Thelema and the Middle Path
In the past the link between the philosophy of Thelema and the practice of magick has been closely linked. The middle path as the sole means of attainment is not often discussed in depth. It is the aim of this course to educate the student on the tasks and trials of advancing up the path of the mystic.
Differences between magick and mysticism
Magick and mysticism have a very strong relationship to each other that is often explored simultaneously by practitioners. However, there are those who would choose only one of these methods to achieve enlightenment. Both paths can be mapped out according to the Tree of Life.
The path of the Magickian leads the practitioner through each sephirah and path as one gains an understanding and grap of each and is ready to progress further. This can be thought of in completion as exhausting the possibilities of creation.
The path of the Mystic differs in that it leads one straight up the middle pillar of the tree from Malkuth to Kether without deviating from balance and harmony. This can be thought of in finality as the focusing of energies towards the divine.
An important part of Crowley's work was his discussion of Yoga. Crowley's work with Raja Yoga has been instrumental in the development of the esoteric sciences in the western world. Today, Yoga is a major part of the curriculum and training of Magickians.
This system of spiritual attainment has been used for thousands of years in India and has been worked into a science. There are eight parts to Raja Yoga: Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi. The students progression and mastery over each limb of the system leads to a fuller understanding and mastery over the elements of nature itself.
There are many mystically oriented texts originating from Crowley himself. Many of these exercises are intended to bring one closer and eventually to union with whatever deity one would choose. This type of work is intended to unite dualities within the self to bring one more in line with their own True Will.