Aleister Crowley quotes:

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  • I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on awakening; I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning.

  • Modern morality and manners suppress all natural instincts, keep people ignorant of the facts of nature and make them fighting drunk on bogey tales.

  • I can imagine myself on my death-bed, spent utterly with lust to touch the next world, like a boy asking for his first kiss from a woman.

  • To read a newspaper is to refrain from reading something worth while. The first discipline of education must therefore be to refuse resolutely to feed the mind with canned chatter.

  • In the absence of willpower the most complete collection of virtues and talents is wholly worthless.

  • The conscience of the world is so guilty that it always assumes that people who investigate heresies must be heretics; just as if a doctor who studies leprosy must be a leper. Indeed, it is only recently that science has been allowed to study anything without reproach.

  • The joy of life consists in the exercise of one's energies, continual growth, constant change, the enjoyment of every new experience. To stop means simply to die. The eternal mistake of mankind is to set up an attainable ideal.

  • The supreme satisfaction is to be able to despise one's neighbor and this fact goes far to account for religious intolerance. It is evidently consoling to reflect that the people next door are headed for hell.

  • I was not content to believe in a personal devil and serve him, in the ordinary sense of the word. I wanted to get hold of him personally and become his chief of staff.

  • Indubitably, magic is one of the subtlest and most difficult of the sciences and arts. There is more opportunity for errors of comprehension, judgment and practice than in any other branch of physics.

  • Science is always discovering odd scraps of magical wisdom and making a tremendous fuss about its cleverness.

  • Chinese civilisation is so systematic that wild animals have been abolished on principle.

  • I was asked to memorise what I did not understand; and, my memory being so good, it refused to be insulted in that manner.

  • The pious pretense that evil does not exist only makes it vague, enormous and menacing.

  • Paganism is wholesome because it faces the facts of life.

  • Magick is the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will.

  • The greatest horrors in the history of mankind are not due to the ambition of the Napoleons or the vengeance of the Agamemnons, but to the doctrinaire philosophers. The theories of the sentimentalist Rousseau inspired the integrity of the passionless Robespierre. The cold-blooded calculations of Karl Marx led to the judicial and business-like operations of the Cheka.

  • It is the mark of the mind untrained to take its own processes as valid for all men, and its own judgments for absolute truth.

  • Men and women are not free to love decently until they have analyzed themselves completely and swept away every mystery from sex; and this means the acquisition of a profound philosophical theory based on wide reading of anthropology and enlightened practice.

  • To the eyes of a god, mankind must appear as a species of bacteria which multiply and become progressively virulent whenever they find themselves in a congenial culture, and whose activity diminishes until they disappear completely as soon as proper measures are taken to sterilize them.

  • There is only one really safe, mild, harmless beverage and you can drink as much of that as you like without running the slightest risk, and what you say when you want it is, Garcon! Un Pernod!

  • The technical developments of almost every form of wealth [e.g., oil, minerals] are the forebears of Big Business; and Big Business, directly or indirectly, is the immediate cause of War.

  • They look for a victim to chivy, and howl him down, and finally lynch him in a sheer storm of sexual frenzy which they honestly imagine to be moral indignation, patriotic passion or some equally allowable emotion, it may be an innocent Negro, a Jew like Leo Frank, a harmless half-witted German; a Christ-like idealist of the type of Debs, an enthusiastic reformer like Emma Goldman.

  • Dreams are imperfections of sleep; even so is consciousness the imperfection of waking. Dreams are impurities in the circulation of the blood; even so it's consciousness a disorder of life. Dreams are without proportion, without good sense, without truth; so also is consciousness. Awake from dream, the truth is known: awake from waking. The truth is: The Unknown

  • The priestess of Artemis took hold of her almost with the violence of a lover, and whisked her away into a languid ecstasy of reverie. She communicated her own enthusiasm to the girl, and kept her mind occupied with dreams, faery-fervid, of uncharted seas of glory on which her galleon might sail, undiscovered countries of spice and sweetness, Eldorado and Utopia and the City of God.

