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Michael Staley
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MANIO - it's all in the egg
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11/03/2011 11:13 pm  

I'm putting the finishing touches to this issue prior to it going out to typesetting, and the aim is for publication at the end of May. Packed with fascinating articles, short stories and great artwork, there is bound to be something for everyone as they say in the marbled corridors of the Amenta.

Later I'll be giving more details of the content of this issue, via both these hallowed forums and the Starfire Publishing website.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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 Anonymous
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12/03/2011 2:43 am  

I'm excited for this issue, Michael! I look forward to further news!


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christibrany
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12/03/2011 5:42 pm  

Im excited too 🙂 I really enjoyed the last 2 issues of volume 2. I am learning a lot from them! I hope we can get more plates of stafford stones work in some of them too if you or he agree.
keep up the good work!


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James
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12/03/2011 10:36 pm  

Hello Michael,

A couple of questions: is it time to pre-order this yet? And, is this the one with Gary Dickinson's article on LAM?

Regards

Jamie


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Michael Staley
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12/03/2011 10:45 pm  
"James" wrote:
is it time to pre-order this yet?

No, not yet. Pre-ordering will open when it's ready for the printers. I'll announce it on the website and via the mailing list.

"James" wrote:
And, is this the one with Gary Dickinson's article on LAM?

Yes, and an extremely good article it is too. The issue will include a plate of Gary's 'Mask of Lam', an early prototype of which is available somewhere on this site.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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 Anonymous
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17/03/2011 11:29 am  

Images of the Mask of Lam have now been posted on the 'LAM-asery' page of www.themagicalmandarin.com and will also appear shortly in The Company of Heaven gallery on Lashtal.

There is still some development work on the project to do before production can start but I am aiming to have masks available for the release of Starfire. For further information, please do not hestitate to contact me either through Lashtal or info@themagicalmandarin.com

Gary Dickinson


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Palamedes
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17/03/2011 1:47 pm  

I am not sure if this is way off the topic, but since Michael confirms that there will be an article on Lam by Dickinson, plus portrait, I hope it is appropriate. On his website (see the post above) Dickinson states:

First exhiibited in New York in 1919, the drawing is a portrait of a mysterious entity with a large, domed head. Crowley is reported to have said that it had been 'drawn from life' and later described the figure as a portrait of 'his guru'.

My two questions are: a) Was the portrait of Lam actually exhibited in New York or did Crowley only supply the drawing as a frontispiece to "The Voice of Silence" for The Equinox III: 1, and b) Did Crowley actually describe "the figure as a portrait of 'his guru'" and if yes, could someone provide reference(s) to this statement? My impression is that if b) is 'yes' then it must be an 'oral history' since I don't recall ever reading such a statement from Crowley. (On the other hand, my memory is getting weaker. What was I saying?)


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 Anonymous
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17/03/2011 2:02 pm  
"Iskandar" wrote:
b) Did Crowley actually describe "the figure as a portrait of 'his guru'" and if yes, could someone provide reference(s) to this statement? My impression is that if b) is 'yes' then it must be an 'oral history' since I don't recall ever reading such a statement from Crowley. (On the other hand, my memory is getting weaker. What was I saying?)

As far as I am aware it originates with an anecdote by Kenneth Grant and is recorded in his "Remembering Aleister Crowley" (if my memory is correct, being with no copy presently to hand and having last seen this volume in 2003 before donating it to a friend's library 🙂 ). Someone more favourably endowed may perhaps kindly supply the relevant quotes or corrections. From memory (again) I think it was something like this. Grant (or someone else) shows up at Aleister's place, sees the picture and asks about it, what/who is it a portrait of? "That's my guru" comes the reply from Aleister. I could be wrong but that's what is in my head.

a) Was the portrait of Lam actually exhibited in New York or did Crowley only supply the drawing as a frontispiece to "The Voice of Silence" for The Equinox III: 1

Grant makes a few references to this exhibition, but apart from that I have no idea (at least, none which would be helpful).

Best regards
N.


