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 Anonymous
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13/10/2010 12:57 pm  

Aleister Crowley wrote Liber Causae/LXI/61 - http://www.sacred-texts.com/oto/lib61.htm - in 1907.

In verse 18 of its first chapter, he claimes to have "perceived the inadequacey of science, philosophy, and religion; and exposed the self-contradictory nature of the thinking faculty." Then in verse 22, Crowley claims to have prepared "all things" [...] "rejecting all" [...] "which might be supposed to imply any religious or metaphysical theory." Thereafter Crowley writes: "To do this utterly was found impossible [...]."

And at the start of verse 23, Crowley writes the following about himself: "Deliberately, therefore, did he take refuge in vagueness. Not to veil the truth to the Neophyte[= fancy word for beginner], but to warn him against valuing non-essentials."

Is Crowley in Liber 61 authored in 1907, revealing that he prepared all things, and that he deliberately resorted to vagueness in his writings, an admittance of him deliberately writing The Book of The Law?


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the_real_simon_iff
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13/10/2010 1:44 pm  
"wellredwellbred" wrote:
Is Crowley in Liber 61 authored in 1907, revealing that he prepared all things, and that he deliberately resorted to vagueness in his writings, an admittance of him deliberately writing The Book of The Law?

93, Paul aka wellredwellbred!

Why don't you simply write: Hi all, I (well known Thelemic scuba-diver) found a clue that AC pulled our leg all the time! Do you agree? Because your above quoted question very likely will not be answered for two reasons: 1) Nobody can answer it and 2) probably all are afraid that by answering they will be quoted in one of your next posts as an AC scholar.

Keep on scuba-diving the depths of Thelema!

Love=Law
Lutz


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Walterfive
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13/10/2010 3:20 pm  

Wellredwellbred needs to read Hulse's 3-Volume booklets "Genesis of the Book of the Law" where this and many other questions are asked, if not answered. It is true that something funny was going on with the original manuscript of Liber L, at one point Crowley speaks of the author in the 3rd person, and it doesn't appear to ever have been really "lost." And it is certain that some portions of the poetry therein was written prior to the Cairo Working.


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christibrany
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13/10/2010 4:45 pm  

maybe he meant Aiwass thus he or third person and not I?
🙂
Or maybe I don't know what I am talking about.


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Walterfive
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13/10/2010 5:45 pm  

Ah, no, in 1906 [at a time he later would claim that he'd 'lost' or 'misplaced' the original MS, Crowley wrote on the original cover page of Liber L "This MS. (which came into my hands in July, 1906) is a highly interesting example of genuine automatic writing. Though I am in no way responsible for any of these documents, except for the translation of the Stele inscription, I publish them among my works [proposed to have been an appendix to 'Collected Works Vol. III] because I believe that their intelligent study may be interesting and helpful." --A.C.


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alysa
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13/10/2010 5:52 pm  

Those books by David Hulse "Genisis of the Book of the Law" are rather hard to get, these days I learned.


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Walterfive
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13/10/2010 6:21 pm  

Yes, unfortunately. One might wish that Mr. Hulse would reprint them in a single volume and make some cash, or that J.D. Holmes would fire up their Xerox machine and print out a few dozen more of each as needed: the booklets are going for $25-35 apiece and the material, no matter how worthy of study, isn't worth those prices.


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 Anonymous
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14/10/2010 8:49 am  
"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
Keep on scuba-diving the depths of Thelema!

Lutz aka the_real_simon_iff. I have one general impression from "diving around", hopefully in respect of the depths of Thelema, and from others doing the same to a larger extent than me, scholarly and/or otherwise. And that is that Thelema as a system is difficult to define in general, without such a general definition being invalid for many adherent and/or supporter of Thelema. This is due to Thelema as a system, granting the individual adherent and/or supporter so much liberty subjectively.

When it comes to how the Thelema related to Aleister Crowley originated, that is something which it is more possible - or easier - to pin down, depending on the availability of more or less accurate and sufficient source material. I don't know of any serious scholarly work on how the Thelema related to Aleister Crowley originated, and can only recall the Aleister Crowley - sholar Marco Pasi, in his book on Crowley and politics (soon to be published in English), just in passing, alluding to there being some problems with Crowley's version of how Thelema originated.

So my more or less educated or uneducated guess, is that the research mentioned by Walterfive in this thread, is the best research available so far on this subject matter.

Paul


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Michael Staley
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14/10/2010 9:53 am  
"wellredwellbred" wrote:
Aleister Crowley wrote Liber Causae/LXI/61 - http://www.sacred-texts.com/oto/lib61.htm - in 1907.

