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dom
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Colin Wilson's "Aleister Crowley: The Nature of the Beast". A document of a well balanced perspective or a prejudiced and opinionated critique by an ignoramus?

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


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Michael Staley
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Have you stopped beating your wife yet?

I don't particularly care for the book, but Colin Wilson certainly wasn't an "ignoramus".


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dom
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Have you stopped beating your wife yet?

You can explain this bizarre act of slander if you want. Is this your way of insinuating that Wilson defamed Crowley?

Confused.

I don’t particularly care for the book

Why not?

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


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Michael Staley
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@dom

I'm sorry for my inappropriate use of language, dom. I thought "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?" was a well-known rhetorical phrase in response to what was seen as a loaded question. On reflection, the polarity between "well balanced perspective" and "a prejudiced and opinionated critique by an ignoramus" is not one which merits that particular rhetorical device I employed, so consider it withdrawn, with my apologies for the offence caused.

Colin Wilson is a favourite writer of mine, but when it came to Crowley I think he let himself down. For some reason he often compared Crowley with Gurdjieff, the former always coming off worst of course since Wilson always seemed to evaluate most things in terms of "faculty X'.


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dom
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I’m sorry for my inappropriate use of language, dom. I thought “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” was a well-known rhetorical phrase in response to what was seen as a loaded question. On reflection, the polarity between “well balanced perspective” and “a prejudiced and opinionated critique by an ignoramus” is not one which merits that particular rhetorical device I employed, so consider it withdrawn, with my apologies for the offence caused.

Apology accepted Michael.

Colin Wilson is a favourite writer of mine, but when it came to Crowley I think he let himself down. For some reason he often compared Crowley with Gurdjieff, the former always coming off worst of course since Wilson always seemed to evaluate most things in terms of “faculty X’.

Yeah Wilson did favour Gurdjieff over Crowley. This surprises me as it shows a lack of objective research on Wilson's part. There are specific parts of Crowley's writing where he (AC) echoes Gurdjieff's concept of "I.s" albeit the "lower I.s". In fact when Crowley commented on "smite the people" in Legis, he is addressing this concept directly.

Wilson's faculty X just sounds like a species of "Buddhist" trance which is again incorporated by Crowley's system. Perhaps faculty X is an intentional dumbing down of the process involved in those practices.

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


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Jamie J Barter
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the polarity between “well balanced perspective” and “a prejudiced and opinionated critique by an ignoramus”
It's not a clear polarity here because the addition of "by an ignoramus" is a redundant element to it; so that there are in fact three aspects to consider.  So let's dismiss this third one first --- I don't think Wilson is an ignoramus at all, he's clearly a very educated and intelligent man who may be misguided in certain respects but nothing whatsoever to the unwarranted extent that would have justified this particular epithet.

Next --- his surprisingly and disappointingly poor, if not actually wretched, The Nature of The Beast does not come from a well balanced perspective at all, therefore by definition it can't help being prejudiced, against Crowley.  Exactly like Symonds, he is not interested in giving him an even break and deals him a low hand from the off by selective quoting.  Just why that is so (and why he seemed to by far preferred Gurdjieff over him) given his otherwise high degree of intelligence, is altogether more curious, and doubtless this unbalanced reaction of his relates to something which happened during the course of his past experience, possibly even his childhood. 

I also agree that Colin Wilson is a good writer, but I'm one of those who don't think he ever excelled the brilliance of his very first work The Outsider.  Another contribution of his of considerable interest, though, were the two 70s pieces of "weird fiction" (the novels The Philosopher's Stone and The Mind Parasites) which he wrote as his own particular contribution to H.P. Lovecraft's "Cthulhu Mythos", and which were also arguably the spur and the catalyst to the Necronomicon-related output of later in the decade, and which was also then enthusiastically taken up afterwards by Kenneth Grant amongst others.

And as for his critique being "opinionated"?  Well everyone with a functioning brain has one of those.

So, david/dom - you're always very fond of throwing questions out without giving any sort of an answer first yourself - what do you think of "The Nature of the Beast" then ? You have read it through, of course?! (not necessarily a couple of hundred times though 🙂 )

Postscript, having just read your most recent:

when Crowley commented on “smite the people” in Legis, he is addressing this concept directly.
Aren't you mixing this up with what "Aiwass", not Crowley, was addressing in Liber Legis? What is it that you mean here?

Norma N Joy Conquest


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dom
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So, david/dom – you’re always very fond of throwing questions out without giving any sort of an answer first yourself – what do you think of “The Nature of the Beast” then ? You have read it through, of course?! (not necessarily a couple of hundred times though )

Read it when it first came out years ago and thought it was informative, really good. I've reordered it. Wilson's book on Steiner was good too as was his Mysteries and The Occult. Really good gift books for teenagers imo. The God of the labyrinth is a brilliant novel.

Postscript, having just read your most recent:
when Crowley commented on “smite the people” in Legis, he is addressing this concept directly.
Aren’t you mixing this up with what “Aiwass”, not Crowley, was addressing in Liber Legis? What is it that you mean here?

The new comment. Go forth and check it out. Chapter 3.

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


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Jamie J Barter
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Postscript, having just read your most recent:
when Crowley commented on “smite the people” in Legis, he is addressing this concept directly.
Aren’t you mixing this up with what “Aiwass”, not Crowley, was addressing in Liber Legis? What is it that you mean here?
The new comment. Go forth and check it out. Chapter 3.

Ah. "Gotcha", there(!) Thanks for clearing that one up (although I have to say I still didn't/ don't get the connection about the "concept of “I.s” albeit the “lower I.s”." ...).

Read it when it first came out years ago and thought it was informative, really good. I’ve reordered it.
Yes, but what I was getting at was more (for example), what did you think of Wilson's analysis and treatment of Crowley, the man and his work? How fair did you rate his assessment? Did he make any particular large fundamental error(s), and if so what do you consider them to have been? What was the major strength of the book, and its main weakness? Do you consider it suitable enough to perhaps be given as a gift to somebody? (Etc, etc.)

Yours in critiquely fashion,
N Joy


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dom
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Ah. “Gotcha”, there(!) Thanks for clearing that one up (although I have to say I still didn’t/ don’t get the connection about the “concept of “I.s” albeit the “lower I.s”.” …).

Gurdjieff distinguished between "essence" and "personality". From http://bepresentfirst.com/essence-personality/ where a good summation is presented;

Personality is a collection of opinions, instinctive habits, education, negative emotions, and habitual postures and movements. It is in a sense all our programming. It is what we were taught to think and feel, not what we would necessarily think and feel if essence had been left to develop without the intrusions of personality. Essence is what we were born with, our talents, our limitations, and our natural preferences and aversions. Nothing in personality is hardwired; everything in essence is hardwired. In a perfect world preferences in personality would reflect preferences in essence. But our world is far from perfect.

Compare that with AC's New Comment re 3:8: “With it ye shall smite the peoples; and none shall stand before you.”
The Old Comment
8. Ye shall easily suppress invading thoughts.

