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An Interview with Peter J. Carroll


ptoner
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An Interview with Peter J. Carroll
March 4, 2014 By Jason Mankey

In your overview of magical history in the book, you write about Samuel L. MacGregor Mathers as a sort of seminal magical figure (to me it even felt like you were articulating the idea that he might have been some sort of nexus for the coming together of several magical streams). I completely agree with you, but outside of a few circles Mathers mostly feels overlooked; when he’s written about at all, it’s only within the context of the Golden Dawn. How important do you think Mathers has been in the development of modern magic and why is he so often overlooked?

Mathers did not present himself as a loud or notorious figure like Crowley, but Mathers’ astonishing scholarship and leadership underlies the esoteric revival that began in the 1880s and gave birth to the modern forms of Theosophy, Druidry, Neo-Paganism & Wicca, Hermetics, and Thelema. He influenced everyone involved in the formation of those traditions. By drawing together and organizing and translating and publishing many scattered strands of knowledge which often lay buried in academic libraries he seems to have more or less single-handedly provided the basic toolkit for the entire revival. He wrote Liber 777, the core document which provides a scheme that more or less integrates all western esoteric ideas and from which so many have borrowed at first, second, or third hand. Crowley however ‘borrowed’ it and published it first.

You seem to have a love/hate relationship with Aleister Crowley. He’s quoted extensively in the book, and yet you also seem to disagree with him on a great many issues. What is your relationship and opinion in regards to The Great Beast?

Well yes, there seems much to admire and much to despise about the man. As Gerald Yorke said to my old friend Gerald Suster decades ago, ‘I don’t know why you young alternative types adore Crowley; you would not have liked him if you had met him.’ His primary interests in other people seemed to revolve around gaining their worship, their wallet, and their sexual submission. He thus appears as a rather sociopathic guru and bully. On the other hand he had many brilliant things to say about magic and mysticism and he pursued his life’s quests with fearless determination and persistence. I consider the so called Book of the Law as my least favourite of his creations; maybe he just had a bad day.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/panmankey/2014/03/an-interview-with-peter-j-carroll/

So AC never wrote "Liber 777"..... anyone confirm this mans allegation?

Have one source here.
"Handbook of Contemporary Paganism" edited by Murphy Pizza, James R. Lewis on page 42, had this to say.


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Tiger
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a quick search came up with this
EDITORIAL NOTE
THIS dictionary was begun by Allan Bennett (Fra∴ Iehi Aour, now Bhikkhu Ananda Metteya) in the last decade of the nineteenth century since Ψ-J.C. It was bequeathed to the present Editor, with many other magical MSS., on I.A.'s departure for Ceylon in 1899.
Frater Perdurabo used it, and largely added to it, in the course of his Qabalistic workings. With George Cecil Jones (Fra∴ Volo Noscere) he further added to it by making it a complete cross-correspondence to the Book DCCLXXVII.
It was further revised and checked, re-copied by a Jewish scribe, and again checked through, in the year V of the present Era.
The mathematical additions were continued by Fra∴ P. and Fra∴ Lampada Tradam; and the MS. finally copied on a specially constructed typewriter by Gerald Rae Fraser (Fra∴ Ψ) who added yet further mathematical data.
This copy has again been checked by Fra∴ P. and Soror∴ N.N. and the proofs further by three separate scholars.
http://hermetic.com/crowley/equinox/i/viii/eqi08024.html

I believe Mathers  developed the Hermetic Qabalah extensively, which was incredible
and A.C. added the iching to it which is also amazing


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jamie barter
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There is a lot I could say to add to this post but for various reasons I don't feel it is appropriate to do so right at this point.  On the matter of 777, I will just add that in addition to Mathers, who begun the project, Allan Bennett was also responsible for a large amount of this material which A.C. had access to and then expanded upon.  His contribution has also been largely neglected by the historical record.  (Actually, I have just seen Tiger’s additional post, which appears to also corroborate much the same information.)

Mr Carroll’s rather extraordinary antipathy towards A.C. and by extension Thelema is well-known; in view of the section which Paul highlighted above,

"ptoner" wrote:
An Interview with Peter J. Carroll
March 4, 2014 By Jason Mankey

[...] He wrote Liber 777, the core document which provides a scheme that more or less integrates all western esoteric ideas and from which so many have borrowed at first, second, or third hand. Crowley however ‘borrowed’ it and published it first.[...]

