Aleister Crowley quotes

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Aleister Crowley

Birthdate: 12. October 1875
Date of death: 1. December 1947
Other names: Alexander Crowley, Ալիստեր Կրոուլի

Aleister Crowley was an English occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist, and mountaineer. He founded the religion of Thelema, identifying himself as the prophet entrusted with guiding humanity into the Æon of Horus in the early 20th century. A prolific writer, he published widely over the course of his life.

Born to a wealthy family in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, Crowley rejected his parent's fundamentalist Christian Plymouth Brethren faith to pursue an interest in Western esotericism. He was educated at Trinity College at the University of Cambridge, where he focused his attentions on mountaineering and poetry, resulting in several publications. Some biographers allege that here he was recruited into a British intelligence agency, further suggesting that he remained a spy throughout his life. In 1898 he joined the esoteric Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, where he was trained in ceremonial magic by Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers and Allan Bennett. Moving to Boleskine House by Loch Ness in Scotland, he went mountaineering in Mexico with Oscar Eckenstein, before studying Hindu and Buddhist practices in India. He married Rose Edith Kelly and in 1904 they honeymooned in Cairo, Egypt, where Crowley claimed to have been contacted by a supernatural entity named Aiwass, who provided him with The Book of the Law, a sacred text that served as the basis for Thelema. Announcing the start of the Æon of Horus, The Book declared that its followers should "Do what thou wilt" and seek to align themselves with their True Will through the practice of magick.

After an unsuccessful attempt to climb Kanchenjunga and a visit to India and China, Crowley returned to Britain, where he attracted attention as a prolific author of poetry, novels, and occult literature. In 1907, he and George Cecil Jones co-founded an esoteric order, the A∴A∴, through which they propagated Thelema. After spending time in Algeria, in 1912 he was initiated into another esoteric order, the German-based Ordo Templi Orientis , rising to become the leader of its British branch, which he reformulated in accordance with his Thelemite beliefs. Through the O.T.O., Thelemite groups were established in Britain, Australia, and North America. Crowley spent the First World War in the United States, where he took up painting and campaigned for the German war effort against Britain, later revealing that he had infiltrated the pro-German movement to assist the British intelligence services. In 1920 he established the Abbey of Thelema, a religious commune in Cefalù, Sicily where he lived with various followers. His libertine lifestyle led to denunciations in the British press, and the Italian government evicted him in 1923. He divided the following two decades between France, Germany, and England, and continued to promote Thelema until his death.

Crowley gained widespread notoriety during his lifetime, being a recreational drug experimenter, bisexual and an individualist social critic. He has been called "the wickedest man in the world" and labeled as a Satanist by the popular press. Crowley has remained a highly influential figure over Western esotericism and the counterculture, and continues to be considered a prophet in Thelema. He is the subject of various biographies and academic studies.

Works

The Book of the Law
The Book of the Law
Aleister Crowley
Diary of a Drug Fiend
Diary of a Drug Fiend
Aleister Crowley
Moonchild
Aleister Crowley
Magick Without Tears
Magick Without Tears
Aleister Crowley
The Book of Lies
Aleister Crowley
Magick
Magick
Aleister Crowley

Quotes Aleister Crowley

„But exceed! exceed!“

—  Aleister Crowley, book The Book of the Law

II:70-71.
The Book of the Law (1904)

„Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.“

—  Aleister Crowley

Introduction.
Source: Magick Book IV : Liber ABA, Part III : Magick in Theory and Practice (1929)
Context: Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.
(Illustration: It is my Will to inform the World of certain facts within my knowledge. I therefore take "magical weapons", pen, ink, and paper; I write "incantations" — these sentences — in the "magical language" ie, that which is understood by the people I wish to instruct; I call forth "spirits", such as printers, publishers, booksellers and so forth and constrain them to convey my message to those people. The composition and distribution of this book is thus an act of Magick by which I cause Changes to take place in conformity with my Will.)
In one sense Magick may be defined as the name given to Science by the vulgar.

