It should be clear from the previous posts that my body is the primary sensor in seership. The full visual manifestation that is the goal of some workers is not quite so important to me. It’s wonderful and amazing, of course, but using that as the main or only goal dismisses a lot of other very interesting and informative “data.”
That reminder having been issued, I wanted to bring a up topic that has been on my mind. I have recently received an injunction to “hold myself chaste and reverent toward my body.” It’s important to note up front that the origin of this requirement is not a Christian one, it’s Thelemic. Hint: it doesn’t mean “no sex.”
It also doesn’t have the sense of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
It absolutely does not mirror John’s writing:, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”
And then there’s a section of Romans: “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”
This is one origin of our attitudes regarding our physical bodies in the modern world. As we live in a largely Christian society, we have received the message in the womb that in the best case, your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit, but it’s not yours. In the worst case the body is a bad thing, something to be lived in temporarily until we can arrive in Heaven. It is possible that this alone is reason McDonald's exists.
My mentor and I discussed this a little bit, and worked up the definition that it was advantageous to control and focus of the mind (and therefore any magickal workings) to have the body be in proper functioning order, so as not to be distracting (at least). He pointed out that the origin of the word “ascetic” doesn’t imply self-denial, but rather rigorous discipline (Greek askētikós subject to rigorous exercise, hardworking). So, for this context, revering the body and holding oneself chaste is to have developed a physical system, including healthy sexuality, that is AT THE VERY LEAST not in the way of your spiritual (pun, get it?) pursuits. If your body is full of pain and discomfort, reaching into yourself for the relaxation necessary to meet with the unincarnated will be more difficult.
Chastity is another word that carries lots of baggage. Etymologically, this word may have it’s origins in the Latin castitatem, which means pure (N.B. not everyone agrees with me on that assignment). Pure is the state of being uncontaminated.
Crowley says this in “Chastity,” one of the “Little Essays Toward Truth: "Chastity may thus be defined as the strict observance of the Magical Oath; that is, in the Light of the Law of Thelema, absolute and perfected devotion to the Holy Guardian Angel and exclusive pursuit of the Way of the True Will.”
Of course, that is the least of it. Your body is a juicy device that can lead to the most intense raptures, allowing you to meld with God and gods. It all is made so much easier with a body that is as healthy as you can make it.
So, then. I give you the same advice that was given to me. Revere your lovely and delicious body and aim it in the same direction as your mind and power, with all your might. Next time, I'll talk more about the application of all this to seership.
Blessed Be Thou