Home Forums Aleister Crowley Writer NEMO makes black hands white

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  • #111944

    belmurru
    Participant

    But what was the metaphorical meaning of Yorke’s usage, presuming it was a soap advertisement?

    Is he suggesting that Stansfeld-Jones may want to wash his hands, “come clean”, get rid of that baggage of the Crowley years, that sort of thing?

    #111945

    Michael Staley
    Participant

    @belmurru

    Is he suggesting that Stansfeld-Jones may want to wash his hands, “come clean”, get rid of that baggage of the Crowley years, that sort of thing?

    No, I don’t think he was.

    In the context of the quote by Yorke earlier in this thread, especially given the reference to the biography by Symonds which was under way, I think he was inviting Achad to make available to Symonds material which would go some way to counter the dark and sinister sensationalsim which had dogged Crowley across the decades, and which was renewed following his death. Thus to “make black hands white” was to put a more positive side – whitewash, to put it in crude terms.

    #111946

    Tiger
    Participant

    “The law on blackmail poses an apparent paradox. It declares that threatening to tell the truth can be a crime. It raises the question of what is just: to pretend to be adhering to a particular moral code while leading a double life

    The blackmail story first emerged in the 18th century, flowered in the last decades of the 19th and became a full blown cultural preoccupation in the inter-war period.
    In the 18th century wealthy men were so alarmed by the thought of criminals extorting money by threatening to accuse them of sodomy ”

    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/angus-mclaren-blackmail-isnt-what-it-used-to-be-but-it-still-sets-the-pulse-racing-812074.html

    https://goo.gl/images/npbWks

    #111948

    belmurru
    Participant

    In the context of the quote by Yorke earlier in this thread, especially given the reference to the biography by Symonds which was under way, I think he was inviting Achad to make available to Symonds material which would go some way to counter the dark and sinister sensationalsim which had dogged Crowley across the decades, and which was renewed following his death. Thus to “make black hands white” was to put a more positive side – whitewash, to put it in crude terms.

    Ah, I see! I had it backwards then. Your interpretation makes much better sense. Thank you.

    Is a consensus developing here, then, that the phrase “make black hands white” is a reference to an advertising slogan for a brand of soap?

    I, for one, find that explanation satisfying.

    #111949

    Tiger
    Participant
    #111950

    ignant666
    Participant

    I think that Tiger may be onto something with that Pears soap ad- this was apparently the first of a long-running series of ads on the theme of their product turning black folks white, running from this one in 1884 through at least 1901, and referring to one of Aesop’s Fables (that had been PC-ed out of kids’ books by the ’60s, i guess, because i never heard of it). The source of this cryptic remark is almost certainly the Pears ads, or the fable, or both.

    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washing_the_Ethiopian_white

    #111959

    Shiva
    Participant

    Ig: ... one of Aesop’s Fables …

    Yes, that fits. Nemo (8=3) washes the basic character (which is always black … the id, you know) to purity (which is almost always associated with the white color).

    Now we have to wonder if it’s the experience of becoming Nemo (i.e., the path of initiation) that purifies one, or if Nemo exerts some cleansing power to cleanse his/her vehicle (the struggling initiate … like VVVVV might have cleaned Perdurabo up), or whether nemo cleans up his/her Students of various grades..

    #111960

    Tiger
    Participant

    I hear the higher influence will make a step toward if the lower hankering takes a step forth .

    #111962

    Shiva
    Participant

    T: I hear the higher influence will make a step toward if the lower hankering takes a step forth .

    That is my understanding.

    It comes into a finer distinction at the first step. Who moves first? The chicken or the egg? The higher self or the befuddled lower self?

    In this case, it is my understanding that the higher self moves first. After all, we’ve all had vehicles that were (at one time) completely ignorant of such things. Does a person simply change his/her viewpoint on life goals and suddenly become oriented towards the higher realms? Not usually.

    Usually, something happens in their life. A vision, an acid trip, the death of a close one.

    After that, they are opened up (somewhat) to higher potentials, and it becomes like a chess game. If the lower self (the candidate, the aspirant) makes a significant move forward/upward/inward (so many directions!), the higher nature (Nemo) reciprocates … and we enter some crisis event that (either later or at the time) is recognized as an “initiation.”

    Who recognizes this feat? The Frater Superior of the Oriental Templars? The Praemonstrator of the A.’.A.’.? None of the above?

    Right. None of the above. It is the individual seeker that must recognize the event for what it is, for himself or herself alone. Period.

    If some outer manifestation of some “lineage” happens to have the capacity to assess candidates and their progress (rather than promoting only “yes” men and “aye-aye” women), and they “recognized” the event by conferring the next grade or degree, that’s just dandy.