I take it that AL 2:25 Ye are against the people, O my chosen! deals with the same issue, as AC says about this verse in The New Comment;

........Still deeper, there is a meaning in this verse applicable to the process of personal initiation. By “the people” we may understand the many-headed and mutable mob which swarms in the slums of our own minds. Most men are almost entirely at the mercy of a mass of loud and violent emotions, without discipline or even organization. They sway with the mood of the moment. They lack purpose, foresight, and intelligence. They are moved by ignorant and irrational instincts, many of which affront the law of self-preservation itself, with suicidal stupidity. The moral Idea which we call “the people” is the natural enemy of good government. He who is 'chosen' by Hadit to Kingship must consequently be 'against the people' if he is to pursue any consistent policy........ he must impose absolute silence upon them, as may be done by the “Yoga” practices taught in Book 4 (Part I) Liber XVI, etc. He is then ready to analyse them, to organize them, to drill them, and so to take advantage of the properties peculiar to each one by employing its energies in the service of his imperial purpose.

In other words AC is describing the same thing as Gurdjieff when he presented the idea of "personality" which is basically plural and not singular. Our degraded I's driven by "loud and violent emotions" are a legion changing and "sway(ing) with the mood of the moment".

This is echoed in his Notes for an Astral Atlas;

Verily and Amen! Let not the Magician forget for a single second what is his one sole business. His uninitiated “self” (as he absurdly thinks it) is a mob of wild women, hysterical from uncomprehended and unstated animal instinct; they will tear Pentheus, the merely human king who presumes to repress them, into mere shreds of flesh; his own mother, Nature, the first to claw at his windpipe! None but Bacchus, the Holy Guardian Angel, hath grace to be God to this riot of maniacs; he alone can transform the disorderly rabble into a pageant of harmonious movements, tune their hyaena howls to the symphony of a paean, and their reasonless rage to self-controlled rapture

I think that L Rom Hubbard picked up on these concepts in his sci-fi idea about humans being possessed by many ancient alien souls that need to be "cleared".

JamieBarter said

Yes, but what I was getting at was more (for example), what did you think of Wilson’s analysis and treatment of Crowley, the man and his work? How fair did you rate his assessment? Did he make any particular large fundamental error(s), and if so what do you consider them to have been? What was the major strength of the book, and its main weakness? Do you consider it suitable enough to perhaps be given as a gift to somebody? (Etc, etc.)

I need to reread it.

There are some parts that I recall. He did say that AC's sexually repressed upbringing gave him an uncool unbalanced view of sex. AC he claimed had a self-imposed "devilish" view of sex and this dogged him for his entire life. He also said that AC was "shattered" when his 19 year old girlfriend left him. I also recall that he said that AC carved the words "ARSE" and "CUNT" into a courthouse table. Wilson discusses voodoo in Brazil and gives some sort of account of a Brazilian woman experiencing metaphysical manifestation of a ring in her knickers. Frankly, a ring could get attached to a pair of knickers so i'm surprised at Wilson's apparent gullibility there. Furthermore I'm not even so sure about the reliability of his source.....psychotic hallucination or not.

All in all I didn't find that Wilson was never really sneering about Crowley. I know in his The Occult Wilson was fond of saying that AC is a typical example of someone failing to follow the great part of himself. He used a quote from Mencius "Those who follow the great part of themselves become great; those who follow the small part become small"

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


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Shiva
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Jamie, I had the same bewilderment regarding "l.s," which seems to be lower self, or personality, but I'm not sure. One always needs to realize that some posters are deliberately or unconsciously obscure at times.


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Jamie J Barter
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Thanks for the further clarification regarding the "smiting the peoples" aspect etc., david/dom (which name do you prefer incidentally -- is either of the two actually your 'real' one?  Does 'dom' represent the more mature, not so 'youthful' as david, middle-aged persona ?)

I think that L Rom Hubbard picked up on these concepts in his sci-fi idea about humans being possessed by many ancient alien souls that need to be “cleared”.
I am sure though that Elron had no intention of referring to sub-personalities or untamed thoughts within the psyche of the individual here, so much as an "infestation" by actual external extra-terrestrials ("thetans" I believe was the word used to describe them?) many millions of years before (homo sapiens came to exist).  So what's your correlation?
Your description of "his sci-fi idea" is spot-on, fitting in as it does with Hubbard's early speculations about founding a science-fiction religion for the masses, which as we all know turned out to be wildly successful.

I need to reread it.
Yes. Maybe you should!? I therefore look forward to perusing a fuller review of its contents once you have found time to do so, despite having perhaps prematurely set this thread in motion (I would say "I can't wait" for it, but that phrase is one of my pet hates, as you'd bloody well have to wait, whether you like it or not.)
 
Jamie, I had the same bewilderment regarding “l.s,” which seems to be lower self, or personality, but I’m not sure. One always needs to that some posters are deliberately or unconsciously obscure at times.
Yes, that was what I couldn't understand or "didn't get" myself, and by a process of elimination thought l.s. might stand for "lower self" too (it also occurred it might just stand for the "legion" of I's, as in a multiplicity of the first person pronoun), and was why I was hoping for clarification.  However it looks like we may not (ever?) find out for sure, as the mystery of what was actually meant at the time looks like persisting for at least a while longer...

И ∫ºλ


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dom
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Yes, that was what I couldn’t understand or “didn’t get” myself, and by a process of elimination thought l.s. might stand for “lower self” too (it also occurred it might just stand for the “legion” of I’s, as in a multiplicity of the first person pronoun), and was why I was hoping for clarification.  However it looks like we may not (ever?) find out for sure, as the mystery of what was actually meant at the time looks like persisting for at least a while longer…

I suggest rereading what I wrote then you wouldn't have to wait.

Jamie, I had the same bewilderment regarding “l.s,” which seems to be lower self, or personality, but I’m not sure. One always needs to realize that some posters are deliberately or unconsciously obscure at times

Is it too much effort to go and google Gurdjieff at least?

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


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Michael Staley
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@dom

In other words AC is describing the same thing as Gurdjieff when he presented the idea of “personality” which is basically plural and not singular. Our degraded I’s driven by “loud and violent emotions” are a legion changing and “sway(ing) with the mood of the moment”.

In my opinion there are clear affinities, but Crowley is not describing quite the same thing. In the passage you quoted from the commentaries, Crowley is talking about, if you like, focus. That self-discipline, that will, still comes from personality.

Gurdjieff's approach seems to me different. He would direct his pupils to perform menial tasks, but with attention, without slipping into the fug of dreaming, memory, reflection, habit-patterns etc in which we are habitually immersed during our "waking" hours; in other words, to wake up from dreaming. One of the best books I have read on the subject of Gurdjieff is by Coilin Wilson, The War Against Sleep.

Again in my opinion, Crowley's work has a similar goal, ultimately to wake up from the dream of individual existence; this is the realisation of True Will which is universal, and refracted or expressed through the apparent individual.

Wilson’s faculty X just sounds like a species of “Buddhist” trance which is again incorporated by Crowley’s system. Perhaps faculty X is an intentional dumbing down of the process involved in those practices.

I don't think this is true at all. "Faculty X" seems to be a moment of optimism and joy. A good example is the story of Nietzsche outside on I think a mountainside when a storm was raging, and the wild exhilaration he got from it. Wilson's book New Pathways in Psychology draws an analogy with Maslow's term "Peak Experience".


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Shiva
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Dom: Is it too much effort to go and google Gurdjieff at least?

Yes, it is (too much effort).

Is it too much effort to make a self-contained post without requiring readers to consult the BorG (the G stands for Google)?


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belmurru
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Colin Wilson had some good insights. The best, I believe, is that he was the first to propose that the Stockholm experience was losing his homosexual virginity. The relevant pages in Colin Wilson’s book The Nature of the Beast, are 36 to 38 in the 1987 edition.

