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ptoner
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10/12/2013 9:16 am  

Aleister Crowley and the Temptation of Politics

    Author(s): Marco Pasi 
    ISBN: 1844656969
    ISBN-13: 9781844656967
    Publication Date: 31 Dec 2013
    Pages: 304 (234 x 156 mm)
    Format: Paperback
    Published Price: £17.99
    Discount Price: £14.39

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Aleister Crowley and the Temptation of Politics
    Jacket image for Aleister Crowley and the Temptation of Politics
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    Author(s): Marco Pasi 
    ISBN: 1844656969
    ISBN-13: 9781844656967
    Publication Date: 31 Dec 2013
    Pages: 304 (234 x 156 mm)
    Format: Paperback
    Published Price: £17.99
    Discount Price: £14.39
    DESCRIPTION:
    Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) is one of the most famous and significant authors in the history of western esotericism. Crowley has been long ignored by scholars of religion whilst the stories of magical and sexual practice which circulate about him continue to attract popular interest. Aleister Crowley and the Temptation of Politics looks at the man behind the myth – by setting him firmly within the politics of his time – and the development of his ideas through his extensive and extraordinarily varied writings. Crowley was a rationalist, sympathetic to the values of the Enlightenment, but also a romantic and a reactionary. His search for an alternative way to express his religious feelings led him to elaborate his own vision of social and political change. Crowley’s complex politics led to his involvement with many key individuals, organisations and groups of his day – the secret service of various countries, the German Nazi party, Russian political activists, journalists and politicians of various persuasions, as well as other writers – both in Europe and America. Aleister Crowley and the Temptation of Politics presents a life of ideas, an examination of a man shaped by and shaping the politics of his times.

    REVIEWS:
    “A pioneering study of Crowley’s relationship to politics. Marco Pasi’s brilliant analysis of events, facts and ideas refutes many of the preconceived notions of the relationship between occultism and politics. This is a groundbreaking book not only for the study of Crowley, but also for 20th century occultism.” – Henrik Bogdan, author of Western Esotericism and Rituals of Initiation, and co-editor of Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism

    “In this sweeping survey, Marco Pasi deftly reconstructs the political tapestries of Britain, Germany, Italy, France, the United States and Soviet Union, providing valuable context for the settings which influenced Crowely’s political thought, and against which that thought played out. Putting tired and inaccurate tropes about its subject to bed while opening doors to fresh areas of inquiry, this book should be on the shelf of anyone with an interest in Crowley or in the intersection of political and esoteric thought in the Twentieth Century.” – Richard Kaczynski, author of Forgotten Templars: The Untold Origins of Ordo Templi Orientis and Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley

    AUTHOR BIO:
    Marco Pasi is Assistant Professor of History of Hermetic Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam.

    CONTENTS:
    Foreword
    Abbreviations
    Introduction
    1. An Unspeakable Life
    2. Magical Politics
    3. Dangerous Liaisons
    4. The Mouth of Hell
    5. Counter-Initiation and Conspiracy
    Conclusion
    Appendix 1: Some Additional Remarks on Julius Evola and Aleister Crowley, Hans Thomas Hakl
    Appendix 2: Key Documents
    Notes
    Bibliography

    Also available in Hardback (1844656950), priced £60.00

http://www.acumenpublishing.co.uk/display.asp?K=e2012122016075302&dtspan=180%3A420&m=75&dc=97


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Markus
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10/12/2013 7:46 pm  

A darn fine book, and about time too, that it was released in English. I can warmly recommend it. - Mind you, sixty quid for the hardback is a bit steep.

Markus


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Shiva
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10/12/2013 8:16 pm  

I don't remember AC being too political ... except in reference to the OTO, which he seemed to feel was the supreme solution to political problems. Of course, when OTO was incorporated by McMurtry (and later modified by the current successor) is was more like a religious org. And, in the USA, church and state are supposed to be separate ... which is a joke, because the Christians go to great lengths to influence the legislators.

The whole mess in the "middle east" is the religious folk who wish to topple the godless, modern dictators and replace them and their ways with Sharia, which has a few similarities to Liber AL. But Allah help us all if the Sharirites take over the world. I'm trying to not be "partisan" here, but I wouldn't like my hand being chopped off for lifting a candy bar, or my sister stoned to death for exercising her sexual liberty.

What a world it's becoming, eh?


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Anonymous
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11/12/2013 11:58 pm  
"Shiva" wrote:
I don't remember AC being too political ...

OK, that's a funny comment Shiva. I recently re-read "Honesty Is the Best Policy" published in The Fatherland, January 1915 or thereabouts. AC wrote some of the most serious political articles of WWI. Just trying to figure out all of his historical references takes hours, because they are both true and highly specific.

For Fu$$ sake, his article on the execution of Edith Cavell is about as political as you get.


