The following notes are extended from the Commentaries on the Corrected Version of the scripture of Aleister Crowley, Liber Al vel Legis (AL), and are from Aleister Crowley, Kenneth Grant and John Symonds, William Heidrick, Marcel Ramos Motta, and the present editor (nagasiva 'Nigris' yronwode).

The Corrected Version of this book incorporates standardization of the English language, accepting many features provided by its previous editors such as its author and scribe, as well as those charged to maintain its integrity through time. This has been done online for the general public and simultaneously disclosing how the presented publication differs from the original manuscript (by underlining changed text and {encapsulating additions}).

They are presented so as to be able to be read straight through as an independent document, and set forth in an order introductory and salient, with modular and relevant sequence in relation to the expression of the Beast himself.


Comments by Frater Nigris
Equinox of the Gods
Comments by Aleister Crowley
Comments by Kenneth Grant and John Symonds
Comments by William Heidrick
Comments by Marcel Motta


Welcome to this Online Edition of the Liber Al Commentaries

The main document is a splay of manuscript graphic and text, plus reflections on the productions of these. Arguably it is one of the most important Thelemic religious references, and while not a religious Thelemite, I aim to be of liberating service to these and religious everywhere.

The character of the original manuscript ("Liber L. vel Legis") as represented by the scribe of this automatic writing document changes through time is composed of portions attributed to 3 Egyptian deities:

  1. Nu / Nuit / Nuith
  2. Had / Hadit
  3. and
  4. Ra-Hoor / Ra-Hoor-Khut / Ra-Hoor-Kuit / Ra-Hoor-Khuit

It is supposed that these gods expressed their messages in three successive days to the Priest of the Princes, Ankh-f-n-Khonsu, as depicted in the Stele of Revealing. He is supposed to have passed on or 'mediated' this to Crowley's Holy Guardian Angel, Aiwass, who then recited it in Crowley's mind. It was thus purported to be a 'step-down', or telephone game. The figure in the leopard skin on the stele is the Priest of the Princes, as understood by egyptologists; Nuit is the overarching night sky female; Hadit is the winged sun-disk; and Ra-Hoor-Khuit is the seated hawk-headed lord figure thereon.

This stele or sacred board depicts a ritual worship or communication, and it was the trigger, as presented by Crowley, for his reception of The Book of the Law as such, proclaimed important for his New AEon of Horus which the Beast heralds. At first Crowley presents it as a genuine automatic writing only. Later, it assumed more and more importance to him and his followers. Later it became 'the message via the Priest of the Princes to Crowley's Holy Guardian Angel, Aiwass, of the Scripture of the Beast and his Bride', and became as well the scriptural focus of his cult.

It was changed in its name and content (minor addenda), and edited for presentation by the religious. At first, as penned, it was Liber L. vel Legis, and later, as a typescript, Liber Al vel Legis (or Liber AL vel Legis). The stele contains numerous hieroglyphs, which are translated by scholars, and which Crowley reproduces as part of his scripture (albeit in his refashioned poetry). That is, in general, a summary of how The Book of the Law, Crowley's scripture, is presented. Initially it was a curiosity in Crowley's written works, without aggrandized status.

It is what initiates the mottos, dicta, and slogans of his cult, such as:

"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law."
"Love is the law, love under will."
"There is no law beyond Do as thou wilt."
"Every man and every woman is a star."
"The word of the Law is [Thelema]." etc.

which are taken out of context and applied within Crowley's other texts as adornments, elaborations, prooftexting, and peripheral sacred utterances.

The text's name reflects a freemasonic usage (Volume of Sacred Law, or 'VSL', is what freemasons call the moral reference for the candidate, usually served by the Tanakh, the Bible, or the Qur'an), and it thus carries the implication of status en par with the scripture of Jews, Christians, and Muslims, respectively, if not intending their 'completion' or replacement. As such, it can have an objectionable character to some religious who understand these implications.

Thus, in some measure, Crowley and his scripture are 'anti-Christian' and/or 'Satanic', and certainly revolutionary. The seated or authority character is associated with Horus, who is within some egyptian contexts the usurper or complement to Osiris, with whom the character and god 'Jesu'/'Jesus' is identified by scholars, and Crowley after them in his writings. This is a further implication of its Satanic character, and one reason Michael Aquino may have extended this activity in form and character to a focus on Set (a direct opponent of Osiris, and his slayer in some tales). Aquino penned The Book of Coming Forth by Night after the ancient text known as The Book of Coming Forth by Day.

One of the intriguing aspects of such an analysis is the display, for all to see, of the changing character of scripture. Anyone interested in exegesis will discover this, and anyone interested in writing a scripture will become familiar with its motivations and character. In two instances, for example, Crowley's Scarlet Woman (the 'office' held at the time by Rose Crowley, his wife, and magical comrade of the time) made amendations (filling in/correcting) to the original manuscript itself (regarding Nu's geometric symbol and the Force of Coph Nia), demonstrating that what may be interpreted as 'automatic writing' can or should receive clarification from others in proper trance or with proper relation to the communicating agent. This was explained later as 'providing supplement to an auditory dictation by Crowley's Holy Guardian Angel, who was communicating the messages from the gods'.

This changing character also reflects the changing character of religion. Primarily Crowley's presentation of Thelema as a religion has it based in 'Reason', though as he explained, if one finds the 'right prophet-thaumaturge', he will endorse faith as justified:

"Religion is justified in demanding faith, since the evidence of the senses and the mind cannot confirm its statements. The evidence from prophecy and miracle is valid only insofar as it goes to the credit of the man through whom the communication is made. It establishes that he is in possession of knowledge and power different, not only in degree but in kind, from those enjoyed by the rest of mankind. It suggests that he may be reliable also in matters which are, by their nature, insusceptible of verification. Of course, the argument is fallacious. At best it is an enthymeme; it lacks the premise of the integrity and infallibility of the prophet-thaumaturgist."

Magick, Liber ABA, by Aleister Crowley, Mary Desti, and Leila Waddell,
Weiser, 1997, p. 696.

EDITOR.1 - [Square brackets] are used within this edition to set off and identify all editorial notes contributed by Aleister Crowley ([C#]) and note links from Crowley's Equinox of the Gods Chapter 7 ([EG#]). A newly-constructed Qabalistic Appendix primarily featuring the Beast's text is referenced by a similar method ([Q#]), and intruded comments, recharacterizations, or notes by the current editor ([#]), or other editors or commentators is also thus linked, including: Kenneth Grant and John Symonds ([GS#]), Bill Heidrick ([H#]), and Marcel Motta ([M#]).

Text introduced by previous editors will appear in {curly brackets}, as will scripture content when an obvious emendation to, or unclarity of, the written text is evident based on the holograph manuscript and/or commentary data.

For the purpose of the interested student, in constructing a qabalistic notes appendix (to which numerous mentions are made throughout the work itself) the format of the texts has been radically shuffled, extracted from the body for the purpose of clarity and completeness. See the introduction to the Appendix for an explanation of the rationale employed.

Capitalization, punctuation, and spelling were left as found unless noted. Font, formatting (in some instances broken as a table, but recovered and turned into a graphic), and text were adjusted for aesthetics and completeness as can be determined by examination of previous editions. More generally, the pages of Liber XXXI (the scripture holographs) are run inter-woven to the text of the Commentaries for ease of comparison, rather than the conventional standard of setting Liber XXXI as a whole before Liber CCXX. Of the former, Hymenaeus Beta wrote:

"Liber XXXI. The original MS of Liber XXXI is written on paper bearing the watermark 'Alex Pipie & Sons, London. Standard Typewriting' with a crest, and measures approximately 8 5/16" x 10 1/2", and not 8" x 10" as Crowley states in [Book 4,] Part IV, Chap. 7. The trim size varies as the sheets were rebacked on linen and trimmed irregularly. The main text is in black ink. Some of the added punctuation ... does not appear in earlier published photo-facsimiles, and the punctuation in the edited typeset Liber CCXX varies as well. ...."

"Chapter I. ...Page 6, lines 5-6, has a note in the hand of Rose Crowley 'Done later as above' in red ink. Page 19, lines 2-3, has another note in the hand of Rose Crowley in a dark red ink. ...

"Chapter III. ...The first page has a prominent brownish stain with a holograph note by Crowley: 'leave stain on paper -- not in block,' a probable reference to the printing blocks used for facsimile reproduction. ...."
-- Magick, Liber ABA, Weiser, 1997, pp. 743-744 (319n).

