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Correspondences between Thelema and the Typhonian concepts  

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 Anonymous
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23/02/2010 8:10 pm  

Greetings!

OK, after all the previous discussions about Kenneth Grand during which -I have to admit it- I didn’t understand much, it’s time for me to ask for some more specific info about the common elements in AC’s and KG’S work. I haven’t read any of Kenneth Grant's books and the only info I have about the Typhonian Order is from some online encyclopedia. I’ve read 3 or 4 books written by Aleister Crowley though…

It would be probably better if I had studied both AC’s and KG’s work first, and then decide to open a thread, but this would take me ages… Besides, what’s the forum for?

So, if I’m not asking for much, could anyone please help me understand the correspondences and the differences between Crowley’s Thelema and the Typhonian consepts?

What I have in mind is more something like a comparative table, but any other form would be fine.

Thanks in advance
Hecate


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 Anonymous
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24/02/2010 8:43 pm  

hmmm..
Is it something I said? 🙄


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michaelclarke18
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24/02/2010 10:29 pm  

I see Grant's work as neo-Thelemic, but not Thelemic; there is a relationship, but the work is essentially something new/different.


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thamiel
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24/02/2010 11:04 pm  

My opinion only: I think Grant is a Thelemite who took the instruction from Appendix III of Magick In Theory and Practise, and began to map his own magickal universe...ideosyncratic and imaginative. The result has seemed to inspire a generation of occultists. Despite any deviations from orthodoxies, he seems to be true to the spirit of Thelema. He accepts both the Law and concept of Will, and refered to Liber Al as the greatest grimoire (I forget the exact phrasing).


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 Anonymous
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25/02/2010 10:08 pm  

Thank you both for your help!


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 Anonymous
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26/02/2010 1:34 am  

Hi Hecate

The implications of Grant’s work may be glimpsed only after thorough study and grounding in Crowley’s work. This sequence is extremely important. Failure to study their works in the right sequence will give rise to misunderstandings and mischaracterizations about Grant who builds upon Crowley, but takes it much further. So much so, many Thelemites seem incapable of recognizing how far he takes it. Or even what is he is saying. Evidence for this sequence may be glimpsed, even if dimly, in the fact the notion of the rise of the Aeon of Maat, which comes after the Aeon of Horus, came out of Grant’s work.

A few quick thoughts on the differences between the two men:

1. Crowleyan Thelema is about the individual, finding one’s True Will, and resisting the herd mentality. Grant takes the game to the next level by questioning the human race.

2. Crowley is interested in initiating the individual. Grant is interested in initiating the world.

3. Crowley received a revelation from Aiwass for the planet, Grant seems to have received a revelation from the dark side of the moon or outer space vis-à-vis the aforementioned body.

4. Crowley’s work aims at initiating the individual in an ascent on the Tree of Life. Grant’s work hints at the need for massive global adjustment while questioning the stability of the Tree should it fail to occur (Crowley drops a few comments in the Book of Thoth hinting the New Aeon will require a new configuration of the Tree, but never develops his comments beyond that).

5. Crowley heralds the Child Horus as the ruler of the New Aeon. Grant secretly initiates the Child into the Aeon of Maat.

6. Crowley is solar-oriented and yet divisive in effect, reflected in the fact Thelemites become mini-suns, never able to agree on anything. Grant’s work is lunar-oriented and yet unifying in effect – reflecting in the fact the moon reflects the light of one sun on the earth, combined with the awareness the view may not last for much longer.

7. Crowley’s name the Great Beast 666, identity as World Teacher and Prophet of the New Aeon, display his anthropocentricism and attendant messiah-complex. I'm not sure “who” Grant is anymore. In any case his writing displays a profound non-anthropocentric focus and hidden moral message for humanity.

8. Crowley’s writing is prescriptive, authoritarian and lays down grade requirements for initiation. Grant’s writing is multi-layered and seductive, negates familiar authority-concepts and initiates merely by the act of reading!

9. Crowley appeals to intellect. Grant appeals to intuition and something buried in the memory of the collective unconscious.

10. Crowley seems realistic, but in fact is idealistic with no sense of irony. Grant seems fictional and perverse, but in fact is ironic and all-too real in his message.

11. Crowley was focused on the sun. Grant is focused on Jungian shadow psychology. That is, the latter's body of writing exists as the hidden shadow-side to the corpus of Crowley’s writing.

12. Crowley seems to have good intentions, but came across as an asshole. Grant seems to have sinister intentions, but comes across as a lunatic.

Hope that helps.


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Proteus
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26/02/2010 2:29 am  

What an extraordinary post, tai! I've never read a comparison of Crowley and Grant that was explained so concisely and completely.