Wilson’s method of analysis was very good, especially given that previous biographers, with the same available sources, had not yet made the connections (I mean Symonds, Regardie, King, and Roberts). Wilson’s deduction was through a close reading of Crowley’s phrasing, and then comparing it with his recounting of how he described his sexual encounter with a parlour maid ‘”on my mother’s very bed!”, as a “magical affirmation of my revolt” (Confessions, pp. 79-80), shows how much thought he had given to Crowley’s obscure hints. The first serious research on Crowley’s homosexual awakening, and his relationship with H. C. J. Pollitt, were begun by Martin Starr in the 1980s. He promised us an edition of Not the Life and Adventures of Sir Roger Bloxam (written in 1916-1917) in his introduction to The Scented Garden of Abdullah the Satirist of Shiraz (i.e. the “Bagh-i-Muattar”), in the Teitan Press facsimile of 1991 (p. 7, note 7), but this has not seen the light of day.

Crowley names his partner that New Year’s Eve as James L. Dickson in Sir Roger Bloxam, chapters 21 and 22. Churton mentions him on page 29 as well, and gives the full name in the endnote, page 432, note 7 to chapter 3, as James Lachlan Dickson, attributing the discovery of his profession as a cotton spinner’s agent to William Breeze.

Full Wilson quotation:

“He decided to enter the diplomatic service because ‘it seemed to afford the greatest opportunities for worldly enjoyment.’ The court that appealed to him most was that of Imperial Russia, and he went to St Petersburg in the long vacation of 1897. It was on his way back from Russia that he attended a chess congress in Berlin, and suddenly decided that he no longer wanted to be world champion. Wathcing these shabby nonentities ‘I perceived with preternatural lucidity that I had not alighted on this planet with the object of playing chess.’

“But what had he alighted on it for? On the last day of the previous year, he had had a strange mystical experience in Stockholm that seemed to give him a glimpse of his way forward:

I was awakened to the knowledge that I possessed a magical means of becoming conscious of and satisfying a part of my nature which had up to that moment concealed itself from me. It was an experience of horror and pain, combined with a certain ghostly terror, yet at the same time it was the key to the purest and holiest spiritual ecstasy that exists. At the time, I was not aware of the supreme importance of the matter. It seemed to me little more than a development of certain magical processes with which I was already familiar.

“It is obvious that Crowley is quite determined to speak in riddles. In The Great Beast, Symonds suggests that ‘he had an illumination that he could control reality by magical thinking.’ If so, why did he not say so? When Crowley is reticent in the Confessions, it is usually on account of the censor (for example, he fails to mention that he left Tonbridge school because he caught gonorrhoea). Moreover, the comment that it seemed to be a ‘development of certain magical processes already known to me’ also seems to afford a clue, for in 1896, when he was only twenty-one, Crowley still knew nothing about magic – that only came about two years later, when he met an alchemist called Julian Baker. The only ‘magic’ he refers to in the Confessions before that date is sex magic, as, for example, when he says that he made his ‘magical affirmation’ with the parlour maid on his mother’s bed. We should also take note of the words ‘I possessed a magical means of becoming conscious of and satisfying a part of my nature which had up to that moment concealed itself from me.’ What part of his nature had so far concealed itself from him? The obvious answer is surely: his homosexuality. So far, Crowley’s sexuality had been, as he never tires of emphasising, completely normal – so that he remarks about his early period at Cambridge: ‘My skill in avoiding corporal punishment and my lack of opportunity for inflicting it had saved me from developing the sadistic and masochistic sides to my character.’ It therefore seems probable that the revelation that came to Crowley in Stockholm was of his homosexual tendencies, or perhaps his inherent masochism and the possibility of satisfying it by becoming the passive partner in acts of sodomy.

“Symonds’ mistake probably arises from the fact that Crowley says that the revelation took place at midnight on 31 December 1896, and that he was ‘awakened’ to the magical knowledge; it sounds as if Crowley woke up from sleep. But 31 December is New Year’s Eve, and it is more likely that Crowley was enjoying the New Year’s Eve celebrations when some homosexual encounter made him aware of this element in his own nature.”

Wilson, Aleister Crowley: The Nature of the Beast , (Aquarian Press, 1987) pp. 36-38

A bibliography for further reading –

1. “He who seduced me first”; unpublished poem from a manuscript “About 1898 or earlier” (Crowley’s note), quoted by Kaczynski in Perdurabo (2010), p. 37
2. “At Stockholm” and “To J.L.D.”, in White Stains (1898), pp. 41, 66
3. Not the Life and Adventures of Sir Roger Bloxam (1916-1917), chapters 19-23 (specifically 21-22)
4. Περὶ της Παιδεραστεὶας, in The Scented Garden of Abdullah the Satirist of Shiraz (the “Bagh-i-Muattar”) (1910/1991 (facsimile)), pp. 21-34
5. Lawrence Sutin, Do What Thou Wilt (2002), pp. 38-43
6. Richard Kaczynski, Perdurabo (2010), pp. 36-40
7. Tobias Churton, Aleister Crowley, The Biography (2011), pp. 29-30; 33-35


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Shiva
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B: [Starr] promised us an edition of Not the Life and Adventures of Sir Roger Bloxam (written in 1916-1917) in his introduction to The Scented Garden of Abdullah the Satirist of Shiraz (i.e. the “Bagh-i-Muattar”), in the Teitan Press facsimile of 1991 (p. 7, note 7), but this has not seen the light of day.

Anything that Martin promised, but did not deliver, was due to the fact that his buddy, the Fatter Superiorus, offered to sue him if he continued publishing. So Martin quit the OTO and eventually sold Teitan Press to Weiser Antiquarian.

AC: it was the key to the purest and holiest spiritual ecstasy that exists

Sure. Also see references to other superlatives. Purest? Holiest? Something is either pure, or it is adulterated. Something is either holy (whole-holistic) or it is unholy (not whole - incomplete).


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dom
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My references in the OP about "arse" and "cunt" being carved into a desk are inaccurate, apologies. He, AC, wrote some Latin phrases in the marginal notes of a 1906 essay and when the first word of each phrase are read they spell "cunt" and "quim" and "piss" and "arse". Frankly this is totally hilarious and it is clearly a middle finger to Victorian hypocrisy and censorship. Probably along the lines of the bit about sacrificing 100 boys as seen in MITAP. Reference; Wilson's Nature of the Beast p25.

Anyway imo Colin Wilson has one eye on the reader in this book. Chapter one entitled Does magic work? sets the precedent for the rest of the book. If someone like Los or Erwin would have done the foreword or contributed throughout then the sales of this book probably would've been 90% less. He knows that his audience are predisposed to buying into weird tales from the mystical section of the high street book store. He really goes for the gullibility jugular but I shouldn't be so surprised as this guy probably got rid of vast chunks of his mortgage payments with the sales of his The Occult and Mysteries.

Incidentally I found his The Outsider to be on of the most nauseatingly tedious books I have ever read and believe you me I've read some grinding books e.g. Kafka's The Trial and Dosteovsky's House of the dead.

On page 27 Wilson asserts that Crowley was "psychic". Why? Because AC had a dream about his father dying before the event and likewise the same occurrence took place with regards to his mother. Amazing isn't it? Nonchalantly declaring that someone is psychic because they had a dream about an event and it later happened. Oh boy.

