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Azidonis
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09/09/2011 7:42 pm  

Okay, so we know he was a pioneer in the mountaineering business. He still holds world records to this effect. We know he was a great amateur chess player, and is even famous in some circles for his moves in that scenario. We know that Crowley claims to have been a spy, and that he supposedly invented the "V for victory", etc. The list could go on with the things Crowley did or ideas he came up with... physically.

But where magick and mysticism is concerned, the science and art of enlightenment, what new things did he bring to the table? We can say the Holy Books are new and unique, but what else?

Thus, the topic of this thread, especially for those of you advanced in the magick and mysticism department, and also those who are scholars of Crowley's life and works. What did he do/bring that was new? Be as specific as possible, please.


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Shiva
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09/09/2011 8:12 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
What did he do/bring that was new? Be as specific as possible, please.

He claimed to have introduced Anhalonium Lewinii to Europe. This botanical name was found to be incorrect, so the botanists changed it to Lophophora Williamsii. The Latin names don't matter, we all know it by its common name: The Peyote Cactus.

He also claimed to have finished" the work of Dr. Dee. A good reading of Liber 418 will show that he seems to have broken some new ground in that adventure.

As for "Do what thou wilt," and a lot of other Thelemic catchwords and phrases, well, we've seen where a whole big bunch of stuff was uttered or posted by others before his time.

As far as laying out the Path, in great detail, for others to read, including ourselves, I don't know of any other source that is quite so practical. Thanks, Aleister.


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Shiva
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09/09/2011 8:13 pm  

I see a lot of double posts from time to time. This is one, but I jumped in to edit it and to remove the "double post." This seems to happen when the first click just sits there and one clicks again to get the process moving. I've noticed a BIG slowdown in Lashtal recently, but the rest of the web is also slowing down as the "digital traffic jam" gets worse and worse.

This has been an off-topic message designed to disguise my double-clicking impatience.


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 Anonymous
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09/09/2011 8:14 pm  

Hey, Az. You mean like "Who put the K in MAGICK," and all that might be implied thereby that was totally unprecedented? 😉


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Shiva
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09/09/2011 8:22 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
Hey, Az. You mean like "Who put the K in MAGICK," and all that might be implied thereby that was totally unprecedented? 😉

Um, even AC said he adopted the "old spelling" of Magick (with a "k") in order to differentiate it from stage magic.


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 Anonymous
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09/09/2011 8:43 pm  
"Shiva" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
Hey, Az. You mean like "Who put the K in MAGICK," and all that might be implied thereby that was totally unprecedented? 😉

Um, even AC said he adopted the "old spelling" of Magick (with a "k") in order to differentiate it from stage magic.

I know, thanks. I think it's a question of whether there is ever really anything "new under the sun," as they say, or whether it's just a matter of progress by admixture.


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 Anonymous
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09/09/2011 9:03 pm  

One of the big things about Crowley was that he synthesized a lot of stuff and presented it in an original way and style. I wouldn't have got interested in all that Golden Dawn stuff and lots of other things if it wasn't first brought to my attention by him.


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Azidonis
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09/09/2011 10:32 pm  

Some good points so far. The question must be asked, and should have been asked in the beginning, how much was really new, and how much was just placed into new wrappings?


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amadan-De
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10/09/2011 10:18 am  

Wasn't his take on the mechanics of reincarnation, specifically his own, somewhat novel? 😉


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Azidonis
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10/09/2011 10:30 am  
"amadan-De" wrote:
Wasn't his take on the mechanics of reincarnation, specifically his own, somewhat novel? 😉

Which part?


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amadan-De
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10/09/2011 12:56 pm  

The part that allowed him to 'be' Eliphas Levi despite being well into his second trimester in utero when Levi died.


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the_real_simon_iff
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10/09/2011 3:00 pm  

93!

I would also vote for his workings that would finally culmulate in "The Vision and The Voice".

His personal approach to the Abramelin/Augeoides operations are also quite original.

Love=Law
Lutz


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Azidonis
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10/09/2011 8:38 pm  

So far, we have...

The Holy Books
Peyote
Liber 418
Practicality (which is debatable)
his idea of reincarnation, I suppose (it wasn't altogether new to me when I first read his explanation, but I don't think I've read it anywhere else specifically, to amadan's credit)

Iff, is there anything specific about his approaches that you would like to highlight?

The whole reason behind this thread, is that when we look back at achievers, we wonder what make them stand out. And what this thread is aimed at, with help from all of your great thinkers and scholars, is to see what Crowley really did to separate his work from that of any others. I think that enough of these little listings that we are doing here will help to develop a sort of image of Crowley as a stand-alone master, and not just another guru on the wayside talking about nirvana, if that makes any sense.

I'd also like to list that, were it not for Crowley, the 8=3 Grade might have probably become "taboo" if left alone in the old GD system.


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Markus
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10/09/2011 9:29 pm  

His scientific approach to the matter certainly stands out.

Markus


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Azidonis
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11/09/2011 2:09 am  
"Markus" wrote:
His scientific approach to the matter certainly stands out.

Markus

But is the the first one to use such an approach?