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 Anonymous
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26/02/2010 3:15 am  

Thanks - I can post more later.

But I would be more interested in hearing from others who have spent years studying Crowley and Grant.


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 Anonymous
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26/02/2010 3:17 am  

That is very interesting Tai. I do like the results of your compare and contrast approach.

Not to be too pedantic, but I think she asked for correspondences between the two's systems. Instead of focusing on what is different, do you care to attempt what is the same?

I am still in my preliminary studies of Mr. Grant. It will be a while before I make up my mind on a lot of his ideas, but he has surely impressed me more than once with the his fascinating work.


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 Anonymous
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26/02/2010 3:39 am  

Well, I was hoping the hidden correspondence would be self-evident in the compare and contrast approach. For example – e.g. no irony vs too-much irony.

One clarification on my comment under number 10:

It’s important to keep in mind the distinction between sub-Abyss reality and Supernal reality when talking about realism versus idealism. What is viewed as idealism below the Abyss becomes reality in the Supernal realm. Crowley’s work is about ultimately taking humanity across the Abyss into the Supernals whereas Grant leaves humanity exactly where we are and brings terrifying insight into that fact. The difference between these two positions explain why Crowley envisaged humanity taking much, much longer to evolve over the Aeon of Horus whereas the advent of the Aeon of Maat implicit in Grant’s work seems to be happening a little “too fast”.


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 Anonymous
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26/02/2010 3:59 am  
"tai" wrote:
brings terrifying insight into that fact.

Sorry Paul for posting twice in a row, but I didn't want Alrah to lose sleep over anything I posted 😆

I think it's important to note this "terrifying insight" of Grant needs to be assessed carefully. It may be just an influx of Qlippotic influences or, hidden beneath the hideous appearance, lies a valuable and instructive message.

Just thought I'd throw that out there..


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kidneyhawk
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26/02/2010 4:24 am  

The implications of Grant’s work may be glimpsed only after thorough study and grounding in Crowley’s work

Although Tai is quite right on this count, I'll add that Grant "weaves his web" with other elements also, all of which ask for some research and understanding before the kaleidoscopic vision of his books is fully accessible. For example, as much as KG is a Thelemite and his work "rooted," as it were, in Crowley's Thelema, he also draws from a deep study of Austin Spare, Michael Bertiaux, Blavatsky, Lovecraft and others too numerous to list. Although I had some grounding in Crowley when I first started to read Grant, the sprawlingly referential nature of his work often left me confused.

I've been fascinated and intrigued enough by the overall feel of his work, however, to explore some of the source material on its own merit, all of which has opened new doorways in my mind and life. So, I wouldn't say that you must read a given set of Crowley's books before touching Grant. Rather it may prove a difficult jaunt, overwhelming in its unfamiliarity, if you aren't prepared for it.

I would also add that a basic grasp of Qabala and Gematria is critical for reading Grant, as this is one of the symbol sets he employs continuously.

A significant difference I find between AC and KG is that KG is not as dogmatic as Crowley. AC spent a good portion of his life working out and establishing his own doctrine to which he asked adherence. To say there is nothing more to Crowley than Do What Thou Wilt is not true, even if there is no Law beyond it. AC created a stringent curriculum of study and practice which entails one celebrating both his rites and his person. This is perhaps a topic for a different thread as there may be observed a conflict between the individuality of "Will" and subservience to the "Crowley Plan."

Now Grant's work can become very detailed in its exploration of Crowley's dogmatic declarations (The Higher Intelligence inaugurating a New Age replete with its own Holy Book, Crowley as Prophet etc.). This account of things, however, seems to serve as the foundation for a mythic extension of the same, more suited to embrace the "cosmic" scope of Grant's mysticism.

If we approach Grant as a writer on "Magick," his work does, indeed, come off as "sinister," with its thematic preoccupations. However, I would argue that Grant is first and foremost a mystic. In fact, he speaks, in Outer Gateways, of "the essentially mystical nature of magick." In that same passage he describes how "mysticism comprehends the noumenal source of subject and object, both of which, as phenomena, are appearances only." This goes for his use of words, numbers, Lovecraftian imagery, Crowleyan symbols and so on. They are the "phenomena" (in which the word encompasses thought as well as "things") which form the vehicle whereby his work operates. In the end, it is ALL appearances.

Tai continues on:

hidden beneath the hideous appearance, lies a valuable and instructive message

I might use the word "experience" in place of "message." This type of experiencing is what we call Gnosis, the Gnosis of what lies beyond the appearances it has utilized for the purpose of both veiling and unveiling itself.


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 Anonymous
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26/02/2010 7:13 am  

Greetings!

Tai, Kidneyhawk thank you so much for your valuable input!