Anyway back to the wacko chapter 1 in which the gullible are spoon fed and get their money's worth. Amazingly, Wilson asserts that he believes in spirits outright. Why? Well, one of the Berwick witches, subsequently executed, whispered something to King James 1, something that he said to his bride on their wedding night, something nobody else would've known. <chuckle> Likewise, another piece of random stats is elevated into something mysterious because a friend told Wilson that he saw witchdoctors in Africa perform rituals to make it rain and it subsequently rained. There's another third hand piece of....evidence.... a witch doctor, Wilson says, told another friend that the rain would stop just before their garden party and it would continue after the party was over. Now I don't know about you but I would generally wrap up a garden party as soon as I see black storm clouds brewing overhead.....y'know?

It gets better. Really better. Page 18 Wilson gives a (second hand) account (without any proper investigation might I add) of "a woman" (I shall refer to as Woman X) who wrote to him about strange phenomena that took place in (ahem) Brazil. Woman X was having difficulties with her husband (he appeared to be having an affair with a native) and was most upset. She was spontaneously approached by a local self-proclaimed clairvoyant in the street and the latter told Woman X that she (Woman X ) was "bewitched". Anyway from then on she (no doubt embroiled in confirmation bias) experienced all kinds of upsets. One day she had a bath and as she ran the water the ring on her finger appeared to slip off (y'know as it would do in running water but our "boy genius" author neatly omits this basic fact) and it then apparently totally disappeared. Some time later (after reconciling with her husband) she decided to take another bath but first decided to wash her knickers in the bath. The ring spontaneously appeared in the knickers. Now maybe this lady initially somehow got the ring attached to those knickers first time around when they apparently dematerialized? This wacked out story apparently convinced Wilson that magic and spirits must therefore exist. I smile and shake my head at my young self who swallowed this crap when I first bought this book many years ago. If anything ie if no mundane explanation of ring entwined in knickers suffices then this is clearly a case of some sort of psychotic hallucination that afflicted one of the gullible fans of Wilson's best sellers. However, in sticking with the principles of Liber E and Liber O I'd simply need more facts and analysis before I rush to draw the same conclusion as Wilson.

Apparently according to Wilson (page 26) , AC'S Confessions is driven by self-pity throughout the entire book. Personally, I never got that from The Confessions

Can't wait to tear into the rest of this book.

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


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Michael Staley
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@dom

Feel better after that rant, do we dear?

If someone like Los or Erwin would have done the foreword or contributed throughout then the sales of this book probably would’ve been 90% less.

1000% less, more like. Why on earth would Colin Wilson or his publishers want Erwin or Los contributing to the book?


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wellreadwellbred
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(Emphasis added:)

belmurru (December 9, 2017 at 4:23 pm REPLY #102658): "On the last day of the previous year, he (Crowley) had had a strange mystical experience in Stockholm that seemed to give him a glimpse of his way forward: ..."

"...

I was awakened to the knowledge that I possessed a magical means of becoming conscious of and satisfying a part of my nature which had up to that moment concealed itself from me. It was an experience of horror and pain, combined with a certain ghostly terror, yet at the same time it was the key to the purest and holiest spiritual ecstasy that exists. At the time, I was not aware of the supreme importance of the matter. It seemed to me little more than a development of certain magical processes with which I was already familiar."

"31 December [1896] is New Year’s Eve, and it is [...] likely that Crowley was enjoying the New Year’s Eve celebrations when some homosexual encounter made him aware of this element in his own nature (Wilson, Aleister Crowley: The Nature of the Beast , (Aquarian Press, 1987) p. 38)."

Shiva : (December 9, 2017 at 5:37 pm REPLY #102660) "AC: it was the key to the purest and holiest spiritual ecstasy that exists

Sure. Also see references to other superlatives. Purest? Holiest? Something is either pure, or it is adulterated. Something is either holy (whole-holistic) or it is unholy (not whole – incomplete)."

"The O.T.O. practices yoga, meditation, ceremonial magick, qabalah, divination and related disciplines of the Western Mystery Tradition.[34]

However, without looking too far, we encounter an apparent contradiction:

The O.T.O. is a training of the Masonic type; there is no ‘astral’ work in it at all, nor any Yoga. There is a certain amount of Qabalah, and that of great doctrinal value. But the really vital matter is the gradual progress towards disclosure of the Secret of the Ninth Degree. To use that secret to advantage involves mastery both of Yoga and of Magick; but neither is taught in the Order.[35]

In my opinion, the key to the above quote by Crowley is “the Secret of the Ninth Degree.” This “final” Secret is a particular method of Magick, which distinguishes it from “ceremonial” or “astral” Magick proper, but may very well be identical with “the Pure and Holy Magick of Light.” I believe that the following quotes support this assertion:

On the Mass of the Holy Ghost… And thou shalt bless also the Name of our Father Merlin, Frater Superior of the O.T.O., for that by Seven Years of Apprenticeship in His School did I discover this most excellent Way of Magick…[36]

Additionally:

I had been working on the theory of the magical method of the O.T.O., and we decided to test my conclusions by a series of invocations.

And the note to the above:

I may say that the secret of the O.T.O. […] has proved to all intents and purposes the simplification and concentration of the whole of my magical knowledge. All my old methods have been unified in this new method. It does not exactly replace them, but it interprets them. It has also enabled me to construct a uniform type of engine for accomplishing anything I will.[37]

Lastly, chapter 0 of Part III of Book IV notes that: “Considerations of the Christian Trinity are of a nature suited only to Initiates of the IX° of O.T.O., as they enclose the final secret of all practical Magick.” [...] [34] Frater Ad Veritem IXº, An Introduction to the History of the O.T.O. The Equinox III: 1. [35] Crowley. Magick Without Tears. Morality (2), Chpt. 71. [36] Crowley. Liber Aleph, Chpt. 85. The Equinox III: 6. [37] Crowley. The Paris Working with note from Confessions, abridged ed., (708). The Equinox IV: 2 (source: Duplexity A cursory glance at the relationship existing between the Orders O.T.O. and A.˙.A.˙. by Brother AISh MLChMH --- http://pelican-oto.org/duplexity.php) ."

My impression is that terms used in the quoted texts above, like 'the purest and holiest spiritual ecstasy that exists', 'the Pure and Holy Magick of Light', and 'the Mass of the Holy Ghost', all refer to sex magick. And my impression is also that this kind of magick was called "pure and holy" by AC, because he thought of it as "this most excellent Way of Magick".


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Shiva
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WRWB: (Many quotations. Hard to tell what's a quote and who from, as Italics are not used and "quote" marks are missing)

But if one reads slowly, carefully, and 2 or 3 times, one (me, at least) makes general sense regarding a nonsensical subject.

All this hoopla {is that a proper term?] promulgated over the years about the "Secret of Secrets," the "supreme" and "final" secret that underlies all magickal searching, secrets, and is the "Philosopher's Stone," the "Universal Medicine," the "Elixir of Life," etc ad nauseum, is a carrot dangled in front of donkeys, er, potential members (and even Oriental Templars of grades less than Roman numeral IX), is 93% marketing lingo and 07% potentially correct.

The secret of IX does not lead to "Universal Brotherhood." False advertising is a crime, and everyone who finds this to be true should demand their fees and dues refunded ... with interest.

IX, and its associated (but different) XI, is sexual Magick with the accumulation and usage of reproduction fluids applied to "links" (talismans). It is no big-deal secret as Taoist literature from long ago spells it all out without being couched in secrecy. Succh an Elixir is rich in hormones, and so it (potentially - possibly) can cure some illnesses. But I never heard of anyone being saved from death through its administration. Nobody ever attained nirvana or samadhi by eating a Cake of Light.

