still constrained by childhood religious indoctrination, the Left Hand Path
arouses fear as well as awe.
Most Occultists seem to believe that followers of the Left Hand Path are evil,
that they do harm.
MASTER: The truth is, as usual,
somewhat removed from the popular viewpoint. Harm would only be done if it were
for some reason necessary. An Adept would know when it was necessary and would
be capable of assessing the effects. There is an immutable law which has been
known to Occultists for thousands of years, though you probably learned this
version in first-form physics lesson: “Every action has an equal and opposite
reaction”. Any action changes the course of events, makes things happen which
would not otherwise have happened, and it is those far-reaching consequences
which an Occultist must be competent to estimate before he undertakes an
operation. A healing is just as much an interference with the natural course of
events as is a destruction. But the Right Hand Path will tell you that a
healing is always “good”. Some of them will even undertake healing (with
varying degrees of effectiveness) upon request and with little or no knowledge
of the circumstances appertaining to the sufferer and his or her illness. On
the Left Hand Path, we do not use power indiscriminately. Occult ability, like
all other talents, must be treated responsibly. This is perhaps the keyword in
the definition. The Left Hand Path teaches the responsible use of power. Its
benefits are not given or sold. They are used; for a purpose which can be
If your friend was dying, would you try to cure him or her?
MASTER: Perhaps. It would depend
on various factors. I cannot give an unequivocal answer to that question. The
Left Hand Path stands for responsible use of power, and the individual
circumstances must be considered in each case. There is another factor to be
taken into account here; a true follower of the Left Hand Path should have the
ability to deal with his/her own ailments. As I said before, the principle is
individual responsibility. We do not pray to a supernatural being or to another
human being for aid in our difficulties.
Are followers of the Right Hand Path able to possess any Occult power?
MASTER: An Adept is not concerned
with disputes, whether between Left Hand Path and Right Hand Path or between
himself and anyone else. The problem of the Right Hand Path is that it is
inherently incapable of teaching its practitioners to evaluate the outcome of
their actions. Healing and helping are “good”, harming and hindering are “bad.”
Such simplistic concepts are perilous.
Does that mean that, in reality, it could be more dangerous to follow the Right
Hand Path than to follow the Left Hand Path?
MASTER: No-one of the Left Hand Path has ever needed
psychiatric treatment or been incarcerated in a mental hospital. That is the
province of the Right Hand Path, as it makes the futile attempts to reconcile
the contradictions and to cope with unforeseen developments. “Know Thyself” is
a valid statement, but it is the beginning, not culmination of your work. There
are many things I could tell you about yourself, but you would not yet be able
to accept them, your subconscious would automatically rationalise them away,
You have to find out for yourself. You must become less emotional, otherwise
that will hold you back. You must avoid taking a stance on anything.
What did it feel like when you became an Adept?
MASTER: I can best describe it as
follows. A man goes to sleep one night in his own home and wakes up next
morning in a different country where no-one speaks his language and he does not
speak theirs. There is no way home. He has to accept that he now has no real
communication with other people, apart from the basics. The country may appear
to be very backward; there is a lot he would wish to do. But he is unable to do
anything to change circumstances because he cannot make the people understand
what he is talking about or what he wishes to do. Occasionally one of the
people will make an effort to understand him. It is not for the Adept to have
to learn the language of the country in which he now finds himself a stranger,
for he can exist and operate exactly the same, no matter where he is. Otherwise
he is no Adept. He knows that he is different and cannot be otherwise, even if he
so wished. Once Adepthood is achieved, there can be no retreat. What is done
cannot be undone. Other people do not matter to him. I do not mean that they do
not matter as individuals; they do not matter because he no longer has anything
in common with them. He has changed, they are as they always were. But he
cannot avoid the fact that he has responsibility.
When you talk of waking up in a strange country, this is not an almost
accidental thing which could happen to anyone interested in the Occult. How do
you prepare for that awakening, that transition?
MASTER: You do not seek power
because you have always possessed it. Everyone has. Between your ears is a
whole universe, though most people will not or cannot accept that statement.
You are different because you know there is more to do. I am different because
I have found it. You have to be different in the beginning so that you do not
follow the general line. Knowing that you are different does not make you an
Adept. It gives you the impetus to do something about it. You must achieve the
ability to use power by knowing as much about yourself as you can handle,
perhaps more. First, you must accept that everyone has that power. It is not a
gift from someone or something outside yourself, that someone or something does
You said that the power is latent in everyone. How can I learn to utilise it?