In verse 18 of its first chapter, he claimes to have "perceived the inadequacey of science, philosophy, and religion; and exposed the self-contradictory nature of the thinking faculty." Then in verse 22, Crowley claims to have prepared "all things" [...] "rejecting all" [...] "which might be supposed to imply any religious or metaphysical theory." Thereafter Crowley writes: "To do this utterly was found impossible [...]."

And at the start of verse 23, Crowley writes the following about himself: "Deliberately, therefore, did he take refuge in vagueness. Not to veil the truth to the Neophyte[= fancy word for beginner], but to warn him against valuing non-essentials."

Is Crowley in Liber 61 authored in 1907, revealing that he prepared all things, and that he deliberately resorted to vagueness in his writings, an admittance of him deliberately writing The Book of The Law?

The passage you cite is so vaguely worded that it could refer to anything at all. Certainly I cannot see anything there which suggests that he went on to write The Book of the Law and pass it off as a 'received text'.

Perhaps you have a problem with the whole idea of 'received texts' and the existence of praeter-human intelligences, and are thus led ipso facto to conclude that Crowley fabricated The Book of the Law. Fair enough - it's a valid point of view, though not one which I entertain.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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the_real_simon_iff
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14/10/2010 10:25 am  

Paul, 93!

This - the "problems" with the origins of Thelema (better: of the Book of the Law) - is indeed historically quite interesting (and there are several threads on that here on Lashtal already), but I had to point out that you will probably not receive any answers, because there are no definitive answers, just opinions, and deductions, and guessings, and what not. It seems to me - correct me if I am wrong - that you are after anything that invalidates or validates the system of Thelema, based on source material by AC or "AC scholars". But Thelema exists, and it will exist even if its origins will be beyound a doubt proven flawed, faked or downright false. Have you read Amado?

So what you are doing is probably not scuba-diving the depths of Thelema but snorkeling the shallow waters of Thelemic history. Which is perfectly fine, I too enjoy doing that.

Anyway, PM me if you are interested in Hulse's work.

Love=Law
Lutz


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 Anonymous
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14/10/2010 10:19 pm  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
Perhaps you have a problem with the whole idea of 'received texts' and the existence of praeter-human intelligences, and are thus led ipso facto to conclude that Crowley fabricated The Book of the Law. Fair enough - it's a valid point of view, though not one which I entertain.

I regard AC's channelig as a quality of his thinking, or a way of his thinking. To many this quality of AC's thinking *does* invalidate The Book of the Law and Thelema. To me, a beliefsystem is invalidated by not standing up to the most basic demands of the real world and reality.

"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
It seems to me - correct me if I am wrong - that you are after anything that invalidates or validates the system of Thelema, based on source material by AC or "AC scholars".

It is the process of incorporation, of interpretation, explanation, and integration that interests me intellectually. For example, how does one deal with claims that are open to immediate disconfirmation? How does one handle on a day-to-day basis the cognitive dissonance generated by disparate data and competing interpretations of one's legitimacy and identity?

"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
But Thelema exists, and it will exist even if its origins will be beyound a doubt proven flawed, faked or downright false. Have you read Amado?

Last thing first, I have not read Amado, why do you mention Amado? First thing last, yes, Thelema is - for me - not invalidated by the quality of its origin. For me, Thelema as a beliefsystem, is invalidated by its quality as a beliefsystem among other beliefsystems in the real world, and by having no significant and lasting consequence or impact in the real world, compared with other successful beliefsystems.

"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
So what you are doing is probably not scuba-diving the depths of Thelema but snorkeling the shallow waters of Thelemic history. Which is perfectly fine, I too enjoy doing that.

😆 What I am doing is not so much "snorkeling the shallow waters of Thelemic history", as searching deep down for any signs of Thelema being capable of seriously taking roots in the real world. Signs important, because "to serve as a practical blueprint for a real human society", was what Aleister Crowley intended for Thelema, and the largest Thelemic organization in our world today intends for Thelema. Source: Sabazius's 2007 NOTOCON Address - http://hermetic.com/sabazius/SbSpeech6.htm

"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
Anyway, PM me if you are interested in Hulse's work.

I might come back to you on that one.

Paul


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michaelclarke18
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15/10/2010 2:34 pm  

I suspect that Crowley probably wrote it over many years. However, there is no conclusive proof that the original document was written in a specific place or time - likewise there isn't any evidence, that I know of, to the contrary.


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 Anonymous
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15/10/2010 2:55 pm  

Snorkel? Scuba diving? Well, some people are capable of drowning themselves in their own bathwater if they set their mind to it. Star-ship, anyone?