Sometimes it (IX - XI) works (in its ability to "cause change); sometimes it's just an excuse to "covet thy neighbor's wife ... or husband ... or boyfriend.

A real magician doesn't need this technique in order to cause change. One simply formulates the condition, situation, or desired object/objective in their mind, projects said objective into the silence/void, and then drops/forgets it completely. This is the purest form of Magick - no apparatus, instruments, weapons, talismans, or partners (male, female, or bestial). Of course, this needs to be done in/at the proper level/plane/state of consciousness, which can be formulated and projected while taking a short stroll or while laying down on one's couch.

I state, affirm, and proclaim that the so-called "secret" of the IX* is filled wit humbuggery (that's a great term, especially in relation to the XI*) and marketing verbiage.

There is no "secret" any more. We all know the "secret technique/procedure, so one wonders what "secret" the modern Templars of the Orient hold out as a carrot these days?

Teachers in the "other" stream of the WB (White Brotherhood) tell us that the "true" sexual relation/union is the polarity between the initiate and his/her Solar Angel (HGA).

AC told us that if one shies away from sexual activity/promiscuity due to fear of catching a venereal disease, that they are cowards (source: my memory, no specific citation close at hand). Well, Gonorrhea has always been a social problem, and Syphilis has been around for a while (a potentially deadly condition), but NOW we have HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis (B & C) spreading around in an epidemic fashion. Where do you stand in this potentially lethal game of chance?

Wilson (Colin) wrote a book about Crowley. Wilson (Robert Anton) did the same, but his work was unique and not a mere biography. Other authors also wrote AC biographies. Some people seem to really like some of them. So what? The Spirit of Solitude, later edited (cut down) as The Confessions, is the one book I recommend. Why would anyone need to read more than that when they should be busy reading and practicing Libers (Librae)?

If anyone doesn't know the supreme and sublime "secret" of the Oriental Templars, they don't know how to drive a Search Engine ... or they don't care.

Shiva IX*


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dom
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@Michael Stayley

1000% less, more like. Why on earth would Colin Wilson or his publishers want Erwin or Los contributing to the book?

They wouldn't. Objective analysis grounded in reality doesn't make for the wacko/kook book-selling markets does it? That's my point.

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


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wellreadwellbred
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Shiva: "AC told us that if one shies away from sexual activity/promiscuity due to fear of catching a venereal disease, that they are cowards (source: my memory, no specific citation close at hand). Well, Gonorrhea has always been a social problem, and Syphilis has been around for a while (a potentially deadly condition), but NOW we have HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis (B & C) spreading around in an epidemic fashion. Where do you stand in this potentially lethal game of chance?"

Crowley's insatiable search for sexual partners is described in Colin Wilson's Aleister Crowley: The Nature of the Beast (Aquarian Press, Wellingborough 1987).

Sex in the form of Sex Magick, is documented as being known by Aleister Crowley - plenty of time before he authored The Book of the Law - in Richard T. Cole's book Liber L. Vel Bogus - the Real Confession of Aleister Crowley: The Governing Dynamics of Thelema Parts One & Two:

“… the Cairo Revelation pertained exclusively to his awareness of a new occult methodology, Sex Magick (“Sex Magick based on stele imagery (Cole page 232).”), and not [not is underlined by Cole] Liber L. vel Legis (= The Book of the Law), which isn’t even mentioned (Cole page 87).” […] “Precisely as is recorded in Crowley’s primary source notebooks, he left Cairo with only the occult ‘tool’ required to destroy Mathers. This is explicitly clear from two deleted comments, “the ritual is of sex” and “Revelation of ritual to consecrate talismans of XXII against G.’.D.’.” Only on completion of this precursor does Crowley get to form his own Magickal Link and, therefore, rightfully (in accordance with occult tradition) assume control of the Golden Dawn (Cole page 114, 115, and 178-182).”

Crowley describes "the Treasure-Chamber of thine own Palace" as "the House of the Holy Ghost". And a form of Sex Magick is by Crowley called "the Mass of the Holy Ghost", defined as "the true Formula of the Magick of the Aeon of Horus, blessed by He in His Name Ra-Hoor-Khuit!", and as something to be the "diligent" about, "for in this wondrous Art is no more Toil, Sorrow, and Disappointment, as it was in the dead Aeon of the Slain Gods (source: Chapters Alpha alpha-Alpha omega, and Chapters Gamma alpha-Gamma omega, Liber ALEPH vel CXI The BOOK of WISDOM or FOLLY in the Form of an Epistle of 666 THE GREAT WILD BEAST to his Son 777 being THE EQUINOX VOLUME III NUMBER VI by THE MASTER THERION (= Aleister Crowley))."

Again refering to Sex Magick, Crowley states the following on page 708 in chapter 72 of his Confessions: "I may say that the secret of the O.T.O., [...] has also enabled me to construct a uniform type of engine for accomplishing anything that I will." This chapter in Confessions ends on page 710 with the following statement from Crowley: "I may conclude this chapter with the general remark that I believe that my proposals for reconstituting freemasonry on the lines above laid down should prove critically important. Civilization is crumbling under our eyes and I believe that the best chance of saving what little is worth saving, and rebuilding the Temple of the Holy Ghost on plans, and with material and workmanship, which shall be free from the errors of the former, lies with the O.T.O."

Knowing both that Crowley described Sex Magick as having "enabled me to construct a uniform type of engine for accomplishing anything that I will.", and that he was familiar with Sex Magick before he authored The Book of the Law, can make it easier to interpret the following statements within the third and last chapter of the latter book:

"7. I will give you a war-engine. 8. With it ye shall smite the peoples; and none shall stand before you. 9. Lurk! Withdraw! Upon them! this is the Law of the Battle of Conquest: thus shall my worship be about my secret house."


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wellreadwellbred
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wellreadwellbred: "Sex in the form of Sex Magick, is documented as being known by Aleister Crowley – plenty of time before he authored The Book of the Law – in Richard T. Cole’s book Liber L. Vel Bogus – the Real Confession of Aleister Crowley: The Governing Dynamics of Thelema Parts One & Two ..."

"Aleister Crowley finished Liber L. vel Legis in early 1906. It was an attempt to provide his pedantic A.’.A.’. buddy, Jones, with the Founding Document his old school sensibilities demanded, before launching a new, improved Golden Dawn … (Cole, Liber L. Vel Bogus, page 212)".

The Book of the Law written by him, was according to Aleiser Crowley written (or rather scribed by him) in April 1904, and not finished in early 1906 as Richard T. Cole states in his book Liber L. Vel Bogus. This is relevant for my statement about that it is documented that Aleister Crowley was familiar with Sex Magick plenty of time before he authored The Book of the Law.


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wellreadwellbred
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(Sorry for chain posting!)

I will clarify and elaborate something from my "December 11, 2017 at 12:41 am REPLY #102671" in this thread. My point is that Aleister Crowley before he wrote The Book of the Law (on April 8, 9 and 10, 1904 according to him), did ritual work with sex magick or sex magick, and expressed the destruction of The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn as "... one object to complete":

"After a fruitless divination on March 23 [1904], he made the following notes in his "Book of Results": "There is one object to complete the secret of wisdom-or it is in the hieroglyphs [of the stele]. (perhaps or Thoth) GD [Golden Dawn] to be destroyed ie: publish its history & its papers. Nothing needs buying. I made it an absolute condition that I should obtain samhadhi, in the Gods' own interest. My rituals work out well, but I need the transliteration [of the stele]. [...] In the Tarot divination of March 23, we find the words and symbols: Mars in Libra=the ritual is of sex; Mars in the house of Venus exciting the jealousy of Saturn or Vulcan. Crowley had been thinking deeply already about how to turn the Horus invocation and its message into a working magical system. He could not fail to see the image of Nuit bending over Hadit, witnessed by Horus, as a sexual image of magical potency. This is especially surprising, for it is usually held that Crowley took no serious interest in sexual magic until after 1913 (source: Tobias Churton, Gnostic Philosophy: From Ancient Persia to Modern Times, pages 331-332)."

