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"Progradior and the Beast" by Keith Richmond  

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christibrany
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14/08/2010 5:46 pm  

I just finished this highly fascinating and entertaining book by Mr Richmond and I wanted to recommend it.
It shows Crowley in a very realistic light, being both positive and negative.
Bennett himself as Progradior is also as the subject of the work very well dissected and explained in terms of occult evolution and personal history. He seemed to be a very genuine and good person.

Along with Jane Wolfe and Kenneth Grant I think Frank Bennett is the most important post Crowley Thelemite in terms of drumming up interest for Thelema after Crowley's passing.

The saddest part of the book was Crowley's constant requests for money putting a strain on their relationship as well as Crowley's 'order' for Progradior to make haste on the first ship back to Cefalu in order to become Abbot in Croweys stead. Sad because Crowley despite his personal attention and pride in Progradior while in Cefalu, and helping his occult attainments, showed a marked condescension towards Bennett and to expect him to drop everything and return to Cefalu despite already having broken up Bennetts family due to their association, as well as making Bennetts son turn against him, all the while not mentioning it in correspondence as if it didn't happen, was very cold.

The best point I got out of this in terms of Crowley was Progadior was very (in my opinion) smart to separate the man Crowley from the prophet the Beast 666. In a sense we are all two people, our idealised and spiritual selves, and our egoistic human inferior being. Progradior thus was able to keep Thelema alive in his heart and realise the value of the teaching without letting Crowley the man corrupt his realisation in the validity of the magical system. This is something that lesser minded folks like Betty May or Gerald Gardner were not able to do.

So I highly recommend the book! There are some great one off ie unique photos of Crowley too, especially one at Cefalu looking like a sunburnt hiker with a turban πŸ™‚ I really love Crowley's colour oil paintings decorating the cover and the end papers, as well as on the books sister volume 'Magical Record of Progradior' which I am tackling next.

They both seem to be very useful for anyone on a spiritual path.


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alysa
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14/08/2010 7:38 pm  

This is indeed an interesting book, and it's already heartily advertised here before, I'm happy you really enjoyed it, and you also give a good review of it, though I think you cannot even compare Betty May with people like Crowley, Gardner, she's even to me 'a far lesser mind' than Gerald Gardner, I'm obliged to admit, though she was a beauty of thought, certainly in her later years of live, you give a very good review of the book to my mind, do you also have by same author "The Progradior Correspondence"?


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michaelclarke18
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15/08/2010 12:49 am  

Progradior thus was able to keep Thelema alive in his heart and realise the value of the teaching without letting Crowley the man corrupt his realisation in the validity of the magical system. This is something that lesser minded folks like Betty May or Gerald Gardner were not able to do.

It isn't really appropriate to use Betty May in this comparison. May had no interest in either Thelema or Crowley and certainly had no desire to 'realise the value'. It's also very clear that she didn't accept The Book of The Law.

May's mind was probably far more intent on developing the relationship with Loveday as opposed to anything else.


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 Anonymous
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15/08/2010 2:05 am  
"christibrany" wrote:
The saddest part of the book was Crowley's constant requests for money putting a strain on their relationship

Yes, I must admit this is one of several aspects of Crowley's example which I find appallingly disappointing. When he ran out of cash, he simply sponged off those around him. That's it. No grand secret of sex magick coming to the rescue, no wise early investments of his massive inheritance, which he could easily have managed so as to still provide for a very comfortable life, as well as a tangible success-making foundation for his religious movements to last after his death (can you imagine?) - no, just bald-faced spongeing. Often. And this is supposed to be when he was at his most "powerful" and "learned". Unimpressed!


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 Anonymous
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15/08/2010 3:08 am  

and not understood.


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 Anonymous
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15/08/2010 7:24 am  
"zardoz" wrote:
and not understood.

What is not understood, exactly? Crowley's continual spongeing off those around him and complete inability to manifest wealth once his inheritance ran out ?

Sorry - this is getting off topic - just thought I'd second the observations in the book which christibrany mentioned in his initial post.


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 Anonymous
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15/08/2010 3:41 pm  
"Noctifer" wrote:
"zardoz" wrote:
and not understood.

What is not understood, exactly? Crowley's continual spongeing off those around him and complete inability to manifest wealth once his inheritance ran out ?

Sorry - this is getting off topic - just thought I'd second the observations in the book which christibrany mentioned in his initial post.

