Showing posts with label British magician. Show all posts
Showing posts with label British magician. Show all posts

Parapsychology - Who Was Frater Achad?


Charles Stansfeld Jones (1886–1950), a British magician and novelist who resided in Cana cay and formed the Fellowship of Ma-Ion, used this mystical name.

He was a disciple of the magician Aleister Crowley, who named him his magical child.

Jones is to be differentiated from theosophical writer George Graham Price, who channeled two popular writings under the alias Frater Achad, Melchizedek Truth Principles (1963) and Ancient Mystical WhiteBrotherhood (1971).

Apart from channeling the two works, nothing is known about Price's life.

Bonner, Margerie Lowry said that while working on Under the Volcano, he started to research the theosophists' canon, which included P.D. Ouspensky, Swedenborg, Blake, James, Böhme, and Yeats, as well as A.E. Waite, Eliphas Levi, Madame Blavatsky, and, by chance, Frater Achad. 

Charles Stansfeld-Jones – a white magician and author of Cabbalistic books and treatises under the name Frater Achad – appeared at Lowry's Dollarton shack and began a long friendship with him, during which time Lowry experimented with astral body projection, the I Ching, and Yoga, and studied the Tree of Life, a reproduction of which was hung on a wall in the shack. 

Lowry discontinued his research after months of immersion for fear of "opening doors that should stay locked." [Originally published in Perle Epstein's The Private Labyrinth of Malcolm Lowry. 

Holt, Reinhart, and Winston, New York, 1969.] While Lowry finished the first draft of Under the Volcano in 1940 before meeting Stansfeld-Jones, he subsequently claimed that he met a Cabbalist at a "critical and serendipitous time in the composition of the novel." Since the receiving of the Book of the Law, Achad has been regarded as the most notable Catholic Thelemite. 

This is because Frater Achad converted to Roman Catholicism in 1928, 19 years after entering the A.A. as a Probationer. 

Achad's claim to fame as a Thelemite—and the reason orthodox Thelemites must contend with him even if they believe his curious researches are mistaken or dangerous—is that he discovered the qabalistic "key" to the Book of the Law, prompting Aleister Crowley to rename the book Liber AL vel Legis instead of Liber Legis. 

This finding was recounted in Achad's magical notebook, Liber 31, which was eventually released. 

Crowley used this insight to consecrate Achad as his magical son, as prophesied in the Book of the Law, and to acknowledge his claim to the Thelemic grade of Magister Templi, or "Babe of the Abyss." However, by the 1920s, Crowley had become disillusioned with his son and successor due to some Achad writings. 

Achad's experiment with changing the courses of the qabalistic Tree of Life was documented in his 1922 Q.B.L.; or the Bride's Reception. 

The Egyptian Revival, published in 1923, and The Anatomy of the Body of God, published in 1925, continued Achad's work. 

To put it plainly, Crowley thought such attempts were foolish. 

Achad was also a member of the Worldwide Brotherhood, an esoteric group that claimed to share universal religious and philosophical knowledge, as well as a "true transcript" of the objective cosmos, by this time. 

Many occultists, including Crowley, thought the convoluted UB system was a "scam" or, worse, a cover for the Catholic Church's infiltration of occult organizations (for more on the UB, see the recent article in the O.T.O. anthology Success is Your Proof). 

Many high-ranking members of the UB converted to Catholicism when it was founded by Merwin-Marie Snell, a Catholic comparative religion professor. 

Crowley and Achad ultimately lost communication, and Achad was expelled from the Order of the Temple

Jones, on the other hand, never stopped thinking about his status as Crowley's magical offspring, and Thelema's revelations remained a major element of his spiritual worldview. 

Following Crowley's death, Achad corresponded with Crowley's executor Gerald Yorke in a lengthy series of letters. 

The letters "announced the arriving of the Aeon of Maat" in April 1948, and "from this point onwards the communication contains information recording the development of the new Aeon which Jones had discovered, and exploring its consequences and implications," according to Starfire. 

An Aeon is governed by a central spiritual idea or formula as well as the god-form that personifies that idea, according to Crowley's Thelemic system. 

It lasts about 2,000 years (coinciding with the precession of the equinoxes) and is ruled by a central spiritual idea or formula as well as the god-form that personifies that idea. 

