A few years ago, I was asked to write an article explaining what the Left Hand Path is all about. In the prevailing situation, even though I was writing for Occultists, I felt I had to start by explaining what the LHP is not. Have things really changed since then? We shall see…
Followers of the Left Hand Path are usually referred to as Satanists. We have no objection to that term, though it can be and has been misinterpreted. Its main use is that it makes clear to newcomers that this is something entirely different from the cosy little way that they have been accustomed to. It does not imply allegiance to a deity called Satan, because one of the first things that the LHP neophyte must learn is that the only gods are in his/her own mind.
“The only gods are between your ears”. That is the truth, but it is extremely difficult for most people, Occultists or non-Occultists, to accept. And, even when logically accepted, there remains the emotional feeling that, somewhere out there, something or someone is concerned about what happens to us.
A novice’s first objection to the statement with which the last paragraph commenced is usually that he has conducted a ritual or made an invocation to a god, say Lucifer, and that Lucifer has responded or his presence has been felt. Certainly there was a response, but that response was in the suppliant’s own head. It was nevertheless real. The response came from a part of the brain normally undisturbed. Your own subconscious contains the universe. Accepting that and learning how to utilise it are major steps on the way to achievement.
The mechanical functions of the brain are awesomely complex, but it encompasses far more than the sciences of neurology and psychiatry have yet realised. However, modern science has presented us with a relatively simple means of explaining the concept. Think of your mind as a terminal, connected to the main-frame computer which is the universe. So everything that ever has been and ever will be is inside your own head and is available to you when you know which keys to press.
There are no supernatural beings somewhere out there who are concerned with your welfare and can be invoked to help you. The gods exist, but they exist inside your own subconscious mind. They are and always have been a part of you, and successfully invoking them activates a hitherto unknown part of your subconscious which has the power to do what is required. But the subconscious is not benevolent. It will not give you this power just for the asking. Think of it as lazy; it does not want to be stirred into this effort and will do all it can to prevent such activity.
Most people do not trouble their subconscious. They are ruled by it, because it has never occurred to them that there is another way. If you want to rule your own subconscious and thereby have access to the power of the universe, be prepared for a long hard battle. If what you want is wealth and success, there are easier ways. Invent something that the world desperately needs, like stockings that don’t ladder or nail-varnish that doesn’t chip. The LHP is the way to far greater power than that possessed by any multi-millionaire, but it is a far harder road. The way is by achieving power over your own self, and this is an endeavour which you have to undertake alone. It is a continuous process which may take years, and the first step is identifying the problem. You have to recognise the machinations of your subconscious before you can deal with them.
The subconscious is often misunderstood and misrepresented as an almost automatic gateway to enlightenment. In fact, the uncontrolled subconscious is a fraud, a phoney which will give you false information. It is a separate entity, an atavistic and undeveloped section of the brain which does not wish to be aroused from its lethargy. As long as it remains in charge, it will feed you false information, use your basic emotions and desires to control you, anything to delude you into leaving it alone. It must be recognised and exposed. The subconscious must be mastered, for it has mastered you since the beginning of your life.
The control of the subconscious is, like the control of the ego, not a task to be accomplished in one effort, but is a continuing endeavour throughout one’s Occult development. Start by recognising it; evaluate its communications and realise how much of a disadvantage to the host body the subconscious in its present form is.
The subconscious does not want things to change and it will defend its present comfortable situation. In this defence, the body might get hurt, the subconscious is not troubled by the body’s infirmities, so long as it continues to exist and provide a location for the subconscious.
The subconscious does not seek conflict, it only wishes to maintain its present situation. But, when conflict arises, when, for instance, the conscious mind decides to follow a course of action which has the potentiality to oust the subconscious from its supremacy, the subconscious will use every trick it has available, from the simple “I’ll do it tomorrow” to such drastic measures as an illness (which may be defined as “psychosomatic”) to prevent action. Yet the only way the subconscious can achieve total victory is when it has destroyed the body. This it can easily do. No matter how logical, intelligent, educated and aware you think you are, it will push you along the way whish is the worst possible choice for you. It leads you into bad decisions, bad moves, takes pleasure in your suffering. Consider the cumulative effect of this, over the years of your life.
The subconscious is a war machine, but all wars terminate somewhere. It does not want to destroy its host but, because of its own nature, it is obliged to attempt to do so.
The legend of the Vampire was first promulgated by someone who understood the subconscious mind. It is a true representation. The vampire cannot act against his nature; he is compelled to perform in the way that he does, he has no choice in the matter. And, like the subconscious, the vampire is immortal. Energy cannot be destroyed.
