"Mercy Let Be Off", A Commentary on Liber AL III, 18

Originally Posted November 17, 2008

AL III, 18: "Mercy let be off: damn them who pity! Kill and torture; spare not; be upon them!"

Vlad the Impaler (AKA Dracula), monster or model for the AL III, 18 ethic? Both? "The end, oh my God, what end? To work! To work!"—Dracula

A commentary on AL III, 18

There are many verses in Liber AL (AKA The Book of the Law), especially in Chapter III of the book, which disturb a lot of people, which even disturbed Aleister Crowley initially. As he writes in Confessions:
"The fact of the matter was that I resented The Book of the Law with my whole soul...I was bitterly opposed to the principles of the Book on almost every point of morality. The third chapter seemed to me gratuitously atrocious...the Magical Formula denounced pity as damnable, acclaimed war as admirable and in almost every other way was utterly repugnant to my ideas."
As Crowley notes, maybe the most disturbing verse in Liber AL is AL III, 18, for it argues for the elimination of mercy and the damnation of the compassionate (those who pity)—thus the elimination or marginalization of two pillars from the Tree of Life. John Symonds described this verse as an expression of "childish rage". There is more than one way to appreciate the brevity and insight of that critique, as of course Horus is, in a primary aspect, the avenging and war-making child, certainly full of rage against his enemies.

Despite the fact that Crowley clearly pointed to this verse as an example of "plain speaking", it is so troubling, that many Thelemites reject it outright or attempt to defang it with anemic esoteria. More than anything though, the verse, and indeed much of the Chapter III ethical doctrine, are simply ignored.

If you Google "Mercy let be off", a peculiar locution, the number one match you will get is not for a Thelemic analysis of AL III, 18, but for a song by the "blackened death metal" group Vesania,* who liberally mix the lyrics of AL III, 18 with lines such as "anti-creation caress my unconcern", accompanied by a thoroughly deadening (of course) display of black-metal monotony.
*-Note that this was the case back in 2008, when this article was first posted. The Vesania song has now dropped to number 4, with Hermetic.com's copy of Liber AL, Chapter III, taking the top spot. Still, there is a paucity of useful discussion of this verse in the top Google hits related to it.

And monotony is often what you get when you go looking, beyond Crowley anyway, for any reasonable discussion of the meaning of Liber AL. It seems people are naturally drawn to these analyses by the presumption that Crowley didn't understand the book (thus his endless and unsuccessful attempts to clarify it), and that, amongst all the people in the world, they on the other hand do understand it, and in incredibly dense and dull detail. Their resulting dissections could only interest the most demented occultists, who are inspired by picking nits off fleas, or counting demons on pinheads. Of course, who else is really going to be an audience for the analysis of an obscure, often incoherent, and, to many minds, perfectly hateful bit of occult doggerel?

This is not to say that Liber AL should be taken merely superficially, as the expression of a cartoonishly merciless ethic; but I do think it should be read fundamentally, withholding reveries of personal inspiration until that fundamental understanding is obtained. Will that result in a fundamentalist interpretation? I would argue that this is not presently a concern for Thelema, since no fundamental or consensus interpretation of the meaning of Liber AL, and particularly of Chapter III, has yet developed.

Even in Crowley's mind, his understanding was always evolving and, though he claimed sole authority for the interpretation of the book for himself, clearly his role as prophet was not exclusive, as he depended constantly on others, from a chain of Scarlet Women to Frater Achad, to deliver Thelemic dogma and exegesis. So Crowley's authority to interpret his own works, which is unquestionable, did not exclude the possibility of others clarifying or even bettering his analysis. He admitted his own vision of the New Aeon was limited, by the fact he himself was a product of the dying Old Aeon.

With that said, and duly respecting the dangers of monotonously caressing our unconcern, let us move to a study of this most challenging verse.

Note that there are a number of commandments (five actually) in verse III, 18; the first sentence is a double-edged rejection or rectification of the righteous (as in right pillars—white-right and middle-gray) ethical standard for evaluating and rewarding insufficiencies. This is a commandment regarding both an internal and external adjustment, that is attitude and action:

1. Let mercy be off—strip oneself of mercy, presumably for oneself as well. The opposite of Mercy is Severity or Justice. So, this might say as well “Let justice be on” for that is what is left, a ruthless devotion to Justice, or Adjustment (connecting Tiphareth to Geburah), "assessing the virtue of every act".

