Portal:Aleister Crowley/Selected pictures/Selected picture 7

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Aleister Crowley in Ceylon, 1901

“I bound myself to devote my life to Magick at Easter 1898, and received my first initiation on November 18 of that year.

My friend and climbing companion, Oscar Eckenstein, gave me my first instructions in learning the control of the mind early in 1901 in Mexico City. Shri Parananda, Solicitor General of Ceylon and an eminent writer upon and teacher of Yoga from the orthodox Shaivite standpoint, and Bhikkhu Ananda Metteya, the great English Adept, who was one of my earliest instructors in Magick and joined the Sangha in Burma in 1902, gave me my first groundings in mystical theory and practice. I spent some months of 1901 in Kandy, Ceylon, with the latter until success crowned my work.

I also studied all varieties of Asiatic philosophy, especially with regard to the practical question of spiritual development, the Sufi doctrines, the Upanishads, the Sankhya, Vedanta, the Bagavad Gita and Purana, the Dhammapada, and many other classics, together with numerous writings on the Tantra and Yoga of such men as Patanjali, Vivekananda, etc. etc. Not a few of these teachings are as yet wholly unknown to scholars. I made the scope of {1} my studies as comprehensive as possible, omitting no school of thought however unimportant or repugnant.

I made a critical examination of all these teachers in the light of my practical experiences. The physiological and psychological uniformity of mankind guaranteed that the diversity of expression concealed a unity of significance. This discovery, furthermore, was confirmed by reference to Jewish, Greek and Celtic traditions. One quintessential truth was common to all cults, from the Hebrides to the Yellow Sea, and even the main branches proved essentially identical. It was only the foliage that exhibited incompatibility.”

(“Introduction” to “Tao Teh King”, THE EQUINOX, Vol. III, No. VIII)

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