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jamie barter
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12/12/2013 11:20 am  

There is also The Scientific Solution to the Problem of Government, published by the Comte de Fénix (A.C.) written in 1936, the year of the highly political Abdication of the king-in-waiting & nazi sympathiser Edward VIII. 

The very first axiom of the "Comte"'s 'Demonstration' there states that:

1. The average voter is a moron. He believes what he reads in newspapers, feeds his imagination and lulls his repressions on the cinema, and hopes to break away from his slavery by football pools, cross-word prizes, or spotting the winner of the 3:30.

He is ignorant as no illiterate peasant is ignorant: he has no power of independent thought. He is the prey of panic.

But he has the vote.

The description of politics being “the art of the possible” is pretty all-encompassing, since if that which is ‘possible’ is also defined as being in alignment with t.w. it would incorporate Thelema as well.  And Crowley’s version of the O.T.O. (as distinct from Reuss’) – although it might be stretching a point to say that he regarded it as “the supreme solution to political problems”, especially at the end - was originally conceived of as an instrument to effect widespread social (including politico-economic) change on a most radical scale (although some of its aims would rather stretch the boundaries of what is practically ‘possible’ at this time in the present world.)
“Honesty” – that reminds me of the person who once said something along the lines of, trust not anyone using that word

"I think the greatest rogues are they who talk most of their honesty."  - Anthony Trollope

In fact,

"The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made."  - Groucho Marx

The book looks very promising, by the way – to judge solely by the reviews and list of contents which “cover” it…

Norma N Joy Conquest


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Shiva
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12/12/2013 4:38 pm  
"Magickal" wrote:
"Shiva" wrote:
I don't remember AC being too political ...

OK, that's a funny comment Shiva.

Quote: I said "I don't remember ..."
You are citing facts that are not in my memory. This is probably due to the fact that I am not interested in politics (except as they impact me directly ... i.e. local laws). Also, I loved AC's Libers, but payed no attention to any political writings he may have penned in any WW (1 or 2).

Quote: "I don't remember ..."


I don't remember because I never knew it in the first place[/align:17xiihv7]


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Shiva
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13/12/2013 4:42 pm  

Oh yes, now that it's been mentioned, I vaguely remember The Scientific Solution to the Problem of Government, set forth by the psudononymous Comte de Fénix. 

As pointed out by JB, the very first axiom of the Comte's was: "The average voter is a moron." Psychologically speaking, a moron is a person with an IQ between 60 and 80. We actually might expect the "average voter" to have an "average" IQ between 80 and 120 (an "average" of 100). So the whole thing starts off on an inaccurate, demeaning note.

Regardless of what minor political essays AC might have writ, he is not generally known for his political prowess, and I still maintain that his main donation to politics was his hope that the OTO would take over the world. He described it as "aristocratic communism" and with himself being the OHO (embued with unlimited dictatorial powers), then he would become the chief dude of the planet.

"Every Brother is expected to use all his influence with persons in a superior station of life (so called) to induce them to join the Order. Royal personages, ministers of State, high officials in the Diplomatic, Naval, Military, and Civil Services are particularly to be sought after, for it is intended ultimately that the temporal power of the State be brought into the Law, and led into freedom and prosperity by the application of its principles."
- An Open Letter to Those Who May Wish to Join the Order


Olde King Crowley was a merrye olde soul
and a merrye olde soul was he[/align:3aj2syzj]


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jamie barter
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16/12/2013 12:12 pm  

As no one seems to have picked this up and I seem to be some sort of an “accessory”…

Shiva, you were once a senior officer, or shall I put it valued member, of the so-called “Solar Lodge of the O.T.O.”  Presumably you will at one time have been in some positive degree of agreement or in accordance with the principles of this organization – therefore I take it you would also have been aware about the über honcho being the OHO (embued with unlimited dictatorial powers) – or as I perceived it in this case, autocracy idealised in the form of “enlightened despotism”?

Are you saying then that your viewpoint regarding the aims of the OTO as an order has changed to that extent in the intervening years?  Did you ever regard the ‘OHO’ (and the OTO) as a good idea?

"Shiva" wrote:
Oh yes, now that it's been mentioned, I vaguely remember The Scientific Solution to the Problem of Government, set forth by the psudononymous Comte de Fénix.

Since you do vaguely remember this (as opposed to  Reply’ 3 below:)

"Shiva" wrote:
I don't remember AC being too political ...

your recall is very good.

"Shiva" wrote:
As pointed out by JB, the very first axiom of the Comte's was: "The average voter is a moron."

Can you also remember any of the other seven??!

In some circumstances I would find being called an ‘average’ anything equally as insulting as being called a moron.  At least there would be a bit of feeling behind ‘moron’: ‘average’ is dishwater dull by comparison.  I don’t think his descriptive use of the word moron was meant to be taken quite literally, although I also think I know exactly what he may have been getting at.

