Rhymes with Holy

Rhymes with Holy

OK, the subject has been broached…

Let’s talk about ol’ Aliester. I think it’s pretty clear from the tenor of my own writing that he’s been of some influence on me. But then, he argued (somewhat persuasively) that all thinking persons would come around, eventually, to his view that, “Every man and every woman is a Star.”

He was not – even modestly – a saint, at least not in the Augustinian mode. He was more like the mad tantric monks who occasionally escape from the ivory parapets of central Asia and wreak destruction & enlightenment on the countryside around. (Much like Rama, I suppose, but my contact to him is limited to a former student of his, a close friend who’s also quite crazy.) And much like Gurdjieff, who sniffed, rather haughily, that Crowley’s soul was “all blackness.”

Whatever. I can appreciate Georges – who was also described as an incredible thief & scoundrel – but that doesn’t mean I have to hate uncle Aliester. The big gurus always seem to suffer from enough ego-sickness that they get afraid of a little healthy competition.

Why do I bother to bring this up? At Esalen last year, a friend of mine turned to me and asked, “Do you think Terence has read the Book of the Law?” To which I had no answer. (For that matter, I hadn’t expected that question to come from that quarter, and it forced me into an abrupt re-evaluation of my friend.) I mean, a number of people seem to think that Thelema is a license to be an asshole.

These are folks I try to stay away from.

But we have to face facts; of all of the modern voices of the Eschaton, Crowley’s come first, a duet with Yeats’ apocalyptic posey of The Second Coming. The center will not hold. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. And so forth. Sounds like the Aeon to me.

I imagine that Aliester got a snootful of the impending end of everything in that famous trance, and wrote it out – as best as his own understanding would allow – in three chapters of declining comprehension, until, by the very end, the passages are nearly opaque. No one really understands that third chapter. Yet.

Anyway, I got a good look at Mr. Terence’s bookshelf a few weeks ago (rummaging among a few thousand interesting volumes) and I found Lieber AL placed carefully in the section dedicated to the Western Magics. Question answered. (Strangely enough, my friend who posed the question to me was there when we came across the volume. Hmm. Must all connect in some way…like that new Volkswagen commercial…)

Somewhere the Aeon of Horus maps onto the Eschaton. (This is a hypothesis.) I had a feeling, at one time (which still comes occasionally) that the 67-year period 1945 – 2011 represented the extent of that aeon, and the 13-month cycle November 2011 – December 2012 represented the aeon of his consort Hathor. There’s some funny mixture that goes on here as the cycle proceeds; Hathor becomes Isis as she enters her own in the Equinox of the Gods, and a Horus/Osirus runs for 6 days after that, and so on and so forth, bisexually spiraling into the asymptote of possibility. (Hmm, that might look like a caduceus…)

Why bother making such a map? Well, to the degree maps work at all (and prevent you from mistaking themselves from the territory they represent) they can help one plan (or play to) the features of the path we’re all collectively taking. For example, in the Aeon of Horus, we know some things about the way humans behave, the social milieu in which we must play; we’re all completely, radically independent of each other. Trouble is, not quite everyone realizes that. But I think we can rest assured that by the time November 2011 rolls around, everyone will be well on their way to a more perfect understanding of their own nature.

This means, of course, that all institutions based upon the imposition of power will necessarily disintergrate; “if he be a King, thou canst not hurt him”. How curious that power seems to be fading away right now, a viral reformat of the hard-disk of culture. There are different memes around.

And a lot of them started with Crowley.

Santa Monica
9 Muluc (13 January 1999)