Little Essays Toward Truth (Hell Fire Club)
My copy arrived yesterday. It is a gorgeous little book, everything you would hope it would be. For anyone who still enjoys the tactile pleasure of reading books, this is well worth it. Cost me about US$100, but I'm not complaining. I hope the Hell Fire Club rolls off more Crowley out-of-print editions. I'd be a buyer.
Anyway, re-reading these essays last night - by a warm fire, a glass of brandy in hand - I kinda forgot how good they were.
"The Quest of the Holy Grail, the Search for the Stone of the Philosophers—by whatever name we choose to call the Great Work—is therefore endless. Success only opens up new avenues of brilliant possibility. Yea, verily and Amen! the task is tireless and its joys without bounds; for the whole Universe, and all that in it is, what is it but the infinite playground of the Crowned and Conquering Child, of the insatiable, the innocent, the ever-rejoicing Heir of Space and Eternity, whose name is MAN?"
The Old Sinner has a sweet swing!
I've not seen the Hell Fire Club edition, but I do agree with your high estimation of these essays. It's one of Crowley's best books in my opinion.
I particularly like the essay on 'Silence', and the last paragraph is a sumptuous slice of gorgeousness:
I praise the luxuriant Rapture of Innocence, the virile and pantomorphous Ecstasy of all-Fulfilment; I praise the Crowned and Conquering Child whose name is Force and Fire, whose subtlety and strength make sure serenity, whose Energy and Endurance accomplish the Attainment of the Virgin of the Absolute; who, being manifested, is the Player upon the sevenfold pipe, the Great God Pan, and, being withdrawn into the Perfection that he willed, is Silence.
Apologies for the double post (as the bishop said to the actress) but the penultimate paragraph is not to be sneezed at, either:
It is impossible for inspiration itself to sound a dithyramb of Silence; for each new aspect of Harpocrates is worthy of the music of the Universe throughout Eternity. I have simply been led by my loyal Love of that strange Race among whom I find myself incarnate to indite this poor stanza of the infinite Epic of Harpocrates as being the facet of His fecund Brilliance which has refracted the most needful light upon mine own darkling Entrance to His shrine of fulminating, of ineffable Godhead.
I've always loved, in particular, that phrase "I have simply been led by my loyal Love of that strange Race among whom I find myself incarnate . . ."
My wife got me this edition (Essays Truth) for Christmas but i haven't been allowed to open it yet (of course). Looking forward to adding my review here once I re-read the work.
I recently obtained for my Xmas present to myself, and am reading the lovely full Morocco sapphire colour leather edition of THELEMA (holy books) also from Hell Fire (pub. 2015) and am really enjoying the facsimile editions and absorbing the divine poesy: