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Letter Crowley to Germer, Summer 1947?


Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
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Recently I have been coming across a passage that Crowley wrote to Germer in the summer of 1947. The passage is this:

"Magick is getting into communication with individuals who exist on a higher plane than ours. Mysticism is the raising of oneself to their level.”

This is often quoted as coming from Churton's 2011 The Biography. Does anyone know the date of the letter, and better still where I can find a copy?

Thanks in advance to anyone who can make an old man very happy.

 


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kidneyhawk
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Posted by: @michael-staley

Does anyone know the date of the letter

The Intro to ABA opens with this quote and the footnote indicates it was written June 21, 1947. That's all that is noted.

I've reached out to Churton's literary agent to inquire further.

 


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kidneyhawk
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I just received a kind response from Mr. Churton in which he wrote the following:

 

The quotation to which you refer is, verbatim, as follows:

 

"I have explained in one of the letters of “Magick Without Tears”

about the question you ask with regard to magick and mysticism. The

former is getting into communication with individuals who exist on a

higher plane than ours: the latter is the raising of oneself to their level."

 

This is the last paragraph from one of the very last letters AC sent to his friend Karl Germer; illness in late summer, autumn and winter 1947 prevented much more communication, as AC was bed-ridden much of the time. The letter was sent from Hastings, Sussex, and dated 21st June 1947.

 

The letter is held by the O.T.O. private archive collection of letters to and from AC and Karl Germer and is copyright O.T.O. from whom permission must be sought to reproduce it.

 


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Michael Staley
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MANIO - it's all in the egg
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Posted by: @kidneyhawk

I just received a kind response from Mr. Churton in which he wrote the following:

Many thanks for your help in this matter, Kyle.

The background to this query lies in the early 1990s, when I wrote an article on "The Vision and the Voice" and published it in the fourth issue of Starfire. It included the following passage from a letter by Crowley which I dated simply as 1947:

"As to your question about God, it is very difficult to answer… Everything depends upon the definition of the word God, but I stand by my statement that there are beings of an intelligence and power of a far higher quality than anything we can conceive of as human. That is the syllogism which makes Magick imperative – either we must get in contact with such intelligences, or we must just develop qualities in our own minds which are of that character. The existence of the universe is itself a definite proof that this must be so. To put it in a nutshell, Magick is the job of getting in contact with those Beings, and Mysticism the job of developing the mind to a state equivalent."

I'd forgotten about this until someone enquired of me from whence the letter came. I didn't have my notes any more, alas. In the late 1980s I was studying a lot at the Warburg, so it could have come from there. Whatever the origin, the quote is similar in sentiment to a passage in Magick without Tears which Kenneth Grant quoted at the beginning of Outer Gateways:

"My observation of the Universe convinces me that there are beings of intelligence and power of a far
higher quality than anything we can conceive of as human; that they are not necessarily based on the cerebral and nervous structures that we know, and that the one and only chance for mankind to advance as a whole is for individuals to make contact with such Beings."

The final paragraph, as quoted by Churton, of the letter Crowley to Germer in June 1947, is another variant, but is also clearly not the letter from which I quoted in my article. At least, though, the source options are narrowing.

 

 


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Shiva
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Posted by: @kidneyhawk

The letter is held by the O.T.O. private archive collection ... r and is copyright O.T.O.

How unusual.

 


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
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Topic starter  

Just to round off this thread, I now have a copy of the letter of 21st June 1947 to Germer. It doesn't throw any light on the source of the letter quoted in my article on The Vision and The Voice, but it's considerably better than nothing.

 


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