93,

I have always thought that, due to Crowley's many childhood "traumas"- if you may call them that- he found the easiest way out of everything (his mother, family, the Plymouth Brethren and christian upbringing, and all kind of authority) when he got his $2m inheritance.

Crowley is a figure which remained very, very, very "marked" by his childhood, and the christian upbringing he was exposed to. Like it or not, these all were things that, in one way or another, influened his life and work. That is one of the reasons I find it so important to seriously study gnosticism and the works of highly influential people for me as Kenneth Grant and Regardie. This may offend some or not, but Crowley remained a rebel all his life. A rebel to any kind of authority. His character and things he did which for many of us were "let downs" have to be looked upon with a psychological eye. His ego was but a reflection of his wealthy upbringing. He thought he could have it all,do it all, and push everything to the extreme. Crowley's childhood and christian upbringing were a very important factor on his character, that which he developed throghout his life.


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alysa
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15/08/2010 4:38 pm  

I also think it's important to not only study Crowley but also say people who biographed him, people like Regardie and Grant, and also it's important to at least know something of the Golden Dawn and something of Ancient and Medieaval Gnosticism as wel. "Crowley's childhood and Christian upbringing were a very important factor on his character",I think most people here on LAShTAL are aware of that.


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 Anonymous
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15/08/2010 6:37 pm  
"Noctifer" wrote:
"zardoz" wrote:
and not understood.

What is not understood, exactly?

Crowley's commitment to the Great Work.

If only he'd gone into the diplomatic service as originally intended and made something of himself. πŸ™„ Then he wouldn't have had to resort to the Unpardonable Bourgeois Sin of asking for financial assistance.


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christibrany
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15/08/2010 7:08 pm  

There's nothing wrong with 'asking for financial assistance' as you put it, but there is a marked difference in his behaviour towards Alan Bennett and not wanting to 'ruin their friendship' as I read, by giving him the 100 pounds to Ceylon himself, and then turning around and sending out essentially chain letters for money to all your disciples and friends and acquaintances instead of trying to get money yourself. He never really tried to earn a living as he saw making money yourself in a regular job a lower class thing. It was all he could do to force himself to write articles for a magazine while in the US. This is not spiritual or enlightened it is just haughty in my opinion. That is what most of us dislike. And we, like Frater Progradior choose to separate the man Crowley from the Beast 666, as their differences in behaviour and so called enlightenment are marked.


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 Anonymous
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15/08/2010 7:47 pm  

Dear God, thank you so much that Aleister came on earth with all those besetting sins,
so that now I can feel better about my own shortcomings and even a bit proud for my own deeds.

πŸ˜‰


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 Anonymous
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15/08/2010 8:15 pm  
"christibrany" wrote:
It was all he could do to force himself to write articles for a magazine while in the US.

Why do you believe he forced himself to write in the US? He loved to write and prolifically seemed able to write about whatever he liked without censorship for the magazine. Crowley liked to work. His money making occupation was being a writer. He wrote a lot with one intention of selling books and making money. Like many creative types, he seemed to have little or no business acumen or interest, so fell on hard financial times.

I don't see what's wrong with AC sending out letters asking for financial help to carry out his mission. He set out to usher in a major paradigm shift in human consciousness. I'm grateful that he continued doing what he did rather than abandoning course and getting a conventional job in order to pay the bills.

If Crowley was alive today and posted a notice here on lashtal that he needed money to carry on, he would receive thousands of dollars, euros and pounds overnight. That's because many more people today recognize the value of his work and would gladly support it. Of course, if he were alive today he wouldn't need to ask as he'd be covered by book sales and merchandising royalties.


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christibrany
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15/08/2010 8:41 pm  