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Proteus
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11/09/2011 3:22 am  

Regardless of what he may have ultimately attained, I'd say Crowley is most identified with 3=8. Even though he may have achieved (and even defined) the later grades, he seemed to best fit in the 3=8 even after (at least administratively) surpassing it.

Parenthetically,
John


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 Anonymous
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11/09/2011 3:34 am  
"Proteus" wrote:
Regardless of what he may have ultimately attained, I'd say Crowley is most identified with 3=8. Even though he may have achieved (and even defined) the later grades, he seemed to best fit in the 3=8 even after (at least administratively) surpassing it.

Parenthetically,
John

Surely you mean 8=3....


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Proteus
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11/09/2011 3:36 am  

nope


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 Anonymous
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11/09/2011 4:20 am  

Really? Well, then care to elaborate?


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 Anonymous
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11/09/2011 9:42 am  

Greetings

Also, it seems to me that he managed to consciously bridge the highest with the lowest aspects of Self in a unique way. At least I am not aware if anyone else had done that in the same extent as AC.

Regards
Hecate


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Azidonis
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11/09/2011 9:55 am  
"N.O.X" wrote:
Really? Well, then care to elaborate?

Perhaps this is a decent link, for the moment (and any casual readers): Practicus 3=8


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 Anonymous
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11/09/2011 12:30 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
"N.O.X" wrote:
Really? Well, then care to elaborate?

Perhaps this is a decent link, for the moment (and any casual readers): Practicus 3=8

from the site: "Gnana yoga is usually translated, “Union by Knowledge.” It is an intellectual route to attainment, though one requiring an illuminated intellect."

I'm guessing the author hasn't actually undertaken any Jnana yoga him/herself.. sine the type of "Knowledge" translated by Jnana is anything but intellectual, being more of a Direct Experience type knowledge (akin to the gnostic concept of "knowing"). Though AC probably received most of his book knowledge on Jnana yoga through Vivekananda's work, who wasn't the best source of direct instruction, but suitable for Westerners in the early 20th Century.

I'd have to agree with that good call by Proteus about AC in 3=8, due to the focus of this grade which so highlights AC's whole system and philosophy of attainment.

But back to the topic of originality, it would have been quite original back in the early 20th century to be fusing eastern and western systems into a new type of system for attainment (even with an illustrious "secret" Order(s) to boot), and open for all and any to follow. I feel his originality lies in touching on so many systems and leaving his footprint over so wide a range of topics, and works related to "spiritual attainment" (if there is such a thing).


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christibrany
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11/09/2011 7:37 pm  

I was going to add something but everyone has said what I was thinking.
Namely that in terms of specific workings that aren't holy book related, I agree that the Vision and the Voice is most original in that it draws from but in my opinion adds more detail and possibilities to Enochian working that maybe were not there before.
Also I agree with Hecate that his most valuable original contribution to magick is his showing how integration of the polar sides of our being is necessary, not just the light and the dark but also the concious and subconscious. I think he does this in an original way with admonishments on behavioural, mind, and intellectual control in his practical Librii, as well as in a more philosophical or metaphysical way with his admonishments against dabblings and workings with things that the aspirant is not ready to integrate into their psyche.
In a nutshell he more than anyone showed the importance of not ignoring ones shadow self.


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 Anonymous
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12/09/2011 6:41 am  
"christibrany" wrote:
Also I agree with Hecate that his most valuable original contribution to magick is his showing how integration of the polar sides of our being is necessary, not just the light and the dark but also the concious and subconscious. ...In a nutshell he more than anyone showed the importance of not ignoring ones shadow self.

Liber XC exemplifies these points, verse 40 in particular, and its counterpart as quoted and further explored in Magick in Theory and Practice, towards the end of chapter XXI. (Both well worth a peek)


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christibrany
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12/09/2011 9:25 pm  

Thank you for the footnote, really 🙂
I usually like to back up my assertions or even opinions but all my books are packed and yea..but thanks!


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thiebes
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13/09/2011 1:45 am  

"Superb as is this adumbration of the Law of Thelema by Rabelais with his Word Fais ce que veulx, The Book of the Law gives us more—it gives us 'all in the clear light.'" - AC, The Antecedents of Thelema


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Shiva
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13/09/2011 5:35 am  
"amadan-De" wrote:
The part that allowed him to 'be' Eliphas Levi despite being well into his second trimester in utero when Levi died.

In some cases, the Tibetans are said to be working on their next incarnation, even as they are still alive and in their last months or years. Thus, a lama may die, and yet his next incarnation is already a child of 3 years. Taking that into account, there's nothing unusual or individual on Crowley's part here.


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Shiva
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13/09/2011 5:45 am  
"zazenji" wrote:
"Gnana yoga is usually translated, “Union by Knowledge.” It is an intellectual route to attainment, though one requiring an illuminated intellect."

Great Balls of Disagreement!

Gnana yoga is not "intellectual." It is Gnosis. One can even see the Gn- root in both words. It is knowledge of "Truth" by direct perception, not by the puny intellect.

It doesn't matter what heroic website that definition came from, or which hero wrote it. Give us a break shall be the whole of the law.


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 Anonymous
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13/09/2011 6:20 am  
"Shiva" wrote:
"zazenji" wrote:
"Gnana yoga is usually translated, “Union by Knowledge.” It is an intellectual route to attainment, though one requiring an illuminated intellect."

