I'd been thinking about becoming a Power, and the Powers of the Sphinx popped into my mind. In a flash of BRILLIANCE, I figured out that the Latin word "Do," root of such English words as "donate" might have been the same root for the Dare part in the French manuscript written by Eliphas Levi. Before I could forget, I ran to the computer and posted my insight about giving up being the "secret" meaning behind the Dare, and how it combined with the Silent thing, because like Jason said, it's part of the transition from the 8th to the 9th spheres, one of the final steps before becoming a Power.
See, in each of the Seven planetary spheres, you have something to leave behind in order to be purified in that sphere's powers. They're listed in the Divine Pymander:
If the Four Powers of the Sphinx were talking about the way to attain the goals of the Emerald Tablet and the Divine Pymander and the Discourse on the 8th and 9th, why, I'd finally be able to put the writings of Eliphas Levi (that esoteric bridge between the Renaissance magicians and the Industrial Age Golden Dawn factory-line initiate system) into context and have one contiguous, if still not continuous means of interpreting the various historic, modern, and post-modern Hermetic traditions. I would finally be able to let go of my disdain for the GD and its spawn and start finding things of personal use in that system. I'd be able to TALK to Ceremonialists within those systems without pissing them off! How cool is that?
25. And thus it is that man doth speed his way thereafter upwards through the Harmony.
To the first zone he gives the Energy of Growth and Waning; unto the second [zone], Device of Evils [now] de-energized; unto the third, the Guile of the Desires de-energized; unto the fourth, his Domineering Arrogance, [also] de-energized; unto the fifth, unholy Daring and the Rashness of Audacity, de-energized; unto the sixth, Striving for Wealth by evil means, deprived of its aggrandizement; and to the seventh zone, Ensnaring Falsehood, de-energized.
So imagine my disappointment when I found out that the French word wasn't related to the Latin "do." It kind of took the whole foundation of my new and true interpretation all the way away.
In a lot of ways, I'm tempted to return to my loathing of Levi. I mean, 19th century esotericist, willy-nilly Tarot attributions, and the audacity to say that "Magic is not a vocation." What the fuck could he possibly know?
But that's just pride. Fuck pride. Or to put in less Marcellus Wallace terms, "Domineering Arrogance can burn in the magnified rays of the Sun."
So, filtering out the baby bits from the bath water, I'm going to shelve the "Powers of the Sphinx" yet again. I enjoyed Jason's exposition of the Inner, Outer, and Secret interpretations of the Powers. I agree with what he said about jumping to assumptions being a trap. Until I can wrap my brain around it in a better way, I'm not going to try to force anything into the system that's evolving in my Work.
At least until I can find a bigger hammer.*
In the mean time, I'm going to return my focus to the Rainbow Body reference, the PGM, and looking deeper into some of the mysteries that I've been able to wrap my brain around so far.
*Note: this link is for the dude's signature line. Perhaps the finest wisdom I've seen, in an Inner, Outer, and Secret kind of way.