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Colin Wilson's Nature of the Beast


 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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Hi,
Has anybody read this book and if so, is it a good one to read? I've read reviews that say it is one of the better books on Crowley and his teachings. I've been told the two books to stay away from are: Dymystfying The Beast by R. Hutchinson and John Symond's biography. Is this true?


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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"Starman" wrote:
Hi,
Has anybody read this book and if so, is it a good one to read? I've read reviews that say it is one of the better books on Crowley and his teachings. I've been told the two books to stay away from are: Dymystfying The Beast by R. Hutchinson and John Symond's biography. Is this true?

Avoid anything by Gerald Suster. I recently read a book of his entitled The Hell Fire Friars which is simply one of the most atrocious books I've ever happened upon; amateurish trash of the worst kind. I find it hard to believe that his biography of Crowley is worth reading. As for The Beast Demystified , you are right to ignore it. It's derivative pap with a terrible title. I haven't read the Colin Wilson book and do not intend to.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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Wilson is predisposed to AC's reputation and writes it that way. Concerning the mountain climbing of K2 when climbers died because they abandon AC, Wilson (because he was there I supose???) blames Crowley and claims with no proof what so ever that AC heard their shouts and ignored them. No one but those involed know how that went down but those who were there. I can only assume Wilson wrote his book based on reading the books of others. The only books written about Crowley at the time Wilson's book came out were hatchet jobs by people who would bury AC under his own grotesque reputation and little else. For the best book on Uncle Al look for Perdurabo which the 1st ed. skyrocketed from $18 to $200 but a 2nd printing should in the works soon. Do What Thou Wilt by Sutin is a good one too.


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empiricus
(@empiricus)
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93

Search here on lashtal for a thread called 'Best book?' for past views on the biographies. I wholeheartedly agree with at least one opinion expressed there that Wilson's is by far and away possibly the worst wriiten to date - for the very reason that he could have done so much better a job of it. Something of a mystery as to why it is so sloppy and perverse, but I would still advise anyone to read it and come to their own conclusions rather than not, along with all the others. For me, Kaczynski's 'Perdurabo' is the best biography to date - head and shoulders above anything written so far.

93 93/93

All the best..-.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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a 2nd printing should in the works soon.

Might I ask what you're basing this information on? I believe elsewhere on this site Mr Kacynski himself said this wasn't the case. I admit to being a bit behind the times these days so apologies if I've missed an announcement. I do hope the situation has changed and there is actually truth to a second edition forth coming.

Regards,
Kym


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empiricus
(@empiricus)
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93

I can't find anything beyond this apparently latest definitive position either:

http://www.lashtal.com/nuke/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=1755&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=Kaczynski&start=30

It is also interesting to note that Richard Kaczynski also said here that when there is good news on this front he would be letting LAShTAL know about it.

93 93/93
All the best....


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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Yeah..thanks Empiricus. I second guessed my post the second I hit send and went searching for this thread I imagined/remembered. LOL. The link you just provided is the only one I can find for the moment as well.
Regardless, there are many of us who DONT own a copy and news of a second edition would be MOST welcomed.

I guess I just read travisirius's post and jumped the gun (in a good way, I was really hoping something new had transpired whilst i'd been working myself to death opposed to hanging out on the forums, ha).

Thanks for looking into this for me Empiricus. I'm quite sure when something is really set to go Dr Kacynski will announce it in the News section. (which is what I thought I might have missed). We'll all have to just keep holding the hope. 🙂

Agape,
Kym


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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All Right all right I can take a HINT! Two days ago I was doing my yearly Samhain house cleaning when I bumped a bookshelf and out fell Colin Wilson's The Occult at my feet. The next day I visited a Goodwill rummaging through a bin of unsorted books, found a good Yeats and when I lifted it from the pile, under it, there was Wilson's Beyond the Occult; 1988). The later I am currently reading. Now here is yet another reference to that writer. Synchronicity can be frustrating when it is devoid of common sense!
Previously I have read some of Wilson's novels. Some good, some not so good; some of his psychological stuff (The Misfits), a few book reviews.. but I have never read that biography. John Symond's work I have read and thought it rather long and laborious but somewhat slanted.. Dr Kaczynski's work I was unaware of, thank you for the head's up and I look forward to the second edition as my bank account would not take kindly to getting a first!


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 Anonymous
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Ah, The Occult is a good mention of Wilson's bias against Crowley. Not only is his portion on the beast saturated with his person opinion, as well he finds way of working it into the section on Gurdjieff.


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Horemakhet
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Wilson is a hack writer (in my opinion). The fact that he has made a career out of it is to his credit.


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Frater_HPK
(@frater_hpk)
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"seeyouintheentity" wrote:
Avoid anything by Gerald Suster. I recently read a book of his entitled The Hell Fire Friars which is simply one of the most atrocious books I've ever happened upon; amateurish trash of the worst kind. I find it hard to believe that his biography of Crowley is worth reading.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

C'man, have respect for the old Gerald, please. We disagree about a lot of things, but I liked both him and Michelle. And he liked our native beverage named sljiwowitza 😉
BTW, he wasn't satisfied with his book about Crowley. But this is still not a bad book. Personally, I like more his books about boxing, but this is another story.

Love is the law, love under will

HPK


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
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Colin Wilson has written some remarkable books: The Outsider, for example, and The Occult. His book on the poltergeist phenomenon remains the best introduction. The Sex Diary of Gerard Sorme is a creditable attempt at a genre of fiction only recently becoming more popular.