You obviously do not understand Crowleys situation or bevhaviour very well Zardoz.
He even himself stated in a letter to Bennett:
'You talk about earning a living, but I cannot earn mine! I could no more make Β£4-10-0 a week than I could clear an eight foot bar. My qualities are useless to commerce on every day matters.'
He never strived to correct these faults of his, furthermore, if you see nothing wrong with personally breaking up a family, writing a friend using the following words:
'Just a short word to congratulate you very heartily on your troubles' (!) ' You had to find out what these people' (referring to Bennett's wife and children... 'were really like - the lowest kind of sneak-thief on the largest scale' when all they did was find Crowleys repeated requests for money taken away from Bennetts family and life objectionable. That to me is not surprising but I do find your support of such actions surprising.
Furthermore if you find nothing wrong with writing a 'friend' thus after all the trouble you have caused:
'Live as cheaply as you can. Send all spare cash to O.P.V.' (Mudd) 'for the building of the King's Palace' (crowleys planned Abbey )and then
'The Beast definitely expects you to leave by Cefalu by the next boat that sails' (despite breaking up his job, his family, and his life, and just having returned to Australia from Cefalu to begin with) ' He leaves it to your own skill and will to see that nothing stops you'
And again asking for money without expecting to give anything personally in return and while ignoring all the bad you've caused, as if it did not happen, that is your choice but from my point of view it shows a damning lack of character and sense, regardless of how well your spiritual system works, it shows as a person you aren't following your own teachings. This is a common thing with 'gurus' however...
cordially...


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 Anonymous
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15/08/2010 8:46 pm  

Greetings

I know that you all love AC and just try to be fair and balanced.
Yet, for some reason, I feel the need to stand for the man Crowley now, and say that the man and the Beast 666 was one. Although his personality was only the mask and the vehicle, it needs to be honored as well. After all, this is what his spirit chose to manifest on earth. Of course no one has to follow his paradigm, and to accept the man Crowley certainly doesn’t mean to repeat his deeds – as a matter of fact, we are all supposed to find our own way, don’t we?

I feel that I’m coming too strong with these opinions now, but there are two reasons for this:

1. His work stirs a lot of subconscious energies for the ones who follow his lines and I have the impression that it is of critical importance to accept him as a whole. You see, the man Crowley has been gone long ago; it is the Aleister Crowley archetype that we work with. For me, to work based on his teachings and his line of thought and try to separate and deny his aspects at the same time, would mean to separate and deny my own aspects, the ones I should have tried to integrate in the first place.

2. I have experienced what it means to have someone degrading your personality and asking you at the same time to stay open and offer your spiritual goods just like a slave would fetch a basket of fruits to his master. I assure you, it’s not good at all and I wouldn’t wish to anyone, dead or alive, to experience it. So yes, I believe that the personality needs to be honored as well.

Regards
Hecate


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 Anonymous
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15/08/2010 11:51 pm  
"christibrany" wrote:
He even himself stated in a letter to Bennett:
'You talk about earning a living, but I cannot earn mine! I could no more make Β£4-10-0 a week than I could clear an eight foot bar. My qualities are useless to commerce on every day matters.'

He recognizes his lack of business acumen. He's honest.

"christibrany" wrote:
He never strived to correct these faults of his, furthermore, if you see nothing wrong with personally breaking up a family,

I don't have a puritan work ethic so don't consider it a fault to be unable to toil at a daily mindless job like our culture is programmed and brainwashed to accept. Crowley never stopped working. During his lifetime, the value of his work was not recognized in any economically significant way.

I don't personally see anything wrong or right about these infractions you cite because I'm not qualified to sit in judgment. I don't know the context or circumstances, and I don't pretend to have any moral superiority. Crowley and Bennett had a teacher/senior student relationship, it was not just a common friendship. There are many possible explanations for Crowley's actions.

I haven't read and don't have the book so am at a bit of a disadvantage in this debate.

"christibrany" wrote:
writing a friend using the following words:
'Just a short word to congratulate you very heartily on your troubles' (!) ' You had to find out what these people' (referring to Bennett's wife and children... 'were really like - the lowest kind of sneak-thief on the largest scale' when all they did was find Crowleys repeated requests for money taken away from Bennetts family and life objectionable. That to me is not surprising but I do find your support of such actions surprising.
Furthermore if you find nothing wrong with writing a 'friend' thus after all the trouble you have caused:
'Live as cheaply as you can. Send all spare cash to O.P.V.' (Mudd) 'for the building of the King's Palace' (crowleys planned Abbey )and then
'The Beast definitely expects you to leave by Cefalu by the next boat that sails' (despite breaking up his job, his family, and his life, and just having returned to Australia from Cefalu to begin with) ' He leaves it to your own skill and will to see that nothing stops you'

How shocking ... which might have been exactly the intended effect... I don't know, and neither do you. See the earlier suggestion, Beelzebub's Tales, for the esoteric benefit of receiving shocks.

"christibrany" wrote:
And again asking for money without expecting to give anything personally in return and while ignoring all the bad you've caused,

Did Bennett actually say Crowley caused bad things to happen for him? Did Crowley brainwash and usurp Bennett's volition so much that he blindly followed AC's suggestions to his own ruin?

