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Trying to Know (Thyself)

The power To Know* requires a willingness to try, to attempt presence, to live with ourselves as we are and as we are becoming. It requires a little bit of each of the Four Powers in order to begin. We need that willingness I just spoke of, plus the courage of daring required to look at ourselves and our lives. Silence is also required – we cannot come into a state of knowing when constantly bombarded by noise and hustle and the wash of information that most of us in what is still called “the Western World” are subject to.

One of my traditions has a prayer that ends, ‘I would know myself in all my parts.” Some teachers and students on the way change this so that it reads things such as “I would love myself in all my parts” or “I would trust myself in all my parts.” These are important, but can also lead to leaping ahead: we might be attempting to begin from a place other than where we are. While self love is a key component to our spiritual growth and development, self knowledge is the precursor to all other acts of will and magic. We cannot alter in healthy and helpful ways that which we do not yet know.

In order to begin here, at the inception of this phase of our life’s work, we must add a pinch of will, a dash of daring, and stir in some silence. All of this activates the recipe for deeper knowing, the knowledge that will come to shake us to our very core, rearranging everything we thought we knew before. We will realize that all that came before was a shadow of what is to come. In seeking to know, we commit to following desire where it may lead, deeper into heart and soul, and out into the broad world.

*(Eliphas Levi wrote of the Four Powers as To Know, To Will, To Dare, and To Keep Silent. Crowley added To Go. I call the next phase To Activate.)

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