The Inner Meaning of the Seven-Fold Way
The Seven-Fold Way is a natural Alchemy - that is, a means of transformation. The subject of this alchemy is the individual, and the aim or object of the alchemy is the creation of a new individual. This individual, by virtue of the type of transformation that occurs, is a higher type; that is, there is an evolution of the individual as a result of the alchemical process.
This alchemy is natural because it involves creating or bringing about the right conditions for such a positive transformation to take place. That is, there is a 'working-with' the forces or processes of Nature. The change, the evolution, that occurs is a natural one that would or could occur, given time and the right conditions. In effect, the natural alchemy of the Seven-Fold Way speeds up the evolution that occurs or which can occur in Nature.
Essentially, the Way involves the individual undertaking certain tasks and living in certain ways over a period of many years. The Way is practical. It involves the individual in developing their consciousness, their knowledge, their skills; in making conscious and understanding their instincts and psyche. The Way involves the individual in learning about and gaining practical experience of, both the 'light' and the 'dark' aspects of themselves, others, and Nature. The Way involves the individual using the knowledge and insight they gain to effect changes in themselves and in the world: to contribute to evolution, to make their own life significant.
By virtue of this practicality, the Way is hard and dangerous. It involves a commitment for at least ten years - and sometimes a proud defiance. It requires, for its success, individuals of spirit, of courage: individuals prepared to explore, to discover, to forge ahead alone despite difficulties. That is, it is a Way unsuited to the majority - as the majority are at the moment: soft, nurtured by materialism and the hedonism of the moment. Fundamentally, the Way - and its rewards - is suited to those who, if only instinctively, possess the spirit of a real warrior.
For convenience, the Way is divided into seven stages. These stages represent the attainment, by the individual, of certain goals. They are stages on the way to attaining the goal of the Way. This goal is a new type of human being - someone who has fulfilled the potential latent within and who therefore is at a higher level of existence than the majority. This new individual understands more than others; they have greater insight; greater wisdom. They possess rare and unique skills. They are, in effect, complete individuals who have attained self-insight - who, having experienced the limits of themselves, the dark and the light, have united the opposites and so gone beyond them.
Part of the work of the Way involves learning about, and gaining practical experience of, what has come to be called the 'Occult' and 'magick'. This learning and experience - of both the 'light' and the 'sinister' aspects - occurs early on in the Way and in fact relates to the first two stages of the Way. Thus, while the Way encompasses the Occult - and magick - is goes far beyond the conventional understanding of what is 'Occult' or 'magickal'. Only in parts of the early stages does this Way concern itself with 'rituals' and 'ceremonies' and 'Occult' type knowledge and skills - they are a learning-process, a beginning to that self-understanding which it is one of the aims of the Way to develope. From this beginning, the individual moves on - to new experiences, to gain more insight.
From such learning and practical experience, knowledge is gained and character formed - that is, the individual is changed by the experiences undergone. They learn, and grow. Or - they fail: they either give up or are destroyed by some experience or other, thus showing they were unequal to the task, that they did not possess the right qualities to succeed. For the Seven-Fold Way, like Nature Herself, is selective - it tests, and selects those fitted to survive; it does not care about the failures, for they have revealed themselves to be unsuitable. This, of course, is hard -
it has to be, for that is often the price of evolution.
Each stage of the Way is associated with certain specific tasks. These tasks, by their nature, create the changes within the individual appropriate to that stage - that is, the tasks develope and extend the individual in certain specific ways. They develope insight, knowledge, skills, character. The effect of the stages is cumulative - each one built upon the foundations the previous stage or stages have laid-down. The early stages are concerned primarily with personal development - with achieving a synthesis, with a making-more-conscious of what is hidden/unconscious/'occult' in the individual and Nature. The later stages are concerned with gaining supra-personal knowledge, insight and skills - with 'aeonic' matters, and with how the individual, and other individuals at the same or greater level of understanding and self-development, might use their knowledge, insight and skills to bring changes about, in the 'world', which benefit those individuals and evolution in general.
The first two stages of the Way train, prepare and extend the new novice. The end of the third stage creates an Adept - that is, it brings about a genuine "individuation", the union or synthesis of opposites within the individual, and it brings a self-mastery and the development of certain skills ('Occult' and otherwise). The fourth stage developes the Adept - and brings an awareness and understanding of aeonic processes and forces: of what has been called 'the acausal', and how the acausal presences in, and thus changes, the causal or 'temporal' world and the peoples within it. The end of the fourth stage, creates a 'Master' or a 'Mistress' - that is, someone who has achieved a deep insight, knowledge and genuine mastery of themselves, and of those forces external to themselves, particularly acausal ones. During the fifth stage, this Master or Mistress use their knowledge and skill to effect changes in the causal - to presence the acausal itself and thus bring about changes 'in the world'. Thus do they achieve more knowledge, more insight, more experience - real wisdom - and so evolve even further. The sixth, and last temporal, stage completes this process - there is large-scale, fundamental aeonic change brought about by the individual who is now a Grand Master/Mistress. Thus does the existence of that Grand Master/Mistress achieve something significant and thus fulfil the potential that was latent within them.
Fundamentally, the Seven-Fold Way is a practical, tried-and-tested, method by which individuals may strive to fulfil the meaning of their existence as individuals: as conscious, creative, beings capable of effecting fundamental and significant changes 'in the world'. It is a means whereby they can contribute to evolution; whereby they can give significance and meaning to their lives; it is means whereby they can rise above and far beyond the majority who are content with their insignificant lot, who "cannot be bothered" or who lack the genius to make their lives count, who waste the opportunity that life is.
It is, however, a Way for the few. It is always testing; it is often difficult and often involves real, practical, physical danger. It involves confronting what is hidden - what is sinister. It involves experience of 'the forbidden', the heretical, the Satanic - and of the 'light', the numinous. It involves a long, hard journey to that new, difficult-to-describe world where the 'light' and the 'sinister' are but two aspects of the same thing. It involves a complete "revaluation of all values" - the achievement of the goal of a higher, more evolved, being. But perhaps most of all, it is a Way which the individual undertakes alone - with no one to support them, to give them encouragement when things become difficult. It is a Way which sometimes involves the individual in making mistakes, in learning the hard way.
The Seven-Fold Way involves no "great secret"; it teaches no "secret knowledge" (lost, or otherwise). It offers no "great ritual" or magickal "ceremony" which will somehow confer instant 'wisdom', 'adeptship' or whatever. It is, and it is not, Satanic and Sinister.
The inner meaning of this Way is that it is a practical means - a way to fundamentally and radically change individuals. It is a means to create the next stage of our evolution: Homo Galactica. This new type of person will be effectively part of a new, hidden, elite - an elite to guide and change the majority over many millennia. Those who successfully complete this Way have the skills, and the knowledge, to fundamentally transform societies and civilizations and thus create history. Compared to this, all other goals are insignificant.
In reality, the Seven-Fold Way enables individuals to play at being a god.
© Copyright 1994 eh Order of Nine Angles