    #111980

    Nicholas Laccetti
    Participant

    You all are right about the soap ad — the full story is given in one of the many excerpts included in Kayser’s unpublished biography of Achad, Son of the Magus. Achad explains it in a paper of May, 1934, describing details of his “Great Initiation” and relationship with Crowley:

    It will be seen from the above that a glimmer of the next Great Task had come to me, and thinking that it would now be easy to clean up the affairs of “The Beast”, I sent him, after years of silence, a communication intended to open up the way towards that end.

    By August 14th 1932, things had rushed ahead again, and, as it were, culminated once again on that special date, for thereon I sent A.C. a specially stamped communication by Air Mail and a similar flown cover to a correspondent in Chicago, so that the fact could be put on record when that envelope was returned to me, (as it was, and is now framed) which contained, among a number of other symbolic things, the triangulated pasteboard wrapper of a certain hand-cleaner which had just been put on the market in Canada, showing a small black figure standing on a truncated pyramid displaying white hands with the words, “NEMO” (The Name of Master of Temple) “MAKES BLACK HANDS WHITE”.

    Instead of having the expected effect, my communication to A.C. brought forth but an insulting post-card saying that my case did not interest him at all. I countered by placing a “Yod” on the head of a bald man displayed on the face of the post-card and returned it to the sender — since then, Silence on both sides.

    So far as I could see, there was no further communication between myself and “The Beast” — my willingness to try and free Prometheus, or to heal Amfortas, was not to be further put to the test.

    Achad prefaces this quote by quoting an earlier (1932) letter with his superior in the UB discussing how his recent initiation seems to have harmonized the conflict between his Catholicism/UB teachings and Thelema — and that perhaps it was time to heal “Amfortas, in the Parzival formula,” apparently a reference to healing the rift with Crowley.

    #111985

    belmurru
    Participant

    Thanks, Nicholas!

    Now the race is on to find the ad!

    #111986

    Tiger
    Participant

    Achad prefaces this quote by quoting an earlier (1932) letter with his superior in the UB discussing how his recent initiation seems to have harmonized the conflict between his Catholicism/UB teachings and Thelema

    Interesting
    I thought Achad started the Universal Brotherhood

    if not who did ?
    Merwin-Marie Snell ?

    Portfolio

    Frontpage

    Will
    Kayser’s unpublished biography of Achad, Son of the Magus.
    ever be published ?

    well i hope the
    “ rationalistic excuses for massive economic inequality, and attacks on the poor in the name of a death-dealing morality masquerading as level-headed budgetary concern. “
    and
    ” the specter of scarcity “
    are not bought

    Welcome Nicholas Laccetti

    #111987

    Michael Staley
    Participant

    @Nicholas_Laccetti

    Many thanks for your post, Nicholas. That puts the matter to bed.

    A number of years ago I found a copy of Achad’s 1932 letter to Cowley, though not the enclosures which would have included the soap advert. Crowley recorded the receipt of the letter and enclosures in his diary, 2nd September 1932:

    “Bayley sends a budget from Achad, assorted rubbish – newspapers, advertisements, etc. etc. – which I suppose he thinks significant.”

    In the course of his 1948 correspondence with Yorke, Achad explained that across the years he had noticed that initiations were often accompanied by “coincidences” in adverts, news clippings, etc., as if momentous events on the “inner” were mirrored by synchronicities on the “outer”. This is of course a reflection of the Magister Templi Oath to interpret every event as the particular dealing of God with the soul.

    When Yorke wrote to Achad in February 1948, he included the following paragraph:

    “Should NEMO still wish to “make black hands white”, I shall be glad to send any material from you to John Symonds, who as literary executor to A.C. is writing a Life from the MSS material before it is shipped to America. I doubt however that you have much material, and am not myself personally interested in curing the wound of Amfortas.”

    In the light of the passage from Son of the Magus which you quote, it’s plain —from the references to “NEMO” and “make black hands white”, as well as the later reference to “curing the wound of Amfortus” — that Yorke had seen the 1932 letter and enclosures amongst Crowley’s papers.

    As stated above, I managed to source a copy of the 1932 letter from Achad — though regrettably not the enclosures — and it will be included in a ‘Prologue’ section of letters.

    Again, Nicholas, many thanks for your post which solves what for me was a mystery.

    #111989

    Michael Staley
    Participant

    @tiger

    I thought Achad started the Universal Brotherhood

    No, he didn’t. He came across a cell of it around the early 1920s, and after a few years he succeeded as mahaguru or head of that particular cell.

    I think there are plans to publish Kayser’s Son of the Magus, though I am not sure.

    #111990

    Tiger
    Participant

    @michael Staley
    interesting idea of cells
    interesting Rudolf Steiner seems to have been in a cell also .

    thanks

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