I might add that ‘Chaos Magic Theory’ itself “borrows” extensively, if not wholesale, from the work and writings of A.C., as I go into and document in comprehensive detail in my essay (although in length, more like a book and due for revison) Will & The Wisp, which, as I have mentioned on a previous occasion, is currently available free upon request as a pdf to anybody who may happen to be interested in it. 

I’ll just mention two points in connection with it.  For one thing, the contribution of Ray Sherwin - who was arguably just as responsible as Peter Carroll for starting CMT off in the first place (although then it was known as “Results” Magic) - seems to have also been airbrushed for posterity from the record.  The second concerns the late Gerald Suster, who was also mentioned in the interview above:

As Gerald Yorke said to my old friend Gerald Suster decades ago,

and who was installed as “Head of IOT, USA” back in its formative years (i.e., 1981).  Peter Carroll saw fit to inscribe his copy of his first book on CMT, Liber Null, with words to the effect of (I don’t happen to have it to hand to consult verbatim word-for-word at this moment): “To Gerald, without whom none of this would have been possible.”  (As Gerald remarked to me at the time & is unfortunately no longer around to make the point further himself, if that was so significant I wonder why he didn't put it into the actual text as a dedication!)

It is a funny old world, isn’t it? 😀
Norma N Joy Conquest


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Tiger
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"As Gerald Yorke said to my old friend Gerald Suster decades ago, ‘I don’t know why you young alternative types adore Crowley; you would not have liked him if you had met him.’ His primary interests in other people seemed to revolve around gaining their worship, their wallet, and their sexual submission."

I recall reading something along the lines of  Israel Regardie and i believe Gerald Yorke being relived That Crowley didn't enlist them for sex.
Can't remember which book but might have been a bio on Israel Regardie .


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 Anonymous
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"Tiger" wrote:
"As Gerald Yorke said '...His primary interests in other people seemed to revolve around gaining their ... sexual submission."

I recall reading ... Gerald Yorke being relived That Crowley didn't enlist them for sex...

Poor Gerald, he must have either been very unnatractive or talking rubbish.  ::)


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jamie barter
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"Tiger" wrote:
"As Gerald Yorke said to my old friend Gerald Suster decades ago, ‘I don’t know why you young alternative types adore Crowley; you would not have liked him if you had met him.’ His primary interests in other people seemed to revolve around gaining their worship, their wallet, and their sexual submission."

I recall reading something along the lines of  Israel Regardie and i believe Gerald Yorke being relived That Crowley didn't enlist them for sex.
Can't remember which book but might have been a bio on Israel Regardie.

 

"nashimiron" wrote:
Poor Gerald, he must have either been very unnatractive or talking rubbish.  ::)

Maybe both!?  All very subjectively in the eye and ear of the beholder, though…

I think Gerald (Suster) deals with the matter of their (Gerald Yorke and Israel Regardie) concerns about ‘the old man trying it on’ as it were and their being drawn into what might have been viewed at the time as an, ahem, ‘inappropriate liaison’ in the course of his biography of the latter, Crowley’s Apprentice: The Magickal Psychologist.

He also makes the additional interesting and relevant points in his 1988 biography of Crowley The Legacy of The Beast:

Both men concurred on a matter which disturbed many: Crowley’s allegedly “staring”, “hypnotic”, “mesmeric” and/ or “frightening” eyes.  In The Eye in the Triangle, Regardie wrote that he found them simply “small, warm, friendly and alive” and Yorke assented in a pencilled annotation to his copy of the book.  Yorke also told me that he would never forget Crowley’s delightful smile of welcome.  Although they came from wholly different backgrounds, possessed temperaments which had virtually nothing in common, and were alike ending their days in very comfortable circumstances, both men pronounced the same sentence on Crowley to me: “Everything I am today, I owe to him.”

(p. 92)[/align:372wnia3]

Something old, something new, something Borrowed, something Blue…
N Joy


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jamie barter
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"jamie barter" wrote:
There is a lot I could say to add to this post but for various reasons I don't feel it is appropriate to do so right at this point. 