For further study, the diligent student will obtain and compare the published versions by: Aleister Crowley (An Extenuation of The Book of the Law, Privately printed/Tunis-Tunisia, 1926), Kenneth Grant and John Symonds, eds. (Magical and Philosophical Commentaries on the Book of the Law, 93 Publishing, 1974), Israel Regardie, ed. (The Law is for All, New Falcon Publications, 1983 (1975, based on a 1926 typescript, "An Extenuation to the Book of the Law" assisted by Gerald Yorke)), Marcelo Motta, ed. ( The Commentaries of AL, 1975), Hymenaeus Beta, ed. (Magick: Liber ABA, Book Four, Parts I-IV, by Aleister Crowley with Mary Desti and Leila Waddell, 1997 Weiser, particularly Part IV pp. 287-445, Appendix IX pp. 693-708, Editor's Notes pp. 741-748, 789-790), and Hymenaeus Beta and Louis Marlow/Wilkinson, eds. ( The Law is for All, New Falcon Publishers, 2004). Additionally, the interested will wish to consult The Djeridensis Working (a.k.a. The Comment Called 'D') as regards the first two chapters.

A good number of commentaries may be found on the HERMETIC.COM website.

The Comment, written by Aleister Crowley in Tunisia in 1925, pertains to the Book of the Law, and is a valuable preface to this work. It has itself been critiqued (in "Comment on the Tunis Comment", by Nemo Pendragon, On, December 1, 2007; Web, accessed 5/25/10) and provided commentary by this editor.

Crowley wrote for those seeking to study Liber AL:

"The student who wishes to act intelligently will be at pains to make himself thoroughly acquainted at the outset with the whole of the external circumstances connected with the Writing of the Book. ... He will be able to form his own judgment upon It, only insofar as he is fixed in the proper point of view; the sole question for him to decide whether It is or is not that which It claims to be: the New Law in the same sense as the Vedas, the Pentateuch, the Tao Te Ching, and the Qur'an are Laws, but with the added Authority of verbal, literal, and graphic inspiration established and counter-checked by internal evidence with the impeccable precision of a mathematical demonstration. If It be that, It is an unique document, valid absolutely within the terms of its self-contained thesis, incomparably more valuable than any other Transcript of Thought which we possess.

"If It be not wholly that, It is a worthless curiosity of literature; worse, It is an appalling proof that no kind or degree of evidence soever is sufficient to establish any possible proposition, since the closest concatenation of circumstances may be no more than the jetsam of chance, and the most comprehensive plans of purpose a puerile pantomime."

Magick, Liber ABA, Weiser 1997, p. 443.

EDITOR.2 - On "The Comment", Aleister Crowley wrote in " Magick Without Tears":

What then about AL III, 40? This problem was solved only by achieving the task. In Paris,* in a mood of blank despair about it all, out came the Comment. Easy, yes; inspired, yes; it is, as printed, the exact wording required. No further cavilling and quibbling, and controversy and casuistry. All heresiarchs are smelt in advance for the rats they are; they are seen brewing (their very vile small beer) in the air (the realm of Intellect -- Swords) and they are accordingly nipped in the bud. All Parliamentary requirements thus fulfilled according to the famous formula of the Irish M.P., we can get on to your other questions untroubled by doubt."

From 'Chapter L: A.C. and the "Masters"; Why They Chose Him, Etc.' - * [Crowley's editorial note above reads: "It was actually in Tunis, November 1925." -333]

EDITOR.3 - From the NEW COMMENT on III.68:

"I was so enraged at having engaged myself on such an adventure [as being the Scribe of the Book of the Law], so hated "the hand and the pen" which I pledged to transcribe sentiments so repugnant to mine, such a jargon of absurdities and vulgarities as seemed to me displayed in many parts of this third chapter, that I would have gone to almost any length, short of deliberate breach of my thoughtless promise to my wife to see it through, to discredit the Book. I did deface my diaries with senseless additions; I did carry out my orders in such a way as to ensure failure, I did lose the Manuscript more or less purposely. I did threaten to publish the Book 'to get rid of it'; and at this verse I was one of the 'mere liars'."

EDITOR.4 - With respect to The Equinox of the Gods (Chapter 7), Crowley noted:

"This paper was written, independently of any idea of its present place in this Book, by The Beast 666 Himself, in the Abbey of Thelema in Cefalu, Sicily. ..."

EDITOR.5 - Crowley would later write about himself in the third person in The Temple of Solomon the King, explaining of 'Frater Perdurabo' ("Fr. P."):

"Similarly with regard to the writing of Liber Legis, Fr. P. will only say that it is in no way "automatic writing," that he heard clearly and distinctly the human articulate accents of a man. Once, on page 6, he is told to edit a sentence [(Write this in whiter words) (But go {forward} on)"]; and once, on page 19, W. [Ouarda, Rose Crowley] supplies a sentence which he had failed to hear ["The Five Pointed Star, with a Circle in the Middle, & the circle is Red"]."
(accessed 6/20/10)

EDITOR.6 - Through the course of his career as an author, Crowley repeatedly created interpolations of documents translated by others, including Legge's translations of Chinese documents (e.g. "Tao Teh King") and translations by Budge and others of Egyptian hieroglyphs.

In the instance of this stele, he created a poetic interpolation which became the source of a later controversy, when his decision to amend a particular word ("fill me") ran headlong into a cultural religious imperative 'not to change the letters of this work "in style or value"' (see also Crowley's reflections on his compliance with this).

Usually called the 'Fill/Kill Controversy', it is founded on the problem that there is no longer a reference to the original interpolation (the communicant, Aiwass, supposedly requested the scribe, Crowley, to save time, and to supplement 'from his vellum book' the interpolated poem, 'from "Unity &tc." to "fill me.", and yet this vellum book has been lost).

This situation leads disputants to the conclusions that the author (Ankh-f-n-khonsu), the communicant (Aiwass), or the scribe (Crowley), were in error (conveying "fill" where it should have been "kill"), or, contrariwise, that the editor issuing this apparent correction on behalf of Crowley, Hymenaeus Beta, who is the Frater Superior of the O.T.O. and head of the Gnostic Catholic Church enshrining the book, is guilty of violating his fraternal vows (by changing this "Class A document", corrupting the clearly indicated "fill" in the original manuscript to "kill" which he concludes was written in Crowley's missing vellum book).

EDITOR.7 - A Hebrew substitution to Crowley's addition would yield: Mem (40) + Tav (400) + Yod (10) + Samech (60) + Pe (80) + Tav (400) + Gimel (3) + Teth (9) + Daleth (4) + Kaph (20) = MTISPTGTDK (1026).

EDITOR.8 - An examination of the holograph for page 1 of the MS shows that the first term, "Had!", falls outside the usual indent for the rest of the manuscript (and was probably added later).

Here begins the differentiation between the manuscript and the typescript. All novel additions shall be indicated by {curly brackets}, all ammendations (by any hand) will be underlined and the subsequent editorial note will explain who was responsible for the change with the exception of punctuation (periods, exclamation points) which were added at the ends of lines.

This page is not numbered (later pages are, at top right), and some kind of intruding mark or stain may be seen at the top left and intersecting the first line of text, particularly the word "The".

Faint horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines may be seen extending from the top right. These become more pronounced in subsequent pages.

A crease at the bottom of the page, as if it had been folded, is evident.

EDITOR.9 - I could only find this OLD COMMENT for I.3 in Regardie.

EDITOR.10 - Regardie writes of the Auk:

"A diary written in the American period, 1914-19, not yet published."

Grant and Symonds explain that The Book of the Great Auk is:

"Unpublished, probably a section of one of Crowley's Magical Records, circa 1920, no copy survives. See The Book of Thoth, p. 15."

On page 15 of that text we may find this quote from it:

"All elements must at one time have been separate. -- That would be the case with great heat. -- Now, when the atoms get to the Sun, we get that immense, extreme heat, and all the elements are themselves again. Imagine that each atom of each element possesses the memory of all his adventures in combination. By the way, that atom, fortified with memory, would not be the same atom; yet it is, because it has gained nothing from anywhere except this memory. Therefore, by the lapse of time and by virtue of memory, a thing could become something more than itself; thus, a real development ispossible. One can then see a reason for any element deciding to go through this series of incarnations, because so, and only so, can he go; and he suffers the lapse of memory which he has during these incarnations, because he knows he will come through unchanged. "Therefore you can have an infinite number of gods, individual and equal though diverse, each one supreme and utterly indestructible. This is also the only explanation of how a Being could create a world in which War, Evil, etc., exist. Evil is only an appearance, because (like 'Good') it cannot affect the substance itself, but only multiply its combinations. This is something the same as Mystic Monotheism; but the objection to that theory is that God has to create things which are all parts ot himself, so that their interplay is false. If we presuppose many elements, their interplay is natural."

