I am not so foolish as to think that my doctrine can ever gain the ear of the world. I expect that ten centuries hence the “nominal Crowleians” will be as pestilent and numerous a body as the “nominal Christians” are to-day; for (at present) I have been able to devise no mechanism for excluding them.
Kalle was burdened with an intense pain located about a hand’s breadth below his right collar bone. No, there was no tumor or anything of the sort there, he had had it checked, but it was exactly there that it started to hurt whenever life got to him. A black heart pumping despair into his body.
Let all men obey me, The Beast, the Prophet of Nuit! For my number is 666, the Number of the Sun. That is, I am the Light and Centre of their system of Stars; and my Word is as a ray to them who are of Earth. Let them obey the light, and Impulse of that which I am in Truth, although I lie deep hidden in a body of flesh. Seek ye to know Nuit! Seek to enjoy all that may be, although ye loathe it in your souls. This is your ordeal, which ye must pass in order to be free and whole; to know all things alike, to try, to do, to love and to rejoice in all.
Aleister Crowley, The Djeridensis Comment on Liber Legis, I, 32
Lo! were it otherwise, mere banishment,
I deem he had feared more! He had an heir.
This was a boy of strength with ardour blent,
High hope embowered in a body fair.
Him had he watched with eager eye, aware
Of misery occult in youth, awake
At the first touch of the diviner air
Of manhood, that could bane and blessing make,
The Lord of Life and Death, the secret of the Snake.
Aleister Crowley, Why Jesus Wept
Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Tantra for Westerners: A Practical Guide to the Way of Action [Amazon, Bookshop, Local Library] by Francis King; newer edition Tantra: The Way of Action. A Practical Guide to Its Teachings and Techniques. [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library].
Francis King’s treatment of Tantric practice in this volume is more attentive to authentic source materials and ethnography than most Neo-Tantric literature of the last few decades has been. Even so, he seeks to universalize it beyond its original south Asian context. His emphasis on what defines Tantra as such is not so much “sex” (as the typical Neo-tantrist would have it) as it is a dualist metaphysic and transgressive method.
Tantra is compared to ritual magic of the Golden Dawn school throughout the book. In particular, there is a claim that the tattwa materials that circulated in the GD were rooted in the Bengali Tantric text Nature’s Finer Forces published in English by the Theosophical Society. King carefully examines the correlations between the sat chakras and the qabalistic Tree of Life made by Aleister Crowley, J.F.C. Fuller, and Dion Fortune, rendering his own verdict and recommending related practices. He also weighs in on whether Crowley should be viewed–in King’s terms–as “an authentic, if unorthodox, tantric” (76), ultimately answering in the affirmative and citing (without details) various secret instructions of O.T.O. to support the point.
In this book, King has an awful lot of opinions for someone who does not make any direct admission to being an actual practitioner. Most of them sound quite sensible, but it’s reasonable to wonder about the nature of King’s authority when encountering his authoritative tone. His historical speculations on the relationship between the Tantras of different religious traditions (Hindu, Buddhist, Jain) fall within what I understand to be the range of current scholarly views on the topic.
A set of appendices cover such diverse issues and items as psychedelic drug use in “Western tantra” (King’s basically against it), a revision of the invocation of the “Bornless One” for goddess devotions, and a comparison of Taoist “internal alchemy” to parallel Tantric practices.
I looked to the back of my eyeballs as I tried to drift off in the waking darkness of my insomniac night, and then, it may seem crazy, but I popped out of my body as if on an elastic band.
Parker Gordon, Parallel Lives
He balls me better than anyone I know, no weekend joy-popping thrill, but like wine, grass, home-baked bread, a real nourishment for body and soul, day in and day out.
Mary Sativa, Acid Temple Ball