Crowley's Essay On Man


"The Mind of the Father riding on the subtle guiders which glitter with the inflexible tracings of relentless fire." ZOROASTER.


"What is man, that thou art mindful of him?"

Man being the subject of these Essays, it is first proper to explain what will be meant therein by the word.

Man is a microcosm: that is, an image (concentrated around the point of consciousness) of the macrocosm, or Universe. This Theorem is guaranteed by the hylo-idealistic demonstration that the perceptible Universe is an extension, or phantasm, of the nervous system.

It follows that all phenomena, internal and external, may be classified for the purpose of discussing their observed relations, in any manner which experience may show to be the most convenient. (Examples: the elaborate classifications of science, chemical, physical, etc., etc. There is no essential truth in any of these aids to thinking: convenience is the sole measure.) Now for the purposes of analyzing the spiritual nature of man, of recording and measuring his experiences in this kind, of planning his progress to loftier heights of attainment, several systems have been devised. That of the Abhidhamma is on the surface alike the most practical, the most scientific, and the most real; but for European students it is certainly far too unwieldy, to say nothing of other lines of criticism.

Therefore, despite the danger of vagueness involved in the use of a system whose terms are largely symbolic, I have, for many reasons, preferred to present to the world as an international basis for classification, the classico-mathematical system which is vulgarly and erroneously (though conveniently) called the Qabalah.

The Qabalah, that is, the Jewish Tradition concerning the initiated interpretation of their Scriptures, is mostly either unintelligible or nonsense. But it contains as it ground-plan the most precious jewel of human thought, that geometrical arrangement of names and numbers which is called the Tree of Life. I call it the most precious, because I have found it the most convenient method hitherto discovered of classifying the phenomena of the Universe, and recording their relations. Whereof the proof is the amazing fertility of thought which has followed my adoption of this scheme.

Since all phenomena whatsoever may be referred to the Tree of Life (which may be multiplied or subdivided at will for convenience' sake) it is evidently useless to attempt any complete account of it. The correspondences of each unit - the Ten Sephiroth and the Two-and-Twenty Paths - are infinite. The art of using it consists principally in referring all our ideas to it, discovering thus the common nature of certain things and the essential differences between others, so that ultimately one obtains a simple view of the incalculably vast complexity of the Universe.

The whole subject must be studied in the Book 777, and the main attributions committed to memory: then when by constant use the system is at last understood - as opposed to being merely memorized - the student will find fresh light break in on him at every turn as he continues to measure every item of new knowledge that he attains by this Standard. For to him the Universe will then begin to appear as a coherent and a necessary Whole.

For the purpose of studying these Little Essays, it will be sufficient if a bare outline of the Cosmic Theory which they imply be given: but it may be added that, the fuller the comprehension of the Tree of Life which the reader brings to them, the clearer will their thought appear, and the more cogent their conclusions.

(1) Jechidah

This is the quintessential principle of the Soul, that which makes man at the same time identical with every other spark of Godhead, and different (as regards his point-of-view, and the Universe of which it is the center) from all others. It is a Point, possessing only position; and that position is only definable by reference to coordinate axes, to secondary principles, which only pertain to it per accidents, and must be postulated as our conception grows.

(2) Chiah.

This is the Creative Impulse or Will of Jechidah, the energy which demands the formulation of the coordinate axes aforesaid, so that Jechidah may obtain self-realization, a formal understanding of what is implicit in its nature, of its possible qualities.

(3) Neschamah.

This is the faculty of understanding the Word of Chiah. It is the intelligence or intuition of what Jechidah wishes to discover about itself.

These three principles constitute a Trinity; they are one, because they represent the being, and apparatus which will make the manifestation possible, of a God, in manhood. But they are only, so to speak, the mathematical structure of man's nature. One might compare them with the laws of physics as they are before they are discovered. There are as yet no data by whose examination they may be discerned.

A conscious man, according, cannot possibly know anything of these three principles, although they constitute his essence. It is the work of Initiation to journey inwards to them. See, in the Oath of a Probationer of A.`. A.'. "I pledge myself to discover the nature and powers of my own Being."

This triune principle being wholly spiritual, all that can be said about it is really negative. And it is complete in itself. Beyond it stretches what is called The Abyss. This doctrine is extremely difficult to explain; but it corresponds more or less to the gap in thought between the Real, which is ideal, and the Unreal, which is actual. In the Abyss all things exist, indeed, at least in posse, but are without any possible meaning; for they lack the substratum of spiritual Reality. They are appearances without Law. They are thus Insane Delusions.

