(On a "day off" for these, I'm catching up posting diary entries that I didn't get added to these threads over the summer.)
What I have received from this today:
The essence of this particular practice is simply the continuing awareness of, and abiding within, the interminable Love of the Holy Guardian Angel. It therefore seems ironic, initially, that the first of these we are approaching together is one which opens as practically anything but
the appearance of love. It begins with fear.
34. On the threshold stood the fulminant figure of Evil, the Horror of emptiness, with his ghastly eyes like poisonous wells. He stood, and the chamber was corrupt; the air stank. He was an old and gnarled fish more hideous than the shells of Abaddon.
35. He enveloped me with his demon tentacles; yea, the eight fears took hold upon me.
The reality of our psyches is that there are buried ugliness, pain, fear, rage, loss - "the Horror of emptiness" - which, were we wholly honest and open to gazing upon them might feel very much like this. There are times when, gazing within the center of ourselves, "the chamber [is] corrupt" with far worse than a dead fish. If, as an act of disclosure, we stop our resistence to it, raise it and give voice to it, let it arise and wrap itself around our limbs and "envelop [us] with his demon tentacles," we reclaim large portions of the substance of our being. Those who have undertaken this work, especially in a group context, know
that it is fact, and not theory, that "the serpent is the savior."
36. But I was anointed with the right sweet oil of the Magister; I slipped from the embrace as a stone from the sling of a boy of the woodlands.
Literally, the "oil of the Magister" (that is, of Binah) is not at all "sweet," being of myrrh. But the real meaning here is the chrism, or anointing, of Neshamah - that which truly anoints the adept. The metaphor here is one of lubrication. The actuality is that, focussed on the immediacy of the spiritual experience (the K&C of the HGA), the Adept is a "smooth" stone - These horrors have no place to grab hold of us, no hook to hook into, and their grip falls away in the act of our concentration on the embrace of the Angel.
37. I was smooth and hard as ivory; the horror gat no hold. Then at the noise of the wind of Thy coming he was dissolved away, and the abyss of the great void was unfolded before me.
This is the love of the Angel - this is the embrace, the uplifting. The text, I think, speaks for itself in this regard.