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Aleister Crowley


AnjelWolf

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Hello Everyone...

 

Tonight I suffered through a terribly boring "scary movie" called "Beneath Still Waters" (trust me...if you find you having problems sleeping, get this movie...100% cure within minutes). Not going into details of this horrible movie it did center around (of all things) Aleister Crowley and one of his "disciples"...of course this talked about "dark witchcraft" and how the town became corrupt because of this "disciple" (yeah sure thing). Anyhow...it did provoke me to wonder. Was Aleister Crowley really a bad guy after all? Now I know he fancied himself as the "most wicked man on earth" and did have part in all that muck within the Golden Dawn. But was he really evil or just a (sorry for saying it like this) a jackass??? I don't think we have ever really discussed him on here before so I would be interested in the responses. I know that when I teach my classes...people tense up when bring his name up and those who are Wiccans seem to look upon Crowley as the seed of evil as well. What do you think? Myself...after reading what I could...I think he had intelligence and knowledge...but cocky as well and in the end he was his own worst enemy.

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Guest wortmistress

I think that he contributed greatly to the whole modern magic(k)(LOL) movement and thought it funny when you mentioned Wiccans disliking him- considering they include some of his words etc. in their world they should thank him! I personally haven't read much about him, a man who rebelled against his strict Plymouth Brethren upbringing, with a perchant for buggery and goats. His reputation, I feel, was propelled by the media and all in all I just look at the facts. Someone died as a result of drinking cat's blood apparently and he died alone and in poverty. The influence on Gardner, by Crowley, cannot be denied and if it wasn't for Crowley, would we have had such a renaissance in magical practices? We, as a society, were applying science more and more to our lives yet magical orders such as G.Dawn and OTO challenged this and eventually made it more accessable to the ordinary folk. There's no doubting he was intelligent, and committed to his art, but personally, I don't feel that he has influenced Trad. Craft as a rule.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great question, AngelWolf. I actually spent a lot of time thinking about this when I first heard of him. I was trying to wrap my mind around thinking someone was evil when the books all told me to believe in the balance of good and evil and it takes both to make the whole person, God, idea, etc.

 

I bet he was a jackass though. You would have to be to spread your beliefs and be so rebelious. You would have to have that idea that you just knew better, which would have to make you some sort of arrogant jerk. I don't always think that is bad. Gardner did draw much influence from him which was a good deal of the ceremonial this and that, right?

 

I imagine that his influence is felt by us only in the saturation of Paganism, but Traditional Witchcraft's influence on him is what has set so much of the last half century in modern Paganism in motion.

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Great question, AngelWolf. I actually spent a lot of time thinking about this when I first heard of him. I was trying to wrap my mind around thinking someone was evil when the books all told me to believe in the balance of good and evil and it takes both to make the whole person, God, idea, etc.

 

I bet he was a jackass though. You would have to be to spread your beliefs and be so rebelious. You would have to have that idea that you just knew better, which would have to make you some sort of arrogant jerk. I don't always think that is bad. Gardner did draw much influence from him which was a good deal of the ceremonial this and that, right?

 

I imagine that his influence is felt by us only in the saturation of Paganism, but Traditional Witchcraft's influence on him is what has set so much of the last half century in modern Paganism in motion.

 

 

 

 

Good point here.I think he also contradicted himself to the point where he looked quite the arrogant fool.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest Obsidian Lightflame

I'm a huge fan of Crowley. I've been accused of worshipping Crowley!

 

Personally, I think the man was a genius. If you want to see just how bad, try reading his "basic" books on Thelema, his magickal system later in life.

 

I think he can seem contradictory because he was trying to get at something more than the obvious. He was trying to go as deep into reality itself as he could. Crowley had this insatiable thirst for - well, everything. He wanted to know all that he could know and that meant rising above the standards of a repressive society. He didn't just rebel against the Plymouth Brethren. Aleister Crowley rebelled against the world. He declared himself a Christian, a Pagan, and a Satanist, all at the same time. Crowley wasn't here to fit conventional standards or live by other people's logic. He was here to do whatever it is he had to do, learn what he wanted to learn, and be who he wanted to be.

