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The Book of Lies


 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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This was the second Crowley book I read, and I read it long before becoming a Thelemite. Although I knew virtually nothing about alchemy, masonry or Qabala at the time, I liked the poems and used to meditate on them. I only vaguely understood his comments most of the time, but some of the psalms are actually pretty straightforward. Anyway, I made copious notes on the book pointing out terms and concepts I didn't understand, and by the time I had looked them all up I had a general education in the three subjects mentioned above. Although it's often pegged as an advanced book, I think beginngers can get a lot out of it, because it shows them where their knowledge is lacking and indicates where to look to find the information to fill in the gaps.

My question is, how have you USED this book?


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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I haven't read this one yet. Because it is concidered advanced, I have put it off. I figure that this will be a good way of testing myself once I do read it, to see if I understand the concepts I have studied well enough to understand the book. I look forward to reading it...


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frater_anubis
(@frater_anubis)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 242
 

93 Grannywolf and frater 56!

The Book of Lies is one of AC's masterpieces and contains the "essence" of much of his thought.....to quote from the Confessions:

"...None the less, I could point to some solid
achievement on the large scale, although it is com-
posed of more or less disconnected elements. I refer
to THE BOOK OF LIES. In this there are 93 chapters:
we count as a chapter the two pages filled re-
respectively with a note of interrogation and a mark of
exclamation. The other chapters contain sometimes a
single word, more frequently from a half-dozen to
twenty paragraphs. The subject of each chapter is
determined more or less definitely by the Qabalistic
import of its number. Thus Chapter 25 gives a revised
ritual of the Pentagram; 72 is a rondel with the refrain
~Shemhamphorash', the Divine name of 72 letters;
77 Laylah, whose name adds to that number; and
80, the number of the letter Pe, referred to Mars, a
panegyric upon War. Sometimes the text is serious
and straightforward, sometimes its obscure oracles
demand deep knowledge of the Qabalah for inter-
pretation, others contain obscure allusions, play
upon words, secrets expressed in cryptogram, double
or triple meanings which must be combined in order
to appreciate the full flavour; others again are
subtly ironical or cynical. At first sight the book is a
jumble of nonsense intended to insult the reader. It
requires infinite study, sympathy, intuition and
initiation. Given these I do not hesitate to claim that
in none other of my writings have I given so pro-
found and comprehensive an exposition of my
philosophy on every plane...."

So, one needs to be initiated to gain the fullest understanding

Regards

Johnny


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

93's, Fr. Anubis. I am assuming by 'initiation' you mean something beyond entrance to the outer collage. What grade would you say would be a good level to begin reading the book?

I have heard some adepti say that the lower grades should actualy avoid contact with this book...


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frater_anubis
(@frater_anubis)
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Posts: 242
 

93's Frater56

actually i dont think yosu need a grade to read the book of lies, but as you advance in understanding, each time you read it again it tells you something new.....but dont forget, AC had a wicked sense of humour and would lead you up a path to nowhere if you misunderstood the layers within layers in it

regards
johnny


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

BWAHAH! Yes, I love Crowleys sense of humor. Being THE FOOL is really what it is all about, though, isn't it? :mrgreen: I pitty those who don't understand...


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frater_anubis
(@frater_anubis)
Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 242
 

The Book of Lies works something like this.....the English language is composed of layers of meaning which depend on the context under discussion, for example consider the English word "strike"

Possibly one would consider that "strike" meant bolshevic workers taking industrial action in support of their reasonable demands for higher wages.....but wait, in another context "strike" might indicate someone striking a match to light a spliff at Cefalu before dinner.....not forgetting that someone might "strike" the goat with a blunt instrument first, in order to stun the animal and ensure it's co-operation in the forthcoming magickal rite.....

The point i make is that in English the word "strike" is spelt the same in all three contexts, is also pronounced exactly the same, yet has a completely different meaning which depends on the context.

So, to understand the depth of meaning in the Book of Lies one needs to have the same depth of understanding of the English language as AC.

Regards
Johnny

So


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frater_anubis
(@frater_anubis)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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frater93, now you understand initiation....AND how to read the 3 layers in Liber 333....shit hot website aint it?

93 93/93
johnny


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

This was the first little volume of Crowley's that I read when I was 16.

I use it to this day as it says it is, a book full of lies. That way I automatically deny every idea in it.

The process, I've learned, tends to grow truth out of those lies.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 
"frater_anubis" wrote:
frater93, now you understand initiation....AND how to read the 3 layers in Liber 333....shit hot website aint it?

