The Law of Ubiquity
by Simon Court
"Flame permeates all." So wrote Lyndon Hardy in the
magical novel Master of the Five Magics. This was the powerful
Law of Ubiquity by which a wizard could evoke entities of non-human
dimensions such as demons and control them. Our purpose here,
however, is not the study of such demonic evocations.
The key to understanding the
mysteries of relation and correspondence, across and between dimensions,
can be encapsulated in this idea given clothing of a fantasy story.
That is, permeability. There are many ways to view this and we
will consider just two: the dimensional gaps between the parts
that make up a person; and the dimensional gap between one person
and the next. First let us look at the interperrneability of the
dimensions of spirit and of matter. "I am a child of earth,
but my race is of the starry heavens..." This we are encouraged
to say and to realise. This interpermeability of heaven and earth
occurs within our own selves. When we undertake our initial magical
training we seek to work first upon the incarnate personality.
In doing this we bring the structure of that incarnate vehicle
into line with a properly balanced plan. In itself the incarnate
personality becomes as the plan used, which in the Western Tradition
is often, but not always, the Qabalistic Tree of Life, that "great
glyph of man and the universe". We have then produced a tool
with which the evolving self may work in the world.
At this time the structure of
these two selves conform. The evolving self need no more merely
brood over the incarnate self but can now work through it. The
way this occurs is through interpermeability. This is made possible
by similarity of structure, or homomorphism to use the technical
term. There is a teaching within the Western Tradition that the
evolving self is not yet perfected but suffers from various deviations.
These ideas can be found within the teachings of the Society of
the Inner Light and the works of Dion Fortune and Gareth Knight.
Western Tradition also includes in some quarters the idea that
this evolving self may only learn through experience with matter.
Once interpermeability between
incarnate and evolving selves is achieved this learning process
accelerates being now direct, rather than "at arms length".
We can now use our magical and ritual techniques to further accelerate
progress. For there is yet a further part of ourselves which broods
over the evolving self. This is the Divine Spark or Monad, the
truly imperishable and immortal essence of each one of us. This
spark may also be drawn closer to an evolving self that has been
refined into a fitting receptacle for it. Again, its entry is
achieved through interpermeability based on similarity of structure.
This brings spirit directly into incarnation in matter. At the
same time matter is raised to the level of spirit. They interpermeate
each other. Shankara, in the Vivekacudamani, says of such a one:
Though doing, he is inactive
Though bearing the fruits of past acts, unaware of them
Omnipresent, though locally walking about
Such a knower of Brahman
Ever living on as though bodiless
Is ever untouched by either pleasure or pain, goodness or evil.
The various selves are not really separate at all, but the illusion
of separation is maintained according to the degree of interpermeability
possible. The full permeation of the Divine Essence is a true
incarnation of divinity in matter that we have prepared. What
a great responsibility this is for us. The mystic, unlike the
magician, goes straight to the heart of the matter (no pun intended).
The devotional aspirant makes every act, every thought, every
feeling, every scrap of experience that of the chosen deity. "It
is not I that eats, but Shiva" one might say. This approach
will in time align the incarnate and evolving selves with the
inner divinity and the degree of permeation will increase. In
the Gnostic Gospel According to Thomas, Jesus says: "Whoever
drinks from my mouth shall become as I am and I myself shall become
he, and the hidden things shall be revealed to him". Read
this as "...with my mouth..." and you have the exact
We can see this process symbolically
enacted in the Christian mass and the events preceding it. It
is taught that when a properly ordained priest consecrates the
bread and wine incarnation of divinity within those elements is
guaranteed. The Christians consume their god "under the veil
of earthly things". By making oneself the offered host, incarnation
is likewise guaranteed. The mystery of transubstantiation occurs
within the body and blood of the worshipper. Whether this is through
consuming the wafer and wine or by becoming the host and chalice
the process is the same - interpermeation.
Another word for this mutual
permeation, and one much more expressive and elegant is "co-inherence".
This term was much used by the novelist and Christian mystic Charles
Williams, both in reference to the matters we have considered
already, and to the way that interpermeability may occur between
individual people. In his Religion of the Summer Stars, Charles
Williams describes the "founding of the company" which
idealises the principles of co-inherence operating between individuals
at three levels or in three degrees.
At the first level there is a
mutual compassionate support amongst all the members. A certain
degree of interpermeation has occurred and they "feel with"
or "feel for" each other.
At the second level the degree
of permeation increases to the point where they may actually and
literally carry each others burdens and share the load. This is
not sentimentality nor is it sympathy. It is a true sharing of
joys and sorrows. It is as easy and natural to experience as it
is difficult to describe. Charles Williams indicates that an open-hearted
intention is all that is required.
At the third level the interpermeation
is complete and the members of such a group are then "living
each others lives, dying each others deaths." Now in a way
these three levels correspond with the three levels of our own
individual selves. The level of co-inherence between individuals
resonates with the degree of co-inherence between the different
aspects of the one person. So we can see that to operate at the
third level would require each individual to know the divinity
This mutual permeation, this total co-inherence, this recognition
of the individual Divine Sparks as of the same fire, all of these
are based upon this same "ground". A Fraternity of the
Co-inherence based upon the principles brought through by Charles
Williams would therefore be achieving aims similar to those of
any other Western Tradition. The Law of Ubiquity, then, operates
to allow different orders of existence to interpermeate each other
and so act as a single unit.
Lyndon Hardy chose fire as the
principle for purposes relating to the story plot. However, in
searching for that which permeates all levels, spirit and matter
alike, we do not have to look very far. The great principle which
permeates all existence of all levels is Life, symbolised by the
We could take the Ankh to remind
us of the work of co-inherence at all levels. We could rephrase
the Law of Ubiquity as "Life permeates all". Or we could
take our motto from W E Butler (Lords of Light) and say: "Life