Tag Archives: sorrow

The Comedy of Agony

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Comedy of Agony: A Book of Poisonous Contemplations by Christopher Spranger from Leaping Dog Press:

Christopher Spranger's The Comedy of Agony from Little Dog Press

 

This slender volume of aphoristic meditations can be read in a variety of ways. One possibility is to consider it to be instructional scripture by Tyler Durden. Another would be a rich mine of sigfile quotes guaranteed to offend the pious and conventionally-minded. I think this one may need to go in my Christmas cards: “Had she only miscarried, the Virgin Mary could have saved the world.”

Spranger’s religious reflections presume a Biblical-Miltonian narrative, although his atheology has a wide scope, including admiration for the metaphysically sadistic aesthetics of Asian Buddhism. There’s no indication of familiarity with Aleister Crowley’s work, but Spranger’s strong affinity for and constant allusion to Nietzsche (who, unnamed throughout, is referenced once as “a certain leg-puller”) makes him a close cousin to Thelemites, at any rate. In particular, his piece on “The Attractions of Rage” makes a fine complement to Crowley’s chapter on love in Little Essays Toward Truth, and he makes some insightful remarks on the Thelemically-vexed term “compassion”: “Men to whom agony is unknown have grabbed a hold of this concept and perverted it completely, reducing it to something low and effortless, when in fact compassion requires risk and presupposes rank.”

Spranger is evidently resigned to embodiment, attachment, strife and sorrow, but he writes that like it’s a bad thing. One wonders what the return of Saturn has in store for the 28-year-old author. [via]

 

 

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Make Magic of Your Life

Make Magic of Your Life: Passion, Purpose, and the Power of Desire by Hermetic Library anthology artist T Thorn Coyle [also], from Weiser Books, is available now.

“Do you have the sense that you were born to do something more with your life but you don’t know what that is? Do you long to step into your power and live a life of passion? Do you wish to be of greater service? Are you willing to follow your soul’s desire?

Activate the magical formula known the Four Powers of the Sphinx. These four powers — To Know, To Will, To Dare, and To Keep Silence — help bring about a profound shift in how we view and move through the world. They point us toward our highest purpose and show us what to do, both practically and spiritually, once we’ve found it. They will lead us to a life of magic.

Find your soul’s work. Follow desire. Live a life that matters.” [via]

 

T Thorn Coyle's Make Magic of Your Life from Weiser Books

“For pagans or anyone with magickal leanings everywhere, internationally known pagan and mystic T. Thorn Coyle offers a unique path to make everything in one’s life alive with magic in Make Magic of Your Life.

Coyle shows how to achieve harmony and balance, and find your true purpose by activating the magical Qabalistic formula known as The Four Powers of the Sphinx: to know, to will, to dare, and to keep silent.

Coyle shows readers how to draw on the four powers of the sphinx to discover their “soul’s possibility,” their life’s work, that which they most long to do.

In Make Magic of Your Life, Coyle explains how our deepest failings are often the very things that fuel our life’s work, keep us human and whole, and even make us act as though — like Prometheus — we can steal fire from the Gods.

From the introduction:
“Working magic means showing up with your demons and your divinity, your sorrow and your joy. Alchemy only happens when we are willing to go through the processes of gathering together, refining, pouring, and solidifying. In the end, we have something fine to hold.” [via]

 

The Nameless Quest in The Gate of the Sanctuary from The Temple of the Holy Ghost (Collected Works, Vol I) by Aleister Crowley.

“Yet the thought chilled me as I touched the reins.
Ah! the poor horse, he will not. So remains,
Divided in his love. With mastered tears
I stride toward the parapet. My ears
Catch his low call; and now a song complains.
The bridge is bleeding and the river hears.
Ah! God! I cannot live for pity deep
Of that heart-quelling chant—I could not sleep
Ever again to think of it. I close
My hearing with my fingers. Gently goes
A quivering foot above them as they weep—
I weep, I also, as the river flows.
Slowly the bridge subsides, and I am flung
Deep in the tears and terrors never sung.
I swim with sorrow bursting at my breast.
Yet I am cleansed, and find some little rest.
Still from my agonised unspeaking tongue
Breaks: I must go, go onward to the quest.” [via]

The Nameless Quest in The Gate of the Sanctuary from The Temple of the Holy Ghost (Collected Works, Vol I) by Aleister Crowley.

“The king did start,
Gripped my strong hands, and held me to his heart,
And could not speak a moment. Then he set
A curb of sorrow and subdued its dart.
‘Go! and the blessing of high God attend
Thy path, and lead thee to the doubtful end.
No tongue that secret ever may reveal.
Thy soul is god-like and thy frame is steel;
Thou mayst win the quest—the king, thy friend,
Gives thee his sword to keep thee—Gereth, kneel!
‘I dub thee Earl; arise!’ And then there rings
The queen’s voice: ‘Shall my love not match the king’s?
Here, from my finger drawn, this gem of power
Shall guard thee in some unimagined hour.
It hath strange virtue over mortal things.
I freely give it for thy stirrup’s dower.’
I left the presence. Now the buffeting wind
Gladdens my face—I leave the court behind.
Am I Stark mad? My face grows grim and grave;
I see—O Mary Mother, speak and save!
I stare and stare until mine eyes are blind—
There was no jewel in the ring she gave!” [via]

A Ballad of Choosing in White Stains by Aleister Crowley.

“Christ came to me, alone and sorrowful,
And offered me a cross, saying to me,
‘I have great joys to give most bountiful.
Carry this through the world, and when the sea
Of death is past, then is prepared for thee
A house of many mansions.’ My desire
Hid not from me the vileness of his plea:—
‘Thou has a guerdon, is it not for hire?'” [via]