July 5, 2016 at 8:40 pm #96644
I would like to start a topic on the nature and identity of Aiwass, who by Crowley’s account dictated Liber Legis in April 1904. The recent, detailed discussion of Richard Cole’s Liber Bogus centred on his view that the reception story had been fabricated; only occasionally did Aiwass get a mention.
Crowley described Aiwass as a “praeterhuman intelligence” – this description has intrigued me for a long time.
A number of suggestions have been made over the years by various occultists, thelemites and psychologists – Aiwass was one of the Secret Chiefs who manifested to deliver the thelemic Holy Book, Aiwass was an egyptian waiter, coached by Rose to give Crowley’s head a spin when he was bombed out on hash or anhalonium during their honeymoon, Aiwass was conjoured to visible appearance by aliens with a message, thus interfering with human evolution, Aiwass was an Egyptian adept who chose Crowley to warn humanity of a coming world war….
Crowley himself considered the possibility that Aiwass originated in his own subconcious, but considered this unlikely – he also dismissed the idea that the Book had been received by the technique of automatic writing. He documents a clear description of the reception of the Book by an entity which materialised in the room. So, who or what was this entity that delivered Liber Legis to the Prophet during the Cairo Working?
JohnnyJuly 6, 2016 at 11:05 am #96645
Speculation is always interesting, Johnny. It’s my opinion, though, that as an analogy we are like two-dimensional creatures trying to make sense of a third-dimensional.July 6, 2016 at 2:01 pm #96646
“Crowley himself considered the possibility that Aiwass originated in his own subconcious …”
This is the one that’s correct, in my opinion. AC may jave “considered this unlikely,” but he never really KNEW, did he?
The said projection from his subconscious/superconscious/unconscious mind may well have overshadowed the waiter/servant.July 6, 2016 at 2:40 pm #96649
I’ve always considered that a possibility, Shiva. The crucial point for me in all this is the extent of the subconscious. To what extent is it my subconscious, Shiva’s subconscious, Crowley’s subconscious, and so forth. I think that what we regard as “our” subconscious shades into a deeper subconscious beyond individual identity, and forces can upsurge from this deeper level into “our” subconscious.
This is the sense that Spare references the subconscious in his Book of Pleasure, hence resurgent atavisms.July 6, 2016 at 3:28 pm #96652
Well, i’m not so sure that Aiwass was a – shall we say atavism – from Crowley’s subconcious. We know that Rose made changes to the text, apparently where Crowley could’nt write fast enough. This suggests that she may have discussed the text with him and by inference may have overheard Aiwass speaking.
I’ve heard it said that the text of the Book is written in Crowley’s style of writing, but this is a matter of opinion. An old friend of mine once laboriously loaded the text of Crowley’s poem Hymn to Pan (which has passages reminicent of Chaper III of Liber Legis), his Leah Sublime and Moonchild into software that could analyse style, grammar etc and compared it to the text of the Book. The result was inconclusive – aparently there were similarities, but the result was by no means certain.July 6, 2016 at 11:10 pm #96659
I think you’ve misunderstood my post. I wasn’t suggesting that Aiwass was an atavism from Crowley’s subconscious, but rather suggesting that Aiwass came from depths beyond Crowley’s subconscious. However, we live in a culture which glorifies individuality and personalities, so perhaps it’s no wonder.
July 8, 2016 at 4:12 am #96667
- This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by Michael Staley.
Aiwass was an egyptian waiter, coached by Rose to give Crowley’s head a spin when he was bombed out on hash or anhalonium during their honeymoon,
To consider that theory a possibility, one must assume Crowley fabricated the reception story, which given the evidence, is far-fetched to say the least.
Aiwass was conjoured to visible appearance by aliens with a message
Imaginative, but also baseless.
Noticeably absent from your list of possibilities is the role of Aiwass defined in the Book of the Law: the minister of Hoor-paar-kraat. Accordingly, the first step in answering your question is to ask who Hoor-paar-kraat is. The fuzzy logic Crowley applied to Hoor-paar-kraat led him to conclude that Harpocrates and Hoor-paar-kraat mean the same thing: Horus the child. The odd thing about the association of the two names is Harpocrates is the Greek rendering of Heru-pa-khered, with the latter meaning Horus-the-child in the Egyptian language. In order to believe the two names share the same meaning, one has to believe that Aiwass took the Greek to English spelling Harpocrates and reverse transliterated the name into the Egyptian language, and then rendered it back into English letters.
The interesting thing about Hoor-paar-kraat is it actually has a specific meaning when treated as a name that originates in the Egyptian language: it means Horus-House-Child: The House of Horus The Child, which is the official title of Hathoor: Hat-Hoor means House-Horus, the House of Horus. If my interpretation of Hoor-paar-kraat is correct, it means Crowley and everyone else is wrong, and Aiwass is the minister of Hathoor.
Crowley himself considered the possibility that Aiwass originated in his own subconcious, but considered this unlikely
I doubt he considered it likely at all considering Aiwass originated in the mind of his wife; it was Rose who was first contacted by Aiwass, and Rose who introduced her husband to Aiwass by revealing his name before the Book of the Law was received. Based on Crowley’s account of the events that comprise the Cairo Working, Aiwass has to be more than a subconscious manifestation that exists or existed within the mind of one person.July 8, 2016 at 2:51 pm #96668
As Michael pointed out, there is the potentiality that some entity manifested through AC’s subconscious. One should not dismiss the concept of Archetypes. which certainly can appear to be independent beings or forces. Since Archetypes seem to be spread out through the Collective Unconscious (which includes everyone), then something like Aiwass could easily be percieved by both Rose and Aleister … and any one of us as well. See Jung.