  • Further, an excess of legislation defeats its own ends. It makes the whole population criminals, and turns them all into police and police spies. The moral health of such a people is ruined for ever; only revolution can save it."

  • We must conquer life by living it to the full, and then we can go to meet death with a certain prestige.

  • Your kiss is bitter with cocaine."

  • What is it in absinthe that makes it a separate cult? The effects of its abuse are totally distinct from those of other stimulants. Even in ruin and in degradation it remains a thing apart: its victims wear a ghastly aureole all their own, and in their peculiar hell yet gloat with a sinister perversion of pride that they are not as other men.

  • Happiness lies within one's self, and the way to dig it out is cocaine."

  • People think that talking is a sign of thinking. It isn't, for the most part' on the contrary, it's a mechanical dodge of the body to relieve oneself of the strain of thinking, just as exercising the muscles helps the body to become temporarily unconscious of its weight, its pain, its weariness, and the foreknowledge of its doom.

  • Truth! Truth! Truth! crieth the Lord of the Abyss of Hallucinations

  • Intolerance is evidence of impotence.

  • Falsehood is invariably the child of fear in one form or another.

  • What is necessary is not to seek after some fantastic ideal, utterly unsuited to our real needs, but to discover the true nature of those needs, to fulfill them, and rejoice therein.

  • Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.

  • The Holy Guardian Angel is the spiritual Sun of the Soul of the Adept.

  • May the New Year bring you courage to break your resolutions early! My own plan is to swear off every kind of virtue, so that I triumph even when I fall!

  • Oh, how superior is the Eye of Horus to the Mouth of Isis!

  • The ordinary man looking at a mountain is like an illiterate person confronted with a Greek manuscript.

  • A man who is doing his True Will has the inertia of the Universe to assist him.

  • I have never grown out of the infantile belief that the universe was made for me to suck.

  • It sometimes strikes me that the whole of science is a piece of impudence; that nature can afford to ignore our impertinent interference. If our monkey mischief should ever reach the point of blowing up the earth by decomposing an atom, and even annihilated the sun himself, I cannot really suppose that the universe would turn a hair.

  • There is a single main definition of the object of all magical Ritual. It is the uniting of the Microcosm with the Macrocosm. The Supreme and Complete Ritual is therefore the Invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel; or, in the language of Mysticism, Union with God.

  • Part of the public horror of sexual irregularity so-called is due to the fact that everyone knows himself essentially guilty.

  • This serpent, SATAN, is not the enemy of Man, but He who made Gods of our race, knowing Good and Evil; He bade 'Know Thyself!' and taught Initiation.

  • If one were to take the bible seriously one would go mad. But to take the bible seriously, one must be already mad.

  • The people who have really made history are the martyrs.

  • It is necessary that we stop, once for all, this ignorant meddling with other people's business. Each individual must be left free to follow his own path.

  • The two seem, at first glance, to be opposed, but when you have advanced a little in both, you find that concentration learned in Yoga is of immense use in attaining the mental powers necessary in Magick; on the other hand, the discipline of Magick is of the greatest service in Yoga.

  • Ordinary morality is only for ordinary people.

  • I am the blue-lidded daughter of Sunset; I am the naked brilliance of the voluptuous night-sky.

  • Love stories are only fit for the solace of people in the insanity of puberty. No healthy adult human being can really care whether so-and-so does or does not succeed in satisfying his physiological uneasiness by the aid of some particular person or not.

  • What is the meaning of Initiation? It is the Path to the realisation of your Self as the sole, the supreme, the absolute of all Truth, Beauty, Purity, Perfection!

  • It will be seen that the formula - 'Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law' has nothing to do with 'Do as you please.' It is much more difficult to comply with the Law of Thelema than to follow out slavishly a set of dead regulations.

  • Falsehood is invariably the child of fear in one form or another

  • Indubitably, Magick is one of the subtlest and most difficult of the sciences and arts. There is more opportunity for errors of comprehension, judgement and practice than in any other branch of physics.