Great Balls of Disagreement!

Gnana yoga is not "intellectual." It is Gnosis. One can even see the Gn- root in both words. It is knowledge of "Truth" by direct perception, not by the puny intellect.

It doesn't matter what heroic website that definition came from, or which hero wrote it. Give us a break shall be the whole of the law.

While AC does refer to intellect in Postcards to Probationers, Jyana Yoga is certainly Awareness. All the clouds that are blocking our mind are removed and real percertion is permanently restored. Thus the goal of worldly Consciousness is attained. Jnana Yoga is more akin to Understanding the Law of Existence and the Awareness to know the Ultimate.


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Nomad
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13/09/2011 12:24 pm  

There is a lot of originality in the Thoth tarot designs.


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 Anonymous
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13/09/2011 5:30 pm  
"Nomad" wrote:
There is a lot of originality in the Thoth tarot designs.

Yes, Thoth Tarot is an example of Crowley's originality. He took a lot of information, analyzed it, cooked it, synthesized it, and then presented it in a new way.

Solve et Coagula, and with style!


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Azidonis
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13/09/2011 9:33 pm  

Just to clear one thing up, I posted the link about 3=8 as a random link that would give some sort of overview. I didn't endeavor to post a whole slew of things about 3=8, as they are not all entirely relevant to this "Crowley-in-a-bag" thread. I don't represent those whose website I linked, aside from perhaps being a kindred spirit.

More about the topic of the thread...

If I want to cook a dish for some friends one night, I have to gather the necessary ingredients. These ingredients are found in nature (or in stores, as combinations of atoms found in nature), and thus finding a "new" ingredient to add would really be a misnomer. I could, however, add something "new" to my recipe. Perhaps I add a spoonful of this, and take out a teaspoon of that. What I am essentially doing is personalizing a recipe, even if it's one of my own design.

The recipe for enlightenment has been known to humanity at least since Patanjali. Some history buff may be able to go back further. What all of these systems do then, is add a teaspoon of sugar, maybe go scarce on the onions.

Crowley no doubt understood this. So one of the things he did, was to mix up a new symbol set for people to use. He tried to take anything he saw as unnecessary out of the recipe, and leave us with a bare-bones recipe, and a spice rack with which to personalize our own recipes.

So we are making chili. There are hundreds of chili recipes, but maybe we don't like any of those. Then, we find a book on chili, which has hundreds if not thousands of chili recipes. We take a little of recipe 93, a dash of recipe 11, some of recipe 156, and so forth, then wa-la! Then we have made chili, and it is not really a new chili per say, but it is a unique chili, made from combinations of our own ideas, an analysis and synthesis of our personal image of what chili should look, feel, and taste like. Crowley simply made a recipe book.

From the beginning of Crowley's recipe, the Probationer, we see that one is to "obtain a scientific knowledge of the nature and powers of my own being." In terms of the analogy, Crowley just said, eat a lot of chili, and find out which ones you like and don't like. Find out how much chili you can eat, how it works with other meals, how your body digests it, etc. Become familiar with as many types of chili as you can, and get some idea of which ones work for you, and begin building your own chili recipe book.

In the Neophyte, one is to "obtain control of the nature and powers of my own being." That is, experiment further with all of these chili recipes, remove those which you won't need, and begin to work on making your own special blend of chili. This work is accented by creation of the Pentacle, which is a symbol of one's understanding of "the universe of chili". It's a map to making chili, a map containing the many ways that you have found to make chili in the manners which best suit you, and best allow you to help others learn how to make chili for themselves. Note here that that the Neophyte is now making his/her own chili. It might still be rough around the edges, maybe so hot it burns your tongue off, but it is a manifestation of the will of the Neophyte, learning how to best express himself/herself by means of chili. The examination in this is simply, "Do you know how to make chili yet, or not"?

The Zelator is, "to obtain control of the foundations of my own being." The Zelator is slowly working on becoming a chili master. Whereas the Probationer found and studies 1,000 chili recipes, and the Neophyte narrowed that set down to 100 ones that s/he can make really well, the Zelator further narrows the amount of recipes down to about 50. This is implied by construction of the Dagger, a symbol of the one-pointedness the Zelator is aiming to achieve in her chili studies. The Zelator is roughly tested in success in the beginning stages of Pranayama, ie. automatic rigidity. That is, under any circumstances, can you make those 50 recipes right? Can you take the ingredients from all 50 of those recipes, and instantly make 50 bowls of chili? You no longer need the chili recipe book, as you are becoming the chili recipe book. Automatic rigidity is not simply tensing up in Asana. Automatic rigidity is a complete shift in one's being, and the test is to do this at will. When you step into the kitchen, can you look onto the spice rack and make as many bowls of chili that are available, with little to no preparation time?

Then we get to our beloved Practicus, mentioned elsewhere in this thread. The Practicus is expected to, "obtain control of the vacillations of my own being." The word "vacillations" means, "1. To sway from one side to the other; oscillate. 2. To swing indecisively from one course of action or opinion to another." The Practicus makes the Cup, and we all know what happens when you walk with a big pot of chili. You better be careful not to spill it! In short, the Practicus learns how to deal with both inner and outer interference in his/her making and presentation of chili. Maybe you have to add this one ingredient at just the right time, and the phone rings, or you hear someone scream in pain outside. The Practicus learns how to manage all of these situations. Perhaps you doubt that your chili is even being made properly. Perhaps you are afraid that if you don't make the chili just right, you won't get into the competition. Whatever the case, the Practicus is learning how to deal with "this and that" while continuing to make chili. His/her recipe book is very limited for this work, and goes from 50 recipes down to about 20. S/he is tested in the ability to concentrate.