"Shiva" wrote:
Psychologically speaking, a moron is a person with an IQ between 60 and 80. We actually might expect the "average voter" to have an "average" IQ between 80 and 120 (an "average" of 100). So the whole thing starts off on an inaccurate, demeaning note.

I think IQ tests are a relatively late development?  They started to come in in the 40s, I think.  But in any case I don’t think AC was making a direct link with verbal intelligence – as he went on to say (and I quote) “[The average voter is] ignorant as no illiterate peasant is ignorant.”  So he presumes some level of academic ability or literacy, I think, but questions the basic nous – their ability to see to the heart of the matter for themselves & not being swayed or influenced by the media.

"Shiva" wrote:
Regardless of what minor political essays AC might have writ, he is not generally known for his political prowess,

Being in the true spirit of a Renaissance man, though, his wide-ranging interests and expertise (prowess, if you like) would encompass to include politics, economics and sociology in addition to all of the arts, sciences and humanities.

"Shiva" wrote:
, and I still maintain that his main donation to politics was his hope that the OTO would take over the world.

This is rather an excitable way of putting things, Shiva.  I am sure his hope was that “Thelema” would take over the world and the OTO was (at one time) his hopes of being the prime vehicle with which to engineer such a change.

"Shiva" wrote:
He described it as "aristocratic communism" and with himself being the OHO (embued with unlimited dictatorial powers), then he would become the chief dude of the planet.

This is also excitable and rabble-rousing language.  Some people may consider this as striking an informal but demeaning note, rather as you have yourself in the vein of the average voter being moronic.  Is it (in)accurate though?

"Shiva" wrote:
[...] he would become the chief dude of the planet.

This “chief dude of the planet” - I’m not sure whether Reuss or Crowley entertained the idea though that there would be some sort of revolutionary coup (more of a steady drip-drip-drip of ideas). (You must read my 'Chapter 12' of TSROTOTO sometime and let me know what you think of the matter where I touch upon it there.  Perhaps I might ‘blog’ it?)

Could this “chief dude of the planet” be the same as the chief of all?  I don’t think it is!  Could you mean something like a World President? Except that implies his/her being democratically elected, which an autocrat couldn’t be.  Possibly you may need to refine your terms better?  Ideally, a sort of Lao-Tzu type of leader would be best.  I do find the combination of A.C.’s proposal of total authority with total anonymity a potentially sinister recipe for future abuse, however

"Shiva" wrote:
"Every Brother is expected to use all his influence with persons in a superior station of life (so called) to induce them to join the Order. Royal personages, ministers of State, high officials in the Diplomatic, Naval, Military, and Civil Services are particularly to be sought after, for it is intended ultimately that the temporal power of the State be brought into the Law, and led into freedom and prosperity by the application of its principles."
- An Open Letter to Those Who May Wish to Join the Order

These are certainly high-flying hopes couched in optimistic terms.  How realistic this and similar objectives were also meant to be could perhaps be debated profitably on this thread?  (Again I also go into it in my Chapter referred to).

The following is also relevant, from A.C.’s “The Method of Thelema”:

Nor let it be forgotten that the full blossoming of this new era is perceptible on every hand.  Governments, it is true, have not yet taken official notice of the subtle evolution which is taking place under their eyes. [cf “something is happening but you don’t know what it is, do you Mr Jones?”] They are bewildered and alarmed; they either break down in chaos or react savagely against the manipulations which disturb their stupidity.  But they will not prevent the prodigious dawn which is taking place in the essence of man.

We have given some idea of the nature of the Law of Thelema and the general meaning of its formula, Do what thou wilt.  A theory of indestructible solidity and perfection has been presented to the world.  The question then arises, How is it to be put into practice?

It is here that [there] appears the necessity of creating an immense and universal technique which shall permit its application in the immediate future. […]

Such men [“bankers, captains of industry and, generally speaking, all those whose natural office it is to manipulate social forces] are ready for the message of the Master Therion, for they rule the mainspring of the economic clock.  They should be the first to devote themselves to the cause, to accept the idea of the Law of Thelema, and to come forward to organize the scientific investigation which must be undertaken in order to bring the great branches of modern science, from political economy to biology and psychology, to contribute their force to swell the irresistible river of human attainment.

"Shiva" wrote:
[...] Also, I loved AC's Libers, but payed no attention to any political writings he may have penned in any WW (1 or 2).

Does this include Liber Oz? (published in the year the USA entered the war.)

Machiavellianisly yours while kissing babbies for the cameras,
N Joy

Also, if the OTO showed a glimmer of possibly being in the position of being such a powerful instrument of socio-political change, the intelligence services of all the nations would be brought to play upon it.  Current members should be grateful that hasn’t happened and is not the case…


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Shiva
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16/12/2013 11:09 pm  
"jamie barter" wrote:
As no one ...

Thank you for your hair-splitting opinions. I have no comment as I already had my say, and I am not part of the debating society.


