Keith's Reviews > Magick Without Tears

Magick Without Tears by Aleister Crowley
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Oct 07, 14

bookshelves: spirituality, thelema, on-hand, qabala, will, currently-reading
Read from February 13 to May 18, 2014 — I own a copy, read count: 1

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Quotes Keith Liked

Aleister Crowley
“The two seem, at first glance, to be opposed, but when you have advanced a little in both, you find that concentration learned in Yoga is of immense use in attaining the mental powers necessary in Magick; on the other hand, the discipline of Magick is of the greatest service in Yoga.”
Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears

Aleister Crowley
“It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of performing these small ceremonies regularly, and being as nearly accurate as possible with regard to the times. You must not mind stopping in the middle of a crowded thoroughfare—lorries or no lorries—and saying the Adorations; and you must not mind snubbing your guest—or your host—if he or she should prove ignorant of his or her share of the dialogue. It is perhaps because these matters are so petty and trivial in appearance that they afford so excellent a training. They teach you concentration, mindfulness, moral and social courage, and a host of other virtues.”
Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears

Aleister Crowley
“The affiliation clause in our Constitution is a privilege: a courtesy to a sympathetic body. Were you not a Mason, or Co-Mason, you would have to be proposed and seconded, and then examined by savage Inquisitors, and then—probably—thrown out on the garbage heap. Well, no, it's not as bad as that; but we certainly don't want anybody who chooses to apply. Would you do it yourself, if you were on the Committee of a Club? The O.T.O. is a serious body, engaged on a work of Cosmic scope. You should question yourself: what can I contribute?”
Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears

Aleister Crowley
“So nobody must be allowed to think at all. Down with the public schools! Children must be drilled mentally by quarter-educated herdsmen, whose wages would stop at the first sign of disagreement with the bosses. For the rest, deafen the whole world with senseless clamour. Mechanize everything! Give nobody a chance to think. Standardize "amusement." The louder and more cacophonous, the better! Brief intervals between one din and the next can be filled with appeals, repeated 'till hypnotic power gives them the force of orders, to buy this or that product of the "Business men" who are the real power in the State. Men who betray their country as obvious routine.

The history of the past thirty years is eloquent enough, one would think. What these sodden imbeciles never realize is that a living organism must adapt itself intelligently to its environment, or go under at the first serious change of circumstance.”
Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears

Aleister Crowley
“Sex is, directly or indirectly, the most powerful weapon in the armoury of the Magician; and precisely because there is no moral guide, it is indescribably dangerous. I have given a great many hints, especially in Magick , and The Book of Thoth —some of the cards are almost blatantly revealing; so I have been rapped rather severely over the knuckles for giving children matches for playthings. My excuse has been that they have already got the matches, that my explanations have been directed to add conscious precautions to the existing automatic safeguards.”
Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears

Aleister Crowley
“The mystic's idea of deliberately stupefying and stultifying himself is an "abomination unto the Lord." This, by the way, does not conflict with the rules of Yoga. That kind of suppression is comparable to the restrictions in athletic training, or diet in sickness.”
Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears

Aleister Crowley
“You must on no account attempt to use the squares given in the Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage until you have succeeded in the Operation. More, unless you mean to perform it, and are prepared to go to any length to do so, you are a fool to have the book in your possession at all. Those squares are liable to get loose and do things on their own initiative; and you won't like it.”
Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears

Aleister Crowley
“We even, at the worst, reach the state for which Buddhism, in the East presents most ably the case: as in the West, does James Thomson (B.V.) in The City of Dreadful Night ; we come to wish for—or, more truly to think that we wish for "blest Nirvana's sinless stainless Peace" (or some such twaddle—thank God I can't recall Arnold's mawkish and unmanly phrase!) and B.V.'s "Dateless oblivion and divine repose."

I insist on the "think that you wish," because, if the real You did really wish the real That, you could never have come to exist at all! ("But I don't exist."—"I know—let's get on!")