I have revised my earlier position slightly, therefore the reason for this supplemental posting.

Regarding the other, second of two sentences which were bold-highlighted by Paul previously for particular attention,

"ptoner" wrote:
An Interview with Peter J. Carroll
March 4, 2014 By Jason Mankey
[...] I consider the so called Book of the Law as my least favourite of his creations; maybe he [Aleister Crowley] just had a bad day.

Mr Carroll is of course entitled to consider The Book of the Law as his least favourite A.C. “creation”, but presumably he means he had “a bad three days” here!

This is the same great forward thinker who, in Chaos International number 5, so managed to misinterpret the Law of Thelema, Liber Oz and the thelemic rights of humankind that he asserted that, if implemented by society, it would

[...] grant cosmic planning permission for some asshole to build as he wills, a dog toilet on my front lawn and kill me if I thwart him.

Goping back to the “borrower” aspect, the stench of the hypocrisy of accusations made by PJC along these lines continues to rankle with any right-thinking Thelemite.  I ask Lashtalians, making use of their impartial powers of discrimination, to consider exactly who has borrowed how much from whom in just three examples here which I cite from amongst many others, with the source materials absolutely uncredited in each instance:

As a great master once observed: “There are two methods of becoming god, the upright or the averse.”  Let the mind becomes as a flame or a pool of still water.
[The second sentence here is even outside of the quotation marks! – JB]

Liber Null, p.31[/align:1hrmh293]

cf.

Two are the methods of becoming God: the Upright and the Averse.  Let the Mind become as a flame, or as a well of still water.

Liber HHH from "The Equinox" Vol. 1, No. 5[/align:1hrmh293]

Magic is the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will.

Liber Null, p.15[/align:1hrmh293]

cf.

Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.

Introduction to Magick in Theory and Practice[/align:1hrmh293]

It is pure chance which rules the universe, and thus, and only thus, is life good.

Liber Kaos, p. 78[/align:1hrmh293]

cf.

It is Pure Chance that rules the universe; therefore, and only therefore, life is good.

from The Book of Lies – Chapter 22 “The Despot”[/align:1hrmh293]

Furthermore the “Chaosphere”, that venerated logo of Chaos magic, is directly “borrowed” from Michael Moorcock – a blatant steal, in fact, although eventually years afterwards it came to be acknowledged as such by PJC:

The Arms of Chaos – eight arrows radiating from a central hub, representing, according to Chaos, all the possibilities inherent in its philosophy.

The Queen of the Swords (1971) – Book Three, Chapter 3[/align:1hrmh293]

All of this data comes from the forthcoming Will & The Wisp where there is more – a lot more - information on the matter.  Incidentally, I have the dubious but rather hilarious honour of being, I think (partly on account of an early even more disrespectful draft of W&TW called Liber Put This In Your Pipe Et Smokitus) the only person to have ever been expelled or “excommunicated” from the IOT before actually being allowed to join!  That makes a lot of sense – but then, we are talking about ‘Chaos’ here!)

Something more old, something more new, something else Borrowed, something else Blue
N Joy


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Philip Harris-Smith
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I am always hoping for more from Ray Sherwin because personally I feel Carrol's stuff lacks substance, or at least his own substance anyway.  Some guy I met at the pub once said that Pete Carrol once shared a squat with Boy George.  If memory serves correct they called themselves the 'Camden teleporters' or something like that.  Probably not true but it made me smile at the time.  As rumours go at least it was interesting and also at the time an original and well presented tale.


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jamie barter
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“Some guy I met down the pub”, Philip? – this is not the most unimpeachable of sources, you know.

It must be an apocryphal story, surely?  I can’t see Boy George shacking up with Pete Carroll, let alone calling themselves something like the Camden Teleporters – much less, teleporting themselves.  For one thing, wasn’t PC living in Bristol when Boy George first became active in London ?  I think BG did write an autobiography, so maybe the answer would be in that, if anyone can be bothered to look.  (Do please let us all know if there is some foundation in it!)

This guy down the pub, he wouldn't be related to the one who worked down the chip shop and who swore he was Elvis, I suppose??

Norma N Joy Conquest


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Philip Harris-Smith
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Its just one of those things you hope might have an element of truth in it but probably doesn't.