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jamie barter
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17/12/2013 4:43 pm  
"Shiva" wrote:
"jamie barter" wrote:
As no one ...

Thank you for your hair-splitting opinions. I have no comment as I already had my say, and I am not part of the debating society.

Thank you, you are welcome!  Tho’ I’m not quite so sure about “hair splitting” – I was just trying to clarify and throw a little light on things, after all...You seemed to be suggesting that A.C. was not much cop when he was writing on matters of a “political” theme, & I was stating in return that he did have some things of interest to relate on that broad subject – as I imagine this book is saying also.  There is still room for some possibly productive discussion by others on some of these issues regarding im/plausible (“political”?) intentions by the Order, as I previously suggested:

"jamie barter" wrote:
These are certainly high-flying hopes couched in optimistic terms.  How realistic this and similar objectives were also meant to be could perhaps be debated profitably on this thread?  {Again I also go into it in my Chapter [12] referred to previously, and which "as requested" may be 'Blogged' shortly...}

In addition, I also queried your past and present understanding of the role of the ‘chief dude’ aka the OHO of the OTO, Shiva.  Still, you don’t have to “debate” further if you don’t want to, of course, that is one ‘freedom’ I think we can all take for granted…

But with best wishes & yours truly in the way of a “Mass Observation”
N Joy


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Shiva
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17/12/2013 9:13 pm  
"jamie barter" wrote:
I also queried your past and present understanding of the role of the ‘chief dude’ aka the OHO of the OTO ...

Feel free to make an appointment.
The usual and customary medical fees will apply.
Discounts are given to lashtal posters.
Audio/video recording devices are prohibited.
Non-disclosure Agreements must be signed and sealed prior to consultations.
OHO!  Isn't that what Santa says?

Oh yeah, I forgot to list the limitation (restriction?) that AC put on civil (political) law:

"Thou must have simple Laws and Customs to express the general Will, and so prevent the Tyranny of Violence of a few; but multiply them not! Now then herewith I will declare unto thee the Limits of the Civil Law upon the rock of the Law of Thelema."
"There shall be no Property in Human Flesh."
"There shall be no Property in Human Thought."
- Liber Aleph


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Hamal
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17/12/2013 10:21 pm  
"Shiva" wrote:
Oh yeah, I forgot to list the limitation (restriction?) that AC put on civil (political) law:

"Thou must have simple Laws and Customs to express the general Will, and so prevent the Tyranny of Violence of a few; but multiply them not! Now then herewith I will declare unto thee the Limits of the Civil Law upon the rock of the Law of Thelema."
"There shall be no Property in Human Flesh."
"There shall be no Property in Human Thought."
- Liber Aleph

I'm not expert, but we don't seem to be doing very well against that list!  🙁

:-
93
Hamal


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Shiva
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17/12/2013 11:28 pm  
"Hamal" wrote:
... we don't seem to be doing very well against that list!

If, by we, you mean we humans, then you are correct. Every political center of pestilence is based on a few simple rukes - and then multiplied ad infinitum to include the 1000+1 ways that we are held accountable. Break any one of them and you get slapped, fined, incarcerated, beheaded, or talked about in a negative manner in the daily newz (gnus?).

"Punishment is the authoritative imposition of something undesirable or unpleasant upon an individual or group, in response to behaviour that an authority deems unacceptable or a violation of some norm."
- Wikipedia[/align:1i5pvq27]

[/align:1i5pvq27]


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belmurru
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18/12/2013 10:07 am  
"Shiva" wrote:

"Punishment is the authoritative imposition of something undesirable or unpleasant upon an individual or group, in response to behaviour that an authority deems unacceptable or a violation of some norm."
- Wikipedia[/align:1ocp8vn5]

Hmmm... that deifinition makes punishment seem always willful, arbitrary and implicitly unjust. Using "reward" instead of punishment makes it clear what is missing:

"Reward is the authoritative imposition of something desirable or pleasant upon an individual or group, in response to behaviour that an authority deems acceptable or in accord with some norm."

(curious mix of English and American orthographic norms there... not trying to punish you or anything)

For instance, we can say that, upon crossing the street without looking, he was punished for his heedlessness when he was hit by a bus. We can use "punish" this way because willful punishment, human-human or human-animal, is the desire to train impluse to obey rules for its own good, to keep you safe. The definition of "good" (for which there are "multiplications" of rules and their punishments when contravened) is what causes the trouble when two wills collide. So instead of letting children run into the street willy-nilly, we instill fear in them to make it clear that this is not to be done - instilling fear, often accompanied by physical pain (although many people now consider a slap abusive, and instead rely on rapidly jerking the child back (the unpleasant surprise aspect) and yelling in his face as sufficiently lesson-imparting), is punishment in this instance, in order to avoid a worse punishment that will almost certainly come very soon if they don't internalize the lesson now.