Tai, it was an enlightening post indeed (I wish I’ll be able at some point to do a similar work myself about the Aleister Crowley’s influence on the new age movement, although I guess this task will be much more complicated, since new age is not represented by a certain person but appears to be rather an amalgamation of many previous lines of thought.)

Regards
Hecate


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 Anonymous
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26/02/2010 2:55 pm  

Interesting thread. Would any of you mind recommending a good title or two as good KG launching points for this neophyte? Apologies if this has been covered elsewhere; currently short on time.


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Michael Staley
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26/02/2010 3:36 pm  
"sigilcaster" wrote:
Interesting thread. Would any of you mind recommending a good title or two as good KG launching points for this neophyte? Apologies if this has been covered elsewhere; currently short on time.

I would recommend The Magical Revival as a good starting point. This has little of the gematria that is such a feature of the later works, and is relatively straightforward compared to the later volumes. Similar considerations apply to the next volume in the Trilogies, Aleister Crowley and the Hidden God.

As a matter of interest, there was an article by Grant on Crowley published in the London International Times in I think 1969, where in a footnote Grant mentioned that he was working on a study of Crowley entitled Aleister Crowley and the Hidden God. This was subsequently submitted to Muller who thought that there was enough material for two books not one. The first chunk was published as The Magical Revival.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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 Anonymous
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26/02/2010 4:09 pm  

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law,

Here are a few other comparisons with regards to Grant and Crowley that I have perceived:
1) Grant selects a few Crowley themes and expands on them immensely. For example, LAM plays a very intense role with regards to Grant's work.
2) Grant draws a lot of attention to what Crowley said with regards to the "HGA". I don't remember the source (I believe it was MWT), but Crowley made the statement (paraphrasing) that the HGA is a being outside of the self of the magician. Therefore, there is little to no correlation with Crowley's definition of "HGA" and the idea of a "Higher Self" or an "Ascended Self". Grant takes the ball and runs with it so to speak, as a lot of his work centers around beings that could be considered "E.T." in a sense. Another way to look at that is that Grant focuses on the idea of prater-human intelligences in a more modern way. For example, he draws correlations between Frater Achad saying the Maatian era began in April 1948. Crowley died in December of 1947, but in 1948 were the beginnings of the modern UFO era, and Grant correlates this to LAM and the "HGA".
3) Where Crowley was well versed in Theosophy, Grant goes more to the source (in a sense) as he explores Hindu teachings that Blavatsky most likely (I'm guessing) drew from. For example, he goes to the tantric traditions frequently.
4) Grant goes into depth about the draconian tradition of Typhon. What is interesting about this is that Crowley focused on Horus, and Grant focused on the idea of Set/Typhon as initiator.

I hope this is lucid and it helps. I'm still drinking my morning coffee......

love is the law, love under will.


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 Anonymous
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26/02/2010 5:18 pm  
"tai" wrote:
The difference between these two positions explain why Crowley envisaged humanity taking much, much longer to evolve over the Aeon of Horus whereas the advent of the Aeon of Maat implicit in Grant’s work seems to be happening a little “too fast”.

Very interesting posts, tai. I must say that I've always regarded Grant's work as being characterized by a high degree impatience, even when compared with Crowley's work, which is itself characterized by a high degree impatience when compared to earlier 'schools.'


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 Anonymous
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26/02/2010 6:10 pm  

For example, he draws correlations between Frater Achad saying the Maatian era began in April 1948. Crowley died in December of 1947, but in 1948 were the beginnings of the modern UFO era, and Grant correlates this to LAM and the "HGA".

I know this might be nit picking, but I always thought that the modern UFO era started at the latest in 1946 with the Sweden incidents. From what I've read many consider Roswell as the beginning of the UFO era, and even that happened in the middle of 1947.

It leaves me curious as to what you believe occurred in 1948 that made that year the beginning of the modern UFO era?

Curiosity not offense intended.


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 Anonymous
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26/02/2010 6:23 pm  

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law,

I take no offense to your point. You could easily say that it began in 1946. Quite honestly, I don't remember the exact source of my information other than I got it out of one of Grant's books. I just don't remember which one! I've been through all nine volumes in the Typhonian series in the last 6 mos., so they have kind of blended together in my mind. I believe the overall point he was making was with the correlation between early UFO sightings, Crowley's transition, and Achad's declaration.

I intend this to help!

love is the law, love under will.


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thamiel
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26/02/2010 6:36 pm  

This account of things, however, seems to serve as the foundation for a mythic extension of the same, more suited to embrace the "cosmic" scope of Grant's mysticism.