The third and last chapter of Aleister Crowley's The Book of the Law, does according to Crowley contain the message from Ra-Hoor-Khuit, a 'god' identifying itself with the words "Now let it be first understood that I am a god of War and of Vengeance. I shall deal hardly with them (III:3)."

As already mentioned above, this 'god' is in Crowley's The BOOK of WISDOM or FOLLY, described by Crowley as blessing sex magic or sex magick, refered to by Crowley with the term " "the Mass of the Holy Ghost".

My impression is that Crowley was well aware of sex magic or sex magick when he authored The Book of the Law, and that the words "7. I will give you a war-engine. 8. With it ye shall smite the peoples; and none shall stand before you (III: 7-8).", within this book, refers to this kind of magic or magick. And as it is as already stated avove in this thread, documented on page 708 in chapter 72 of Crowley's Confessions, he thought that sex magic or sex magick (there referred to as "the secret of the O.T.O."), had enabled him to "... construct a uniform type of engine for accomplishing anything that I will."

The above cited source material supports what Colin Wilson proposes in his book The Nature of the Beast, that Crowley took serious interest in sex magic early in his life. Both plenty of time before he came in contact with the Ordo Templi Orientis, and before he authored The Book of the Law.


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Shiva
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WRWB: The above cited source material supports what Colin Wilson proposes in his book The Nature of the Beast, that Crowley took serious interest in sex magic early in his life. Both plenty of time before he came in contact with the Ordo Templi Orientis, and before he authored The Book of the Law.

Yes, this appears to be correct. The "secret" of so-called sexual magic seems to lie in the preparation and application of the elixir, which is/was the "key" to sexual magic - and that is what Reuss/OTO brought to AC. The Taoists of ancient time clearly stated this in their literature.

There is no mention in your quotations (or in anything I have read) that AC was aware of this elixir application before Reuss/OTO came to visit him, although he seems to have unconsciously been aware as he wrote about it in The Book of Lies. Unfortunately, he never tells us exactly which chapter ... but there is more than on chapter that qualifies.


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wellreadwellbred
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(Emphasis added:)

Shiva (December 10, 2017 at 7:08 pm REPLY #102669): "IX, and its associated (but different) XI, is sexual Magick with the accumulation and usage of reproduction fluids applied to “links” (talismans). [...] If anyone doesn’t know the supreme and sublime “secret” of the Oriental Templars, they don’t know how to drive a Search Engine … or they don’t care."

Shiva (December 11,2017 at 5:28 pm REPLY #102676): "There is no mention in your quotations (or in anything I have read) that AC was aware of this elixir application before Reuss/OTO came to visit him, although he seems to have unconsciously been aware as he wrote about it in The Book of Lies. Unfortunately, he never tells us exactly which chapter … but there is more than on chapter that qualifies."

wellreadwellbred: (December 11, 2017 at 12:41 am REPLY #102671): "Precisely as is recorded in Crowley’s primary source notebooks, he left Cairo with only the occult ‘tool’ required to destroy Mathers. This is explicitly clear from two deleted comments, “the ritual is of sex” and “Revelation of ritual to consecrate talismans of XXII against G.’.D.’.” Only on completion of this precursor does Crowley get to form his own Magickal Link and, therefore, rightfully (in accordance with occult tradition) assume control of the Golden Dawn (Cole, Liber L. Vel Bogus – the Real Confession of Aleister Crowley: The Governing Dynamics of Thelema Parts One & Two, page 115)."

In 1904, Crowley does appear to be aware of both sex magic[-k], and the accumulation and usage of reproduction fluids to consecrate talismans or “links”.


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Jamie J Barter
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@Shiva :

[...] although he seems to have unconsciously been aware as he wrote about it in The Book of Lies. Unfortunately, he never tells us exactly which chapter … but there is more than one chapter that qualifies.
But he wouldn't exactly be telling the truth about it anyway though would he? 🙂

@wellreaddoodah :

Knowing both that Crowley described Sex Magick as having “enabled me to construct a uniform type of engine for accomplishing anything that I will.”, and that he was familiar with Sex Magick before he authored The Book of the Law, can make it easier to interpret the following statements within the third and last chapter of the latter book:
“7. I will give you a war-engine. 8. With it ye shall smite the peoples; and none shall stand before you.

Note well though, that the words of "Aiwass" from 1904(-06) declare a future tense, that the war-engine of sex magick WILL be given, however according to your post this had already been given ("and that he was familiar with Sex Magick before he authored The Book of the Law"), possibly by as much as six or seven years previously.  How do you account for this usage then --- why was it so employed (in your reckoning)?

Also, it is not inconceivable that the "it" from verse 8 refers to something else altogether (Chapter 31 of The Book of Lies, anyone?*)

N Joy

(* where it "may perhaps be defined as the Ultimate Reality." [sic])


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dom
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Wilson's description of Mathers paints the picture of a typical occult wacko fantasist with not much grip on reality. According to Wilson he lied about his army rank and would also lie about being some sort of Scottish laird. In reality he was a clerk who lived in poverty, somehow managed to become a Mason and was soon placing tattwas on William Yeats's forehead allegedly "inducing visions". Amazingly Wilson says despite all this his 'magical powers seemed to be real enough. As for this "invisible masters" business I cannot believe that Crowley got sucked into all that then again he was no more than a kid at the time.

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


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Jamie J Barter
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then again he was no more than a kid at the time.

What --- 23+ years of age, you mean?

И ∫ºλ


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wellreadwellbred
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Jamie J Barter: "Note well though, that the words of “Aiwass” from 1904(-06) declare a future tense, that the war-engine of sex magick WILL be given, however according to your post this had already been given (“and that he was familiar with Sex Magick before he authored The Book of the Law“), possibly by as much as six or seven years previously. How do you account for this usage then — why was it so employed (in your reckoning)?"

I account for this usage by repeating the in this thread by me, already used following quotes from Richard T. Cole:

“… the Cairo Revelation pertained exclusively to his awareness of a new occult methodology, Sex Magick (“Sex Magick based on stele imagery (Cole page 232).”), and not [not is underlined by Cole] Liber L. vel Legis (= The Book of the Law), which isn’t even mentioned (Cole page 87).”

“Aleister Crowley finished Liber L. vel Legis in early 1906. It was an attempt to provide his pedantic A.’.A.’. buddy, Jones, with the Founding Document his old school sensibilities demanded, before launching a new, improved Golden Dawn … (Cole, Liber L. Vel Bogus, page 212)”.


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Michael Staley
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@wellreadwellbred

I account for this usage by repeating the in this thread already used following quotes from Richard T. Cole:

What is your basis for according authoritative status on the opinions of Richard Cole?


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christibrany
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Hello all,

Nice to see the discussions which are ongoing.

I just want to add my worthless pence, cents and Won and say that I hated this book.

It was so obviously full of hearsay, half-truths, and some kind of strange vindictiveness that I sold my copy.

