Monday, March 24, 2008

Readings for March 24th

Reading 1: Liber Tzaddi (XC) by Saint Aleister Crowley

0. In the name of the Lord of Initiation, Amen.
1. I fly and I alight as an hawk: of mother-of-emerald are my mighty-sweeping wings.
2. I swoop down upon the black earth; and it gladdens into green at my coming.
3. Children of Earth! rejoice! rejoice exceedingly; for your salvation is at hand.
4. The end of sorrow is come; I will ravish you away into mine unutterable joy.
5. I will kiss you, and bring you to the bridal: I will spread a feast before you in the house of happiness.
6. I am not come to rebuke you, or to enslave you.
7. I bid you not turn from your voluptuous ways, from your idleness, from your follies.
8. But I bring you joy to your pleasure, peace to your languor, wisdom to your folly.
9. All that ye do is right, if so be that ye enjoy it.
10. I am come against sorrow, against weariness, against them that seek to enslave you.
11. I pour you lustral wine, that giveth you delight both at the sunset and the dawn.
12. Come with me, and I will give you all that is desirable upon the earth.
13. Because I give you that of which Earth and its joys are but as shadows.
14. They flee away, but my joy abideth even unto the end.
15. I have hidden myself beneath a mask: I am a black and terrible God.
16. With courage conquering fear shall ye approach me: ye shall lay down your heads upon mine altar, expecting the sweep of the sword.
17. But the first kiss of love shall be radiant on your lips; and all my darkness and terror shall turn to light and joy.
18. Only those who fear shall fail. Those who have bent their backs to the yoke of slavery until they can no longer stand upright; them will I despise.
19. But you who have defied the law; you who have conquered by subtlety or force; you will I take unto me, even I will take you unto me.
20. I ask you to sacrifice nothing at mine altar; I am the God who giveth all.
21. Light, Life, Love; Force, Fantasy, Fire; these do I bring you: mine hands are full of these.
22. There is joy in the setting-out; there is joy in the journey; there is joy in the goal.
23. Only if ye are sorrowful, or weary, or angry, or discomforted; then ye may know that ye have lost the golden thread, the thread wherewith I guide you to the heart of the groves of Eleusis.
24. My disciples are proud and beautiful; they are strong and swift; they rule their way like mighty conquerors.
25. The weak, the timid, the imperfect, the cowardly, the poor, the tearful -- these are mine enemies, and I am come to destroy them.
26. This also is compassion: an end to the sickness of earth. A rooting out of the weeds: a watering of the flowers.
27. O my children, ye are more beautiful than the flowers: ye must not fade in your season.
28. I love you; I would sprinkle you with the divine dew of immortality.
29. This immortality is no vain hope beyond the grave: I offer you the certain consciousness of bliss.
30. I offer it at once, on earth; before an hour hath struck upon the bell, ye shall be with Me in the Abodes that are beyond Decay.
31. Also I give you power earthly and joy earthly; wealth, and health, and length of days. Adoration and love shall cling to your feet, and twine around your heart.
32. Only your mouths shall drink of a delicious wine -- the wine of Iacchus; they shall reach ever to the heavenly kiss of the Beautiful God.
33. I reveal unto you a great mystery. Ye stand between the abyss of height and the abyss of depth.
34. In either awaits you a Companion; and that Companion is Yourself.
35. Ye can have no other Companion.
36. Many have arisen, being wise. They have said "Seek out the glittering Image in the place ever golden, and unite yourselves with It."
37. Many have arisen, being foolish. They have said, "Stoop down unto the darkly splendid world, and be wedded to that Blind Creature of the Slime."
38. I who am beyond Wisdom and Folly, arise and say unto you: achieve both weddings! Unite yourselves with both!
39. Beware, beware, I say, lest ye seek after the one and lose the other!
40. My adepts stand upright; their head above the heavens, their feet below the hells.
41. But since one is naturally attracted to the Angel, another to the Demon, let the first strengthen the lower link, the last attach more firmly to the higher.
42. Thus shall equilibrium become perfect. I will aid my disciples; as fast as they acquire this balanced power and joy so faster will I push them.
43. They shall in their turn speak from this Invisible Throne; their words shall illumine the worlds.
44. They shall be masters of majesty and might; they shall be beautiful and joyous; they shall be clothed with victory and splendour; they shall stand upon the firm foundation; the kingdom shall be theirs; yea, the kingdom shall be theirs.
In the name of the Lord of Initiation. Amen.

Reading 2: From the Tao Te Ching of Saint Lao Tzu

The way of nature is not contrived,
yet nothing which is required
is left undone.

Observing nature, the wise leader knows this,
and replaces desire with dispassion,
thus saving that energy, otherwise spent,
which has not been wasted away.

The wise leader knows
his actions must be
without the use of forced energy.

He knows that more
is still required,
for he also knows
that he must act
without deliberate intent,
of having no intention.

To act without contrived intent
is to act without contriving,
and is the way of nature,
and so is the way of the Tao. (Cap. 37, "The Exercise of Leadership")

From the principle which is called the Tao,
the sky, the earth, and creativity are one,
the sky is clear, the earth is firm,
and the spirit of the inner world is full.

When the ruler of the land is whole,
the nation too is strong, alive and well,
and the people have sufficient
to meet their earthly needs.

When the daytime sky is dark
and overcast like night,
the nation and its people
will surely suffer much.

The firmness of the dew filled earth
gives it its life;
the energy of the inner world
prevents its becoming drained of strength;
its fullness prevents it running dry.
The growth of all things
prevents their dying.

The work of the leader should ensure
the prosperity of the populace.
So it is said,
"humility is the root
of great nobility;
the low forms a foundation
for the great;
and princes consider themselves
to be of little worth". (Cap 39, "Sufficiency and Quietness")
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