The Philosophus is, "to obtain control of the attractions and repulsions of my own being." S/he constructs the Wand. This Wand, or soup ladle, is the tool which the chili-maker uses to stir the pot. If you stir the ingredients too much, you get a different taste than if you stirred it just right. If you don't stir it enough, the ingredients don't mix well. If you can't handle the barking dog outside during your meditation, you have a problem. The Practicus learned not to sway. The Philosophus is learning not to be bothered. S/he is learning real indifference, real non-attachment. The Philosophus can thus handle situations in a greater magnitude than the Practicus, as the Practicus is still trying to make chili with that damn phone ringing. The Rhilosophus has learned how to answer the phone and make chili at the same time, without attachment, and is thus able to make chili and answer the phone at the same time. During this phase, the Great Work begins to become a integrated part of one's own being. One is becoming a chili-maker. The exam for Philosophus includes, He shall pass examinations in Liber CLXXV and in Construction and Consecration of Talismans and in Evocation. Yet in this matter he shall be his own judge. He shall moreover attain complete success in Liber III, Cap. II. Further, he shall apply himself to study and practice the meditations given in Liber V." That is, he is self-tested in the creation of chili and those things which enable him to create chili. S/he learns complete control over both the inner and outer aspects of making chili, and can bring herself to focus rightly under nearly any conditions. The Philosophus can make chili without attachment, and once the process is complete, s/he can put down the recipe books.

The Dominus Liminis is, "to obtain control of the aspirations of my own being." This is a culmination of the work in chili making. The Dominus Liminis knows there are at least 1,000 ways to make chili, and 100 ways which work really well for him/her. S/he knows that he has the ability to make all of these recipes with accuracy under any conditions. The Dominus Liminis has achieved complete control and success in making the chili, and has memorized all of the recipes. S/he knows which recipes to use under which circumstance, and can make the chili without distractions either from within or without. Once all of this is thoroughly analyzed and synthesized, the entirety of the practices from Student through Philosophus, the Dominus Liminis is ready for the big day. When the big day comes, the Dominus Liminis take the Oath of..

The Adeptus Minor. "Let the Adeptus Minor attain to the Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel." Make chili. Chop wood, carry water, make chili. No matter where you are, what you are doing, etc, make fucking chili. Shut up, don't give me any back-talk, don't become distracted, make chili. Finally, after years of arduous work and preparation, the chili-maker only has to make chili. Constantly, without attachment. But wait...

What now? Make chili for who? Make chili for what? Make chili under what circumstances? Make chili... how? Wait, how? What do you mean how? We know how to make chili. No... there is a further question that arises in the fledgling Adepts mind, and that is the fact that there are at least 1,000 ways to make chili! Now the Adept begins to see the process of the Probationer, from a completely different standpoint. Perhaps by this time a young wanna-be chili maker has come to the door of the Adept, and asked how to make chili. This is begins a heavy refinement process, the Grade of Adeptus Major, the culmination of which allows the Adept to make chili for any intended purpose. The absolute struggle between "this chili and that circumstance" becomes a veritable theme. Crowley states in One Star in Sight that the Adeptus Major "obtains a general mastery of practical Magick, though without comprehension." By now, the Adeptus Major has learned through previous practice that his/her new techniques must be analyzed and synthesized as well. S/he has learned how to make chili for any circumstances that come up, but really has to take a step back and allow all of it to sink in. The Adeptus Major has to submit to the Will to make chili.

That's when the Adeptus Major becomes and Adeptus Exemptus. The Exempt Adept seeks to become one with chili-making, completely and totally. S/he realizes that there only one way to do this, and that is to completely remove his/her self from the equation. Yes, this same self that s/he has been working so hard to teach and attune to the act of making chili. This same self that has been through all of the pitfalls, all of the successes, the same Companion. It has to go. If it doesn't, the self will continue to hinder and skew the work, as has been seen again and again on the way to Adeptus Exemptus, and no matter how hard the Adept has tried, as long as the self is there, the possibility for messing up a perfectly good pot of chili is always just around the corner. So fuck it, no more self...

...Now what? Holy shit! Now the Adeptus Exemptus is without self. S/he is in a bakery, a Church, a Mosque, a schoolhouse, a federal building, a prison, and so on. Normally in such conditions, the Adept would simply keep hold on the self, and make chili. But with no self, there is nothing to cling to, nothing to guide the thoughts and emotions, nothing to tune out the distractions, etc. But, the Adept has to make chili. So in the bakery, s/he is able to gather some instruments, though they might be far from ideal, and find a way to make chili. In the Church, Mosque, shoolhouse, federal building, prison, whatever, s/he has to do this. But wait! You can't get into the cooking area of the bakery unless you are a baker, or stand on the altar of the Church unless you are a preacher, or lead rite at the Mosque without the necessary qualifications, or teach at the schoolhouse without a degree, or work in a federal building without the proper ID, and you can't work in a prison unless you are not confined. Now the Adept realizes that s/he has to become all of those things, even though none of those things are him/herself. The first thing that pops up is, "It's not my True Will to be a baker". The Adept laughs, as a Voice is heard amidst the recently breaking Silence, "Indeed, thy Will is not thy own." Then s/he remembers... that's right! No self. Fine. Become the baker, and make chili.

