Author Topic: A praeterhuman entity with short-term memory loss! - How's that work?  (Read 13062 times)

R.T.Cole

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On 08 April 1904, at around 12:10PM, Aleister Crowley is scribbling words spoken to him by the herald of a New Aeon, named Aiwass.

Following I, 13, "I adore thee in the song," Aiwass instructs Crowley to insert the first verse of something called 'the Spell called the joy.'
 
I, 14 - "V. 1. of Spell called the joy
 
Subsequent typeset versions of Liber L. vel Legis substitute this line for the first six lines (i.e. the first verse) of Crowley's paraphrased versifications of the stele hieroglyphs. 
 
Two days later, on 10 April 1904, Aiwass explains this correlation in the third chapter.  Following III, 37, "I adore thee in the song," Aiwass instructs Crowley to insert further verses from his versifications of the stele hieroglyphs, so 'transmits' the word "Unity etc" to Crowley, who dutifully records it.
 
By uttering this word, Aiwass demonstrates a quality not usually associated with praeterhuman entities – Fallibility!  "Unity" is the first word of the THIRD verse.  Aiwass has completely forgotten about the second verse - Upps!  Fortunately, that terribly nice Mr. Crowley is on hand to correct Aiwass, by squeezing "I am the Lord of Thebes etc. from vellum book" (i.e. the initial sentence of the intended second verse) above Aiwass' blooper, but this is not the point.
 
Aiwass is not dictating a shopping list, or invitations to an occult ritual, but God’s New Covenant with Mankind – And he/she/it forgets the second verse!
 
So, would you found your New World Religion on the Word of a praeterhuman entity with short-term memory loss?

Offline Michael Staley

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Re: A praeterhuman entity with short-term memory loss! - How's that work?
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2012, 12:06:32 am »
Nice try, mate.

On a point of order, Richard, the only knowledge we have of the words of Aiwass is as per the rendering of Crowley. It may well have been Crowley's error; stenographers' slips are often a talking point, I'm told.

"It's all in the egg".

Online herupakraath

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Re: A praeterhuman entity with short-term memory loss! - How's that work?
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2012, 12:23:13 am »
The instruction to insert the paraphrased verses of the stele in verse I:14 is actually  'V. 1. of Spell called the Song.'

Given the loose, rapid dictation, and a number of other anomalies in the text, I'm not bothered in the least by non-issue you've raised.

R.T.Cole

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A praeterhuman entity with short-term memory loss! - How's that work?
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2012, 12:33:14 am »
Sorry, Michael, but that's weak.  Aiwass made the error.  Crowley made the correction.

Herupakraath - If it's such a "non-issue," why bother to post an opinion? Nobody is suggesting you are "bothered" by the question, yet the fact you responded to such a "non-issue" is suggestive of the contrary.

Offline lashtal

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Re: A praeterhuman entity with short-term memory loss! - How's that work?
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2012, 12:46:32 am »
Following I, 13, "I adore thee in the song," Aiwass instructs Crowley to insert the first verse of something called 'the Spell called the joy.'
 
I, 14 - "V. 1. of Spell called the joy

I've enjoyed our email exchange on this and allied matters, RTC. Just for the record, though, it's fairly clear from Crowley's Cairo 1904 vellum notebook (Yorke OS27), that he was actually referring to ‘the spell called “the Song”.’

Verse 1 is mentioned in the AL manuscript, as you note, but verse 5 is mentioned in another context in OS27. I suspect that 'The Spell called The Song' really is Crowley's title for the Paraphrase of the Inscription upon the Obverse of the Stele of Revealing. Verse 1 fits, of course, and the context in OS27 (adjacent to a mention of Ahathoor) fits the fifth verse, too.

I've said it before, but: Egypt hides the keys to the gates of the city of Thelema! (Actually, I think I'll use that as the sub-title for my work on Ankhefenkhons, mentioned several times on this very site!)
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R.T.Cole

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Re: A praeterhuman entity with short-term memory loss! - How's that work?
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2012, 12:55:30 am »
Clarification appreciated, Paul.  Nevertheless, my point stands. In using the word "Unity," Aiwass dropped a praeterhuman clanger!

Offline lashtal

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Re: A praeterhuman entity with short-term memory loss! - How's that work?
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2012, 01:27:21 am »
Just a note of more general interest... The 'Paraphrase of the Inscription upon the Obverse' - i.e. the basis of Crowley's versification titled (it would appear) 'The Spell Called "The Song"' - is itself a paraphrase of Chapter 91 of 'The Book Of The Dead'.

