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. Wikipedia

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
Magick Without Tears
Magick Without Tears
Aleister Crowley
Moonchild
Aleister Crowley
The Book of Lies
Aleister Crowley
Magick
Magick
Aleister Crowley

„Acts which are essentially dishonourable must not be done“

—  Aleister Crowley

Appendix VI : A few principal rituals – Liber Reguli.
Magick Book IV : Liber ABA, Part III : Magick in Theory and Practice (1929)
Context: Acts which are essentially dishonourable must not be done; they would be justified only by calm contemplation of their correctness in abstract cases.

„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.

„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.

„But exceed! exceed!“

—  Aleister Crowley, book The Book of the Law

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

„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.

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„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.

„To practice black magic you have to violate every principle of science, decency, and intelligence. You must be obsessed with an insane idea of the importance of the petty object of your wretched and selfish desires.“

—  Aleister Crowley

Article "The Worst Man in the World" in The Sunday Dispatch (2 July 1933); quoted in The Magical Revival (1972) by Kenneth Grant.
Context: Black magic is not a myth. It is a totally unscientific and emotional form of magic, but it does get results — of an extremely temporary nature. The recoil upon those who practice it is terrific.
It is like looking for an escape of gas with a lighted candle. As far as the search goes, there is little fear of failure!
To practice black magic you have to violate every principle of science, decency, and intelligence. You must be obsessed with an insane idea of the importance of the petty object of your wretched and selfish desires.
I have been accused of being a "black magician." No more foolish statement was ever made about me. I despise the thing to such an extent that I can hardly believe in the existence of people so debased and idiotic as to practice it.

„Black magic is not a myth. It is a totally unscientific and emotional form of magic, but it does get results — of an extremely temporary nature.“

—  Aleister Crowley

Article "The Worst Man in the World" in The Sunday Dispatch (2 July 1933); quoted in The Magical Revival (1972) by Kenneth Grant.
Context: Black magic is not a myth. It is a totally unscientific and emotional form of magic, but it does get results — of an extremely temporary nature. The recoil upon those who practice it is terrific.
It is like looking for an escape of gas with a lighted candle. As far as the search goes, there is little fear of failure!
To practice black magic you have to violate every principle of science, decency, and intelligence. You must be obsessed with an insane idea of the importance of the petty object of your wretched and selfish desires.
I have been accused of being a "black magician." No more foolish statement was ever made about me. I despise the thing to such an extent that I can hardly believe in the existence of people so debased and idiotic as to practice it.

„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.“

—  Aleister Crowley

Introduction.
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.

„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.“

—  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.

„This book is for
ALL:
for every man, woman, and child.“

—  Aleister Crowley

Introduction.
Magick Book IV : Liber ABA, Part III : Magick in Theory and Practice (1929)
Context: This book is for
ALL:
for every man, woman, and child.
My former work has been misunderstood, and its scope limited, by my use of technical terms. It has attracted only too many dilettanti and eccentrics, weaklings seeking in "Magic" an escape from reality. I myself was first consciously drawn to the subject in this way. And it has repelled only too many scientific and practical minds, such as I most designed to influence.
But
MAGICK
is for
ALL.

„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.“

—  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.

„I must make
MAGICK
the essential factor in the life of
ALL.“

—  Aleister Crowley

Introduction.
Magick Book IV : Liber ABA, Part III : Magick in Theory and Practice (1929)
Context: I must make
MAGICK
the essential factor in the life of
ALL.
In presenting this book to the world, I must then explain and justify my position by formulating a definition of
MAGICK
and setting forth its main principles in such a way that
ALL
may understand instantly that their souls, their lives, in every relation with every other human being and every circumstance, depend upon
MAGICK
and the right comprehension and right application thereof.

„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.“

—  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.

„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.

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

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