Archetpes appear in dreams, sometimes in normal waking consciousness, and obviously can be “contacted” through the use of libations.July 9, 2016 at 12:55 am #96669
Jamie J BarterParticipant
I doubt he considered it likely at all considering Aiwass originated in the mind of his wife; it was Rose who was first contacted by Aiwass, and Rose who introduced her husband to Aiwass by revealing his name before the Book of the Law was received.
Could you please clarify, herupakraath, when & how it was that Rose was first directly contacted by Aiwass, and how & when she introduced her husband to Aiwass by revealing his name before he did so himself in The Book of the Law I:7?
As far as I can recall this “how-do-you-do” seems to have had its origins in “They are waiting for you” – which presumably referred to the nuteru at The Equinox of the Gods rather than to Aiwass himself “by name”, personally – and after all, she is not down on record as having said “he is waiting for you”?
Norma N Joy Conquest
July 9, 2016 at 4:18 am #96671
- This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by Jamie J Barter.
From The Equinox of The Gods, Chapter Six:
“Now who, it may be asked, was Aiwass? It is the name given by W. to P. as that of her informant. Also it is the name given as that of the revealer of Liber Legis.”July 9, 2016 at 7:51 am #96672
It is interesting to speculate on the mechanism by which elements of Crowley’s subconcious may have been projected onto the entity Aiwass during the Cairo Working.
However, it seems clear in the Equinox that Crowley was clearly describing a materialisation – his impression was of Aiwass as having a body composed of “fine matter,” which had a gauze-like transparency. Also he “seemed to be a tall, dark man in his thirties, well-knit, active and strong, with the face of a savage king, and eyes veiled lest their gaze should destroy what they saw. The dress was not Arab; it suggested Assyria or Persia, but very vaguely.
Aiwass is said to have spoken – in a voice passionate and hurried – “of deep timbre, musical and expressive, its tones solemn, voluptuous, tender, fierce or aught else as suited the moods of the message. Not bass—perhaps a rich tenor or baritone”
I belive in later life Crowley came to the view that Aiwass was in effect the manifestation of his HGA.
Is that actually the best way to consider the entity of Aiwass?July 9, 2016 at 8:49 am #96674
Jamie J BarterParticipant
From The Equinox of The Gods, Chapter Six:
“Now who, it may be asked, was Aiwass? It is the name given by W. to P. as that of her informant. Also it is the name given as that of the revealer of Liber Legis.”
Ah, so there is something tucked away in the small print! But it doesn’t say precisely when it was revealed to W. as her personal informant and as that’s all there is that comment is again frustratingly meagre on detail, “defeating very plain purpose.” Furthermore its lack of a precise timing means the name could even have been given by her after the event (i.e., April 8th, 1904, so far as is known according to the standard given “reception story”) – maybe even as late as the time of her “revisions” to the manuscript.
So herupakraath, although it is conceivable it may have been “Rose who was first contacted by Aiwass” that matter is inconclusive, but as for it also being “Rose who introduced her husband to Aiwass by revealing his name before the Book of the Law was received” there is still no firm evidence for this one way or the other.
N JoyJuly 9, 2016 at 7:19 pm #96679
Ah, so there is something tucked away in the small print! But it doesn’t say precisely when it was revealed to W. as her personal informant and as that’s all there is that comment is again frustratingly meagre on detail, “defeating very plain purpose.”
Once again from TEOTG, Chapter VII: “Between these dates (March 23rd – April 8), too, my wife must have told me that her informant was not Horus, or Ra-Hoor-Khuit, but a messenger from him, named Aiwass.”
I’m curious Jamie, have you read any of the material on this subject?
July 9, 2016 at 7:58 pm #96681
- This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by herupakraath.
To be honest, @herupakraath, that’s the problem these days, as evidenced by Cole’s book. It’s not just Jamie who demonstrates a rather appalling lack of knowledge of the handful of basic resources. It seems to me that way too many commentators on Thelema in general do so without putting any effort into the basic research.
It’s not as if there are many first-person accounts of the Cairo Working, after all!July 10, 2016 at 7:24 am #96683
A supremely interesting topic Anubis! I’ve considered it from many different angles over the years & what I’ve got is that he was being honest when it came to Aiwass & his/her/it’s message. He just does not fit the profile type when it comes to faking these things & extracting money from fools. Even with his British Intelligence work it still would not make any sense to uphold what he did his entire life. He was making money but not nearly as much as he could have had he merely persisted as an upper middle class Englishman with an eccentric twist. We can think “Well he stole that bit from Rabelais”, but he was well aware that others would think that he faked the whole thing so why then choose something so obvious? Even if Liber AL did not exist he would still be considered in the same breath as Eliphas Lévi due to his tremendous insights & personal stamina. Sure not everyone in the GD’s good books but a magician to be reckoned with. Allan Bennet would not have taken him on otherwise. AC knew the difference between a projected Entity from the Planetary spheres or something coming from outside that. Yet still he admitted his confusion as to its origin. An extremely rare instance for this know-it-all of a man. Through extension, how then could someone like Kenneth Grant write such works of erudition & passion as his student had AC fraudulently created Aiwass? It’s impossible.
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