 

The best way to understand him in the end, I think, is to understand Thelema as well as one can. Towards the end of his life, I believe he was at peace and had reached his True Will once and for all.

 

The world sees a maniac. I see genius.

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I'm a huge fan of Crowley. I've been accused of worshipping Crowley!

 

Personally, I think the man was a genius. If you want to see just how bad, try reading his "basic" books on Thelema, his magickal system later in life.

 

I think he can seem contradictory because he was trying to get at something more than the obvious. He was trying to go as deep into reality itself as he could. Crowley had this insatiable thirst for - well, everything. He wanted to know all that he could know and that meant rising above the standards of a repressive society. He didn't just rebel against the Plymouth Brethren. Aleister Crowley rebelled against the world. He declared himself a Christian, a Pagan, and a Satanist, all at the same time. Crowley wasn't here to fit conventional standards or live by other people's logic. He was here to do whatever it is he had to do, learn what he wanted to learn, and be who he wanted to be.

 

The best way to understand him in the end, I think, is to understand Thelema as well as one can. Towards the end of his life, I believe he was at peace and had reached his True Will once and for all.

 

The world sees a maniac. I see genius.

 

Pretty good point of view.

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Guest Obsidian Lightflame

I think he was at first, but towards the end of his life he shows tremendous regret for many of the things he did early in his life, because people just didn't take him seriously when he was trying to get across the message of Thelema. "The Wickedest Man in the World" stuck, and ultimately he wasn't too happy with it.

 

Despite what others may think, I think his contributions to modern magick (and to an extent modern culture) are invaluable.

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Of course he showed regret for he could no longer keep a lid on his Daemons! He contributed a lot though, I agree, and probably was one of the most powerful wizards in history .. for a while before he lost it anyway!

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I have tried on several occasions to read some of his works and I nearly lost it!

 

 

 

StarChilde

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Guest Obsidian Lightflame

Well, at the end of his life Crowley didn't demonstrate any of the signs of M.U.D.A. to characterize any sort of psychological disorder. I think people just need a good soap opera and they're trying to pin it on Crowley.

 

This doesn't cover the insanity issue, but addresses some of the dumb accusations against Uncle Al: http://altreligion.about.com/library/faqs/bl_crowleyfaq.htm

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A friend of mine was heavily into Crowley and i did read some of his work and a biography about him by someone i can't recall the name of. I think all in all he did display at least some genius - i loved his line "Every man and woman is a star!" I find his work a bit tediously over-verbose though (something about pots, kettles and the colour black just flashed through my mind there!) I love his Tarot deck anyway (or rather, Lady Freda Harris' paintings were fantastic!)

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Guest Obsidian Lightflame

Yeah, Crowley was far and beyond even some of the brightest minds today. I think he did a great job in creating a sort of "scientific illuminism" of a philosophy that helps greatly in linking science and the supernatural, which I enjoy doing.

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Yeah, Crowley was far and beyond even some of the brightest minds today. I think he did a great job in creating a sort of "scientific illuminism" of a philosophy that helps greatly in linking science and the supernatural, which I enjoy doing.

 

I like that term "scientific illuminism"! I do try to read this sort of thing myself, and did attempt to read a couple of books by a guy named Amit Goswami, an Indian physicist whose written books like "the Self-aware Universe" and "Physics of the Soul" - i'm either a thicko or just not scientifically minded enough since i find myself having to read passages a few times to get the gist of what the guy's saying. I found Crowley like this as well! I do like to hear people's take on this sort of thing though, as long as they explain it in simple terms scientific numpties like me can grasp. I once tried to read "In search of Schrodinger's Cat" about quantum mechanics but found myself having to gloss over parts of it as i just couldn't grasp it, but i did grasp the important bits about what the results of certain experiments were and what they mean about the nature of reality.

