The Secret Door
Thoughts on Thelema

The Kingly Man

Behold! the kingly man! Throughout history the kingly man has existed. The first kingly man was he who discovered fire, without regard to the body of flesh in which he was clothed. The kingly man is a survivor. Inherited from the human prehistorical hunter-gatherer proto-civilization of oral tradition, naturalism, and dreamtime mushroom-imbibing shamans, the kingly man survived through the Neolithic transformation. The original prowess of the kingly man, the prowess of the male hunter, exercised itself through history in all the traditions that men remember to do with kings, rulers, fighters, heroes, including heroes of the spirit, descendants of the original shamans, and rebels. The kingly man survived into the 20th century, until he was driven to near extinction by the opposite tendency – the tendency to universality, uniformity, consensus, mediocrity, and democracy that has led to the brave new world of 21st century liberal post-modernism and the near extinction of manners, morals, speculation, aspiration, idealism, and individuation and its replacement by a culture – in the literal sense of ‘acculturation’ – based on stimulus-response, excitement, enthusiasm, fashion, consumption, emotion, physicality, wage slavery, promiscuity, perversion, addiction, abuse, and criminality. These are not opposites but a continuum. A culture in which nearly everyone needs drugs and continuous medical care to survive. A culture of privilege, cynicism, and contempt. A culture that is willing to destroy nature in the pursuit of the self-interest of a self-appointed plutocracy that puts itself forward (echoed in all the main media) as the natural leaders of the state and the state to aspire to be like. The money and market-driven culture. In the language of the Book of the Law, a society of slaves.

Such is the process of the degeneration of history to which all systems of spirituality testify, from the Dreamtime of the Australian aborigines to the endless kalpas of Buddhist cosmogony, the kingly man himself a meme of the Buddhist “noble” (arya), especially the mahasiddha. By falling into time humanity has fallen from an original timeless state that is, by definition, perfect. The only explanation of such a system is that this original noumenon is both essentially free and infinitely differentiating and asynchronous in its essence. The fact that this is so is the major discovery of the new eon.

Degeneration is a process and, therefore, like all processes, temporary. The risk is that the correlative or consequential processes unleashed by it may recoil upon us and destroy us physically or psychically, thus effectively ending the human experiment either way. Many amongst us are already psychically crippled if not annihilated. We have become scientists of the extinction or attempted extinction of whole civilizations and innumerable animal and plant species. It should not surprise us therefore that now we face the literal extinction of – ourselves. It is certainly immoral not to act when the degeneration has reached the stage of physical threat. And yet, slaves that we are, we hesitate. Still, brush fires are erupting everywhere: since 9/11 they appear to be escalating. The Middle East. The Occupy movement. Europe. Terrorism itself. There were even sporadic protests in tolerant Russia. Perhaps we shall fall back into the original mediocrity once again, as we have done before. But every time we do so, the degeneration continues.

To be effective action must anticipate the future. What is the future of the modern slave state described by Huxley, Wells, Rand, Orwell, and Bradbury?[1]

We learn from Laozi’s Tao-te Ching that every extreme creates its opposite. When degeneration has reached its nadir, then the kingly men shall surely reappear of necessity. This in turn necessitates the conditions of their reappearance, which are essentially associated with quest, war, individualism, the coordination of individuals, maleness, and ecstatic experiential spirituality. This is the formula of the new eon.

Degeneration leads by definition to revolution or collapse and revolution. Although the ruling classes may regroup into a “new world order” (NWO) or some other quasi-fascist attempt to preserve the status quo, the Buddha teaches us that nothing is static. Every empire and dictatorship is inevitably routed. Therefore degeneration ends in revolution and the long climb.

The Book of the Law of Aiwaz is a call to the kingly men of the future, decades or centuries hence, the social and spiritual revolutionaries who annihilate through their resolve the scientific totalitarianism of the future. We have all become so acculturated to philosophical materialism and its handmaiden, scientism, that we have ceased to notice that it has supplanted almost all of contemporary consciousness. Everything and everyone is quantized, mechanized, analyzed, and incorporated into vast theories or pseudo-theories like economics, psychology, sociology, and politics, based on axioms that are always mysterious in their essence. Every step forward in government regulation is another step towards global incarceration. This cult has penetrated modern academe almost entirely. Professors penalize students who seek actual meaning and not merely intellectual puzzles. Independence and individuality of thought are unheard of in a Ph.D. program. Speculation and meaning are anathema. The universities are information machines engaged in the continuous reprocessing of primary human experience into an homogenized veneer of human civilization, and the universities feed into the entire society. In the words of Heidegger, we have ceased to think.

The message of the Book of the Law in its application to history is always in flux. It is not known whether the “moment” is now or in a hundred years, whereas the “moment” of the Cairo Working is permanently fixed in 1904 CE, for the Book too is a “phenomenon.” As science accelerates technological and industrial change, the social conditions of a hundred years from now will certainly be totally different. The formula of the eon is one, but its phenomenal manifestation is legion. Therefore fundamentalism is anathema. This is the fundamental warning of the Comment. The zeitgeist cannot be chloroformed and pinned to a wall.

Yet we, we who are elect, who see, and, having seen, cannot unsee, except perhaps by an act of will so malevolent that it is the psychic equivalent of self-blinding, reach towards the kingly man of the future in the form in which he is most universal and therefore most accessible: the archetype of the shaman. The shaman is the metaphysical adventurer who does not fear to experience the crisis of the world with the totality of his being and so resolve it within himself and by doing so carries us along with him. In the Book of the Law the kingly man, the Buddhist arya and the shaman-magician are essentially identical. The message of the Book of the Law is addressed to those who seek the future resolution of the universal crisis of contemporary man in a future man and a future civilization that is still arising and will always be so. Therefore truth lies in the ultimate synthetic abstractions and not in the concrete or the particular instantiations and in the future and not in the past. This is an universal truth.


1. Brave New World (1932), The Shape of Things to Come (1933), Anthem (1938), Animal Farm (1945), 1984 (1949), Farenheit 451 (1953), and Atlas Shrugged (1957) respectively.

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