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Hamal
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"Karma Chameleon"

Desert loving in your eyes all the way
If I listened to your lies would you say
I'm a man
without conviction
I'm a man
who doesn't know
How to sell a contradiction
You come and go
You come and go
Karma Karma Karma Karma Karma Chameleon
You come and go
You come and go
Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dream
Red gold and green
Red gold and green
Didn't hear your wicked words every day
And you used to be so sweet I heard you say
That my love
was an addiction
When we cling
our love is strong
When you go
you're gone forever
You string along
You string along
Every day is like a survival
You're my lover not my rival
Every day is like a survival
You're my lover not my rival
I'm a man without conviction
I'm a man who doesn't know
How to sell a contradiction
You come and go
You come and go

Interesting words in this context.

😀
93
Hamal


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jamie barter
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A pleasant little musical interlude Hamal, although I was never really a New Romantic myself.  Culture Club’s “The War Song” also has a title & a few interesting words which could be taken in a fairly Heruvian context:

[…] Man is far behind in the search of something new
Like a Philistine, we're burning witches too
This world of hate must be designed for you
It matters what you say, it matters what you do

War! War is stupid and people are stupid
And love means nothing in some strange quarters [...]

And how about The Church of the Poison Mind?  Maybe that one could refer to the so-called Carrollian “Church of Chaos” with all of its concomitant “Priests” and “Saints” and “Monks” and “Nuns”, etc… (see e.g., “Chaotic Monasticism” (Appendix 3) from PJC's Liber Kaos for further gripping details.) 

Then there’s also (assume Radio FAB FM Smashie and Nicey-type vocalistion here:) Boy George’s poptastic new hit single entering the charts with a bullet pop-pickers: “My God is bigger than your god, My God is better than yours”

- Says it all really, doesn’t it!!
N Joy


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Hamal
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"jamie barter" wrote:
And how about The Church of the Poison Mind?  Maybe that one could refer to the so-called Carrollian “Church of Chaos” with all of its concomitant “Priests” and “Saints” and “Monks” and “Nuns”, etc… (see e.g., “Chaotic Monasticism” (Appendix 3) from PJC's Liber Kaos for further gripping details.) 

An organisation dedicated to Chaos... organised Chaos!  😀 Maybe Peter Carroll is a bit of a Karma Chameleon. Certainly as you pointed out for someone so critical of Crowley he has "borrowed" an awful lot from him.

😀
93
Hamal


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jamie barter
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"Hamal" wrote:
An organisation dedicated to Chaos... organised Chaos!  😀 Maybe Peter Carroll is a bit of a Karma Chameleon. Certainly as you pointed out for someone so critical of Crowley he has "borrowed" an awful lot from him.

You haven’t seen the half of it, Hamal!  It is indeed ironic that something ostensibly geared towards something else called “Chaos Magic” could take on board that slimy abomination “occult priesthood” - but it does!  And if you ever thought the ©.O.T.O. may have been a bit “old-fashioned” in wanting to retain & perpetuate the quasi-masonic elements from its past, were you also aware that a lot of the structure of the I.O.T. itself (= the ‘official’ organization set up by Pope Pete – I mean, Mr Carroll – in ‘order’ to practice Chaos Magic) is actually modelled upon the O.T.O. itself in this respect and from which it also “borrows”?  (All of this group work becomes somewhat of a pointless exercise when PJC happens to elucidate:

The effect of a number of persons conjuring simultaneously or sequentially for a common objective never exceeds the best result that any one of them might achieve. [my emphases]

Liber Kaos, p.48[/align:7846kidm]

I would go into all the specific concrete details here but it would take up too much room - however two brief examples should suffice to give you a flavour:

The candidate may be taught certain techniques or have some instrument consecrated for his personal use.  The Induictive phase of an initiation informs the candidate of the Order’s requirements pertaining to secrecy.  Blood, nail parings, spittle, and the measure may be given in pledge. [my emphases]

Psychonaut, p.135[/align:7846kidm]

From the Initiate Ritual:
Candidate, I call upon you to make your submission and to take the oath of an Initiate.”  Stage direction: the Candidate disrobes and lies flat on the ground.  Various rituals may be performed. [!] [my emphases] 

Liber Kaos, p.206[/align:7846kidm]

And although I don’t really wish to keep on plugging it, Will & The Wisp goes into it all of these matters with full information.  However, I want to “update” it to include his later work published after when I originally wrote it back in 1995 and, where relevant, the contributions of his ‘disciples’ (is that the right word?) – Hine, Hawkins, Balance, Fries… the usual suspects in this area as it were.  There is a lot more material these days though, and the work would take up a fair degree of my time which I haven’t yet decided may be better employed elsewhere - perhaps someone else familiar with both (Thelema & Chaos Magic Theory) if they’re interested, might like to work with me sometime as a co-production?

