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Aleister Crowley's Home Page

To Mega Thereon

The comments section has been removed as a result of some miscreant spammers who think they can use this site as their own personal billboard. In reality, the comments page was made read-only years ago when I tired of manually removing bogus comments from spammers. It's unfortunate that the many have to be inconvenienced by the selfish few but, until I can implement a bulletproof comment mechanism, you'll just have to send me your thoughts in an email.

Note: I originally created this page just to have a place to store this picture of the Prophet of the Aeon. Then I find that someone has linked to this page, probably thinking there was something of value here. Well, in order not to disappoint anyone who might visit here, I decided to start filling this page with some of my favorite quotes from "Confessions." If you are looking for more information on Aleister Crowley, try: Svartur's Crowley Links

from page 50 (Crowley refering to himself in the 3rd person): "Two points only concern us: he objected violently, to being taken out in the cold morning to see the sunrise from a platform on the Rigi-Kulm and to illumination of a waterfall by coloured lights. He felt acutely that nature should be allowed to go her own way and he his! There was plenty of beauty in the world; why make oneself uncomfortable in order to see an extra? Also, you can't improve a waterfall by stagecraft!"
from page 59: "Of course the world forces us all to compromise with our environment to some extent, and we only waste our strength if we fight pitched battles for points which are not worth a skirmish. It is only a faddist who refuses to conform with conventions of dress and the like. But our sincerity should be Roman about things that really matter to us. And I am still in doubt, as I write these words, as to how far it is right to employ strategy and diplomacy in order to gain one's point. ... Adaptation to one's environment makes for a sort of survival; but after all, the supreme victory is only won by those who prove themselves of so much harder stuff than the rest that no power on earth is able to destroy them. The people who have really made history are the martyrs."
from page 72: "One of the principal points about the sin stupidity is that it flatters the sinner. All insanity depends upon the exacerbation of the ego. The melancholic hugs the delusion that he has committed the unpardonable sin. Sins grow by repression and by brooding upon their enormity. Few people would go to excess if they were not unwholesomely over-excited about their trivial apishness.

"Most people, especially Freud, misunderstand the Freudian position. 'The libido of the unconscious' is really 'the true will of the inmost self'. The sexual characteristics of the individual are, it is true, symbolic indications of its nature, and when those are 'abnormal', we may suspect that the self is divided against itself in some way. Experience teaches the adepts who initiate mankind that when any complex (duality) in the self is resolved (unity) the initiate becomes whole. The morbid sexual symptoms (which are merely the complaints of the sick animal) disappear, while the moral and mental consciousness is relieved from its civil war of doubt and self-obsession. The complete man, harmonized, flows freely towards his natural goal.

from page 80: "As long as sexual relations are complicated by religious, social and financial considerations, so long will they cause all kinds of cowardly, dishonourable and disgusting behaviour. When war conditions imposed artificial restraint on the sister appetite of hunger, decent citizens began to develop all kinds of loathsome trickery. Men and women will never behave worthily as long as current morality interferes with the legitimate satisfaction of physiological needs. Nature always avenges herself on those who insult her. The individual is not to blame for the crime and insanity which are the explosions consequent on the clogging of the safety valve. The fault lies with the engineer. At the present moment, society is blowing up in larger or smaller spots all over the world, because it has failed to develop a system by which all its members can be adequately nourished, without conflict and the waste products eliminated without discomfort."
from page 109: "I am inclined to think that the most scientific and reliable way of exploring people's unconscious minds would be to watch their reaction to a well thought-out series of unfamiliar circumstances. One could compare their respective qualities, such as will-power, patience, dignity, courage, imperturbability, and so on. Such data should be of great use in answering the question, 'Wherewithal shall a young man mend his ways?'"
from page 111: "Monogyny is nonsense for any one with a grain of imagination. The more sides he has to his nature, the more women he needs to satisfy it. The same is, of course, true, mutatis mutandis, of women. A woman risks her social existence by a single experiment. A young man is compelled by the monogamic system to develop his character by means of corrupt society vampires or women of the lower classes, and though he may learn a great deal from these sources, it cannot but be unfortunate that he has no opportunity to learn from women of his own birth, breeding, education and rank in society."