Note, please, how sophistically unconvincing are the Buddhist theories of how we ever got into this mess. First cause: Ignorance. Way out, then, knowledge. O.K., that implies a knower, a thing known—and so on and so forth, through all the Three Waste Paper Baskets of the Law; analysed, it turns out to be nonsense all dolled up to look like thinking. And there is no genuine explanation of the origin of the Will to be.

How different, how simple, how self-evident, is the doctrine of The Book of the Law !”
Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears

Aleister Crowley
“For true Magick means "to employ one set of natural forces at a mechanical advantage as against another set"—I quote, as closely as memory serves, Thomas Henry Huxley, when he explains that when he lifts his water-jug—or his elbow—he does not "defy the Law of Gravitation." On the contrary, he uses that Law; its equations form part of the system by which he lifts the jug without spilling the water.”
Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears

Aleister Crowley
“There is great danger in this Golden Mean, one of whose main objects is to steer clear of shipwreck, Scylla being as fatal as Charybdis. No, this lofty and equable attitude is worse than wrong unless it derives from striking the balance between two very distant opposites. One of the worst perils of the present time is that, in the reaction against ignorant bigotry, people no longer dare to make up their minds about anything. The very practice, which the A∴A∴ so strongly and persistently advocates, tends to make people feel that any positive attitude or gesture is certainly wrong, whatever may be right. They forget that the opposite may, within the limit of the universe of discourse, amount to nothing.

[....]

Of course, in no case does the Golden Mean advise hesitating, trimming, hedging, compromising; the very object of ensuring an exact balance in your weapon is that its blow may be clean and certain.”
Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears

Aleister Crowley
“We [of Thelema] are whole-hearted extroverts; the penalty of restricting oneself is anything from neurosis to down right lunacy; in particular, melancholia.”
Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears

Aleister Crowley
“Everything that happens, no matter what, is an inconceivably improbable coincidence. You remember how you had to begin when you first came to me for help. I said to you, "Here are you, and no other person, come to see me, and no other person, in this room, and no other room, at this time, and no other time. How did that come about?" The answer to that question is the first entry in your Magical Diary: and, with a slightly different object in view, the first step in the practice of Liber Thisharb and the acquisition of Magical Memory.”
Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears

Aleister Crowley
“But neither Europe nor Africa can show any such desolation as America. The proudest, stubbornest, bitterest peasant of deserted Spain, the most primitive and superstitious Arab of the remotest oases, are a little more than kin and never less than kind at their worst; whereas in the United States one is almost always conscious of an instinctive lack of sympathy and understanding with even the most charming and cultured people.”
Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears

Aleister Crowley
“What do I mean when I say that I think I was Eliphaz Lévi? No more than that I possess some of his most essential characteristics, and that some of the incidents in his life are remembered by me as my own. There doesn't seem any impossibility about these bundles of Sankhara being shared by two or more persons. We certainly do not know enough of what actually takes place to speak positively on any such point. Don't lose any sleep over it.”
Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears

Aleister Crowley
“On the Path of the Wise there is probably no danger more deadly, no poison more pernicious, no seduction more subtle than Spiritual Pride; it strikes, being solar, at the very heart of the Aspirant; more, it is an inflation and exacerbation of the Ego, so that its victim runs the peril of straying into a Black Lodge, and finding himself at home there.”
Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears

Aleister Crowley
“Remember that which is written: "Moderate strength rings the bell: great strength returns the penny." It is always the little bit extra that brings home the bacon. It is the last attack that breaks through the enemy position. Water will never boil, however long you keep it at 99° C. You may find that a Pranayama cycle of 10-20-30 brings no result in months; put it up to 10-20-40, and Dhyana comes instantly. When in doubt, push just a little bit harder. You have no means of finding out what are exactly the right conditions for success in any practice; but all practices are alike in one respect; the desired result is in the nature of orgasm.”
Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears

Aleister Crowley
“Also, asceticism is all right when it is the proper means of attaining some special end. It is when it produces eructations of spiritual pride, and satisfied vanity, that it is poisonous. The Greek word means an athlete; and the training of an athlete is not mortification of the body. Nor is there any rule which covers all circumstances. When men go "stale" a few days before the race, they are "taken off training," and fed with champagne. But that is part of the training. Observe, too, that all men go "stale" sooner or later; training is abnormal, and must be stopped as soon as its object is attained. Even so, it too often strains vital organs, especially the heart and lungs, so that few rowing "Blues" live to be 50. But worst of all is the effect on the temper!

