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Thread: Thelema & Aleister Crowley

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    Thelema & Aleister Crowley

    What is Thelema?
    Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

    Thelema is a Greek word meaning “will” or “intention”. It is also the name of a new spiritual philosophy which has arisen over the past several hundred years and is now gradually becoming established worldwide.

    One of the earliest mentions of this philosophy occurs in the classic Gargantua and Pantagruel written by Francois Rabelais in 1532. One episode of this epic adventure tells of the founding of an “Abbey of Thelema” as an institution for the cultivation of human virtues, which Rabelais identified as being squarely opposite the prevailing Christian proprieties of the time. The sole rule of the Abbey of Thelema was: “Do what thou wilt”. This has become one of the basic tenets of Thelemic philosophy today.

    Although touched upon by various prominent visionary thinkers in the following few hundred years, the seeds of Thelema sown by Rabelais eventually came to fruition in the early part of this century when developed by an Englishman named Aleister Crowley. Crowley was a poet, author, mountaineer, magician, and member of the occult society known as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. In 1904, while travelling in Egypt with his wife Rose, Crowley became inextricably involved in a series of events which he claimed to inaugurate a new aeon of human evolution. These culminated in April when Crowley entered a state of trance and wrote down the three chapters of 220 verses which came to be called The Book of the Law (also known as Liber AL and Liber Legis). Among other things, this book declared: “The word of the law is Thelema” and “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law”.

    Crowley spent the rest of his life developing the philosophy of Thelema as revealed by the Book of the Law. The result was a voluminous output of commentary and works relating to magick, mysticism, yoga, qabalah, and other occult subjects. Virtually all of this writing bears the influence of Thelema as interpreted and understood by Crowley in his capacity as prophet of the New Aeon.

    One theory holds that each chapter of the Book of the Law is associated with a particular aeon of human spiritual evolution. According to this view, Chapter One characterizes the Aeon of Isis, when the archetype of female divinity was paramount. Chapter Two relates to the Aeon of Osiris, when the archetype of the slain god became prominent, and the world’s patriarchal religions became established. Chapter Three heralds the dawning of a new aeon, the Aeon of Horus, the child of the Isis and Osiris. It is in this new aeon that the philosophy of Thelema will be fully revealed to humanity, and will become established as the primary paradigm for the spiritual evolution of the species.

    Some of the essential elements of belief in Thelema are:

    “Every man and every woman is a star.”
    This is usually taken to mean that each individual is unique and has their own path in a spacious universe wherein they can move freely without collision.
    “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” and “thou hast no right but to do thy will.”
    Most Thelemites hold that every person possesses a True Will, a single overall motivation for their existence. The Law of Thelema mandates that each person follow their True Will to attain fulfillment in life and freedom from restriction of their nature. Because no two True Wills can be in real conflict (according to “Every man and every woman is a star”), this Law also prohibits one from interfering with the True Will of any other person. The notion of absolute freedom for an individual to follow his or her True Will is a cherished one among Thelemites. This philosophy also recognizes that the main task of an individual setting out on the path of Thelema is to first discover his or her True Will, giving methods of self-exploration such as magick great importance. Furthermore, every True Will is different, and because each person has a unique point-of-view of the universe, no one can determine the True Will for another person. Each person must arrive at the discovery for themselves.
    “Love is the law, love under will.”
    This is an important corollary to the above, indicating that the essential nature of the Law of Thelema is that of Love. Each individual unites with his or her True Self in Love, and so empowered, the entire universe of conscious beings unites with every other being in Love.
    Of course, with the emphasis on freedom and individuality inherent in Thelema, the beliefs of any given Thelemite are likely to differ from those of any other. In the Comment appended to The Book of the Law it is stated that: “All questions of the Law are to be decided only by appeal to my writings, each for himself.” Although Thelema is sometimes referred to as a “religion”, it accommodates the full range of individual beliefs, from atheism to polytheism. The important thing is that each person has the right to fulfill themselves through whatever beliefs and actions are best suited to them (so long as they do not interfere with the will of others), and only they themselves are qualified to determine what these are.

    Love is the law, love under will.

    Aleister Crowley (1875-1947)


    Edward Alexander (Aleister) Crowley was born October 12, 1875 in Leamington Spa, England. His parents were members of the Plymouth Brethren, a strict fundamentalist Christian sect. As a result, Aleister grew up with a thorough biblical education and an equally thorough disdain of Christianity.