Thelema may be a belief-system for some I suppose, but that is not how I have experienced it for the last twenty odd years, and I do make a point of doubt as a matter of routine (this is part of Thelema for me, the skeptical acumen). It is a set of teachings, a religion, a magical and mystical system, a philosophy, and so forth - all of which are "modes of engagement with reality", but "belief" system? Nah. That isn't Thelema, not to me anyway. To me, Thelema is a sacralisation of reality, an apotheosis of reality. To retreat from Reality into "belief" systems is a sin against Our Lady Nuit, imo 😉 .


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michaelclarke18
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15/10/2010 3:14 pm  

Thelema may be a belief-system for some I suppose, but that is not how I have experienced it for the last twenty odd years, and I do make a point of doubt as a matter of routine (this is part of Thelema for me, the skeptical acumen). It is a set of teachings, a religion, a magical and mystical system, a philosophy, and so forth - all of which are "modes of engagement with reality", but "belief" system? Nah. That isn't Thelema, not to me anyway. To me, Thelema is a sacralisation of reality, an apotheosis of reality. To retreat from Reality into "belief" systems is a sin against Our Lady Nuit, imo

I would describe Thelema as a ragbag of techniques, ideas and quotations mostly derived from elsewhere, held together in a loose style, that I would define as broadly ''romantic''.


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 Anonymous
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15/10/2010 3:20 pm  

How's that working for you, then?


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michaelclarke18
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15/10/2010 3:42 pm  

How's that working for you, then?

I have found that some of the parts are rather more effective than the whole. Although, I like to think I am free from the burden, competitiveness and hierarchy of Thelema devotion.


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 Anonymous
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15/10/2010 3:48 pm  

What do you mean by "competitiveness and hierarchy of Thelema devotion", Michael? Devotion in the bhakti sense, or devotion in the sense of constant practise and consecration to the work? Because in neither case is competitiveness or heirarchy even remotely applicable except on a purely voluntary basis as a potentially useful expedient - or obstacle - to that end, imo. Thelema per se has nothing to do with heirarchy, although there are heirarchies which may or may not consider themselves to practise or exemplify (lol) Thelema. Whether they are, or not, is, of course, a matter of private individual opinion.


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gurugeorge
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16/10/2010 12:49 am  
"wellredwellbred" wrote:
And at the start of verse 23, Crowley writes the following about himself: "Deliberately, therefore, did he take refuge in vagueness. Not to veil the truth to the Neophyte[= fancy word for beginner], but to warn him against valuing non-essentials."

I think in A:.A:. terms a Neophyte is not really a beginner as that's ordinarily meant, he is "newly planted" - to be a Neophyte, something rather special has to have happened already and a good deal of work has to have been done. The Probationer is the one who is equivalent to a "beginner" as that would ordinarily be understood. A Neophyte is merely the lowest grade of Initiate, and a beginner in that sense, yes - but s/he is an Initiate, no longer profane, no longer someone who is clueless.

But anyway, AC is talking here about the books of instruction of the A:.A:., not Liber AL vel Legis.

As to the broader question - the possibility that the whole thing might be a literary farce or some sort of joke has been aired on this board many times.


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sonofthestar
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16/10/2010 7:47 am  

93!
Wellredwellbred!

The quotes you have included…. “ to prepare all things“…etc….etc….
do not have (from my point of view) anything to do with AC alluding to, or insinuating,
that “he wrote” The Book of the Law---in the sense of the way you allude to, or insinuate.

All things prepared :--: those things being Himself, as well the Medium of his workings,
comprising…
---His participation in, and partaking of The Great Work---
Magically commenced and wrought:
that the unity of such constituents---manifest and proceed unto an “Eventual” culmination,
of a most successful fruition.
By such Consecrations---did Therion prepare Himself;
By such Consecrations---did Therion prepare the Earth,
Whereby this Unity of Hadit and Nuit does bring to birth
The THELEMA that INITIATES
unto the Love, Light and Liberty that is Our Life!

93! 93! 93!


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 Anonymous
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16/10/2010 9:43 am  
"gurugeorge" wrote:
I think in A:.A:. terms a Neophyte is not really a beginner as that's ordinarily meant, he is "newly planted" - to be a Neophyte, something rather special has to have happened already and a good deal of work has to have been done.
"gurugeorge" wrote:
The Probationer is the one who is equivalent to a "beginner" as that would ordinarily be understood. A Neophyte is merely the lowest grade of Initiate, and a beginner in that sense, yes - but s/he is an Initiate, no longer profane, no longer someone who is clueless.

I agree, a 'profane' or 'clueless' person is unlikely to understand the deliberate vagueness in much of the writings from - or through - AC, as a warning "against valuing non-essentials."