EDITOR.11 - There is a colon after "infinite" in the manuscript and it is rendered as a semicolon in most typescripts, and here as well.

EDITOR.12 - In Regardie, I.4 NEW COMMENT ends here.

EDITOR.13 - The interjection "o" was not capitalized in the manuscript or in most typescripts. This has been corrected in all instances henceforth, and underlined unless otherwise noted. The manuscript has a scriptive error on the term "unveiled" between the letters v and e. This is corrected in most typescripts and here as well.

EDITOR.14 - The manuscript has a period at the end of the line of writing after the word "my" as well as one after "tongue". The first is removed and the second is changed to an exclamation point in most typescripts and here as well, underscoring the space and underlining the text indicating changes. The manuscript and most typescripts have an ampersand (&) between "heart" and "my"; this was changed to conventional "and" in this and all subsequent cases, underlined, unless otherwise noted.

EDITOR.15 - The manuscript and most typescripts feature a lower case i at the start of the sentence "It is revealed by Aiwass....". It has been corrected here.

Of Aiwaz, Crowley writes:

"I lay claim to be the sole authority competent to decide disputed points with regard to The Book of the Law, seeing that its Author, Aiwaz, is none other than mine own Holy Guardian Angel, to Whose Knowledge and Conversation I have attained, so that I have exclusive access to Him. I have duly referred every difficulty to Him directly, and received His answer; my reward is therefore absolute and without appeal."
Magick, Liber ABA, Weiser, 1997, p. 440.

EDITOR.16 - The manuscript and most typescripts begin the secondary sentence after the colon with "they"; such complete sentences after colons are capitalized in all cases herein, and their first letter underlined, unless otherwise noted.

The holograph for page 2 of the MS features faint horizontal and diagonal lines extending from the top left. There also appears a possible oval watermark in the center of the page.

EDITOR.17 - The Hermit of Esopus Island is mentioned by Crowley in The Voice of Silence (a note to a comment therein, on line 49)":

Compare the scene in Parsifal, where the scenery comes to the knight instead of the knight going to the scenery. But there is also implied the doctrine of the tao, and only one who is an accomplished Taoist can hope to understand this verse. (See "The Hermit of Esopus Island," of The Magical Record of the Beast 666, to be published in The Equinox, vol. III).
Regardie and this original document include this parenthetical reference, the Grant/Symonds edition omits it entirely. Since Parfitt and Drylie don't record it, this is likely not an extant title.

EDITOR.18 - Regardie's NEW COMMENT for verses 13-31 only contains the text that appears in verse 31 within our current edition.

EDITOR.19 - Page 2 of the holograph displays the fact that it reads:

"V.1. of Spell called The Song."
which Crowley describes as "a poetic description of the symbolism of the stele." When Liber CCXX was constructed this line was switched out for text written by Crowley reflecting on the translation of the stele apparently arranged by him:
Crowley states that he dined with the Egyptologist Emile Charles Albert Brugsch Bey, Curator of the Bulaq Museum, to discuss the stele in his charge and to arrange for a facsimile to be made. According to Crowley, Brugsch's French assistant curator translated the hieroglyphic text on the stele.* In 1912 a second translation was later made for Crowley by Alan Gardiner and Battiscombe Gunn.
(accessed 7/17/10)

[* - From Equinox of the Gods (part E from section VII:3, The People):

Brugsch Bey of the Boulak Museum dined with us once to discuss the Stele in his charge, and to arrange for its "abstruction." His French assistant curator, who translated the hieroglyphs on the Stele for us. {sic, notes}]

For the interested student, there have been 3 published translations of this stele; that is, one more was apparently provided (without reference to the individual responsible for the 'modern analysis') in the 1982 publication The Holy Books of Thelema, edited by Grady L. McMurtry (Hymenaeus Alpha), Samuel Weiser, 1983; see particularly Appendix A, pp. 233-260.

EDITOR.20 - The double-forward-slashes (//) between "in" and "his" indicate the break in the manuscript where page 2 becomes page 3. All subsequent instances of a break of this sort will be indicated by this double-forward-slash for the reader's ease of study.

Faint horizontal and diagonal lines may be seen extending from the top right.

There also appears a possible oval watermark in the center of the page.

EDITOR.21 - The final character of this line in the manuscript is a vertical mark and is usually corrected in typescripts to an exclamation point, as it is here.

EDITOR.22 - Faint horizontal and diagonal lines may be seen extending from the top right.

There also appears to be an oval watermark in the center of the page.

A crease at the top of the page, as if it had been folded, is evident.


EDITOR.24 - - Faint diagonal line may be seen extending from the top right.

There also appears to be an oval watermark in the center of the page.

A crease at the top of the page, as if it had been folded, is evident.

EDITOR.25 - "Sacred pleasure of love etc. see 8". This does not refer to text within the 8th Aethyr of Liber 418, nor to any verse 8 within the scripture, nor even to the '8' column in Liber 777. It is included within Grant/Symonds and not therein explained. Neither the original text nor Regardie include this section of NEW COMMENT, as previously made plain by Brother Heidrick.

EDITOR.26 - Only Regardie had the bracketed date portion.

EDITOR.27 - See the holograph. After "existence," "The unfragmentary non-atomic fact of my universality." was first written, then crossed out. Above "The unfragmentary" was written "The non-atomic". This was also crossed out, and below the whole was written in two parentheses "(Write this in whiter words) (But go forth on)". These two were (later) crossed off after new text was added above: "omnipresence of my body", and a vertical line was added to the right of the parenthetical text indicating "Done later as above."

EDITOR.17 - The three paragraphs above beginning with 'Thus' were transcribed from Grant and Symonds, page 112.

EDITOR.18 - From Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy, by Bertrand Russell, 1919; p. 136 in the 2008 Russell Press edition. This and the Addington quotes were incomplete and incorrect. Russell's in particular was missing large segments of his text. Crowley's text seems to imply previous quotes from Russell, though so far he's only referenced him as if saying things. In his text, Russell provides an explanation about fallacies and their general character. Russell quotes were corrected and linked to a source online.

EDITOR.19 - There appear to be no reference to "AVB" in the Qabalistic Notes Appendix. Perhaps Grant/Symonds can clear it up?

EDITOR.20 - Liber Cordis Cincti Serpente, Chapter II, verse 24 is: "24. And I laid my head against the Head of the Swan, and laughed, saying: Is there not joy ineffable in this aimless winging? Is there not weariness and impatience for who would attain to some goal?" Crowley's Tao Teh King is an interpolation using Legge; he didn't know ancient Chinese.

EDITOR.21 - I have inserted missing text ("The shape of my star is") from Liber L vel Legis here along with the insertion by a Scarlet Woman's amendment (Rose Edith Crowley to my knowledge), which has been placed in {curly brackets}. It seemed to be the same handwriting as III.72's 'Force of Coph Nia -' addition. I did *not* include what appeared to be a parenthetical (the "Lost 1 phrase" note by the Scribe, for example or "Write in whiter words." etc.).

Emendations obvious in the MS. or noted by Crowley elsewise are similarly contained in {curly brackets} (e.g. cf. the last 5 words of verse I.26 which Crowley explains below them, or the term amended to "division" within verse I.30). I have also seen fit to underscore what was originally underscored in the MS. here for the HTML ("Amn" in I.51, "he" in I.55, "thy comment" in III.39).

EDITOR.22 - The quote appears to be from Act 5, Scene I. Athens. The palace of THESEUS.



"The best in this kind are but shadows; and the worst
are no worse, if imagination amend them.


"It must be your imagination then, and not theirs.


"If we imagine no worse of them than they of
themselves, they may pass for excellent men."

(accessed 5/17/10).

EDITOR.23 - In neither the manuscript holograph nor in the text of Liber CCXX was the word 'me' capitalized. Left as is.

EDITOR.24 - There are a few portions of Konx Om Pax to which this reference ('Truth') might apply, though it seems slightly more likely that it pertains to 'Ali Sloper; or, the Forty Liars'.

EDITOR.25 - Quote from Muhammad was from Qur'an 2:223. I've tried to trace down all quotations to actual documents and provide links to them for the interested reader. If there is no detail or link, this means that i could not find the quote to which Crowley made reference (e.g. the apparent paraphrase of Disraeli in the NEW COMMENT of verse II.29 which i could not source or the two books: "The Book of the Great Auk" and "The Hermit of Esopus Island" ).

EDITOR.18 - Crowley quotes Liber Trigrammaton at length here. I removed it and supplied a link from text and this footnote.

EDITOR.19 - Original text here was damaged, repaired.