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OKontrair
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17/03/2011 2:21 pm  

In the list of pictures compiled by Gerald Yorke of the New York exhibition No.22 in the 'pencil and Chalk drawings' section was this picture and it was called 'The Way'. A copy of it as it appeared there is in the galleries here. (Crown of Hearts version). The Frontispiece to Voice of the Silence is a cleaned up version. Copies of this list are at the Harry Ransome Center, Texas.

The concept that the name of the picture in Equinox III. Vol.1 ("THE WAY - LAM is the Tibetan word for the Way or Path etc.) is a personal name of what is being depicted is not a Crowley concept, it has been arrived at more recently.

The word 'way' is ambiguous in both English and Chinese (I don't know Tibetan and I'm not sure Crowley did). In the Tao Teh King it can be read as both route and method (as in 'way into town' and 'way to bake a cake'.)

I think the original is worth examining with a view to what is depicted there being re-evaluated.

OK


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Palamedes
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17/03/2011 3:31 pm  

Thanks Noctifer and OKontrair.


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Michael Staley
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17/03/2011 3:33 pm  
"Iskandar" wrote:
I am not sure if this is way off the topic, but since Michael confirms that there will be an article on Lam by Dickinson, plus portrait, I hope it is appropriate.

I'm not sure what you mean by "appropriate". It's a good mask, and I'm including a reproduction of it as a plate in the issue. I consider it appropriate for inclusion.

"Iskandar" wrote:
Did Crowley actually describe "the figure as a portrait of 'his guru'" and if yes, could someone provide reference(s) to this statement?

This is a surmise of mine. Many years ago in a compilation of anecdotes about Crowley, published in one of the issues of Red Flame, there was one about a journalist who visited Crowley at his Jermyn Street flat. The journalist noted that one of the pictures on the wall was a drawing of an oriental with a deformed, bulbous head. Asked who that was, Crowley replied that it was a drawing of his guru. Since Crowley still had the LAM drawing with him in 1945, I thought that was the drawing referred to. However, it was not named in the article, and it could also have been, for instance, the watercolour which Symonds used on the front cover of the first edition of The Great Beast; it could also have been a humorous remark. Gary Dickinson probably heard the anecdote from me, and thus the responsibility for its use by him is mine. I cannot now cite the source, though if I come across my copy of the issue of Red Flame I'll happily do so.

OKontrair's point about the variant meanings of 'The Way' is a pregnant area, and something addressed by Gary in his article.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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 Anonymous
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17/03/2011 4:39 pm  

They look like some very nice masks. I was also curious who the costume consultant for Corman's "Galaxy of Terror" must have been. 😉

Yrs,

Master of the Burgundy Ray


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Palamedes
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17/03/2011 5:49 pm  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
I'm not sure what you mean by "appropriate".

Michael, thanks for clarifying the issue. What I meant, in my broken English, was that I hope my question would be *appropriate* for the topic (Starfire Vol.2 No. 4). I did not want to be off the topic but in the end concluded, or hoped, that what I asked about would be *appropriate* since it concerned an issue related to an article that is to appear in the journal.


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Michael Staley
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17/03/2011 9:23 pm  
"Iskandar" wrote:
What I meant, in my broken English, was that I hope my question would be *appropriate* for the topic (Starfire Vol.2 No. 4). I did not want to be off the topic but in the end concluded, or hoped, that what I asked about would be *appropriate* since it concerned an issue related to an article that is to appear in the journal.

Yes, I now see what you meant; thanks for clarifying. I don't think that a question connected with an article in the forthcoming issue is off-topic, and your questions were welcome ones, doubtless of interest to others.

By the way, Gary Dickinson did an early prototype of the Mask of Lam for me a few months ago, and it is great. I'll be loading an image of it to the website page for this forthcoming issue, as I expand the contents of the page to delineate the contents of the issue.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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 Anonymous
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19/03/2011 11:17 am  

Looking (very much) forward to this upcoming issue! The image of LAM has interested me deeply since I was introduced to it.

Thanks to Michael and Gary D and everyone involved in the production and distribution of Starfire!