"Now, monogamy has very little to do with monogyny; and should have less. Monogamy is only a mistake because it leaves the excess women unsatisfied and unprovided for. But apart from this, it provides for posterity, and it is generally recognized that this is the crux of all practical arguments on the subject. But the defect of monogamy, as generally understood, is that it is connected with the sexual appetite. The Practical Wisdom of the Astrologers has made this clear. The Fifth House (love, children) has nothing to do with the Seventh (marriage, lawsuits, public enemies). Marriage would lead to very little trouble if men would get rid of the idea that it is anything more than a financial and social partnership. People should marry for convenience and go their separate ways without jealousy. It should be a point of woman to avoid complicating the situation with children by other men, unless her husband be willing, which he would be if he really loved her. It is monstrous for a man to pretend to be devoted to securing his wife's happiness and yet to wish to deprive her of a woman's supreme joy: that of bearing a child to the man whom she desires sexually, and is therefore indicated by nature as the prroper father, though he may be utterly unsuitable a husband. In most cases this would be so, for it must obviously be rare that a man with a genius for paternity should also possess a talent for domesticity. We have heard a great deal in recent years of the freedom of women. They have gained what they thought they wanted and it has availed them nothing. They must adopt the slogan, 'There shall be no property in human flesh.' They must train men to master their sexual selfishness, while of course allowing them the same freedom as they themselves will enjoy. The true offences against marriage arise when sexual freedom results in causing injury to the health or estate of the partner. But the sentimental wrong of so-called infidelity is a symptom of the childishness of the race."

from page 173: "The method is in entire accordance with this. There are, it is true, certain prescriptions to be observed, but these really amount to little more than injunctions to observe decency in the performance of so august an operation. One must have a house where proper precautions against disturbance can be taken; this being arranged, there is really nothing to do but to aspire with increasing fervour and concentration, for six months, towards the obtaining of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. Once He has appeared, it is then necessary, first, to call forth the Four Great Princes of the Evil of the World; next, their eight sub-princes; and, lastly, the three hundred and sixteen servitors of these. A number of talismans, previously prepared, are thus charged with the power of these spirits. By applying the proper talismans, you can get practically anything you want.

"It cannot be denied that the majesty and philosophical irreproachability of the book are sensibly diminished by the addition of these things to the invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel. I should have preferred it without them. There is, however, a reason. Anyone who reaches a new world must conform with all the conditions of it. It is true, of course, that the hierarchy of evil appears somewhat repugnant to science. it is in fact very hard to explain what we mean by saying that we invoke Paimon; but, to go a little deeper, the same remark applies to Mr Smith next door. We do not know who Mr Smith is, or what is his place in nature, or how to account for him. We cannot even be sure that he exists. Yet, in practice, we call Smith by that name and he comes. By the proper means, we can induce him to do for us those things which are consonant with his nature and powers. The whole question is, therefore, one of practice; and by this standard we find that there is no particular reason for quarrelling with the conventional nomenclature."

from pages 253-254: "The fact is that the vast majority of people are absolutely impervious to facts. Test the average man by asking him to listen to a simple sentence which contains one word with associations to excite his prejudices, fears or passions -- he will fail to understand what you have said and reply by expressing his emotional reaction to the critical word. It was long before I understood this fact of psychology. Even to this day, it surprises me that there should be minds which are unable to accept any impression equably and critically. I have heard many great orators. The effect has nearly always been to make me wonder how they have the nerve to put forward such flimsy falsehoods.

from page 356: "Another affectation of the women art students was to claim to be treated exactly as if they were men in every respect. Gerald, always eager to oblige, addressed one of his models as old fellow, to her great satisfaction. Then he excused himself for a momentary absence in the terms which he would have used to another man. On his return, the lady had recovered her 'sex and character', and had bolted. Woman can only mix with men on equal terms when she adopts his morality lock, stock and barrel, and ceases to set an extravagant artificial value on her animal functions. The most high-principled woman (alleged) insists on the supreme value of an asset which is notoriously of no value whatever in itself.

"The desire for exclusive possession is one of the most idiotic and bestial pieces of vanity in human psychology. But love can exist between man and woman entirely independent of any sexual relations between them. The condition of this love is that both parties should have completely mastered their sexual natures; for other-wise their mutual relations may be interrupted by the growlings of the caged animal. Men and women are not free to love decently until they have analysed themselves completely and swept away every trace of mystery from sex; and this means the acquisition of a profound philosophical theory based on wide reading of anthropology and enlightened practice."

from pages 463-464: "The Buddhist theory of metempsychosis does not involve, like the corresponding Hindu idea, the survival of the individual. There is in fact no ego to survive. When a Buddhist says that he remembers the events of his boyhood, he does not imply that he is the boy in question. He is not; nor is he the man, elephant, bat, hare or what-not of 'his' previous incarnation. The wave that breaks on the shore is not composed of the same particles of water as the 'same' wave (as we call it) a minute earlier. Incarnations are successive phenomena causally connected but not identical. It would have been incorrect for the Buddha to say 'I was that holy hare'. He should express the facts as follows: There is a consciousness of a tendency to perceive that holy hare and this man Gautama Buddha, as collections of impressions in which the one partially determines the other. This connection tends to produce the illusion of an ego whose experiences include the phenomena associated, then with the hare, now with the Gautama.