EDITOR.20 - Crowley is referring, apparently, to magic squares of the order of 6, with rows and diagonals totalling 111 and the sum of all the numbers (these being between 1 and 36) equating to 666. There are a finite number of magic squares with this description, so if i locate a single one that is obviously the "true Square", i will insert it here.

EDITOR.The-Comment -
It is supposed that Ankh-f-n-khonsu authored "THE COMMENT":

...The study of this Book is forbidden.
Note the important capitalization of 'Book' here. This implies a transcendental and significantly occulted meaning. It simultaneously gives a rationalization for excluding, expelling, or otherwise distancing from those who transmute into true centres of pestilence (advocating strict and restricted meanings, dogmatizing, attempting to conscript others to their ideologies, etc., etc., through evangelizing their understanding); and it makes it possible to glorify the icon of the Book in the cults which seek to use this propaganda, ascribing it inerrancy, perfection, and all manner of unfounded escalated quality.

A secret, initiated significance to "this Book" is "this manifest universe", and as such the rationale for its study being "forbidden" is from the paradigm of restricted conservative religion whereby the scientific principles and the laws of nature might disrupt and destroy the flimsy, and too often worthless blinders and artificial supports installed by cults in Misguided Myopic Moulding (MMM).

It is wise to destroy this copy after the first reading.
Encouragement to lay waste to the idol is one of the first ordeals of the liberated. It challenges the submissive to bend beyond strict bibliolatry to a demonstration of compromise. If we can command you to destroy the cult's Magic Book then you will not try to make it your own or construct a replica. The initiated alternative is of course the aim of Zen Buddhism: eradicate the plane of reason, forbid the generation of philosophy, and extinguish the intellectual flotsam which sits between you and a direct apprehension of the real.

Whosoever disregards this does so at his own risk and peril. These are most dire.
In the wake of the Master, naturally the froth of zealous compliance will reign supreme, lambasting and castigating rebel genii. In such an environment, risk is necessarily involved. The 'direness' may equate to the actual value of striking out in dispute with cultic authorities. Destroying crutches or casts has a timing and an invigorating element to it.

Those who discuss the contents of this Book are to be shunned by all, as centres of pestilence.
Exacerbating the warning for rational application, ADULATION AND OBSESSION is warned against as forbidden, prating and lecturing incessantly about the real meaning (to all) is thus valuably shunned. Innoculating by shunning even discussion may curtail intelligence, debate, and coming to a cognizance of religious blinders and mechanisms of cultic myopia.

Watch out for cultic language, adulation of leaders, extraordinary powers and characteristics associated to the cultic power objects and heroes, and general aggrandizement surrounding the special icons of attention. Further, be wary of domination surrounding essentialities of personal life such as sleep, diet, and sex. And as a part of the initiatic understanding of 'this Book', the same applies to radical scientific idealists, promoting ridiculous metaphysical theories of Quantum Fluff Fluff, Dark Woo Woo, and Stringy Energy Balls.

All questions of the Law are to be decided only by appeal to my writings, each for himself.
The uninitiated Slave accepts this dictation as a directive to appeal to the priest of the princes himself, or to the Beast in physique or absentia (his properly decorated stand-in). The Sovereign understands that "my writings" refer to the liberated herself, are recursive, and self-revelatory (thus turning inward to her own Lawbook).


EG.0 - These notes are a commentary by Crowley on the reception and general character of portions of the scripture as contained within "Equinox of the Gods", Chapter 7.

"Remarks on the method of receiving Liber Legis, on the Conditions prevailing at the time of the writing, and on certain technical difficulties connected with the Literary form of the Book." [4]

Part VII

"I shall make what I may call an inventory of the furniture of the Temple, the circumstances of the case. I shall describe the conditions of the phenomenon as if it were any other unexplained event in Nature.

"1. The time.

"Chapter 1 was written between Noon and 1 p.m. on April 8, 1904.
Chapter II between Noon and 1 p.m. on April 9, 1904.
Chapter III between Noon and 1 p.m. on April 10, 1904.

"The writing began exactly on the stroke of the hour, and ended exactly an hour later ; it was hurried through, with no pauses of any kind.

"2. The place.

"The city was Cairo.

"The street, or rather streets, I do not remember. There is a `Place' where four or five streets intersect; it is near the Boulak Museum, but a fairly long way from Shepherd's. The quarter is fashionable European. The house occupied a corner. I do not remember its orientation; but, as appears from the instructions for invoking Horus, one window of the temple opened to the East or North. The apartment was of several rooms on the ground floor, well furnished in the Anglo-Egyptian style. It was let by a firm named Congdon & Co.

"The room was a drawing-room cleared of fragile obstacles, but not otherwise prepared to serve as a temple. It had double doors, opening on to the corridor to the North and a door to the East leading to another room, the dining-room, I think. It had two windows opening on the Place, to the South, and a writing table against the wall between them." ...

"4. The events leading up to the Writing of the Book. I summarize them from Equinox I, VII.

"March 16. Tried to shew the Sylphs to Rose. She was in a dazed state, stupid, possibly drunk; possibly hysterical from pregnancy. She could see nothing, but could hear. She was fiercely excited at the messages, and passionately insistent that I should take them seriously.

"I was annoyed at her irrelevance, and her infliction of nonsense upon me.

"She had never been in any state even remotely resembling this, though I had made the same invocation (in full) in the King's chamber of the Great Pyramid during the night which we spent there in the previous autumn.

"March 17. More apparently nonsensical messages, this time spontaneous. I invoke Thoth, probably as in Liber LXIV, and presumably to clear up the muddle.

"March 18. Thoth evidently got clear through to her; for she discovers that Horus is addressing me through her, and identifies Him by a method utterly excluding chance or coincidence, and involving knowledge which only I possessed, some of it arbitrary, so that she or her informant must have been able to read my mind as well as if I had spoken it.

"Then she, challenged to point out His image, passes by many such to fix on the one in the Stele. The cross-examination must have taken place between March 20 and 23.

"March 20. Success in my invocation of Horus, by "breaking all the rules" at her command. This success convinced me magically, and encouraged me to test her as above mentioned. I should certainly have referred to the Stele in my ritual had I seen it before this date. I should fix Monday, March 21, for the Visit to Boulak.

"Between March 23 and April 8 the Hieroglyphs on the Stele were evidently translated by the assistant-curator at Boulak, into either French or English -- I am almost sure it was French--and versified (as now printed) by me.

"Between these dates, too, my wife must have told me that her informant was not Horus, or Ra Hoor Khuit, but a messenger from Him, named Aiwass.

"I thought that she might have faked this name from constantly hearing "Aiwa," the word for "Yes" in Arabic. She could not have invented a name of this kind, though ; her next best was to find a phrase like "balmy puppy" for a friend, or corrupt a name like Neuberg into an obscene insult.

"The silence of my diaries seems to prove that she gave me nothing more of importance. I was working out the Magical problem presented to me by the events of March 16-21. Any questions that I asked her were either unanswered, or answered by a Being whose mind was so different from mine that we failed to converse. All my wife obtained from Him was to command me to do things magically absurd. He would not play my game: I must play His.

"April 7. Not later than this date was I ordered to enter the "temple" exactly at noon on the three days following, and write down what I heard during one hour, nor more nor less. I imagine that some preparations were made, possibly some bull's blood burned for incense, or order taken about details of dress or diet ; I remember nothing at all, one way or the other. Bull's blood was burnt some time in this sojourn in Cairo ; but I forget why or when. I think it was used at the "Invocation of the Sylphs."

"5. The actual writing.

"The three days were precisely similar, save that on the last day I became nervous lest I should fail to hear the Voice of Aiwass. They may then be described together.

"I went into the 'temple' a minute early, so as to shut the door and sit down on the stroke of Noon.

"On my table were my pen -- a Swan Fountain -- and supplies of Quarto typewriting paper, 8" x I0".

"I never looked round in the room at any time.

"The Voice of Aiwass came apparently from over my left shoulder, from the furthest corner of the room. It seemed to echo itself in my physical heart in a very strange manner, hard to describe. I have noticed a similar phenomenon when I have been waiting for a message fraught with great hope or dread. The voice was passionately poured, as if Aiwass were alert about the time-limit. I wrote 65 pages of this present essay (at about my usual rate of composition) in about 10 1/2 hours as against the 3 hours of the 65 pages of the Book of the Law. I was pushed hard to keep the pace; the MS. shows it clearly enough.

"The voice was of deep timbre, musical and expressive, its tones solemn, voluptuous, tender, fierce or aught else as suited the moods of the message. Not bass -- perhaps a rich tenor or baritone.

"The English was free of either native or foreign accent, perfectly pure of local or caste mannerisms, thus startling and even uncanny at first hearing.

