October 8, 2016

Magister Templi

Magister Templi (8=3) attainment explained from various standpoints. Re-posting the text from Heruraha.org, Temple of Thelema (link >>). I added a few remarks on the attainment of arhat and eight trances in yellow text. Original text appears in this color.

Here we go:

"The essential Attainment is the perfect annihilation of that personality which limits and oppresses his true self.
"The Magister Templi is pre-eminently the Master of Mysticism, that is, His Understanding is entirely free from internal contradiction or external obscurity… He is the Master of the Law of Sorrow (Dukkha)." [OSIS - One Star in Sight]

"MAGISTER TEMPLI. – (Master of the Temple): whose functions are fully described in Liber 418, as is this whole initiation from Adeptus Exemptus. See also 'Aha!'." [OSIS]

"The Order of the Star called S.S. is, in respect of its existence upon the Earth, an organized body of men and women distinguished among their fellows by the qualities here enumerated. They exist in their own Truth, which is both universal and unique. They move in accordance with their own Wills, which are each unique, yet coherent with the universal will.
"They perceive (that is, understand, know, and feel) in love, which is both unique and universal." [OSIS]

"The Order of the S.S. is composed of those who have crossed the Abyss; the implications of this expression may be studied in Liber 418, the 14th, 13th, 12th, 11th, 10th and 9th Aethyrs in particular.
"All members of the Order are in full possession of the Formulae of Attainment, both mystical or inwardly-directed and Magical or outwardly-directed. They have full experience of attainment in both these path.” [OSIS]

"Any neophyte of the Order (or, as some say, any person soever) possesses the right to claim the Grade of Master of the Temple by taking the Oath of the Grade. It is hardly necessary to observe that to do so is the most sublime and awful responsibility which it is possible to assume, and an unworthy person who does so incurs the most terrific penalties by the presumption." [OSIS]


"His principle business is to tend his 'garden' of disciples, and to obtain a perfect understanding of the Universe. He is a Master of Samadhi." [OSIS]

"His word is to comprehend the existing Universe in accordance with His own Mind." [OSIS]

"The function of the Magister Templi is to cause the desert to blossom by transmitting the Logos of the Æon to those that are below the Abyss." [Commentary to Liber LXV, IV:61-63]

"They are all… bound by the original and fundamental Oath of the Order, to devote their energy to assisting the Progress of their Inferiors in the Order. Those who accept the rewards of their emancipation for themselves are no longer within the Order." [OSIS]

THE PATHS: Vav, Heh, Daleth

"TO ATTAIN THE GRADE OF MAGUS he must accomplish Three Tasks; the renunciation of His enjoyment of the Infinite so that he may formulate Himself as the Finite [Heh]; the acquisition of the practical secrets alike of initiating and governing His proposed new Universe [Vav] and the identification of himself with the impersonal idea of Love [Daleth]." [OSIS]

Liber Viarum Viæ assigns to the Path of Vav, "The Forthcoming of the Hierophant," Liber VIII, and to the Path of Daleth, "The Incarnation of the Inmost Light," Liber DLV (Liber Had). To the Path of Heh, it assigns "The Formulation of the Flaming Star," Liber V; most likely this should now be adjusted to read, "The Adoration under the Starry Heaven," Liber XI (Liber Nu).

"…to him who would be a Master of the Temple, the reverse applies. He wishes to remain perpetually in Samadhi, and it is therefore his renunciation to descend further and further into matter. He has volatilized the fixed; now he must fix the volatile. He has ascended from his particular body to the Universal Soul. That Universal Soul must now incarnate itself ever more completely in that body, and in the bodies and minds of all men. He has made his darkness light; that light must illuminate the darkness of all…. The Great Work is accomplished. The new Great Work is proclaimed. He has finished with Solve. He must begin Coagula."
[The Temple of Solomon the King]


"Only one other [grade besides 5=6] is equally cardinal: the grade of Master of the Temple, which is the Threshold of the Order of the A.'.A.'.. I have called the vision corresponding to this the 'Vision of Wonder' which permeates one's daily life in a similar way. The difference [between this and the 'Beatific Vision' of the 5=6] is that penetrating beyond sensory perceptions, one is aware of the mechanism of events, of the subtle chain of causes which connect them. One perceives in detail how each impression necessarily succeeds its forerunner. The effect is that one is lost in wonder at the ingenuity of the universe, to use a very inadequate word, as being the only one available. One feels the intense awed admiration which the greatest masterpieces of Kant, Beethoven, Shakespeare, Rembrandt, Riemann, Kelvin, and such as they inspired, with this difference: that all impressions are equally puissant to produce it." [Confessions, Cap. 78]


"Every active Member of the Order has destroyed all that He is and all that He has on crossing the Abyss; but a star is cast forth in the Heavens to enlighten the Earth, so that he may possess a vehicle wherein he may communicate with mankind. The quality and position of this star, and its functions, are determined by the nature of the incarnations transcended by him." [OSIS]

"Every person, whatever his grade in the Order, has also a 'natural' grade appropriate to his intrinsic virtue. He may expect to be 'cast out into that grade when he becomes 8=3. Thus one may, throughout his career, may be essentially of the type of Netzach; another, of Hod. In the same way Rembrandt and Raphael retained their respective points of view in all stages of their art."
[MT&P, Cap. VII, Sec. 5.]


