Saturday, March 21, 2009

Montauk Revisited - AppendB

Aleister Crowley

Aleister Crowley was born in 1875 and given the name Edward Alexander which he used until his late teens. His father, also named Edward Alexander Crowley, was a wealthy brewer who became a fire and brimstone preacher.

Crowley’s brilliance as a young child is legendary. He reportedly learned the game of chess after watching one match and was virtually unbeatable thereafter. He led a privileged life except for the fact that he was force fed the Christian religion in a most abhorrent manner. Perhaps the best illustration of this is an incident that took place as a young teen at the private school he attended.

The teacher had caught wind of an outbreak of homosexuality among Crowley’s classmates. One of the perpetrators was caught and was forced under the whip to tell on his accomplices. Crowley was named as being a guilty party although he would deny his involvement for his entire life. (This is particularly noteworthy as Crowley never denied being involved in homosexuality in later life.) The teacher then proceeded to extract a confession from Crowley and flogged him repeatedly. He was forced to recite Christian prayers between floggings under the assumption that he would see the errors of his ways. Unfortunately, Crowley didn’t know what he was accused of, but he was beaten repeatedly for a period of about two weeks. The teacher finally became exasperated and told Crowley what he suspected. Crowley told him he would have confessed to that right away if he’d only known what he wanted to hear. The teacher became disgusted and expelled Crowley.

Upon returning home to his mother with the expulsion notice, she read the scandal and said words that are not famous. They were something like the following:
“You’re a beast. Yes. You’re the beast of revelation – 666!”

Young Crowley felt very relieved to hear these words because he could identify with them. Anything that was anti-Christian must be good because Christianity had proven itself to be the most evil thing in the world in his own mind.

The above experience is usually overlooked when books are written about Crowley. It is perhaps one of the most revelatory experiences in his early life.

Crowley’s father died when he was twelve. He lived under the care of his mother and an uncle until he went to Cambridge University. There, he studied the physical sciences and had a renaissance education. He is arguably one of the more skilled poets ever. In any case, he had a mastery of the English language (and many others too).

At the age of twenty he inherited a fortune and abandoned the last year of his formal education. He was now enthusiastically pursuing the occult and studied in many secret societies. He would later rise to the highest leadership position in many ancient orders. The Masons, Rosicrucians, Order of the Silver Star and Ordo Templi Orientis are amongst them. The latter, commonly referred to as the O.T.O. is perhaps the most significant in his own life. While being the Outer Head of the O.T.O., he formulated and wrote down his most famous work, Magick, in Theory and Practice. He spelled “magick” with a “k” so as to differentiate it from parlor magic.

The most spectacular event in Crowley’s life occurred in 1904 at the Boulak Museum in Cairo. Crowley and his wife Rose and recently spent the night in the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid. While staying at a flat in Cairo, rose fell into a foreign state of mind and kept repeating that Crowley had offended Horus, the Egyptian god. Crowley was mystified as his wife knew virtually nothing about Egyptian mythology. She then proceeded to tell him how to invoke Horus and finally dragged him to the Boulak Museum. There, he was shocked. Rose showed him an image of Horus in a form known as Ra-Hoor-Khuit. The display number was “666”. This experience resulted in a tremendous illumination which would change the course of Crowley’s life forever.

Soon after, at midnight on March 19th, he declared that the equinox of the gods had arrived and that a new epoch in human history had begun. Crowley subsequently dictated a message from Aiwas, his own Holy Guardian Angel, which would serve as a link between the solar spiritual forces and mankind.

This message was written down in what became known as “The Book of the Law”. This work lays down a simple code of conduct which is “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. Love is the law, love under will. There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.”

These words are often misinterpreted, particularly when they are spoken of on TV talk shows and written about by authors who are not serious students. Such persons might say that the above doctrine encourages others to do what they want, such as murder, rape, and pillage. This is very far from the true teaching.

Crowley taught that every man and woman was a star. Each of us is to move on our true orbit, marked by the nature of our position, the law of our growth and the impulse of our past experiences.

According to this same doctrine, all events are equally lawful and everyone is necessary in theory. In practice, only one act is lawful for each of us at any given moment. Therefore, it is our duty to determine to experience the right event from one moment of consciousness to another.

It should also be noted that “thelema”, the Greek word for “will”, has the same numerical value as “agape”, , the Greek word for “love”. This is not considered to be an accident. Each action or motion is an act of love that will unite with the whole. Each act must be “under will”, chosen so as to fulfill and not thwart the true nature of the being concerned.

The technical methods of achieving this are to be studied in Crowley’s system of “Magick”.

It is important to know that Crowley’s life was full of scandal. Much of it had to do with sex, drugs and strange rites. Sometimes he was accused of murder such as sacrificing his son MacAleister. When you realize that he had no son by the name of MacAleister, you begin to understand that what has been said about this man is not usually accurate. He did have quite a reputation as a sorcerer or magician and some people were quite afraid of him. He was never jailed and some say that is simply because he was such a good magician.

Crowley was definitely a trickster and there are those who believe that he created a cloud around his activities so as to repel those who were not worthy of the knowledge he had to teach. A case can be made for this as he once hired a secretary, whom he referred to as the Ape of Thoth, to write scandal and circulate rumors about him.

I should also warn the reader that the average person who reads Crowley’s works may find himself repelled mentally, morally or both. If this occurs, understand that repulsion is a reverse magnetism and is forcing one not to look at something. One often has to get past that to discover the truth. But if the repulsion is too strong, it may be best to stay away from the material. It is far easier to whimper off to the refrigerator and munch on a fudgesicle.

It is quite possible to be appalled by the grossness of the internal combustion engine. Without a muffler, it is absolutely horrendous and quite repulsive indeed. But if the sound is muffled and the engine works, no one thinks twice about driving the car to get to where he is going.

Whatever the case, Crowley dedicated his life trying to give others the keys to drive out of this universe. He coined the phrase “The Way Out Is Through”.

There is much controversy surrounding the life of Aleister Crowley. The principles he illustrated are far more important than the person himself. I think if he were here today, he would tell us on thing:


- pages 233-237

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