The Riddle of SebRa

Chapter Three



These three words, SEBRA, ABRAX, and AKARMA, are inextricably interconnected. The realization of SEBRA and His omnipotence depends entirely on the passing of the four main ordeals (which, as I have pointed out, vary greatly from man to man), while His action would be restricted without the “by-law” of AKARMA. AKARMA has two distinct meanings:

A) No Manifestation.
B) No Retribution.

A) No Manifestation:
This concept represents the viewpoint from above the Abyss. Below the Abyss, there is no doubt that Manifestation is real, unless one adopts the wildest arguments. The Samadhic mind, however, perceives the Universe as absolutely Nothing; the Buddha is on the 0 curve of the equation 0 = +1 + −1 (or, 0 = 2). From this point of view, nothing whatsoever takes place in the physical and mental planes of Becoming; it is only Maya, the World-Illusion, which fools one into thinking that the Ego has control over any situation. All Manifestation is Nothing (2 = 0); one’s acts and behavior patterns have only relative importance. In the Absolute, one is Still, Action-less; the Self exists serene and solitary in the center of the lotus. Compare the doctrine of relativistic physics: all movement in a straight line is relative in both time and space; only rotary motion is Absolute. Harpocrates is shut up in an egg of blue and his only language is silence…the Magic Circle is the link between two worlds…

This is but a relative viewpoint, however. A man on the 2 curve of the equation would call this state of mind insanity. The goal herein is to develop both states of mind equally, and not to confuse the planes. It is obvious to the Bodhisattva that existence is devoid of reality, yet he acquiesces in the play in order to fulfill his True Will.

Consider for example the Game and Play of the Chess, which is a Pastime of Man, and worthy to exercise him in Thought, yet by no means necessary to his Life, so that he sweepeth away Board and Pieces at the least Summons of that which is truly dear to him. Thus unto him this Game is as it were an Illusion. But insofar as he entereth into the Game he abideth by the Rules thereof, though they be of Artifice and in no wise proper to his Nature; for in this Restriction is all his Pleasure. Therefore, though he hath All-Power to move the Pieces at his own Will, he doth it not, enduring Loss, Indignity, and Defeat rather than destroy that Artifice of Illusion. Think then that thou hast thyself created this Shadowworld the Universe, and that it pleasureth thee to watch or to actuate its Play according to the Law that thou hast made, which yet bindeth thee not save only by Virtue of thine own Will to thine own Pleasure therein.
– The Book of Wisdom or Folly, chap. 60.

The concept is something like that of Anatta, the Buddha’s Word meaning “no soul.” For this is true in the supra-Abyssal realms, yet we act as though there were an Ego down here below. AKARMA is, then, a correlative of the Buddhist Logos, for it signifies the non-existence of the extended universe, yet in the infra-Abyssal worlds we act as though Objects were of all truth. AKARMA signifies the same thing to the Objective World that Anatta does to the Subjective. Yet the further one descends on the Qabalistic ladder, the more one believes in the reality of the Ego (Atta, Atman) on the one hand, and the environment (Kamma, Karma) on the other.

This spiritual devolution is the main subject of Magical Metaphysics, which seeks to enunciate the means whereby Man creates a material universe. Mystical Metaphysics is concerned with expounding the reverse, or the means whereby Man may re-enter into communion with the Root of Existence. The main tenets of this Magical devolution will be elaborated upon in part two of this chapter. In the mean time, let us quote A.C. once more:

Moreover, this Matter toucheth the Nature of Truth. For although to thee in thy TrueSelf, absolute and without conditions, all this Universe, which is relative and conditioned, is an Illusion; yet to that Part of thee by which thou perceivest it, the Law of its Being (or By-coming) is a Law of Truth. Learn then that all Relations are true upon their own Plane, and that it would be a Violation of Nature to adjust them skew-wise.
– The Book of Wisdom or Folly, chap. 61.

B) No Retribution:
This is perhaps the most important of the two meanings of AKARMA to Thelemic Metaphysics, at least Thelemic Ethics. It is obvious to most thinking people that “morality” is not a description of the state of affairs observed in Nature. There can never be an act, or an event, which is concretely good or bad. The idea of karmic retribution is dependent on the theory of a God of Judgment, the archetype of the Choronzonic Father figure. There is no God but Man. Man is the sole determiner of his Fate. Therefore, there can only be “retribution” if Man so wills it to be. From the standpoint of the word AKARMA, there can be no such thing as good or bad; all appearances in the Magical Khu are equally illusory.

There is a way out of the Righteous God Syndrome and still maintain a theory of Retribution, and that is to state the hypothesis of an impersonal Karmic Law which automatically feeds back whatever type of action performed in the phenomenal worlds (this is the opinion of the Yellow Brothers). This is laughingly fallacious, for an unintelligent “law” cannot discern the relative importance of any one type of behavior. If I kill you, someone will sooner or later kill me; if I accidentally step on a dog’s foot, a dog will someday do the same to me; if I piss on the ground, the ground will one day piss back. It just doesn’t follow.