Now the Abyss being thus the great storehouse of Phenomena, it is the source of all impressions. And the Triune Principle has intended a machine for investigating the Universe; and this machine is the fourth Principle of Man.

(4) Ruach

This may be translated Mind, Spirit, or Intellect: none of these is satisfactory, the connotation varying with every writer. The Ruach is a closely-knitted group of Five Moral and Intellectual principles, concentrated on their core, Tiphareth, the Principle of Harmony, the Human Consciousness and Will of which the four other Sephiroth are (so to speak) the feelers. And these five principles culminate in a sixth, Da(acu)ath, Knowledge. But this is not really a principle; it contains in itself the germ of self-contradiction and so of self-destruction. It is a false principle: for. as soon as Knowledge is analyzed, it breaks up into the irrational dust of the Abyss.

Man's aspiration to Knowledge is thus simply a false road: it is to spin ropes of sand.

We cannot here enter into the doctrine of the "Fall of Adam," invented to explain in parable how it is that the Universe is so unfortunately constituted. We are concerned only with the observed facts.

All these mental and moral faculties of the Ruach, while not purely spiritual like the Supernal Triad, are still, as it were, "in the air." To be of use, they need a basis through which to receive impressions, much as a machine requires fuel and fodder before it can manufacture the article which it is designed to produce.

(5) Nephesch.

This is usually translated the "Animal Soul." It is the vehicle of the Ruach, the instrument by which the Mind is brought into contact with the dust of Matter in the Abyss, that it may feel it, judge it, and react to it. This is itself a principle still spiritual, in a sense; the actual body of man as composed of the dust of Matter, temporarily held together by the Principles which inform it, for their own purposes, and ultimately for the supreme purposes of self-realization of Jechidah.

But Nephesch, devised as it is with no other object that the direct traffic with Matter, tends to partake of its incoherence. Its faculties of perceiving pain and pleasure lure it into paying undue attention to one set of phenomena, into shunning another. Hence, for the Nephesch to do its work as it should, it requires to be dominated by the severest discipline. Nor is the Ruach itself to be trusted in this matter. It has its own tendencies to weakness and injustice. It tries every trick - and it is diabolically clever - to arrange its business with Matter in the sense most convenient to its inertia, without the smallest consideration of its duty to the Supernal Triad, cut off as that is from its comprehension; indeed, unsuspecting as it normally is of its existence.

What then determines Tiphareth, the Human Will, to aspire to comprehend Neschamah, to submit itself to the divine Will of Chiah? Nothing but the realization, born sooner or later of agonizing experience, that its whole relation through Ruach and Nephesch with Matter, i.e. with the Universe, is, and must be, only painful. The senselessness of the whole procedure sickens it. It begins to seek for some menstruum in which the Universe may become intelligible, useful and enjoyable. In Qabalistic language, it aspires to Neschamah.

This is what we mean in saying that the Trance of Sorrow is the motive of the Great Work.

This "Trance of Sorrow" (which must be well-distinguished from any petty personal despair, and "conviction of sin," or other black magical imitations) being cosmic in scope, comprehending all phenomena actual or potential, is then already an Opening of the Sphere of Neschamah. The awareness of one's misfortune is itself an indication of the remedy. It sets the seeker on the right road, and as he develops his Neschamah he soon attains other Experiences of this high order. Her learns the meaning of his own true Will, to pronounce his own Word, to identify himself with Chiah.

Finally, realizing Chiah as the dynamic aspect of Jechidah, he becomes that pure Being, at once universal and individual, equally nothing, One, and All.

It is of the essence of the Ideas of the Supernal Triad that the Laws of Reason which apply to intellectual functions are no longer operative. Hence it is impossible to convey the nature of these Experiences in rational language. Further, their scope is infinite in every direction, so that it would be futile to attempt to enumerate or to describe them in detail. All that one can do is to note the common types in very general language, and to indicate what experience has shown to be the most useful main lines of research.

The Quest of the Holy Grail, the Search for the Stone of the Philosophers - by whatever name we choose to call the Great Work - is therefore endless. Success only opens up new avenues of brilliant possibility. Yea, verily, and Amen! the task is tireless and its joys without bounds; for the whole Universe, and all that in it is, what is it but the infinite playground of the Crowned and Conquering Child, of the insatiable, the innocent, the ever-rejoicing Heir of Space and Eternity, whose name is MAN?

In Enochian Physics Man is known as 'the monad', we shall discuss the nature of the monad or 'Star' from the Enochian view.


In conjunction with the Cosmic Planes and Elements Model, Enochian Physics proposes the Enochian Monad Model. These two models are not meant to be independent, rather they are inclusive and are only separated for convenience.