Similarly, what the subconscious is doing to you is not due to vindictiveness. It does not know any better; it is condemned to perform in a certain way forever.
The subconscious does not want its host body to be interested in the Occult, for such studies, if pursued, will inevitably dethrone the subconscious. Its automatic hostility to “the Unknown” can be observed at any time in the general public’s unthinking attitude, whether manifested as mockery or fear. The conflict within oneself is well known to all who have embarked on the Occult path and has been called “the Dark Night of the Soul”. Coming though that unpleasant situation is a triumph, but it is only a battle which has been won. The subconscious has not lost the war yet.
If the “natural” desires for an easy life are not sufficient to keep the questing conscious mind subdued, a powerful weapon which the subconscious will utilise is fear. Fear of whatever is most fearful to you. Disease, death, desertion by loved ones, financial disaster. The conscious mind may (and at this stage it should) recognise these fears as unreasoning and unproductive, but this recognition does not ensure dismissal. There is no easy formula to overcome those fears, though one’s burgeoning Occult abilities should and must be brought to bear against the subconscious mind’s war of attrition. An Occultist who was in fear of illness found a ritual to Thoth, Lord of Healing, to be of great benefit. No matter that Thoth exists only in the minds of his devotees; what actually happened was that the ritual activated a part of the mind which was able to counter that particular weapon of the subconscious. And whether or not the practitioner saw the ibis-headed god as an extant being is of no real importance. At that stage, it is the result which matters. Analysis of the means used to achieve victory will be a useful study later. When concentrating on winning a battle, one does not pause to make a detailed evaluation of the available weapons, one simply uses them and estimates their effectiveness afterwards.
The military analogy is appropriate, for this is a war, a struggle for your right to be really alive, instead of existing in the half-life of ignorance and unawareness in which the subconscious is comfortable and flourishes. Whatever material success the unawakened person achieves, he is never truly in control and he probably never knows this.
Yet seekers for wisdom have always existed. Those who attempt to break out from the comfortable lethargy of the subconscious mind’s rule. Describing the situation of those who have not comprehended their thraldom, the cliché is “blissful ignorance”. Blissful because one is never aware of the ignorance. To win the war against the subconscious means that you will never be blissful again.
However, the winning of this war does not mean the destruction of the subconscious. A person without a subconscious has zero potential. It is that part of the mind which most people do not control which achieves everything, because the answer to everything is already in there. The subconscious must not be emasculated. You need it and its powers, once it is working for you rather than against you. The subconscious can work and fight on many levels.
Question yourself about your likes and dislikes, things that make you angry. Note your reactions to every situation and incident and evaluate those reactions. Ask questions, but be wary of finding answers, they may have been put there by your subconscious. Ask yourself questions about the answers. This is a permanent condition of self-analysis, self-evaluation.
When you have achieved control of the subconscious, it will do anything you require of it. There is no limit to what it can achieve. It is a very powerful tool – powerful enough to destroy most of its hosts. It knows everything, it has seen everything, it has been everywhere. It is your own computer terminal which can be connected to the universe, as far ahead and as far back as it goes. This refers to time, not distance; distance is irrelevant.
Time is everywhere, all time exists, just as everything has always existed; all future inventions are here now, though we have not yet recognised them or put them together. Visualise time as an infinite loop and located along this loop are events. This does not imply that events are repeated. Time is only represented as a loop because it has no beginning and no end. To visit any other time, you cross the loop, you do not travel around it. All other times are there, every event occupying its space on the infinite loop, so, when you have control of your subconscious, it is possible to transfer yourself a few years or a few million years back into the past or forward into the future, to meet or observe any chosen person or event.
As well as the subconscious, the ego is another problem to be encountered and defined. The ego has nothing to do with taking normal care of one’s appearance, standard of work or performance in other respects. The ego does not relate to what you think of yourself; it is concerned about what other people think of you and the ego is what makes you concerned with other people’s opinions. This is the reason for the widely-known (and true) saying “an Adept has no ego”. An Adept cannot waste his time pleasing other people; he has advanced beyond the rules of convention. This does not imply that he deliberately sets out to offend. Anyone who has to live and work in the world must, to some extent, conform or appear to conform. Neither should the enforced conformity prove irksome to him. Nothing has the power to affect him. He does not need followers to reassure him that he is the greatest. He knows what he is and he can only spare time for those who are useful to him and/or those who have the potential for real achievement.
The ego is a dangerous thing to an Occultist. It can lead him astray from his purpose, so the understanding and control of the ego is a task which must be accomplished in the early stages of Occult endeavour The obliteration of the ego will take place at a much later stage in one’s development.