93 93/93
johnny

I understood your meaning after you clarified in your second post. πŸ™‚


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

For me Liber 333 was a very important tool in my understanding the law of Thelema and ultimatly becoming a Thelemite. At first I did understand very little of it until late at night I was chatting with my girlfriend about something or another and my first major revelation concerning the book struck me. I immediatly grabbed the book and started flipping through it. Specificly I came to a realization about the title and what it truly means about language, about truth and about spiritual matters in general. Using this understanding I was able to develop a basis for the rest of the knowledge I would accumulate about that book.
Perhaps some people arn't ready for it, perhaps they are. I don't claim to know what is best for others. I am confident however that the Book of Lies is an extremly important book and in itself can be a powerful tool of initiation in it's purest sense.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

Everyone should read the hunchback and the soldier by Crowley in conjunction with the Book of Lies.
Especially the exclamation mark and the question mark will have deeper meaning.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

93 all,

"Frater56" wrote:
BWAHAH! Yes, I love Crowleys sense of humor. Being THE FOOL is really what it is all about, though, isn't it? :mrgreen: I pitty those who don't understand...

AL II, 48: "Pity not the fallen! I never knew them. I am not for them. I console not: I hate the consoled & the consoler."
AL III, 18: "Mercy let be off: damn them who pity! Kill and torture; spare not; be upon them!"
AL III, 42: "...Success is thy proof: argue not; convert not; talk not overmuch! Them that seek to entrap thee, to overthrow thee, them attack without pity or quarter; & destroy them utterly."
AL III, 43: "Let the Scarlet Woman beware! If pity and compassion and tenderness visit her heart; if she leave my work to toy with old sweetnesses; then shall my vengeance be known..."

"And lo! the Magical Formula denounced pity as damnable..." -CH50 of Confessions of Aleister Crowley

Read the Book of the Law, Frater 56? Just wondering..... perhaps it was mere foolishness (yes, I am trying to be ironic).

...

Anyways, I seriously doubt that Crowley meant 'initiation' as in initiation into a certain grade. Initiation just means layers of knowledge & integration in a general sense... Its like saying the Book of Law means more the more you are initiated... How many times have all of you learned more and more about even a single line from the first time you've read it...? Im sure most people here.

93 93/93


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

I finished reading of Book Of Lies about 8 months ago. It took some time. The essential Zohar by Rav. P.S. Berg helped a lot with interpretation and in my opinion BOL is a great book. Those rituals I didn`t took into action from that book, but I used Lon Milo Du`Quettes The Magick of Aleister Crowley with more clearer version from Star Ruby and Star Sapphire with explanations and traslations into english, and so on.
before even understanding some things "right" or the way the would be ment to understood, the book opened on its unique way anyway. Some background is just good to have thought if wants to have mental orgasm ( and why not physical,hah! ) from book of lies. I guess there are no two people who would interpret that book with totally same way as a whole... normal way to write by AC.

Btw. does some of you have the version without the commentaries by Crowley?? I believe it would be a lot harder to get into it without those..


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

93
TBOL is'nt optimally read from front to back like a normal book IMO, even though some chapters are interconnected in some way. What I've done is to put all the chapter #'s on tiny pieces of paper, place them in a halved can of pop, and randomly select a single chapter for reading every day or so(well, used to, I'll have to take this up again) like a raffle. This allows for more insight and contemplation into the various chapters.
93 93/93


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

I pick a chapter at random every other night before bed and read it, re-read it, and then sleep on it. More times than not I have interesting dreams.


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phthah
(@phthah)
Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 210
 

93,
I agree that "The Book of Lies" is one of AC's masterpieces. Like many people here I'm sure, I discovered A.C. through my interest in Jimmy Page. This was many years ago. At the time, I had only read the autobiography called "The Magical World of Aleister Crowley" by King, when I happened upon the Wieser edition of The Book of Lies in a local bookstore. So, this was really the first book by A.C. that I read. Though I did not understand much of it, I was intrigued. Now, all these years later, I am still learning from and gaining new insights from this little book. That is one of the great things about it. As you advance on the Path, you gain more and more understanding from it. And also, in my experience, sometimes when that understanding hits you, it can be quite an intense and wonderful thing!

"Azoneris" wrote:
Btw. does some of you have the version without the commentaries by Crowley?? I believe it would be a lot harder to get into it without those..

That would be the first edition published by A.C. in 1913 e.v. and I agree that the commentaries are helpful. In 1962 e.v. Germer published a reprint including the commentaries and I think most subsequent editions included them.

"Sol2Sol" wrote:
I pick a chapter at random every other night before bed and read it, re-read it, and then sleep on it. More times than not I have interesting dreams.

