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The Holy Books Of Thelema


93rdthebes
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How do you consider/view The Holy Books Of Thelema in comparison to the center text "Liber Al Vel Legis", particularly if you view Thelema spiritually/religiously?


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Shiva
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93rd: How do you consider/view The Holy Books Of Thelema in comparison to the center text “Liber Al Vel [vel] Legis” ...

Personally, I couldn't care less. AC confessed that the so-called "Holy" Books (publications in Class A) were written by him, except for AL, which he claimed was dictated to him by a superior intelligence, which I attribute to an archetypal figure appearing out of his unconscious. It's all very well (or not) that he claims conscious authorship of the others (other than AL), and I suppose it's okay that they are "not to be altered so much as the style of a letter," but I regard the memorization of them at various grades as an attempt to preserve his poetry/prose for eternity.

In fact, I regard said memorization as a hold-over from his Christian indoctrination where he was forced to memorize parts of the Bible ("Book') as a child, even as I was also required to do. Additionally, I resent the use of "Bible-speak," wherein he speaketh in olde style lingo, thus affecteth a so-called "Holy" bent ... again, this is a hold-over from being imprinted and programmed in his severe Christian brain-washing by the fanatical Plymouth Brethren.

... particularly if you view Thelema spiritually/religiously?

Thelema is a philosophy, which certainly is "spiritual" in nature. It claims to seek/promulgate the "Aim of Religion," and might even be taken as a "religion" by some folks. I hold his practical Librae (the one's where "practices" are set forth) as superior to most other docs and systems available on the market, and I memorized what was indicated in the grade requirements, but I never learned a damn thing from them and have forgotten any such attempts to invade my memory banks ... except for AL, which I still view as an amazing text.

I'm sure that many readers and posters will disagree with me, crying "heresy" and "blasphemy," and should they vocalize (or type) their agony and wrath at my impunity, they are invited to sod themselves.

It's all part of the "spiritual con game," and the system can do with a harsh revision (to be performed by you (or someone else), because I really don't care a toot [Tut? Tooth? Truth? Thoth?].

The above response is attributed solely to the author (me), and does not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of other posters, nor has it been approveda by the Moderator, the Food & Drug Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, or the United Nations Council on Foreign Relations. It has been approved by U.G. Krishnamurti in absentia (he's dead).


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Jamie J Barter
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I regard the memorization of them [the holy books] at various grades as an attempt to preserve his poetry/prose for eternity.
You're presumably referring to e.g. the necessity of the 1=10 to commit a chapter of Liber LXV to memory before passing on to Zelator.  It used to be a common practice in schools, in the U.k. anyway, to memorise quite large chunks from various plays or poems --- Shakespeare was popular --- but it seems to have fallen a bit out of favour lately and is not so much in vogue.   

You're also presumably not impressed by the explanation offered by Karl Germer that it was his repeated recitation of pieces from the Holy books from memory whist incarcerated in a concentration camp which was responsible for propelling him into the exalted rank of Adeptus Minor. (with no mention of the inbetween).

It’s all part of the “spiritual con game,” and the system can do with a harsh revision (to be performed by you (or someone else), because I really don’t care a toot [Tut? Tooth? Truth? Thoth?].  The above response is attributed solely to the author (me), and does not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of other posters,
This realisation, however (that "pshaw, it's all a big con!") gave me deja vu and put me in mind of the once prodigiously posting Azidonis who was inordinately fond of trotting it out as an argument (& also praising Krishnamurti as well). 

Kenneth Grant achieved what some might call "a harsh revision" to the [O.T.O.] system.  Does he/ this count in your estimation?

N Joy


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Shiva
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JB: You’re presumably referring to e.g. the necessity of the 1=10 to commit a chapter of Liber LXV ...

Yeah.

It used to be a common practice in schools, in the U.k. anyway, to memorise quite large chunks from various plays or poems ...

Not in the USA, at least not in my childhood and youth (circa 1944-57), nor in my collegium days (circa 1958-65). But Oriental Medical School made me memorize the Chinese and [Latin] Scientific names of 300 herbs with about 12-15 qualities (action, temperature, dosage, applications (medical conditions), and contraindications ("do not use in pregnancy; do not use if the patient has hypertension"), etc. But then that was justified, because the State and the National Exams would not give me a license to practice medicine unless I coughed up this info (plus similar data for 325 acupuncture points), thus proving I would probably not kill my patients through ignorance.