(Blessed are the cheesemakers!)
'N-Joy


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Michael Staley
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"jamie barter" wrote:
However, I want to “update” it to include his later work published after when I originally wrote it back in 1995 and, where relevant, the contributions of his ‘disciples’ (is that the right word?) – Hine, Hawkins, Balance, Fries… the usual suspects in this area as it were.

Is "Balance" a reference to John Balance, the late musician, songwriter and singer with Coil? If so, could you please explain in what way he might be considered a "disciple" of Pete Carroll, as distinct from someone who read and liked some of Carroll's work? I knew John Balance over a number of years as a fellow collector of Spare, and he never struck me as anything like a "disciple" of anyone, much as he loved Spare's work.

Jan Fries has over many years created a diverse body of work that may in part have some affinities with Carroll's work, but is something quite different. I'd say the same about Phil Hine's work too.

These people merit neither the "disciples" nor the dismissive "the usual suspects" labels.


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jamie barter
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"MichaelStaley" wrote:
[...]These people merit neither the "disciples" nor the dismissive "the usual suspects" labels.

Point taken.  If I had a chance to re-edit, I would omit the actual ‘names’ as such, and perhaps change ‘disciples’ to – what, followers? 

But I don’t think “the usual suspects” is particularly dismissive or anyway was not meant as such - the point I was getting at was: “those who are relatively well known, and who would choose to carry on” the impetus stemming from the original Carrollian Chaos Magic.

N Joy!


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Michael Staley
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Jamie,

No, they were not followers either. They simply read Carroll's work, liked some of it, and were influenced by it to some degree.

To give an example, the works of people such as Kenneth Grant, Austin Osman Spare, Aleister Crowley, and Ramana Maharshi have had a great deal of influence on me. However, I'm not a follower of any of them. For all I know, of course, you may think differently; you might regard yourself as a follower of, say, Crowley.

I think that, were you to speak to any of the people you listed - and others such as Ray Sherwin and Dave Lee for example - they would probably acknowledge that Carroll's work had been an influence, one amongst many, but that they certainly weren't followers. Nor do I think that they were or are continuing "the impetus stemming from the original Carrollian Chaos Magic"; I don't think they would constrain themselves or their work in this fashion.


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jamie barter
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Again we come down to the old difficulty of the semantics of words and the meanings we wish to impose upon them.  In trying to avoid the particular “mindless acolyte” interpretation which may have been bestowed upon my particular use of "disciple" (- which could also be read far more neutrally as, to take the “Bing” definition simply because it happens to be the nearest one to hand: “one who accepts, embraces and/or assists in spreading the doctrines or teachings of another” & “an active adherent of a movement or philosophy”), I then substituted the word “follower”.

Now in a sense this could have a ‘mindless acolyte’ reading too, but Bing (again more neutrally) states it as being: “one who subscribes to the teachings or methods of another”.  It could also simply mean anybody happening to come along sometime afterwards.  Doubtless we could then go on to debate the appropriateness of “subscribe” and its finer nuances…ad infinitum.

I think it is fairly safe to say that all of these subsequent writers on the subject of “Chaos Magic” would not have done so – and certainly not in anywhere near the same form - had it not been for the initial appearance of original works by Pete Carroll and Ray Sherwin.  They were certainly then “influenced” by PJC, as you yourself state, and this is also what I meant by “continuing the impetus stemming from the original Carrollian CM”, but with which you also seem to disagree.

