Aleister Crowley

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Forums -> Comments -> Aleister Crowley

Aleister Crowley
By: Moderator / Adept
Post # 1
Once again, I have had a message quoting Crowley at me! "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law". But he never actually said it! (Although he did write it!).
I heard Crowley speak many times, both in person and on the radio. To me he sounded quite insane! A lot of sense mixed with a lot of rubbish.
What Crowley actually said was "Do what thou wilt, so long as you are willing to take the consequences of what you do."
He often said, "Believe what you will!"
That's a bit different from "doing" what you will.
A great deal of Crowley's writing is difficult to understand. You must not take his words as the literal truth. You must remember that he was a drug addict, and often "mixed up" in his own Mind!
Many people in my lifetime thought that Crowley was evil, wicked! But was he really? Evil, or just slightly mad!
Was he a sex maniac? Well, many thought so. But then, the sexual instinct is very strong in lots of people; perhaps in him, more so!
Remember also the Christian adage, "Forgive them; for they know not what they do!"
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Re: Aleister Crowley
Post # 2
Perhaps he never said it to the public, I cannot say, but I know he said it to fellow Thelemites whether it be his student of the A.'.A.'. or members of OTO.

In fact here is a letter in which Crowley admits to starting each meeting with "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law" and ending with "Love is the law, love under will".

Do what thou wilt does not mean do what you wish as long as you take the consequences. The core concept of Crowley's writings is that it is not that. It is about finding your purpose and doing that, or "The true will".

As for him being evil, there were many rumors, some of them not helped by him. He loved being in the paper even if it was for infamy. However, he actually came off most of the drugs later in his life and changed his stance on them with the exception of heroin- originally prescribed to him by a doctor, which he took for asthma which he suffered with quite severely until his death.

He also did write about sacrificing a male child of pure intelligence because back then child sacrifice was more acceptable to talk about than masturbation. This lead to rumors that he was snatching children and ritually killing them.

I don't think he was mixed up in his own mind. Perhaps later on. But if you read Liber ABA for example or any of his works from his Equinox series they are written with clarity. ure there are double meanings etc. But anyone intelligent enough with a basic understanding of qabalah will not have a hard time understanding.

The exception being The book of Thoth, there are still things I read in that book which make me think for ages!

I also assume that you could not have heard him that many times, he died in 1947 and I would imagine those last two years he made very little public appearance, his health was terrible.
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Re: Aleister Crowley
By: Moderator / Adept
Post # 3
He gave a talk in Leeds, about 1945. I was only a boy then, but I was taken by my father. He spoke on radio quite a lot in the 1940s.Mainly he talked about the British Secret Service. Most times he was vary well respected by the British public. Not so by the Media!
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Re: Aleister Crowley
Post # 4
I had no idea he was well respected by the British public, you only hear of the headlines "The man we want to hang" etc. I'd have loved to have met him or see him speak on magick.

There are those who believe at one point or another he worked for British Secret Service, in world war 1 anyway. Of course, they are conspiracy theorists and whilst they have 'evidence', I do not accept wholly. Of course when biographers contact the government, they get a 'no comment'.

Crowley himself claims to have come up with the 'v for victory' sign and fed it to a BBC friend he knew to pass along to Churchill. Again, wild claim, but in his system the sign makes perfect sense to oppose the solar swastika.

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Re: Aleister Crowley
By: Moderator / Adept
Post # 5
In a Poll to find the one hundred greatest Englishmen,Crowley came third! That shows what the public thought of him.
It was the 2nd world war that Crowley "apparently" helped the Secret Service, because in the 30s he had travelled widely in Germany. I don't really know if he was actually in the Secret Service, but I know that he was a great friend of Ian Fleming, who really was in the Service!
I think that often, we misjudge people, because their reputation is only part of the whole.
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Re: Aleister Crowley
By: Moderator / Adept
Post # 6
Further: The V for victory signal of the BBC was the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth symphony. Nothing to do with Crowley.Because of the Roman numeral for 5, V.
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Re: Aleister Crowley
Post # 7
The V for victory thing I read in one biography and one biography only, which made me question it at the time. I hate sources which are apparently 'private'. The same biography was the one which stated he helped in World War 1 in strange ways which I do not see the significance in to be honest!

I know he was a well connected man and knew many authors, scientists, psychologists, artists, soldiers, and government officials. I think he had his hand in many pots, so to speak.

That is interesting, I know in a recent poll he was also in the top 100 British people, however, he never came that high- but he has faded into obscurity now, even in the occult world- most modern authors in the book shops don't dare to mention his name for fear they will be branded with the same reputation he had.

I don't mind Crowley's reputation being dragged through the mud or the lies which are still said about him. It is more when the rest of us who follow his system get leveled with the same sort of rumors.

He may have loved it, but I would prefer to live a peaceful life and when asked be able to comfortably say, I follow the philosophy of Thelema and practice the system of A.'.A.'. as developed by Aleister Crowley. Instead of someone doing a google search and spilling their tea over themselves in terror!

I am glad you actually know something about him, you'd be surprised the amount of times I have to correct that he has no connection to Satanism and did not believe in a devil, or that he filed his teeth into fangs etc.
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