What does this mean?
It means that Crowley views this no longer as a time of mercy, or for compassion—suffering with—but rather this is a time for individuals to suffer, and better enjoy, their own being as a complete universe with its own laws and justice. So, this is yet a deeper implication of “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law”.

How could any Law apply to an environment in which individuals are doing their will—as they will? Only insofar as individual will and purpose define the scope and content of the Law for each person, and by this, in a universal sense, the “whole” of the Law being the collective doctrine governing and encouraging this process. It is necessarily a perfection of Justice, and Severity, because it invites the utter domination of the individual will over and against all other considerations. And thus the goddess of Adjustment (the partner of the Fool) achieves "her secret intimate satisfaction in her domination of every element of dis-equilibrium in the Universe".

In this way, it is completely subversive to any Old Aeon understanding of community standards, which are the dictation of Law from above and from without, instead of from one's center of being. The true Thelemic community, observant of Adjustment as its fundamental matrix of morality, is the collective understanding and appreciation of the lack of oppressive or dictatorial authority from above or without. Only the secret center, the emperor within, of each person is that terribly just authority.

As we are told: "Let Thy Mercy be lost in the great Deep!"

Nevertheless, this occurs within the matrix of a greater, guiding, force; and this force impels, but does not compel, obedience to its Way. And this is why part of the challenge for a Thelemite is to discover* his True Will, for it will not be forced upon him to find it and manifest it. In a deeper understanding, it is well to understand one's will in the larger cosmic scheme, as an agent of the Greater Will, and its Work.
*—Recently, I have written on Facebook, rejecting this idea of "discovering" True Will or one's True Self, because it seems to me the truth of one's being fights to liberate itself, and so it is a Tower-like breaking through and out, not the act of what must be seen as the false self playing Indiana Jones. Upon further reflection, one might say that True Self seeks itself, while the complex of false selves obstructs this discovery. Crowley says the process is more alchemical (in the sense of the art of sculpting—"removing [the] impurities") than archaeological, or martial. But Crowley was not, by his nature, a violent (modern) man. So, he operated more comfortably in bourgeois motifs of artistry, viewed as a process sometimes leading to mastery of skills, instead of domination over such ideas by violent, swirling forces of nature, breaking the pathetic towers of the "perishable parasites". As he got older, Crowley understood this. His civilized conceits, the bane of all occultists of his era, were disablers. But embracing the implications of this made him too truthful for primetime—as Crowley ended up, for example, seeing and almost embracing the Thelemic spirit of Adolph Hitler and the Nazis.

Simplifying for a moment, a question: Does all this mean that to feel mercy or pity is unThelemic or in any way forbidden by Liber AL?

In the Vision and the Voice, XIIth Aethyr, TAN, we are told: "And the feather of Maat is blue because the truth of justice is mercy."

Crowley further explains this:
"To aim at Mercy, which is an idea without measure, and therefore incommensurable with Truth, is to invoke Justice. The injunction is: Be strictly just, and you will find that you have accomplished the true Work of Love."
This is a Qabalistic principle, that opposites depend upon and invigorate, or even copulate with, each other. Since Mercy, the absolute remission of sin, can only be granted by God, who would be the only one to know the myriad ways and means of one's sins,* to "aim at Mercy" necessarily implies invoking its opposite (Justice), because our aim can never be true or realized. Crowley thus advises that to be true necessitates the invocation of Justice (i.e., the spirit of the Law), and the only way to accomplish a "true Work of Love" is to strictly obey the ways of this spirit of Adjustment.
*—Some more regarding "without measure". Mercy is an idea without measure because measuring or assessing one's sin is not relevant to its function. One is saved, undeservedly, from the consequences (and the implied truth) of any and all measurement. Adjustment therefore has no relevance in Mercy either. To a human being, however, "aiming" at Mercy, implies trying to hit a target, which immediately invokes Justice and Adjustment. Being strictly just (that is passionately devoted), regarding the Law, whose equivalent feature or measure is Love, one finds a truth—which is that Love has nothing to do with Mercy, whose only demand is that one be utterly indifferent to morality, human difference, or individuality as meaningful ideas, and so also to the value and meaning of human existence. Mercy is a very peculiar attitude, as if God said: "Save them all, it doesn't matter who they are or what they did." There is no Love in that, just exasperation. This is a dogma with Biblical roots in fact, which eventually led to the invention of Jesus Christ, the all-purpose, indifferent, Savior of God's inept design of human beings as moral actors (giving expanded freedom of choice to creatures still possessed of more fangs than brains is pretty cynical and lazy).

