When NOTHING became conscious, it made a bad bargain.
This consciousness acquired individuality: a worse bargain.
The Hermit asked for love; worst bargain of all.
And now he has let his girl go to America, to have "success" in "life": blank loss.
Is there no end to this immortal ache
That haunts me, haunts me sleeping or awake?
If I had Laylah, how could I forget
Time, Age, and Death? Insufferable fret!
Were I an hermit, how could I support
The pain of consciousness, the curse of thought?
Even were I THAT, there still were one sore spot --
The Abyss that stretches between THAT and NOT.
Still the first step is not so far away: --
The Mauretania sails on Saturday!
Carey Street is well known to prosperous Hebrews and poor Englishmen as the seat of the Bankruptcy buildings.
Paragraphs 1 - 4 are in prose, the downward course, and the rest of the chapter in poetry, the upward.
The first part shows the fall from Nought in four steps; the second part, the return.
The details of this Hierarchy have already been indicated in various chapters. It is quite conventional mysticism.
Step 1, the illumination of Ain as Ain Soph Aour; step 2, the concentration of Ain Soph Aour in Kether; step 3, duality and the rest of it down to Malkuth; step 4, the stooping of Malkuth to the Qliphoth, and the consequent ruin of the Tree of Life.
Part 2 shows the impossibility of stopping on the Path of Adeptship.
The final couplet represents the first step upon the Path, which must be taken even although the aspirant is intellectually aware of the severity of the whole course. You must give up the world for love, the material for the moral idea, before that, in its turn, is surrendered to the spiritual. And so on. This is a Laylah-chapter, but in it Laylah figures as the mere woman.
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