A real teacher creates obstacles and provides resistance for the student. Not at first, but as the student progresses. Whether Crowley was doing this or simply being a selfish jerk as you suggest, is open to interpretation.


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christibrany
(@christibrany)
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16/08/2010 2:01 am  

πŸ™‚


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 Anonymous
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16/08/2010 2:39 am  
"zardoz" wrote:
and not understood.
"zardoz" wrote:
I haven't read and don't have the book so am at a bit of a disadvantage in this debate.

And yet you accuse others of "not understanding" what the subject is.

You're welcome to join the Ordo Templi Armchair-ientis to remedy this defect at any time, you know.

I have a feeling we've had this conversation before, zardoz - me pointing out an actual, generally documented flaw in his character, you leaping madly (and blindly) to whitewash and invent all sorts of excuses based on the most transparent of pretexts, without knowing the facts.

My very point is, that he did not choose to hit on his pupils for money as part of some sort of "shock" tactic to Awaken his pupil, and from a position of power to gain it otherwise, though he probably tried to pass it off like this : he did so from a position of being actually broke and unable to manifest it except by asking people he knew (and asking them to ask people they knew too) to simply send him money.

It's called begging. You know, what the Catholic Church does today, so its clergy can live like princes.

It was not just Bennett either, he did this to pretty much everyone he knew once his funds had run out (from being squandered on mountain treks, cruises and parties - hey, nothing wrong with that, but who should foot the bill in the long run ? People he hasn't met who misguidedly trust his intentions? Pupils seeking non-material attainment ? Where was his sense of sacrifice, and "service to humanity" then, which he would later expect of others ? ).

That he was extraordinarily talented there can be no doubt (although, if I had inherited what he inherited in my twenties ...) . That his work has been prophetic of some aspects of the zeitgeist of the last century is alslo remarkably true. But he was also a cretin at times, to those with whom he had personal relations.

If you disagree with this, you are invited to send five thousand pounds immediately via paypal, to my private message inbox, for the ongoing benefit of Mankind, or risk the future of humanity.

Money, eh?


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 Anonymous
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16/08/2010 4:50 am  
"Noctifer" wrote:
"zardoz" wrote:
and not understood.
"zardoz" wrote:
I haven't read and don't have the book so am at a bit of a disadvantage in this debate.

And yet you accuse others of "not understanding" what the subject is.

No, you made that up in your imagination. The subject is clear. From your post alone I drew the conclusion. I don't need to read the book to suggest an alternate view to another of your emotional rants against Crowley and the blindness of your certainty about it.

"Noctifer" wrote:
You're welcome to join the Ordo Templi Armchair-ientis to remedy this defect at any time, you know.

Your welcome to join the Self-Righteous Society of Omniscient Know It Alls who have such little resource that they desperately resort to snide sarcasm to brow beat their tiredly predictable, morally superior point of view.

"Noctifer" wrote:
I have a feeling we've had this conversation before, zardoz - me pointing out an actual, generally documented flaw in his character,

That's quite the selective and fantasized memory you have, Noctifer. In our previous conversation you never did cite actual documented flaws to support your wild, emotionally exaggerated claims even when I called you on it.

"Noctifer" wrote:
My very point is, that he did not choose to hit on his pupils for money as part of some sort of "shock" tactic to Awaken his pupil, and from a position of power to gain it otherwise, though he probably tried to pass it off like this : he did so from a position of being actually broke and unable to manifest it except by asking people he knew (and asking them to ask people they knew too) to simply send him money.

I still don't understand what's wrong with asking people to support your cause when you have a good cause to support? To me it sounds like some weird uptight morality to characterize asking supporters for money as hitting on pupils. The same kind of morality that judges and condemns how he spent his money. As if Do what thou wilt shouldn't apply to him. Quite bizarre.

I suggested maybe shock tactics were intended in the specific instances quoted by Chris and wasn't implying he did this every time he asked for money. Quite the wild imagination you have.

"Noctifer" wrote:
Where was his sense of sacrifice, and "service to humanity" then, which he would later expect of others ? ).

I don't know, maybe read Perdurabo again. Try his methods, a lot of information gets unlocked that way. I can't turn on the light for you

"Noctifer" wrote:
But he was also a cretin at times, to those with whom he had personal relations.