That's actually a great idea! I also sometimes will open the book and read a chapter at random. Of course, that will often times lead to reading multiple follow up chapters. πŸ˜‰

93 93/93


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 
"phthah" wrote:
93,
I agree that "The Book of Lies" is one of AC's masterpieces. Like many people here I'm sure, I discovered A.C. through my interest in Jimmy Page. This was many years ago. At the time, I had only read the autobiography called "The Magical World of Aleister Crowley" by King, when I happened upon the Wieser edition of The Book of Lies in a local bookstore. So, this was really the first book by A.C. that I read. Though I did not understand much of it, I was intrigued. Now, all these years later, I am still learning from and gaining new insights from this little book. That is one of the great things about it. As you advance on the Path, you gain more and more understanding from it. And also, in my experience, sometimes when that understanding hits you, it can be quite an intense and wonderful thing!

"Azoneris" wrote:
Btw. does some of you have the version without the commentaries by Crowley?? I believe it would be a lot harder to get into it without those..

That would be the first edition published by A.C. in 1913 e.v. and I agree that the commentaries are helpful. In 1962 e.v. Germer published a reprint including the commentaries and I think most subsequent editions included them.

"Sol2Sol" wrote:
I pick a chapter at random every other night before bed and read it, re-read it, and then sleep on it. More times than not I have interesting dreams.

That's actually a great idea! I also sometimes will open the book and read a chapter at random. Of course, that will often times lead to reading multiple follow up chapters. πŸ˜‰

93 93/93


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

haha.. just tried first time the quote-option and didnt quite succeed πŸ™‚ But what I was about to say that "Yeah, would be quite a collectiondiamond to own the original 1913 version" By quoting one part of Phthah:s posting.. not the whole text πŸ˜€


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gurugeorge
(@gurugeorge)
Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 456
 
"TheThinWhiteDuke" wrote:
Everyone should read the hunchback and the soldier by Crowley in conjunction with the Book of Lies.
Especially the exclamation mark and the question mark will have deeper meaning.

Yeah, second this.

In my mind I always put Liber 333, Little Essays Towards Truth and Liber Aleph, all three books together, as containing Crowley's best actual straightforward "system building" in the grand, phiilosophical sense - they all three completely present his "system".


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

Please tell me what "Laylah" mentioned in the Book of Lies is in your view? I ment this same name, that appears also as a woman in the BOL, in one kabbalistic book. I`d be interested about peoples interpretations. Laylah is arabic for "Night"


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

Aham. Laylah seems to represent Leila Waddell. And is also described as ultimate female symbol in the chapter 28 in BOL.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
The name Laylah (night=N.O.X.) is, also, one of the main characters in the famous Arabic poem "Laylah and Majnun." Laylah is the love object of Majnun, also known as "the Madman" in the poem of the same name by Mu'allaqat (662 e.v.), and most famously, by the Persian poet Nizami (c.f. "Layla & Majnun," Shambhala Press). There are many translations and variations of this poem, plus many scholarly interpretations; especially in French. This is the same character referred to in the Derek and the Domino's song "Laylah" by Eric Clapton, regarding Patty Boyd. It is a beautiful story, if one is a romantic. This is the basis of the magical motto assigned to Leilah Waddell by Crowley.
Love is the law, love under will.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 
"Azoneris" wrote:
Aham. Laylah seems to represent Leila Waddell. And is also described as ultimate female symbol in the chapter 28 in BOL.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

...i would say that it's the Exact Opposite of that; leila is shown as a representative of LAYLAH.

check out chapter 90 in 333. it might help.

Love is the law, love under will.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 
"luxinhominefactum" wrote:
"Azoneris" wrote:
Aham. Laylah seems to represent Leila Waddell. And is also described as ultimate female symbol in the chapter 28 in BOL.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

...i would say that it's the Exact Opposite of that; leila is shown as a representative of LAYLAH.

check out chapter 90 in 333. it might help.

Love is the law, love under will.

93

Thank you from your advice.

93/93


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

I recall reading this gem, as a Teenager; mostly incomprehensible, I did wonder about IT, in
Waratah Blossoms.
Much later, I find The book as a Temple, with many chambers, each full of wonderfully varied
hue, and texture, as it were, to the profundity, therein.
A rare Gem, indeed.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

There is some fascinating blogging on jerry Cornelius`s blog about the Book of Lies at the moment. Some of the most interesting Crowley/Thelema writings I`ve read in a while.