Crowley uses a vocabulary and set of terminology based in the history of occidental occultism and mythology. It is accessible to the average individual with a basic grounding in the associated language. For all its poetry, I would characterize the Crowley corpus as quite cerebral.

Grant, on the other hand, has to invent neologisms to convey his ideosyncratic concepts that often stand outside of tradition and convention. But when you spend time reflecting on them they explode in the imagination, and punch holes in the fabric of the mind that lead to fabulous places.


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Michael Staley
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26/02/2010 7:35 pm  

The tradition of non-duality is brought to the fore in Grant's work. It is there in Crowley's work, and some works such as The Book of Lies and The Book of the Heart Girt with the Serpent are saturated with it. However, it is more prominent in Grant's work. Many of the essays collected in At the Feet of the Guru were published in the 1950s and 1960s, the earlier ones when he was still knocking around with Spare, whose Zos-Kia is essentially non-dual.

Another key element is the role of the imagination, the image-making faculty. It was remarked in an earlier thread that Grant is akin to an artist, painting a canvas, and in this respect I think that the years he spent as a friend of Spare's made a huge impact on him. Anything to hand is pressed into service to convey an image. This is why the instances of faulty gematria make so little difference in the final analysis; Grant is using the gematria to underpin an insight that is already there, and if one formulation doesn't cut the mustard then he will find another.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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 Anonymous
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27/02/2010 12:36 am  

Greetings everyone!

I am glad I asked. You are all very enlightening! 😀

"tai" wrote:
1. Crowleyan Thelema is about the individual, finding one’s True Will, and resisting the herd mentality. Grant takes the game to the next level by questioning the human race.

2. Crowley is interested in initiating the individual. Grant is interested in initiating the world.

3. Crowley received a revelation from Aiwass for the planet, Grant seems to have received a revelation from the dark side of the moon or outer space vis-à-vis the aforementioned body.

4. Crowley’s work aims at initiating the individual in an ascent on the Tree of Life. Grant’s work hints at the need for massive global adjustment while questioning the stability of the Tree should it fail to occur (Crowley drops a few comments in the Book of Thoth hinting the New Aeon will require a new configuration of the Tree, but never develops his comments beyond that).

5. Crowley heralds the Child Horus as the ruler of the New Aeon. Grant secretly initiates the Child into the Aeon of Maat.

6. Crowley is solar-oriented and yet divisive in effect, reflected in the fact Thelemites become mini-suns, never able to agree on anything. Grant’s work is lunar-oriented and yet unifying in effect – reflecting in the fact the moon reflects the light of one sun on the earth, combined with the awareness the view may not last for much longer.

7. Crowley’s name the Great Beast 666, identity as World Teacher and Prophet of the New Aeon, display his anthropocentricism and attendant messiah-complex. I'm not sure “who” Grant is anymore. In any case his writing displays a profound non-anthropocentric focus and hidden moral message for humanity.

8. Crowley’s writing is prescriptive, authoritarian and lays down grade requirements for initiation. Grant’s writing is multi-layered and seductive, negates familiar authority-concepts and initiates merely by the act of reading!

9. Crowley appeals to intellect. Grant appeals to intuition and something buried in the memory of the collective unconscious.

10. Crowley seems realistic, but in fact is idealistic with no sense of irony. Grant seems fictional and perverse, but in fact is ironic and all-too real in his message.

11. Crowley was focused on the sun. Grant is focused on Jungian shadow psychology. That is, the latter's body of writing exists as the hidden shadow-side to the corpus of Crowley’s writing.

12. Crowley seems to have good intentions, but came across as an asshole. Grant seems to have sinister intentions, but comes across as a lunatic.

Hope that helps.

I wonder though…. does anyone know if there is some third person (or movement) who combined the different elements of AC and KG into a third line of thought? For instance, if there is another movement which integrates the various polarities described in the above post and the ones that followed it (for example the solar orientation and the lunar one, the intellectual and the intuitive process, etc).

Regards
Hecate


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kidneyhawk
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27/02/2010 12:49 am  

Hecate,

I would say that Grant is very cognizant of the NECESSITY of "integrating" the polarities described above. His focus is on areas which he sees as neglected in Crowley's work-but he doesn't recommend an exclusive working with one half of the equation.

Nightside of Eden states that ere one attempt exploration of the "averse regions of the power-zones" they must be "familiar with these paths" (of the "Dayside" Tree of Life). As a "Non-Dualist," Grant is all about the alchemy of integration and his concerns with the "Lunar" spring from a desire to rectify the imbalance he observes in movements which are exclusively "Solar" in nature.

93,

Kyle


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 Anonymous
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27/02/2010 4:09 am  

I’m unable to respond to everyone - so just a quick thanks for appreciative comments.