As for AC himself, u only need to look at how many books quote his definition of magic and recommend his 777 etc to know the influence he's had on the modern occult world. I'm sure i'd benefit from reading him further. I've an excellent CD by a band called Nebula who do a kind of "retro 70's rock". The album is called "Atomic Ritual" and includes an old recording of Crowley himself reciting something about the ages of man - it's awesome! (Infact the whole album is awesome and inspiring IMO, dealing as it does with occult themes. Not everyone's cuppa though i imagine!)

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Hello Everyone...

 

What do you think? Myself...after reading what I could...I think he had intelligence and knowledge...but cocky as well and in the end he was his own worst enemy.

 

Now if those of you debating this issue had read this first response of mine (points a finger upward) you would (hopefully) understand that I acknowledge he had intelligence, as well as knowledge (yes folks, there is a clear difference here between these two words)...but he was cocky and in the end he WAS his own worst enemy. Was he brilliant? On many levels yes...was he dangerous? Yes...to himself...and THAT is what did him in.

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Guest Obsidian Lightflame
Now if those of you debating this issue had read this first response of mine (points a finger upward) you would (hopefully) understand that I acknowledge he had intelligence, as well as knowledge (yes folks, there is a clear difference here between these two words)...but he was cocky and in the end he WAS his own worst enemy. Was he brilliant? On many levels yes...was he dangerous? Yes...to himself...and THAT is what did him in.

 

Well, as far as ruining your reputation goes, I think that's fair. BUT I won't be anything about him losing his mind or any of that. Sorry, but the man wrote some things in his late days that were still right on, and he didn't actually demonstrate any signs of mental anything. His brain was right on target.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Obsidian Lightflame viewpost.gif

Yeah, Crowley was far and beyond even some of the brightest minds today. I think he did a great job in creating a sort of "scientific illuminism" of a philosophy that helps greatly in linking science and the supernatural, which I enjoy doing.

 

I like that term "scientific illuminism"! I do try to read this sort of thing myself, and did attempt to read a couple of books by a guy named Amit Goswami, an Indian physicist whose written books like "the Self-aware Universe" and "Physics of the Soul" - i'm either a thicko or just not scientifically minded enough since i find myself having to read passages a few times to get the gist of what the guy's saying. I found Crowley like this as well! I do like to hear people's take on this sort of thing though, as long as they explain it in simple terms scientific numpties like me can grasp. I once tried to read "In search of Schrodinger's Cat" about quantum mechanics but found myself having to gloss over parts of it as i just couldn't grasp it, but i did grasp the important bits about what the results of certain experiments were and what they mean about the nature of reality.

As for AC himself, u only need to look at how many books quote his definition of magic and recommend his 777 etc to know the influence he's had on the modern occult world. I'm sure i'd benefit from reading him further. I've an excellent CD by a band called Nebula who do a kind of "retro 70's rock". The album is called "Atomic Ritual" and includes an old recording of Crowley himself reciting something about the ages of man - it's awesome! (Infact the whole album is awesome and inspiring IMO, dealing as it does with occult themes. Not everyone's cuppa though i imagine!)

 

I know what you mean. I've tried reading some of this stuff and it's lost me. You really have to mentally digest it and look at it for a while before you get it. That's kind of frustrating when you're used to just flying through books without having to pay too much attention. That's why I get tired of reading them. I have gotten through a few though! But even then, they weren't so much "hard science" but "scientific philosophy". So much for that.

 

As an avid Crowley fan I say: "thumbs up!" The man had such a sinister, dark... beautiful voice. :)

 

But quite honestly his mind was the most amazing thing about him. I still haven't been able to finish a single one of his works. At most I've read through Liber AL vel Legis, and only partly understood it. There's so much depth to just that one, short little red book that it is unbelievable! Now imagine all of Crowley's works compiled!

 

(Mind you, Liber AL was dictated by Aiwass... So, credit where credit is due... If Crowley were really as egotistical as many people believe, I think he might have tried to take credit for it... Or this just proves that it was a spirit... Because Crowley himself wouldn't dare take credit for the work!)