    He attended Trinity College at Cambridge University, leaving just before completing his degree. Shortly thereafter he was introduced to George Cecil Jones, who was a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The Golden Dawn was an occult society led by S.L. MacGregor Mathers which taught magick, qabalah, alchemy, tarot, astrology, and other hermetic subjects. It had many notable members (including A. E. Waite, Dion Fortune, and W. B. Yeats), and its influence on the development of modern western occultism was profound.

    Crowley was initiated into the Golden Dawn in 1898, and proceeded to climb up rapidly through the grades. But in 1900 the order was shattered by schism, and Crowley left England to travel extensively throughout the East. There he learned and practiced the mental and physical disciplines of yoga, supplementing his knowledge of western-style ritual magick with the methods of Oriental mysticism.

    In 1903, Crowley married Rose Kelly, and they went to Egypt on their honeymoon. After returning to Cairo in early 1904, Rose (who until this point had shown no interest or familiarity with the occult) began entering trance states and insisting to her husband that the god Horus was trying to contact him. As a test, Crowley took Rose to the Boulak Museum and asked her to point out Horus to him. She passed several well-known images of the god and led Aleister straight to a painted wooden funerary stele from the 26th dynasty, depicting Horus receiving a sacrifice from the deceased, a priest named Ankh-f-n-khonsu. Crowley was especially impressed by the fact that this piece was numbered 666 by the museum, a number with which he had identified since childhood.

    The upshot was that he began to listen to Rose, and at her direction, on three successive days beginning April 8, 1904, he entered his chamber at noon and wrote down what he heard dictated from a shadowy presence behind him. The result was the three chapters of verse known as Liber AL vel Legis, or The Book of the Law. This book heralded the dawning of the new aeon of Horus, which would be governed by the Law of Thelema. “Thelema” is a Greek word meaning “will”, and the Law of Thelema is often stated as: “Do what thou wilt”. As the prophet of this new aeon, Crowley spent the rest of his life working to develop and establish Thelemic philosophy.

    In 1906 Crowley rejoined George Cecil Jones in England, where they set about the task of creating a magical order to continue where the Golden Dawn had left off. They called this order the A.’. A.’. (Astrum Argentium or Silver Star), and it became the primary vehicle for the transmission of Crowley’s mystical and magical training system based on the principles of Thelema.

    Then in 1910 Crowley was contacted by Theodore Reuss, the head of an organization based in Germany called the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.). This group of high-ranking Freemasons claimed to have discovered the supreme secret of practical magick, which was taught in its highest degrees. Apparently Crowley agreed, becoming a member of O.T.O. and eventually taking over as head of the order when Reuss suffered a stroke in 1921. Crowley reformulated the rites of the O.T.O. to conform them to the Law of Thelema, and vested the organization with its main purpose of establishing Thelema in the world. The order also became independent of Freemasonry (although still based on the same patterns) and opened its membership to women and men who were not masons.

    Aleister Crowley died in Hastings, England on December 1, 1947. However, his legacy lives on in the Law of Thelema which he brought to mankind (along with dozens of books and writings on magick and other mystical subjects), and in the orders A.’. A.’. and O.T.O. which continue to advance the principles of Thelema to this day.

    Love is the law, love under will.
    93 93/93


    An informative link on Thelema
    http://www.thelema101.com/

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    Under the christian totalitarism there were huge undercurrents of heathenism following their old practices.

    We know of Agrippa, Paracelsus, the freemasons, Dr.Faust, herbal wisdom by the witches, druidism by William Blake and on and on.

    Goethe, an old heathen, wrote his whole life about the faustian lifestyle. It is the counterpicture to Jesus and certainly a germanic way of life.

    The faustian men plays with the interlude of 'light' and 'darkness'. He gives part of him to dark forces to gain knowledge and power. As in Goethes Faust he followed Mephistoes directions to learn. And he did too: Do what THOU willst. (the devils one and only commandment).

    We know that Odin also paid prices for his knowledge and his power. Odin might be one of the examples of a faustian personality.

    The faustian personality works with the law of three. The 'good' needs a 'denying' force (the evil) to go above both and become a god himself. Standing above morality/customs etc.

    Aleister Crowley seemed to have been one of those figures.
    weel nich will dieken dej mot wieken

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    As a mystic and man of God (I won't bother specifying which one), I hardly have anything positive to say for those whose sole interest is in mastery of the material, but Aleister Crowley is one of the few who stands out from the hordes of petty conjurers as a truly intelligent man. I might not agree with much he had to say, but there's no denying the wisdom and experience in his words.
    To practice magic is to be a quack; to know magic is to be a sage. - Eliphas Lévi

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    The Book Of The Law.

    For anyone interested in reading here is a copy of "The Book Of The Law."

    Liber AL vel Legis sub figura CCXX as delivered by LXXVIII unto DCLXVI.

