Originally posted by AlexKennedy
Nonetheless, I am willing to change my mind on Crowley if someone shows me adequate proof he was actually a nice guy (Masonic Light, I'm looking at
In his preface to Israel Regardie’s biography of Crowley, “The Eye In The Trianlge”, Robert Anton Wilson wrote (and I’m paraphrasing from memory
here): “Crowley was always eccentric, often outrageous on principle, and sometimes downright vicious; but he is unique among the Illuminati in that
that he never attempted to conceal the darker side of his personality.” (or something o that effect).
Crowley is sort of paradoxical. On one hand, he was a brilliant Qabalist. He made the Golden Dawn system of attainment his life’s work, and was one of
the world’s foremost experts on it. His brilliance in occult scholarship is evident from his many books, and he was also notable as a philosopher and
poet. He had a delightful, albeit bizarre, sense of humor, which is also readily apparent in his writings....but most of his jokes are “inside jokes”,
which go unappreciated by casual readers.
On the other hand, there is no doubt that he was neurotic, and suffered from psychological dysfunctions accrued in childhood. Those familiar with his
childhood can understand why, as an adult, he rebelled against everything he thought was “conventional”, and he was a true revolutionary, not only in
politics, but in religion and the world of thought itself.
This controversial Adept had many sides. As you mentioned, he was denounced by Yeats and many others, but he went further than any of his critics,
onto higher attainments than they. When he was admitted into the Golden Dawn, he adopted the motto “Perdurabo”, meaning “perseverance”, which was
probably his most important virtue. He never gave up, and never relented.
I think Crowley is one of the misunderstood men of the 20th century. Most of his modern critics have never really studied him, only books about him.
And those that have actually read him do so for the purpose of finding quotes out of context to use against him, similar to Pike.
Crowley’s legacy lies in his attempt to convince us to think for ourselves, to question authority, whether it be religious, political, or spiritual.
His many “blasphemies”, which he borrowed from Zen Buddhism, was an attempt to remind us that what we hold sacred can sometimes be superfluous, and,
like the Zen Masters of old, believed that heresy could shock one into enlightenment, by forcing us to think outside the box.
Was Crowley a saint? Not a chance. A madman? No more so than Nietzsche, Van Gogh, Rodin, Beethoven, or the other “loose cannons” that has brought so
much truth to mankind through a “divine madness.” Regardie called Crowley “God-intoxicated”, a label that I believe fits him well.
Also, concerning your comments on Magick: true Magick is not “supernatural”. As Pike states in his Lecture on the 32° in Morals and Dogma:
“Magic is that which it is; it is by itself, like the mathematics; for it is the exact and absolute science of Nature and its laws....Magic unites in
one and the same science, whatsoever Philosophy can possess that is most certain, and Religion of the Infallible and the Eternal.” (Morals and Dogma,
According to Pike, Freemasonry is Magick, because it encompasses the Science of the Magi, this being elaborated upon in the ritual of the 14° and 32°.
While I agree with you that the Qabalah is not Magick per se, it is its foundation, from which the other Sciences are erected.
[Edited on 29-5-2004 by Masonic Light]