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SatansAdvocaat
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19/03/2011 11:19 am  

Greetings All,

Regarding Michael's surmise - and I appreciate that he only referred to it as that - that "a drawing of an oriental with a deformed, bulbous head" on the wall of AC's Jermyn Street flat, may well have been Lam, I think it more likely that this may have been a description of The Master Kwaw, the pen and ink drawing of 1935, which was a representation of himself as, or an identification of himself with this ancient Taoist philosopher. Heads don't get much more deformed and bulbous than that, whereas Lam's undeniably big head looks kind of natural in a Lam-like sort of way.

Thanks also to OKontrair for the information that 'The Way' was item No.22 in AC's 'Dead Souls' New York exhibition, which puts paid to the interesting speculation that the two exotic characters that accompany the drawing and which certainly do resemble the number '49' might have been its listing in said exhibition.

These two characters have been the subject of previous comment on lashtal.com before. In no way do they resemble Enochian, although some UFO commentators do like to refer to Lam as an Enochian entity; KG was of the conviction that they represented the name of Lam in Senzar and said so in print in 'Against the Light'. They look to me like AC's attempt to represent the name of Lam in 'exotic oriental script', but if he was copying from Tibetan he made a pretty poor job of it from what I've seen of actual Tibetan script. I believe that they are a 'disguised' 49 and identify Lam as being not only 'The Way' (LAM = 71), but also 'The Entrance' (Hebrew MBVA, 'opening' entrance' = 49); hence, The Lama is both 'The Entrance and the Way'.

Doubtless there will be much Lam stimulation to be had in STARFIRE Vol 2 No 4 !

Love is the law, love under will.

S.A.


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alysa
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19/03/2011 12:42 pm  

"Lam stimulation" that looks interesting!


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Palamedes
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19/03/2011 5:20 pm  
"Satan'sAdvocaat" wrote:
These two characters have been the subject of previous comment on lashtal.com before. In no way do they resemble Enochian, although some UFO commentators do like to refer to Lam as an Enochian entity; KG was of the conviction that they represented the name of Lam in Senzar and said so in print in 'Against the Light'. They look to me like AC's attempt to represent the name of Lam in 'exotic oriental script', but if he was copying from Tibetan he made a pretty poor job of it from what I've seen of actual Tibetan script.

Well, those two characters look pretty much like Tibetan sign for "L" and Sanskrit (Devanagari) sign for "M." You can see it if you look at the Tibetan script transliteration from Sanskrit table (scroll down a bit): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibetan_alphabet

Now, both in Tibetan and in Sanskrit, these two signs written together would be pronounced as "Lama," because both systems imply that there is an inherent vowel "a" pronounced after each consonant, unless there is a sign called "virama" which indicates that only consonant should be pronounced, or some other sign that indicates other vowel besides "a". The way that Crowley wrote not only combines (or confuses, if you like) Tibetan and Sanskrit script, but also Sanskrit and Hindi pronunciation, because in Hindi there is no inherent "a" at the end of the word. (Thus: Sanskrit "Shiva" becomes "Shiv" in Hindi, etc. Thus we have a Tibetan "L" (or, rather, "La"), Sanskrit "M" (or, rather, "Ma") pronounced in Hindi way. Either a very interesting combination or perhaps just a confusion.


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 Anonymous
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19/03/2011 5:24 pm  
"Iskandar" wrote:
"Satan'sAdvocaat" wrote:
These two characters have been the subject of previous comment on lashtal.com before. In no way do they resemble Enochian, although some UFO commentators do like to refer to Lam as an Enochian entity; KG was of the conviction that they represented the name of Lam in Senzar and said so in print in 'Against the Light'. They look to me like AC's attempt to represent the name of Lam in 'exotic oriental script', but if he was copying from Tibetan he made a pretty poor job of it from what I've seen of actual Tibetan script.