So the line between "punishment" by a willful agent and natural cause is blurry; the purpose of the former arises from the desire to get the ignorant - blissfully so - will in accord with the real consequences of the latter.

That example also shows how punishment is not always arbitrary and not implicitly unjust, just because we don't like the word "authority", especially one having the power to "punish".

It is also the phrasing "authority deems unacceptable" and "some norm" that irritate me. The phrasing of both terms strongly implies arbitrariness. So that, for instance, it is only "some norm" that deems it unacceptable to walk into the street without looking. The punishment for doing so is therefore unjust, given that it is only a norm that may be different in other situations, cultures, etc., and may not be accord with the child's will.


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Shiva
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18/12/2013 5:00 pm  
"belmurru" wrote:
It is also the phrasing "authority deems unacceptable" and "some norm" that irritate me.

It seems rather clear and non-irritating to me. The phrasing is from Wikipedia. You can always go there and edit the definition.


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belmurru
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18/12/2013 5:16 pm  
"Shiva" wrote:
"belmurru" wrote:
It is also the phrasing "authority deems unacceptable" and "some norm" that irritate me.

It seems rather clear and non-irritating to me. The phrasing is from Wikipedia. You can always go there and edit the definition.

No, having now read it, it is a formal definition with qualifications - mostly noted in the notes - which neutralize my objections, so I don't feel compelled to change it. It's a good definition, thus qualified.


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 Anonymous
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22/12/2013 7:25 pm  

Just had word from Amazon that this has been dispatched,  🙂 Xmas has come early!!


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ptoner
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22/12/2013 7:54 pm  

You sure Davy,  I got a message that the dispatch date has changed.  I must be missing out!  🙁

Sent from my C6903 using Tapatalk


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Hamal
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22/12/2013 8:57 pm  
"ptoner" wrote:
You sure Davy,  I got a message that the dispatch date has changed.  I must be missing out!  🙁

And they've told me nuffin!  :'(

🙁
93
Hamal


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 Anonymous
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24/12/2013 12:54 pm  

ive had three messages from amazon - that it was dispatched and on its way, that its release had been brought forward and it would be dispatched sooner , then another today saying it was dispatched...curiouser and curiouser 🙂


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Markus
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22/02/2014 12:44 am  

According to amazon.co.uk and amazon.com the book is available. Neither has received customer feedback, and I'm wondering whether anybody here has gotten their copy yet. If so, what do you make of it? I read it a couple of years back in German and was very impressed at the erudite scholarship, the fair handling of Crowley and the wealth of information the book contained.

Markus


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Mazus
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22/02/2014 6:29 am  

They told me that mine was cancelled due to unavailability only to provide me links to both hardcover and paperback versions.  They're messin' with me head.


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ptoner
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22/02/2014 9:56 am  

I got mine, the first week in Jan. Only ordered over the festive season.


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lashtal
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22/02/2014 12:50 pm  
"Markus" wrote:
According to amazon.co.uk and amazon.com the book is available. Neither has received customer feedback, and I'm wondering whether anybody here has gotten their copy yet. If so, what do you make of it?

I received mine in January and started reading it recently. Impressed so far.

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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William Thirteen
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22/02/2014 6:48 pm  

the release party at Treadwells is just around the corner - will some of us be gladhanding each other there?


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Michael Staley
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22/02/2014 7:03 pm  

I'll be there, William, but I'll thank you to keep your hands to yourself.


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Falcon
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19/03/2014 1:27 am  

I am looking forward to finally reading Marco Pasi's book after the Treadwell's book launch party later today.

Some interesting links detailing Master Therion's political views:

https://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/aleister-crowley-an-appreciation/

http://ac2012.com/2010/10/27/the-prophets-political-platform/

http://www.arcane-archive.org/religion/thelema/aleister-crowley-on-politics-1.php

In 'Confessions' Crowley mentions one of his aunts who was active with the Primrose League, a semi-secret Conservative society defending British Imperialism and the Monarchy. He wrote that she aided him in his career. I wonder if Crowley supported the P.L. ? He was certainly patriotic (the accusations of 'treason' and pro-German sympathies alleged by the Yellow Press not withstanding), and wrote that his patriotism was of the "blatant" variety in 'Confessions' - "Rule Britannia gets me going".
More controversially Crowley wrote that allowing Indian immigration into England was "atrocious folly".


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ptoner
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21/03/2014 3:52 pm  

So does anyone, who has actually read the book, have any thoughts on AC's flirtation with politics?


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Falcon
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23/03/2014 1:06 pm  
"ptoner" wrote:
So does anyone, who has actually read the book, have any thoughts on AC's flirtation with politics?

A most revealing book. Highly recommended. It is interesting that the author documents the fact that Crowley repeatedly tried to renew his association with J.F.C. Fuller, after he had broken  with Crowley in 1911. Pasi shows that Fuller retained his respect for 666.