„Then saith the prophet and slave of the beauteous one: Who am I, and what shall be the sign?“

—  Aleister Crowley, book The Book of the Law

I:26.
The Book of the Law (1904)
Context: Then saith the prophet and slave of the beauteous one: Who am I, and what shall be the sign? So she answered him, bending down, a lambent flame of blue, all-touching, all penetrant, her lovely hands upon the black earth, & her lithe body arched for love, and her soft feet not hurting the little flowers: Thou knowest! And the sign shall be my ecstasy, the consciousness of the continuity of existence, the omnipresence of my body.

„Destiny is an absolutely definite and inexorable ruler.“

—  Aleister Crowley

Ch. 48.
Context: Destiny is an absolutely definite and inexorable ruler. Physical ability and moral determination count for nothing. It is impossible to perform the simplest act when the gods say "No." I have no idea how they bring pressure to bear on such occasions; I only know that it is irresistible. One may be wholeheartedly eager to do something which is as easy as falling off a log; and yet it is impossible.

„The best models of English writing are Shakespeare and the Old Testament“

—  Aleister Crowley

First and only letter to his son Aleister Ataturk (May 1947), as quoted in Do What Thou Wilt : A Life of Aleister Crowley (2000) by Lawrence Sutin, p. 416.
Context: The best models of English writing are Shakespeare and the Old Testament, especially the book of Job, the Psalms, the Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon. … In writing English the most important quality that you can acquire is style. It makes all the difference to anyone who reads what you write, whether you use the best phrases in the best way.

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„The Many is as adorable to the One as the One is to the Many.“

—  Aleister Crowley, book The Book of Lies

3 : The Oyster.
The Book of Lies (1913)
Context: The Many is as adorable to the One as the One is to the Many.
This is the Love of These; creation-parturition is the Bliss of the One; coition-dissolution is the Bliss of the Many.
The All, thus interwoven of These, is Bliss.
Naught is beyond Bliss.

„I do not want to father a flock, to be the fetish of fools and fanatics, or the founder of a faith whose followers are content to echo my opinions. I want each man to cut his own way through the jungle.“

—  Aleister Crowley

Ch. 66.
Context: I admit that my visions can never mean to other men as much as they do to me. I do not regret this. All I ask is that my results should convince seekers after truth that there is beyond doubt something worth while seeking, attainable by methods more or less like mine. I do not want to father a flock, to be the fetish of fools and fanatics, or the founder of a faith whose followers are content to echo my opinions. I want each man to cut his own way through the jungle.

„As soon as you put men together, they somehow sink, corporatively, below the level of the worst of the individuals composing it.“

—  Aleister Crowley, book Magick Without Tears

Ch LXXIII.
Magick Without Tears (1954)
Context: As soon as you put men together, they somehow sink, corporatively, below the level of the worst of the individuals composing it. Collect scholars on a club committee, or men of science on a jury; all their virtues vanish, and their vices pop out, reinforced by the self-confidence which the power of numbers is bound to bestow.

„The Magician must be wary in his use of his powers; he must make every act not only accord with his Will, but with the properties of his position at the time.“

—  Aleister Crowley

Appendix VI : A few principal rituals – Liber Reguli.
Magick Book IV : Liber ABA, Part III : Magick in Theory and Practice (1929)
Context: The Magician must be wary in his use of his powers; he must make every act not only accord with his Will, but with the properties of his position at the time. It might be my Will to reach the foot of a cliff; but the easiest way — also the speediest, most direct least obstructed, the way of minimum effort — would be simply to jump. I should have destroyed my Will in the act of fulfilling it, or what I mistook for it; for the True Will has no goal; its nature being To Go.

„There is a single main definition of the object of all magical Ritual. It is the uniting of the Microcosm with the Macrocosm.“

—  Aleister Crowley

Source: Magick Book IV : Liber ABA, Part III : Magick in Theory and Practice (1929), Ch. 1 : The Principles of Ritual
Context: There is a single main definition of the object of all magical Ritual. It is the uniting of the Microcosm with the Macrocosm. The Supreme and Complete Ritual is therefore the Invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel; or, in the language of Mysticism, Union with God.