So, I would respectfully disagree with you here - although I allowed you the point that my use of the word “disciple” was perhaps not wholly appropriate because of the larger degree of misinterpretation which might be involved, I cannot agree with your consequent remark that “No, they were not followers either”.  But in any case I did put a “?” after the word "followers", just to indicate that even that was also possibly a tentative rather than an ideal word.  If it wasn’t in danger of prolonging this side-avenue indefinitely I might also put the ball in your court and ask what you'd think should be the correct ideal term then?

N Joy


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Michael Staley
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I see your point, Jamie. Personally, though, I'd prefer the term "influenced by" rather than "follower of" or "disciple of".


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jamie barter
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Okey, Michael, I can go along with that, although “influenced” is what you said originally anyway and I was wondering what a suitable (if not ideal) synonym might have been for either “disciple” or “follower”.  Maybe we can let it stand forevermore as “those who came along afterwards who were influenced (by PJC)”, instead!

Now, might anyone else have any other comments which have more of a bearing in relation to PJC’s “borrowing” of content & ideas from Aleister Crowley and/ or the position of Chaos Magic itself vis-à-vis Thelema and his legacy?  Or even Boy George?

NJoy


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LeMo
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"jamie barter" wrote:
Now, might anyone else have any other comments which have more of a bearing in relation to PJC’s “borrowing” of content & ideas from Aleister Crowley and/ or the position of Chaos Magic itself vis-à-vis Thelema and his legacy?  Or even Boy George?

Well, all I have to say in my more-or-less fifteen years dealing with the Chaos Magic meta-paradigm is that Carroll's writings are but a small part (although influencial) of the whole thing and does not necessarily represent Chaos Magic as it is generally spoken of and practiced by other authors and magicians. Besides it, it is not accurate to regard Chaos Magic as "Carroll's invention" for it was actually an agglomeration of techniques, ideas and results brought about by other people that did not necessarily appear publicly but surely left their imprint.

Carroll, as much as Crowley, and actually as much as any other public figure, inspires many different impressions in different people. I can say that Liber Null and Psychonaut had influenced a lot my approach towards magic, my magical thinking and practice. Carroll's opinions on Crowley, on the other hand, always played little or no influence at all on me. A curious thing is that I first had contact with Chaos Magic and it was through it that I got interested in Thelema and in Crowley's material. I think "Antithesis" is important in Philosophy (myself borrowing from Hegel, now), but I also think it should be limited to the "Thesis" and not include opinions about the Thesis' proposer.

Yes, to my knowledge Chaos Magic borrows a lot from Thelema and from Magick as proposed by Crowley (particularly from A.:A.:), and it also heavily borrows A. O. Spare's techniques and Eastern ideas (particularly from Buddhism), as much as (Pseudo)Science and Shamanism as well. I think the best contribution by Chaos Magic for Magical Thinking in general is its pursue of a more technical and less religious form of Magic. But yes, sometimes this can be harsh and unnecessarily antipathetic...

Gurdjieff and A. O. Spare, for instance, were contemporaneous to Crowley and, for what I know, they did not get along very well with him... but this was Crowley! And I think this contributed to make himself unique. If you strip down both Thelema and Chaos Magic from their peculiarities, and do the same with Crowley and Carroll, you will realize they have much in common in terms of being groundbreaking. But this is my point of view, and Peter Carroll would probably disagree. And so would Crowley... LOL

All in all, I align myself with both currents without considering myself a follower of Crowley or Carroll. I also admire Spare, Gurdjieff and Kenneth Grant immensely and try to apply their ideas within my life, but I do not consider myself their follower either.

I hope I have generally helped somehow to the thread and, if I didn't, I would like to sincerely apologize... I was actually hesitating to take part on this discussion. I'm not so much interested in what Carroll has to say about Crowley, as I am not so much interested to know what Crowley has to say about Spare. I am much more interested in learning the steps and to find out the path than in knowing what the walker on the left has to say about the walker on the right.

Ah, and for me it does not matter who was the "true" author of Liber 777, as I don't think it would change its relevance to me.

Love is the Law.

Leo.


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jamie barter
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"LeMo" wrote:
"jamie barter" wrote:
Now, might anyone else have any other comments which have more of a bearing in relation to PJC’s “borrowing” of content & ideas from Aleister Crowley and/ or the position of Chaos Magic itself vis-à-vis Thelema and his legacy?  Or even Boy George?