After this long and tender battle against self, not-self, and making chili, the Adept finally learns how to make chili under any circumstances, without the necessity of self. The Adept has mastered the science and art of making chili. The Master of the (chili) Temple, "a Master of Samadhi." That is, s/he can just simply "make chili". Finally! After all those long years of battling, and after the promise and near deception as an Adeptus Minor, chili-making has become Mastered! There is no more need for specific locations, specific thoughts, badges, etc. The Master makes chili. No one tells the Master that he cannot go into the bakery. The Master simply goes into the bakery and makes chili. The baker comes in, finds him making chili, and say, "How do you do, sir?" And the Master hands him a nice refreshing bowl of some of the best chili ever made. The baker then laughs at the Master, saying, "My! That was some good chili! But I bet you can't make this 8 tiered wedding cake!" Little does the baker know, the Master has been utilizing the methods he learned to make chili on every other aspect of perceivable existence s/he has encountered. So the Master picks up a few recipe books, sits down, and within a couple days makes a wonderful 8 tiered wedding cake. "Splendid!" says the baker. "How did you learn that so fast?" The Master simply replies, "I make it like I make chili." The baker is dumbfounded as the Master thanks the baker for his time and use of instruments, and walks quietly out the door.

Eventually, the Master finds him/herself giving freely to everyone. S/he learns that the knowledge, understanding, and skills s/he has acquired can help everyone in their quest to become the best they can be. So he begins working on the little "karmic seeds" of the people, helping them to find clarity in their own methods and ideas, so that they too can eventually pursue the path to mastery. After enough of this practice, the Master is able to analyze and synthesize even his/her own methods, and that's when it happens...

The Master declares a "Word". This Word, or Logos, contains a formula for becoming a Master, and it includes all of the teaching of that Master. It is a true summary of the path to enlightenment. The setting forth of this word unto humanity, in this example Masters case, it is "chili", is an expression that only few can make. That expression, that formula, becomes the Logos, and the Magus has to undergo the Curse of his/her Grade. This Curse is to always speak truth, being that falsity in any fashion can negate and annihilate the formula of the Word. The Magus thus has to be a living embodiment of that Word. Eventually, when that Curse is lifted, and the Word is established ("the Pillar is 'stablished in the Void"), the Magus may retire.

The state of retirement, when the Master finally gets to kick back and see everything s/he has done set in motion, and watch it work, maybe help it along here and there, is the Ipsissimus, or "very own self". This is not the self of the aspirant, or the self of the Adept, or the self of the Master. It is the self beyond those selves, the pure, unobstructed, unhindered and unbound "consciousness of the continuity of bliss", as the Ipsissimus understands that though s/he may indeed "have self", that self does not belong to him/her or anyone. It is indeed completely free.

So yea, long story aside, I think that Crowley left us a recipe book. Patanjali, Mosheh, Lao Tzu, all of the Magi, left recipe books. Crowley's recipe book was intentionally inclusive of both Western and Eastern recipes, but he did add a dash of this, a teaspoon of that. Crowley made his own chili. And after he did, he did his best to show us how to make our own chili, and left us a nice little word which sums it up: "The word of the law is Thelema".


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Azidonis
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13/09/2011 9:49 pm  

A short note, a direct quote from Liber AL would read, "consciousness of the continuity of existence". At the time, I was busy analyzing and synthesizing ideas in order to formulate words, and typed, "the consciousness of the continuity of bliss". I was thinking of both Liber AL and Nuit conjoined with Hadit, and also the Chat-Sit-Ananda of the Hindus, or "truth, consciousness, bliss" and other variations of the same idea.


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Los
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13/09/2011 10:19 pm  
"Markus" wrote:
His scientific approach to the matter certainly stands out.

At first, I was going to simply post that Crowley’s main achievement was the novel package in which he wrapped a host of interesting ideas – which were all around before him in a number of different forms – that he brought together.

But after thinking about it, this strikes me as correct: what’s original about Crowley – what makes him stand out from other “spiritual teachers” – is his emphasis on the method of science and especially doubt and skepticism.

Obviously, Crowley – unlike the vast majority of spiritual teachers in history – had the advantage of living in an age of modern science, in which enormous discoveries offered themselves as metaphors and analogies for spiritual concepts he was discussing, and such metaphors are all over his work.

But then again, a lot of flakey so-called “spiritual” New Agey types today are eager to claim an affinity between their wacko ideas and legitimate science (see, for example, the truly execrable What the [bleep] Do We Know?). So we might be tempted to think that Crowley might be the *first* -- or one of the first – spiritual teachers to draw upon the language of modern science, but sadly not the only.