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Greetings All

 

Unca Al ... hmmm well the way I think on it is that he clearly had his days - in both ways. He turned out some fine work and some utter tripe. He was definately as far as the public is concerned a bit of a pioneer. He kept his mouth shut and blabbed from time to time and hey that's human. As I like to sum it up: Yep like him or hate him those of the New Age owe him.

 

That is, after all the point of having those who have gone before.

 

If nothing else he "walked the walk" until he swan dived into the big black yonder and that in itself was a fine lesson too I guess.

 

Fraternally

 

Scott

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Greetings All

 

Unca Al ... hmmm well the way I think on it is that he clearly had his days - in both ways. He turned out some fine work and some utter tripe. He was definately as far as the public is concerned a bit of a pioneer. He kept his mouth shut and blabbed from time to time and hey that's human. As I like to sum it up: Yep like him or hate him those of the New Age owe him.

 

That is, after all the point of having those who have gone before.

 

If nothing else he "walked the walk" until he swan dived into the big black yonder and that in itself was a fine lesson too I guess.

 

Fraternally

 

Scott

 

And that is basically what I had been saying as well...thanks Scott :)

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Greetings AW

And that is basically what I had been saying as well...thanks Scott :)

And no small reason we get on as well as we do! *BG* Great minds ... great minds ... now where did I leave mine again?

 

lol

 

Fraternally

 

Scott

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Scuse me folks if I go a bit :patsch: but I'm afraid Aleister Crowley is someone I have V. strong views on . I'm sorry I don't agree with the view that he was a genuis . Whilst any view is open to misinterpretation or abuse Aleister Crowley's seem to fall particularly into that catergory . In those books of his that I have read there seems to be little or no thought for consequence or encouragement to people to look after themselves or to think of consequences {bit like his most evil man alive act} .

Simmillarly his writing style is so verbose and there are no limits placed on the actions recommended that people could if so inclined take them to the point of causing serious injury to hemselves or others {belive me , they do}

I'm also highly dubious about many of his views on women and as for the insanity claim .....I dont know about his state of mental health but I do know that coming from the background he did he would have certainly have experienced what would now be recognised as child abuse and I think much of his brava strikes as an attempt to upset or offend the strict christians who would have inflicted that upon him rather than a thought out belief system .

I'm really sorry if that upset anyone , It wasn't intended to ..I'm just putting my tuppence in ..

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Scuse me folks if I go a bit :patsch: but I'm afraid Aleister Crowley is someone I have V. strong views on . I'm sorry I don't agree with the view that he was a genuis . Whilst any view is open to misinterpretation or abuse Aleister Crowley's seem to fall particularly into that catergory . In those books of his that I have read there seems to be little or no thought for consequence or encouragement to people to look after themselves or to think of consequences {bit like his most evil man alive act} .

Simmillarly his writing style is so verbose and there are no limits placed on the actions recommended that people could if so inclined take them to the point of causing serious injury to hemselves or others {belive me , they do}

I'm also highly dubious about many of his views on women and as for the insanity claim .....I dont know about his state of mental health but I do know that coming from the background he did he would have certainly have experienced what would now be recognised as child abuse and I think much of his brava strikes as an attempt to upset or offend the strict christians who would have inflicted that upon him rather than a thought out belief system .

I'm really sorry if that upset anyone , It wasn't intended to ..I'm just putting my tuppence in ..

 

 

Now excuse me for a second I have had my second glass of Italain Dry Red Wine and I just want to make sure I"m not reading something in your post that isn't there...so by saying that (as best as I can)...can you please elaborate for me exactly what you meant by:

 

"...there seems to be little or no thought for consequence or encouragement to people to look after themselves or to think of consequences {bit like his most evil man alive act} .

Simmillarly his writing style is so verbose and there are no limits placed on the actions recommended that people could if so inclined take them to the point of causing serious injury to themselves or others {belive me , they do}"

 

As I stated...I do not wish to misinterpret anything right now...you have my attention :)

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