One of the strongest manifestations of the subconscious, usually allied with the ego, to which every non-Adept is subjected many times a day, is a stance. If you take a stance, you are being manipulated by external matters; by events or people over which you have no control, and therefore you do not have proper control over yourself. It is easy to see why one should avoid stances. It is far from easy, however to do it.
Remember the character in “Alice in Wonderland” who believed six impossible things before breakfast? A useful exercise, perhaps. But yesterday I nearly took six stances before breakfast. I say “nearly” because I was aware that getting annoyed by the incident would have been a stance and I managed to avoid it (I think).
STANCE ONE: a noisy vehicle woke me half an hour before I needed to get up. STANCE TWO: having gone back to sleep, I did not hear my alarm, so I overslept. STANCE THREE: the milkman was late and I only had enough milk for my cats, so I had to manage with lemon tea. STANCE FOUR: the newspaper boy dropped my paper in a puddle before pushing it through the letter-box. STANCE FIVE: the telephone bill arrived. STANCE SIX: an important letter (posted first-class two days ago) didn’t arrive.
Later I analysed how those minor irritations could have had far-reaching consequences if they had put me in a bad moon for the rest of the day (the ”getting-out-of-bed-on-the-wrong-side” syndrome). As it happened, there were some important events at the office, and, if I had let those stances stay with me, I could have created considerable problems by mishandling something or someone. Because I had analysed the stances and dismissed them, I was able to cope even better than usual, having had this immediate reminder of the necessity for not taking stances.
Even for those not aspiring to Adepthood, the advice not to take stances is valid. It is so much easier to cope if nothing has the ability to upset you. It doesn’t mean not caring, it means not being affected. The “unruffled” person is always popular. Good advice for living. Consider how much better things would be, from personal circumstances to global affairs, if people did not take stances and thereby evoke stances in others.
Everyone is conditioned by response. If you tell someone to do something and he will not do it, that is not good for you. If you tell a chair to do something, it cannot do it, but it cannot refuse, so you have not had a negative response. You only need so many “No’s” before you will stop looking for “Yes’s”.
You must avoid being affected by other peoples responses or stances. Their opinions cannot do you any harm. If someone calls you a coward, or a fool, or a fraud, or any other insult, do not react. Why should you let them have power over you? And you are giving them that power if you allow them to affect.
It is not enough to show no reaction at the time the insult is proffered. You must not brood on it afterwards. You must not plan retaliation. This may sound like the Christian teaching of “turn the other cheek”, but, as has been said before, adapt anything from any system of belief if it is useful. Very few Christians understand the real reason for the advice not to strike back. By striking back, you are giving your attacker power over you, power to force you to behave as he wants or expects you to behave. This does not, of course, refer to a situation when it is necessary physically to defend yourself. In such circumstances, the priority is preserving your life or health. However, in such a case, you should have been aware of the impending danger so that you were able to circumvent it or, at least, to strike first. This information is given by the inbuilt warning-system or cell-receptors and transmitters which exists in every human being, even if they are only aware of it as “instinct” or “hunch”. When the subconscious has been brought under control, this faculty is very highly-developed.
If someone dislikes you, that must not disturb or alter your intentions. Equally important, and sometimes even more difficult, another person’s liking for you must not cause you to deviate from your aims.
By reacting to other people, you are allowing them to manipulate you (whether or not they are aware of this). Do not react. Stand clear and observe. By remaining emotionally uninvolved, you can assess the situation more clearly and, if necessary, control it. This applies both to mundane and to Occult situations. The neophyte, passionately invoking his otiose gods, may find that he has achieved some success, but, despite the problematical attainment, the exercise has been unproductive because he was not in control. He does not really know how he did it or how it can be repeated.
Despite the widely-propagated myths, there are a few Occult truths still available, though the reasons behind them are not generally known. Working “without lust of result” is an example which comes to mind, a valid and essential concept with an invalid explanation tacked on to it because the true meaning is only understood by Adepts. Any instruction for a ritual will contain the advice that, when the working is completed, you must put out of your mind all thoughts of the aim. The explanation generally given is that your working has released forces which have been sent out to achieve the stated aim. Retaining the aim in your thoughts would anchor the forces to you and impede them. The real reason is that continuing to dwell on the purpose of your working would indicate that you had taken a stance. This does not imply that the outcome is not important, that it did not matter; it means that whether or not it worked should not make any difference to the practitioner and what he is about.