"There are two main methods of acquiring the Magical Memory as defined above. One is to train the normal memory to work backwards instead of forwards, so that any past action is presented to the mind after the manner of a cinematograph film set running in the reverse direction. (I never succeeded fully in acquiring the technique of this method.) The other is to deduce from present circumstances those which gave rise to them.

"Just so, one may deduce from the examiniation of a position on a chessboard what line of play brought it about. One could not be absolutely sure; the pieces might have been set up by a madman; but granted that the position is intelligible, the laws of probability make it as certain as anything can be that it arose in a certain way. Now in considering one's life one has more material for investigation than a single position; one has a series of successive positions. Intelligent inquiry ought to be able to deduce not only the unknown past, but the unknown future. We have no hesitation in reconstructing the boyhood of Swinbrne -- presuming the absence of direct information -- from his works. His poetry proclaims that he studied classics sympathetically and profoundly, that he was influenced by pantheistic, anti-clerical and republican friends, and so on.

from page 546: "There is an incense sacred to Tetragrammaton. After the cakes of light and the incense of Abra-Melin, it is the most powerful of all known perfumes. In fact, it is in a sense more powerful than they are, for they are definitely consecrated to particular purposes, whereas it is entirely without conscience. It consists of galbanum for air, onycha for water, storax for earth and olibanum for fire. It represents the blind force of the four elements and by its use one can bring them to manifestation. Being in itself neither good nor evil, it is extraordinarily dangerous.
from pages 554-555: "It is a mistake to say, brutally, as science is inclined to do, that all dancing symbolizes passion. I am always annoyed with research that stops half way. That is the great error of Freud. When he says, quite correctly, that dreams are phantasms of suppressed sexual desire, the question remains, of what is sexual desire the phantasm? To me it seems no more than one of the ways of expressmg the formula of creation. I regard chemical action as identical. A man and a woman unite; and the result is a child, which is totally different from them though formed of their elements. just so the combination of hydrogen and chlorine produces hydrochloric acid. They are gases: at ordinary temperature it is a liquid. None of its chemical and physical reactions is identical with those of its elements. The phenomena are analogous in very many ways, but the essence of their similarity is in the Cabbalistic formula Yod, He, Vau.

"I have successfully eliminated the danger of obsession by sexual ideas in this way: I refuse to admit that it is the fundamental truth. Science in failing to follow me so far has destroyed the idea of religion and the claim of mankind to be essentially different from other mammalia. The demonstration of anthropologists that all religious rites are celebrations of the reproductive energy of nature is irrefutable; but I, accepting this, can still maintain that these rites are wholly spiritual. Their form is only sexual because the phenomena of reproduction are the most universally understood and pungently appreciated of all. I believe that when this position is generally accepted, mankind will be able to go back with a good conscience to ceremonial worship. I have myself constructed numerous ceremonies where it is frankly admitted that religious enthusiasm is primarily sexual in character.

"I have merely refused to stop there. I have insisted that sexual excitement is merely, a degraded form of divine ecstasy. I have thus harnessed the wild horses of human passion to the chariot of the Spiritual Sun. I have given these horses wings that mankind may no longer travel painfully upon the earth, shaken by every irregularity of the surface, but course at large through the boundless ether. This is not merely a matter of actual ceremonies; I insist that in private life men should not admit their passions to be an end, indulging them and so degrading themselves to the level of the other animals, or suppressing them and creating neuroses. I insist that every thought, word and deed should be consciously devoted to the service of the Great Work. 'Whatsoever ye do, whether ye eat or drink, do all to the glory of God.'