However, what marks Crowley as unique is not merely his use of science as metaphor or his appeals to science to support occult ideas: it’s his insistence on “the method of science,” emphasis on *method.* That is to say, his system aims at giving practitioners a degree of objectivity over their own minds, in the same way that science strives to objectively perceive the world. He says so himself, all over the place.

In a subject like the “spiritual” and the “occult,” filled with ridiculous supernatural claims and asinine self-delusion supported by nothing more than confirmation bias – and Crowley was certainly not immune to that, at times – what differentiates Crowley was his consistent emphasis on skepticism and objectivity applied to the self, his attempt to get people to see things as they are, instead of the way that their emotions want things to be.

I’m not claiming that Crowley applied skepticism consistently, and I’m not claiming that he was a materialist (which is the position that a proper, consistent application of skepticism inevitably leads to) – but I am claiming that Crowley’s really valuable – and dare I say it, original – contribution to the field of spirituality is his application of the scientific method – in the form of an attempt to perceive as objectively as possible – to the subject of the study of the self.


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Azidonis
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13/09/2011 10:51 pm  
"Los" wrote:
"Markus" wrote:
His scientific approach to the matter certainly stands out.

At first, I was going to simply post that Crowley’s main achievement was the novel package in which he wrapped a host of interesting ideas – which were all around before him in a number of different forms – that he brought together.

But after thinking about it, this strikes me as correct: what’s original about Crowley – what makes him stand out from other “spiritual teachers” – is his emphasis on the method of science and especially doubt and skepticism.

Obviously, Crowley – unlike the vast majority of spiritual teachers in history – had the advantage of living in an age of modern science, in which enormous discoveries offered themselves as metaphors and analogies for spiritual concepts he was discussing, and such metaphors are all over his work.

But then again, a lot of flakey so-called “spiritual” New Agey types today are eager to claim an affinity between their wacko ideas and legitimate science (see, for example, the truly execrable What the [bleep] Do We Know?). So we might be tempted to think that Crowley might be the *first* -- or one of the first – spiritual teachers to draw upon the language of modern science, but sadly not the only.

However, what marks Crowley as unique is not merely his use of science as metaphor or his appeals to science to support occult ideas: it’s his insistence on “the method of science,” emphasis on *method.* That is to say, his system aims at giving practitioners a degree of objectivity over their own minds, in the same way that science strives to objectively perceive the world. He says so himself, all over the place.

In a subject like the “spiritual” and the “occult,” filled with ridiculous supernatural claims and asinine self-delusion supported by nothing more than confirmation bias – and Crowley was certainly not immune to that, at times – what differentiates Crowley was his consistent emphasis on skepticism and objectivity applied to the self, his attempt to get people to see things as they are, instead of the way that their emotions want things to be.

I’m not claiming that Crowley applied skepticism consistently, and I’m not claiming that he was a materialist (which is the position that a proper, consistent application of skepticism inevitably leads to) – but I am claiming that Crowley’s really valuable – and dare I say it, original – contribution to the field of spirituality is his application of the scientific method – in the form of an attempt to perceive as objectively as possible – to the subject of the study of the self.

Nicely put, Los. I think that his insistence on the usage of the scientific method is definitely a unique teaching of Crowley. While he wasn't the first one to use it in spiritual matters by any means, he is definitely one of the front-runners in the field.


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Los
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13/09/2011 11:33 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
I think that his insistence on the usage of the scientific method is definitely a unique teaching of Crowley. While he wasn't the first one to use it in spiritual matters by any means, he is definitely one of the front-runners in the field.

Out of curiosity, who do you have in mind as a spiritual teacher who emphasized the scientific method before Crowley?


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Azidonis
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14/09/2011 12:58 am  
"Los" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
I think that his insistence on the usage of the scientific method is definitely a unique teaching of Crowley. While he wasn't the first one to use it in spiritual matters by any means, he is definitely one of the front-runners in the field.

Out of curiosity, who do you have in mind as a spiritual teacher who emphasized the scientific method before Crowley?

I said he wasn't the first one to use it, not that he wasn't the first one to emphasize it. In fact, I said that, "his insistence on the usage of the scientific method is definitely a unique teaching of Crowley," implying that his constant emphasis on the same is one of the key characteristics of his teachings.

Also, let us keep in mind that the "scientific method as such" was not particularly coined until the 17th century. Thus, if one were to try and make a list of all spiritual teachers who had implemented the method at all, one would be inclined to begin in the 17th century. Then, we would have to make a list of those who pre-date the 17th century.

To say that no spiritual teachers ever used or taught practices similar to the scientific method would be balderdash. To say that no one had quite emphasized "the recognized and acepted scientific method as coined in the 17th century" until Crowley, would be way more accurate.


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Nomad
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14/09/2011 3:09 am  

Another 'original' would be the formula of N.O.X.

Although this came from V.V.V.V.V. and not Crowley, it was Crowley who first wrote about it. (Well, that's my understanding of Gunther's words on the subject anyway.)


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Shiva
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14/09/2011 3:27 am  
"Nomad" wrote:
N.O.X. - V.V.V.V.V. - not Crowley - Gunther

Say, that sure is a lotta name dropping. We could make a distinction between V5 and Crowley, if we wanted to be mystical. Of course, it's going to be one of those "Is Aiwass a man,an alien, a god, or a dog?" things. Holy Moly, he might even be a figment of Crowley's unconscious.