MASTER: Supposing I took you to a
strange house. It is dark. When you enter, you grope for the light-switch. You
have some idea of where light-switches normally are located, but you could not
put your hand straight to it, as you would in your own home. There is no-one to
help you by shining a torch, but you will eventually find the first
light-switch and it will therefore be easier to find the others until you have
illuminated the whole house, though it would be wiser to light only the rooms
which you need. But you did not have to install the electricity. It was there.
You only had to find the switch.
Continuing to use that analogy, does that mean that you will take me to that
house or show me the way there?
MASTER: It depends on what you
mean. In the context of established religions seeking converts, the answer is
no because we do not need converts, we do not need to sell anything, As the
salesman said to the client, it is expensive, but it is worth buying. We are
not hawking our beliefs. Why should any Adept go out of his way to convert
But you aren’t trying to convert me. I’m already converted. I want to know
where go from here.
MASTER: As I said, it depends on
the context. If you don’t need conversion, then surely you will arrive at your
destination anyway, your destination being the beginning of your quest.
MASTER: There is only one way,
and that is the way that works for you. Any book on any religion contains a
grain of truth, it cannot help but do that. The unthinking person accepts the
book as it is. The thinking person discerns the grain of truth amidst the many
thousands of words and, if it is a book on his religion, then he acts in the
way that he thinks his religions should be interpreted. It does not matter what
you think of the numerous groups and covens. The important thing is that the
people who are members of those groups feel fulfilled. If so, they are in the
right place, but, if there is something lacking, they have not yet found what
it is that works for them. There is an inbuilt recognition of what works for
you. If it works for you, it is right, there is no dogma because, in the end, it
is down to belief.
There is an internal safety valve
which, for most people, prevents them taking on more than they can handle. To
any rational person, it is easy to be dissatisfied with Christianity because it
gives so little to the individual It is logical that an intelligent person is
going to look for another religion. You try on shoes and clothes before you buy
them, to make sure that you feel comfortable in them. It is quite right that
you should do the same with religion. As long as you feel fulfilled, then you
are doing the right thing. To condemn the beliefs of another person is as
foolish as saying that there is no intelligent life in the Universe other than
Would you advise me to read any Occult books or not to read any?
MASTER: You read to gain
knowledge. You should read any books that interest you, read them for the books
themselves, not for any answers, because all the necessary answers always were
in your own head. And the ritual or system that works for you is the one you
have devised for yourself. What is said in an Occult book represents what works
for the man or woman who wrote it. It is not possible to have a standard
textbook for Occult practice in the same way that there are standard textbooks
for mathematics, because there are so many variables. If you follow a ritual
given in a book, and nothing happens, it does not necessarily mean that the
author is a fraud or you are an inadequate Occultist. The fault lies in the
fact that you are working with someone else’s material. You are trying to buy
oranges when only apples are for sale.
So that is not the way. How, then, does one start?
MASTER: Attempting to achieve
Adepthood may be compared to climbing a mountain, Most people do not even reach
base camp. Either they do not want to try or they do not know it is there.
How does one get to base camp?
MASTER: By recognising that one
is different. That there is more to life than the normal round of work and
pleasure. By searching for something more. You reach base camp by reading your
first Occult book and finding that it appeals to you.
That sounds too easy.
MASTER: That part is easy. But
there is a hard climb ahead. Once beyond base camp, no-one can return to it.
But the climber can stop at any time when he or she decides that it is not
necessary to go further. On the way up the mountain, no-one can be helped.
Because those who reach the tops of their mountains have to be perfect, have to
be truly Adept. I can and will prevent you from falling and injuring yourself,
but you must accomplish your climb unaided.
Are all Adepts, metaphorically speaking, on top of their individual mountains?
Is there no communication, no alliance between Adepts?
MASTER: We are aware that others
are there, but we have no dealings with them.
So there is no such things as the Occult Secret Police?
MASTER: No. Adepts are aware of
the general situation, and, if something has to be done, the one who can most
conveniently do it will intervene. That individual Adept will make the decision
that it is necessary to intervene.
Can you give an example of a situation when intervention would be necessary?
CONTINUED IN #2
From the Dark Lily Journal No 1, Society of Dark Lily