"I had a strong impression that the speaker was actually in the corner where he seemed to be, in a body of "fine matter," transparent as a veil of gauze, or a cloud of incense-smoke. He seemed to be a tall, dark man in his thirties, well-knit, active and strong, with the face of a savage king, and eyes veiled lest their gaze should destroy what they saw. The dress was not Arab; it suggested Assyria or Persia, but very vaguely. I took little note of it, for to me at that time Aiwass and an "angel" such as I had often seen in visions, a being purely astral.

"I now incline to believe that Aiwass is not only the God or Demon or Devil once held holy in Sumer, and mine own Guardian Angel, but also a man as I am, insofar as He uses a human body to make His magical link with Mankind, whom He loves, and that He is thus and Ipsissimus, the Head of the A.'.A.'. Even I can do, in a much feebler way, this Work of being a God and a Beast, &c., &c., all at the same time, with equal fullness of life.

"6. The Editing of the Book.

"Change not so much as the style of a letter" in the text saved me from Crowley-fying the whole Book, and spoiling everything. The MS. shows what has been done, and why, as follows:

"A. On page 6 Aiwaz instructs me to "write this (what he had just said) in whiter words," for my mind revelled at His phrase. He added at once "But go forth on," i.e., with His utterance, leaving the emendation until later.

"B. On page 19 I failed to hear a sentence, and (later on) the Scarlet Woman, invoking Aiwass, wrote in the missing words. (How? She was not in the room at the time, and heard nothing.)

"C. Page 20 of Cap. III, I got a phrase indistinctly, and she put it in, as for "B."

"D. The versified paraphrase of the hieroglyphs on the Stele being ready, Aiwaz allowed me to insert these later, so as to save time.

"These four apart, the MS. is exactly as it was written on those three days. The Critical Recension will explain these points as they occur.

"The problem of the literary form of this Book is astonishingly complex; but the internal evidence of the sense is usually sufficient of make it clear, on inspection, as to who is speaking and who is being addressed.

"There was, however, no actual voice audible save that of Aiwaz. Even my own remarks made silently were incorporated by him audibly, wherever such occur.

"I conclude by laying down the principles of Exegesis on which I have based my comment. It is "my scribe Ankh-af-na-khonsu" (CCXX, I, 36) who "shall comment" on "this book" "by the wisdom of Ra-Hoor-Khuit"; that is, Aleister Crowley shall write the Comment from the point of view of the manifested positive Lord of the Aeon, in plain terms of the finite, and not those of the infinite. "Hadit burning in thy heart shall make swift and secure thy pen" (CCXX, III, 40). My own inspiration, not any alien advice or intellectual consideration, is to be the energizing force of this work. Where the text is simple straightforward English, I shall not seek, or allow, an interpretation at variance with it. I may admit a Qabalistic or cryptographic secondary meaning when such confirms, amplifies, deepens, intensifies, or clarifies the obvious common-sense significance ; but only if it be part of the general plan of the "latent light," and self-proven by abundant witness.

"For example: "To me!" (I, 65) is to be taken primarily in its obvious sense as the Call of Nuith to us Her stars.

"The transliteration 'TO MH' may be admitted as the 'signature' of Nuith, identifying Her as the speaker; because these Greek Words mean "The Not," which is Her Name.

"This Gematria of TO MH may be admitted as further confirmation, because their number 418 is elsewhere manifested as that of the Aeon.

"But TO MH is not to be taken as negating the previous verses, or 418 as indicating the formula of approach to Her, although in point of fact it is so, being the Rubrick of the Great Work. I refuse to consider mere appropriateness as conferring title to authority, and to read my own personal theories into the Book. I insist that all interpretation shall be incontestably authentic, neither less, more, nor other than was meant is the Mind of Aiwaz.

"4. I lay claim to be the sole authority competent to decide disputed points with regard to the Book of the Law, seeing that its Author, Aiwaz, is none other than mine own Holy Guardian Angel, to Whose Knowledge and Conversation I have attained, so that I have exclusive access to Him. I have duly referred every difficulty to Him directly, and received His answer; my award is therefore absolute without appeal.

"5. The verse, II, 47, "one cometh after him, whence I say not, who shall discover the key of it all," has been fulfilled by "one" Achad is not said to extend beyond this single exploit; Achad is nowhere indicated as appointed or even authorized to relieve The Beast of His task of the Comment. Achad has proved himself,*1* and proved the Book, by his on achievement; and this shall suffice.

"6. Wherever
"a. The words of the Text are obscure in themselves; where
"b. The expression is strained; where
"c. The Syntax,
"d. Grammar,
"e. Spelling, or
"f. The use of capital letters present peculiarities; where
"g. Non-English words occur; where the style suggests
"h. Paronomasia,
"i. Ambiguity, or
"j. Obliquity; or where
"k. A problem is explicitly declared to exist; in all such cases I shall seek for a meaning hidden by means of Qabalistic correspondences, cryptography, or literary subtleties. I shall admit no solution which is not at once simple, striking, consonant with the general plan of the Book ; and not only adequate but necessary.

i. I, 4. Here the obvious sense of the text is nonsense; it therefore needs intimate analysis.
ii. II, 17, line 4. The natural order of the words is distorted by placing "not" before "know me"; it is proper to ask what object is attained by this peculiarity of phrasing.
iii. I, 13. The text as it stands is unintelligible; it calls attention to itself; a meaning must be found which will not only justify the apparent error, but prove the necessity of employing that and no other expression.
iv. II, 76. "to be me" for "to be I." The unusual grammar invites enquiry; it suggests that "me" is a concealed name, perhaps MH, "Not," Nuit, since to be Nuit is the satisfaction of the formula of the Speaker, Hadit.
v. III, 1. The omission of the "i" in "Khuit" is indicative that some concealed doctrine is based upon the variant.
vi. II, 27. The spelling of "Because" with a capital B suggests that it may be a proper name, and possibly that its Greek or Hebrew equivalent may identify the idea Qabalistically with some enemy of our Hierarchy; also that such word may demand a capital value for its initial.
vii. III, 11. "Abstruction" suggests that an idea otherwise inexpressible is conveyed in this manner. Paraphrase is here inadmissible as a sufficient interpretation; there must be a correspondence in the actual structure of the word with its etymologically -deduced meaning.
viii. III, 74. The words "sun" and "son" are evidently chosen for the identity of their sound-value; the inelegance of the phrase therefore insists on some such adequate justification as the existence of a hidden treasure of meaning.
ix. VIII, 73. The ambiguity of the instruction warrants the supposition that the words must somehow contain a cryptographic formula for so arranging the sheets of the MS. that an Arcanum becomes manifest.
x. I, 26. The apparent evasion of a direct reply in "Thou knowest !" suggests that the words conceal a precise answer more convincing in cipher than their openly-expressed equivalent could be.
xi. II, 15. The text explicitly invites Qabalistic analysis.

"7. The Comment must be consistent with itself at all points; it must exhibit the Book of the Law as of absolute authority on all possible questions proper to Mankind, as offering the perfect solution of all problems philosophical and practical without exception.

"8. The Comment must prove beyond possibility of error that the Book of the Law,
"a. Bears witness in itself to the authorship of Aiwaz, an Intelligence independent of incarnation; and
"b. Is warranted worthy of its claim to credence by the evidence of external events. For example, the first proposition is proved by the cryptography connected with 31, 93, 418, 666, [pi], etc.; and the second by the concurrence of circumstance with various statements in the text such that the categories of time and causality forbid all explanations which excluded its own postulates, while the law of probabilities makes coincidence inconceivable as an evasion of the issue.

"9. The Comment must be expressed in terms intelligible to the minds of men of average education, and independent of abstruse technicalities.

"10. The Comment must be pertinent to the problems of our own times, and present the principles of the Law in a manner susceptible of present practical application. It must satisfy all types of intelligence, neither revolting to rational, scientific, mathematical, and philosophical thinkers, nor repugnant to religious and romantic temperaments.

"11. The Comment must appeal on behalf of the Law to the authority of Experience. It must make Success the proof of the Truth of the Book of the Law at every point of contact with Reality.

"The Word of Aiwaz must put forth a perfect presentation of the Universe as Necessary, Intelligible, Self-subsistent, as Integral, Absolute, and Immanent. It must satisfy all intuitions, explain all enigmas, and compose all conflicts. It must reveal Reality, reconcile Reason with Relativity; and, resolving not only all antinomies in the Absolute, but all antipathies in the appreciation of Aptness, assure the acquiescence of every faculty of making in the perfection of its plenary propriety.

"Releasing us from every restriction upon Right, the Word of Aiwaz must extend its empire by enlisting the allegiance of every man and every woman that puts its truth to the test.