Hi Kidneyhawk

It’s Grant’s exploration of the Nightside of the Tree that leaves questions on his message. A traditional Kabbalistic view is worth mentioning here for context.

The Qlippoth means something like the bark of a tree, the shell of a nut or a husk. The term was rarely used in early writings, but in the later Lurianic tradition the concept was broadened into the doctrine of the “broken shards” resulting from the shattering of Adam Qadmon who was unable to contain the divine light. In other words, the shards are dross formed from prior shattered worlds.

That Grant draws inspiration from the Nightside might explain the sense of imminent global adjustment, of the end of the world, permeating his writing. While I stated earlier his work questions “the stability of the Tree”, I would say this sense of threat comes from the energies of the Nightside rather than being an actual possibility – despite Crowley’s comments in the Book of Thoth. A new configuration of the Tree would be an unrecognizable universe with completely different laws of physics. The end of the world, on the other hand, is a far more feasible scenario. “World” simply means “Age of Man”.

I have to agree with Michael that Grant has a highly visual and artistic sensibility. His images conveying multiple layers of meaning. Take the octopus - a highly intelligent creature, master of camouflage, with numerous tentacles working in coordination to achieve a single purpose. Similarly a spider has multiple legs for multi-tasking and spins a web to catch its prey to devour it. Both creatures have multiple appendages, each carrying out a different task, but working in silent unity toward a single purpose, so that the sum total is greater than the parts. We tend to dislike such creatures because they are not like us, but they have clearly initiated Grant into a non-anthropocentric gnosis. You can recognize in his text, in the perverse parables he spins, silent tentacles reaching out to displace key concepts. Where the alchemists knew metaphysical truths are mirrored in the Book of Nature, Grant recognizes something Other in these truths.

Grant's artistic sensibility is also reflected in the manner in which he approaches Crowley’s legacy – expanding on an obscure theme, rearranging another, displacing a key concept. It all seems random, like a bunch of bricolage, until a method is recognized in the madness, a Other logic at work. Closely examined, his technique mirrors Marcel Duchamp in the latter’s use of the ready-made object. For Grant, he found ready-made concepts in the legacy of Crowley, waiting to be appropriated and developed into something else.

I’ll post more later.


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 Anonymous
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27/02/2010 4:24 am  

One more:
I regard Grant's appropriation of Lovecraft to be similar to his approach toward Crowley. That is, he found in the Chthulu mythos a ready-made object to illustrate his deeper message.


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James
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27/02/2010 2:51 pm  

[/quote="tai"
I would say this sense of threat comes from the energies of the Nightside rather than being an actual possibility – despite Crowley’s comments in the Book of Thoth.

Grant's warning sounds similar in its attribution to a source as that of Carl Jung when he said the fate of Man hangs by a thread; that thread being the human psyche. We have to remember that for Jung the psyche was something bigger than 'Man' and in fact coupled into the universe at some point.


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 Anonymous
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27/02/2010 3:37 pm  

I'm told that Typhonians (Tifon Greek 930) don't work exclusively (or even majorly) from the Grant/Lovecraft angle but thier workings are more esoterically led by the HGA (something I'm very much in favour of).

I'd like to hear more about this other more Solar aspect of the tradition.


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Michael Staley
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27/02/2010 4:17 pm  

Recent threads on this site have made much of Grant's supposed "Cthulhu worship", and I think it's worth looking at this, since it's a typical example of what tai describes above as Grant's appropriation. The case for fiction being harnessed to convey something more than fction was set out in The Magical Revival:

Fiction, as a vehicle, has often been used by occultists. Bulwer Lytton’s Zanoni and A Strange Story have set many a person on the ultimate Quest. Ideas not acceptable to the everyday mind, limited by prejudice and spoiled by a ‘bread-winning’ education, can be made to slip past the censor and, by means of the novel,
the poem, the short story, be effectually planted in soil that would otherwise reject or destroy them.

Writers such as Arthur Machen, Brodie-Innes, Algernon Blackwood and H. P. Lovecraft are in this category. Their novels and stories contain some remarkable affinities with those aspects of Crowley’s Cult dealt with in the present chapter, i.e. themes of resurgent atavisms that lure people to destruction. Whether it be the Vision of Pan, as in the case of Machen and Dunsany, or the even more sinister traffic with denizens of forbidden dimensions, as in the tales of Lovecraft, the reader is plunged into a world of barbarous names and incomprehensible signs. Lovecraft showed some acquaintance with the name of Crowley but none with his work; yet some of his fantasies reflect, however distortedly, the salient themes of Crowley’s Cult. The following comparative table will show how close they are . . .