from page 581: "I had reached a spiritual stage in which Sanna -- pure perception -- had ousted Vedana -- sensation -- I had learnt to look on the world without being affected by events. I was able to observe what went on as few people can, for the average man's senses are deceived by his emotions. He gets things out of proportion and he exaggerates them even when he is able to appreciate them at all. I made up my mind that it should be an essential part of my system of initiation to force my pupils to be familiar with just those things which excite or upset them, until they have acquired the power of perceiving them accurately without interference from the emotions. It is all a branch of the art of concentration, no doubt; but it is one which has been very much neglected, and it is of supreme importance when the aspirant arrives at the higher levels, where it is a question of 'making no difference between any one thing and any other thing', and uniting oneself with each and every possible idea. For as long as anything soever escapes assimilation there remains separateness and duality, or the potentiality of such. Evil can only be destroyed by 'love under will', and so long as it is feared and hated, so long as we insist on attributing a real and irreconcilable existence to it, so long will it remain evil for us. The same of course applies to what we call 'good'. Good is itself evil in so far as it is separate from other ideas."
from pages 603-604: "... 'The Soldier and the Hunchback ! and ?' which I still think one of the subtlest analyses that has ever been written on ontology, with its conclusion: that ecstatic affirmation and sceptical negation are neither of them valid in themselves but are alternate terms in an infinite series, a progression which is in itself a sublime and delightful path to pursue. Disappointment arises from the fear that every joy is transient. If we accept it as such and delight to destroy our own ideals in the faith that the very act of destruction will encourage us to rebuild a nobler and loftier temple from the debris of the old, each phase of our progress will be increasingly pleasant. '<>', 'All devourer, all begetter', is the praise of Pan.

"In us the will to live and the will to die should be equally strong and free, should be recognized as complements of each other, neither complete in itself; and the antithesis between them a device invented for our own amusement. All energy implies vibration. Man is miserable in the last analysis because he fancies that when what gives him pleasure is destroyed, as he knows it must be sooner or later, the loss is irreparable; so he shores up his crumbling walls instead of building himself a better house. We all cling to outworn customs of every kind and lie to ourselves about love when we know in our hearts that there is no more oil in the lamp, and that the best thing we can do is to look for a new one. We are afraid to lose whatever we have. We have not the sense to see that whatever it may be, it is bound to go sooner or later, that when it does its place will be filled by something just as good, and nothing is more stupid than to try to set back the sun upon the dial of Ahaz.

"As soon as we learn that everything is only half, that it implies its opposite, we can let ourselves go with a light heart, finding just as much fun in the red leaves of autumn as in the green leaves. of spring. What is interesting is the complete cycle. Life itself would be deplorably petty were it not consecrated by the fact of its incomprehensibility and dignified by the certainty that however petty, futile, baroque and contemptible its career may be, it must close in the sublime sacrament of death. As it is written in The Book of the Law, 'death is the crown of all.'"

from pages 635-636: "To return, however, to the rituals. These seven were really seven acts of one play, for their order was necessary. The plot, briefly summarized, is this:

"Man, unable to solve the Riddle of Existence, takes counsel of Saturn, extreme old age. Such answer as he can get is the one word 'Despair'.

"Is there more hope in the dignity and wisdom of Jupiter? No; for the noble senior lacks the vigour of Mars the warrior. Counsel is in vain without determination to carry it out.

"Mars, invoked, is indeed capable of victory: but he has already lost the controlled wisdom of age; in a moment of conquest he wastes the fruits of it, in the arms of luxury.

"It is through this weakness that the perfected man, the Sun, is of dual nature, and his evil twin slays him in his glory. So the triumphant Lord of Heaven, the beloved of Apollo and the Muses is brought down into the dust, and who shall mourn him but his Mother Nature, Venus, the lady of love and sorrow? Well is it if she bears within her the Secret of Resurrection!

"But even Venus owes all her charm to the swift messenger of the gods, Mercury, the joyous and ambiguous boy whose tricks first scandalize and then delight Olympus.

"But Mercury, too, is found wanting. Now in him alone is the secret cure for all the woe of the human race. Swift as ever, he passes, and gives place to the youngest of the gods, to the Virginal Moon.

"Behold her, Madonna-like, throned and crowned, veiled, silent, awaiting the promise of the Future.

"She is Isis and Mary, Istar and Bhavani, Artemis and Diana.

"But Artemis is still barren of hope until the spirit of the Infinite All, great Pan, tears asunder the veil and, displays the hope of humanity, the Crowned Child of the Future.

