Aleister Crowley - The Heart Of The Master (copyrighted book, review only)
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I am one of a concourse. All, or nigh all, seem fallen into heaviness, not from exhaustion of labour, but from lethargy. The plain is vast beyond eye to mark it's bounds, even were not all dark with blight of fog and thick with marish damp. A few of us are half awake, gaze dumbly on the East. No light responds.Alas for me who am too much alive with the horrible and hopeless ache for sleep of one half-drugged! Dazed, stupified - I know not who I am - I know not whence I came - I know not whither I go. Vaguely I say within my ... More >>>
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I am one of a concourse. All, or nigh all, seem fallen into heaviness, not from exhaustion of labour, but from lethargy. The plain is vast beyond eye to mark it's bounds, even were not all dark with blight of fog and thick with marish damp. A few of us are half awake, gaze dumbly on the East. No light responds.
Alas for me who am too much alive with the horrible and hopeless ache for sleep of one half-drugged! Dazed, stupified - I know not who I am - I know not whence I came - I know not whither I go. Vaguely I say within my dull heart: I must not sleep because I am a soldier. But of what captain, in what war? I cannot guess.
There is but a dim shape as of some disaster long, oh! very long ago - the dusty memory of some leader who failed, some plan that broke its spine - I am sure of this: that all discipline is done, all courage quashed, all purpose perished. Behind me - strange! - the gloom is less obscure than in the East to which the eyes yearn feebly. Do I feel it by instinct - the form of a vast pyramidal hill of stark black rock? I am too weary to turn my head to look.
All of a sudden, far behind me, far beyond that crest, if it be one, rings out a voice, clear, firm, courageous, confident. It is a soldier's voice, the accent of command, the valour of manhood. None can mistake - I am assured - that ringing call. Truth, Victory, in each trumpet tone: Listen!
Aleister Crowley, born Edward Alexander Crowley, (12 October 1875 - 1 December 1947) was an English occultist, prolific writer and poet, mystic, astrologer, drug experimenter, hedonist, aficionado of chess and mountain climbing, sexual revolutionary and social critic. He is perhaps best known today for his occult writings, especially The Book of the Law, the central sacred text of Thelema. Crowley was also an influential member in several occult organizations, including the Golden Dawn, the Argenteum Astrum, and Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.). Crowley gained much notoriety during his lifetime, and was famously dubbed "The Wickedest Man In the World."
Aleister Crowley founded the religion of Thelema, which became adopted by the Ordo Templis Orientis (O.T.O.) as well as the magical order Argenteum Astrum, the Order of the Silver Star. He was also a highly controversial member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, where he was known by the magical name of Frater Perdurabo.
Crowley's lifestyle was absolutely shocking in the era in which he lived. Besides his interest in the occult, he was sexually promiscuous with both genders (at a time when homosexuality was still illegal in Britain), frequented prostitutes, was vocally defiant against Christianity and Victorian and post-Victorian prudishness toward sexual subjects, and was a drug addict.
While Crowley detested Christianity, he considered himself an immensely religious and spiritual person. His writings record incidents of experiencing deity, and Thelemites consider him to be a prophet. In 1904, he encountered a being known as Aiwass, described as a "minister" to Horus, the central deity in Thelema, and as a Holy Guardian Angel. Aiwass dictated the Book of the Law, which Crowley wrote down and published, becoming the central Thelemic text.
Crowley's beliefs included pursuing the Great Work, which included gaining self-knowledge and uniting with the larger universe. He also encouraged seeking out one's ultimate destiny or purpose, commonly referred to as one's True Will.