This starts to sound like what, in spirit, Thelema seeks to replace, purely legalistic and thus corrupted, human finagling with natural conditions and contexts. However, because again it encourages a devotion to the spirit and not merely the letter of the Law of Thelema, it simply reduces to: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law"—i.e., doing one's True Will (by definition the one Lawful act) is being strictly just.

2. Damn them who pity [the compassionate]—that is MEASURE THEM, condemn them, and consign them to whatever punishment befits them. A distinction is made here. Whereas the first rectification or rejection is of mercy, the second is of compassion, that is the nature and condition of the Middle Pillar. This is why this sentence is in two distinct parts. Also, note that while mercy, the sentiment and the condition of the White Pillar, is rejected in the first part of the commandment, the second rejection is of “them”, the ones who pity, or who have compassion.

This is because the Middle or Gray Pillar, that is the Pillar of real, intermixed, and balanced Light, is the Pillar of Compassion. Those who pity do not act in accord with some divine and inhumane Mercy—where for example those who have been treated unjustly have no recourse against their injurers. The pitiers, devotees of the Middle Pillar, move towards Mercy only insofar as it serves the interest of Justice. Thus, they come close to the idea indicated above, where Justice is invoked to obtain "the true Work of Love", and to "aim at Mercy".

The difference, however, is that the pitiers are guided by a desire to relieve the suffering of others. They act, in other words, as mediators between the absolute applications of Mercy (which rejects Justice and pardons everyone), and Justice (which rejects Mercy and condemns everyone).

So, why would Thelema tell us to ignore this seemingly balanced approach of the Middle Pillar, which hopes to relieve suffering and at the same time act justly? In part, this is because earlier we have been told, in Liber AL I, 31: "For these fools of men and their woes care not thou at all!"

Crowley explains in the commentary: "This thesis concerning compassion is of the most palmary ["chief"] importance in the ethics of Thelema. It is necessary that we stop, once for all, this ignorant meddling with other people's business."*
*—Yes, this does sound very politically libertarian, doesn't it? But of course Thelema has to be far beyond such mundane considerations, even if Crowley's personal politics were pretty medieval at times. And, if you push your mind a bit, you will realize that, within the context of an economic system that far too often rewards luck of birth, mere greed, and sheer bigotry, rather than merit, "meddling with other people's business" can most definitely be perpetrated by government inaction (to adjust a deranged system of wealth distribution) as well as government intervention (that may strangle liberty).

So, the way Crowley understood Thelema, was that Justice was mainly to be achieved by leaving "other people severely alone"—key word then is "severely", as in the Pillar of Justice, or Severity.

The Justice we would pursue would mainly be in accord with observing the demands of the Law of the New Aeon, which is aimed at the liberation and perfection of individual Will. Again, there is no room in that view for being disturbed in one's orbit about the Will or destiny, by the defects, as we may deem them, in somebody else's "business" or destiny.

Only when someone else's orbit or destiny conflicts directly with our own are we called upon to act in some manner to defend a virtue or establish Thelemic Justice. Then Crowley says killing is a correct remedy, to defend our rights.

3. Kill and torture—so, the commandment is not to kill period, but to also torture. Why? This makes sense if part of the idea or goal is to redeem whatever portion of ourselves or others is worth keeping and saving. So, kill those, and those parts, which are beyond hope of redemption, and save the rest through the process of alchemical torture, which in fact depends on the killing process. This of course can be seen as purely mystical and internal, but it is also a social exercise, although to what extent “killing” and “torture” are meant literally is not made clear. Crowley often states his approval of the most heartless (and ignorant) applications of Darwinian principles of a brutal struggle for survival. For example, he advocated not employing vaccines, as they, in his view, tended to weaken the species by “artificially” protecting it. The human race which employed Crowley's principles actively and without restraint would likely be a much smaller one. Many people would count that as an improvement and a clearly beneficial feature of this dogma.