"On these principles, to the pitch of my power, will I the Beast 666, who received the Book of the Law from the Mouth of mine Angel Aiwaz, make my comment thereon ; being armed with the word: "But the work of the comment? That is easy ; and Hadit in thy heart shall make swift and secure thy pen."

"Editorial Note to this Chapter.

"The reader is now in full possession of the account [above] of "how thou didst come hither". The student who wishes to act intelligently will be at pains to make himself thoroughly acquainted at the outset with the whole of the external circumstances connected with the Writing of the Book, whether they are of biographical or other importance. He should thus be able to approach the Book with his mind prepared to apprehend the unique character of their contents in respect of its true Authorship, the peculiarities of Its methods of communicating Thought, and the nature of Its claim to be the Canon of Truth, the Key of Progress, and the Arbiter of Conduct. He will be able to form his own judgment upon It, only insofar as he is fixed in the proper Point-of-View; the sole question for him is to decide whether It is or is not that which It claims to be, the New Law in the same sense as the Vedas, the Pentateuch, the Tao Teh King, and Qur'an are Laws, but with the added Authority of Verbal, Literal, and Graphic inspiration established and counter-checked by internal evidence with the impeccable precision of a mathematical demonstration. If It be that, It is an unique document, valid absolutely within the terms of its self-contained thesis, incomparably more valuable than any other Transcript of Thought which we possess.

"If It be not wholly that, it is a worthless curiosity of literature; worse, it is an appalling proof that no kind or degree of evidence soever is sufficient to establish any possible proposition, since the closest concatenation of circumstances may be no more than the jetsam of chance, and the most comprehensive plans of purpose a puerile pantomime. To reject this Book is to make Reason itself ridiculous and the Law of Probabilities a caprice. In Its fall it shatters the structure of Science, and buries the whole hope of man's heart in the rubble, throwing upon its heaps the sceptic, blinded, crippled, and gone melancholy mad.

"The reader must face the problem squarely; half-measures will not avail. If there be aught he recognize as transcendental Truth, he cannot admit the possibility that the Speaker, taking such pains to prove Himself and His Word, should yet incorporate Falsehood in the same elaborate engines. If the Book be but a monument of a mortal's madness, he must tremble that such power and cunning may be the accomplices of insane and criminal archanarchs.

"But if he know the Book to be justified of Itself, It shall be justified also of Its children; and he will glow with gladness in his heart as he reads the sixty-third to the sixty-seventh verses of Its chapter, and gain his first glimpse of Who he himself is in truth, and to what fulfilment of Himself It is of virtue to bring Him.

EG.I:1 - "Chapter I

"Verse 1. Nuit is the speaker. She invokes her lover and then begins to give a title to her speech in the end of verse I -- 20."

EG.I:3-4 - "In verses 3 and 4, she begins her discourse. So far her remarks have been addressed to no one in particular."
EG.I:4 - "Verse 4 startled my intelligence into revolt."
EG.I:5 - "In verse 5 she explains that she is speaking, and appeals to me personally to help her to unveil by taking down her message."
EG.I:6-7 - "In verse 6 she claims me for her chosen, and I think that I then became afraid lest I should be expected to do too much. She answers this fear in verse 7 by introducing Aiwaz as the actual speaker in articulate human accents on her behalf."
EG.I:8-13 - "In verse 8 the oration continues, and we now see that it is addressed to mankind in general. This continues till verse 13."
EG.I:14 - "Verse 14 is from the Stele. It seems to have been written in by me as a kind of appreciation of what she had just said."
EG.I:15 - "Verse 15 emphasizes that it is mankind in general that is addressed; for the Beast is spoken of in the third person, though his was the only human ear to hear the words."
EG.I:18-19 - "Verses 18-19 seem to be almost in the nature of a quotation from some hymn. It is not quite natural for her to address herself as she appears to do in verse 19."
EG.I:26-28 - "Verse 26. The question 'Who am I and what shall be the sign?' is my own conscious thought. In the previous verses I have been called to an exalted mission, and I naturally feel nervous. This thought is then entered in the record by Aiwaz as if it were a story that he was telling ; and he develops this story after her answer, in order to bring back the thread of the chapter to the numerical mysteries of Nuith begun in verses 24-25, and now continued in verse 28."
EG.I:30-31 - "Another doubt must have arisen in my mind at verse 30; and this doubt is interpreted and explained to me personally in verse 31."
EG.I:32 - "The address to mankind is resumed in verse 32, and Nuith emphasizes the point of verse 30 which has caused me to doubt. She confirms this with an oath, and I was convinced. I thought to myself, 'in this case let us have written instructions as to the technique,' and Aiwaz again makes a story out of my request as in verse 26."
EG.I:35-36 - "In verse 35 it seems that she is addressing me personally, but in verse 36 she speaks of me in the third person."
EG.I:40-52 - "Verse 40. The word 'us' is very puzzling. It apparently means 'All those who have accepted the Law whose word is Thelema.' Among these she includes herself.

"There is now no difficulty for a long while. It is a general address dealing with various subjects, to the end of verse 52."

EG.I:53-56 - "From verses 53-56 we have a strictly personal address to me."
EG.I:57 - "In verse 57 Nuit resumes her general exhortation. And I am spoken of once more in the third person."
EG.I:61 - "Verse 61. The word 'Thou' is not a personal address. It means any single person, as posed to a company. The "Ye" in the third sentence indicates the proper conduct for worshippers as a body. The "you," in sentence 4, of course applies to a single person; but the plural form suggests that it is a matter of public worship as opposed to the invocation in the desert of the first sentence of this verse.

"There is no further difficulty in this chapter."

EG.I:66 - "Verse 66 is the statement of Aiwaz that the words of verse 65, which were spoken diminuendo down to pianissimo, indicated the withdrawal of the goddess."


"Hadit himself is evidently the speaker from the start. The remarks are general. In verse 5 I am spoken of in the third person."

EG.II:9 - "After verse 9 he notices my vehement objections to writing statements to which my conscious self was obstinately opposed."
EG.II:10-13 - "Verse 10, addressed to me notes that fact; and in verse 11 he declares that he is my master, and that the reason for this is that he is my secret self, as explained in verses 12-13."
EG.II:14 - "The interruption seems to have added excitement to the discourse, for verse 14 is violent."
EG.II:15-17 - "Verses 15 & 16 offer a riddle, while verse 17 is a sort of parody of poetry."
EG.II:18 - "Verse 18 continues his attack on my conscious mind. In verses 15-18 the style is complicated, brutal, sneering and jeering. I feel the whole passage as a contemptuous beating down of the resistance of my mind."
EG.II:19-52 - "In verse 19 he returns to the exalted style with which he began until I interfered.

"The passage seems addressed to what he calls his chosen or his people, though it is not explained exactly what he means by the words.

"This passage from verse 19 to verse 52 is of sustained and matchless eloquence."

EG.II:53 - "I must have objected to something in verse 52, for verse 53 is directed to encourage me personally as to having transmitted this message."
EG.II:54 - "Verse 54 deals with another point as to the intelligibility of the message."
EG.II:55-56 - "Verse 55 instructed me to obtain the English Qabalah; it made me incredulous, as the task seemed an impossible one, and probably his perception of this criticism inspired verse 56, though 'ye mockers' applies evidently to my enemies, referred to in verse 54."
EG.II:57 - "Verse 57 brings us back to the subject begun in verse 21. It is a quotation from the Apocalypse verbatim, and is probably suggested by the matter of verse 56.

"There is no real change in the essence of anything, however its combinations vary."

EG.II:58-60 - "Verses 58-60 conclude the passage."
EG.II:61-68 - "Verse 61. The address is now strictly personal. During all this time Hadit had been breaking down my resistance with his violently expresses and varied phrases. As a result of this, I attained to the trance described in these verses from 61-68."
EG.II:69 - "Verse 69 is the return to consciousness of myself. It was a sort of gasping question as a man coming out of Ether might ask "Where am I?" I think that this is the one passage in the whole book which was not spoken by Aiwaz; and I ought to say that these verses 63-68 were written without conscious hearing at all."
EG.II:70-74 - "Verse 70 does not deign to reply to my questions, but points out the way to manage life. This continues until verse 74, and seems to be addressed not to me personally but to any man, despite the use of the word 'Thou.'"
EG.II:75-78 - "Verse 75 abruptly changes the subject, interpolating the riddle of verse 76 with its prophecy. This verse is addressed to me personally, and continues to the end of verse 78 to mingle lyrical eloquence with literal and numerical puzzles."
EG.II:79 - "Verse 79 is the statement of Aiwaz that the end of the chapter has come. To this he adds his personal compliment to myself."
EG.III:1-2 - "Chapter III

"Verse I appears to complete the triangle begun by the first verses of the two previous chapters. It is a simple statement involving no particular speaker or hearer. The omission of the "i" in the name of God appears to have alarmed me, and in verse 2 Aiwaz offers a hurried explanation in a somewhat excited manner, and invokes Ra-Hoor-Khuit."