Well, those two characters look pretty much like Tibetan sign for "L" and Sanskrit (Devanagari) sign for "M." You can see it if you look at the Tibetan script transliteration from Sanskrit table (scroll down a bit): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibetan_alphabet

Now, both in Tibetan and in Sanskrit, these two signs written together would be pronounced as "Lama," because both systems imply that there is an inherent vowel "a" pronounced after each consonant, unless there is a sign called "virama" which indicates that only consonant should be pronounced, or some other sign that indicates other vowel besides "a". The way that Crowley wrote not only combines (or confuses, if you like) Tibetan and Sanskrit script, but also Sanskrit and Hindi pronunciation, because in Hindi there is no inherent "a" at the end of the word. (Thus: Sanskrit "Shiva" becomes "Shiv" in Hindi, etc. Thus we have a Tibetan "L" (or, rather, "La"), Sanskrit "M" (or, rather, "Ma") pronounced in Hindi way. Either a very interesting combination or perhaps just a confusion.

Brilliant post, thanks for sharing the knowledge!


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Palamedes
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19/03/2011 5:41 pm  

Oh you're most welcome FraterLucius. The whole thing is very intriguing and it would be great if we could find out a bit more. After all, how did Crowley come up with those two characters. I could imaging him flipping through dictionaries and/or grammars at New York Public Library, but maybe he picked them up from some Theosophical book as well. Or .... After all, despite his showing off his linguistic prowess with the mottoes for "Konx Om Pax," he himself admitted that this was just, well, showing off, and he did turn some of those quotes in Oriental scripts upside-down or what not. Or perhaps he just channeled those two characters, who could know.


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Michael Staley
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19/03/2011 7:09 pm  

To judge from the inscription which accompanies the portrait in the Blue Equinox ("LAM is the Tibetan word for Way or Path, and LAMA is He who Goeth..."), Crowley was perhaps aware of the ambiguity in pronunciation of these two letters. Crowley has very little to say about this drawing; the only clear reference to it that I've come across is in his diary entry for 8th May 1945, recording his gift of it to Kenneth Grant, in the course of which he refers to it as "the Lama". Kenneth Grant often used to refer to it by the same term, both in conversation and in correspondence.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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Palamedes
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19/03/2011 7:32 pm  

Good points Michael. Crowley was also correct in stating that Lam means "way" in Tibetan, for which see: http://www.nitartha.org/dictionary_search04.html

If you enter the word "lam" you get the following:

lam
1) path, road, way; 2) way of doing; 3) tradition, custom; 4) sphere/ place of; 5) ?/ or [IW]
lam - (spiritual) path; path aspect (of); process [RB]

lam - 1) path, road, way; 2) way of doing; 3) tradition, custom; 4) sphere/ place of; 5) ?/ or [for words ending in LA] [IW]

lam - 1) the Path, path, way, road, [marga]; (spiritual) path; path aspect; path. road. 2) 13th of the {'phags pa'i bden pa bzhi rnam pa bcu drug tu phye ba} among the 16 aspects of the four noble truths: Def. by Jamgön Kongtrül: {bsgrubs pas chos kyi dbyings de kho na'i don 'tshol zhing rtogs par byed pa'i mtshan nyid can} 3) {lugs} system; 4) vivid, see also {lam me ba} [ry]

lam - Paths. The five paths or stages on the way to enlightenment: the path of accumulation, joining, seeing, cultivation, and no more learning. They can be explained differently according to each of the three vehicles [ry]

lam - territory, pathway, course, method, pass, resource, road, route, track, via, systematic way, way, individual growth, path to the cessation of suffering, unfolding of one's nature, SA tshogs lam, sbyor lam, mthong lam, sgom lam, mi slob, passage, space travelled over, distance travelled over, journey, manner of acting to obtain a certain end, or after "l", practice tradition, or [JV]

lam - 1) path [= gol sa, bgrod bya, 'gom bya, 'gro bya, rgyu ba'i sa, 'jug bya, shul lam]; 2) way of doing; 3) tradition, custom; 4) sphere/ place of [rmi lam,//mig lam,//gri lam,//lnga lam,//bar lam] [IW]


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Palamedes
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19/03/2011 7:44 pm  

On the other hand, Crowley's translation of "lama" as "He who Goeth" is an example of 'folk etymology' - in other words, not quite scientific although it does make sense at certain level of interpretation. According to The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English (2009), "lama" means "superior one":

la·ma / ˈlämə/
• n. 1. an honorific title applied to a spiritual leader in Tibetan Buddhism, whether a reincarnate lama (such as the Dalai Lama) or one who has earned the title in life.
2. a Tibetan or Mongolian Buddhist monk.
ORIGIN: mid 17th cent.: from Tibetan bla-ma (the initial b being silent), literally ‘superior one.’