„The pious pretence that evil does not exist only makes it vague, enormous and menacing.“

—  Aleister Crowley

Ch. 33; also quoted with Americanized spelling as The pious pretense that evil does not exist only makes it vague, enormous and menacing.
Context: The pious pretence that evil does not exist only makes it vague, enormous and menacing. Its overshadowing formlessness obsesses the mind. The way to beat an enemy is to define him clearly, to analyse and measure him. Once an idea is intelligently grasped, it ceases to threaten the mind with the terrors of the unknown.

„No event can be fairly judged without background and perspective.“

—  Aleister Crowley

Ch. 23.
Context: To read a newspaper is to refrain from reading something worth while. The natural laziness of the mind tempts one to eschew authors who demand a continuous effort of intelligence. The first discipline of education must therefore be to refuse resolutely to feed the mind with canned chatter.
People tell me that they must read the papers so as to know what is going on. In the first place, they could hardly find a worse guide. Most of what is printed turns out to be false, sooner or later. Even when there is no deliberate deception, the account must, from the nature of the case, be presented without adequate reflection and must seem to possess an importance which time shows to be absurdly exaggerated; or vice versa. No event can be fairly judged without background and perspective.

„Cleanliness is next to Godliness, and had better come first. Purity means singleness. God is one.“

—  Aleister Crowley

Source: Magick Book IV : Liber ABA, Part III : Magick in Theory and Practice (1929), Ch. 13 : Of the Banishings and of the Purifications.
Context: Cleanliness is next to Godliness, and had better come first. Purity means singleness. God is one. The Wand is not a Wand if it has something sticking to it which is not an essential part of itself. If you wish to invoke Venus, you do not succeed if there are traces of Saturn mixed up with it.

„I chose therefore the name.
"MAGICK"
as essentially the most sublime, and actually the most discredited, of all the available terms.
I swore to rehabilitate
MAGICK,
to identify it with my own career; and to compel mankind to respect, love, and trust that which they scorned, hated and feared. I have kept my Word.“

—  Aleister Crowley

Introduction.
Magick Book IV : Liber ABA, Part III : Magick in Theory and Practice (1929)
Context: In my third year at Cambridge, I devoted myself consciously to the Great Work, understanding thereby the Work of becoming a Spiritual Being, free from the constraints, accidents, and deceptions of material existence.
I found myself at a loss for a name to designate my work, just as H. P. Blavatsky some years earlier. "Theosophy", "Spiritualism", "Occultism", "Mysticism", all involved undesirable connotations.
I chose therefore the name.
"MAGICK"
as essentially the most sublime, and actually the most discredited, of all the available terms.
I swore to rehabilitate
MAGICK,
to identify it with my own career; and to compel mankind to respect, love, and trust that which they scorned, hated and feared. I have kept my Word.

„Yet he would be wrong in an infinite number of ways.“

—  Aleister Crowley

Appendix VI : A few principal rituals – Liber Reguli.
Magick Book IV : Liber ABA, Part III : Magick in Theory and Practice (1929)
Context: We know one thing only. Absolute existence, absolute motion, absolute direction, absolute simultaneity, absolute truth, all such ideas: they have not, and never can have, any real meaning. If a man in delirium tremens fell into the Hudson River, he might remember the proverb and clutch at an imaginary straw. Words such as "truth" are like that straw. Confusion of thought is concealed, and its impotence denied, by the invention. This paragraph opened with "We know": yet, questioned, "we" make haste to deny the possibility of possessing, or even of defining, knowledge. What could be more certain to a parabola-philosopher that he could be approached in two ways, and two only? It would be indeed little less that the whole body of his knowledge, implied in the theory of his definition of himself, and confirmed by every single experience. He could receive impressions only be meeting A, or being caught up by B. Yet he would be wrong in an infinite number of ways. There are therefore Aleph-Zero possibilities that at any moment a man may find himself totally transformed. And it may be that our present dazzled bewilderment is due to our recognition of the existence of a new dimension of thought, which seems so "inscrutably infinite" and "absurd" and "immoral," etc. — because we have not studied it long enough to appreciate that its laws are identical with our own, though extended to new conceptions.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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