A monad is defined as an indivisible unit (Hadit), but, is used in the sense that a monad is the infinitely small conscious point of every entity. The only difference between monads is experience. Giordano Bruno taught that the monad was the ultimate spiritual particle and that all entities had a monad at their center, the core of their being. Every monad is monastic above the first Aethyr (LIL), and is dualistic below. This duality takes many forms as the monad manifests itself downward. Basically, it consists of a subjective self in the center of an objective world. Figure 2 shows a pictorial representation of this model.

                      0         0        INDIVISIBLE MONAD
                      0 monadic 0
                      0 essence 0
                |   ring-pass-not        |
                           |                LIL - first Aethyr
                      0          0        DUALIST         Watchtowers
                      0    I     0        MONAD (Life-atom)       |
                      0          0                                |
                       000000000 <-- NOT-I (world)               TIME
                                FIG. 2


  1. Man, and every entity (thing) in existence, is in his (its) essence a monad. This monadic essence expresses itself as a subjective 'I' and an objective 'NOT-I'.
  2. A monad's geometric equivalent is the sphere. The center is the 'I'. The surface of the sphere is the 'NOT-I'.
  3. The 'I' is conscious individuality.
  4. The 'NOT-I' is the world in which the 'I' finds itself at any given point in time and space.
  5. Every geometric point in space is an 'I-NOT-I' monad in some stage of self-expression.
  6. Any 'I' can communicate with any other 'I' only in so far as their 'NOT-I's' intersect.
  7. A world is defined as a set of intersections of a host of 'NOT-I's' at any given point in time and space.
  8. Subsets of 'I's' are mutually exclusive.
  9. Subsets of 'NOT-I's' may be either exclusive or inclusive.
  10. The monadic essence of each monad allows multitudinous expression, but no 'I' can ever separate itself from or exist independently of its 'NOT-I'.


  1. Every person is an 'I-NOT-I' monad.
  2. Every point in space is a consciousness center.
  3. Energy flows from one cosmic plane or sub-plane to an adjacent cosmic plane or sub-plane through Laya centers, dimensionless points of space which serve as channels for the flow of energies and forces.
  4. Spirit is unmanifested energy. Matter is manifested energy.
  5. Every manifestation within space and time is dualistic.
  6. Space, time, and consciousness come into existence simultaneously.
  7. Every energy field and every force in our universe is directed by the True Will.


There are six Magickal forces that are manifested in existence. These six forces, by necessity, manifest in dual triads, the upper, and the lower.


  1. Divine Force. This is said to be the "Supreme Force" relative to our universe. This so-called 'Supreme Force' is known as 'The TRUE WILL'. It is the 'Divine' driving force of Hadit.
  2. Creative Force. The Kundalini of Eastern thought, manifesting, below the Abyss, as electromagnetic energy.
  3. Thought Force. This is the occult force that often takes the form of projection, and continually projects fundamental subjective ideas of the 'I' outward into the 'NOT-I'.


  1. Mind Force. This force should properly be called 'Intellectual', and would be attributed to Mercury. This is the reasoning and logical powers of the intelligent entity. This force also includes all of the senses.
  2. Will Force. This is the lower manifestation of the 'Divine Force'. This force is what drives us in a physical sense, it is our outer needs and desires. It is what most 'men' perceive as their 'will', however it is frequently the opposite side of the 'Will Duality'.
  3. Word Force. Words and Letters, speech and physical action make up this aspect of the magickal forces. It is the power of sound, which has long been known in the west. God is said to create by uttering His Word. Consider this; some politicians are virtual masters of this magickal force.

As can be seen there is little real difference between the Enochian view of man and that of the Thelemic Magician, with the main differences being that of nomenclature. It can also be seen that the six 'magical forces' generally correspond to the five divisions of man as set forth by Crowley, with the exception of the sixth 'force'. This extra point is comprised of the actions performed by the first five. If we think of man as a hexagram, instead of a pentagram, we have the four elements, spirit, and motion.

The elements and spirit make up the essential man, but he is still static. With the addition of the sixth, he becomes dynamic, capable of experience. It is then this 'man' that has the 'essences of man', for until he becomes dynamic by virtue of his motion, and gains in experience, he is incapable of attainment.

As was stated above, Man's aspiration is to a higher place in the hierarchy of the universe. Here then are the Laws of Hierarchies, they will show, though perhaps not directly, how this ascension (attainment) is made possible.


Law of Hierarchies. From the highest realms of spirit to the lowest levels of matter, everything in between is composed of a host of gods, monads or life atoms arranged in a myriad of hierarchies.

