Equinox Message
How and Why
March, 2018


Excerpted from “How and Why” by Paul Foster Case. Full text available in The Lantern Anthologies, Vol. I at www.bota.org online bookstore.
“Everywhere we look we see things happening which makes us wonder why they happen; but before we may hope to find out why, we must first be patient enough to find out how. The thing to be aimed at in the study of practical occultism is not so much the discovery of the hidden motives animating the Infinite Life-Power, as it is the comprehension of the sequence of cause and effect which shall enable us to enter consciously into cooperation with the self-expression of that power. …We have a better chance to learn “how” because in that direction our quest is concerned with the way the Life-Power works out its finite manifestations.
Our search then, is for the true sequence of cause and effect. ….it is even possible that we shall so expand our consciousness that we shall leave behind the limitations of our present personality and arrive at a stage of realization where we shall be able to look at some things as the Infinite sees them.
…Then we must live the life which makes thought, word and action correspond to what we know concerning the “how”. The better we succeed in doing this, the nearer we approach to the point-of-view of the Infinite Consciousness. Ultimately we reach that goal…. “the Stone of the Wise”, or “the Quintessence”. Then, and not until then, we know at least some part of the “why”.
Even then we cannot tell anybody else. The secret is not captured in the net of thought. It may not be put into words. Those who know point out the Way so that others, by learning “how”, may finally find out “why” for themselves. The great seers agree also that the only approach to a reasonable explanation of the “why” of the universe is a development of this idea:
In the course of the age-old process…Man comes into existence; Man, through whom the Supreme Spirit goes back to Itself, discovers Itself, realizes Itself. For Man is the Word made Flesh; Man is that whose beginning is the Open Door of the Great Mother, sending forth the Breath of Life; Man is that whose final destiny is union with the Great White Head, the Primal Will, whose shining symbol is the sun of life and light.
In its youth, the soul is always looking ahead, always expecting something from the future, always gazing toward the Beyond. When the soul has gained experience, it looks the other way. The old soul amongst human beings may be recognized by this. It knows that the goal may be found by retracing one’s steps. This is the doctrine of return expounded by the Chinese sage, Lao-tse.
This is the meaning of that wise saying that the mind of Man makes recoveries only not discoveries. This is the path of Man, ascending from the multiplicity of outer appearance to the singleness of the One Source and learning, as he ascends, that all the powers and possessions he sought so eagerly outside himself were all the time already his - actual states of his own essential nature. Occultists know that the very noun Adam, the Hebrew generic term for Man, mystically proclaims the ultimate redemption of all humanity.
Thus Jesus, whose own name means “The nature of Reality is to liberate”, was distinguished from other teachers by his clear understanding of the dignity and power of the human spirit - the Life-power of Man. He called himself the Son of Man, and declared explicitly that his own powers and attainments were the direct consequence of his being the Son of Man.
To effect the liberation of humanity is the purpose of the Great Work. We who call ourselves Builders are convinced that we must begin with ourselves. The goal we seek is the attainment of True Wisdom and Perfect Happiness. The method whereby we approach this goal is the doing of the Word which is in our mouths and in our hearts. To do the Word, we must know it. To know it, we must learn the sequence of cause and effect which constitutes the Law of the Word’s work of self-expression.
The revelation of that Law, through the science of correspondences, is one purpose of our curriculum. Yet we are never to forget that neither teachers, nor books; neither Tarot nor any other device or training, can give us this revelation. These are but various devices for bringing forth the Gnosis of the Great Deep of Wisdom, and that Great Deep is within us. Nor can our understanding of the Law ever be complete unless we do what we know now. We are not mere metaphysicians, not mere occult philosophers. We are practical occultists, and the measure of our attainment is neither thinking nor talking, but doing.
Because even a slight acquaintance with the Law shows that the tendency of the current of Life is toward self-expression, we seek to apply knowledge of particular phases of the Law to effecting our release from the bondage of circumstances. We deliberately employ occult powers to gain our liberty.
If we can’t set ourselves free, how shall we do anything toward liberating the world? So long as we ourselves remain in bondage, all grandiose talk about our share in the Great Work is a megalomaniac waste of breath. …the Word is in our mouths and in our hearts that we may do it. Permitting our occult knowledge to remain inoperative is the very worst of errors.
Let us be doers of the Word, and its power shall make us radiant centers of the Light that lighteth every man.”
Fraternally in L.V.X.
The Builders of the Adytum




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