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 Anonymous
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19/03/2011 9:54 pm  

Without going into the detail, my article reaches exactly the above conclusions regarding the 'psuedo oriental' characters' actually reading the Tibetan word 'Lam' (i.e Path) and also the dogdy etymology of 'lama' as 'one who goeth'. Interestingly though, with regard to the anecdote about Crowley referring to the 'oriental with the bulbous head' as his 'guru', the Tibetans also use the term 'lama' to transliterate the Sanskrit for 'guru'.

I also conclude that these admittedely oddly-drawn characters may have been deliberately transcribed to suggest 49. Again, I had initially thought that they have been an exhibit number for the 'Dead Souls' show but, as clarified by OKontrair, that isn't the case.

Gary Dickinson


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 Anonymous
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19/03/2011 10:57 pm  

It is probably just sheer coincidence that given the title of the ('Dead Souls') art exhibition, that 49 (7x7) is also in the Tibetan bardo tradition the number of days it is said for a recently departed "soul" to undergo its sojourn in the after-death realms.


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 Anonymous
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19/03/2011 11:16 pm  

This is the best thread I've read in ages. Thanks very much, everyone. 8)


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SatansAdvocaat
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21/03/2011 2:13 pm  

Many thanks, Iskandar, for your detailed input on the Tibetan and Devanagari alphabets. I can certainly see what you mean with the 'M' in the Devanagari, but I'm not entirely convinced by the Tibetan 'L'. It does all get curious and curiouser.
And thanks, fancourt for the foretaste of your article.

I'm familiar with the Evans-Wentz 'Tibetan Book of the Dead' and have pored over Snellgrove's 'The Nine Ways of Bon' and there are examples of Tibetan script in both books; but this is not my 'expert' territory. Mind you by using online sources on Tibetan, I was able to decipher the Tibetan numbers on that magic square featured partially in the photograph in 'Hecate's Fountain' and mentioned in the text, and very strange it was too. I'm not sure whether that makes me a very persistent or very sad person.


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 Anonymous
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24/03/2011 8:18 pm  

With regard to the story about Crowley calling the portrait of Lam his ‘guru’, a number of Tarot related sites carry the following:

Frieda visits Crowley at Jermyn Street
The author William Holt in his autobiography describes how he accompanied Frieda to Crowley's lodgings at 93 Jermyn Street, Piccadilly. While Frieda drew some charcoal sketches, there was a discussion on the Book of Thoth that Crowley was writing. After a lull in the conversation, Crowley disappeared, possibly for a heroin injection, and returned with the portrait of Lam, to the obvious discomfort of Holt. Crowley claimed that Lam was “his guru”; Frieda Harris knew exactly what she was getting into.

None give the title of Holt’s autobiography so I have, as yet, been unable to check whether it makes a specific reference to ‘Lam’ or gives a looser description of a ‘bulbous-headed oriental’.

It looks as if the book is the primary source of the story so, if anyone out there has it, or can give me the title, we might resolve at least one of the ‘mysteries’ of Lam.

Gary Dickinson


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 Anonymous
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24/03/2011 8:25 pm  

Thanks for the info, Gary! This is the most awesome thread on lashtal in a while, IMHO!


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lashtal
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24/03/2011 9:11 pm  
"fancourt" wrote:
None give the title of Holt’s autobiography… if anyone out there has it, or can give me the title, we might resolve at least one of the ‘mysteries’ of Lam.

I was once told that it was Holt's The Weaver's Knot (1956) but, not having seen a copy, I can't confirm it.

