Wisdom from a strange source

I’m not generally a fan of Aleister Crowley, that brilliant, yet troubled trickster.  Although he enjoyed calling himself “the Wickedest Man in the World,” I tend to agree with Gareth Knight that Uncle Al was more tragic than evil.  Despite it all, he had occasional moments of insight, such as the following which I found by accident on Wikipedia.  You can read “priest” for “magician”.   I would tweak his perspective to say that we are not seeking to replace matter with Spirit and humanity with divinity, but rather seek to join them inseparably together.  If Crowley (!!) could understand this dynamic and its importance, why can’t we? 

A Eucharist of some sort should most assuredly be consummated daily by every magician, and he should regard it as the main sustenance of his magical life. It is of more importance than any other magical ceremony, because it is a complete circle. The whole of the force expended is completely re-absorbed; yet the virtue is that vast gain represented by the abyss between Man and God.

The magician becomes filled with God, fed upon God, intoxicated with God. Little by little his body will become purified by the internal lustration of God; day by day his mortal frame, shedding its earthly elements, will become in very truth the Temple of the Holy Ghost. Day by day matter is replaced by Spirit, the human by the divine; ultimately the change will be complete; God manifest in flesh will be his name.   (from Magick, Book IV, Chapter 20)

2 Responses to “Wisdom from a strange source”

  1. theliberalrite Says:

    There is also a strong link (though I do not know whether Crowley ever acknowledged this) between his beliefs and those of the medieval Brethren of the Free Spirit. All is concerned with the transformation via the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to the point where the individual becomes a Christed being.

  2. hilbertastronaut Says:

    I remember looking forward to reading Crowley’s “Book of Lies” because it was supposedly a meditation on the Major Arcana of the Tarot, but I gave up after the first few sections because it seemed more like a meditation on AC’s own naughty thoughts…

    It’s interesting though to think of participation in the Eucharist as a kind of re-incarnation. I think Charles Williams alluded to something like this in one of his novels — a character who was a magician (though not a good one) was jealous of Mary’s superior magical powers, because she was able to invoke the Tetragrammaton perfectly, to call down God to become incarnate in her.

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