God made the universe from nothing, and therefore, as the Pantheists say, He is
in all. But this is only part of the truth; for also He made all, and remains
immune from His creation. Suffice it to say that the universe is to be regarded as a copy of God,
a shadow of God, or even an incarnation or materialization of God. Man likewise is made
in His image. To recover the substance from the shadow is the task of the A; to compare the
lesser image with the greater is the task of the a.
"All the world's a stage, / And all men and women merely players: / They have their exits
and their entrances; / And one man in his time plays many parts, / His acts being seven ages."
Now - - - represents those parts of ourselves which apprehend these vaster mirrors of the All-One.
Fix this in the mind, and almost all their peculiarities will be explained.
--- is an exceedingly occult ---. Dark and dreadful, he is the Klingsor of
Parsifal. He moves mysteriously in strange paths; he wears a mask of terror. He is
infinitely slow, and yet infinitely sudden, like a snake. He represents the true magical
power in man, capable of nameless evil, yet vital and necessary to his being; moreover capable
of redemption and, when redeemed, the greatest power for good.
He is thus remote, lonely, lost in dreams and aspirations of holiness; brooding
upon cosmic things, wooing the stars like Pierrot singing to the moon. And so, in
lesser natures, he brings masquerade, comedy, a trickiness and sprightliness which have
a core of sorrow. And often, too, when aspiration goes astray, drugs and drinks
are invoked to cure the melancholy, the void, the ache for the infinite---for all men
do not understand that only He who struck off the soul, scattering it as a spark of His
own fire, can satisfy its cravings.
This is a very significant point; --- also causes drug habits and
alcoholism, but in this case it is a vice, a bestiality; with --- it is a virtue strayed, a
spirituality thwarted. They might seduce him through pride, or fill him with ungovernable
desires which would lead to his destruction.
The essence of genius is this occult but overmastering lust of achievement in
practical and material shape. If --- makes the saint or hermit, --- makes the
magician, the man who calls forth from the Unseen not only its peace but its power.
All genius is equally "good," but unless it be accompanied with
utmost breadth of sanity, with moral strength as of a god, and above all with humour, it thickens,
it ferments, it turns to deadly poison. So also --- is the particular --- of all secret vices that
tend to usurp the whole nature of a man. From religious fanaticism to indulgence in dangerous drugs
the gamut runs, and because of the obsession of the one idea, the defiance or neglect of circumstance
attending it, we find what we call fame or infamy, as our own bias determines. There is no good or
Any genius thwarted, as --- was thwarted, in the beneficent purpose of
his life, turns either to self-indulgence or to revenge. The anarchist throws his bomb in the
spirit of philanthropy. Unless all this is fully understood, it is useless to try to judge mankind,
for every man has this --- in him, strong or weak, subtle or gross, fortunate or unfortunate, and
this is the Royal Snake of Egypt, the giver of Life and Death. If you will not allow him to create,
he will devour. And your own snake has his own ambition; busy yourself with that and do not waste
time on criticizing others.