When it is permanent, and mistaken for a "Virtue," it poisons the very soil of the soul. The vilest weeds spring up; cruelty, narrowmindedness, arrogance—everything mean and horrible flowers in those who "Mortify the flesh." Incidentally, such ideas spawn the "Black Brother." The complete lack of humour, the egomaniac conceit, self-satisfaction, absence of all sympathy for others, the craving to pass their miseries on to more sensible people by persecuting them: these traits are symptomatic.”
Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears

Aleister Crowley
“Remember in any case, that not only the Adept, but anyone with the smallest capacity for Adeptship, is fundamentally an Artist; he will certainly not possess any of those bourgeois "virtues" which are just so many reactions to Blue Funk.”
Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears

Aleister Crowley
“In every Magical, or similar system, it is invariably the first condition which the Aspirant must fulfill: he must once and for all and for ever put his family outside his magical circle.

Even the Gospels insist clearly and weightily on this.

Christ himself (i.e. whoever is meant by this name in this passage) callously disowns his mother and his brethren (Luke VIII, 19). And he repeatedly makes discipleship contingent on the total renunciation of all family ties. He would not even allow a man to attend his father's funeral!

Is the magical tradition less rigid?

Not on your life!”
Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears

Aleister Crowley
“The fact is that very few of us know what words mean; fewer still take the trouble to enquire. We calmly, we carelessly assume that our minds are identical with that of the writer, at least on that point; and then we wonder that there should be misunderstandings!

The fact is (again!) that usually we don't really want to know; it is so very much easier to drift down the river of discourse, "lazily, lazily, drowsily, drowsily, In the noonday sun."

Why is this so satisfactory? Because although we may not know what a word means, most words have a pleasant or unpleasant connotation, each for himself, either because of the ideas or images thus begotten, of hopes or memories stirred up, or merely for the sound of the word itself.”
Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears

Aleister Crowley
“The moral, dear child, is that such powers are never to be considered as the main object; it ought in fact to be obvious from the start that any one's True Will must be deeper and more comprehensive than any mere technical achievement. I will go further and say that any such endeavour must be a magical mistake, like cherishing a gun or a clock or a fishing-rod for its own sake, and not for the use that one can make of it. Indeed, that remark goes to the root of the matter; for all these powers, if we understand them properly, are natural by-products of one's real Great Work. My own experience was very convincing on this point; for one power after another came popping up when it was least wanted, and I saw at once that they represented so many leaks in my boat.

And really they are quite a bit of a nuisance. Their possession is so flattering, and their seduction so subtle. One understands at once why all the first-class Teachers insist so sternly that the Siddhi (or Iddhi) must be rejected firmly by the Aspirant, if he is not to be side-tracked and ultimately lost.”
Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears

Aleister Crowley
“Shameful confession, one of my own Chelas (or so it is rather incredibly reported to me) said recently: "Self-discipline is a form of Restriction." (That, you remember, is "The word of Sin.") Of all the utter rubbish! (Anyhow, he was a "centre of pestilence" for discussing the Book at all.) About 90 percent of Thelema, at a guess, is nothing but self-discipline. One is only allowed to do anything and everything so as to have more scope for exercising that virtue.