I am not a Crowley fan-boy by any means, I think his behaviour at times was deplorable, but I think the techniques and the Work speak for themselves.

That said, I love Wilson's fiction. It is not the best, but it is better than a lot and I really enjoyed (as mentioned by others) his Lovecraftian novels like the Philosophers Stone and the Mind Parasites and also his less occult works like the Sex Diary of Gerard Sorme. Also Space Vampires was good.

He is such an accomplished writer that I was truly surprised at the badness of his book on Crowley.

That's all,

Chris


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Jamie J Barter
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I account for this usage by repeating the in this thread by me, already used following quotes from Richard T. Cole:
(a) I hadn't asked for that (" How do you account for this usage then - why was it then employed (in your reckoning)?") --- but more importantly
(b) it didn't answer the question at all anyway.  I was querying why the verb in verse 7 was given as a future rather than a past tense.  But I can see heavy weather up ahead if I try to make some further headway with this so I'll just leave it here as it is ---  you either get what it was I was asking, or you don't (get it?).

And although it had nothing whatsoever to do with it either, I rather liked the second quote you gave from Cole, which I had completely forgotten about since reading it but however one may choose to look at it or believe in it, is certainly an interesting speculation:

“Aleister Crowley finished Liber L. vel Legis in early 1906. It was an attempt to provide his pedantic A.’.A.’. buddy, Jones, with the Founding Document his old school sensibilities demanded, before launching a new, improved Golden Dawn …

Can't have been that much of an old "buddy" though can he --- doing a runner and leaving him in the shit to face all his (AC's) comers during the Looking Glass courtroom contretemps (the point at which the scales first fell from Jonesies eyes and he no longer looked at Crowley with quite the same sense of ah, respectful admiration...)

N, Joy


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wellreadwellbred
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Michael Staley: "What is your basis for according authoritative status on the opinions of Richard Cole?"

In this particular instance, on one side the presence of contemporary documentary evidence (OS 27 in the Yorke Collection at the Warburg Institute. Hardback notebook, Japanese vellum book, 1904.), referring to that Crowley in 1904 was familar with both sex magic[-k], and the accumulation and usage of reproduction fluids to consecrate talismans. And on the other side, the lack of contemporary documentary evidence concerning Crowley's The Book of the Law, referring to the three days April 8-10, 1904, when it was supposedly written under extraordinary circumstances.


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wellreadwellbred
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Jamie J Barter: "I was querying why the verb in verse 7 was given as a future rather than a past tense."

To give the impression that the 'god' "giving its message" in Crowley's The Book of the Law's last chapter, will also be the giver of "a war-engine."


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Jamie J Barter
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To give the impression that the ‘god’ “giving its message” in Crowley’s The Book of the Law‘s last chapter, will also be the giver of “a war-engine.”

This is pretty much a given, I feel. A bald statement of fact. (However of sufficient importance to nonetheless still be deemed worthy of a verse all on its own.)

So it's got nothing to do with the future (or more accurately, the then future) anyway. According to you (or more accurately, my impression of what you mean).

If the war-engine is the "secret" of Sex Magick, the Mass of the Holy Ghost or whatnot, then it had already been given to Crowley (as you yourself aver, in the post where I also quoted from it above). So what then would be the point, the value, of saying that this realisation was to come (indefinitely) later? Why have it that the war-engine would happen afterwards when he was already quite familiar with its mechanics?

I'm still finding it difficult seeing how you link up verse 7 with 8 and 9 following. Unless you're simply talking about the point of orgasmic release, how would this war-engine "smite" the peoples, exactly? Far less getting "Lurk, withdraw, upon them" and the "Battle of Conquest" etc to fit in (please don't submit "Angry sex" as your possible explanation)

Following on slightly from chris's point and coming back to Wilson again, I cannot underestimate how good especially his The Mind Parasites was. I read this when I was about 14 and it was so suggestively powerful that I actually experienced some Lovecraftian-type dreams, for the only time in my life. And like I said previously, I wouldn't be at all surprised if this was what got going the Lovecraft mania of the 70s and in a sense has carried on ever since.

All the more reason to be disappointed in his underhand and rather shabby treatment of Crowley, in which it was hardly necessary to gild the lily (or whatever the more appropriate eldritch simile might be)

N'Joy


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Shiva
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WRWB: In 1904, Crowley does appear to be aware of both sex magic[-k], and the accumulation and usage of reproduction fluids to consecrate talismans or “links”.

"does appear to" is your (and maybe others') interpretation of what I have read in this thread. I see no appearance of the words, elixir, amrita, fluids, etc. I see how it might be implied, and I'm not saying you are wrong.

JB: But he wouldn’t exactly be telling the truth about it anyway though would he? 🙂

Again, it is implied here and there that he might have bent the true tale, or maybe outright fabricated his own tail, er, tale. i am still looking for factual evidence of lying, which if produced will only add to my poor opinion of his persona (the demon Crowley). I'll still stand by his Libers (Librae) from The Equinox and other practical instructions, because one can perform them and be their own judge, but many (most? ... all?) of his personal interaction stories are certainly subject to scrutiny or dismissal.

Dom: As for this “invisible masters” business I cannot believe that Crowley got sucked into all that then again he was no more than a kid at the time.

Yeah, but he was still running on about Aiwass when he was elderly.

The bit about "anything I will" is more hoopla and empty braggadocio. Otherwise, why did he come up against so many failures? One could say, "Maybe that/those were not his Will." Okay, sure, but then the bragging was/is misleading.

There are some folks here connecting dots that were made with invisible ink. Sgt Friday always said, "Just the facts, ma'm." Thank the dwarves that Chris summed it up: Deplorable persona, great work.


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Michael Staley
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@wellreadwellbred

. . . the lack of contemporary documentary evidence concerning Crowley’s The Book of the Law, referring to the three days April 8-10, 1904, when it was supposedly written under extraordinary circumstances.

The lack of evidence specifically for reception on April 8th, 9th and 10th 1904 means that the case is unproven, not that it is incorrect.


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wellreadwellbred
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wellreadwellbred: "Crowley described Sex Magick as having “enabled me to construct a uniform type of engine for accomplishing anything that I will [The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, Chapter 72, page 728].”"

Shiva: "The bit about “anything I will” is more hoopla and empty braggadocio. Otherwise, why did he come up against so many failures? One could say, “Maybe that/those were not his Will.” Okay, sure, but then the bragging was/is misleading."

"... I will hide thee in a mask of sorrow: they that see thee shall fear thou art fallen: but I lift thee up (The Book of the Law II:53)." The preceding words can be Crowley anticipating that being the prophet and spokesperson for the Thelema described in The Book of the Law authored by him, would leave many with the impression that he was a person bound for failures and a ruined legacy.


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wellreadwellbred
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Michael Staley: "The lack of evidence specifically for reception on April 8th, 9th and 10th 1904 means that the case is unproven, not that it is incorrect."

Yes, "the case is unproven". And my point is also that it is highly suspicious that the extraordinary circumstances under which Crowley's The Book of the Law was supposedly written on April 8th, 9th and 10th 1904, lacks any contemporary documentary evidence. This lack is conspicuous as Crowley is known as a productive writer of personal texts (like letters and diaries).


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Michael Staley
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@wellreadwellbred

And my point is also that it is highly suspicious that the extraordinary circumstances under which Crowley’s The Book of the Law was supposedly written on April 8th, 9th and 10th 1904, lacks any contemporary documentary evidence.