Readers of this thread will find much of interest in that short chapter, especially in the translation by Budge who was writing at a time that was roughly contemporaneous with AC's visit to Cairo. Note especially its mentions of 'Nu, triumphant', 'khu' and 'khaibit'.
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Offline Azidonis

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Re: A praeterhuman entity with short-term memory loss! - How's that work?
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2012, 02:49:03 am »
Just a note of more general interest... The 'Paraphrase of the Inscription upon the Obverse' - i.e. the basis of Crowley's versification titled (it would appear) 'The Spell Called "The Song"' - is itself a paraphrase of Chapter 91 of 'The Book Of The Dead'.

Readers of this thread will find much of interest in that short chapter, especially in the translation by Budge who was writing at a time that was roughly contemporaneous with AC's visit to Cairo. Note especially its mentions of 'Nu, triumphant', 'khu' and 'khaibit'.

A copy of Budge's translation gives a publication date of 1895, 9 years before the reception of Liber AL. That would give Crowley plenty of time to learn the contents of the book, or at least have access to it, so your statement is very plausible.

I've always found the insertion of the stele into various parts curious, myself... or how exactly Rose knew which 'whiter words' to use, etc.

Given that Crowley was busy having the stele rendered for his personal use, it only makes sense that he would fill in the blanks with it, seeing as how it was supposedly a Talisman of sorts for the entire series of events.

Interesting discussion.
"Self-consciousness tells you you are somebody different. All spiritual activity is to maintain that separateness, and through that you think you will be free from that. Not a chance!" - U.G. Krishnamurti

morphon

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Re: A praeterhuman entity with short-term memory loss! - How's that work?
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2012, 03:11:02 am »

I've always found the insertion of the stele into various parts curious, myself... or how exactly Rose knew which 'whiter words' to use, etc.



Oh really? Which parts would you be inserting the Stele into?  :D
« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 03:25:20 am by lashtal »

Offline Azidonis

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Re: A praeterhuman entity with short-term memory loss! - How's that work?
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2012, 03:25:29 am »
I've always found the insertion of the stele into various parts curious, myself... or how exactly Rose knew which 'whiter words' to use, etc.
Oh really? Which parts would you be inserting the Stele into?  :D

Emphasis added.

    6. The Editing of the Book.

"Change not so much as the style of a letter" in the text saved me from Crowley-fying the wholde Book, and spoiling everything.

The MS. shows what has been done, and why, as follows:

A. On page 6 Aiwaz instructs me to "write this (what he had just said) in whiter words," for my mind revelled at His phrase. He added at once "But go forth on," i.e., with His utterance, leaving the emendation until later.
B. On page 19 I failed to hear a sentence, and (later on) the Scarlet Woman, invoking Aiwass, wrote in the missing words. (How? She was not in the room at the time, and heard nothing.)
C. Page 20 of Cap. III, I got a phrase indistinctly, and she put it in, as for "B."
D. The versified paraphrase of the hieroglyphs on the Stele being ready, Aiwaz allowed me to insert these later, so as to save time.


These four apart, the MS. is exactly as it was written on those three days. The Critical Recension will explain theses points as they occur.

The problem of the literary form of this Book is astonishingly complex; but the internal evidence of the sense is usually sufficient of make it clear, on inspection, as to who is speaking and who is being addressed.

There was, however, no actual voice audible save that of Aiwaz. Even my own remarks made silently were incorporated by him audibly, wherever such occur.


Also, it may have been Crowley to actually write the whiter words, but I was referring to Rose's editing while "Invoking Aiwass".

Under the assumption that Aiwass is/was Crowley's HGA, the following excerpt [dated 1921] generates a curiosity.

Quote from: One Star in Sight
It is the Holy of Holies, whereof each man is his own High Priest, and none knoweth the Name of his brother's God, or the Rite that invokes Him.
"Self-consciousness tells you you are somebody different. All spiritual activity is to maintain that separateness, and through that you think you will be free from that. Not a chance!" - U.G. Krishnamurti

Offline Los

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Re: A praeterhuman entity with short-term memory loss! - How's that work?
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2012, 03:37:41 am »
D. The versified paraphrase of the hieroglyphs on the Stele being ready, Aiwaz allowed me to insert these later, so as to save time.
"Save time"? Why the rush? As someone else pointed out in another thread, it sure as hell doesn't take an hour to read each chapter out loud -- even going quite slowly -- so "Aiwass" certainly wasn't trying to conserve on time to make the dictation fit an hour.

There are so many fishy details to this "reception" story.
"Then Los appeard in all his power
In the Sun he appeard descending before
My face in fierce flames in my double sight
Twas outward a Sun: inward Los in his might."
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Offline Los

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Re: A praeterhuman entity with short-term memory loss! - How's that work?
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2012, 03:41:01 am »
Under the assumption that Aiwass is/was Crowley's HGA, the following excerpt [dated 1921] generates a curiosity.