Thelemites have no need to fear the Fates, nor Gods of any sort. All acts are equally holy and necessary to the Harmony of the Universe. Nothing can occur which is not necessary! To elucidate this point, we must touch upon the matter of Magical Devolution, which treats of the projecting arc of Manifestation from out of the Void of Nu.

“There is no Universe beyond what thou Desirest.” – Book of Codes, III:23. Or, to stretch the meaning of the Existential axiom: “Existence précède l’essence.” The True Will first appears as a Star in the Womb of Nuit, much as an atomic particle is a condensed point of Space. This Root of Star (to borrow a phrase from Marc Bolan) is the Seed of the Cosmos, containing within itself the DNA, as it were, of all subsequent worlds. This is referred to in the Book of Oz: “Deeper sinks the thoughtless mind. The point is like a little star on the tip of a penpoint. Yet that star is the Mother of galaxies.” – Book of Oz, III:7. This is the appearance of the one from out of the Sea of the none.

With the appearance of the True Will, the deepest Instinctual Impulse which contains within itself all other “bud” wills, the Will-to-Live, the Will-to-Die, the Will-to-Rebel-against-Oppression, Ad Infinitum, the Two automatically manifests. If there is going to be a Positive, there must be a Negative; if there is going to be a Subjective Will, there must be the corresponding manifestation of that Will in an Objective Environment. And with the appearance of the two comes the many, the manifold contents of the Subject/Object continuum.

This is the main thesis of Magical Metaphysics: the two is an expression of the one, which is, in turn, a condensation of the none. The Inner and the Outer aspects of Man, the Mind/Body complex and its environment, form a continuum. Thus the continual interplay between Mind and Matter. The Will projects both — thus Magick is possible as a veritable Science. And it therefore follows that Man, who is the flower of this Root, is completely responsible for his environment. Nothing can manifest in the individual’s environment without his (secret) assent, albeit the Will is often rendered subconscious and may have perverted effects due to Restriction (as in the case of nightmares, both sleeping and waking).

The concept of “crime” is obliterated by the fact that every Man is responsible for his Universe. Phenomena have no moralistic qualities. In fact, following the indisputable arguments of the Hedonists, the only “right” can be pleasure, the only “wrong” pain. This is biological morality, untainted by false ratiocination. And yet this pain too, when manifest, is a necessary part of the Play; and so we arrive at the Good beyond good and evil. All things are Good. And as for “duty,” one can only follow the categorical imperative of one’s Will. There is no higher Power.

Now we can see what the word Karma really means, shorn of its Christian-like growths. It simply means “cause and effect,” in the logical sense of the term. Below the Abyss, we perceive the constant interplay between noumena and phenomena, of manifest premises and conclusions, forming a vast network of uncountable threads of manifestation on all planes of Becoming. Because of the unfortunate connotations of the word Karma, however, it would be best to retain the phrase “cause and effect” in its stead, in order to avoid confusion. (Unless one understands…)

Below the Abyss, the Supernals stand as the Great Cause of Worldly Effects. But above the Abyss, it is the Void which is, mysteriously, the Cause of Existence, and in the Void the rules of Cause-and-Effect do not hold. The Void is the Mysterious Cause, for the Will appears spontaneously from “out of nowhere.”

We cannot confuse the planes, however. In the world of Assiah, it appears that Time has a Causal Relation to Phenomena, that the present is the result of past events. This is true on that plane. But as we ascend through the astral worlds, we realize that each world stands as the Cause of each lower materialization. We finally arrive at the Void, which is above and beyond all these petty workings, and yet stands as the Great Cause of all the rest. This point is beyond the Space/Time continuum, exists in the Eternal Present, and it therefore follows that the origin of the Universe can only be in this Continual Present. Though physical evolution is true on its own Plane, it is completely irrelevant to the supra-abyssal consciousness. Both Past and Future are effects of the Present, forming the marvelous web of Cause-and-Effect (Karma) we witness daily.

AKARMA signifies A) that action does not occur at all; it is only illusion. You don’t need to worry about the movie you’re watching, it’ll take care of itself, and B) that phenomenal action has no moralistic reaction. It Will have an exact effect on the Universe, of course; everything is altered by the slightest disturbance of equilibrium. But this karmic chain is exceedingly difficult to trace to any great extent. Don’t worry about the effects of the Will, just Do It! The True Will is rooted in Wisdom. Lay Eve with SebRa without fear of the consequences. All Acts Are Sacred.

Magical “debts” can only be accumulated by the dispersal, or restriction, of the True Will.


 James Beck

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Kamma, transcribed as כמא, KMA in the Hebrew script = 61, אין, AIN or Nuit. Thus it conceals its antithesis within itself.
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“Let there be no difference made among you between any one thing and any other thing; for thereby there cometh hurt.” – Liber AL, 1:22.
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