"Crowley was great avatar, but I don't think he knew it, but I do think he sensed it in an emotional way" - Fuller wrote to E.N. FitzGerald on 17th September 1949.

"I have heard an eminent personage, General J.F.C. Fuller, a man famous in arms and letters, one who has known the greatest statesmen, warriors, dictators, of our age, declare solemnly that the most extraordinary genius he ever knew was Crowley." - C. R. Cammell writing in 1951.

(Both quotes are on page 71).


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William Thirteen
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23/03/2014 7:45 pm  

i am reading it now and will return with any thoughts and observations.  an initial point which Pasi emphasizes is AC's shift from an early individualist, inward focussed perspective concerned with personal spiritual attainment to a later outward focussed perspective in which he was more concerned with establishing Thelema in the world. While the shift is gradual rather than dramatic it reflected itself politically in an initial desire to free the individual from restrictions imposed from the outer, while later in life he was evaluating political systems by their possible utility in spreading the Good Word.

In his remarks at the release party Pasi indicated that the book has been enlarged and expanded with each edition as new sources and works of other authors have come to light. So even if you have the earlier italian or german editions - this one will still be a useful read.


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newneubergOuch2
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23/03/2014 10:21 pm  

I bought it on release and havent even cracked it open yet......i keep getting distracted by other books. Soon.


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Falcon
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30/03/2014 5:35 am  

"The minimum wage shall be such as is required for decent comfort, with a surplus for amusements and investments."

Can anyone tell me where Crowley wrote/said this? The only place I can find it after a Google internet search is here:

http://ac2012.com/2010/10/27/the-prophets-political-platform/


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thiebes
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31/03/2014 12:07 am  

It was in "Considerations of an Open Letter to Labour."

Full disclosure, lest there be misunderstanding and gnashing of teeth, I am the creator of http://ac2012.com


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Falcon
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31/03/2014 12:34 am  
"thiebes" wrote:
It was in "Considerations of an Open Letter to Labour."

Full disclosure, lest there be misunderstanding and gnashing of teeth, I am the creator of http://ac2012.com

Many thanks thiebes!

93


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lashtal
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31/03/2014 12:10 pm  
"thiebes" wrote:
It was in "Considerations of an Open Letter to Labour."

I note that this is described as 'unpublished' but is actually in Yorke NS90. Is a scan available?

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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jamie barter
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31/03/2014 1:00 pm  

I attended the launch too, which was very much packed and “standing room only” (if you wanted to see the speaker!) and organized with the usual splendid Treadwells flair & generosity.

I am not sure whether here would be the most appropriate place to enter a review of the book, which I have now finished… I was contemplating putting something separately in the “Reviews” part of the forum especially set aside for such – well, reviews!  There would also be the possibility of the Reading Circle, except that for some reason that doesn’t seem to energize contributions from Lashtalians very much, as I have discovered from personal experience although I haven’t submitted a particular text as a suggestion myself.

Plus also, I don’t want it to seem as if I’m monopolising things… heaven forfend, but I would much rather read someone else’s thoughts on this volume, so maybe this will act as a catalyst to spur & encourage someone to throw their hat in the ring and thereby save me the effort!  I’ll therefore wait a little longer before posting something and trust you will be able to contain your disappointment?! ;D

What I will do, though, is just make a couple of observations of a general nature concerning it, which I found to be a valuable addition to the corpus of new writings about A.C.: one which adds some fascinating new material, notably on Pessoa, and an unusual angle from which to approach his legacy, viz., the political one.

I suspected before reading it – and had it confirmed after doing so – that while offering nothing quite so broad as it being Bismarck’s “the art of the possible”, Prof Pasi might neglect to offer a firm succinct definition of what he understands “”politics” means – either in general terms, or more specifically what the word meant to A.C. himself.  He does acknowledge though that there is no simple approach:

[…] I do not necessarily seek to find a consistent political doctrine, but rather to understand the way in which Crowley confronted the reality of his times, how he interpreted it and how he related to it.

(p. 25)[/align:6jh3qlcp]

The sense of “the reality” here being, presumably, the realpolitik. There is also a lack of information as to what form the "temptation" specifically alludes, although the suggestion is to some form (either extreme left or extreme right) of the then-current totalitarianism, and I found rather a similar lack of firm foundation and definition with regard to his phrases "scientific naturalism" (as distinct from "scientific illuminism"?, which does not appear to be referred to as such – certainly not in the index) as well as the "counter-initiation", all of which matters though I won’t go into here.

There is a very large number of footnotes – they take up about a quarter of the text – which, as a profligate footnoter myself, I could hardly have any complaint with (Indeed, with A.C. also: the extent of his ‘footnoture’ on occasion exceeds his original text).  But it would have been good to have had them on the same page if possible, rather than constantly having to flit to the back.

