The first discourse, and subsequent ones especially number 14 , divides the community into two groups. The lesser commandments are outworkings of the Golden Rule Matthew 7. This division of the community echoes a similar division in Manichaeism. An English translation of the entirety of the Book of Steps by Kitchen and Parmentier has recently been published.
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Publication in Class D Let not the failure and the pain turn aside the worshippers. The foundations of the pyramid were hewn in the living rock ere sunset; did the king weep at dawn that the crown of the pyramid was yet unquarried in the distant land? There was also an humming-bird that spake unto the horned cerastes, and prayed him for poison.
I sailed over the sky of Nu in the car called Millions-of-Years, and I saw not any creature upon Seb that was equal to me. Live thou and thy children as I and my fathers have lived, even unto an hundred millions of generations, and it may be that the mercy of the Mighty Ones may bestow upon thy children a drop of the poison of eld.
Then the humming-bird was afflicted in his spirit, and he flew unto the flowers, and it was as if naught had been spoken between them. Yet in a little while a serpent struck him that he died. But an Ibis that meditated upon the bank of Nile the beautiful god listened and heard.
And he laid aside his Ibis ways, and became as a serpent, saying Peradventure in an hundred millions of millions of generations of my children, they shall attain to a drop of the poison of the fang of the Exalted One. And behold! The Probationer. His duties are laid down in Paper A, Class D.
Being without, they are vague and general. The Neophyte. His duties are laid down in Paper B, Class D. He receives Liber VII. Examination in Liber O, caps. I-IV, Theoretical and Practical. Examination in The Four Powers of the Sphinx. Four tests are set. Further, he builds up the magic Pentacle. The Zelator. His duties are laid down in Paper C, Class D. Examination is only in the knowledge of, and some little practical acquaintance with, these meditations.
The complete results, if attained, would confer a much higher grade. Further, he forges the magic Sword. No ritual admits to the grade of Practicus, which is conferred by authority when the task of the Zelator is accomplished. The Practicus. His duties are laid down in Paper D, Class D. Instruction in Philosophical Meditation Gnana-Yoga. Examination in some one mode of divination: e.
He is given a meditation-practice on Expansion of Consciousness. He is given a meditation-practice in the destruction of thoughts. Instruction and Examination in Control of Speech. Further, he casts the magic Cup. No ritual admits to the grade of Philosophus, which is conferred by authority when the Task of the Practicus is accomplished. The Philosophus. His duties are laid down in Paper E, Class D.
He practices Devotion to the Order. Theoretical and Practical. Examination in Rising on the Planes Liber O, caps. V, VI. He is given a meditation-practice on the Senses, and the Sheaths of the Self, and the Practice called Mahasatipatthana.
Instruction and Examination in Control of Action. Further, he cuts the Magic Wand. Finally, the Title of Dominus Liminis is conferred upon him.
He is given meditation-practices on the Control of Thought, and is instructed in Raja-Yoga. He receives Liber Mysteriorum and obtains a perfect understanding of the Formulae of Initiation. He meditates upon the diverse knowledge and power that he has acquired, and harmonises it perfectly.
Further, he lights the Magic Lamp. The Adeptus Minor. His duty is laid down in Paper F, Class D. It is to follow out the instruction given in the Vision of the Eighth Aethyr for the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. This is in truth the sole task; the others are useful only as adjuvants to and preparations for the One Work. Moreover, once this task has been accomplished, there is no more need of human help or instruction; for by this alone may the highest attainment be reached.
All these grades are indeed but convenient landmarks, not necessarily significant. A person who had attained them all might be immeasurably the inferior of one who had attained none of them; it is Spiritual Experience alone that counts in Result; the rest is but Method.
Yet it is important to possess knowledge and power, provided that it be devoted wholly to that One Work.
LIBER GRADUUM PDF
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Patrologia Syriaca 1.3 Liber Graduum