As noted above, Crowley plainly said killing was a correct response to someone attempting to infringe one's Thelemic rights. This is expressed dogmatically and explicitly in Liber OZ,* Crowley's declaration of the Thelemic rights of man. In this declaration, Crowley says, "Man has the right to kill those who would thwart these rights." Before you dismiss this idea as barbaric or demonic, I would simply point out that most societies, and particularly Western ones, are prepared to go to war to defend what they identify as their rights, or their essential virtues (freedoms and faiths, etc.).
*—A brief, seemingly plain-speaking document, that Crowley nevertheless said was "completely beyond the average man's (or woman's) understanding." By this, Crowley meant that the emotional reactions the average person had to being told it was OK to kill someone for thwarting his rights, was a veil obstructing the deeper truth of the passage, which truth is hinted at by the verse reference immediately following the killing declaration: "the slaves shall serve", which comes from AL II: 58. Crowley says of this idea: "The bulk of humanity, having no true will, will find themselves powerless. It will be for us to rule them wisely." And so in this way the right of the Thelemite is to "kill" or absorb the life force of the dark stars, the ones veiled from their own truths by their fear. This is suggested to be a corollary or instrument of means for the verse (from AL I :57) which follows and completes Liber OZ: "Love is the law, love under will." This form of killing and absorption into the greater will of Thelemites is an act love by the Thelemites for the dark stars.

The question is whether, in Thelema, each individual is empowered to go to war, to defend his rights and virtues. Crowley seems to say yes, but to the extent this implies anarchy,* he was resistant to publicly affirm as a virtue the absence of a repressive authority, especially over the masses whom he clearly distrusted. In fact, Thelema is not in any way intended to empower all individuals, but only those ready to act in accord with their Thelemic True Wills.
*—Indeed, Crowley's argument against anarchy, made in Liber 333, or The Book of Lies, is accurate and amusing: "While there exists...any man...who falls short of MYSELF—I am against Anarchy and for Feudalism." Towards that end, Crowley explains the social role of Thelemites: "The only solution to the Social Problem is the creation of a class with the true patriarchal feeling, and the manners and obligations of chivalry." The soft-hearted, and soft-headed, hippies often attracted to Thelema, would not want to suffer Crowley's solution to their problem. And one cannot help but consider how much "chivalry" is such an Old Aeon, Christian, concept, with no meaning or application in 2014 (when this note was added to this text). Crowley, the romantic, was too softhearted in his reactionary sentiments to measure up Thelemically either.

4. spare not*—so, explicitly, all those who need to be killed and tortured, should be, with none spared. Following the discussion above about killing and torturing, this is consistent with complete eradication of the irredeemable parts of our natures and our world. The question is then how do we determine what is redeemable? It should be apparent, if Justice and Adjustment should be justly applied to everyone, that, consistent with the Bible's recognition of the problem with Mosaic Law—that none could escape condemnation under its broad and detailed scope of assessing sin—nobody is going to escape deserving to be killed under Thelemic Justice either. And worse, Thelema has no Mercy to intervene and unjustly save us, and no Compassion to balance the judgment against us.
*—Crowley often used this phrase "spare not", to mean to hold nothing back in pursuit of the goal and the work. That is, as I explore below, spare not YOURSELF, or any part of the self that may act as a hindrance or an obstacle to the work. All such drags are mannequins of false selves, needing to be destroyed. Show no mercy to them, for they would kill your truth and ruin your success. This is fine, but refer above to the danger of viewing these rules as merely metaphorical, or, in rejecting that idea, the obvious danger involved in sparing no one, not even oneself, from the severest judgement. Do we want that kind of world? Will it matter what kind of world we want, if the Thelemic Way of things, is towards pure and unmoderated Justice?

But then, in the same way that we are empowered to kill those who infringe our rights, this idea applies as well to ourselves. That is, we are bound to kill and torture those parts of ourselves, without Mercy or Compassion, without sparing anything or anyone, which are false and injurious to the liberation and perfection of our True Selves.

This does not mean nothing will survive (vide supra: Nothing may), but it does mean that only the deserving, i.e. the TRUE, should survive.

Again, the danger here of interpreting these ideas literally is not only that we may take it upon ourselves to judge others in an unauthorized fashion—we are supposed to severely stay out of the business of others—but as noted above it may only be in the rarest situations, to protect life itself from unjust terminations,* that literal interventions of a terminating quality should be pursued. Otherwise, "killing and torturing" are intended as metaphorical descriptions of initiatory processes of discovering and perfecting the True Self and the True Will.
*—Crowley was adamantly opposed to abortion.

One of the main objections to this view, is that Crowley, sometimes in the most hatefully stupid terms too, claimed these commandments had an explicit and particular point—to eradicate "tainted stock"—meaning in some cases, such as Jews and Protestant Christians, whole races or groups which a Thelemite has determined are "infecting" humanity.

