Jesuitism and White Lies
Translated by Smaragd, Polyhymnia & Silvaeon 2020
As Jesuits whilom gained quite remarkable opposition from the circles of non-Roman Catholic circles with their peculiar methods, the word “Jesuitism” became synonymous with cold-blooded betrayal and the distortion of words by any means so that someone’s own, particularly important or sacred, purpose can be achieved. “The end justifies the means” was, or at least it was seen to be, a method assumed by the Jesuits in all situations: “For the greater glory of God”, anything would thus be allowed.
Two of the undoubtedly loudest writers rising against such ruin were both originally coming from the hems of the Eastern Church: our Theosophical mentor Blavatsky and her contemporary novelist Dostoevsky. As presented in the writing “The Left-Hand Path”, Blavatsky’s words of “Jesuits” clearly strive to describe a larger group of people enacting the philosophy expounded above, organized to operate on behalf of their own idealism rather than narrowing it down to members of “The Society of Jesus”. There is no need here to speculate to what degree the Catholic Jesuit fraternity possibly enacts or have enacted idealism of this form: in the meaning represented, “Jesuitism” has nonetheless received from the aforementioned authors, the latest, a kind of general signification in the language of today – perhaps quite similarly as the word “inquisition” does not bring to the mind of most of today’s listeners the word’s literal meaning of neutral investigation.
In Satanism, old and new, one can often find traces of appreciation towards this sort of method and manipulation by toned words. Some go to such lengths as calling the manipulation and deceiving of other people magic and experience greater pleasure the more they can use words not to reveal but to conceal truths for their benefit. But aside from the dilettantes of the banalest and emptiest forms of grey magic, most of us humans experience lying and deceiving, at least to some degree, as acceptable. “White lies” are spoken of when there is no purpose to harm anyone, nor to create more significant benefit by deceiving than to pass a mundane situation easily, or deceiving another person “for his own benefit”, as we may convince ourselves.
Elsewhere have been presented views of grey magic also represented by the said Jesuit ethic, i.e., broader understanding of the way of life which works more from the rational than the ethical base, and which strives as if by the extremely precise process of intellect to extract the maximal benefit of each situation without intrinsically closing out any means. It has been noted how this sort of approach has its significant merits and how some old-form, bound morals may, in fact, have a lot to learn from such an emphasisedly neutral stance. Still, at the same time, we have expressed our view according to which the lack of IDEALISTIC impulse from the “black” and “white” areas of magic, which gives even the means their intrinsic values – positive and negative – the stance assumed by Jesuitism, is unsatisfying and insufficient and not acceptable as such.
For us to enact a certain fundamental idea of occultism of today as we see it and as it has been chosen for the constitution of the Star of Azazel (the necessity of joining the perspectives seen as opposing to each other under understanding and love), we must first, of course, be able to understand the “perspectives seen as opposing to each other” which we try to realize together. This exact need helps us to understand the reason why avoiding all lying is extremely important.
We create ourselves, as we seemingly create the outer world, and we create the outer world with each of our actions. All we do, say, or think is a two-way channel: we give an impulse outwards, and at the same moment, we receive the magnetic bond of a corresponding impulse. Comprehending this is difficult for the profane, but it should be easy for an occultist because his application of different practices is based on the law in question. It is impossible to create a channel that would pass one sort of energy in one direction and a different sort to the other. Rather, whatever inclinations we create into ourselves by acting in a certain way, those same inclinations (which a clairvoyant would see as objective vibration of our own forms of fine substance) are used by the impulses that affect ourselves. What is the impact on our topic here? – By lying, we also raise mists in front of our own eyes, we distort the operation of our inner senses subtly, and this makes it impossible to develop a wholesome intellect any more than clairvoyant intuition. If our intellect develops, it develops skewed in form; it veils more than reveals, no matter what kind of flashes we experience receiving from the reality of the other side.
This is the reason why in yoga, where ten preliminary requirements are preceding the three deeper phases, already the second requirement was to give up lying. Even though and maybe because it should be obvious, this matter has been scarcely spoken of on its own in occult teaching. We all know Bacon’s motto “knowledge is power”, and this is particularly true when it comes to occultism: knowledge, not the scattered and trivial facts of outer things, but internalized knowledge of the soul, is an important premise of occult striving for development. We are the knowledge ourselves, and our whole being is knowledge, i.e., the instruments of mental space: inner truths and insights, used by the consciousness.
The dilemma in front of us is thus clear: if in the end our whole striving aims for widening consciousness, one of the greatest difficulties we can develop for ourselves is to raise a mental barrier in front of us, which is born from deceiving others. If we want to clarify the lens of the mind, let us not lie: for if we lie, we can no longer trust our own inner eye to give us a neutral image of the world. One of the most essential factors in the striving of an occultist is melding the different abilities of the mind into each other, so the various aspects complement each other – intuition and critical stance, intellect and feeling, hunch and vigilance, openness and lucidity, etc. Unfortunately, it has been customary to connect the opposing thinking to occultism; the kind where the increasingly greater inclination for imagining and holding inner fantasies as true is equaled to increasingly greater magical progress. These days, where the emphasis on the individual is important, this emphasis is in danger of engaging with lifting personal imaginings unnecessarily high. An occultist needs a good imagination, and to develop the imagination, one must be in touch with their subconscious. Still, the images brought from the unconscious’s astral sphere should always be trialed against the hone of reason.
