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Agaliha
May 22nd, 2008, 01:57 AM
73

{Kappa-Epsilon-Phi-Alpha-Lambda-Eta Omicron-Gamma}


THE DEVIL, THE OSTRICH, AND THE
ORPHAN CHILD

Death rides the Camel of Initiation.(36)
Thou humped and stiff-necked one that groanest in
Thine Asana, death will relieve thee!
Bite not, Zelator dear, but bide! Ten days didst
thou go with water in thy belly? Thou shalt go
twenty more with a firebrand at thy rump!
Ay! all thine aspiration is to death: death is the
crown of all thine aspiration. Triple is the cord of
silver moonlight; it shall hang thee, O Holy One,
O Hanged Man, O Camel-Termination-of-the-
third-person-plural for thy multiplicity, thou
Ghost of a Non-Ego!
Could but Thy mother behold thee, O thou UNT!(37)
The Infinite Snake Ananta that surroundeth the
Universe is but the Coffin-Worm!

COMMENTARY ({Omicron-Gamma})


The Hebrew letter Gimel adds up to 73; it means a camel.
The title of the chapter is borrowed from the well-known lines of Rudyard
Kipling:
"But the commissariat camel, when all is said and done,
'E's a devil and an awstridge and an orphan-child in one."
Paragraph 1 may imply a dogma of death as the highest form of initiation.
Initiation is not a simple phenomenon. Any given initiation must take place
on several planes, and is not always conferred on all of these simultaneously.
Intellectual and moral perception of truth often, one might almost say usually,
precedes spiritual and physical perceptions. One would be foolish to claim
initiation unless it were complete on every plane.
Paragraph 2 will easily be understood by those who have practised
Asana. there is perhaps a sardonic reference to rigor mortis, and certainly
one conceives the half-humorous attitude of the expert towards the beginner.
Paragraph 3 is a comment in the same tone of rough good nature. The word
Zelator is used because the Zelator of the A.'.A.'. has to pass an examination
in Asana before he becomes eligible for the grade of Practicus. The ten days
allude merely to the tradition about the camel, that he can go ten days without
water.
Paragraph 4 identifies the reward of initiation with death; it is a cessation
of all that we call life, in a way in which what we call death is not. 3, silv
er,
and the moon, are all correspondences of Gimel, the letter of the Aspiration,
since gimel is the Path that leads from the Microcosm in tiphareth to the
Macrocosm in Kether.
The epithets are far too complex to explain in detail, but Mem, the Hanged
man, has a close affinity for Gimel, as will be seen by a study of Liber 418.
Unt is not only the Hindustani for Camel, but the usual termination of the
third person plural of the present tense of Latin words of the Third and
Fourth Conjugations.
The reason for thus addresing the reader is that he has now transcended the
first and second persons. Cf. Liber LXV, Chapter III, vv. 21-24, and
FitzGerald's Omar Khayyam:
"Some talk there was of Thee and Me
There seemed; and then no more of Thee and Me.")
The third person plural must be used, because he has now perceived himself
to be a bundle of impressions. For this is the point on the Path of Gimel when
he is actually crossing the Abyss; the student must consult the account of this
given in "The Temple of Solomon the King".
The Ego is but "the ghost of a non-Ego", the imaginary focus at which the
non-Ego becomes sensible.
Paragraph 5 expresses the wish of the Guru that his Chela may attain safely
to binah, the Mother.
Paragraph 6 whispers the ultimate and dread secret of initiation into his
ear, identifying the vastness of the Most Holy with the obscene worm that
gnaws the bowels of the damned.

NOTES
(36) Death is said by the Arabs to ride a Camel. The Path of Gimel (which
means a Camel) leads from Tiphareth to Kether, and its Tarot trump
is the "High Priestess".
(37) UNT, Hindustani for Camel. I.e. Would that BABALON might look
on thee with favour.