I expect almost everyone has been guilty at one time or another of being a cretin to those they love, present company excluded, of course. It's called being human.

"Noctifer" wrote:
If you disagree with this, you are invited to send five thousand pounds immediately via paypal, to my private message inbox, for the ongoing benefit of Mankind, or risk the future of humanity.

Money, eh?

Oh, I fully agree with you so you can send the money to me and I'll apply it to the benefit of Women and Childrenkind.


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christibrany
(@christibrany)
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16/08/2010 5:17 am  

boys boys....
shake hands and go have a steam. πŸ˜€


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 Anonymous
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16/08/2010 11:37 am  
"zardoz" wrote:
emotional rants

πŸ™„


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 Anonymous
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16/08/2010 4:32 pm  
"zardoz" wrote:
"Noctifer" wrote:
"zardoz" wrote:
and not understood.
"zardoz" wrote:
I haven't read and don't have the book so am at a bit of a disadvantage in this debate.

And yet you accuse others of "not understanding" what the subject is.

No, you made that up in your imagination. The subject is clear. From your post alone I drew the conclusion. I don't need to read the book to suggest an alternate view to another of your emotional rants against Crowley and the blindness of your certainty about it.

I don't recall having "emotionally ranted against Crowley" - just pointing out where he lets himself (and those whom he failed during, and after, his life, through example, or lack of) down. I know this site isn't about me or you, but about Crowley; however, in order for it to be about Crowley, we have to look at the facts, a single example of which, quoted above, I find personally disappointing.

I'm not "for" nor "against" Crowley. I'm "for" me, as a Thelemite, and theoretically I'm "for" everyone else too, although practice isn't always perfect, (yet!). I find immense value in much of his legacy, but some bits, this bit in particular (the destructive parasite trend, I mean), simply sucks. That's all.

"zardoz" wrote:
"Noctifer" wrote:
I have a feeling we've had this conversation before, zardoz - me pointing out an actual, generally documented flaw in his character,

That's quite the selective and fantasized memory you have, Noctifer. In our previous conversation you never did cite actual documented flaws to support your wild, emotionally exaggerated claims even when I called you on it.

You're right - I never did cite the actual documented flaws, (such as this one, kindly cited by Chris above), partly because it would be very time-consuming and very boring for me, unless you pay me to do it for you, partly because these things are likely to emerge naturally, such as they have here in this thread; partly because that material is less interesting to me now than it was when I studied it last century; and partly because you're better off consulting for yourself the material which I did, in fact, refer to in general terms during that conversation.

"zardoz" wrote:
"Noctifer" wrote:
My very point is, that he did not choose to hit on his pupils for money as part of some sort of "shock" tactic to Awaken his pupil, and from a position of power to gain it otherwise, though he probably tried to pass it off like this : he did so from a position of being actually broke and unable to manifest it except by asking people he knew (and asking them to ask people they knew too) to simply send him money.

I still don't understand what's wrong with asking people to support your cause when you have a good cause to support? To me it sounds like some weird uptight morality to characterize asking supporters for money as hitting on pupils. The same kind of morality that judges and condemns how he spent his money. As if Do what thou wilt shouldn't apply to him. Quite bizarre.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with spending all of your massive youthful inheritance on fun and japes, and then asking people you later meet to give their non-inherited, but hard-earned, money, to support your "good cause" (ie. pay your bills) when you suddenly run out and have no livelihood, but don't want to give up your lifestyle. Nothing at all.

There is something profoundly disappointing, though, about spending all your lunch money on lollies, and then begging at dusk for your supper from a similarly-broke husband and father who supports you in other ways, in the aggressive and destructive manner Chris described above; and repeating this pattern with others. And then saying "It's because I'm a Magus, you see - that's why you need to give me cash from your struggling family's coffers ... ".

I suggested maybe shock tactics were intended in the specific instances quoted by Chris and wasn't implying he did this every time he asked for money.

It's just that every time the subject comes up, that is - the well-documented and generally accepted fact that Crowley sometimes treated and exploited those around him in shocking ways, up you pop with this same contrived drivel about it being profound and intended to enlighten the victim (?), instead of simply being intended to get money from them. That's all - but I'll take it as implicit in your response that you now, finally, accept that he did do this sometimes without any such intended profundity, simply for the bald-faced value of getting money because he had no other way, magical or otherwise, of doing so.