The Aeon of Horus, which began in 1904 with Crowley's receiving of Liber AL vel Legis, is controlled by Horus, the god's crowned and victorious offspring, and will last for thousands of years. 

Yet, like Achad, some unconventional Thelemites have accepted the possibility of a premature dawning of the Aeon of Maat—for example, Kenneth Grant in his Typhonian Trilogies, the Thelemic magical order Ordo Adeptorum Invisiblum, and Nema, whose received text Liber Pennae Penumbra and system of Maat magick is perhaps the most influential result of Maatian speculations. 

The greatest description of these modern currents in theoretical occultism is Don Karr's book Approaching the Kabbalah of Maat

Despite the fact that Achad's announcement of the Aeon of Maat influenced a number of important occultist researchers in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, his Maatian revelation does not appear to follow from his books, his Catholic conversion, or his involvement with (and eventual leadership of) the UB. 

To truly comprehend the importance of an early Aeon of Truth and Justice—the spiritual concepts symbolized by the god-form of Maat—one must first understand the qabalistic implications of Achad's 1920s views. 

Among early twentieth-century occultists, Achad is possibly the most pro-materialist. 

Unlike many Gnostics, Neo-Buddhists, and Theosophists of the time, Achad believes in a material universe infused with spirit—sacramentally infused, if you will. 

This is in line with the Universal Brotherhood's philosophical realism principles. 

It also corresponds to Achad's extreme qabalistic theories. 

Unlike other qabalists, Achad's multifaceted image of the Tree of Life's primeval fall and eschatological restoration resembles a cosmic fulfillment process rather than a myth of transgression and forgiveness. 

This is something he shares with the modernist Catholic thinkers of his day. 

Idealism and Materialism must join and go hand in hand if a new Civilization is to be established, argues Achad in The Anatomy of the Body of God. 

The Soul of Humanity is the connection that binds everything together. 

Our physical bodies are nothing to be ashamed of, but they would be useless without the Spirit and Will that give them life and action. 

On the other hand, we should not be so timid and selfish as to want to be re-absorbed into Spirit, as if the whole Creative Plan had been a waste of time and should have never been undertaken in the first place. 

No! Let us offer gratitude in our hearts for both our bodies and our spirits, and let us use both properly and to the full extent of our abilities. 

Over the course of the 1920s, Achad's writings became more oriented on the immanent fulfillment of God's Kingdom, a perspective that would be dubbed "realized eschatology" in Christian theology. 

"We must take into the inheritance of Freedom that has been provided for us in the Father's Kingdom upon Earth," says Anatomy, "and begin to construct a 'Living Temple, not created with hands, everlasting in the Heavens'—on Earth." The rousing proclamation, There is a space reserved for every one of you, Here and Now, finishes the book's introduction. 

Everything has its place when everything is placed in its place. 

Take up your positions in the Kingdom of the Ever-Coming Son, fulfill yourself in the fulfillment of God's Will inside you, and demonstrate to those who are still in the dark outside that there is space for everyone who are willing to maintain their place and stop attempting to usurp others'. 

Frater Achad's knowledge of the approaching Kingdom of God is based on his interpretation of Qabalah's cosmic processes. 

In the orthodox Thelemic schema, the Egyptian deity forms Isis—Osiris—Horus correlate to Binah—Kether-Chokmah—and Tiphereth, respectively. 

Malkuth, the Material Kingdom, is represented by Maat, who completes the four-part sequence. 

The four letters of the Hebrew Tetragrammaton, IHVH—Osiris (I), Isis (H), Horus (V), with Maat (final H) completing the sequence—can also be ascribed to the Aeons. 

In most texts on Hermetic Qabalah, the letters of the Tetragrammaton fulfill a cosmic story. 

The fallen Daughter (Heh final) must combine with the Son (Vav) to ascend to the level of Heh prime, establishing the Daughter/Malkuth on the throne of Binah, the Mother, in order to restore the Tree of Life to its pre-Fall condition (Heh prime). 

The Mother then "arouses the active power of THE FATHER, and these twain being UNITED, everything is RE-ABSORBED into THE CROWN," as Achad describes in Q.B.L. 

As a result of Malkuth's union with Kether, the eschatological kingdom is realized on Earth, fulfilling God's goal for creation. 