    This book is the foundation of the new Aeon, and thus the whole of our Work.

    It was dictated in Cairo between noon and 1 P.M. on three successive days, April 8th, 9th, and 10th in the year of 1904.

    The Author called himself Aiwass, and claimed to be “the minister of Hoor-paar-kraat”; that is, a messenger from the forces ruling this earth at present. The elements are Nuit — Space — that is, the total of possibilities of every kind — and Hadit, any point which has experience of these possibilities. The third element is Horus, from whom we may come to perceive events as a continual growth partaking of both these principles.
    http://www.thelema.org/aa/documents/...law/index.html

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    As a mystic and man of God (I won't bother specifying which one), I hardly have anything positive to say for those whose sole interest is in mastery of the material, but Aleister Crowley is one of the few who stands out from the hordes of petty conjurers as a truly intelligent man. I might not agree with much he had to say, but there's no denying the wisdom and experience in his words.
    How can you call a man wise if you have not thoroughly studied him?

    If this man had all the answers to life then he surely would not have ended his days in a boarding home, shooting up heroin and living off the generosity of a few followers that didn't seem to care that he was only using them for their money.

    I studied his books back in my early twenties and in summing up, this man was mostly a quack who had actually tapped into something genuine but abused it for his own personal gain.

    He also wrote such things as :

    “England must be destroyed once and for all. England must be divided between the Continental Powers. She must be a mere province, or better still, colony of her neighbours, France and Germany.”
    What would a true-blue Englishman/woman have to say about that?

    On child sacrifice:

    “For the highest spiritual working one must accordingly choose that victim which contains the greatest and purest force. A male child of perfect innocence and high intelligence is the most satisfactory and suitable victim.”
    There is so much more to discuss about this man.
    If you have any more questions in regards to his legitimacy, Rev. jupiter, feel free to ask them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronan View Post
    How can you call a man wise if you have not thoroughly studied him?
    I already gave the disclaimer that I disagree with much of what he said.
    What I respect about him is the consistent logic of his worldview. The paradigm he operated within had an impeccable loyalty to itself and its fundamental assumptions that is quite hard to find in other wandwavers and soothsayers.

    He took hedonism and materialism to a metaphysically beautiful extreme, and though I loathe it I can definitely respect it.
    To practice magic is to be a quack; to know magic is to be a sage. - Eliphas Lévi

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev. Jupiter View Post
    He took hedonism and materialism to a beautifully metaphysical extreme, and though I loathe it I can definitely respect it.
    Please elaborate. How can you loathe and respect something at the same time?!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronan View Post
    Please elaborate
    What is there to elaborate on? The quote you posted on sacrificial victims is a perfect example.

    Or are you simply looking for things to object to?

    Why not question the person who created the thread, rather than someone who merely commented on it?

    Edit: In response to the edit you've made to your post, I will say this: Respect is not reliant upon approval.
    To practice magic is to be a quack; to know magic is to be a sage. - Eliphas Lévi

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev. Jupiter View Post
    What is there to elaborate on?
    You wrote:

    He took hedonism and materialism to a metaphysically beautiful extreme, and though I loathe it I can definitely respect it.

    How can you loathe and respect something at the same time?

    Hedonism, to its "metaphysically beautiful extreme", has been one our people's greatest problems.
    Crowley was an unrepentent homosexual who delighted in shocking people with his perversity.
    Is this what you would call a proper influence?
    His behavior was definitely not Germanic in the least.

    Or are you simply looking for things to object to?
    No, I am asking a legitimate question.

    Why not question the person who created the thread, rather than someone who merely commented on it?
    If you join in on the discussion then you had better be prepared to take questions every bit as much as the person who started the thread.
    Otherwise you should not have commented in the first place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronan View Post
    Hedonism, to its "metaphysically beautiful extreme", has been one our people's greatest problems.
    Crowley was an unrepentent homosexual who delighted in shocking people with his perversity.
    Is this what you would call a proper influence?
    His behavior was definitely not Germanic in the least.
    As stated previously, respect is not reliant upon approval.

    What I respect about Crowley is the amount of thought that went into forming his particular worldview, and how consistent he was with it. Never once did he deviate from, well, deviance.
    The issue I have with most of Crowley's kind is that they are all over the place. Their ideas and concepts are overwhelmingly paratactic, and as a result can't really be analyzed or understood without willing abandonment of reason.

    While he certainly was disgusting, the self-proclaimed "Beast 666" was at least true to his own ideas, which is more than can be said for most magicians.
    To practice magic is to be a quack; to know magic is to be a sage. - Eliphas Lévi

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