The following rules apply:

  1. All aggregates are composed of hierarchies. All things, save Hadit, are aggregates. We see in our world complete structures, which are composed of molecules, atoms, and sub-atomic particles in one direction. And planets, solar systems, and galaxies in another. Thus science has enabled us to see, on a mundane level, that our physical universe is composed of some basic hierarchies. Though from rules 3 and 4 we see that these hierarchies continue unto infinity.
  2. For every hierarchy there is a governing ruler or hierarch. On our personal level we have that which is referred to as our Holy Guardian Angel. Aswe descend to the atomic level, we have the >nucleus< of the atom. Each component of that atom has, in turn, its own hierarch. In our worldly governments we see examples of these hierarchs; mayors, governors, presidents, etc. And we can begin to see our place in the physical manifestation of these hierarchies. We are also members of hierarchies on less physical, or spiritual levels, though little is known of these.
  3. Hierarchies descend infinitely into matter. Again, from our 'middle world, we see the manifestation of yet smaller structures or hierarchies, which descend to the smallest particles which science is able to see or theorize.
  4. Hierarchies ascend infinitely into spirit. On these levels little is known, science has or can not enter into the realm of spirit. We do know, however, that our own personal hierarch is our H.G.A., and that logically we are but a component part of some yet higher structure or hierarchy.
  5. The universe has a hierarchical structure, interlinking groups of entities living and working together. If we look sky-ward we can begin to see something of this structure on a physical level. Out stellar universe is made up of planets, solar systems, stellar clusters, galaxies, and on and on. While earth is not yet working with other groups of entities on a stellar level (as far as we are allowed to know), it is clear that we must share the same stellar environment with others. We can, however, observe this 'working together' here on planet earth. We can see the governments of cities, counties, states, and countries working toward what is perceived as the common good (at least in most cases).
  6. Hierarchies are born, evolve, and die. The best example of this, I think, is ourselves. We are born into this world, grow and experience (evolve) over some period of time then die, this is all a part of what we call 'life'. Other examples of this rule may be seen in various extinct forms of animal life, which came into existence, evolved over time, then died out. We can also see examples on the stellar level, stars which are born from collections of gases, grow and evolve into fiery furnaces, then die out.
  7. Worlds are created by hierarchies of cosmic builders and architects acting together.
  8. Every world contains hierarchies of recorders who constitute the forces of karmic history.
  9. The cosmic elements and planes are composed of countless hosts of evolving hierarchies.
  10. These last two rules are for the most part redundant (see 3 and 4 above); they serve to stress the fact that hierarchies do, in fact, extend infinitely in all directions.
  11. Every hierarchy is composed of a host of smaller hierarchies.
  12. Every hierarchy is a component part of a larger hierarchy.

Thus we have the Enochian view on the nature, place, and path of Man. To better understand this mystery of the true meaning of A.`. A.'. and this nature of man we may now look at some of the Temurahs of the number 451.

These are; 451, 415, 541, 514, 145, and 154. We shall start with the least of these.

The number 145; In Sepher Sephiroth it is defined as the numerical value of the 13 paths of the Beard of Microprosopus.

The number 154; Again from Sepher Sephiroth; it is 'Elohim of Loves', and we are referred to the number 149. The reference in 149 is to 'The living GODS'.

In these two numbers we have references to Man and this 'Starry' nature. Though in the number 149 it is perhaps more direct. 'The living GODS', indeed, the most tangible link between man and GOD is this 'Starry' essence. Both Man and ANY GOD that one cares to think of are at the core one and the same, that is to say, that we are all made of the same stuff, we are all MONADS at some level of evolution. But, on we go.

The number 415; Still again from Sepher Sephiroth. The number is that of the Voice of the Chief Seer and also 'The Holy One'.

Still again subtle references to this 'Star' nature which we have already examined.

The number 514 and 541. Here are references that are a bit more obscure. 514 gives reference to 'KABBALA DENUDATA', a reference that unfortunately I will have to pass on due to a misfortune beyond my control. The number 541 refers to 'Israel', which at first may seem strange, but, historically Israel is/are 'Gods' chosen people. We may take this to mean 'Free Man' in the Thelemic sense. The number is thus indicating Man, or rather those Men that have risen above the slavery of the old aeon and have begun to ascend/aspire to Yetzirah. Those Men who have realized some small part of their true essence.

So then! Just what he hell is the true meaning of the initials A.`. A.'. and the number 451? It is no more and surely no less than the MONAD! Though others may use different words and different systems to explain this, their meaning will of necessity be the same.

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