But peotry & prose (P.'.P.'.) were never required. On the other hand, the Lutheran Church demanded that I recite certain scriptural passages before I could be confirmed as a member of the congregation. That turned me sour on this type of indoctrination. On the other hand, AC gobbled it up and continued to run on with thou and thine and sayest and other olde-tyme manners of speaking ... at least that's the way the angels spoke to him.

... but it seems to have fallen a bit out of favour lately and is not so much in vogue.

Good. Somebody saw the light.

You’re also presumably not impressed by the explanation offered by Karl Germer that it was his repeated recitation of pieces from the Holy books from memory whist incarcerated in a concentration camp which was responsible for propelling him into the exalted rank of Adeptus Minor. (with no mention of the inbetween).

No, I'n not impressed. But that was Germer, not me. His 5=6 was self-proclaimed. Was it his Angel who made him a difficult person who most OTO members disliked? Or who made him shut down the (California) OTO?

This ... gave me deja vu and put me in mind of the once prodigiously posting Azidonis ...

Az.'. and I are still in email contact, and he once traveled 800 miles to visit me. We both recognize U.G. as the equivalent of a real 10=1, perhaps the only person to fully describe that state of consciousness, wherein "there's nobody home here."

Kenneth Grant achieved what some might call “a harsh revision” to the [O.T.O.] system. Does he/this count in your estimation?

Yes, this counts; especially if he abandoned memorization of Bible-speak as a requirement for advancement. Perhaps Michael Staley can/will tell us if this is true?


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Jamie J Barter
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Good. Somebody saw the light.
Or looking at it another way, it might also reflect declining standards in education.  Your con. point is quite sound, but apparently some adverse experience in your past has turned you against attributing anything of a positive nature to the pro. side (it "soured" you, as you yourself concede). For example, such as: increased powers of concentration and memory recall, confidence in oratory and public speaking, greater knowledge of and familiarity with English literature poetry & prose (P.''.P.'.) etc....

[Karl Germer's] 5=6 was self-proclaimed. Was it his Angel who made him a difficult person who most OTO members disliked? Or who made him shut down the (California) OTO?
Was it his Angel?  Some might say if it wasn't his Angel it must have been the vision of The Demon Germer, or his Evil Genius. Others might say that was his core personality, his basic character formed by the chequered ups-and-downs of his life's history. 
But on the other hand with regard to the C.O.T.O., it is possible to see this as possibly a remarkably bold action demonstrating extraordinarily prescient foresight on his part, and that maybe it should have stayed shut down...

Az.’. and I are still in email contact, and he once traveled 800 miles to visit me.
I hope he is keeping well. That was a long hike... I suppose you did offer him a nice cup of tea (or something a wee bit stronger) at the end of it?!

We both recognize U.G. as the equivalent of a real 10=1, perhaps the only person to fully describe that state of consciousness, wherein “there’s nobody home here.”
But it has to be said, this description ("there's nobody home here") can also seem less like some form of superconsciousness as somebody suffering from something on the autistic spectrum disorder!

N Joy


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ignant666
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I had always suspected Azidonis had become your student, Shiva.

I will support Shiva's abhorrence of rote memorization. I too had to memorize a great deal of stuff for a professional exam (in my case the two-day NY state bar exam), and would not wish such a fate on my worst enemy. Perhaps this is a US/UK cultural divide?

I will offer a possibly either pro- or anti-memorization anecdote: my greatest mentor in the law would always insist on taking down the Nimmer copyright law hornbook to assist us in reviewing each new complaint when we got sued by musicians at the major record label where i then worked (we got sued more or less daily, mostly with good reason). I would always say "But Harold, you know the whole copyright code by heart!" He would always reply "Yes, [young ignant], but i like to see where the commas are!"

I would also agree that i do not regard the "Holy Books Of Thelema", other than AL, as having any particular importance, and am pretty sure there is much in them i have never got around to reading in my 45+ years of AC study/obsession.


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Sonofthoth
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I find Liber Porta Lucis to be a beautiful sentiment, same for Liber Tzaddi.

Liber Liberi vel Lapidis Lazuli is intriguing but I am a bit distant to it. "The Vision And The Voice" is also intriguing.

Otherwise, I don't really know how "canon" I personally consider the other "Holy Books", outside of my praise and life-long infatuation for Liber Legis.


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herupakraath
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How do you consider/view The Holy Books Of Thelema in comparison to the center text “Liber Al Vel Legis”, particularly if you view Thelema spiritually/religiously?

Given that the Book of the Law consists of a self-contained cosmology and magical language, which includes a complete system of magick and initiation once translated correctly, I have no use for the other so-called Holy Books. Crowley's insistence on writing the other books was simply a case of trying to to do whatever he could to create a body of religious texts that establish his significance as a prophet, which arose out his inability to completely understand the Book of the Law.


