May 29 2012

Reading The Confessions of Aleister Crowley

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“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.”

“Death and trousers are facts in nature; and merely to avoid reference to them or to invent euphemisms for them does not alter their character.”

“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.”

“To get into a trance is of the same order of phenomena as to get drunk. It does not depend on creed. Virtue is only necessary in so far as it favours success; just as certain diets, neither right nor wrong in themselves, are indicated for the athlete or the diabetic.”

“Almost all religious tyranny springs from intellectual narrowness. The spiritual energy derived from the high trances makes the seer a formidable force; and unless he be aware that his interpretation is due only to the exaggeratoin of his own tendencies of thought, he will seek to impose it on others, and so delude his disciples, pervert their minds and prevent their development.”

“There are only two courses open to logic; one can either accept the universe as it is, face every fact frankly and fearlessly, and make one’s soul immune to the influence of any invasion; or abolish the whole thing by administering soporifics to the spirit…The pious pretence that evil does not exist only makes it vague, enormous and menacing. Its overshadowing formlessness obsesses the mind. The way to beat an enemy is to define him clearly, to analyse and measure him. Once an idea is intelligently grasped, it ceases to threaten the mind with the terrors of the unknown.” 

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