The Book of the Law Ch. 1, line 51 reads: “There are four gates to one palace; the floor of that palace is of silver and gold; lapis lazuli & jasper are there; and all rare scents; jasmine & rose, and the emblems of death. Let him enter in turn or at once the four gates; let him stand on the floor of the palace. Will he not sink? Amn. Ho! warrior, if thy servant sink? But there are means and means. Be goodly therefore: dress ye all in fine apparel; eat rich foods and drink sweet wines and wines that foam! Also, take your fill and will of love as ye will, when, where and with whom ye will! But always unto me.”
Lapis lazuli is a blue stone, and in the above verse is to be associated to Nuit (who is represented by a blue woman arched, her body filled with stars), the jasper to Hadit. I’ve written repeatedly in the past few articles about Nuit being cosmic space, and have mentioned the Great Mother and Binah, which coincidentally, in Buddhism’s Prajnaparamita Sutra, the Unborn (emptiness) concept appears and is tied to the Great Mother (read about the Prajnaparamita Sutra on Wikipedia). I say that’s a decent coincidence, as Crowley’s Liber Liberi vel Lapidis Lazuli contain the “birth-words” of the ‘Master of the Temple’, and has a prologue of the Unborn. We’ll look at why that’s neat below!
Holding this comparison with Buddhism, in Liber Liberi vel Lapidis Lazuli we find: “Let there be nothing! – Let all things drop into this ocean of love! – Be this devotion a potent spell to exorcise the demons of the Five!”.
In Buddhism the five aggregates or five skandhas are: form/body/matter (rupa), sensations (vedana), perceptions (samjna), mental activity or formations (sankhara), and consciousness (vijnana). These five skandhas are a common theme in writing of Zen masters, such as appearing in Hakuin’s Five Skandhas Are All Empty: “The tail on the sacred tortoise sweeps all her tracks clear. But how can the tail avoid leaving traces of its own? Forms are like the towering Iron Hoop Mountains. Sensation and perception like the trenchant Diamond Sword. Conception and consciousness like the gem that fulfills the heart’s desires. But you must realize how far there is to go. Before you know it darkness overtakes you once again. – You see another’s five and you think that’s you. – You cling to them with personal pride or shame; It’s like the bubbles that form on the surface of waves – Like lightning bolts streaking across the sky.”
The ocean of love, ocean of cosmic space (emptiness), Nuit, is the Nothing sought in Zen, and is symbolic of non-duality. In Zen, the “transmission” between master/teacher and disciple, or the acknowledgement of the attainment of this non-dual mind (which is Buddha’s attainment, and the attainment of all Zen masters and patriarchs) is called the “Samadhi seal”, or in other places, the “Ocean seal”. In my Five Dhyani Buddhas post we looked at a quote from Zen master Yongming Yanshou’s (904-976) Records of the Source Mirror which mentioned the “vast sea of all encompassing existence that universal mind manifests is correctly accounted for in the Perfect Teaching. Throughout the eight consciousnesses, the light of wisdom lights up darkness to reveal incorrect views. The mind-mirror in fact refers to the spiritual abode of living beings and the implicit truth of the myriad dharmas. It is constantly changing in unpredictable ways, expanding and contracting with unimpeded spontaneity. It manifests traces as conditions warrant; names are formed according to the things manifested.”
The eighth consciousness is emptiness (alayavijnana), and represents the mind-mirror. The mind-mirror mentioned above is represented in the Five Dhyani Buddhas by the Dhyani Buddha Akshobhya whose name literally means “mirror-like wisdom”. (To not get lost, read my posts on the Five Dhyani Buddhas, and Genius in Thelema for elaboration on the Four Wisdoms and Samadhi. In the west Soto Buddhism (a school of Zen Buddhism descending from Eihei Dogen) has really taken root, so we looked at their Five Dhyani Buddhas in the post Enabled Body of Enlightenment, where Akshobhya was replaced by Bhaisajyaguru!
From Wikipedia: “Bhaiṣajyaguru, formally Bhaiṣajya-guru-vaiḍūrya-prabhā-rāja (“King of Medicine Master and Lapis Lazuli Light”), is the Buddha of healing and medicine in Mahāyāna Buddhism. Commonly referred to as the “Medicine Buddha”, he is described as a doctor who cures dukkha (suffering) using the medicine of his teachings.” Bhaiṣajyaguru is described in the eponymous Bhaiṣajya-guru-vaiḍūrya-prabhā-rāja Sūtra, commonly called the Medicine Buddha Sutra, as a bodhisattva who made 12 great vows. On achieving Buddhahood, he became the Buddha of the eastern pure land of Vaiḍūryanirbhāsa “Pure Lapis Lazuli”. There, he is attended to by two bodhisattvas symbolizing the light of the sun and the light of the moon respectively.”
Going back to Thelema, the Master of the Temple is one who must speak truth, as Master of the Temple is V.V.V.V.V (Vi Veri Universum Vivus Vici) which means “by the power of truth I while living have conquered all creation”, and the Magus as per Liber B Vel Magi states the Magus must speak his law unto man, “And woe, woe, woe, yea woe, and again woe, woe, woe unto seven times be His that preacheth not His law to men!” (Dharma is the word used in Buddhism which translates to “law”, and the Dharma is established to cure dukkha, to alleviate suffering in the world).
It’s interesting that the King of Medicine Master and Lapis Lazuli Light is accompanied by the light of the sun and moon, as Qabalistically those would be Tipharet and Yesod, and of course, Binah in Crowley’s Book of Thoth talks about the process of the “spiritual light” descending through Binah into the blood, a radiant moon upon the celestial waters.
This post is a bit jumbled, forgive me for that, I wanted to get it out of the way before starting a series of posts on “Killing Thelema”, which will be more coherent and go in-depth in dissecting Thelema.