There is much discussion of late questioning the veracity of the prophet, with the aim of discrediting the revelation he transmitted, which ushered in the age of divinity in the beast that is man, putting an end to the superstitions and outrageous errors of the old-age thinking surrounding the silly belief in external deities with impossible “spiritual” ideals (along with their consequent unnatural and harmful impositions). This is hardly surprising, given that the new era is one of scepticism and not of faith. We are cautioned, in the Book of the Law itself, to be certain, as opposed to making blind leaps of faith (L, I:58). Crowley actually anticipated argumentative discord of the kind we have now in the Thelemic community. In ch.68 of the Book of Lies, we find the following prediction:
“Be not sad at heart, O prophet; the babble of the apes will presently begin.
“Nay, rejoice exceedingly; for after all the babble of the apes the Silence of the Night.”
From this we may glean that the prophet was unbothered by what he foresaw: for success is inevitable, as all prophets are given to see in time. His mission, as ours, simply cannot fail, no matter how bleak it may appear in times of trouble.
The problem I have is not with the notion that the revelation on which the New Law and its sacred mission are founded might be a lie, but that this would invalidate the message or make powerless the work based thereon. The message applies to humanity now more than ever before, and there is no way that Aleister Crowley or Rose Kelly (the ones that channeled the writing) could have anticipated just how much way back in the utopian glamour of the early 1900s. As for the system of work propounded in its oft-times cryptic verses, it can without doubt advance the mind and strengthen the will when adhered to intelligently and regularly.
The New Law teaches that God is not an external being, totally apart from the consciousness, but is instead buried beneath the myriad layers of the conscious and subconscious mind. This is all-important, as it heralds not merely another religion, but rather an overarching religious Law — in harmony with natural law and science — which holds the potential to reform all religions at odds with science, and in time, with a great deal of effort (and a little good fortune), to lead humanity out of the dark times of extremist error and the disasters concomitant therewith, into a brighter future of religious understanding and freedom from the ridiculous idea that we are, or are expected to be, enslaved to immaterial beings that would deny us happiness as we are.
The human mind has evolved greatly over a vast period of time, and continues to do so. What began as a primitive monkey brain has gradually developed into something vastly superior: i.e. a mechanism of loftier awareness, with the ability to tap great insight (leading to fantastic inventions and solutions), profound levels of reason (leading to brilliant scientific discoveries), and extraordinary creativity (producing incredible art, music, and literature). And as we continue to evolve, so too does the potential of the mind increase.
Pondering the imponderables is problematic, and wild speculation can be dangerous (as history has demonstrated time and again), but quantum science is now beginning to grasp the truth of Liber Legis, II:32, which reads:
“Also reason is a lie; for there is a factor infinite & unknown; & all their words are skew-wise.”
There are a couple of problems that seem to be obsessing and greatly bothering some. One stems from that sin of Restriction known as the lust of result. Many are swept away in the rapture of the lust of result; in fact, all of us are at some point, at least until we learn to fully divest ourselves of it.
However, it is a difficult thing to learn, and hard to keep firmly in mind even after we do learn. Each moment in time has such a tight grip on us; and worse yet, those moments which present us with tragedy and trouble, forcing us to struggle as if caught in quicksand, unleash on us such ferocious winds of the lust of result that we feel as if we were facing violent storms of hellish despair. It is moments such as these that tend to test rather severely our resolve not to worry or be bothered.
Some, though, are so hopelessly mired in the moment that they simply cannot envisage being at some level in all moments of time, transcending the limitations of expectation. They are always obsessed with success, so that failure destroys them. Even small failures may set them off into a rage, or send them sinking into a pit of hopeless depression.
Those who labor against the Law in this way, finding it difficult or even impossible to act with blissful passion without the fear of failure, even in the face of certain calamity, simply fail to realize that there is no consequence of failure as long as we never give up. Death itself cannot stop us, if as it seems that death is but a transition — and even were it not so, our greatest efforts will be admired by others, serving as an inspiration.