EG.III:3-33 - "Verse 3 is spoken by Ra-Hoor-Khuit. "Them" evidently refers to some undescribed enemies, and "ye" to those who accept his formula. This passage ends with verse 9. Verse 10 and verse 11 are addressed to me personally and the Scarlet Woman, as shown in the continuation of his passage which seems to end with verse 33, though it is left rather vague at times as to whether the Beast, or the Beast and his concubine, or the adherents of Horus, generally, are exhorted."
EG.III:34 - "Verse 34 is a kind of poetical peroration, and is not addressed in particular to anybody. It is a statement of events to come.
EG.III:35 - "Verse 35 states simply that section one of this chapter is completed.

"I seem to have become enthusiastic, for there is a kind of interlude reported by Aiwaz of my song of adoration translated form the Stele; the incident parallels that of chapter I, verse 26, &c."

EG.III:37-38 - "It is to be noted that the translations from the Stele in verses 37-38 were no more than instantaneous thoughts to be inserted afterwards.

"Verse 38 begins with my address to the God in the first sentence, while in the second is his reply to me. He then refers to the hieroglyphs of the Stele, and bids me quote my paraphrases. This order was given by a species of wordless gesture, not visible or audible, but sensible in some occult manner."

EG.III:39-42 - "Verses 39-42 are instructions for me personally."
EG.III:43-45 - "Verses 43-45 indicate the proper course of conduct for the Scarlet Woman."
EG.III:46 - "Verse 46 is again more general --a sort of address to soldiers before battle."
EG.III:47 - "Verse 47 is again mostly personal instruction, mixed up with prophecies, proof of the praeterhuman origin of the Book, and other matters.

"I observe that this instruction, taken with with those not to change "so much as a style of a letter," etc., imply that my pen was under the physical control of Aiwaz; for this dictation did not include directions as to the use of capitals, and the occasional mis-spellings are most assuredly not mine!"

EG.III:48 - "Verse 48 impatiently dismisses such practical matters as a nuisance."
EG.III:49-59 - "Verses 49-59 contain a series of declarations of war; and there is no further difficulty as to the speaker or hearer to the end of the chapter, although the subject changes repeatedly in an incomprehensible manner. Only verse 75 do we find a peroration on the whole book, presumably by Aiwaz, ending by his formula of withdrawal."


Text and Notes

The following are passages of text from Commentaries or other included publications removed to a note. Some of the words relating to gematria or supposed to be qabalistic, were removed with a "Q#" note to the (now constructed)
Qabalistic Appendix.

CROWLEY.1 - In order that the ethical and philosophical comment should be "understanded of the common people", without interruption, I have decided to transfer to an Appendix all considerations drawn from the numerical system of cipher which is interspersed with the more straightforward matter of this Book. [H1] In that Appendix will be found an account of the character of this cipher, called Qabalah, and the mysteries thus indicated; because of the impracticability of communicating them in verbal form, and of the necessity of proving to the student that the Author of the Book is possessed of knowledge beyond any yet acquired by man. [M1]

CROWLEY.2 - - The Proton and the Electron, in a metaphysical sense, suggest close analogies. [Regardie does not include this note by Crowley. -333]

CROWLEY.3 - Sax also as a Rock, or Stone, whence the symbol of the Cubical Stone, the Mountain Abiegnus, and so forth. Nu is also reflected in Naus, Ship, etc., and that whole symbolism of Hollow Space which is familiar to all. There is also a question of identifying Nu with On, Noah, Oannes, Jonah, John, Dianus, Diana, and so on. But these identifications are all partial only, different facets of the Diamond Truth. We may neglect all these questions, and remain in the simplicity of this Her own Book.

CROWLEY.4 - In Berashith all qualities soever are considered as so many dimensions. I see no reason, 19 years later, for receding from this view.

CROWLEY.5 - Yet it may mean some real connection between a given person and a given star. Why not? Still, this is not in my knowledge. See Liber 418.

CROWLEY.6 - I here quote (with one or two elucidatory insertions) the original note originally made by Me on this subject.

May 14, 1919, 6.30 p.m.

All elements must at one time have been separate -- that would be the case with great heat. Now when atoms get to the sun, when we get to the sun, we get that immense, extreme heat, and all the elements are themselves again. Imagine that each atom of each element possesses the memory of all his adventures in combination. By the way, that atom, fortified with that memory, would not be the same atom; yet it is, because it has gained nothing from anywhere except this memory. Therefore, by the lapse of time and by virtue of memory, a thing (although originally an Infinite Perfection) could become something more than itself; and thus a real development is possible. One can then see a reason for any element deciding to go through this series of incarnations (god, that was a magnificent conception!) because so, and only so, can he go; and he suffers the lapse of memory of His own Reality of Perfection which he has during these incarnations, because he knows he will come through unchanged.

Therefore you have an infinite number of gods, individual and equal though diverse, each one supreme and utterly indestructible. This is also the only explanation of how a being could create a world in which war, evil, etc., exist. Evil is only an appearance because, like "good", it cannot affect the substance itself, but only multiply its combinations. This is something the same as mystic monism, but the objection to that theory is that God has to create things which are all parts of himself, so that their interplay is false. If we presuppose many elements, their interplay is natural. It is no objection to this theory to ask who made the elements -- the elements are at least there; and God, when you look for him, is not there. Theism is obscurum per obscurius. A male star is built up from the centre outwards, a female star from the circumference inwards. This is what is meant when we say that woman has no soul. It explains fully the difference between the sexes." [H2]

CROWLEY.7 - In revising this comment, I note with amusement that it had escaped me that 100 degrees C. is by definition the temperature at which water boils! I have seen it boil at about 84 degrees C. on the Baltoro Glacier, and determined my height above sea-level by observing the boiling point so often that I had quite forgotten the original conditions of Celsius. [Regardie does not mention this note. -333]

CROWLEY.8 - Simultaneity, closely considered, possesses no meaning soever. See [Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington], Space, Time and Gravitation, [p. 51]. [H3]

CROWLEY.9 - If I strike a billiard ball, and it moves, both my will and its motion have causes long antecedent to the act. I may consider both my Work and its reaction as twin effects of the eternal Universe. The moved arm and ball are part of a state of the Cosmos which resulted necessarily from its momentarily previous state, and so, back for ever. Thus, my Magical Work is only one of the cause-effects necessarily concomitant with the cause-effects which set the ball in motion. I may therefore regard the act of striking as a cause-effect of my original Will to move the ball, though necessarily previous to its motion. But the case of Magical work is not quite analogous. For I am such that I am compelled to perform Magick in order to make my Will to prevail; so that the cause of my doing the Work is also he cause of the ball's motion, and there is no reason why one should precede the other, See Book 4, Part III, for a full discussion. (Since writing the above, I have been introduced to Space, Time and Gravitation, where similar arguments are adduced.)

CROWLEY.10 - I regret to find myself in disagreement with the Hon. Bertrand Russell with regard to the conception of the nature of Number.

CROWLEY.11 - See 'Eleusis', A. Crowley, Collected Works, Vol. III, Epilogue.

CROWLEY.12 - Zeus obtained Air for his kingdom in the partition with Hades, who took Fire, and Poseidon, who took Water. Shu is the Egyptian God of the Firmament. There is a great difficulty here, etymologically. Zeus is connected with IAO, Abrasax, and the Dental Sibilant Gods of the Great Mysteries, with the South and Hadit, Ada, Set, Saturn, Adonai, Attis, Adonis; he is even the "Jesus", slain with the Lance, whose blood is collected in a Cup. Yet he is also to be identified with the opposite party of the North and Nuit, with the "John" slain with the Sword, whose flesh is placed upon a Disk, in the Lesser Mysteries, baptizing with Water as "Jesus" with Fire, with On, Oannes, Noah, and the like.

It seems as if this great division, which has wrought such appalling havoc upon the Earth, were originally no more than a distinction adopted for convenience. It is indeed the task of this Book to reduce Theology to the interplay of the Dyad Nuith and Hadith, these being themselves conceived as complementary, as Two equivalent to Naught, "divided for love's sake, for the chance of union."

CROWLEY.13 - The Hon. Bertrand Russell might prefer to write this: +1 + (-1) = 0. For Initiates of the IXth degree of O.T.O. it could be expressed: Phi + K = T = 0, where Phi - K = 0, and Phi and K are both positive integers.