Unfortunately, his biography of Crowley is not one he'll want to be remembered by.

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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phthah
(@phthah)
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93,

lashtal wrote: Unfortunately, his biography of Crowley is not one he'll want to be remembered by.

I agree that Wilson's biography is one of the worst out there. However, The Beast Dymystified stands side by side as equally poor. In fact, I was unable to get all the way through the later it was so bad. Although I would not say Symonds biography is good, at least it seems to be fairly factual regarding the events of A.C.'s life. Of course it falls into the usual traps like the others. However, of the three mentioned by Starman in the original post, I would say Symonds was the best.

Kevin_Ikari wrote: Ah, The Occult is a good mention of Wilson's bias against Crowley. Not only is his portion on the beast saturated with his person opinion, as well he finds way of working it into the section on Gurdjieff.

Yes, I agree with this. I have "The Occult" and there is some good general info in it. It has some overall value. However, his short bio of A.C. is certainly a forshadowing of the future bio to come. Anyway, regarding short bio's, one of the worst I have ever read is by a guy named Louis Stewart in a book called "Life Forces". It starts out by saying that "A.C. is the classic example of a preacher's son gone bad"! Need I say more?

93 93/93


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gurugeorge
(@gurugeorge)
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Nobody's mentioned A Magick Life by Martin Booth? I think it's quite good. I have a lot of respect for Martin Booth since he did that little collection of AC's poetry, giving an impartial rating of Crowley as a poet (i.e. that he wrote a lot of rubbish, but also some real gems of great poetry, which I think is spot on). Some balls to do that, a man with his decent reputation in the mainstream.


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empiricus
(@empiricus)
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93,

A short thread devoted to it here : http://www.lashtal.com/nuke/PNphpBB2-viewtopic-t-547-highlight-Booth.phtml and a reasonable number of references in other diverse threads - a search on Martin Booth brings up quite a lot of disparate comments.

93 93/93
All the best...


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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There's a copy of Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley by Richard Kaczynski on Amazon (UK) for £35 right now.


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joe93
(@joe93)
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Wilson is open about not liking Crowley's character - he told me as much recently - although he agrees with his philosophy: read the final sentence of the book. [Which is more necessary, more relevant to your life, the philosophy or worrying whether someone likes Crowley?] He also told me [after I'd given him a spare copy of Convoluvus] that he still admires Grant very much, and has done since he reviewed The Magical Revival 30-odd years ago. If you follow Grant's leads about developing a Nu Aesthetic [rather than rehearsing the same old same old] then Wilson has some very suggestive threads in his work - Magick and intentionality/phenomenology - Magick is a metaphor, not a set of strict rules; Maslovian self actualisation and the True Will/The Synergic Society; his theory of Faculty X - which is identical to Grant's assertion about "a faculty for which there is in the West no precise designation" and uses the Abyss crossing letter X to describe a state of consciousness which is near yet far - ringing any Spare Typhonian bells yet? He also finds many examples of this in forgotten literature, all of it as useful as Grant's reading lists of fiction. His own Lovecraftian fiction such as The Mind Parasites wouldn't have been out of place in that Hidden Lore reading list. Not bad for a hack...
This is the problem; using anything useful to develop a "systematic derangement of the senses" or sticking to the script. It is my opinion that Wilson's work is highly suggestive and useful. Just because he prefers Gurdjieff to Whiskas means nothing at all. We MUST, as Grant points out, develop sensitive aesthetic antennae to build a Nu Culture. Wilson is saying the same thing, from a different angle. So was McLuhan. So were Blake and many others. Crowley had his own path - it's not yours.
Anyway.
I will never mention this subject on here again. Got work to Do.


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
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Excellent post: thank you.

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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kidneyhawk
(@kidneyhawk)
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Excellent post

Quite-!

I've not purchased nor read Wilson's Crowley Bio but his tome, The Occult, was my first tracking of the Beast's Bio. If I remember correctly, that's where I jumped into that book-and the rest of it introduced me to MUCH. Upon recommendation from a very respected person, I recently read Mind Parasites and was quite taken with that book.

Crowley had his own path - it's not yours

As simple as this sentence is, it's one of the most poignant and powerful I've read on this site. I can recall when I moved into a visionary state and realized that there was no Crowley outside of my own ability to perceive such. This cast so much Crowleyanity into a new context...and since you mention Blake, it was he who wrote, so impassioned:

"I must create my own system...or be enslaved by another man's..."

Freed from Crowley, the "Prophet," the "Authority," I have found his work to be wonderfully inspiring, amazing, worthy of study...the work of an Adept without question...but if we ourselves make of AC a Father instead of a Brother, we've erred...


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Horemakhet
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Uncle Al did say that he did not want anyone to follow him, did he not? From my reading he stated explicitly that the thought of it made him feel ill. At no point in his ´career´do I find him desiring to be a Leader. He was concerned with being a Master of himself and his environment as a reflection of his Will. - He did understand the new current of Thelema, however, better than most, and made a conscientious effort of applying it to his daily hours. I read "The Occult ¨ by Colin Wilson 10 years ago when I was immersing myself in anything and everything I could find on the subject, and I enjoyed it. I quickly discarded all of his ´X - Factor (?)´material though. Too Flakey. My impression of him is that he is predominately a writer of uncertain stance. He is versatile in his way though, and thus procures an interesting selection of assignments.


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