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Shiva
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Jamie: For example, such as: increased powers of concentration and memory recall, confidence in oratory and public speaking

Surely, but [as cited re: herbs and acupoints + other topics including khemistry data, anatomy, physiology, detailed coursework leading to four (4! doctorates - egad - that's unrealistick)] one can develop these mnemonic qualities elsewhere than the "wholy bookes." As a 29* solar Virgo, I have no problems with memory and concentration. I also had/have no problem with public speaking. I emphasize the first-person-pronoun "I" as I clearly stated that my comments were solely my opinion, and you are dangerously close to an admonition to sod yourself <haha>

... greater knowledge of and familiarity with English literature poetry & prose (P.”.P.’.) etc…

I believe I said I don't give a poop (er, toot) about these things.

Was it his Angel? Some might say if it wasn’t his Angel it must have been the vision of The Demon Germer, or his Evil Genius. Others might say that was his core personality, his basic character formed by the chequered ups-and-downs of his life’s history. But on the other hand with regard to the C.O.T.O., it is possible to see this as possibly a remarkably bold action demonstrating extraordinarily prescient foresight on his part, and that maybe it should have stayed shut down…

Right. We (me and a few others) note that you are prodigious in erecting the opposite viewpoint of any statement whatsoever, and are also adroit in the usage of the word "maybe" (speculative guessing for the sake of debate).

I suppose you did offer him a nice cup of tea (or something a wee bit stronger) at the end of it?!

Is that a ? or a ! ...? No, certainly not at "the end." It was "during." Actually he was moving, literally from coast-to-coast, and he went 400 miles out of his way with a moving van (towing his short) to hang out here in the wild west for a couple days.

But it has to be said, this description (“there’s nobody home here”) can also seem less like some form of superconsciousness as somebody suffering from something on the autistic spectrum disorder!

Why does it "have to be said" when you obviously have not read his account, his description of what it's like to be a Ketherite?

Ig666: I will support Shiva’s abhorrence of rote memorization.

Thank you. Your PayPalment is in the email.

I would also agree that i do not regard the “Holy Books Of Thelema”, other than AL, as having any particular importance ...

Good. That makes two of us. Now we only need one more dissenter to form a [non-sexual] "war-engine" whereby we may smite the heathen peoples.

Tahuti's Son: Otherwise, I don’t really know how “canon” I personally consider the other “Holy Books”, outside of my praise and life-long infatuation for Liber Legis.

You have almost become the third anfinal member of the unholybook triad, but your position ("I don’t really know ...") falls short of complete confidence. However, you are afforded a second chance to qualify; you may try again in six months.

Liber 418 is an absolute masterwork, even if the anels of the aethyrs runneth on in biblio-speak.

Heru: I have no use for the other so-called Holy Books.

Congratulations! You are hereby summoned to the Council Chamber of Holybook Heresy, wherein we might conquer the world.


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Sonofthoth
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You are right about Liber 418/T.V.A.T.V., I fully agree. It's a very dense book and is very visceral, even just as a reading experience (much like Liber Legis).


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Shiva
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Son: You are right about Liber 418

If nothing else (and there is certainly something else - lots of it), Liber 418 actually gives practical instruction in How to Conduct an Invocation of the HGA (8th Aethyr).


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David Dom Lemieux
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How do you consider/view The Holy Books Of Thelema in comparison to the center text “Liber Al Vel Legis”, particularly if you view Thelema spiritually/religiously?

Good question. Is it possible that AC "channelled" a god when he wrote the Holy Books? Maybe Mark Twain or Emerson channelled gods when they wrote also.

Do gods exist? Maybe they do maybe they don't. For now we don't know so accept that they do exist but keep your tool of scepticism close at hand.

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


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Shiva
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Dom: Do gods exist?

Yes. They are called "archetypes."


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Jamie J Barter
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I apologize for the delay in responding but at the moment am without a computer having dealt my laptop one too many crashings to the floor (and I thought these appliances were meant to be fairly sturdy & shockproof and stand up to a bit of basic wear and tear/ assault & battery these days grumble grumble moan) So I am using the facilities of the local public library (now known as an “Ideas store”, I jest not) in order to make this reply & will prob not be back again this side of twelfth night festivities (unless santa is v. kind). Meanwhile greetings of the winter solstice, saturnalia, the season of supposed goodwill to all (wo)men & the new year to you all.