One much-publicised Occult myth which appears to have no foundation is the selling of one’s soul. This seems to he a human invention, based on the fact that the commander of the biggest army is usually the one who wins. But, in the legends, Lucifer is not fussy about the kind of recruit that he attracts; all the he gets are the self-confessed failures who cannot make it on their own (and note that they never ask for something which is completely out of reach; nothing is bestowed upon them which is beyond human endeavour). An Adept is not interested in acquiring followers; he does not need their adulation or their subscriptions. Perhaps there is a fragment of truth concealed behind the melodramatics of signing in blood, seven years’ success etc. The reality is changing one’s soul (mind), not selling it. Someone who has crossed the Abyss is completely different from ordinary human beings. He does not think like them. The situation of an Adept has been compared to finding oneself in a foreign country, where one does not speak the language and where there is no means of getting home, though it is he, not his surroundings, that has changed.
I have referred to the Adept as “he” because the only one I have ever met is a man, but there is no generic reason why a female cannot become an Adept. Regarding sexual inclinations, the only provisos (and these must be accomplished early in the quest) are, firstly, that it must not interfere with anyone else’s right to be what they are, and, secondly, that one must come to terms with what one is, understand it and accept it. Hang-ups and guilt are among the devices used by your subconscious to hold you back.
I suppose that bit about ‘not interfering with anyone else’s right to be what they are’ required further explanation, since it sounds uncomfortably like the –whiter-than-white witchery slogan “an it harm none…” (this is another example of Occult truths having the potency to maintain their existence even when the reasons for them have been forgotten or misinterpreted.) If you interfere with someone else’s functioning, for whatever reason, you are attaching them to you, and you cannot travel far along the Path with that kind of luggage. Crowley, who had some insights before he went disastrously wrong, put it poetically: “every man and every woman is a star”, though it would have been more correct, if less euphonic, to say that every man and every woman has the potential to be a star. Stars do not interfere with other stars, though planets orbiting around them may disturb or even collide with other planets. As we have seen in our own Solar System, what is currently believed to be the outermost planet (Pluto) was only discovered because something had to be there to have induced perturbations in the orbit of the then farthest known planet, Neptune. Human beings disturb and collide with each other; Adepts do not.
Reincarnation has become such a popular myth that few Occultists dare admit they disbelieve it in its simplistic form of one spirit progressing through many bodies throughout the ages. I was a Priestess of Sekhmet four thousand years ago in Egypt, and a gunfighter less then two centuries ago in the American “Wild West”. Part of me, maybe. But not all.
Every person is composed of a multitude of different parts, and this has nothing to do with the biological structure of his body. Because so often we talk of concepts which have never before been publicly known, we must either invent new words to describe them or must use an existing word in a new context. These “parts” of the body we call “cells” but it must be understood that I am not referring to the physical body. These cells cannot be identified by any scientific apparatus.
The cells which make up the individual are, on his death, returned to a central store of pool. They are energy, and energy cannot be created or destroyed, merely changed. As each baby is born, sufficient cells are scooped out of the pool to make up that baby, and that same number of cells will be with him for all of his life. The “scooping” is entirely indiscriminate, so you are composed of a mixture of cells from many different lives. Sometimes you become aware of one or more of these cells, and it is this which has given rise to the belief in reincarnation. A strong empathy with a certain era or events is a good indication that one or more of your cells lived at that time. You as an individual were not there, because the mixture of cells which makes up you, has never been brought into existence before. The memory is real, but it applies only to part of you.
A vital achievement on the way to Adepthood is to become aware of all your cells, all the different parts which have come together to make up this being who is now living. Identifying the first few way be easy, but there are many which do not make their presence felt, and you must know them all. Without this knowledge, you will not be able to keep al your cells together when, under normal circumstances, they should be returned to the pool, that is, when you die.
By keeping all your cells together into the next life, returning via birth as a whole being instead of splitting into many unconnected parts, you retain all the knowledge and abilities acquired during the previous life, in fact, during all the lives since you became able to retain control of your own parts or “cells”. This is the reality of Immortality, and is the path of the Adept.
The Way to Adepthood, Revealed in Print. Quite safe to do this, because it is not exactly inviting. Occultism has its own system of elitism which has nothing to do with snobbery. There is no need for self-appointed Guardians of the Secrets because the secrets guard themselves much more efficiently, We can spell it out in the pages of Dark Lily, and we have done so, but less than one per cent of readers have realised that, much less understood it.
It is so much easier to put on the robes, light the candles and incense and summon a monster from the Infernal Regions; he can be banished, probably without too much trouble. But you will fare differently when you stand alone, without the ceremonial trappings, and realise that this monster is actually within your own mind and it would be more difficult to banish him than to amputate your own arm. You might then regret stirring him up.
You see, the Secrets do not need to be guarded. Their best defence is the seekers themselves. You will protect yourself from the truth until you are ready for it, and from then on you are on your own. The only people who will take any notice are the few, very few, who have set out or who are about to set out on that long, lonely road.
Copyright M Graham 1987