I don't think it's "highly suspicious" at all. It's my view tthat if Crowley had fabricated the circumstances in which The Book of the Law was received then he'd have made a much better job of documentation - diary entries, location of the flat where he was living at the time, etc.

At the end of the day this is a matter for the individual to weigh up what's known and make up his or her mind as to the veracity of Crowley's account. If evidence comes to light in the future which disproves Crowley's account of the Cairo Reception then I'll examine it with an open mind; in the meantime, so far as I am concerned, Crowley's account stands.


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wellreadwellbred
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Jamie J Barter: "So it’s got nothing to do with the future (or more accurately, the then future) anyway. According to you (or more accurately, my impression of what you mean)."

Crowley's story about his The Book of the Law is that it was revealed to him from a source presented by Crowley as being far superior to himself in intelligence and authority, Aiwass. With this story in mind, it would obviously not make sense for Crowley to write this book in a way clearly indicating detailed knowledge in advance on his part, with respect to its content, particularly its more enigmatic content.

Also, III:8, the first verse in The Book of the Law after the verse mentioning "a war-engine", does also refer to the future; "With it ye shall smite the peoples; and none shall stand before you."


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wellreadwellbred
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And, in addition, III:9, the second verse in The Book of the Law after the verse mentioning “a war-engine”, refers to the future as well; "Lurk! Withdraw! Upon them! this is the Law of the Battle of Conquest: thus shall my worship be about my secret house."


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Jamie J Barter
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@MichaelStaley :

I don’t think it’s “highly suspicious” at all. It’s my view tthat if Crowley had fabricated the circumstances in which The Book of the Law was received then he’d have made a much better job of documentation – diary entries, location of the flat where he was living at the time, etc.
It could, of course, be a sort of "double bluff" --- if A.C. had fabricated the circumstances then he may have taken this into account as well.  I agree, at the end of the day this is a matter for the individual to weigh up what’s known and make up his or her mind as to the veracity of Crowley’s account.

@wellreadwellbred :

Crowley’s story about his The Book of the Law is that it was revealed to him from a source presented by Crowley as being far superior to himself in intelligence and authority, Aiwass. With this story in mind, it would obviously not make sense for Crowley to write this book in a way clearly indicating detailed knowledge in advance on his part, with respect to its content, particularly its more enigmatic content.
Yes, I'll give you that.  I can see the case you're trying to make, but it only holds water in so far as you take your (and Coles') particular belief system on board: however if events actually took place as per the 'official' version then there is no justification for using the future tense in verse 7 at all as it would be a denial of historical fact (this is assuming the other 'facts' to be 'true' as well [e.g., that he had engaged in Sex Magick prior to 1904] --- that's the trouble, as there's so much supposition and taking things on board as read "on faith" with this business.) 

And, in addition, III:9, the second verse in The Book of the Law after the verse mentioning “a war-engine”, refers to the future as well;
Which aspect of Sex Magick are you using when you refer to it (in the context of verse 7) or is it a pretty broad and all-encompassing generic term?
And even if the war-engine was to do with S.M. you haven't answered what verse 9 has to do with it and how it follows on (Edit: nor why verse 8 either, now I look at it and leaving aside he future tense aspect).

N Joy


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Sonofthoth
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I think the amazing thing for me, is that whatever the origins are of the Liber Legis text, it still remains a powerful and inspiring text that has endless study and readability.

Solely taken as a piece of literature; it is still a beautiful, enigmatic and dense with information.

I guess it highlights the power of Thelema too, whether it is taken philosophically: it is still an effective system that is grounded in reality (in a course between metaphor, psychology and intellectual study), that has the tools to positively change your life (if you pursue it).....or taken literally (religiously), as a path to god.

93


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wellreadwellbred
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Jamie J Barter (REPLY #102702): "... using the future tense in verse 7 [= The Book of the Law, Chapter 3, verse 7.: "I will give you a war-engine."] [...] would be a denial of historical fact (this is assuming the other ‘facts’ to be ‘true’ as well [e.g., that he had engaged in Sex Magick prior to 1904]"

No. Not if AC as author of BOTL, already at the time he wrote it understood sex magic as the prerequisite basis for constructing the "war-engine" mentioned in this book. Making "I will give you a war-engine (BOTL III:7)." refer to "Hoor in his secret name and splendour [...] the Lord initiating (BOTL I:49).", providing AC with what he needed to construct such an engine in the future. The future where Crowley described Sex Magick as having "enabled me to construct a uniform type of engine for accomplishing anything that I will [The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, Chapter 72, page 728]."


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wellreadwellbred
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Oooops, correction: "The future where Crowley described Sex Magick as having "enabled me to construct a uniform type of engine for accomplishing anything that I will [The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, Chapter 72, page 708].""

In the pdf edition of Richard T. Cole's book Liber L. Vel Bogus - the Real Confession of Aleister Crowley: The Governing Dynamics of Thelema Parts One & Two, available for free under "CONTENT v", in "DOWNLOADS", on this site, the 'war engine' mentioned in Aleister Crowley's The Book of the Law, is mentioned on the pages 152 (in relation to Sex Magick), 208 and 209.

On page 121 in this book, is described "a ritual of Sex Magick" Crowley did shortly before he supposedly scribed his The Book of the Law on April 8-10, 1904. The Stele of Ankh-ef-en-Khonsu is mentioned in relation to Sex Magick on the pages 121, 129, 132, 149, 163, 199 and 230. And it is stated on page 150 that "overt references to Sex Magick litter the unpublished (and erased from the record) sections of Crowley's Cairo diaries."


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Jamie J Barter
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No. [...]

Didn't I say that I anticipated heavy weather up ahead in pursuing this angle, which in any case is an offshoot to the OT?  Oy vey...  Meantime you have neglected to explain what "Sex Magick" means to you, as my impression is that you just see it as an all-encompassing term for ritualised getting it on, and that there was nothing particularly new or ground-breaking or earth-shattering about it (and as someone recently remarked here, it goes way back to the ancient Taoist sages and their pontifications, not to mention corroborated more recently by e.g. Randolph).

Plus you are quoting a heck of a lot of Cole, from what is so far an unsubstantiated source (Liber Bogus), seemingly forgetting that we are still awaiting developments in the saga of the (supposedly) game-decider climax of Liber Appendix, and meanwhile trusting that it won't end up turning into terminal peritonitis, or somesuch.

N Joy


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Shiva
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JB: ... you have neglected to explain what “Sex Magick” means to you, as my impression is that you just see it as an all-encompassing term for getting it on, and that there was nothing particularly new ... (and as someone recently remarked here, it goes back to the ancient Taoist sages and their pontifications, not to mention corroborated by e.g. Randolph more recently).

Yeah.

Plus you are quoting a heck of a lot of Cole, from what is so far an unsubstantiated source (Liber Bogus) ...

Aye!

Duly noted and recorded in the akashik record.


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dom
 dom
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“The future where Crowley described Sex Magick as having “enabled me to construct a uniform type of engine for accomplishing anything that I will

Maybe the "war engine" of sex magick is addressed to all who are "of us" and this is meant to reverse the decline of civilization as mentioned earlier in the thread? Maybe Genesis Orridge (searching for the OTO) picked up on this and his attempt to popularize Austin Spare sexual ov sigil-magick for the masses took the cue from AC and Chapter 3 Liber Legis's "war engine". See Orridge's Temple ov Psychick Youth "cult".

http://www.ain23.com/topy.net/

http://www.ain23.com/topy.net/sigilbook_2.html

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


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