FiatYod wrote:So it is a stage of one's process of spiritual development?
From the comment you quoted and the New Comment that you mentioned, it seems like Crowley refers to it as a good thing, a step that comes before a glorious step, whereas in the Ritual that I originally quoted they seem to refer to it as the exact opposite of the "refined and spiritual gold of the Alchymist"...
Now that I look for an Alchemical meaning to it, some used to refer to antimony as "Black Dragon", but I don't think it has anything to do with this Ritual.
It represents the envenomation of duality. The error becomes so atrociously displeasing that one discards it forever.
The mind is still able to perceive the duality. For instance, the senses apprehend a difference between a sandwich and an apple. The intuition, however, continuously detects the aberration of division and instinctively rectifies it in union. One may say that the end result of the Black Dragon stage represents an aspect of the unifying element of the formula of "love under will."
The Trance of Sorrow is probably the common catalyst for entering upon this stage. Regardless, the gist of it is that one becomes disillusioned with all possible contents of belief, the mind becomes tainted and foreign seemingly. The remedy is applied when one becomes totally detached and disidentified from the thoughts of the mind and sees them merely as a medium for idea, and not as one's self. Even Thelema and The Book of the Law are stripped from the aspirant before the end. There is a definite breaking point at which this all occurs, and there is a prone tendency to laughter at the ridiculousness of it when it's over.
Liber Legis is then no longer a book that you simply refer to. It burns inside now as holy fire, it is alive and in your eyes always.
"The Perfect and the Perfect are one Perfect and not two; nay, are none!"
"And they that read the book and debated thereon passed into the desolate land of Barren Words. And they that sealed up the book into their blood were the chosen of Adonai, and the Thought of Adonai was a Word and a Deed; and they abode in the Land that the far-off travellers call Naught."
- LXV 5:59