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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 Anonymous
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24/03/2011 9:17 pm  

Thank you for that - I will pursue!

Gary


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Michael Staley
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24/03/2011 9:26 pm  

The autobiography by William Holt is apparently entitled I Still Haven't Unpacked Yet, published by Harrap, London, 1953. There is a reference to this story in Red Flame issue 3, 1996, pages 138-140. Holt did not know what the picture was called, noting only that it was amongst a number of "hideous pictures", continuing that a "particularly unpleasant one was of an oriental with a grotesquely misshapen head - a product of Crowley's imagination, for Nature could not have produced such a freak to live".

"That?", said Crowley, when he became aware of Holt's uncomfortable curiosity, "He is my guru".

Although this could have been the drawing of Lam, a more plausible candidate is perhaps the drawing of Kwaw which Symonds used on the front cover of The Great Beast. What is interesting, of course, is comparing both Lam and Kwaw with the self-portrait which appears on the front boards of The Confessions.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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 Anonymous
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25/03/2011 8:16 am  

Well, at least we've pinned down the source of the story but, as I suspected, we may never know which drawing of an 'oriental with a grotesquely misshapen head' is referred to. In my personal opinion, Lam actually fits the description better than Kwaw. Holt's comment that the 'Nature could not have produced such a freak live' seems a curious one to me unless, as Grant's recalled, Crowley claimed to have drawn Lam 'from life'. And, if 'Kwaw' was Chinese persona and other 'misshapen' heads are types of self portrait, why would Crowley refer to any one of them as 'his guru'? Surely that was Aiwass, or indeed Lam.

I'd love to know what Lady Freida Harris thought. Obviously, Mr Holt, it didn't put her off!


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 Anonymous
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27/03/2011 10:19 pm  
"fancourt" wrote:
a ‘bulbous-headed oriental’.

I've always taken the portrait as being the head of a 'Lion-Sepent' - which, coming from Crowley (pun intended), would also account for its being referred to as "his guru."


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SatansAdvocaat
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28/03/2011 4:26 pm  

Naw! Camlion, Lam's expression is far too contemplative to be that of the head of a 'Lion-Serpent'; the latter have to concentrate on a much more aggressive attitude, fraught with swimming upstream and competing with all their little brothers.

Much nicer to meditate - sometimes...


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 Anonymous
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28/03/2011 8:59 pm  
"Satan'sAdvocaat" wrote:
Naw! Camlion, Lam's expression is far too contemplative to be that of the head of a 'Lion-Serpent'; the latter have to concentrate on a much more aggressive attitude, fraught with swimming upstream and competing with all their little brothers.

Much nicer to meditate - sometimes...

In ecstasy or in peace unutterable - either way, it's all in the Ankh, in the Going.

I am the secret Serpent coiled about to spring: in my coiling there is joy. If I lift up my head, I and my Nuit are one. If I droop down mine head, and shoot forth venom, then is rapture of the earth, and I and the earth are one.

🙂


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Palamedes
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29/03/2011 8:35 pm  

It seems to me that Lam with the 'crown of hearts' ( http://www.lashtal.com/nuke/module-pnCPG.phtml) is conceivably a representation of the glans penis. The 'crown' of hearts would then be the shaft of the penis. That would explain the hearts motif, an allusion to Eros. His chin rests at the entrance of the vagina. He is the 'lama', the one that goes - obviously. Etc. I see Crowley completely capable of presenting this 'mysterious' picture accompanying a Theosophical text with his tongue in cheek, suggesting that they had no clue what are the ultimate referents of their metaphysical wishy-washy theories, and at the same time being serious, suggesting not only that sex-instinct is God but that the genitals themselves are eidolons of the true Gods. Just an idea, of course. We might never know and the truth of the issue may be more than one.