@Shiva Reply #102741 on Dec 15th at 5:09 am:

I also had/have no problem with public speaking. I emphasize the first-person-pronoun “I” as I clearly stated that my comments were solely my opinion, and you are dangerously close to an admonition to sod yourself <haha> […] I believe I said I don’t give a poop (er, toot) about these things [“greater knowledge of and familiarity with English literature poetry & prose (P.”.P.’.) etc…”]
Well you ought, in the interests of an all-rounded (life) education; the idea of the "renaissance man" if you like. (Note how I sidestep your pet-hate “should” there.) As indeed A.C. himself tried to do (=one of the better things he did). However, I was speaking generally, not referring to you specifically (i.e. no need to take it personally.)(& not that I’m saying that you are, either!)

Right. We (me and a few others) note that you are prodigious in erecting the opposite viewpoint of any statement whatsoever, and are also adroit in the usage of the word “maybe” (speculative guessing for the sake of debate).
So I do & am. Drat, rumbled at last! But seriously I don't & have never denied this. For some reason, I could be wrong, it comes across as an implied criticism rather than an activity to be applauded. There is no such thing as absolute total certainty about anything (apart from this statement of course) and everything in manifestation is therefore relative to something else, partaking of duality as it does.
So I try to reflect this as far as I can in my posting, although I may assume one position rather than another for the sake of generating some (interesting) debate <hah!> or subversively stimulating thinking along certain (subliminal) lines <heh!>, but this is in the sense of /in line with Liber Jugorum where I may assume a different stance with a figurative change of ring from one finger to another or of mine own ingenium devising others <hoh!>.
I also recognize the validity of non-A(ristotelian) thinking along Korzybskian lines including the falseness of assuming a definite "is-ness" position about anything, but this can make for dull and slightly odd reading so I usually try to 'normalise' it as much as necessary by adroitly taking a particular viewpoint. Also, there is an issue of literalness (not literacy): for example, earlier I wrote that I was “saying” and “speaking" generally when I was doing no such thing, I was writing. But you mayst probably recognize all this cobblers already.

“I suppose you did offer him a nice cup of tea (or something a wee bit stronger) at the end of it?!”
---Is that a ? or a ! …?

It was both. Firstly it was a mark of interrogation, that gnarled old Hunchback asking you the question, and it was followed by a Soldierly exclamation (mark), as if to say well of course I'm sure you did offer him some form of refreshment on meeting him & that I was joking or jerking around and not being entirely serious. Is there anything else you'd might like explaining?(?)!(!!)

No, certainly not at “the end.” It was “during.” Actually he was moving, literally from coast-to-coast, and he went 400 miles out of his way with a moving van (towing his short) to hang out here in the wild west for a couple days.
That’s far out!

“But it has to be said, this description (“there’s nobody home here”) can also seem less like some form of superconsciousness as somebody suffering from something on the autistic spectrum disorder!”
---Why does it “have to be said” when you obviously have not read his account, his description of what it’s like to be a Ketherite?

Not obviously and not true actually. Believe it or not K’s descriptive ideas do strike a reverberative chord resounding within me also. In addition to trying to be a smartass I just suggested there was a parallel in symptoms as far as the 4 words of the quote went, but you seemed to be particularly sensitive about any perceived attack upon his nibs. It may be true for him, but we each have to find our own way back to self realisation, the Corbomite maneuver or the Ketherite position or whatever words describe it (which is ultimately as nothing)

and on that note, a happy yule to 1 and all
N Joy


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Shiva
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J: I thought these appliances were meant to be fairly sturd

There is a foundation, primary law governing these matters:

It's not a matter of "if" in relation to computer crashes [physically and/or digitally], but a matter of "when."

I stopped thrashing my machines with hammers and tongs a long while back, yet it was only earlier this very year that I lost control over three (3!) computers. Only one survived the solar flare (or mental breakdown) without the necessity of complete erasure and re-installation. One had to be delivered into the trash can.

J: So I do & am. Drat, rumbled at last!

"Drats" will get you nowhere, because we are advised to put all things up against their opposites in order to achieve liberation. Plus you are almost always polite in your opposition (unlike certain other parrots who always seem to be condescending). Like UG Krishnamurti, you are a Neti, neti in living flesh ... and that ain't bad.


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Sonofthoth
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I love Liber Cordis Cincti Serpente, it is a great set of parables.


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Sonofthoth
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The way I've come to see it, is that as Liber Legis is the only core class A document (and the only transmitted one); The other class A texts, are either works of parable, vision, poetry/dedication, symbolism or ritual - but not "authoritative" texts, unlike Liber Legis - which is above Crowley himself.

I love quite a few of the other class A texts quite dearly however, there is a lot of beauty and wisdom to be found in them. 🙂


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