Well, all I have to say in my more-or-less fifteen years dealing with the Chaos Magic meta-paradigm is that Carroll's writings are but a small part (although influencial) of the whole thing and does not necessarily represent Chaos Magic as it is generally spoken of and practiced by other authors and magicians. Besides it, it is not accurate to regard Chaos Magic as "Carroll's invention" for it was actually an agglomeration of techniques, ideas and results brought about by other people that did not necessarily appear publicly but surely left their imprint.

The point is though that PJC popularised the paradigm (meta optional) and first brought it to public attention and was the first person to bundle it up and give it that grotesque label “Chaos Magic”.  Although his writings are now a small part of it, he started it off and at the beginning that was all there was (unless we expand the net and include e.g. Spare and Burroughs without the Chaos 'brand' label).  In addition, the ‘market’ has since then increased.

Carroll, as much as Crowley, and actually as much as any other public figure, inspires many different impressions in different people. I can say that Liber Null and Psychonaut had influenced a lot my approach towards magic, my magical thinking and practice. Carroll's opinions on Crowley, on the other hand, always played little or no influence at all on me. A curious thing is that I first had contact with Chaos Magic and it was through it that I got interested in Thelema and in Crowley's material. [...]
Yes, to my knowledge Chaos Magic borrows a lot from Thelema and from Magick as proposed by Crowley (particularly from A.:A. , and it also heavily borrows A. O. Spare's techniques and Eastern ideas (particularly from Buddhism), as much as (Pseudo)Science and Shamanism as well. I think the best contribution by Chaos Magic for Magical Thinking in general is its pursue of a more technical and less religious form of Magic. But yes, sometimes this can be harsh and unnecessarily antipathetic...

I think you are in a minority here.  Most Chaos Magicians that I have come across do and will not acknowledge that CM "borrows a lot from Thelema”.  Unless your attitude can possibly be marking the beginnings of a refreshing sea-change…?

I think "Antithesis" is important in Philosophy (myself borrowing from Hegel, now), but I also think it should be limited to the "Thesis" and not include opinions about the Thesis' proposer.

This "Philosophical" angle is now getting broader and more distant away from the immediate thesis v. antithesis (or CMT v. Thelema?) nuts and bolts, but it can't be argued with as being your subjective opinion on the matter of course!

Gurdjieff and A. O. Spare, for instance, were contemporaneous to Crowley and, for what I know, they did not get along very well with him... but this was Crowley! And I think this contributed to make himself unique. If you strip down both Thelema and Chaos Magic from their peculiarities, and do the same with Crowley and Carroll, you will realize they have much in common in terms of being groundbreaking. But this is my point of view, and Peter Carroll would probably disagree. And so would Crowley... LOL

I discuss their similarities as well as their divergence in some detail in Will & The Wisp, rather too much to copy-and-paste here if I could (and actually I think I would have to retype them.)  It is behind my central thesis that CMT is actually a sub-set of Thelema, and not the other way around.  So I would agree with you here (if not Messrs Carroll and Crowley themselves!)

All in all, I align myself with both currents without considering myself a follower of Crowley or Carroll.

I suppose it all depends on what you mean by 'follower'!  😉

I hope I have generally helped somehow to the thread and, if I didn't, I would like to sincerely apologize... I was actually hesitating to take part on this discussion. I'm not so much interested in what Carroll has to say about Crowley, as I am not so much interested to know what Crowley has to say about Spare. I am much more interested in learning the steps and to find out the path than in knowing what the walker on the left has to say about the walker on the right.

I do think you have made an interesting contribution – at least you have, which is after all the point of partaking of a forum and which is in fact more than almost everyone else has done.

Ah, and for me it does not matter who was the "true" author of Liber 777, as I don't think it would change its relevance to me.

This appears to be an increasingly common approach I have noticed – that people are only interested in the “end” result and not so much the “means” by how it was arrived. A parallel could be made where someone else says “ah, for me it doesn’t matter who was the “true” author of Liber AL, as I don’t think it would change its relevance to me.”  It raises the question of, is how something arrived in fact that relevant?  It maybe outside the remit of the particular subject matter of the thread and more allied to one of the ones currently discussing The Book of the Law's reception, but it raises all manner of interesting considerations if it is true that it’s generally held to be the case.

N Joy


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