*Something I find interesting in relation to Crowley's point with his just mentioned deliberate vagueness, is if he ever expressed that the vagueness in The Book of The Law, is deliberate, as a warning "against valuing non-essentials."

**Something else that I find interesting, is that the quotes from Aleister Crowley in Liber Causae, about all things being prepared, and about his point in writing in a deliberately vague way, was written right before, or at the start of, the time period from 1907 to 1911, when many of the writings Crowley desribed as "inspired", and defined as Class A writings within Thelema (the so called Holy Books of Thelema), occured.

***In relation to the subject matter of this thread, it would be interesting to search through any possible documents left behind by George Cecil Jones (born 1870 or 1873), Aleister Crowley's "co-founder of the magical order A∴A∴." Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Cecil_Jones


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 Anonymous
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16/10/2010 4:19 pm  
"Walterfive" wrote:
Wellredwellbred needs to read Hulse's 3-Volume booklets "Genesis of the Book of the Law" where this and many other questions are asked, if not answered. It is true that something funny was going on with the original manuscript of Liber L, at one point Crowley speaks of the author in the 3rd person, and it doesn't appear to ever have been really "lost." And it is certain that some portions of the poetry therein was written prior to the Cairo Working.

Just fyi, David Hulse's view is that "Thelema is passe" (from an email 2 years ago), though he used to be an adherent (evidenced keenly by his unpublished Liber CCCXXX Abrahadabra, which is basically his magickal child proof). This elucidates the underlying pessimism in his Genesis series, where he tries to write off Liber Legis as more a common piece of automatic writing. The series is still interesting and informative though. There is some bizarre theories in it, such that Rose's unborn baby at the time was the real or first magickal child and communicator of Liber Legis.

I personally would dismiss Hulse's views. I think Thelema/Liber Legis is the real deal, beyond all other considerations. My mind remains open as to the details surrounding its reception, I haven't heard a thorough case that disproves Crowley's own account.


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Walterfive
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19/10/2010 8:08 pm  

Oh, it doesn't matter that he *now* thinks "Thelema is passe." If he doubts the nature of his own Gnosis, he wouldn't be the first or last to do so. That does perhaps 'elucidate the underlying pessimism found' in the "Genesis" booklets. I'd wondered where that came from. Yes, he does put forward some odd theories.

I don't think that describing the reception of Liber L as 'automatic writing' is so far afield, Crowley used that terminology himself. I think, perhaps, that it actually lends the larger whole of the phenomena of that day a bit more credibility. It is certain that Rose heard The Voice, as she offered corrections of words that Uncle Al misheard, or missed entirely. But how? Was she the "channel" through which The Voice came? I too think Liber L was the "real deal" but what of all the changes to the manuscript from that day in Cairo, to the publishing of Liber Al Vel Legis, (in)complete with the Short Comment?

Where I could be persuaded to dismiss many of Hulse's answers, I wouldn't be persuaded to dismiss any of his questions. There are too many details that change from account to account, or that don't add up, but this is true of several chapters of Crowley's life.


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 Anonymous
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01/11/2010 12:15 am  
"michaelclarke18" wrote:
I suspect that Crowley probably wrote it over many years. However, there is no conclusive proof that the original document was written in a specific place or time - likewise there isn't any evidence, that I know of, to the contrary.

As is made apparant by the following quote from page 223 in The Confessions of Aleister Crowley: An Autohagiography, he certainly did not lack the level of ambition[-s] needed to write something nearly as all-encompassing, as he later claimed The Book of the Law was:

"For some time, I had been contemplating a lyric poem in which everything in the world should be celebrated in detail. It was a crazy notion --- one of those fantastic follies which is impossible in nature --- a species of literary "squaring the circle". I doubt whether it was a genuine impulse. Its motive was the vanity and vulgarity of attempting something big. It was the American passion for tall buildings and record processions in another form. It was the probably my reaction to the spiritual atmosphere of California. In any case, the worst happened. I began it! The best plan will be to describe what happened and get it over. It was not finished till the middle of 1904. Book I is in form a gigantic Greek ode. It celebrates allthe forces of nature and the children of time. Orpheus invokes them in turn; and they reply. Book II describes the winning of Eurydice by Orpheus. It is entirely a monologue by him. My literary insanityis well indicated by my proposal to insert a five-act play, The Argonauts, afterwards published separately, as an incident in his wooing!"


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christibrany
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01/11/2010 8:37 pm  

it was a divine text (meaning one inspired by the collective higher energy of mankind/the gods what have you) that was filtered through the brain and personality of AC.
If he hadn't lived I think it would still have come about, just in a different flavour.
He was not the author but the conduit for the current.


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