Whatever the case - if he intended it to be profound, and it wasn't, but instead just made those with whom he was dealing think he was a prick, then it's still, as I said, unimpressive. On his part - not theirs. They (and you) on the other hand are to be commended for such staggeringly good-intentioned generosity in finding excuse after excuse for the man.

"zardoz" wrote:
"Noctifer" wrote:
Where was his sense of sacrifice, and "service to humanity" then, which he would later expect of others ? ).

I don't know, maybe read Perdurabo again. Try his methods, a lot of information gets unlocked that way. I can't turn on the light for you

Thanks for the suggestion, but Crowley's practical instructions and his life are two different things. No amount of the former will give you the info about the latter which we're talking about here - details of his personal relationships, which are covered not only in the biography which you mention, but in many many others, including his own autobiography, diaries, and this book.

"zardoz" wrote:
"Noctifer" wrote:
But he was also a cretin at times, to those with whom he had personal relations.

I expect almost everyone has been guilty at one time or another of being a cretin to those they love, present company excluded, of course. It's called being human.

True - we are, most of us anyway. But I don't recall any news of Frank Bennett spongeing off Crowley, destroying Crowley's family, etc. Maybe it's my apparently skewed angle on all this, formed by only reading particular biographies, which is to blame. I'll have to work on it, and try those methods you mention. Crowley's methods.

"zardoz" wrote:
"Noctifer" wrote:
If you disagree with this, you are invited to send five thousand pounds immediately via paypal, to my private message inbox, for the ongoing benefit of Mankind, or risk the future of humanity.

Money, eh?

Oh, I fully agree with you so you can send the money to me and I'll apply it to the benefit of Women and Childrenkind.

Nah - best send it to me, as the traditional term "Mankind" includes women and children as well as males - and we wouldn't want to leave anyone out.

πŸ˜€


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Shiva
(@shiva)
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Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 4099
16/08/2010 5:17 pm  
"wolf354" wrote:
In my opinion Crowley wasn't very skilled about money.

I believe you are absolutely correct. As a young man, he was wealthy. When his inheritance ran out, he became essentially broke, but he still wanted to live the way a rich kid lives.

"wolf354" wrote:
He asked everybody he knew [for] money ...

So if you want to live the way a rich kid lives, you need to ask everyone for money - contantly.

"wolf354" wrote:
... he would also produce beautiful books.

His earlier self-published books (when he had his own money) were beautiful works of art. His midlife books (when he was broke), were published by companies and they're just plain old books in terms of standard bindings and lack of embellishments. But, in the end, The Book of Thoth has to be one of the classical wonders of bookdom.

"wolf354" wrote:
Weren't all his publications made avoiding profit?

His earlier position (in relation to The Equinox) was that he adjusted the price so that he encountered a slight loss, thus people could not accuse him of writing and selling books in order to make a profit. And the there's the old "spiritual information should be free" icon.

After the early days of optimistic loss, I imagine the price was set by the publisher, but there probably was no profit because the books did not find enough buyers.

"wolf354" wrote:
He as surely lost a lot of money with his books...

It was a matter of printing books in numbers that were too large to sell them to a limited audience. Historically, he always seems to have had crates of books in some warehouse (or the books have been stolen)(or the warehouseman didn't get paid).

There is this thing called The Oath of the Abyss, also referred to in its lesser, holographically-reduced version as The Oath of Poverty. These terms mean different things to different individuals, but the bottom line is: Prophets, Poets and Potentates usually "don't get no spending cash."

"One evening in 1193, Saladin became suddenly bed-ridden due to pain and fever, and within a few of days he fell into a coma from which he never returned. He died at age 55 on March 4, 1193 at Damascus, not long after Richard the Lionheart's departure. He left behind one piece of gold and forty-seven pieces of silver; he had given the rest away to his poor subjects."

As is often normal, after he died, Crowley's books crept up in value. Then they became rare and expensive. Then loose cannons started reprinting his works. Now it's all generally available at bookstores, and just about everything is researchable for free in cyberspace.


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 Anonymous
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16/08/2010 5:56 pm  

I'd always believed his "don't make it look like you're paying me for occultism" pose was a hangover from his Golden Dawn days, you know that bit from the GD lecture on the origins of the R.C. fraternity, saying how they professed only "to heal the sick, and that gratis". Might be the Templars (or both). I think he mentions it in the Hag.