Concentrate on "Thou hast no right but to do thy will." The point is that any possible act is to be performed if it is a necessary factor in that Equation of your Will. Any act that is not such a factor, however harmless, noble, virtuous or what not, is at the best a waste of energy. But there are no artificial barriers on any type of act in general. The standard of conduct has one single touchstone. There may be—there will be—every kind of difficulty in determining whether, by this standard, any given act is 'right' or 'wrong'; but there should be no confusion. No act is righteous in itself, but only in reference to the True Will of the person who proposes to perform it. This is the Doctrine of Relativity applied to the moral sphere.”
Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears

Aleister Crowley
“Every individual has some qualities that endear him to some other. And per contra, I doubt if there is any class which is not detestable to some other class. Artists, police, the clergy, "reds," foxhunters, Freemasons, Jews, "heaven-born," women's clubwomen (especially in U.S.A.), "Methodys," golfers, dog-lovers; you can't find one body without its "natural" enemies. It's right, what's worse; every class, as a class, is almost sure to have more defects than qualities. As soon as you put men together, they somehow sink, corporatively, below the level of the worst of the individuals composing it. Collect scholars on a club committee, or men of science on a jury; all their virtues vanish, and their vices pop out, reinforced by the self-confidence which the power of numbers is bound to bestow.”
Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears

Aleister Crowley
“The technical developments of almost every form of wealth [e.g., oil, minerals] are the forebears of Big Business; and Big Business, directly or indirectly, is the immediate cause of War.”
Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears


