Factors

“It’s fascinating work in itself, and that’s work written by Aleister Crowley, the late Aleister Crowley, my very good friend.”

–L. Ron Hubbard, Philadelphia Doctorate Course lectures taped in 1952

 

Excerpt from the Book of Thoth: The Naples Arrangement

One must formulate this thesis: If there is anything except Nothing, it must exist within this Boundless Light; within this Space; within this inconceivable Nothingness, which cannot exist as Nothing-ness, but has to be conceived of as a Nothingness composed of the annihilation of two imaginary opposites. Thus appears The Point, which has “neither parts nor magnitude, but only position”.

But position does not mean anything at all unless there is something else, some other position with which it can be compared. One has to describe it. The only way to do this is to have another Point, and that means that one must invent the number Two, making possible The Line.

But this Line does not really mean very much, because there is yet no measure of length. The limit of knowledge at this stage is that there are two things, in order to be able to talk about them at all. But one cannot say that they are near each other, or that they are far apart; one can only say that they are distant. In order to discriminate between them at all, there must be a third thing. We must have another point. One must invent The Surface; one must invent The Triangle. In doing this, incidentally, appears the whole of Plane Geometry. One can now say, “A is nearer to B than A is to C”.

But, so far, there is no substance in any of these ideas. In fact there are no ideas at all, except the idea of distance and perhaps the idea of between-ness, and of Angular Measurement; so that plane Geometry, which now exists in theory, is after all completely inchoate and incoherent. There has been no approach at all to the conception of a really existing thing. No more has been done than to make definitions, all in a purely ideal and imaginary world.

Now then comes The Abyss. One cannot go any further into the ideal. The next step must be the Actual — at least, an approach to the Actual. There are three points, but there is no idea of where any one of them is. A fourth point is essential, and this formulates the idea of matter. The Point, the Line, the Plane. The fourth point, unless it should happen to lie in the plane, gives The Solid. If one wants to know the position of any point, one must define it by the use of three co-ordinate axes. It is so many feet from the North wall, and so many feet from the East wall, and so many feet from the floor.

Thus there has been developed from Nothingness a Something which can be said to exist. One has arrived at the idea of Matter. But this existence is exceedingly tenuous, for the only property of any given point is its position in relation to certain other points; no change is possible; nothing can happen. One is therefore compelled, in the analysis of known Reality, to postulate a fifth positive idea, which is that of Motion.

This implies the idea of Time, for only through Motion, and in Time, can any event happen. Without this change and sequence, nothing can be the object of sense.

There is now possible a concrete idea of the Point; and, at last it is a point which can be self-conscious, because it can have a Past, Present and Future. It is able to define itself in terms of the previous ideas. Here is the number Six, the centre of the system: self-conscious, capable of experience.

Therefore you can have an infinite number of gods, individual and equal though diverse, each one supreme and utterly indestructible. This is also the only explanation of how a Being could create a world in which War, Evil, etc., exist. Evil is only an appearance, because (like “Good”) it cannot affect the substance itself, but only multiply its combinations.

These ideas of Being, Thought and Bliss constitute the minimum possible qualities which a Point must possess if it is to have a real sensible experience of itself.

 

(taken from Aleister Crowley: The Book of Thoth)

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