The concept of the Ego - the psychic structure of self-identifications, beliefs, desires and personifications is recognised as the basis of our psychocosm. A curious misconception has arisen that the Ego is a barrier to magical development - that it is somehow to be taken down or destroyed before one can advance 'spiritually'. To some, it seems that while 'Western development' builds up the ego, 'Eastern approaches' aim at ego-transcendence. There is much dicussion of the 'higher self' which appears after the ego has been transcended - this is a common theme in so-called 'New Age' thought. The psyche however, is not a static entity, and this kind of 'ego vs higher self' thinking is a carry-over of the rationalistic mind-body division. Attempts to get rid of the ego can easily result in one-sided development, fostering both self-importance and a 'holier-than-thou' attitude. Avoiding the so-called 'dark' aspect of human desire results in a shallow caricature of human potentiality, a blandness which avoids plumbing the depths of the psyche. Clarity of thought, insight, and struggle are glossed over with a sugar-coating of bliss.

To work with one's ego is to begin an inner alchemy, the aim of which is not to 'destroy' or 'transcend' it, but to move from a state of fixation (ego-centric) to a condition of mutability (Exo-centric), which is capable of constant revision and change. This is what is meant by the phrase 'letting go', and of dissolving the idea of mind as separate to the world. The Ego remains as a point of 'I-ness' which gives meaning to experience, yet the contents of the psyche become much more fluid.

In one sense, it is the ego which roots us in space-time - the psychic equivalent of having a sense of place, of occupying a particular set of co-ordinates. The majority of our experience of reality is at the level of objects, bodies and events that appear to be temporally separate. We experience ourselves as centres of will, perception, and ego.

In contrast to the ego, the will displays a vector quality, in that it has both direction and magnitude. The will is the wave to the ego's particle. Although we like to think of ourselves as centres of intentionality, much of our behaviour is a result of vector resonance - waves rippling through, appearing in our space-time universe as separate events and synchronous experiences. A key to the appropriate magical stance is given by Crowley in his novel, Moonchild:

"...the clever man, so-called, the man of talent, shuts out his genius by setting up his conscious will as a positive entity. The true man of genius deliberately subordinates himself, reduces himself to a negative and allows his genius to play through him as it will..."

The Thelemic concept of the realisation of the True Will necessitates an unfolding of awareness of the will as a vector quality. Will imposes organisation - order out of "the chaos of the normal" (Austin Osman Spare), and the realisation of True Will involves an 'obedience to awareness' of the evolutionary patterns which govern human development. Will is an emergent property of our interaction with the total environment - it cannot be isolated to any one element. Will, perception and consciousness - we are immersed in them the way a fish is immersed in water. They are emergent properties of the total biosphere of Gaia.

So much for theory. How is this alchemy accomplished? The key word is integration - dissolving the mind-body, spirit-matter fragmentation. Enter into a 'being-in-the-now' dance, immersed in the body of Gaia, within the universe. Will on any level is the organising principle - kundalini-shakti coiled creates all forms. Therefore:

  1. Invoke Often, feeling all magical acts as a passage of Will through you.
  2. Attend to the continual reconstruction of your psychocosm through the examination of beliefs, desires and attitudes.
  3. Seek union with all that you have rejected.
  4. Practice magick as though your very survival depended on it!
  5. Forget everything you have been told about the world, assume nothing and develop your own path.
  6. Eat more donuts!