During the years between The Magical Revival and Outer Gateways Grant's initiation continued apace, and he looked at many things differently, the Lovecraft pantheon amongst them. By now, a much more powerful vision is outlined:

Like other accounts of unclassifiable phases of earth's history, the Cthulhu Cult epitomises the subconsciousness and the forces outside terrestrial awareness. It may be said in passing that true creativity can occur only when these forces are invoked to flood with their light the magical network of the mind. For purposes of explanation the mind may be envisaged as divided into three rooms, the edifice which contains them being the only real or permanent principle. These rooms are:

1) Subconsciousness, the dream state;
2) Mundane consciousness, the waking state;
3) Transcendental consciousness, veiled in the non-initiate by the state of sleep.

The compartments are further conceived as being connected with the house that contains them, by a series of conduits or tunnels. The house represents trans-terrestrial consciousness. The invoked forces - Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth, Azathoth, etc - are then understood, not as malignant or destructive entities but as the dynamic energies of consciousness, the functions of which are to blast away the delusion of separate existence (the rooms in our illustration).

This latter passage is, by the way, an example of appropriation which tai mentioned, since there's nothing in Lovecraft's stories to suggest this thesis. Lovecraft's stories were largely inspired by his dreams, and the suggestion is that his imagination was impinged upon by wider and deeper forces of consciousness. Grant has taken it further, into the areas of non-duality.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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Michael Staley
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27/02/2010 4:33 pm  
"alrah" wrote:
I'm told that Typhonians (Tifon Greek 930) don't work exclusively (or even majorly) from the Grant/Lovecraft angle but thier workings are more esoterically led by the HGA (something I'm very much in favour of).

I'd like to hear more about this other more Solar aspect of the tradition.

In my experience most occultists are syncretist by nature, covering a fairly wide field of traditions and approaches, their specialities notwithstanding. I think this is just as true for those drawn to Grant's work. In my own case, I came from a background of interest in Eastern mysticism in my early teens, coming across Crowley in the mid-sixties, Grant in the early seventies, and immersed myself in Spare from the mid-nineties. My interests have always been varied, and so has my magical and mystical experience - all is grist to the mill, and I move in the way that intuition suggests.

I've been in the Typhonian O.T.O. / Typhonian Order for over thirty years, and have never worked with the Lovecraft pantheon, nor been asked to do so. In fact, I have little interest in the Lovecraft deities. I'm not aware of any of my colleagues who work with this pantheon; the idea that we are a bunch of Cthulhu worshippers is simply a myth, albeit an enduring one.

We are working towards what I imagine many occultists are: an increasing understanding of and insight into reality, whatever that term means.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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ianrons
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27/02/2010 5:05 pm  

Mick,

There's clearly a difference, which you don't acknowledge, between depicting reality in a fictional context and claiming that fiction is reality; and not just reality, but supra-mundane reality.

Secondly, you say you've never worked with the Lovecraft pantheon. This is at odds with what you said to me about the Lam-serpent sadhana, the beginnings of which you have described to me as involving the conception of Cthulhu asleep in R'lyeh, to be awakened by the practice itself. Although it's already been noted that "Cthulhu worship" (that is, elevating that fictional entity in the way Grant does) as a term is quite appropriate, nevertheless I wonder if you'd care to clarify that point regarding your personal work.

The point about the HGA is also quite interesting, and as you've said to me it has been a part of your work and I'd be interested in hearing people's views on that.

Additionally, there are clearly issues with what tai wrote in his post, that Crowley wasn't interested in initiating the world; but kidneyhawk has already alluded to that and I can't be bothered to pursue it because it's so ridiculous.


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 Anonymous
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27/02/2010 5:26 pm  

Did Grant ever explain why he used the term Magical (in reference to illusionists) rather than 'Magickal', as one would expect a student of Crowley to do?

Crowley was rather clear on making a difference... and I suppose it demonstrates the clear faculty of discrimination learned in the very early grades of high magick.

Q. - Did Grant ever use the term 'Magick'.

Q. - Did Grant show any discrimination between the two, that the likes of the Erwin in this latter day goes to excess to exemplify?


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Michael Staley
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27/02/2010 5:37 pm  
"alrah" wrote:
Did Grant ever explain why he used the term Magical (in reference to illusionists) rather than 'Magickal', as one would expect a student of Crowley to do?

Crowley was rather clear on making a difference... and I suppose it demonstrates the clear faculty of discrimination learned in the very early grades of high magick.

Q. - Did Grant ever use the term 'Magick'.

Q. - Did Grant show any discrimination between the two, that the likes of the Erwin in this latter day goes to excess to exemplify?

Grant often uses the term 'Magick' throughout his published and unpublished work. However, when using it as an adjective, he prefers 'magical' to magickal', and so do I. I don't think there's anything more to it than that aesthetics.