Magisteri shall be addressed as S.'.H.'. (Supremely Honored) Frater/Soror. (NOTE: This was a later development. The original designation was G.'.R.'. (Greatly Revered) Frater/Soror.)

"10 reflects 3" [NW Ms.]. That is, the Neophyte Grade (1=10) is a reflection, on a lower level, of the Magister Templi Grade (8=3).

"All members of the Order are in possession of the Word of the existing Aeon, and govern themselves thereby." [OSIS]

"They are entitled to communicate directly with any and every member of the Order, as they may deem fitting." [OSIS]

"Members of the Order are each entitled to found Orders dependent on themselves on the lines of the R.C. and G.D. orders, to cover types of emancipation and illumination not contemplated by the original (or main) system. All such orders must, however, be constituted in harmony with the A.'.A.'. as regards the essential principles." [OSIS]


(Oath taken by Him that was to become To Mega Therion on His initiation to the grade of Master of the Temple.)

I. I, ___________, a member of the Body of God, hereby bind myself on behalf of the Whole Universe, even as we are now physically bound unto the cross of suffering:
II. that I will lead a pure life, as a devoted servant of the Order:
III. that I will understand all things:
IV. that I will love all things:
V. that I will perform all things and endure all things:
VI. that I will continue in the Knowledge and Conversation of my Holy Guardian Angel
VII. that I will work without attachment
VIII. that I will work in truth:
IX. that I will rely only upon myself:
X. that I will interpret every phenomenon as a particular dealing of God with my soul.
And if I fail herein, may my pyramid be profaned, and the Eye closed to me.


"And by the power of this transcendent faculty [Sammasati, "constant recollection and keeping in mind of holy things" – grade of Adeptus Exemptus], rising through the Eight High Trances to the very threshold of Nirvana, he at last, in the Trance called Nirodha Samapatti, attains, even in this life, to the Deathless Shore of Nirvana, by the power of Sammasamadhi, Right Concentration. Such a one has finished the path – he has destroyed the cause of all his chain of lives, and has become Arahan, a Saint, a Buddha himself." (Science & Buddhism)

Actually, there is a diffetence between attainment of Arahan or Arhat (supreme attainment in Small Vehicle or Hinayana - Theravada Buddhism) and Buddhahood (ultimate attainment in Great Vehicle or Mahayana and/or Diamond Vehicle or Vajrayana Buddhism).

In Hinayana, aspirants "only" free themselves and are not willing to give up their attainment for the wellbeing of others so they are called 'solitary practitioners' or 'the hearers' (sravakas in Sanskrit). After quitting the present body, they attain their Pure land (spiritual plane above material ones) but not the highest Pure lands. Those are attained only by the Buddhas, not Arahats.

Theravada or Small Vehicle is also called Sutrayana or Sutra Vehicle because practitioners of this path depend primarly on Sutras or scriptures. It is said that it takes long eons to attain final freedom that way.

Vajrayana or the Diamond vehicle is also called Mantrayana because practitioners on this path depend on Tantric approach. It is said that final Buddhahood is attainable in present body and in one life on the path of Tantra, Anuttarayoga Tantra.

Crowley had no access to these advanced and secret teachings (Vajrayana), it seems.

Also, the attainment of nirodha-samapatti is NOT equal to Buddhahood. One does not attain the final emancipation by experiencing this state. Anagamis and Arhats attain it, but that attainment is just a step on the Path, not the end of the Path.

Buddhahood is the dynamic stage, not a trance where everything, including awareness itself, turns off as is the case with nirodha-samapatti. 

"…it's true that as 8=3 one gets a sort of look round at the Supernal Triad, but it can only be a glimpse." [Crowley letter to C.S. Jones, 1916]

[Following a commentary on "The Ordeal of Ida Pendragon":] This story marks a stage in my own understanding of the formula of initiation. I began to see that one might become a Master of the Temple without necessarily knowing any technical Magick or mysticism at all. It is merely a matter of convenience to be able to represent any expression as x + y = 0. The equation may be solved without words. Many people may go through the ordeals and attain the degrees of the A.'.A.'. without ever hearing that such an Order exists. The universe is, in fact, busy with nothing else, for the relation of the Order to it is that of the man of science to his subject. He writes CaCl2 + H2SO4 = CaSO4 + 2HCl for his own convenience and that of others, but the operation was always in progress independently." [Confessions, p. 68]