I vote for VVVVV being Crowley at Binah (or so he disclosed to the egoless A.C.). Gunther is not part of the equation. Regardless of how good an author is, I have a distrust of people who are explaining Crowley to other people (as if they can't read for themselves), rather than putting forth their own understanding. I've heard "coat-tails" mentioned.


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Azidonis
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14/09/2011 3:35 am  
"Nomad" wrote:
Another 'original' would be the formula of N.O.X.

Although this came from V.V.V.V.V. and not Crowley, it was Crowley who first wrote about it. (Well, that's my understanding of Gunther's words on the subject anyway.)

Ya, in Gunther's book "Initiation in the Aeon of the Child" he says that N.O.X. is the formula the supersedes I.A.O., L.V.X., or something to that effect (memory is vague). Where symbolism is concerned, sure I can see it. Where actual attainment is concerned, I don't believe that before Crowley it was nearly impossible to become 8=3. There are tons of Masters from Eastern traditions who would disagree on that point.

However, in utilizing the N.O.X. formula in the West, as a means to 'supersede' the Solar Myth, one can see how it put a pretty big dent in just the HoGD system, for starters. So in a way, yes, in Western consciousness it has, but overall N.O.X. is really just more symbolism, though aimed at a broader, more encompassing scope than its Western predecessors.


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Nomad
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14/09/2011 5:08 am  

I vote for VVVVV being Crowley at Binah (or so he disclosed to the egoless A.C.). Gunther is not part of the equation.

With all due respect, Shiva, I am much more inclined to accept Gunther's view on this matter, thanks.

V.V.V.V.V. is the Messiah of the Aeon. Crowley, of course, took a name with the same initials when he became a Magister (so intimate was the identification he had with his Master by that stage). But Crowley was not the Messiah.


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Azidonis
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14/09/2011 6:06 am  
"Nomad" wrote:

I vote for VVVVV being Crowley at Binah (or so he disclosed to the egoless A.C.). Gunther is not part of the equation.

With all due respect, Shiva, I am much more inclined to accept Gunther's view on this matter, thanks.

V.V.V.V.V. is the Messiah of the Aeon. Crowley, of course, took a name with the same initials when he became a Magister (so intimate was the identification he had with his Master by that stage). But Crowley was not the Messiah.

You do realize the word messiah only means "anointed", right? Similar to the term "buddha" meaning, "awakened one" or "enlightened one", but in different tongues, from different cultures and histories.

Surely it has taken on many others forms, such as some sort of redeemer, but I ask this... if all of man's problems/suffering is man-made, who can redeem man but man?

If you think it's some "entity floating around in the aethyr calling itself V.V.V.V.V.", then that's your own business.

At any rate, such a matter is definitely NOT the topic of this thread. If you all want to debate fact and myth of mottos, please do it in a more appropriate thread, while we here stick to the task of helping distinguish a certain gentleman from the rest of the "spiritual teacher" class of human beings.


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Nomad
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14/09/2011 6:28 am  

In referring to V.V.V.V.V. as the Messiah I was indicating that I believe they are different - a personal view that has come from Gunther's writings admittedly, but then his view is a very respected one. And the more I have considered his statements, and referred back to the Holy Books, they seem to me to be important doctrines.

I would have thought a consideration of whether Crowley was V.V.V.V.V. or not would be fairly relevant to the subject of this thread.


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Nomad
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14/09/2011 7:34 am  

To clarify - by 'they' I meant Crowley and V.V.V.V.V., not V.V.V.V.V. and the Messiah.

But then I'm just a very naughty boy...


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Azidonis
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14/09/2011 10:11 am  

If Crowley wasn't "V.V.V.V.V.", then who you do suppose was? And if your answer is, "no one," then that settles it. Crowley was V.V.V.V.V., or rather, V.V.V.V.V. was a motto of Crowley. That's it, all there is to it, all that can be scientifically proven at this time.

So, if you want to discuss Crowley as we has beyond the Abyss, sure, we can do that. But if you want to debate whether or not V.V.V.V.V. was "someone or something else", it's not the topic of this thread.

If Crowley himself didn't do it, it's not the topic of this thread. If you want to conclude somehow that "V.V.V.V.V." was not Crowley, then you are talking about some "entity" named V.V.V.V.V., not Crowley, and therefore maybe you should make a thread called "V.V.V.V.V.'s Originality", if you are so convinced they are "different people".


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Shiva
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14/09/2011 5:22 pm  
"Nomad" wrote:
... I believe they are different...

Ah yes, the old "I believe" point of view, not based on "I know" or direct insight. Churches everywhere welcome people like you - and your donation$.

"Nomad" wrote:
- a personal view that has come from Gunther's writings...

You are allowed to have a personal viewpoint, but when it's a "belief" based on a book written by another person? Say, are you the "naughty posterboy" for the Gullible Society? Actually, "I Believe" that we must ...

"remember that he must in no wise rely upon, or believe in, that master. He must rely entirely upon himself, and credit nothing whatever but that which lies within his own knowledge and experience." - Crowley

"Nomad" wrote:
- but then his view is a very respected one.

