Few things have enhanced my life - or, ultimately, made me better equipped for initiation - than an ever-refining capacity for appreciation and enjoyment. Whether of food, wine, film, sex, or the subtle nuances of the universe in its play, this capacity for appreciation and enjoyment unlocks life.
And strength. More life. This is the way to greet the Angel. Swami Vivekanada repeatedly emphasized (especially in his Bhakti Yoga
) that strength is essential to religion. His eloquent insistence on this is surely one of the strong formative influences on Crowley, and is of real importance.
CCXX wrote:(v. 136) 70. There is help & hope in other spells. Wisdom says: be strong! Then canst thou bear more joy. Be not animal; refine thy rapture! If thou drink, drink by the eight and ninety rules of art: if thou love, exceed by delicacy; and if thou do aught joyous, let there be subtlety therein!
(v. 137) 71. But exceed! exceed!
"Wisdom says..." That is, the instruction is from Chokmah, and especially applies thereto. Let Will be strong and sure, and thus better fit to unite through love with the object of its desire.
Furthermore, uplift your joy to the highest level. Both perfect the technical methods of obtaining the rapture, and also raise it to include as many planes of consciousness as possible. Apply science and art to your pleasure.
To "exceed" is to excel, to reach past, to transcend prior constraints. Yet this excellence - as any real Epicurean knows - is obtained in subtlety and delicacy as well as by intensity.
The real idea here is to "uplift thyself" - to raise these powerful, pleasurable experiences from the gross to the aesthetic and artistic and unto the spiritually devotional. (This cannot occur, however, unless one inaugurates the current in the first place.)
Why "eight and ninety"? I've come to think that the key is that 98 = LChYYM, le-chaim,