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christibrany
(@christibrany)
Yuggothian
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2856
 

the value of a book is
it only in the knowledge?
or does it also dwell in the materials and
feeling one gets when Having the book
as an object?
Try as I might to enjoy books printed for Free or as Gifts,
as much as the ones Bought,
I always find the ones with Hard covers and gilding more pleasing
than simple freely got things.
No matter if they are having the same contents.
Is this bad form?
Part of me thinks it is and seeks to cure this but I am thinking that
bibliophilia is not such a dirty thing.
I had the eye to purchase the book of lies in hardcover for 50 dollars but couldnt afford it , the old version, now I have a softcover one that looks really interesting i am excited to get to it.
Yet for some reason it seems to have a small amount less Value simply due to its presentation.
Isnt that stupid?
My favourite bit about the book is it's word play and messages though.


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gurugeorge
(@gurugeorge)
Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 456
 
"christibrany" wrote:
the value of a book is
it only in the knowledge?
or does it also dwell in the materials and
feeling one gets when Having the book
as an object?
Try as I might to enjoy books printed for Free or as Gifts,
as much as the ones Bought,
I always find the ones with Hard covers and gilding more pleasing
than simple freely got things.
No matter if they are having the same contents.
Is this bad form?
Part of me thinks it is and seeks to cure this but I am thinking that
bibliophilia is not such a dirty thing.
I had the eye to purchase the book of lies in hardcover for 50 dollars but couldnt afford it , the old version, now I have a softcover one that looks really interesting i am excited to get to it.
Yet for some reason it seems to have a small amount less Value simply due to its presentation.
Isnt that stupid?
My favourite bit about the book is it's word play and messages though.

I think this is a good point, the physical quality of a book matters to the experience of reading it. Crowley understood this, he was himself a bit of a bibliophile, and I think he says somewhere that if a book has something worth printing, it should be printed well.

I've always gotten much more out of AC's books when I've read first editions. The love and attention and care he put into them forms a kind of emotional link with the reader. If the book itself is beautiful, it sets one in the right mood.


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Sonofthoth
(@sonofthoth)
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 45
 

The book of lies was one of the first Crowley books I read, it definitely caused a little bit of cognitive dissonance at first (namely because I hadn't fully developed the skills to interpret his writing style), yet at the same time I was highly intrigued and liked how evocative and contradictory it was.

Two of the many excerpts that kept popping up in my mind all the time when I was still getting acquainted, was:

"Life and death are the two names of A.
Kill thyself.
Neither of these alone is enough"

also: "The brothers of A.A. are women"

And that had me allured and baffled for a while :)))

After a while of familiarizing myself with it, I started to pick apart the humor in it (and he really has some great jokes in there!). Not only that, but the kabbalistic and types of literacy games he plays, really gives it it's own "world", as to say that it is so layered with detail (like Liber Legis) that the more you read and analyse it, the more connections you make etc.

When I eventually got into Robert Anton Wilson, I felt quite satisfied that he also had discovered what I had, as to say that I wasn't just imagining it's complexity of literacy. R.A. Wilson comparing him to Joyce too, I feel is a good comparison for this too, seeing how amazingly (almost inhumanly, lol) skilled they where with language and puzzles and ciphers and puns and hiding jokes behind "menacing sentences".

I love the Book Of Lies! πŸ™‚

93


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Sonofthoth
(@sonofthoth)
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 45
 

Union Peelings always gets me in very overwhelming ways, it's a powerful parable of sorts.


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ignant666
(@ignant666)
Tangin
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3548
 

One could almost say it brings tears to one's eyes. A nicely "Freudian-slip"-ish typo there, Sonofthoth.

BoL has always been my favorite AC work. When i married a few years back, I read "The Southern Cross" to my South American wife, she read "The North Star" to North American me.


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 4132
 

I too have a very high regard for The Book of Lies. Amongst so many gems, the one I'd pick out is 'Pilgrim Talk'. I love in particular the concluding verse:

    O thou that drawest toward the End of The Path,
      effort is no more. Faster and faster dos thou fall;
      thy weariness is changed into Ineffable Rest.
    For there is not Thou upon That Path: thou hast
      become The Way.


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Shiva
(@shiva)
Not a Rajah
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 5803
 

Liber 333 was my constant companion at a certain point in the Great mid-60s. Like a Bible-thumping evangelist, I affected a demeanor of holiness by constantly clutching it [333] to my beast or under my arm. However, I never thumped it nor did I stand on a soapbox at busy intersections while shouting out its contradictory/complimentary verses.. Then I got tired of that silliness, because there was too much real work to do.

Liber 333 is "official" for the Babe of the Abyss [as if anyone is reading any text(s) in the Abyss]. Nonetheless, it's a very good book, suitable for Babes of any grade.


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