  • Remember in any case, that not only the Adept, but anyone with the smallest capacity for Adeptship, is fundamentally an Artist; he will certainly not possess any of those bourgeois "virtues" which are just so many reactions to Blue Funk.

  • Remember all ye that existence is pure joy; that all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass & are done; but there is that which remains.

  • Light, Life and Love are like three glow-worms at thy feet: the whole universe of stars, the dewdrops on the grass whereon thou walkest!

  • Sex is the sacred song of the soul; Sex is the sanctuary of Self.

  • Unspeakable is the variety of form and immeasurable the diversity of beauty, but in all is the seal of unity.

  • The sot drinks, and is drunken: the coward drinks not, and shivers: the wise man, brave and free, drinks, and gives glory to the Most High God.

  • To me a book is a message from the gods to mankind; or, if not, should never be published at all.

  • Every man and every woman is a star.

  • Love is the law, love under will.

  • For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.

  • The sin which is unpardonable is knowingly and wilfully to reject truth, to fear knowledge lest that knowledge pander not to thy prejudices.

  • He shall fall down into a pit called Because, and there he shall perish with the dogs of reason.

  • For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union.

  • 30. If Will stops and cries Why, invoking Because, then Will stops an does naught. 31. If power asks why, then power is weakness.

  • The intention of this Book of The Law is perfectly simple. Whatever your sexual predilections may be, you are free, by the Law of Thelema, to the the star you are, to go your own way rejoicing.

  • I believe in one Gnostic and Catholic Church of Light, Life, Love and Liberty, the Word of whose Law is THELEMA .

  • Toronto as a city carries out the idea of Canada as a country. It is a calculated crime against the aspirations of the soul and the affection of the heart.

  • Your friends will notice at once that glib vacuities fail to impress, and hate you, and tell lies about you. It's worth it.

  • When one walks, one is brought into touch first of all with the essential relations between one's physical powers and the character of the country; one is compelled to see it as its natives do. Then every man one meets is an individual.

  • The key of joy is disobedience.

  • My observation of the Universe convinces me that there are beings of intelligence and power of a far higher quality than anything we can conceive of as human; that they are not necessarily based on the cerebral and nervous structures that we know, and that the one and only chance for mankind to advance as a whole is for individuals to make contact with such beings.

  • One must find out for oneself, and make sure beyond doubt, 'who' one is, 'what' one is, 'why' one is... Being thus conscious of the proper course to pursue, the next thing is to understand the conditions necessary to following it out. After that, one must eliminate from oneself every element alien or hostile to success, and develop those parts of oneself which are specially needed to control the aforesaid conditions.

  • The Devil' is, historically, the God of any people that one personally dislikes... This serpent, SATAN, is not the enemy of Man, but He who made Gods of our race, knowing Good and Evil; He bade 'Know Thyself!' and taught Initiation. He is 'The Devil' of the Book of Thoth, and His emblem is BAPHOMET, the Androgyne who is the hieroglyph of arcane perfection... He is therefore Life, and Love.

  • The Quest of the Holy Grail, the Search for the Stone of the Philosophers - by whatever name we choose to call the Great Work - is therefore endless. Success only opens up new avenues of brilliant possibility. Yea, verily, and Amen! the task is tireless and its joys without bounds; for the whole Universe, and all that in it is, what is it but the infinite playground of the Crowned and Conquering Child, of the insatiable, the innocent, the ever-rejoicing Heir of Space and Eternity, whose name is MAN?

  • To train the mind to move with the maximum speed and energy, with the utmost possible accuracy in the chosen direction, and with the minimum of disturbance or friction. That is Magick. To stop the mind altogether. That is Yoga.

  • The Gods are but names for the forces of Nature themselves.

  • Having to talk destroys the symphony of silence.

  • It is a terrible error to let any natural impulse, physical or mental, stagnate. Crush it out, if you will, and be done with it; or fulfil it, and get it out of the system; but do not allow it to remain there and putrefy. The suppression of the normal sex instinct, for example, is responsible for a thousand ills. In Puritan countries one inevitably finds a morbid preoccupation with sex coupled with every form of perversion and degeneracy.

