Si Vales, Valeo
Thank you for your kind correspondence.
One does not cross the Abyss by destroying the ego. The ego is instrumental to the process of crossing. In the Abyss, the ego is realigned… or raised up, as it were, from the mundane to the divine. The ego has psychological meanings which are completely different than the occult meaning. This is why it is so important to understand the language of the occult.
It is the ego that drives us to do anything, from getting out of bed to brushing our teeth, to going to work; it’s even responsible for our drive to achieve spiritual consciousness. If a person was to successfully destroy their ego, they would not be able to function in real life. I have known a couple of people who have succeeded in doing just that. They broke themselves beyond repair.
I think the Abyss is where one meets their dark self. Think of the Abyss as Jung’s Universal Unconscious. There one encounters the totality of their own existence and true nature, including the madness of brutality that humans are able to inflict on others. Most people think of themselves as “good,” as incapable of committing atrocities. In the Abyss, they discover that they are not immune, that because they are human they are inescapably connected to those atrocities, and capable of repeating them.
The Abyss is a level of consciousness which must be accepted, entered into willingly. But once you’re in, you cannot resist. To resist the process would mean madness, it would mean holding up your progress or, in essence, making yourself a prisoner because the only way out is through. You must allow, not resist. Resistance is why so many people fail at completing the crossing.
Gauging one’s progress is difficult without being able to compare it with the experience of someone who has done it. One must be able to share the experience verbally, preferably with feedback, to properly process it. At the risk of sounding like Israel Regardie, I recommend therapy from a Jungian therapist, if you can find one.
The experience of crossing the Abyss will be different for each person, but there should be some similarities that are compatible and comparable. We are also in danger of discarding perfectly good magical phenomena because it doesn’t match the experience of others. Document everything without passing judgment, and allow understanding to come in its own time.
The truth of the Abyss will set you free. But it will be disturbing, because it isn’t what most of us expect. It is horrible – we see ourselves without our masks. And because we connect to the entire human race, the magician must own every atrocity committed by humankind, no matter how repulsive.
Once you go in, it’s too late to resist. You much accept, and embrace it as an act of love under will. The unwillingness to remove one’s masks and destroy them, to be self-recreated as a true version of who one is, is the definition of a Black Brother.