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 Anonymous
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29/03/2011 8:50 pm  
"Iskandar" wrote:
It seems to me that Lam with the 'crown of hearts' ( http://www.lashtal.com/nuke/module-pnCPG.phtml) is conceivably a representation of the glans penis. The 'crown' of hearts would then be the shaft of the penis. That would explain the hearts motif, an allusion to Eros. His chin rests at the entrance of the vagina. He is the 'lama', the one that goes - obviously. Etc. I see Crowley completely capable of presenting this 'mysterious' picture accompanying a Theosophical text with his tongue in cheek, suggesting that they had no clue what are the ultimate referents of their metaphysical wishy-washy theories, and at the same time being serious, suggesting not only that sex-instinct is God but that the genitals themselves are eidolons of the true Gods. Just an idea, of course. We might never know and the truth of the issue may be more than one.

I think you're on the right track, Iskandar.


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Michael Staley
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29/03/2011 10:20 pm  
"Iskandar" wrote:
It seems to me that Lam with the 'crown of hearts' ( http://www.lashtal.com/nuke/module-pnCPG.phtml) is conceivably a representation of the glans penis. The 'crown' of hearts would then be the shaft of the penis. That would explain the hearts motif, an allusion to Eros. His chin rests at the entrance of the vagina. He is the 'lama', the one that goes - obviously. Etc. I see Crowley completely capable of presenting this 'mysterious' picture accompanying a Theosophical text with his tongue in cheek, suggesting that they had no clue what are the ultimate referents of their metaphysical wishy-washy theories, and at the same time being serious, suggesting not only that sex-instinct is God but that the genitals themselves are eidolons of the true Gods. Just an idea, of course. We might never know and the truth of the issue may be more than one.

I think that the drawing bears multiple levels of interpretation and meaning, one level of which is as you speculate. More particularly, though, the portrait appears to have been inspired by specific visions of the egg received by Roddie Minor in the course of the Amalantrah Working.

Earlier in this thread someone mentioned that the two Senzar letters spelling LAM or LAMA suggest a stylised 49. Some have suggested that this indicates a link with verse 49 of Blavatsky's text The Voice of the Silence. See, for instance, this article:

http://www.thebaptistshead.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=104&Itemid=44

There is another link with 49, though, via The Book of the Law, Chapter 2 (the Hadit chapter), verse 49, which reads:

"I am unique & conqueror. I am not of the slaves that perish. Be they damned and dead! Amen. (This is of the 4: there is a fifth who is invisible, & therein am I as a babe in an egg.)"

Earlier in the same chapter, Hadit states "I am Life, and the giver of Life ...", and "'Come unto me' is a foolish word: for it is I that go". This echoes Crowley's gloss accompanying the drawing in The Blue Equinox that "LAM is the Tibetan word for Way or Path, and LAMA is He who Goeth ...". Perhaps the drawing is, amongst other things, a glyph of Hadit.

"For there is no Thou upon That Path: thou hast become The Way".
(Crowley, 'Pilgrim Talk', The Book of Lies

Best wishes,

Michael.


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Palamedes
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29/03/2011 10:27 pm  

Very nice Michael, good reminders and insights. It is a mysterious issue, whatever one makes of it, and by mystery I mean something deep and ultimately sacred.


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 Anonymous
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30/03/2011 10:54 am  
"Iskandar" wrote:
It is a mysterious issue, whatever one makes of it, and by mystery I mean something deep and ultimately sacred.

Vol II No. 1 wasn't bad either.

Oh, I see what you mean...sorry. 😀


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Michael Staley
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MANIO - it's all in the egg
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15/04/2011 11:46 pm  

Work is nearing completion on this issue of Starfire, and I thought some would find more details of the issue of interest. Contents include the following:

In Memoriam: Kenneth Grant by Michael Staley - a preliminary survey of some key elements in the substantial body of mystical and magical work which Kenneth Grant bequeathed to us for further development;

Images of the Mystery by Gary Dickinson - a consideration of the origins and implications of Crowley's drawing 'The Way', better known simply as LAM;

The Obsidian Sabbat by Daniel Schulke - some considerations of the body of lore and sorcerous praxis which comprise the Sabbatic path;

Sermon from a Haunted Cellar by Richard Gavin - an essay on some of the implications of working within the Typhonian Tradition;

