AL I:25Posted: May 8, 2012
Divide, add, multiply, and understand.
Crowley does not seem to come to a concrete answer to the meaning of this verse in his commentary. His answers of 0.12, 56, and 300 are not very satisfying and are also superseded by his later commentary claiming that he will set the answer down elsewhere.
There is an interesting connection between this verse and a verse from the Secret Instructions of the Master a text which is part of a larger work The Heart of the Master. The following is the verse associated with the path of Beth.
The True Self is the meaning of the True Will:
know Thyself through Thy Way!
Calculate well the Formula of Thy Way!
Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent,
in and for Eternity.
Here we see the four main elementary mathematical functions: create freely, multiplication; absorb joyously, addition; divide intently, division; consolidate completely, subtraction. Consolidation is done in algebra through the function of subtraction, removing parts of the formula that have been balanced out of the equation. It is interesting to consider that it is incorrect to assume that in I:25 there are only 3 signs, rather that “understand” is simply the fourth sign, subtraction, under a different name. That understanding is that process of resolving the universe down to its simplest of formulas, removing parts that we previously thought had no correlation. Though through our understanding we have balanced out the disparate and thus move closer to the heart of the equation.