Fredstrong's Reviews > The Book of Lies

The Book of Lies by Aleister Crowley
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's review
Nov 13, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: all-time-favorites, hermetic
Recommended for: the Hermetic Student

The Book of Lies is the book that keeps giving. It is the musings of a Master Western Occultist. At times deeply veiled in Qabalistic allegory, other times intuitively accessible to the layman. Crowley rattles off metaphysical riddles like Lao Tzu on absinthe. It's a good book for the beginner, because some of it will be accessible to everyone, but the more one learns of Qabalah, Gematria, Tarot, Astrology, and so on, the more they go back to TBOL, to be met with a forehead slapping AHA! It grows with the student of the occult, and never becomes sophomoric.

Warning: Crowley is very easy to spiral into. His books all cross reference each other and can obsessively suck one into Crowley. His system, Thelema, is "his system" and it is good to get exposed to other points of view as well. A great book to begin study of the Qabalah with is, The Mystical Qabalah, by Dion Fortune


Mind is a disease of semen.
All that a man is or may be is hidden therein.
Bodily functions are parts of the machine; silent,
unless in dis-ease.
But mind, never at ease, creaketh "I".
This I persisteth not, posteth not through genera-
tions, changeth momently, finally is dead.
Therefore is man only himself when lost to himself
in The Charioting.
Chapter 8

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Quotes Fredstrong Liked

Aleister Crowley
“I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on awakening; I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning.”
Aleister Crowley, The Book of Lies

Aleister Crowley
“The Universe is the Practical Joke of the General
at the expense of the Particular, quoth FRATER
PERDURABO, and laughed.
But those disciples nearest to him wept, seeing the
Universal Sorrow.
Those next to them laughed, seeing the Universal Joke.
Below these certain disciples wept,
Then certain laughed.
Others next wept.
Others next laughed.
Next others wept.
Next others laughed.
Last came those that wept because they could not
see the Joke, and those that laughed lest they
should be thought not to see the Joke, and thought
it safe to act like FRATER PERDURABO.
But though FRATER PERDURABO laughed
openly, He also at the same time wept secretly;
and in Himself He neither laughed nor wept.
Nor did He mean what He said.”
Aleister Crowley, The Book of Lies

Reading Progress

12/11/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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M.moore So true about getting sucked in. I started with Book 4..I think Crowley was pretty great at self-promotion (ya think?) because he often leaves something out, only to explain in parenthesis or in footnotes that it was already said in another book he wrote. Still, it is always worth a read, so I don't hold a grudge.

message 2: by Caz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Caz I quite agree that once you start really studying Crowley it can become a bit of an addictive obsession at times. Totally agree with your review!

message 3: by Davood (new) - added it

Davood Wadi Wow! What a poem in the end!

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