I was slightly bemused to read from the Foreword (as opposed to in the about-as-long Acknowledgements section, in which due thanks also appear) that

“Special thanks go to William Breeze and John L. Crow, for reading an early version of the translation and commenting on it.  Without their suggestions this book would contain quite a few mistakes for which I would have been sorry.”

(p.x)[/align:6jh3qlcp]

This was because such scholastic “acumen” (understanding by which phrase, I would infer an extension into the realm of basic proof-reading as well) appears to have been omitted, on a factual side, with the reference to “Crowley strongly reaffirmed its importance through the release of his famous Liber OZ (or Liber LXXVI)” (page 48), when everyone and his rabbit knows it is Liber LXXVII; and on a stylistic note as follows:

Unfortunately, he does not explain in what consisted the proof he was referring to consisted of

(p. 132)[/align:6jh3qlcp]

I know English is not Prof Pasi’s first language, so surely Mr Breeze in his erudition could have assisted with the suggestion of a more elegant paraphrase? (I don’t like this sentence myself anyway – something to do with that verb ‘consist’ – so surely wouldn’t “Unfortunately, he does not explain what constituted the proof to which he was referring” have been better?)

Incidentally, vis-à-vis the sceptics v. supernaturalists debate, Pasi would appear to come down on the side of the latter:

There is no need here to plead particular emphasis on this aspect of beliefs in unspecified “Beings”, since Crowley also believed in the presence of preterhuman entities endowed with objective existence.

(p. 63)[/align:6jh3qlcp]

(He doesn’t label them as “spacemen”, though.)

Q.E.D. ?(!)
NJoy


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newneubergOuch2
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10/04/2014 12:25 am  

Just started this finally this week, although i have already cracked open another book i am now half way through. It seems quite readable, more so than the essay in the recent AC omnibus of scholars collection(i forget the name).


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ptoner
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10/04/2014 10:24 am  

My brief review of the book, can be found on my own website.
http://www.paultoner.com/WORDPRESS/2014/04/09/book-review-aleister-crowley-and-the-temptation-of-politics-by-marco-pasi/


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Falcon
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10/04/2014 11:09 am  

Glad you are energetically promoting the review of the book as it deserves Paul. Most of the errors have been corrected. However, Hitler is still spelt mistakenly as 'Hilter'. Trust you can fix?


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ptoner
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10/04/2014 11:14 am  
"Falcon" wrote:
Hitler is still spelt mistakenly as 'Hilter'. Trust you can fix?

Fixed, with thanks.


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Falcon
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10/04/2014 11:28 am  

Also Marcos should be Marco's (you may have guessed I am studying  proofreading!).


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Falcon
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10/04/2014 12:22 pm  
"Falcon" wrote:
Also Marcos should be Marco's (you may have guessed I am studying  proofreading!).

Also, Marcos should be Marco's. I should have written!


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jamie barter
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10/04/2014 1:03 pm  
"Falcon" wrote:
However, Hitler is still spelt mistakenly as 'Hilter'. Trust you can fix?
"ptoner" wrote:
Fixed, with thanks.

Perhaps, though, the reference might actually have been to one Mr "Hilter", previously reported as hiding out in Torquay along with his compadres Mr Bimmler and Ron Vibbentrop, as referred to by those Monty Python boys??

While I broadly agree your conclusion, Paul, that

after reading this insightful publication, I think the reader comes to the conclusion, it could simply be a flirtation, a temptation of using Politics, in order to bring Thelema to the masses

I think that there might be slightly more to it though than that “simply” - even though aspects of flirtation did come into it - in terms of A.C.’s actively courting both the extreme left and extreme right wing totalitarian regimes of Bolshevism and Nazism respectively during the 1920s by his drafting of letters, making enquiries of contacts, etc., in order to attempt to take direct pragmatic advantage of the ‘spiritual vacuum’ (my own use of quote here) caused by each of their policies having been perceived by him to be trying to negate established religion (specifically Christianity). 

Although Crowley was himself playing his own game with his own agenda in mind throughout & employing his own means to get to his definite end of "bringing Thelema to the masses", the use of "temptation" By Prof Pasi in the title of his assessment suggests that he (A.C.) knew he was dicing with something which might not itself be quite ethically pukka, although I feel he didn't then go on to dwell on this interesting particular angle at any comparable length in the book itself, a little unfortunately.

N Joy


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ptoner
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10/04/2014 2:30 pm  

Thanks Jamie.

So your saying that its possible that AC maybe disagreed, with the political movement, that he was looking to use as a conduit for Liber Al. Which is where the paper leads you too. Unless, I am picking you up wrongly?