By whom? Oh sure, he has his fanboys and maybe some fangirls too, but if you (or J. Daniel) actually consider V.V.V.V.V. to be a self-sustaining, independent (from Crowley) entity, you may wish to have your head examined, or at least do what is known as a "reality check."


Now then, returning to the topic: First, one needs to read all of Crowley's books (93% of them is probably acceptable). Second, one needs to read a whole bunch of assorted books and scrolls from other sources (google, the Borg, can help), especially, but not exclusively, those of Eastern (Oriental) derivation.

Guess what? Not one (1) proposal or concept of Crowley's can be found to be "original" (except for the 5V's, which should be trademarked by Crowley as an "unique title"). His "originality" is in the way the info was packaged and marketed. The "packaging" wasn't even original - he took that from the Golden Dawn. His "marketing" is somewhat unique, in that he caused high-class "occult" books to be published for the general public; but then so did Mme Blavatsky, so even this open gesture was not really "original." As Camlion pointed out - There's nothing new under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 1:9. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. [Horatio].

All of his concepts (and descriptions of experiences and grades and levels of consciousness) had been previously addressed. However, even though I have partially dismanteled my own statement, I would like to restate that ...

His "originality" was/is in the way the info was packaged and marketed.

Nothing stated here by me is meant in any way to detract from the fact that he laid out for us in the so-called Western World (a relative term) the most practical system available for treading the "short path."


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Azidonis
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14/09/2011 7:45 pm  
"Shiva" wrote:
"Nomad" wrote:
... I believe they are different...

Ah yes, the old "I believe" point of view, not based on "I know" or direct insight. Churches everywhere welcome people like you - and your donation$.

"Nomad" wrote:
- a personal view that has come from Gunther's writings...

You are allowed to have a personal viewpoint, but when it's a "belief" based on a book written by another person? Say, are you the "naughty posterboy" for the Gullible Society? Actually, "I Believe" that we must ...

"remember that he must in no wise rely upon, or believe in, that master. He must rely entirely upon himself, and credit nothing whatever but that which lies within his own knowledge and experience." - Crowley

"Nomad" wrote:
- but then his view is a very respected one.

By whom? Oh sure, he has his fanboys and maybe some fangirls too, but if you (or J. Daniel) actually consider V.V.V.V.V. to be a self-sustaining, independent (from Crowley) entity, you may wish to have your head examined, or at least do what is known as a "reality check."

Agreed.

"Shiva" wrote:
Now then, returning to the topic: First, one needs to read all of Crowley's books (93% of them is probably acceptable). Second, one needs to read a whole bunch of assorted books and scrolls from other sources (google, the Borg, can help), especially, but not exclusively, those of Eastern (Oriental) derivation.

Guess what? Not one (1) proposal or concept of Crowley's can be found to be "original" (except for the 5V's, which should be trademarked by Crowley as an "unique title"). His "originality" is in the way the info was packaged and marketed. The "packaging" wasn't even original - he took that from the Golden Dawn. His "marketing" is somewhat unique, in that he caused high-class "occult" books to be published for the general public; but then so did Mme Blavatsky, so even this open gesture was not really "original." As Camlion pointed out - There's nothing new under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 1:9. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. [Horatio].

All of his concepts (and descriptions of experiences and grades and levels of consciousness) had been previously addressed. However, even though I have partially dismanteled my own statement, I would like to restate that ...

His "originality" was/is in the way the info was packaged and marketed.

Nothing stated here by me is meant in any way to detract from the fact that he laid out for us in the so-called Western World (a relative term) the most practical system available for treading the "short path."

Agreed again. Who would have guessed that? Really, the long recipe analogy was designed to point it out as well. If there are 1,000 ways to make cake, Crowley showed us a few, with a nice little wrapping of symbols and what-not.

This leads to the next part of this thread... in comparison with other real World Teachers - that is, other Magi - what, if anything made Crowley unique? Obviously the symbols he used were somewhat unique as compared to the others, but there has to be some other things that qualify him was World Teacher.

If at all possible, it would be nice to keep the "Grade structure" talk to a minimum here, as none of the other World Teachers used this same structure, and possibly understood things a little bit differently than Crowley. So, what qualifies him as a World Teacher?


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 Anonymous
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14/09/2011 8:08 pm  

A definition for "World Teacher," please, Az?


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Azidonis
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14/09/2011 10:22 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
A definition for "World Teacher," please, Az?

Good question, probably a bad choice of words.

Let's see...

Lao Tzu
Krishna (?)
Moses
Jesus of Nazareth
Gotama Buddha
Mohammed
the typical list from "Heart of the Master"
etc.

Also, on perhaps another level, those such as...

14th Dalai Llama
D.T. Suzuki
Nagarjuna
maybe Gurdjieff (sp) falls into this category as well
etc.

Instead of worrying about the "world teacher" moniker, what did Crowley do/say/think that puts him into the above class of people? And if there are others in that class, well, toss them in the list, and we'll see how they fit too.


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Nomad
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15/09/2011 12:44 am  

My apologies to Shiva and Azidonis. It seems I have made a great miss by presenting a viewpoint that is at odds with their preconceived notions. Their views are, quite clearly, derived purely from direct experience, and are completely verifiable by scientific methods.

I humbly kowtow to their absolute authority on this matter, and retreat humbly away to find someone to examine my head.


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