The idea that it's wrong to make money from your actual publishing and writing work, but it's okay to destroy a struggling family by spongeing off them as a result of your therefore-inevitable poverty, and henceforth ask everyone you meet for their money and damn them when they say "no", certainly strikes me as an exquisitely eccentric little way to have.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
16/08/2010 7:38 pm  
"Noctifer" wrote:
I don't recall having "emotionally ranted against Crowley" -

Your recollection has been shown to be faulty.

"Noctifer" wrote:
just pointing out where he lets himself (and those whom he failed during, and after, his life, through example, or lack of) down.

Who did AC "let down" besides yourself? Did Bennett say that Crowley let him down? People who are "let down" by Crowley should get a life ( if they're alive) and stop blaming their troubles on him.

"Noctifer" wrote:
I'm not "for" nor "against" Crowley. I'm "for" me, as a Thelemite, and theoretically I'm "for" everyone else too, although practice isn't always perfect, (yet!). I find immense value in much of his legacy, but some bits, this bit in particular (the destructive parasite trend, I mean), simply sucks. That's all.

And you're stuck with that view. The black iron prison of absolute certainty. The possibility that you don't understand his actions doesn't seem available to your righteous, judgmental state.

"Noctifer" wrote:
There is absolutely nothing wrong with spending all of your massive youthful inheritance on fun and japes,

He spent all his money having fun. More of your exaggerated, unsubstantiated nonsense, aka drivel.

If only he would have stayed in Great Britain and set-up house with Rose. He would have frugally saved his inheritance longer, and wouldn't have traveled to Cairo and burdened us with all this Book of the Law business.

Risking your life breaking mountain climbing records certainly is a barrel of laughs and quite clearly a frivolous waste of time to anyone serious about a respectable career path.

"Noctifer" wrote:
There is something profoundly disappointing, though, about spending all your lunch money on lollies,

That's how you characterize his book publishing efforts which included the Equinox? Quite bizarre. And I'm the one accused of writing drivel?

"Noctifer" wrote:
up you pop with this same contrived drivel about it being profound and intended to enlighten the victim (?),

What part of my posts do you consider drivel?

This is the first time I've made the suggestion that there might be motives for his actions other than the shallow, superficial, egotistical ones, that you judge Crowley by. So your statement: "It's just that every time the subject comes up...up you pop with this same contrived drivel about it being profound and intended to enlighten the victim ..." has no basis in reality. Maybe you have me confused with someone else. Or perhaps you're visiting from a Parallel Universe where I do pop up with the same argument repeatedly.

"Noctifer" wrote:
Whatever the case - if he intended it to be profound, and it wasn't, but instead just made those with whom he was dealing think he was a prick, then it's still, as I said, unimpressive. On his part - not theirs. They (and you) on the other hand are to be commended for such staggeringly good-intentioned generosity in finding excuse after excuse for the man.

Suggesting that you may not know everything is hardly finding excuse after excuse. Who would have thought that Crowley would continue to be busted by the righteous Morality Police from someone who professes respect for his legacy? Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law unless you're Aleister Crowley. How ironic is that?

"Noctifer" wrote:
Thanks for the suggestion, but Crowley's practical instructions and his life are two different things. No amount of the former will give you the info about the latter

Wrong!

"Noctifer" wrote:
But he was also a cretin at times, to those with whom he had personal relations.
Maybe it's my apparently skewed angle on all this, formed by only reading particular biographies, which is to blame. I'll have to work on it, and try those methods you mention. Crowley's methods.

Good idea!


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
16/08/2010 7:40 pm  
"christibrany" wrote:
boys boys....
shake hands and go have a steam. πŸ˜€

As soon as he gives me my money... πŸ™‚


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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
17/08/2010 2:31 pm  
"zardoz" wrote:
"Noctifer" wrote:
just pointing out where he lets himself (and those whom he failed during, and after, his life, through example, or lack of) down.

People who are "let down" by Crowley should get a life

Charming. Most of them did, though it would of course be nice if they weren't let down by him in the first place - then he could have been part of their "life", and they, his. Not to worry, plenty of fish in the sea, etc., as I'm sure most of them found out.

"Noctifer" wrote:
I'm not "for" nor "against" Crowley. I'm "for" me, as a Thelemite, and theoretically I'm "for" everyone else too, although practice isn't always perfect, (yet!). I find immense value in much of his legacy, but some bits, this bit in particular (the destructive parasite trend, I mean), simply sucks. That's all.