Crowley in the New Commentary to AL III, 18 says:
"Should we not rather breed humanity for quality by killing off any tainted stock, as we do with other cattle? And exterminating the vermin which infect it, especially Jews and Protestant Christians?"
Crowley later amended the above to include Catholics in the vermin list, and to say that maybe Jews outside of America might be spared (thus calling into question his commitment to "spare not").

The obvious and stark similarity between Crowley's imbecilic commentary* here, and the anti-Semitic propaganda of Nazis, who also called Jews infectious "vermin", and also called for and attempted their extermination (killing six million of them in the Holocaust), is one of the main reasons Thelema is and will likely be for some time to come a marginalized belief system.
*—I realize some readers, maybe many Thelemites, will not view Crowley's comments as imbecilic at all, but as as kind of koan, or worse, a kind of recommended political economy. It is true, a master may seek to unravel false folds of civilization integrated into the makeup of a false self, by saying seemingly uncivilized, and despicable things. Crowley himself, viewed in the sense of one talking to himself, in the reception of Liber AL, may have been seeking to accomplish this very end, in so upsetting little Frater Perdurabo. One could argue that every time silly Aleister raised his voice to object to much of anything he was expected to do in the Great Work, Aiwaz told him to shut up, via speaking through Crowley this or that vile garbage. Maybe.

It is not even the case that Crowley was much bothered by these similarities, and indeed they helped convince him, as time went on, and especially after Crowley read and annotated Hermann Rauschning's Hitler Speaks, that Der F├╝hrer had probably read and absorbed Liber AL, to the point of widespread copying of its ideas into Nazi ideology.

The question we face in light of this, is whether there is any point to a further discussion of this matter? Hasn't Crowley explicitly stated that Liber AL III, 18 authorizes and encourages crimes against humanity, such as genocide?

It seems so.

However, it seems also fair to point out that, after WWII, Crowley called concentration camps "crimes" and "horrors", which were "inconceivable by the most diseased and inflamed Sadistic imagination forty years ago". Of course, he does this in the context of pointing out how that imagination was no longer abnormal, but was instead an expression of the "primitive savagery", which is consistent with the advent of the New Aeon of Horus the Avenger. In other words, Crowley sees the crimes and the horrors as evidence of the obsolescence of those Old Aeon ideas in critiquing a "virtuous" (if failed) attempt by the Nazis to better humanity.

One could waste a lot of time and words attempting to defend Crowley's opinions about this. I do not think Crowley's comments need any defense, as his points are clearly made and are clearly beyond hope of any redemption and deserve only condemnation as blatantly stupid and racist. Some Thelemites may view such a condemnation as a sign of a weary Old Aeon sentiment. I rather view it as a vigorous and righteous sentiment in any age humanity still exists in a recognizable form,* and a necessary observation if one would hope to approach and understand Crowley and Thelema in any honest fashion whatsoever.
*—A qualification. Now, in 2014, I would say I see definite signs that this is the key issue: humanity may very well not exist for much longer in a form that any Old Aeon, or even modern human, would count as recognizable. It is very easy to see the final destruction of the Old Aeon, Christian, edifice of humane or civilized behavior, as states employ a new, reality-based ethics, in service to the martial, Thelemic state. If the death-spiral competition between the Old Aeon powers is sufficiently destructive, the survivors will not have the luxury of caring about such effete concerns as "genocide", which will simply become a normal means to eliminate a competitor people or state—as was the case throughout most of human history. This raises another question, that of whether the Thelemic effect will be one of correcting the essential moral errors of the Christian, self-sacrificial, era. Even slavery, maybe most especially slavery, is likely to make a comeback, as humanity gets back to acting in accord with its natural impulses towards its many enemies.

Finally, another consideration of this commandment: "spare not".

Could it not also mean "Spare LA"? That is save and salvage NOTHING, or the dark shadow of AL, manifested in this world. It therefore becomes a commandment to bring to LIFE and full, Lawful, employment, the dead (damned) matter of the Positive (but actually Negative) world.

5. "be upon them!"—In numerous prohibitions detailed in the Jewish Torah, the violations of which were punishable by death, the Bible uses the phrase (in English): "their blood shall be upon them" to denote the capital nature of the crimes, and that the victims of Justice are deserving of death.