I definitely think that the word "temptation" is perfect, as he is solely looking for a vehicle for his message. He actually never really states anywhere, in his notes, diaries etc what the ideal form of governance would be. The closest would be the structure of the OTO. Though for me, that would only apply and work in small, associated groups with no overall domination or state. Sort of like hunter and gather societies, were the strongest survive and rise to the top of the hierarchy. The opposite of days civilizations were the man with the most money sits on the top no matter how weak. The later is doomed to fail, whilst the former has been the natural environment for hundreds of thousands of years. 

Is this the avenue, that you would have liked to seen further investigation from Marco Pasi?


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jamie barter
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10/04/2014 3:44 pm  
"ptoner" wrote:
So you're saying that its possible that AC maybe disagreed with the political movement, that he was looking to use as a conduit for Liber AL. Which is where the paper leads you too. Unless, I am picking you up wrongly?

No, that’s more or less correct, except to add that Prof Pasi seemed to be intimating (unless I have read it wrongly) that A.C. in fact was also in agreement with both political systems – or at least key aspects of them to a certain extent - in the early years, until subsequent events ‘in the real world’ after the 1920s led him to being disillusioned on that score.

Please bear in mind that unfortunately at this time I am without either the book or my notes from it, so cannot give as detailed response as I would otherwise like to do.

"ptoner" wrote:
I definitely think that the word "temptation" is perfect, as he is solely looking for a vehicle for his message.

Please don’t get me wrong, I found the word “temptation” to be both a good one and fit for purpose, I was just saying that I felt he could have taken his exploration of it & its ramifications a bit further; also for one thing Pasi doesn’t really define where he thinks the “temptation” angle fits into the overall scheme of things as far as A.C. was concerned, with its implicit element of moral ambiguity and A.C.'s having weighed up the pros and cons  to have then gone along with the idea of some sort of a Faustian pact, as it were… 😀

"ptoner" wrote:
He actually never really states anywhere, in his notes, diaries etc what the ideal form of governance would be. The closest would be the structure of the OTO.

A.C. doesn’t go into a detailed scheme of how he thinks governance should take place, etc., as he wasn’t a politician and, although otherwise a renaissance man, I don’t think the subject was one of his strong points (like money management!)  But there are ideas scattered here and there on the subject, e.g. A Scientific Solution to the Problems of Government, Duty, a few other essays on topics like having an extended system of Profess Houses together with miscellaneous stuff e.g. letters sent trying to explain his political philosophy to such luminaries as Henry Ford, etc.  Certainly no involved 5-Year Plans or the like, though!

"ptoner" wrote:
Though for me, that would only apply and work in small, associated groups with no overall domination or state. Sort of like hunter and gather societies, where the strongest survive and rise to the top of the hierarchy. The opposite of today's civilizations where the man with the most money sits on the top, no matter how weak. The latter is doomed to fail, whilst the former has been the natural environment for hundreds of thousands of years. 

Is this the avenue that you would have liked to have seen further investigation from Marco Pasi?

I have taken the liberty of correcting your spelling in the posting, Paul, as I think some more typos seemed to have slipped in which would otherwise affect the sense of what one is reading.  (Please correct me in turn if I have misinterpreted what I thought you might be wanting to say.)  Regarding this particular avenue, Prof Pasi could have maybe touched on the evolution of society a bit more, but there wouldn’t be any need to have gone into that in any large amount of depth. 

However one little downtown thoroughfare I would have liked investigated further, though, is where I do feel that the wider (political) significance of money throughout human societies in the Aeon of Osiris, for which we are now dealing within the legacy, has been very much downplayed - by both A.C. and Prof Pasi.

"Falcon" wrote:
"Falcon" wrote:
Also Marcos should be Marco's (you may have guessed I am studying  proofreading!).

Also, Marcos should be Marco's. I should have written!

“The crux of the biscuit is the Apostrophe” (Frank Zappa)
'N Joy


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Falcon
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ptoner
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11/04/2014 9:53 am  

They look like an excellent read Falcon. Thanks for sharing.


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Falcon
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22/04/2014 2:15 am  

Tim Pendry's Review of Marco Pasi's book:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/916596169


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jamie barter
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07/05/2014 12:50 pm  

In the continued absence of any further reviews, etc. of the book by Prof Pasi, I came across the following over the weekend which might be of some interest/ relevance to the general subject as a whole. (N.B., There are no entries under ‘politics’ in the index to the Confessions, ed. Grant and Symonds.)

I have no detailed knowledge of politics; but, just as my essay, ‘The Heart of Holy Russia’, told the inmost truth without even superficial knowledge of the facts which were its symptoms, so I possess an immediate intuition of the state of a country without cognizance of the statistics.  I am thus in the position of Cassandra: foreseeing and foretelling fate, while utterly unable to compel conviction.

(The Confessions, pp. Chapter 73, pp. 781-2 [Bantam edition].)[/align:ttmlbbpr] 

N JOY


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newneubergOuch2
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13/07/2014 1:40 pm  

Hmm, i forgot i still haven't finished this book. Best get back on it.


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