No attainment soever is officially recognized by the [Order] unless the immediate inferior of the person in question has been fitted by him to take his place.
The rule is not rigidly applied in all cases, as it would lead to congestion, especially in the lower Grades, where the need is greatest, and the conditions most confused; but it is never relaxed in the Order of the R.C. or of the S.S.: save only in One Case.
There is also a rule that the Members of the [Order] shall not know each other officially, save only each Member his superior who introduced him and his inferior whom he has himself introduced.
This rule has been relaxed, and a “Grand Neophyte” appointed to superintend all Members of the Order of the G.D. The real object of the rule was to prevent Members of the same Grade working together and so blurring each other’s individuality; also to prevent work developing into social intercourse.
The Grades of the Order of the G.D. are fully described in [“Liber Collegii Sancti”], and there is no need to amplify what is there stated. It must however, be carefully remarked that in each of these preliminary Grades there are appointed certain tasks appropriate, and that the ample accomplishment of each and everyone of these is insisted upon with the most rigorous rigidity.
Members of the [Order] of whatever Grade are not bound or expected or even encouraged to work on any stated lines, or with any special object, save as has been above set forth. There is, however, an absolute prohibition to accept money, or other material reward, directly or indirectly, in respect of any service connected with the Order, for personal profit or advantage. The penalty is immediate expulsion, with no possibility of reinstatement on any terms soever.
But all Members must of necessity work in accordance with the facts of Nature, just as an architect must allow for the Law of Gravitation, or a sailor reckon with currents.
So must all Members of the [Order] work by the Magical Formula of the Æon.
They must accept The Book of the Law as the Word and the Letter of Truth, and the sole Rule of Life. They must acknowledge the Authority of the Beast 666 and of the Scarlet Woman as in the Book it is defined, and accept Their Will as concentrating the Will of Our Whole Order. They must accept the Crowned and Conquering Child as the Lord of the Æon, and exert themselves to establish His reign upon Earth. They must acknowledge that “The word of the Law is Θελημα”, and that “Love is the law, love under will.”
Each member must make it his main work to discover for himself his own true Will, and to do it, and do nothing else.
He must accept those orders in The Book of the Law that apply to himself as being necessarily in accordance with his own true Will, and execute the same to the letter with all the energy, courage, and ability that he can command. This applies especially to the work of extending the Law in the world, wherein his proof is his own success, the witness of his Life to the Law that hath given him Light in his ways, and Liberty to pursue them.
Thus doing, he payeth his debt to the Law that hath freed him by working its Will to free all men; and he proveth himself a true man in our Order by willing to bring his fellows into freedom.
By thus ordering his disposition, he will fit himself in the best possible manner for the task of understanding and mastering the divers technical methods prescribed by the [Order] for Mystical and Magical attainment.
He will thus prepare himself properly for the crisis of his career in the Order, the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel.
His Angel shall lead him anon to the summit of the Order of the R.C. and make him ready to face the unspeakable terror of the Abyss which lies between Manhood and Godhead; teach him to Know that agony, to Dare that destiny, to Will that catastrophe, and to keep Silence for ever as he accomplishes the act of annihilation.
From the Abyss comes No Man forth, but a Star startles the Earth, and our Order rejoices above that Abyss that the Beast hath begotten one more Babe in the Womb of Our Lady, His Concubine, the Scarlet Woman, BABALON. There is no need to instruct a Babe thus born, for in the Abyss it was purified of every poison of personality; its ascent to the highest is assured, in its season; and it hath no need of seasons, for it is conscious that all conditions are no more than forms of its fancy.
Such is a brief account, adapted as far as may be to the average aspirant to Adeptship, or Attainment, or Initiation, or Mastership, or Union with God, or Spiritual Development, or Mahatmaship, or Freedom, or Occult Knowledge, or whatever he may call his inmost need of Truth, of our Order [...] It is designed principally to awake interest in the Possibilities of human progress, and to proclaim the Principles of the [Order].
The outline given of the several successive steps is exact; the two crises—the Angel and the Abyss—are necessary features in every career. The other tasks are not always accomplished in the order given here; one man, for example, may acquire many of the qualities peculiar to the Adeptus Major, and yet lack some of those proper to the Practicus. But the system here given shows the correct order of events, as they are arranged in Nature; and in no case is it safe for a man to neglect to master any single detail, however dreary and distasteful it may seem. It often does so, indeed; that only insists on the necessity of dealing with it. The dislike and contempt for it bear witness to a weakness and incompleteness in the nature which disowns it: that particular gap in one’s defenses may admit the enemy at the very turning point of some battle. Worse, one were shamed for ever if one’s inferior should happen to ask for advice and aid on that subject, and one were to fail in service to him! His failure—one’s own failure also! No step, however well won for oneself, till he is ready for his own advance!
Every Member of the [Order] must be armed at all points, and expert with every weapon. The examinations in every Grade are strict and severe; no loose or vague answers are accepted. In intellectual questions, the candidate must display no less mastery of his subject than if he were entered in the “final” for Doctor of Science or Law at a first-class University.
In examination of physical practices, there is a standardized test. In āsana, for instance, the candidate must remain motionless for a given time, his success being gauged by poising on his head a cup filled with water to the brim; if he spill one drop, he is rejected.
He is tested in “the Spirit Vision” or “Astral Journeying” by giving him a symbol unknown and unintelligible to him, and he must interpret its nature by means of a vision as exactly as if he had read its name and description in the book whence it was chosen.
The power to make and “charge” talismans is tested as if they were scientific instruments of precision, as they are.
In the Qabalah, the candidate must discover for himself, and prove to the examiner beyond all doubt, the properties of a number never previously examined by any student.
In invocation, the divine force must be made as manifest and unmistakable as the effects of chloroform; in evocation, the spirit called forth must be at least as visible and tangible as the heaviest vapours; in divination, the answer must be as precise as a scientific thesis, and as accurate as an audit; in meditation, the results must read like a specialist’s report of a classical case.
By such methods, the [Order] intends to make occult science as systematic and scientific as chemistry; to rescue it from the ill repute which, thanks both to the ignorant and dishonest quacks that have prostituted its name, and to the fanatical and narrow-minded enthusiasts that have turned it into a fetish, has made it an object of aversion to those very minds whose enthusiasm and integrity make them most in need of its benefits, and most fit to obtain them.
It is the one really important science, for it transcends the conditions of material existence and so is not liable to perish with the planet, and it must be studied as a science, skeptically, with the utmost energy and patience.
The [Order] possesses the secrets of success; it makes no secret of its knowledge, and if its secrets are not everywhere known and practiced, it is because the abuses connected with the name of occult science disincline official investigators to examine the evidence at their disposal.
This paper has been written not only with the object of attracting individual seekers into the Way of Truth, but of affirming the propriety of the methods of the [Order] as the basis for the next great step in the advance of human knowledge. (from "One Star in Sight")