It's always been my understanding that Crowley used the older spelling 'Magick' to differentiate it from conjuring tricks as well as from medieval sorcery. This is something that Grant perpetuates throughout his work.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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 Anonymous
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27/02/2010 5:56 pm  
"alrah" wrote:
Did Grant ever explain why he used the term Magical (in reference to illusionists) rather than 'Magickal', as one would expect a student of Crowley to do?

"As one would expect a student of Crowley to do"?

Can you quote me, for instance, even one instance where Crowley used the spelling "magickal"?


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ianrons
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27/02/2010 6:23 pm  

He didn't use the term, to my knowledge. It has been the subject of discussion here previously by Colin S. McLeod (boy, do I miss him) and myself.


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 Anonymous
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27/02/2010 6:32 pm  
"ianrons" wrote:
He didn't use the term, to my knowledge.

To mine, either. There do appear to be some versions of Magick in Theory and Practice floating around - particularly some PDF versions on the interweb - where someone has, for reasons best known to themselves, bizarrely changed the original text (e.g. changing the original "Every intentional act is a Magical Act" to "Every intentional act is a Magickal Act") but if this spelling cropped up in Crowley's original words it would be news to me. Certainly there are hundreds of examples of him using the "magical" spelling throughout the corpus.


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ianrons
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27/02/2010 6:36 pm  

Yes. Hymenaeus Beta inveighs against the usage in a footnote somewhere (perhaps assuming AC as an authority on English), but the usage -- like any other -- is valid, though perhaps modern; at least, I haven't found an early example of it, though there are plenty of examples of "magick" (as indeed of "color", though don't tell "British English" pedants!). Speaking for myself, I choose the spelling in a quite deliberate fashion. Language evolves or dies.


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 Anonymous
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27/02/2010 6:43 pm  
"ianrons" wrote:
Additionally, there are clearly issues with what tai wrote in his post, that Crowley wasn't interested in initiating the world; but kidneyhawk has already alluded to that and I can't be bothered to pursue it because it's so ridiculous.

It's ridiculous because your point is not worth pursuing.

Obviously Crowley, as Prophet of the New Aeon, was interested in the larger picture. What you’re missing in my compare and contrast of the two men is the emphasis on the word “initiating”. Initiation relates to questions of technique to reach a larger goal.

Crowley is focused on initiating the individual. This is attested by the reading schedule, grade requirements, tests to be passed, etc.

Grant is focused on initiating the world. This is attested by the fact there are no specific how-to instructions. He appeals to something buried in the memory of the collective unconscious. There are religious and archeological records that support what he seems to imply, but rather than stating what he really thinks, and thereby run the risk of being carried off in a straitjacket, he uses ready-made stories to hint at the deeper message.

It’s the manner and technique by which Grant writes that displays a superior and ironic intelligence. If anyone tries to pin him down on something he wrote, he can always say he was just writing “fiction”.

Which is more ridiculous - Grant's appropriation of the ready-made Chthulu mythos or critics who try to point out that Chthulu is fiction?


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 Anonymous
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27/02/2010 6:46 pm  
"ianrons" wrote:
but the usage -- like any other -- is valid, though perhaps modern;

While I don't like it and consider it a misspelling at the present time, I don't object to its use per se; that "language evolves", as you say, is an indisputable fact. Shakespeare and Chaucer spelled lots of things differently to the way we do today.

What I do object to is the ill-informed suggestion that "one would expect a student of Crowley to" use that spelling with the implication that that's how Crowley used it, because he didn't.

By the way, in that 2005 thread you linked to, McLeod says "I would like to see what was in the first edition". For what it's worth, I have the first edition, and the "magickal" spelling doesn't appear in it.


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ianrons
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27/02/2010 6:55 pm  
"tai" wrote:
Obviously Crowley, as Prophet of the New Aeon, was interested in the larger picture.

That's kinda my point. I don't really need to hammer it home with the facts about Crowley we already know.

"tai" wrote:
Crowley is focused on initiating the individual.

Unfortunately what I'm seeing is a failure on the part of "Typhonians" to see (let alone acknowledge) the contradictions. The fact that you can make this statement, in contradiction to your earlier one, demonstrates if nothing else the futility of discussion.

"tai" wrote:
Which is more ridiculous - Grant's appropriation of the ready-made Chthulu mythos or critics who try to point out that Chthulu is fiction?

Probably the former. BTW it's usually spelt "Cthulhu".


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 Anonymous
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27/02/2010 7:03 pm  
"ianrons" wrote:
demonstrates if nothing else the futility of discussion

Bravo! Well done Ian.. 😉


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ianrons
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27/02/2010 7:03 pm  
"Erwin" wrote:
What I do object to is the ill-informed suggestion that "one would expect a student of Crowley to" use that spelling with the implication that that's how Crowley used it, because he didn't.