Quote from: One Star in Sight
It is the Holy of Holies, whereof each man is his own High Priest, and none knoweth the Name of his brother's God, or the Rite that invokes Him.
As Erwin points out in his HGA essay, this passage is curious, but not really a contradiction: there's no reason that someone couldn't choose to disclose to others the rituals he uses to invoke his HGA or the names he chooses to give his HGA.

The real contradiction is the consistent way Crowley defines the HGA as the True Self of an individual, compared with instances like Rose -- and then later Elaine Simpson, apparently -- "invoking" Aiwass. It really strains credulity to think that someone's "True Self" can be invoked by someone else.

The best conclusion, as ever, is that Aiwass wasn't an HGA in the sense of the term that Crowley used in his technical instructions throughout his career. Aiwass was something else -- possibly even a deliberate fabrication -- that Crowley just decided to call an HGA.
"Then Los appeard in all his power
In the Sun he appeard descending before
My face in fierce flames in my double sight
Twas outward a Sun: inward Los in his might."
--William Blake

Offline Azidonis

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Re: A praeterhuman entity with short-term memory loss! - How's that work?
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2012, 04:13:24 am »
D. The versified paraphrase of the hieroglyphs on the Stele being ready, Aiwaz allowed me to insert these later, so as to save time.
"Save time"? Why the rush? As someone else pointed out in another thread, it sure as hell doesn't take an hour to read each chapter out loud -- even going quite slowly -- so "Aiwass" certainly wasn't trying to conserve on time to make the dictation fit an hour.

There are so many fishy details to this "reception" story.

I agree with this in the practical sense. However, such Instructions can be easily misconstrued (saying it would have been 'surgery-like' careful, even if mindful of the time), and we really don't know how fast Crowley wrote (or did I manage to forget that detail somewhere?).

If I were writing it, it would have probably taken me three hours per chapter. There would have been an instruction somewhere saying, "Don't type this to save time. Leave your laptop with Rose. We want handwriting!" :)

there's no reason that someone couldn't choose to disclose to others the rituals he uses to invoke his HGA or the names he chooses to give his HGA.

That type of information generally is not handed out to just anyone.

It seems pertinent to consider who Rose was in Crowley's opinion, and why he would tell her his keys to the Holy of Holies.

Also, there is a certain level of aptitude required to Work such Magick.

The real contradiction is the consistent way Crowley defines the HGA as the True Self of an individual, compared with instances like Rose -- and then later Elaine Simpson, apparently -- "invoking" Aiwass. It really strains credulity to think that someone's "True Self" can be invoked by someone else.

Elaine Simpson in Crowley's view is also worth questioning.

In all honesty, there are only so many ways in which communicating directly with someone else's HGA is even possible, and those ways require an 'accomplished' level of Attainment.

The best conclusion, as ever, is that Aiwass wasn't an HGA in the sense of the term that Crowley used in his technical instructions throughout his career. Aiwass was something else -- possibly even a deliberate fabrication -- that Crowley just decided to call an HGA.

I'm going to append MWT again, for context. The reason I am doing so, is to point to the fact that Crowley maintained up until 1943, and presumably until his death (though Liber Aleph may state otherwise) that he perceived the HGA as such: "But do remember this, above all else; they are objective, not subjective, or I should not waste good Magick on them."

Surely he did wrestle with the concept, and I understand why he did. I'm not certain that Aiwass is/was a fabrication of Crowley's. An HGA can appear to take on many forms, as it were. That Crowley would hold a viewpoint that it is an objective phenomenon even until his death (assumedly), or at least until 1943, post Ipsissimus, is very telling. In fact, that he would maintain that viewpoint after attaining Magister Templi fully is also worthy of note.

Now, on the other hand, there is an entirely different type of angel; and here we must be especially careful to remember that we include gods and devils, for there are such beings who are not by any means dependent one one particular element for their existence.  They are microcosms in exactly the same sense as men and women are.  They are individuals who have picked up the elements of their composition as possibility and convenience dictates, exactly as we do ourselves.  I want you to understand that a goddess like Astarte, Astaroth, Cotytto, Aphrodite, Hathoor, Venus, are not merely aspects of the planet;* they are separate individuals who have been identified with each other, and attributed to Venus merely because the salient feature in their character approximates to this ideal.

Now then, it is simple to answer the question of their development, their growing old and dying; for, being of the same order of Nature as we are ourselves, almost anything which is true of us is true also of them.

* "Venus" is, of course, a "thing-in-itself;" the planet merely one case of the idea.