  • What the eye doesn't see, the heart doesn't grieve over.

  • The customer is usually wrong, but statistics indicate that it doesn't pay to tell him so

  • You can only accomplish your object in life by complete disregard of the opinions of other people.

  • I did not hate God or Christ, but merely the God and Christ of the people whom I hated.

  • Love is the only principle which makes life tolerable.

  • Happiness lies within one's self, and the way to dig it out is cocaine.

  • Every one interprets everything in terms of his own experience. If you say anything which does not touch a precisely similar spot in another man's brain, he either misunderstands you, or doesn't understand you at all.

  • Inevitably anyone with an independent mind must become 'one who resists or opposes authority or established conventions': a rebel. If enough people come to agree with, and follow, the Rebel, we now have a Devil. Until, of course, still more people agree. And then, finally, we have --- Greatness.

  • Repeal all laws which assume that mankind is a herd of cattle

  • Magick is the Science of understanding oneself and one's conditions. It is the Art of applying that understanding in action.

  • Must not understanding lie open unto wisdom as the pyramids lie open to the stars? (6:2)

  • Balance every thought with its opposition. Because the marriage of them is the destruction of illusion.

  • The man who denounces life merely defines himself as the man who is unequal to it.

  • When you have proved that God is merely a name for the sex instinct, it appears to me not far to the perception that the sex instinct is God.

  • Crime, folly, sickness and all phenomena must be contemplated with complete freedom from fear aversion or shame. Otherwise we shall fail to see accurately, and interpret intelligently; in which case we shall be unable to outwit and outfight them.

  • A burnt child dreads the fire.

  • I do not want to father a flock, to be the fetish of fools and fanatics or the founder of a faith whose followers are content to echo my opinions. I want each man to cut his own way through the jungle.

  • The 'lords of the earth' are those who are doing their Will. It does not necessarily mean people with coronets and automobiles; there are plenty of such people who are the most sorrowful slaves in the world. The sole test of one's lordship is to know what one's true Will is, and to do it.

  • Since all things are God, in all things thou seest just so much of God as thy capacity affordeth thee.

  • I will interpret every phenomenon as a particular dealing of God with my soul

  • May the New Year bring you courage to break your resolutions early!

  • Anything which throws light upon the Universe, anything which reveals us to ourselves, should be welcome in this world of riddles.

  • Destiny is an absolutely definite and inexorable ruler. Physical ability and moral determination count for nothing. It is impossible to perform the simplest act when the gods say no. I have no idea how they bring pressure to bear on such occasions; I only know that it is irresistible.

  • Tell the truth, but lead so improbable a life that the truth will never be believed.

  • The Quest of the Holy Grail, the Search for the Stone of the Philosophers-by whatever name we choose to call the Great Work-is therefore endless. Success only opens up new avenues of brilliant possibility.

  • The student, if he attains any success in the following practices, will find himself confronted by things too glorious or dreadful to be described. It is essential that he remain the master of all he beholds, hears or conceives; otherwise he will be the slave of illusion, and the prey of madness.

  • If you examine the highest poetry in the light of common sense, you can only say that it is rubbish; and in actual fact you cannot so examine it at all, because there is something in poetry which is not in the words themselves, which is not in the images suggested by the words 'O windy star blown sideways up the sky!' True poetry is itself a magic spell which is a key to the ineffable.

  • Invoke often! Inflame thyself with prayer!

  • Ever man is eternally alone. But when you get mixed up with a fairly decent crowd, you forget that appalling fact for long enough to give your brain time to recover from the acute symptoms of its disease - that of thinking.

  • I've often thought that there isn't any "I" at all; that we are simply the means of expression of something else; that when we think we are ourselves, we are simply the victims of a delusion.

  • It's no good trying to teach people who need to be taught.

  • I am inclined to agree with the Head Master of Eton that p├Žderastic passions among schoolboys 'do no harm'; further, I think them the only redeeming feature of sexual life at public schools.

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