My Prana, however, seems feverish and unbalanced. So I eat a biscuit or two and drink some water and will put it right with the Pentagram Ritual.
Done, but oh! how hard. Sleep fights me as Apollyon fought Christian! but I will up and take him by the throat.
(See; 'tis 2.30. Twelve minutes to do that little in!) And look at the handwriting!
Satan trembles when he sees
The weakest saint upon his knees;
Satan flees, exclaiming "Damn!"
When any saint starts Pranayam!
So happy, indeed, was I in the practice that I devoted myself by the Waiting formula to Adonai; and that I got to "neighbourhood- concentration" is shewn by the fact that I several times forgot altogether about Adonai, and found myself saying the silly old Mantram.
I despair of asking my readers to distinguish between the common phenomenon of wandering thought and this phenomenon which is at the very portal of true and perfect concentration; yet it is most important that the distinction should be seized. The further difficulty will occur — I hope! — of distinguishing between the vacancy of the idiot, and that destruction of thought which we call Shivadarshana, or Nirvikalpa-samadhi.
The only diagnostic I can think of is this; that there is (I can't be sure about it) no rational connection between the thought one left behind one and the new thought. In a simple wandering during the practice of concentration one can very nearly always (especially with a little experience) trace the chain. With neighbourhood-concentration this is not so. Perhaps there is a chain, but so great already is the power of preventing the impressions from rising into consciousness that one has no knowledge of the links, each one having been automatically slaughtered on the threshold of the consciousness.
Of course, the honest and wary practitioner will have no difficulty in recognising the right kind of wandering; with this explanation there is no excuse for him if he does.
I have another theory, though. Perhaps this is not a wandering at all, but a complete annihilation of all thought. Affirming Adonai, I lop off the heads of all others; and Adonai's own head falls. But in the momentary pause which this causes, some old habitual thought (to- night my mantra) rises up. A case of the Closure followed by the Moving of the Previous Question.
Oh Lord! when wilt Thou carry a Motion to Adjourn, nay, to Prorogue, nay! to Dissolve this Parliament?
However, let me be vigilant now.
Though I performed it none too well (failing, e.g., to make use of the Geometric Progression on the Mahalingam formula in the Ieou section, and not troubling even to formulate carefully the Elemental Hosts, or to marshal them about the circle) I yet, by the favour of IAO, obtained a really good effect, losing all sense of personality and being exalted in the Pillar. Peace and ecstasy enfolded me. It is well.
I should like to to remark that the suggestions in the "Herb Dangerous" for a ritual seem the wrong way round. It seems to me that the Eastern methods are very arid, and chiefly valuable as a training of the Will, while the Ceremonies of the Magic of Light tune up the soul to that harmony when it is but one step to the Crown.
The real plan is, then, to train the Will into as formidable an engine as possible, and then, at the moment in the Ritual when the real work should be done, to fling forth flying that concentrated Will "whirling forth with re-echoing Roar, so that it may comprehend with invincible Will ideas omniform, which flying forth from that one Fountain issued: whose Foundation is One, One and Alone."
As therefore Discipline of whatever kind is only one way of going into a wood at midnight on Easter Eve and cutting the magic wand with a single blow of the magic knife, etc. etc. etc., we can regard the Western system as the essential one. Yet of course Pranayama, for one thing, has its own definite magical effect, apart from teaching the practitioner that he must last out those three seconds — those deadly long last three seconds — even if he burst in the process.
All this I am writing during breakfast.
My devotees may note, by the way, how the desire to sleep is breaking up.
|Night||I.||7½ hours, unbroken from 12.30.|
|"||II.||7 hours nearly, with dreams.|
|"||III.||8 hours nearly; but woke three or four times, and if I had not been a worm would have scattered it like chaff!|
|"||IV.||6½ hours; and I wake fresh.|
|"||V.||1¾ + 4½ + 1 hour; and real good work done in the intervals.|
|"||VI.||Probably 4 hours.|
|"||VII.||2 + 2 + ½ hours.|
|"||VIII.||6 hours much broken.|
|"||IX.||1½ + 2 + 2 hours.|
|"||X.||4 + 1¼ hours.|
|"||XI.||1¾ + 4½ hours.|
|"||XII.||Back to the normal — 7 hours perfect sleep.|
I must now copy out the new Ritual.
This, you will readily perceive, is all wrong. Theoretically, everything should be ready by the beginning of the Operation; and one should simply do it and be done with it.
But this is a very shallow view. One never knows what may be required; i.e., a beginner like myself doesn't. Further, one cannot write an effective Ritual till one is already in a fairly exalted state … and so on.
We must just do the best we can, now as always.
Coming back from lunch (a dozen Marennes Vertes and an Andouillette aux Pommes) I met Zelina Visconti, more lovely-ugly than ever in her wild way. She says that she is favourably disposed towards me, on the recommendation of her concierge!!!
"The tongue of good report hath already been heard in his favour. Advance, free and of good report!"
Please the pigs, the Visconti will cheer me up in the evening; and I shall get a good day in to-morrow.
But I do it on purpose, making each thing I do into that Magic Will.
So if you ask me "Are you correcting Liber DCCCCLXIII.?" I reply, "No! I am Adonai!"
To-day I began ill, full of spiritual pride — look at the records of my early hours! One might have thought me a great master of magic loftily condescending to explain a few elementary truths suited to the capacity of his disciples.
The fact is that I am a toad, ugly and venomous, and if I do wear a precious jewel in my hand, that jewel is Adonai, and — well, come to think of it, I am Adonai. But St. John is not Adonai; and St. John had better do a little humiliation to-morrow.
Nothing being more humiliating than Prana Yama, I will begin with that.
 We must again refer the reader to the Hindu classics. — Ed.
 We cannot understand this passage. It presumably refers to the "Preliminary Invocation" in the "Goetia" of King Solomon, published S.P.R.T., Boleskine Foyers, N.B., 1904. — Ed
 We hope to publish this essay in No. 2 of "The Equinox" — Ed.
 To be published shortly by "The Equinox." — Ed.