Aleister Crowley was just another Right Hand Path thinker

The so-called “Wickedest Man in the World”, Aleister Crowley has the image of being a Satanist and The Great Beast, which is mainly made by the Christian media (not the left-wing media, not the right-wing media, the Christian media). I actually briefly got interested in him because I heard from an article by Vadge Moore that he believed he was responsible for ushering in a new era of rebellion, paganism, and promiscuity. That sounded exciting to me, but, disappointingly, that’s not the real Crowley. (Incidentally though, you can read the article here; it’s still great).

See, Crowley called himself the Great Beast and 666, just to scare and shock Christians, probably because he liked to mock them and simply taking the moral high ground against them wasn’t enough. His actual beliefs are not only not Satanic, they’re not even related to actual Satanism, or even the Left Hand Path.

In Crowley’s system, a “Brother of the Left Hand Path”, or “Black Brother”, means two things. One who failed to attain the rank of Magister Templi, and one who did not destroy his ego while crossing the Abyss. In his system, called Thelema, when the adept crosses the abyss, he must surrender everything, including his self and his Holy Guardian Angel, and leap into the Abyss, and if his ego or self is completely destroyed, he becomes a “babe of the abyss”. If he does not destroy his ego, then he is referred to as a “Brother of the Left Hand Path”, who will eventually be broken up and disintegrated against his own will.

Ego-destruction is not a left hand path idea, and Crowley clearly viewed Left Hand Path as a bad thing. And while yes, he vilified celibacy in the form of The Virgin Mary, and sexuality seems to be a thing in his system, in the end, it’s meaningless compared to the final goal of destroying the ego to merge yourself as a “babe of the abyss”.

Ultimately, he was nothing more than a dark Right Hand Path thinker, whose beliefs and system often pass off as Left Hand Path.

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10 responses to “Aleister Crowley was just another Right Hand Path thinker

    • to be totally honest, there is no such thing as a RHP. there is ONLY the Left-Path, just a bunch of people such as crowley who dabble in works they are not ready for to various degrees none the less.

      • Oh really? Then I guess Alex Sanders, Gerald Gardner, and Helena Blavatsky are Left Hand Path people? Or just dabblers in the Left Hand Path? Even though their actual beliefs contradict any Left Hand Path tradition. There’s more than one path out there. You can’t decide for the world that there is only the Left.

  1. Crowley’s desire to scorn, mock, and offend Christiandom seems to be the result of his strict Quaker upbringing and his antagonism towards his mother. While he adored the figure of Satan, Crowley was explicit he did not believe in him as a real figure. “Satanism” has never existed in a historical sense. He couldn’t be something that never was.

    While he talks about destroying the ego, I think it’s safe to say he’s not saying you should turn yourself into some kind of blank hive mind (given he was against uniformity), but likely referring to it in the same sense as Advaita (where one realizes there is no difference between atman: the individual self, and Paramatman: the supreme soul). I could be wrong, but that was the gist I got.

    • But isn’t in believing that the there is no difference between the individual self and the “supreme self”, one turns away ones individuality in a sense, since logically you are no longer a being with an individual self.

      • That would depend more on how one interprets it than anything, since it is a concept and prone to relativism like any other. You might be mistaking the lower aspects of the individual (body and mind) which are temporary manifestations, with the higher aspect (spirit) that is eternal and identified with God. I’ve read some philosophers who believed this, and were extremely individualistic and advocated individualism, to the point of despising and providing stinging criticism of populism. It’s rather difficult to explain, and I’m not an expert, I recommend reading up on the subject yourself before rejecting it.

        Vivekananda put it in far better words than I –
        “You people in this country (America) are so afraid of losing your ‘individualities” why, you are not individuals yet. When you know God you will be. When you realize your own nature, you will attain your true individualities, not before. In knowing God, you cannot lose anything worth having.”

      • Why do we need to “one” with God to be individuals anyway? Aren’t we individuals anyway? Do we really need a religious interpretation of God to be individuals when we can be individual on our own? I know who I am, I know what I am, thanks both to myself and the insights of true friends. I don’t need gurus and their idea of supreme consciousness to tell me who I am, nor do I need them to grant me the individuality I already have.

        I will say something of your idea that I mistake body and mind with spirit. I should be expected to find it insulting to my intelligence, but in truth I get something from it. If you’re right, then I think it’s because I see religions of both West and East as equated the self as a whole with the instincts, pleasures, and lusts of the body and then say that these things are to be destroyed for the sake of God, which I find nonsensical because these things must be just as God-made as the spirit if you think of the natural world as coming from God, and loathesome because it seems the gods can have any pleasures they want and we can’t because they say no. However, individuality should mean more than just the desires of the body. It’s everything that makes you you. I think that can have a spiritual base too. And if God engenders the soul of each individual, why shouldn’t the individuality of each person be sacred in the eyes of God? I have no desire to surrender my individuality, who I am, what makes me me, to anyone even if it is God.

        I like the idea that the carnal instincts are an aspect of the spirit, and it’d be great if religions stopped looking at it as inferior or less important for the human being even if it is temporary. If Hinduism was not as anti-individualistic as I have percieved it to be, and that God really does welcome the individual for his or her individuality or for his or her desire, then I think that would be interesting and it would make it easier for me to achieve a fusion of Satanism and Hinduism because even as a Satanism I still like some aspects of Hinduism and at least Indian mythology. But that is not what I find in anything I have read about Hinduism, or its conceptions of God. If it is, I really wish that could have not been in hiding.

  2. Because it is necessary to realize one’s true self. You can state you know who you are, but when most people think of their “self” they think solely of mind and body, with the soul receiving a brief, obligatory nod at times. Both a person’s mind and body die, only their spirit remains, the part of them that has total freedom. This has been confirmed by both Crowley and Traditionalist authors alike.

    I did not state you mistook body & mind for spirit, merely suggested you were mistaking the higher, eternal aspects of the human personality with the lower, impermanent aspects.

    Well, for one, I don’t see the natural world as “coming from” God. I’m rather agnostic on the origin of the universe. In the case of the Hindus, for instance, a Demiurge (Brahma) created the universe, and it’s currently in a decadent cycle (Kali Yuga). I don’t believe I ever stated one should destroy “pleasure.” and if I did, I’d be extremely hypocritical, because I’m quite fond of it.

    It really depends on the school of Hinduism. There are dualist, non-dualist, so on and so forth. As I stated before, recommend reading more on the subject of Advaita and non-dualism before coming to a conclusion. I’d also recommend Multiple States of Being by Rene Guenon (you can find a free pdf online here – http://www.pathchan.org/board/resources/Literature/Non-fiction/Political/Rene%20Guenon/Ren%C3%A9_Gu%C3%A9non_The_Multiple_States_of_the_Being____2001.pdf ) I’m actually going to be writing an article for my WordPress on one of his pupils.

    • Before I start looking, I want to state that I don’t believe body and self to be the same thing. I do believe in a soul, I just don’t have the same ideas of it as many people and I don’t think it should be bargained away to any religion or its high god. I think there’s got to be something more behind us as individuals, a basis for who we are. The problem with concepts like the Advaita concept of the supreme self is that here the spirit is not you, but something else that isn’t actually you. The idea to me is that everybody’s “true self” is just the same thing according to that line of thought. The idea of the one soul for every one doesn’t make sense to me and I disagree with it because believe in the individual self and the individual soul.

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