Reading Progress

02/13 marked as: currently-reading
02/14 page 4
0.0% "Letter A [March 19, 1943] "Introduction""
02/15 page 6
1.0% "Letter B [April 20, 1943] "Introduction""
02/16 page 9
1.0% "Letter C [April 30, 1943] "Introduction""
02/17 page 11
2.0% "Letter D [June 8, 1943] "Introduction""
02/18 page 13
2.0% "Letter E [August 18, 1943] "Introduction""
02/19 page 18
3.0% "Letter F [August 20, 1943] "Introduction""
02/20 page 19
3.0% "Letter G [September 1943] "Introduction""
02/21 page 25
4.0% "Letter H [November 1943]"
02/24 page 43
8.0% "2. The Necessity of Magick for All"
02/26 page 47
8.0% "3. Hieroglyphics: Life and Language Necessarily Symbolic"
02/26 page 51
9.0% "4. The Qabalah: The Best Training for Memory"
02/27 page 63
11.0% "5. The Universe: The 0=2 Equation"
02/28 page 71
13.0% "6. The Three Schools of Magick (1) [Yellow]"
03/01 page 82
15.0% "7. The Three Schools of Magick (2) [Black, White]"
03/02 page 90
17.0% "8. The Three Schools of Magick (3) [Rosicrucian, Theosophy]"
03/03 page 96
18.0% "9. The Secret Chiefs"
03/04 page 100
18.0% "10. The Scolex School"
03/05 page 108
20.0% "11. Woolly Pomposities of the Pious "Teacher""
03/06 page 121
22.0% "12. The Left-hand Path; The "Black Brothers""
03/07 page 124
23.0% "13. System of the O.T.O."
03/08 page 127
24.0% "14. Noise"
03/09 page 137
25.0% "15. Sex Morality, Including Artemis Iota"
03/10 page 140
26.0% "16. On Concentration"
03/11 page 148
28.0% "17. "Astral Journey—How to Do It, How to Verify Your Experiences""
03/12 page 151
28.0% "18. "The Importance of our Conventional Greetings""
03/13 page 154
29.0% "19. "The Act of Truth""
03/14 page 158
29.0% "20. Talismans: The Lamen: The Pantacle"
03/15 page 162
30.0% "21. My Theory of Astrology"
03/16 page 166
31.0% "22. How to Learn the Practice of Astrology"
03/17 page 177
33.0% "23. Improvising a Temple"
03/18 page 183
34.0% "24. Necromancy and Spiritism"
03/19 page 193
36.0% "25. Fascinations, Invisibility, Levitation, Transmutations, Kinks in Time"
03/20 page 197
37.0% "26. Mental Processes: Two Only Are Possible"
03/21 page 201
38.0% "27. Structure of Mind Based on That of Body"
03/22 page 205
38.0% "28. Need to Define "God", "Self", etc."
03/23 page 214
40.0% "29. What Is Certainty?"
03/24 page 217
41.0% "30. Do You Believe in God?"
03/24 page 219
41.0% "31. Religion: Is Thelema a "New Religion"?"
03/26 page 222
42.0% "32. How Can a Yogi Ever be Worried?"
03/27 page 226
42.0% "33. The Golden Mean"
03/28 page 230
43.0% "34. The Tao (1)"
03/29 page 239
45.0% "35. The Tao (2)"
03/30 page 241
45.0% "36. Quo Stet Olympus: Where the Gods and Angels Live"
03/31 page 246
46.0% "37. Death—Fear—Magickal Memory"
04/01 page 254
48.0% "38. Woman—Her Magical Formula"
04/02 page 264
50.0% "39. Prophecy"
04/03 page 270
51.0% "40. Coincidence"
04/04 page 273
51.0% "41. Are we Reincarnations of the Ancient Egyptians?"
04/05 page 278
52.0% "42. The "Self" Introversion"
04/06 page 282
53.0% "43. The Holy Guardian Angel: An Objective Individual"
04/07 page 285
53.0% "44. "Serious" Style of A.C., or the Apparent Frivolity of Some of my Remarks"
04/08 page 291
55.0% "45. "Unserious" Conduct of a Pupil"
04/09 page 295
55.0% "46. Selfishness"
04/10 page 301
57.0% "47. Reincarnation"
04/11 page 307
58.0% "48. Morals of Liber AL"
04/12 page 313
59.0% "49. Thelemic Morality"
04/13 page 319
60.0% "50. A.C. and the "Masters" : Why They Chose Him"
04/14 page 329
62.0% "51. How to Recognise Masters, Angels, etc., and how they Work"
04/15 page 339
64.0% "52. Family: Public Enemy No. 1"
04/16 page 344
65.0% "53. "Mother-Love""
04/17 page 348
65.0% "54. "On Meanness""
04/18 page 352
66.0% "55. Money"
04/19 page 355
67.0% "56. Marriage—Property—War Politics"
04/20 page 361
68.0% "57. Beings I Have Seen with My Physical Eye"
04/21 page 366
69.0% "58. Do Angels Ever Cut Themselves Shaving?"
04/22 page 370
70.0% "59. Geomancy"
04/23 page 373
70.0% "60. Knack"
04/24 page 377
71.0% "61. Power and Authority"
04/25 page 379
71.0% "62. The Elastic Mind"
04/26 page 390
73.0% "63. Fear: a Bad Astral Vision"
04/27 page 394
74.0% "64. Magical Power"
04/28 page 396
75.0% "65. Man"
04/29 page 402
76.0% "66. Vampires"
04/30 page 406
76.0% "67. Faith"
05/01 page 414
78.0% "68. The God Letters"
05/02 page 418
79.0% "69. Original Sin"
05/03 page 424
80.0% "70. Morality (1)"
05/04 page 429
81.0% "71. Morality (2)"
05/05 page 441
83.0% "72. Education"
05/06 page 445
84.0% "73. "Monsters," Niggers, Jews [which today might be better titled "How Fear Creates the 'Other'"]"
05/07 page 452
85.0% "74. Obstacles on the Path"
05/08 page 463
87.0% "75. The A∴A∴ and the Planet"
05/09 page 467
88.0% "76. The Gods—How and Why They Overlap"
05/10 page 472
89.0% "77. Work Worthwhile: Why?"
05/11 page 480
90.0% "78. Sore Spots"
05/12 page 486
92.0% "79. Progress"
05/13 page 490
92.0% "80. Life a Gamble"
05/14 page 494
93.0% "81. Method of Training"
05/15 page 498
94.0% "82. Epistola Penultima—The Two Ways to Reality"
05/17 page 514
97.0% "Epilog by Christopher S. Hyatt"
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