“In The Vision and the Voice, the attainment of the grade of Master of the Temple was symbolized by the adept pouring every drop of his blood, that is his whole individual life, into the Cup of the Scarlet Woman, who represents Universal Impersonal Life. There remains therefore (to pursue the imagery) of the adept 'nothing but a little pile of dust'. In a subsequent vision the Grade of Magus is foreshadowed; and the figure is that this dust is burnt into 'a white ash', which ash is preserved in an Urn. It is difficult to convey the appropriateness of this symbolism, but the general idea is that the earthly or receptive part of the Master is destroyed. That which remains has passed through fire; and is therefore, in a sense, of the nature of fire. The Urn is engraved with a word or symbol expressive of the nature of the being whose ash is therein. The Magus is thus, of course, not a person in any ordinary sense; he represents a certain nature of idea. To put it otherwise, we may say, the Magus is a word. He is the Logos of the Aeon which he brings to pass." [Confessions, Cap. 81]

From "The Temple of Solomon the King," EQUINOX I:10:

"…There had been a bar to the progress of Frater Perdurabo, a dualism in his conception of the Cosmos. He had not fully understood that the Universe was One, that one might in very truth eat and drink to the glory of God. He knew that by eating and drinking one did not necessarily detract from the glory of God, but had not fully understood the sacramentalism of the simplest actions…. He had still the old illusion that to succeed on one plane you must fail on another; still thought the mind more than the body, the soul more than the mind; did not see that these three must be one in exactly the same sense as the Christian Trinity (as understood by the truest Christians) is One. It was in the course of this illumination that the Truth was ceremonially conveyed to him on the Magical plane, although it was not for three years later that it fully illuminated his mind.

"This illusion, of which it is here spoken, is a most necessary step for the beginner, because to the beginner his ordinary life is not a sacrament. To him things are really common and unclean. He must, therefore, cut them out of his life, and hence to him the name of the Path of Renunciation. But to him who would be a Master of the Temple, the reverse applies. He wishes to remain perpetually in Samadhi, and it is therefore his renunciation to descend further and further into matter. He has volatilized the fixed; now he must fix the volatile. He has ascended from his particular body to the Universal Soul. That Universal Soul must now incarnate itself ever more completely in that body, and in the bodies and minds of all men. He has made his darkness light; that light must illuminate the darkness of all…."

"…it is necessary to emphasize the very peculiar nature of the attainment of this grade. In all previous grades the nature of the Initiation has been light through darkness. In this it is darkness through light. The word of the Adept was L V X, Light. The word of the Master of the Temple is N O X, Night. This is the Night of Pan. The direction of the Path is definitely changed. The Master of the Temple cannot go to the Magus unless bringing the Neophyte himself in his hand, and in this task there is no consolation, as there has always been before. The visions are no more. Silence and stillness and darkness rule the grade. The Adept has throughout his progress been unifying himself. As it is written in Liber CCCXXXIII, Chapter III, the Brothers of A.'.A.'. are women; the Aspirants to A.'.A.'. are men. The Master of the Temple has given birth to a child, which child appears as an Adept among men. But that which was the Adept is but a little pile of dust. Samadhi has been attained once and for all. The process is complete and permanent. The Great Work is accomplished. The new Great Work is proclaimed. He has finished with Solve. He must begin Coagula…."

"…The Master of the Temple is not only the dust in the Pyramid, and the Blood in the Cup, but he is also that which was cast down through the Abyss into the Heaven of Jupiter. The brain reels before such a conception. And the human brain of the Master of the Temple is but little more fitted to understand this in his life as a man than if he had never entered the Path at all. For the Ego has been totally destroyed, and he has nothing wherewith to bind together these things. He is not any of these things, for there is no He. Those things are. And of the results of this, and of how it may bear upon the question of his advancement to the Grade of Magus, who can say? It is not the Master of the Temple even who could answer such a question. For, in relation to his advancement, he is but that little pile of dust which is to burn up, and from which shall be prepared a white ash by Hermes the Invisible. And in relation to his true life, it is mixed with the blood of all his fellows in the Cup of BABALON. And in relation to his body and mind he is but a vehicle of the forces that are beyond the Abyss. He will therefore speak, but as a man among men, of that which he has seen and heard. But he will claim no authority. He will not proclaim dogma. For all that in him from which such things proceed is no more. He will remain in the darkness of the City of Pyramids under the Night of Pan, sitting silent through 106 seasons, the name of every one of which is Death, ever seeking to make his understanding perfect, until the time comes for him to seek that yet more fearful ordeal which must evidently be involved in the attainment of the Grade of Magus…."

(NOTE FWIW: The current Praemonstrator of the A.'.A.'., signing himself in his 7=4 identity, wrote that the formal work of the 8=3 includes working the Eight High Trances. - JAE)

Well, the teachings on the Eight trances or Jhanas belong to Small Vehicle or Theravada Buddhism (see my remarks above). 
You can find more info on Eight states here >>
Boring and tedious path, in my experience. It also takes or it may take long time. Tantric path or Anuttarayoga Tantra from Vajrayana Buddhism is quicker and may lead to final emancipation in present life and in this current body.

Of course, the teachings on Dzogchen or Mahamudra or Ati yoga map the path of instant and permanent awakening.

Again, it is obvious that Master Therion had no knowledge of these advanced practices, regretfully.

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