And you're stuck with that view. The black iron prison of absolute certainty.

I'm not stuck with anything, but this is my present, slowly (and reluctantly)-evolved, reasonably informed view, yes - although "the black iron prison of absolute certainty" is a nice way of putting how your view comes across, though I'd add "uninformed" to the list. It appears to be "defend Aleister at all costs, even if I haven't bothered informing myself about the full facts of the matter before leaping to his unasked-for defence".

The possibility that you don't understand his actions doesn't seem available to your righteous, judgmental state.

Oh I do understand his actions (in this particular instance), I just think they sucked (in this particular instance). Evaluation, you know. I don't see any reason to take Aleister's side as an automatic default setting, like you seem to do. I like playing devil's advocate - and I have to say, in many cases, of which is this is a good example, Aleister comes off third best.

"Noctifer" wrote:
There is absolutely nothing wrong with spending all of your massive youthful inheritance on fun and japes,

He spent all his money having fun. More of your exaggerated, unsubstantiated nonsense, aka drivel.

If only he would have stayed in Great Britain and set-up house with Rose. He would have frugally saved his inheritance longer, and wouldn't have traveled to Cairo and burdened us with all this Book of the Law business.

Risking your life breaking mountain climbing records certainly is a barrel of laughs and quite clearly a frivolous waste of time to anyone serious about a respectable career path.

I've said already that I don't have a problem with spending all of one's massive inheritance on whatever one likes. I wasn't being ironic (not even 'black ironic prison' πŸ˜‰ ) ... until one attempts to pass the burden of the consequences (one's own inevitable, self-inflicted, vainglorious impoverishment) on to all and sundry later on , oblivious to their actual distress at the effects of obliging one's aggressive, parasitic demands.

What part of my posts do you consider drivel?

The bits where you say Aleister sponged off people in order to enlighten them (as opposed to just being desperate for cash and impotent to generate it oneself, magically or otherwise).

You have in fact done something similar in our previous conversation - your line of "maybe we all get the Aleister we think we deserve", as a totally tangential and similarly uninformed defensive reaction to similarly agreed-upon criticisms (by those, such as our webmaster, who are most certainly better-informed on the man's character and legacy than I), proceeding to a similar inflation of my criticism to the status of "emotional /exaggerated rant against Crowley" when it's simply a confirmation and exploration, and reflection upon long-established facts. We needn't dwell upon where that particular line ended up...

Suggesting that you may not know everything is hardly finding excuse after excuse.

But you didn't just say "you may not know everything". If you had, I'd have agreed with you. Nobody does - (especiallly not Aleister Crowley!).

What has happened instead, is not a mere suggestion that I don't know everything, but - if I can borrow your wonderful and evocative term (you're really genuinely very good at these - I've said so before, and I mean it sincerely πŸ˜€ ! most edifying) - a "black iron prison"-like and vehement assertion , despite your openly admitting to not knowing the full facts, both in this and the other conversation, that a criticism of Crowley constitutes a failure to understand him, or is somehow a projection or fantasy of the critic, not an actual feature of Crowley.

That, my dear fellow, is, in fact, "finding excuse after excuse". In my view, knee-jerk criticism of critics of Crowley is a failure to (more-) fully understand not only Crowley, but the point of the criticism itself.

Who would have thought that Crowley would continue to be busted by the righteous Morality Police from someone who professes respect for his legacy? Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law unless you're Aleister Crowley. How ironic is that?

There is a difference between respect, of which open criticism is a necessary part, and (it seems) wilfully blind adulation.

"Noctifer" wrote:
Crowley's practical instructions and his life are two different things. No amount of the former will give you the info about the latter

Wrong!

Aha, so that's your secret. The Dark Arts. Very well. Okay then - using only the A.'.A.'. practical instructions (as opposed to his surviving diaries, autobiography, biographies, various testimonies and references by acquaintances, surviving correspondence etc.), would you be so kind as to compose a comprehensive and detailed account of Crowley's life (early, middle, late), activities, relationships, and so on etc.

"Noctifer" wrote:
But he was also a cretin at times, to those with whom he had personal relations.
Maybe it's my apparently skewed angle on all this, formed by only reading particular biographies, which is to blame. I'll have to work on it, and try those methods you mention. Crowley's methods.

Good idea!

Okay then, here goes :

"you must send five hundred pounds immediately..."

πŸ˜†
n


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