The Unity of Toltec and Thelema by Eric N. Peterson - a consideration of the common ground between the Toltec tradition and Thelema;

On Toltec Art by Koyote the Blind - an essay by a Toltec adept on the significance of art in the Toltec tradition;

Creativity and Imagination by Michael Staley - an essay on the primacy of Imagination as the source of inspiration and creativity;

Shades of Grey by Richard Gavin - a short story woven around Lam;

Maranatha and Beyond by Stephen Dziklewicz - a sequel to the author's essay on Maranatha in the previous issue of Starfire;

From Aiwass to Lam by Richard Ward - an essay on Crowley, praeterhuman contact, and the magical path of the Divine Fool;

Echoes of Silence by Alistair Coombs - an analysis of the background to Blavatsky's The Voice of the Silence and to Crowley's Commentary on the book which he considered a masterpiece;

Grid Sigil Magick by Robert Podgurski - considerations concerning the ramifications of a sigil which was revealed several years ago to the author;

The Emergence of Lam by Michael Staley - some considerations of Lam from its emergence in the Amalantrah Working and beyond;

Sleeping Buddha by Hector Djoun - a short story about a Buddhist academic and his awakening following an encounter with a Pythoness;

Scenes in the Life of Ataturk by Ithell Colquhoun - reminiscences on the genesis and life of Crowley's son;

Book Reviews by various contributors. Reviews so far include Brother Curwen, Brother Crowley by Henrik Bogdan; Perdurabo by Richard Kaczynski; Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus by Paul Weston; A Cockney Visionary by Jerusalem Press; Vudu Cartography by Michael Bertiaux; A Gathering of Masks by Robert Fitzgerald; Voudon Gnosis by David Beth; Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London's Lost Artist by Phil Baker; and more.

The Starfire Publishing website http://www.starfirepublishing.co.u k"> http://www.starfirepublishing.co.uk has been updated with these details. Also uploaded to the website is the cover art by Kyle Fite, and the Mask of Lam by Gary Dickinson.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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einDoppelganger
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16/04/2011 12:40 am  

Thanks Michael!

This looks to be a fantastic issue!
Definitely looking forward to this!

S


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 Anonymous
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16/04/2011 1:17 am  

That cover looks like one of the finest examples of Kyle's work I've seen ths far.


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christibrany
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16/04/2011 3:27 am  

that is a very cool cover. is that marker or pastel or neither ?
and this issue sounds even cooler than the last one! im looking forward to it!


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 Anonymous
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16/04/2011 3:30 am  

Wow, this looks like an intensely brilliant issue, perhaps even more so than usual, for me. Very exciting.


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 Anonymous
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16/04/2011 5:05 am  

Yeah they really seem to have opened up a can of awesome on this one. Can't wait!


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 Anonymous
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16/04/2011 9:55 am  

I have little to add that most haven't already expressed in previous comments - but to add my own anecdotes ...

Kyle's artwork is once again beautiful and I can't wait to get my hands on this copy of Starfire!!

Well done Michael!


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Michael Staley
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MANIO - it's all in the egg
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16/04/2011 10:06 am  
"christibrany" wrote:
that is a very cool cover. is that marker or pastel or neither ?it!

Looking at the original, it seems to me watercolour, perhaps with ink.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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SatansAdvocaat
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16/04/2011 11:08 am  

Wowie! Zowie! Or some equally inane and inadequate expression of enthusiasm.

I've had a Winter's vacation in Hell, but thanks to Michael's indulgence, have managed to sneak a modest little piece into this forthcoming issue of STARFIRE. We live in the midst of strange streams, resting on apparently substantive rocks; but sharing our existence with whom knows what other beings - my weird attempt at paraphrasing that Machen quote, re.perichoresis that KG uses to preface 'Outer Gateways' ? (can never remember; always have to look).

Anyway, it sums up my reaction to seeing the contents of this issue. And Kyle has even surpassed his cover for ECPYROSIS with this new one - note the prominence of the Owl in the locus of the Ajna Chakra; what might this portend, pale Hecate ?


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