I have tended rather to elaborate this theme, because of the one personally important question which arises in more recent letters; for I believe that the Holy Guardian Angel is a Being of this order.  He is something more than a man, possibly a being who has already passed through the stage of humanity, and his peculiarly intimate relationship with his client is that of friendship, of community, of brotherhood, or Fatherhood.  He is not, let me say with emphasis, a mere abstraction from yourself; and that is why I have insisted rather heavily that the term "Higher Self" implies "a damnable heresy and a dangerous delusion."

It it were not so, there would be no point in The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage.

Apart from any theoretical speculation, my Sammasiti and analytical work has never led to so much as a hint of the existence of the Guardian Angel. He is not to be found by any exploration of oneself. It is true that the process of analysis leads finally to the realization of oneself as no more than a point of view indistinguishable in itself from any other point of view; but the Holy Guardian Angel is in precisely the same position.  However close may be the identities in millions of ways, no complete identification is ever obtainable.

But do remember this, above all else; they are objective, not subjective, or I should not waste good Magick on them.
"Self-consciousness tells you you are somebody different. All spiritual activity is to maintain that separateness, and through that you think you will be free from that. Not a chance!" - U.G. Krishnamurti

Offline Los

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Re: A praeterhuman entity with short-term memory loss! - How's that work?
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2012, 04:44:55 am »
It seems pertinent to consider who Rose was in Crowley's opinion, and why he would tell her his keys to the Holy of Holies.
Unless I'm misremembering, it was Rose who told Crowley the name "Aiwass" to begin with. If the HGA is a person's True Self, something inside the individual -- a position Crowley consistently holds throughout his corpus, up to and including in MWT -- then it's a massive contradiction for someone else to be able to know the "name" of one's "True Self." Aiwass simply isn't an HGA of the type Crowley talks about throughout his career.

Quote
I'm going to append MWT again, for context. The reason I am doing so, is to point to the fact that Crowley maintained up until 1943, and presumably until his death (though Liber Aleph may state otherwise) that he perceived the HGA as such: "But do remember this, above all else; they are objective, not subjective, or I should not waste good Magick on them."
Yes, and Crowley also makes it very clear in MWT -- in the very letter you quote, no less -- that "objective" can apply to imaginary beings, like the gods of mythology. Venus, under these definitions, is an "objective" being, just like Spiderman is an "objective" being: any impartial inquirer can learn objective facts about these characters. That neither of them exists as an independent being doesn't change the fact that someone can learn objective facts about them.

The True Self of a person (or the "Holy Guardian Angel") is similarly "objective," even though it is entirely internal: it possesses definite qualities, quite apart from the preferences of the person's mind. That only one person, in this case, can discover these "objective" facts makes no difference: the qualities are objective and they are there. It is thus not a "higher self," when that term is defined to mean an abstraction of the qualities that the mind finds pleasing: the True Self possesses qualities that are what they are, regardless of whether one "likes" that they are that way.

The point being, MWT doesn't in the slightest bit contradict Crowley's consistent identification of the HGA with the (entirely internal) True Self of an individual.

As I said, the best conclusion seems to be that Aiwass was something else (like, say, an imaginary character that Crowley made up), and Crowley just called it an HGA.
"Then Los appeard in all his power
In the Sun he appeard descending before
My face in fierce flames in my double sight
Twas outward a Sun: inward Los in his might."
--William Blake

Online herupakraath

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Re: A praeterhuman entity with short-term memory loss! - How's that work?
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2012, 05:45:36 am »
D. The versified paraphrase of the hieroglyphs on the Stele being ready, Aiwaz allowed me to insert these later, so as to save time.
"Save time"? Why the rush? As someone else pointed out in another thread, it sure as hell doesn't take an hour to read each chapter out loud -- even going quite slowly -- so "Aiwass" certainly wasn't trying to conserve on time to make the dictation fit an hour.


D. The versified paraphrase of the hieroglyphs on the Stele being ready, Aiwaz allowed me to insert these later, so as to save time.
"Save time"? Why the rush? As someone else pointed out in another thread, it sure as hell doesn't take an hour to read each chapter out loud -- even going quite slowly -- so "Aiwass" certainly wasn't trying to conserve on time to make the dictation fit an hour.

There are so many fishy details to this "reception" story.

The average handwriting speed when not copying a document is 32 words per minute, which applies to creative writing or receiving dictation. There are approximately 5700 words in Liber L: 5700 / 32 / 60 = 2.96 hours time required to write them. The numbers support the amount of time Crowley claims that it took to receive the book, as well as justifying the need to skip the inclusion of the paraphrased stele verses in the text, otherwise it would have taken longer than an hour to receive each chapter of the text, which appears to have been a priority of Aiwass.

The orientation of the watermarks on the vellum sheets prove the remaining stack of blank sheets was rotated 180 degrees between the writing of the first and second chapters, evidence the chapters were written down at different times.

There's nothing fishy about those details.