I feel Book 4, part 2, "Magick" is often unfairly neglected, perhaps because - as Crowley says in "Magick without Tears" - "But when I had finished Part II, I discovered that not only was the book an exceptionally recondite treatise on obscure technical points, but was not even an exposition of Magick at all!" "Magick without Tears", Letter 50. I have been thinking about some parts of it and decided to post my own thoughts on the subject.
First, an apparent digression.
This phrase is first recorded in the Kabalistic Conclusions of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola and is, to say the least, a puzzling conclusion. The relevant material is as follows:
Waite translates Pico's conclusion as "That which is said by the Kabalist, namely, that the green line encircles the universe, may be said also appropriately at the final conclusion which we draw from Porphyry." "The Doctrine and Literature of the Kabbalah", pg 343.
Pico's final conclusion that he draws from Porphyry is "Deus ubique est, quia nullibi est, intellectus ubique est, quia nullibi est, anima ubique est, que post ispum. Sed Deus ubique et nullibi respectu omnium, que post ipsum. Intellectus autem in Deo quidem est, ubique autem et nullibi respectu eorum, que post ipsum. Anima in intellectu et Deo, ubique autem et nullibi respectu corpons." Conclusiones sive Theses DCCCC.
This I roughly translate as, "God is everywhere, because he is nowhere, Mind is everywhere, because it is nowhere, Soul is everywhere, and after itself. But God is everywhere and nowhere with respect to all, and after himself. Mind however is certainly within God, everywhere however and nowhere with respect to them, and after itself. Soul is within Mind and God, everywhere however and nowhere with respect to the body."
So far, so profound (and fairly incomprehensible). To clear our confusion let us examine this matter as Kabalists.
Firstly, we note that the "line" is Green, the colour of Venus symbol of love - and it encircles or binds the Universe. Thus "Love is the law."
Next, Linea viridis gyrat vniversa looks very like a notariqon whose root would be LVGV. This is interesting, LVGV = 30+6+3+6 = 45 = ADM; Adam, Man. Thus, Man encompasses the Universe.
Thus, this aphorism is a restatement of Protagoras' statement "Man is the measure of all things".
This is a theme taken up by Crowley (you see, now we get to the point) in Chapter 2 of "Book 4, Part 2", where he writes, "It will follow then that, in spite of the apparent freedom of the Magician to do anything he likes, he is really determined absolutely; for as the Altar must have a base proportionate to its height, and as that height must be convenient for the Magician, the size of the whole [circle] will depend upon his own stature."
We can see that this is so. That Man, by the nature and quality of his perceptions, determines the measure of his own Universe. Similarly, that that measure is determined by his fundamental nature - there being no other measure he can adopt. He has no right but to do his Will.
And again Man is thus the Measure of all things, as Crowley again makes clear by his choice of Altar diagram.
Here we see it, Man encompassing Heaven and Earth. As Crowley wrote in "Little Essays Toward Truth" - "YE ARE TRUTH" ("Little Essays Toward Truth", final chapter.) "Notes for an Astral Atlas", in the Appendix to "Book 4, Part 3" again also expands upon this topic, and I would recommend this as further reading to anyone interested.
I have more to write on "Book 4, Part 2", there are other sections that deserve a detailed note, but this simple entry has just taken me over 3 hours collating material! So I'll leave it for now and post again later.