Crowley twice uses the phrase "be upon them" in Liber AL:
AL III, 11: "Trample down the Heathen; be upon them, o warrior, I will give you of their flesh to eat!" 
AL III, 18: "Mercy let be off: damn them who pity! Kill and torture; spare not; be upon them!"
In the first instance, the phrase is a military order, one might say a tactic, to swiftly confront and carve to the bone the Heathen—the enemies of Thelema, chiefly Christians, but Crowley includes also "the parasites of man, the Jews". In one version of Liber AL's commentaries, Bill Heidrick called this anti-Semitic remark a "crack about Jews", and attempted to defend Crowley's bigotry as "one of [his] best features", which Heidrick claimed operated as a veil to prevent "any intelligent person" from accepting his opinions without "repeated trial". The question might then be why an intelligent person would bother with any repetitions, and also does this not suggest that unintelligent people might more easily be attracted to Crowley's ideas by his easily accessible racism?

In the second usage, in the verse which concerns us here, the phrase is elevated from a tactic to a tenet, that the purely and severely just person exists upon the corpses of those he has unsparingly tortured and killed. Of course this is true in the personal, alchemical sense that one exists upon the ashes of his slain and burned false selves; but to the extent the tenet is an ideology of an external way of life, it repeats the Warrior's Code in the words of a Priestly commandment, to bring to pure Justice all sinners, all violators of the Law of Thelema.

One could, if Crowley had not done such a thorough job of undercutting this avenue of argument, suggest that AC intended here only the idea that one should bring the miscreants to the Black Pillar where they could undergo the alchemical operation of killing and torturing their false selves. But, again, Crowley explicitly rejected this view, at least as any primary or exclusive exegesis, and unequivocally supported the literal killing and torturing of Thelemic sinners.

If, after this point is understood and appreciated, and as Heidrick suggests, intelligent people might find some reason to seek a second or third trial of Crowley's ideas, we may reasonably ask what would be the nature of the Grail they seek in such lurid, violent and hateful rhetoric?

Of course, lurid, violent and hateful rhetoric is not a rare thing in religious writing. Generally, however, it is balanced a bit more than it is in Liber AL by ideas of another order. Necessarily, because of the unbalanced nature of the Thelemic Adjustment, much of what we have become accustomed to appreciating in religious writing in centuries past—the wisdom, the beauty, the kindness and gentleness of spirit (which we find even in war-affirming writings like the Bhagavad Gita)—is missing in Liber AL.

As Crowley said, Aiwass does not ask, he does not suggest, he does not explain or debate—he commands, and our obedience is either given or we are destroyed as enemies of the Thelemic Way.

The ethics of Thelema are thus as hard-chiseled and unrelentingly demanding as anything in the Torah. Death is the penalty for sin in Thelema as well, and though the Bible has plenty of instances where human beings are chosen to be agents of God's will, in Thelema individuals are the primary agents for dispensing judgment and Justice, and in accord with a general ethic that is expressed individually and in enormous diversity.

The potential for considerable and enduring chaos in such an arrangement is apparent, and is a good reason to strongly urge anyone interested in pursuing a Thelemic path that he assume, until it is demonstrated beyond all reasonable (and maybe unreasonable) doubt this is not the case, that he is a manifestation of a false self. Thus, he is not in any position to start active practice of the commandments of Liber AL III, 18—except perhaps in the metaphorical, alchemical sense to work towards the discovery and perfection of his own True Self.

To the extent that Thelema still incorporates what we might call timeless elements of occult wisdom, I would say anyone who is actively practicing these tenets, and who finds himself agreeing with Crowley that whole peoples should be eradicated as "vermin", should severely consider that he is on the threshold of strangling himself on one of the most virulent veils ever planted by a heartless magus.

In closing, I would hope that if nothing else is made clear by this examination, we should appreciate how very complicated and dangerous these ideas can be. The opportunity for abuse in most religions is always there of course, because people tend to project their needs and sometimes their worst inclinations on the scriptures of their faith.

In Thelema, however, because some of the most important and fundamental verses seem to explicitly encourage these inclinations without need of any projection, a responsible person has to urge great patience and caution in coming to determine what light these verses were intended to convey.

It is always possible of course that they were intended to say exactly what they seem to. And that seems to be what Crowley thought as well. In that case, at least until some very different and horrific sort of ethics is established in the world, only monsters will be Thelemites.

Monster, originally from Latin, monstrum—"Originally belonging to religious language, a divine omen indicating misfortune, an evil omen, portent."
“A wise man is a portent; for, as I think, it oftener happens that a mule brings forth a colt than that nature produces a sage.”—Cicero
(jk)—"Jess Karlin", nom de guerre of Glenn F. Wright

Comments

Popular Posts

Satanism, Dead Babies, & Lon Milo DuQuette

Thelemic Jihad