"I throw myself no bouquets about these Rites of Eleusis. I should have given more weeks to their preparation than I did minutes. I diminished the importance of the dramatic elements; the dialogue and action were little more than a setting for the soloists. These were principally three; myself, reciting appropriate lyrics -- this involved, by the way, my learing by heart many hundreds of lines of verse every week -- Leila Waddell, violinist, and Neuburg, dancer. I sometimes suspect that he was the best of the three. He possessed extraordinary powers. He gave the impression that he did not touch the ground at all, and he would go round the circle at a pace so great that one constantly expected him to be shot off tangentially. In the absence of accurate measurements, one does not like to suggest that there was some unknown force at work, and yet I have seen so many undeniable magical phenomena take place in his presence that I feel quite sure in my own mind that he was generating energies of a very curious kind. The idea of his dance was, as a rule, to exhaust him completely. The climax was his flopping on the floor unconscious. Sometimes he failed to lose himself, in which case, of course, nothing happened; but when he succeeded the effect was superb. It was astounding to see his body suddenly collapse and shoot across the polished floor like a curling-stone.

from pages 660-661: "In the A.. A.., which is a genuinely Magical Order, there are no extravagant oaths. The candidate is pledged quite simply to himself only, and his obligation binds him merely 'to obtain the scientific knowledge of the nature and powers of my own being'. There is no penalty attached to the breach of this resolution; yet, just as this resolution is in contrast with the oaths of other orders in respect of simplicity and naturalness, so also with regard to the penalties. To break away from the A.. A.. does actually involve the most frightful dangers to life, liberty and reason. The slightest mistake is visited with the most inexorable justice.

"What actually happens is this. When a man ceremonially affirms his connection with the A.. A.. he acquires the full powers of the whole Order. He is enabled from that moment to do his true will to the utmost without interference. He enters a sphere in which every disturbance is directly and instantly compensated. He reaps the reward of every action on the spot. This is because he has entered what I may call a fluid world, where every stress is adjusted automatically and at once.

"Thus, normally, suppose a man like Sir Robert Chiltern (in An Ideal Husband) acts venally. His sin is visited upon him, not directly, but after many years and in a manner which has no evident logical connection with his offence. If Chiltern had been a probationer of A.. A.. his action would have been balanced at once. He had sold an official secret for money. He would have found within a few days that one of his own secrets had been betrayed, with disastrous consequence to himself. But furthermore, having switched on a current of disloyalty, so to speak, he would have found disloyalty damaging him again and again, until he had succeeded in destroying in himself the very possibility of ever again being disloyal. It would be superficial to regard this apparently exaggerated penalty as unjust. It is not sufficient to pay an eye for an eye. If you have lost your sight, you do not stumble over something once; you keep on stumbling, again and again, until you recover your sight.

"The penalties of wrong-doing are applied not by the deliberate act of the Chiefs of the order; they occur in the natural course of events. I should not even care to say that these events were arranged by the Secret Chiefs. The method, if I understand it correctly, may perhaps be illustrated by an analogy. Suppose that I had been warned by Eckenstein always to test the firmness of a rock before trusting my weight to it. I neglect this instruction. It is quite unnecessary for Eckenstein to go all over the world and put unreliable rocks in my way -- they are there; and I shall come across them almost every time I go out climbing, and come to more or less grief whenever I meet them. In the same way, if I omit some magical precaution, or make some magical blunder, my own weakness will punish me whenever the circumstances determine the appropriate issue.

"It may be said that this doctrine is not a matter of Magick but of common sense. True, but Magick is common sense. What, then, is the difference between the Magician and the ordinary man? This, that the Magician has demanded that nature shall be for him a phenomenal mode of expressing his spiritual reality, The circumstances, therefore, of his life are uniniformly adaptcd to his work."

from page 820: "My predecessors have invariably said, 'My belief is right and yours is wrong; my customs are worthy, yours are ignoble; my dress is decent, yours is not; think as I think, talk as I talk, do as I do, or you will be wretched, poor, sick, disgraced and dammed; besides which, I shall cut your head off, burn you alive, starve you, imprison you, ostracize you and otherwise make you sorry you did not agree to be a good boy.' The essence of every missionary message has been to assimilate the taught to the teacher; and it has always been accompanied by bribes and threats. My message is exactly opposed to any of this. I say to each man and woman, 'You are unique and sovereign, the centre of an universe. However right I may be in thinking as I do, you may be equally right in thinking otherwise. You can only accomplish your object in life by complete disregard of the opinions of other people. You must not even take the outward signs of success as indications that the course of action which has produced them would serve your turn. For one thing, my coronet might not suit your complexion but give you a headache; for another, the measures which I took to obtain that coronet might not succeed in your case.'

My mission is, in short, to bring everyone to the realization and enjoyment of his own kingship, and my apparent interference with him amounts to no more than advice to him not to suffer interference.

Also check out the Beast Bot which generates a pseudo-random paragraph of Crowley prose which is too good to be true.

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