When discussing comprehension, sometimes it is imperative to repeat certain phrases. What has been said in chapter thirteen with reference to alcohol cannot be emphasized enough.
“There is no need to discuss the effects of alcohol at length. It’s very name in Arabic (the same as the Algol star which represents the head of Medusa cut off by Perseus) simply means ‘the demon’... And that it is in fact a demon or a malefic spirit when it possesses a human being; it is clear and easily demonstrable in its effects from drunkenness, to delirium tremons and madness with forms of paralysis and other hereditary defects passed down through descendants.”
There is no question that alcohol—being a product of disintegration that originates in and is eliminated through the skin of our organism—has a vibratory disintegrating, dissolving, and destructive tendency, drying our tissues and destroying the nerve cells, which are then gradually substituted by cartilage.
It is clearly evident that alcohol tends to eliminate the capacity for independent thought and calm judgment, since it fatally stimulates fantasy. It also shockingly debilitates ethical sense and individual liberty.
Dictators, tyrants of all times, were not unaware that it is easier to govern and enslave a nation of drunkards than that of sober ones.
It is also well known that you can make someone in a state of intoxication accept any suggestion and carry out deeds that are contrary to their sense of decency and morality. The influence of alcohol on crime is notorious, so much so that it is unnecessary to stress the fact.
Hideous alcohol climbs the precipice and tumbles into the abyss of perdition; it is the malignant substance that intimately characterizes the “infernal worlds” where nothing can be heard but screams, howls, whistles, neighs, squawks, bellows, cackles, meows, barks, snorts, roars and caws.
Abominable Algol turns incessantly in the vicious circle of time.
It works itself in everywhere, ever tempting; it seems to have the knack for ubiquity, at once smiling from the gold or silver goblet under the gilded ceiling of a pompous palace or making the long-haired bard in some dreadful tavern sing.
Malignant Algol is at times very subtle and diplomatic. Watch it shining dangerously in the glittering glass of fine baccarat offered by the beloved woman!
And, said the poet, when a beloved wine-tipsy woman endeavors to strip off her clothes in the soft, perfumed mahogany bed, her guardian angel departs for a while...
We are all going toward an end, we all have our name in the fatal amphora. Never drink the accursed liquor, I tell you, because if you drink it you will quickly stray from the path.
“Very strong wine from Sabina in small glasses, will you drink with me now, although I myself sealed it in the Greek amphora in which it was bottled,” exclaims Satan from the depths of the abyss...
In his black depths, each demon fulfills its task, getting the vineyard ready until sunset; and as to God, he calls you, when at merry supper the time to drink fermented wine arrives.
With new inspiration in their lares, the peasants drink to their health and offer libations with must from their vines, and the perfidious Medusa, Algol smiles in enjoyment with her victim.
The anchorite or penitent begs at merry dawn—suffering fasting, mortification and the wearing hair shirts—and also when a weary sun sets in the west, after all have finished their sipping between the spree and the orgy.
What does time not erode? Already our dear parents were inferior to our coarse grandparents; we are worse than they, and we are followed by corrupt descendants in the withered decadence between liquor and tragedy.
“Not from such parents sprung, mother or sire,
The youth that great Antiochus withstood,
Smote Pyrrhus, stained the sea with Punic blood,
And sealed the fate of Hannibal the dire.
“But a brave race and virtuous filled the land,
Husbandmen-soldiers, taught to till the soil
With Sabine plough, and used to manly toil;
Obedient to a mother’s stern command
“They bring their fagots home, their work not done,
When mountain shadows lengthen towards the East,
And wearied oxen from the yoke released
Browse in the quiet of the setting sun.
“In course the world from base to baser runs,
Our father’s worse than their ancestral times;
Our own polluted by still baser crimes -
To be eclipsed in baseness by our sons’.
—Horace, To the Romans (trans. John Osborne Sargent)
Now everything is over; this wretched humanity full of so many sorrows has degenerated with the abominable vice of alcohol.
And who are these idiots who seek to negotiate with Satan? Listen, my friends! With the sinister demon Algol, it is impossible to make compromises, arrangements, or any kind of crooked deal. Alcohol is very treacherous and sooner or later will stab us in the back.
Many people with thelema (willpower) only drink one or two glasses a day; a terrific ruse, isn’t it?
Compromises? Arrangements? Shady deals? Speaking in Socratic language about people inexperienced in life, we can say that not only are they ignorant, but they are also unaware of the fact that they are ignorant.
Whether from so many drunken bouts or through very subtle and discrete tipsiness, with the passage of time the atoms of the secret enemy, similar to microscopic pieces of glass, are encrusted within the living cells of the human organism.
Divine beings as well as human beings know well that the demon Algol takes possession of the human body very subtly and slowly until, one day, it precipitates us towards the abyss of drunkenness and insanity.
Listen to me very carefully, Gnostic students: In the light of the sun or of the moon, of day or of night, any agreement, transaction, diplomacy, or negotiation with this malign spirit is condemned to failure sooner or later. You have to be radical with the demon Algol!
Remember, devotees of the secret path, that the ill-fated axle of the grievous wheel of samsara is lubricated with alcohol.
It is written with words of fire in the book of all mysteries that demons resuscitate with alcohol, in other words, those already dead egos; those abominable, brutal, and bestial creatures that personify our psychological errors resuscitate with alcohol.
Since liquor is related to the vayu tattva (the air element), while drinking it, we fall like the inverted pentacle head downwards and legs upward into the abyss of ruin and dreadful sorrow (see chapter thirteen).
The shaft of the abyss, from which smoke rises like a great furnace, reeks of alcohol.
That woman of the Apocalypse of Saint John, dressed in purple and scarlet and adorned in gold, precious stones and pearls, drinks alcohol. She holds a golden cup in her hands full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. That is the great whore whose number is 666.
The religious guide, priest, mystic, or prophet who makes the mistake of getting drunk with abominable alcohol is truly wretched!
It is good to work for the salvation of souls, to teach the doctrine of the Lord, but truly I tell you that it is not fair to throw rotten eggs at those who follow you. Priests, anchorites, mystics, missionaries that teach the people with love, why do you scandalize them? Perhaps you are unaware that scandalizing the people [by doing what you should not] is equivalent to being disrespectful, to throwing tomatoes and rotten eggs in their faces. When are you going to understand all this?