The salvation economy of Mary, a Daughter of Israel and child of the earth, conceiving the Son, the Christos, by the Holy Spirit, then being joined with God the Father in her Coronation as the Mother of Heaven, may be expressed in the Catholic system. 

Through the inbreaking of the eschatological Kingdom in the event of Jesus Christ, the Son's Incarnation thus redeems Malkuth's material world—represented in miniature by Mary. 

Through the Eucharistic Mass, Catholics engage in this reality—the eschaton made manifest here and now in fulfillment of God's design. 

Many orthodox Thelemites have proposed bizarre explanations for why Frater Achad would ever switch to the Roman Church, including insanity, a desire to convert the Church to Thelema's Law, or being lost in the Abyss as a Black Brother. 

Achad, on the other hand, offers a different reason for his strange conversion: Achad needed to be escorted to the Temple's opposite Pillar in order to discover the secrets of the R[oman] Catholic Church. 

He joined the Church as an orthodox member and obtained his first communion during Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, 1928. 

This step, and only this step, resulted in the start of the Initiations and Ordeals that were to follow, as per Liber Legis. 

(Jones, letter to Gerald Yorke and Albert Handel, May 6, 1948; cited in Hymenaeus Beta, Prolegomenon to Aleister Crowley's Liber Aleph, Second Edition, Hymenaeus Beta, Prolegomenon to the Second Edition, Hymenaeus Beta, Prolegomenon to the Second Edition, Hymenaeus Beta, Prolegomenon to the Second Edition, Hymenaeus Beta, Pro Achad was poised to herald the beginning of the Aeon of Truth and Justice—the eschatological Kingdom realized on earth, glyphed in esoteric terms by the goddess Maat and glyphed in the New Testament by St. John the Divine's vision of the New Jerusalem: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, since the previous heaven and earth had vanished, and the sea had vanished as well. 

And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, descending down from God like a bride adorned for her husband (Revelation 21:1-3) This is the banquet for the bride—the New Jerusalem has come down to earth, the divine has become one with the mundane world. 

"Jones relayed the news of his 1932 Silver Star Ordeal not only to Crowley, but also to the Catholic Church," states Hymenaeus Beta. 

Achad considered his initiations into this new New Aeon as vital to both the occult world and the Catholic Church. 

"He came to believe that the Aeon of Horus was coming to an end, and that a new Aeon of Truth and Justice, ruled by the Egyptian goddess Maat (or Ma), was about to begin." Achad's conversion allowed him to participate in the Church's sacramental life. 

This implies he took part in the Eucharist, with his first Mass being the Christmas 1928 Mass commemorating the Incarnation. 

For Catholics, the Eucharist is the eschatological reality bursting into our current moment, the Kingdom of God made visible on earth. 

The Eucharist is "a guarantee of future grandeur," according to the Catholic Church's Catechism, "a foretaste of the celestial feast to come" (CCC 1323). 

The Aeon of Maat is a "backwards current," granting us a vision of an age in which "we all may become something far greater, something which exists in the form of seeds within us in the eternal Now" (Horus/Maat Lodge FAQ page), much like the inbreaking Kingdom of God, which rushes in from the future to meet us in the present (see, for example, radical Catholic theologian Edward Schillebeeckx's God the Future of Man). 

Unlike other non-orthodox Thelemites who believe in a "double current" in which both the Aeons of Horus and Maat are active at the same time, or those who believe that the Aeon of Maat will arrive too soon to replace the Aeon of Horus, my reading of Frater Achad through the lens of the Catholic Mass suggests that the new Aeon of Truth and Justice is present in the present at the same time as the "force and fire" of the Aeon The Mother's Daughter ascends to the throne, the Father awakens, and the Son of God is born among the people of the world. 

"Kether is in Malkuth, and Malkuth is in Kether," Frater Achad declares.

Further Reading:

Achad, Frater [Charles Stansfeld Jones]. The Anatomy of the Body of God. New York: Samuel Weiser, 1969.

Achad, Frater [George Graham Price]. Ancient Mystical White Brotherhood. Lakemont, Ga.: CSA Press, 1971.

Melchizedek Truth Principles. Phoenix, Ariz.: Lockhart Research Foundation, 1963.

Kiran Atma

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