Thus we must be first honest with ourselves and carefully consider all experiences. However, there is another problem coming towards us, and it touches the striving for the clearest possible honesty towards other people. Eliphas Levi often repeated three edicts of occultism in the form of “to know, to will, and to keep silent”. And the third of these – when we have reached knowledge by honesty – is related to the fact that we CAN not verbalize all. This word “can” need not be connected here to anything else but literal interpretation: human beings cannot represent things in an absolutely neutral way. If our communication would be yea, yea, and nay, nay, remembering that more than that cometh of evil, then still the chosen simple representation would always lead the listener inevitably to some emphasised direction depending on the situation; and comparably if we would try to clarify all the possible factors of a matter at hand by a large number of words, the important factors would only get lost behind the minor points, and the whole thing could not be seen through, let alone anything benefitting from it. Dynamism and life vanish into its diversity, and thus we inevitably always need to choose what to say and what to leave out.
The less the expression leans towards analytical science, the greater part of it is poetry and suggestion: in the most natural way, non-exact. Thus the whole language of occultism, in which necessarily crossing a particular line is rarely scientific in an analytical sense, bases on poetry (ambiguity, association, and rhythm) and suggestion (transferring an idea straight from will to will without necessary intellectual unraveling). What can be said perfectly clearly with profane language is profane; esoteric matters are esoteric precisely because transmitting them is impossible by solely holding on to the textbook style.
What follows, of course, is that all speech, words, and representations are relative. All truths can, in fact, be said in so many ways that depending on the situation, the matter can become downright opposite in some differing context. Does God exist? Yes and no. Is the soul immortal? Yes and no. Does absolute morality exist? Yes and no. And this yes and no answer belongs in fact to every deeper question precisely because “yes” and “no”, black and white, this or that, are true only from the perspective of mundane logic. In contrast, from the perspective of reality, these are the “finger pointing at the moon” – not the matter itself, but a way to point towards it.
Thus each true occultist must be a “Jesuit’ in the meaning that her words must always be created according to the moment. The difference to the deeply and justly criticised original doctrine is only that in one of them, the changing expression is used to reveal the truth, while the other is used to hide it. It takes intellect and heart to see this difference crystal clear, but the difference is clearly observed if needed attributes have been developed. No murky liminal state is given birth to: absolute honesty is possible in a world where everything flows, for in keeping one’s eye on what is real, a human being can always “point at the moon” wherever it may be orbiting.
But if this matter has the tiniest bits of unclarity, an occultist should strongly focus on representing his matter as exact as possible. Not only deliberate lies but also hyperbole, belittling, colouring facts, and not expressing essential matters are harmful to his practice of attaining knowledge and thus true power. Only after succesful phase focused on emphasised honesty is an ability born by which one can communicate truly by the terms of each situation. Thus it is also a question of diplomacy. However, the reason for this diplomacy should not be the fear of conflicts, for conflicts often have at least theoretical possibilities of growth. Diplomatic words are used way too often to trace a way past the problems, while they should be used for dealing with them as gently as possible.
One could ask if this is occultism at all and whether this is a statement of a rather mundane nature and day-to-day ethics. But the answer is clear: occultism is essentially about ethics, it must be based on the practicality of everyday life, from where it grows and develops, and every practicality of life is, in the end, an ethical choice. He who can harness the charge of every moment takes swift steps towards great creativity, genius, and true adepthood. This requires not ritualistic confinement but wholesome striving in every moment, and the basis of the striving must be honesty, holding to the truth as deeply as possible.
Honesty and truthfulness mean neither indiscretion nor tasteless psychological exhibitionism. It is not contrary to honesty to abstain from criticism which would only be of little or no help (as it almost always is these days, as humankind has reached intellectual independency as a collective, though not as individuals), nor to abstain from answering a question which is not ours to answer. Levi’s advice to keep silent is good in many situations, while keeping silent does not relate to any dignifying glum, only to the ability to not speak of things the situation does not require. And in these situations, we can speak openly of other matters. An occultist can take part in light conversation if needed and at the same time take care that her peace of mind is not shaken in any way as would inevitably happen if she’d take part in one of these common amusements of social life: aspiration to use words only to create an interesting impression of oneself; to handle important matters only for the pleasure of conversation and increase of self-worth; to present entirely different convictions for the present company than one’s own; or to criticize another person who is not present, when it is not about mapping out the problematic situation but desire to unload emotions through critique coloured by the emotions.
Lastly, a specific aspect of practicing truthfulness must be risen forth. In fact, it is only a logical adaptation or result from the wholesome endeavour represented above, but with swift thinking can seem so separate a thing that it is beneficial to give special focus to the matter. This matter, or – if the expression is allowed – a fact, points that a human being who has surrendered to the practice of constant truthfulness expands without limitation his own circumference of occult power. By making the world of objective truths one with the reality of subjective inside surface, the occultist’s mind is not only schooled in discerning truths (an absolute requirement of wisdom), but he also induces such a state of uniformity and merging between the so-called self and the so-called otherness that his mind increasingly controls the outer reality. Every thought, every feeling, every impulse of energy repeats – or rather receives its natural manifestation – in the sensory field called an outer world, which is nature in the state of constant creation. This is magic in its highest and most pure.