The second problem that appears to be perplexing or driving some, is the possibility that the prophet of the Law of Thelema may have fabricated all or some of the revelation story surrounding the Advent of the Law. The details driving their speculations hardly matter much, flimsy as they are. Was it the full conscious mind of the scribe that wrote of his own “ill will” and hatred for “the hand & the pen” (c.f. L, II:10-13) that were supposedly dragged along by a stronger will than that of which he was, in his moment of time, consciously possessed? Maybe. Was it he, in a carefully calculating frame of mind, that cast himself in such a slavish role, even referring to himself as “slave”? Possibly, though not too likely. For the book shows the signs of a hastily written work of inspiration; and it seems unlikely that a young man, puffed up in ego as he clearly was, and atop the world as it were, would exhibit himself as one so slavish and weak.
But let us at least admit the possibility. After all, Crowley had a propensity for playing tricks. He pretended to be sympathetic towards Nazi Germany; he faked his death; and he was willing to lie in order to gain funds for the furtherance of his mission. He praised Madame Blavatsky, recognizing her exalted attainment as Magister Templi (a transcendent, Supernal level of awareness) — but more, he also conferred on her the extraordinary title of Forerunner of the Aeon. What is even more extraordinary is that he did all this knowing full well that she had been fraudulent many times herself. His justification for her behaviour was clearly and openly expressed in writing: i.e., she did what she had to do to draw attention to herself and to the Great Work. She was justified, he explained, because she succeeded in getting that attention, and did not waste valuable subtle energy on producing mundane miracles to do it. She had instead reserved those precious powers on far more important, more far-reaching works of Magick — such as the birthing of a prophet by subtle means, and vesting him with the same force that had guided her in her way; and paving his way via her writings, the inspiration of which obviously moved him deeply.
In Crowley’s Book of Thoth, in the section examining Atu I, “The Magus” — also called the Juggler or Trickster — he penned the following in reference to the Logos or Word (or prophet) of an Aeon:
“Logically also, being the Word, he is the law of reason or of necessity or chance, which is the secret meaning of the Word, which is the essence of the Word, and the condition of its utterance. This being so, and especially because he is duality, he represents both truth and falsehood, wisdom and folly. Being the unexpected, he unsettles any established idea, and therefore appears tricky. He has no conscience, being creative. If he cannot attain his ends by fair means, he does it by foul. The legends of the youthful Mercury are therefore legends of cunning. He cannot be understood, because he is the Unconscious Will.”
This is telling. Like Blavatsky before him, he would do whatever was required to accomplish his Great Mission. So even if Crowley did fabricate the revelation story, that would not necessarily invalidate the message itself. It should be obvious that he did not fabricate the writing of the verses of the Law themselves in a consciously-crafted manner; for had he done so, he would certainly have changed it a great deal from its current form — and he most certainly would not have allowed Rose Kelly, whom he called “an empty-headed woman of society”, to channel any of it.
In any event, we should probably consider carefully the implications of L, II:11, in reference to “the hand & the pen” being directed by an iron-fisted hidden will. This would mean that, no matter how faulty the fool, his own occult genius may push him forward. Sir Edward Kelly was one such charlatan, and yet his genius, expressed so powerfully throughout his channeled works, cannot be denied.
Let us bear in mind that Aleister Crowley laughed at Rose when she insisted that she was in subtle contact with a superior intelligence with the name (i.e. formula) of Aiwass. And it was the two of them that accessed, and were driven by, the deep-seated genius that resides in all. He disliked the message; she took no interest in it, yet was obsessed with getting it out.
We need not believe in angels or djinn, anymore than gods or demons. But the genius inherent in the mind is seated, in some form, in all moments of time, ad infinitum (as any beginning necessarily follows on the heels of an end, “nothingness” being impossible). It is logical that a more highly evolved form of mind might influence our own, directing it to ends we cannot yet fathom, possibly to save us from disaster, and with time, assisting our evolution.
One is reminded of Balaam’s ass. It was Balaam, whose ego was great, that insisted on a course of action which would have destroyed him. But it was a mere ass that refused to take him where he wished to go; and no ill will of Balaam’s could make it otherwise. Even an ass, it would seem, may serve as the instrument of the greater will.