It's definitely not a Crowleyan spelling. He consistently spelled it "magical" as far as I'm aware. However, Crowley doesn't have the last word!


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ianrons
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27/02/2010 7:07 pm  
"tai" wrote:
"ianrons" wrote:
demonstrates if nothing else the futility of discussion

Bravo! Well done Ian.. 😉

Or possibly not, if you're prepared to accept the point 😛


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 Anonymous
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27/02/2010 7:23 pm  

Grant wins either way - either his point on non-duality or on Language.


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Palamedes
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27/02/2010 7:24 pm  
"alrah" wrote:
Did Grant ever explain why he used the term Magical (in reference to illusionists) rather than 'Magickal', as one would expect a student of Crowley to do?

Crowley consistently used "magical" as an adjective of "magick." Both "magickal" and especially "magickian" are more recent versions based, in my opinion, on misunderstanding and/or misappropriation of the term. I haven't looked closely into the issue but my guess is that both "magick" and "magical" are used traditionally (in what sounds as the XVIII century mode of discourse).


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ianrons
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27/02/2010 7:54 pm  
"tai" wrote:
Grant wins either way - either his point on non-duality or on Language.

You claimed that Crowley was not interested in initiating the human race, whilst I pointed out that this is demonstrably false. You seemed to recognise this in your reply. Then when I noted your seeming acceptance of this, you said "bravo" (albeit ironically, though the irony seemed shallow). Now you seem to be saying that, in fact, you disagree with my point; but the terms of your disagreement are stupendously vague (if not downright disingenuous). Would you like to clarify?


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ianrons
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27/02/2010 7:59 pm  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
I've [...] never worked with the Lovecraft pantheon

"ianrons" wrote:
This is at odds with what you said to me about the Lam-serpent sadhana, the beginnings of which you have described to me as involving the conception of Cthulhu asleep in R'lyeh, to be awakened by the practice itself [...] I wonder if you'd care to clarify that point regarding your personal work.

...and answer came there none!


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ianrons
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27/02/2010 8:14 pm  
"Iskandar" wrote:
"alrah" wrote:
Did Grant ever explain why he used the term Magical (in reference to illusionists) rather than 'Magickal', as one would expect a student of Crowley to do?

Crowley consistently used "magical" as an adjective of "magick." Both "magickal" and especially "magickian" are more recent versions based, in my opinion, on misunderstanding and/or misappropriation of the term. I haven't looked closely into the issue but my guess is that both "magick" and "magical" are used traditionally (in what sounds as the XVIII century mode of discourse).

I think we have to distinguish between "magickian" (which doesn't work from a phonological point of view) and "magickal", which is the natural extension of "magick" as used in the 20th century. You shouldn't assume the usage of "magickal" is (always) based on misunderstanding.

Remember that an important distinction is to be made between "definition" of a term (which the OED doesn't do, but which the French Academy does) and "usage".


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 Anonymous
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27/02/2010 8:35 pm  

Has anyone seen the topic anywhere?


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kidneyhawk
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27/02/2010 8:40 pm  

Has anyone seen the topic anywhere?

I was wondering about the Topick myself...


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 Anonymous
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27/02/2010 8:45 pm  

A couple of quick thoughts:

"alrah" wrote:
Did Grant ever explain why he used the term Magical (in reference to illusionists) rather than 'Magickal', as one would expect a student of Crowley to do?

Crowley was rather clear on making a difference... and I suppose it demonstrates the clear faculty of discrimination learned in the very early grades of high magick.

Crowley never used the misspelling "magickal," and in no way does the use of this misspelling have anything at all to do with any distinction between Crowley and Grant.

"ianrons" wrote:
Additionally, there are clearly issues with what tai wrote in his post, that Crowley wasn't interested in initiating the world

Yes, there are clearly issues. Crowley's interest in being recognized as "World Teacher" being one such example. Of course, the real question is what the hell is meant by "initiating the world." In his earlier days, Crowley wanted to teach the whole world to practice Magick, as in "Magick is for ALL," in MTP. Later, he understood this to be an overestimation of the interest and aptitude of most people, and resolved to teach the whole world about true Will, reserving Magick as a specialized field of endeavor. There is, no doubt, another meaning to "initiating the world," an 'esoteric' meaning, which seems to have been of interest to both Crowley and Grant, and which would likely represent an even more specialized field of endeavor in Crowley's eyes, but is probably a principal preoccupation to Grant. This would involve the evolution of mankind in ways related to such controversial terms as "collective consciousness" and such.


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