CROWLEY.14 - Perhaps I should have defined the word "Space". The task is far from easy. Space (including Time) is one of the conditions necessary to the illusion of duality. But when Nuith says "I am Infinite Space and the Infinite Stars thereof" (verse 22) there must be some other meaning. May I define it as "totality of the possibilities of giving Form to Being", and thus equivalent to "Matter", which manifests "Motion"? This at least suits the verse under present discussion; for the Feminine Idea is to take delight in enabling the Masculine Idea to express itself by its means. There should be no difficulty for the student of modern mathematical philosophy in conceiving Matter and Space as identical. He may find it less easy to assent to a personification capable of speech. But I shall not resent the interpretation of Her speech as being the rhetorical device of AIWAZ. Devotion to Her, Knowledge of Her, may perfectly well be understood as the process of extending the human consciousness to apprehend the supra-rational idea thus presented. It was obviously necessary, from a practical point of view, to phrase this Book in terms of common parlance, concealing the more recondite Arcana in in the numerical and literal cipher. When, then, I say "Space is omnipresent", it is almost the equivalent of "Anything is always liable to happen."

CROWLEY.15 - Insert quotations from Essay of AN XIX March 31 - April 11 showing how all is the same to Nuit, though not to partial views.

CROWLEY.16 - I take this opportunity of quoting from Professor Eddington, op. cit., a passage which should make it perfectly clear that the "mystical", "irrational", "paradoxical" conception of Nuit expressed in this chapter has a parallel in the sober calculations of a perfectly orthodox astronomer in the undeniably practical University -- a poor thing, but mine own -- of Cambridge:

"Whenever there is matter there is action and therefore curvature; and it is interesting to notice that in ordinary matter the curvature of the space-time world is by no means insignificant. For example, in water of ordinary density the curvature is the same as that of space in the form of a sphere of radius 570,000,000 kilometres. The result is even more surprising if expressed in time units; the radius is about half-an-hour.

"It is difficult to picture quite what this means; but at least we can predict that a Globe of water 570,000,000 km. radius would have extraordinary properties. Presumably there must be an upper limit to the possible size of a globe of water. So far as I can make out a homogeneous mass of water of about this size (and no larger) could exist. It would have no centre, and no boundary, every point of it being in the same position with respect to the whole mass as every other point of it -- like points on the surface of a sphere with respect to the surface. Any ray of light after travelling for an hour or two would come back to the starting point. Nothing could enter or leave the mass, because there is no boundary to enter or leave by; in fact, it is coextensive with space. There could not be any other world anywhere else, because there isn't an 'anywhere else'.

"The mass of this volume of water is not so great as the most moderate estimates of the mass of the stellar system." [p. 148-149]

CROWLEY.17 - Note the reference to 'not' and 'all'. Also the word 'known' contains the root GN, 'to beget' and 'to know'; while 'concealed' indicates the other half of the Human Mystery.

CROWLEY.18 - I quote from The Book of Lies (falsely so-called).


The Brothers of A.'.A.'. are one with the Mother of the child. {They cause all men to worship it. -333]

The Many is as adorable to the One as the One is to the Many. This is the Love of These: creation-parturition is the Bliss of the One; coition-dissolution is the Bliss of the Many.

The All, thus interwoven of These, is Bliss.

Naught is beyond Bliss.

The Man delights in uniting with the Woman; the Woman in parting from the child

The Brothers of A.'.A.'. are Women; the Aspirants to A.'.A.'. are Men."

CROWLEY.19 - One cannot say that it was "Sin" for Naught to restrict itself within the form of Two; on the contrary. But sin is to resist the operation of the reversion to Naught. "The wages of Sin is Death;" for Life is a continual harmonious and natural Change. See Liber 418 and Liber Aleph. Sin (see [Skeat's Etymological Dictionary]) is connected with the root "es", to be. This throws a new light on the passage. Sin is restriction, that is, it is 'being' as opposed to 'becoming'. The fundamental idea of wrong is the static as opposed to the dynamic conception of the Universe. This explanation is not only in harmony with the general teaching of the Book of the Law, bit shows how profoundly the author understands Himself.

CROWLEY.20 - "assuage thee:" satisfy thing aspiration to attainment.
"absolve thee:" relieve thee from further duty.

CROWLEY.21 - I must explain this by giving a comparatively full account of this vision.

The 'Star-Sponge' Vision.

There is a vision of a peculiar character which has been of cardinal importance in my interior life, and to which constant reference is made in my magical diaries. So far as I know, there is no extant description of this vision anywhere, and I was surprised on looking through my records to find that I had given no clear account of it myself. The reason apparently is that it is so necessary a part of myself that I unconsciously assume it to be a matter of common knowledge, just as one assumes that everybody knows that one possesses a pair of lungs, and therefore abstains from mentioning the fact directly, although perhaps alluding to the matter often enough.

It appears very essential to describe this vision as well as is possible, considering the difficulty of language, and the fact that the phenomena involve logical contradictions, the conditions of consciousness being other than those obtaining normally.

The vision developed gradually. It was repeated on so many occasions that I am unable to say at what period it may be called complete. The beginning, however, is clear enough in my memory.

I was on a retirement in a cottage overlooking Lake Pasquaney in New Hampshire. I lost consciousness of everything but an universal space in which were innumerable bright points, and I realized this as a physical representation of the Universe, in what I may call its essential structure. I exclaimed: "Nothingness, with twinkles!" I concentrated upon this vision, with the result that the void space which had been the principal element of it diminished in importance; space appeared to be ablaze, yet the radiant points were not confused, and I thereupon completed my sentence with the exclamation "But what Twinkles!"

The next stage of this vision led to an identification of the blazing points with the stars of the firmament, with ideas, souls, etc. I perceived also that each star was connected by a ray of light with each other star. In the world of ideas, each thought possessed a necessary relation with each other thought; each such relation is of course a thought in itself; each such ray is itself a star. It is here that logical difficulty first presents itself. The seer has a direct perception of infinite series. Logically, therefore, it would appear as if the entire space must be filled up with a homogeneous blaze of light. This however is not the case. The space is completely full; yet the monads which fill it are perfectly distinct. The ordinary reader might well exclaim that such statements exhibit symptoms of mental confusion. The subject demands more than cursory examination. I can do no more than refer the critic to the Hon. Bertrand Russell's Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy, where the above position is thoroughly justified, as also certain positions which follow. At the time I had not read this book; and I regard it as a striking proof of the value of mystical attainment, that its results should have led a mind such as mine, whose mathematical training was of the most elementary character, to the immediate consciousness of some of the most profound and important mathematical truths; to the acquisition of the power to think in a manner totally foreign to the normal mind, the rare possession of the greatest thinkers in the world.

A further development of the vision brought the consciousness that the structure of the universe was highly organized, that certain stars were of greater magnitude and brilliancy than the rest. I began to seek similes to help me to explain myself. Several such attempts are mentioned later in this note. Here again are certain analogies with some of the properties of infinite series. The reader must not be shocked at the idea of a number which is not increased by addition or multiplication, a series of infinite series, each one of which may be twice as long as its predecessor, and so on. There is no "mystical humbug" about this. As Mr. Russell shows, truths of this order are more certain than the most universally accepted axioms; in fact, many axioms accepted by the intellect of the average man are not true at all. But in order to appreciate these truths, it is necessary to educate the mind to thought of an order which is at first sight incompatible with rationality.

I may here digress for a moment in order to demonstrate how this vision led directly to the understanding of the mechanism of certain phenomena which have hitherto been dismissed with a shrug of the shoulders as incomprehensible.

"Example No. 1". I began to become aware of my own mental processes; I thought of my consciousness as the Commander-in-Chief of an army. There existed a staff of specialists to deal with various contingencies. There was an intelligence department to inform me of my environment. There was a council which determined the relative importance of the data presented to them -- it required only a slight effort of imagination to think of this council as in debate; I could picture to myself some tactically brilliant proposal being vetoed by the Quarter-Master-General. It was only one step to dramatize the scene, and it flashed upon me in a moment that here was the explanation of 'double personality': that illusion was no more than a natural personification of internal conflict, just as the savage attributes consciousness to trees and rocks.

"Example No. 2." While at Montauk I had put my sleeping bag to dry in the sun. When I went to take it in, I remarked, laughingly, "Your bedtime, Master Bag," as if it were a small boy and I its nurse. This was entirely frivolous, but the thought flashed into my mind that after all the bag was in one sense a part of myself. The two ideas came together with a snap, and I understood the machinery of a man's delusion that he is a teapot.

These two examples may give some idea to the reader of the light which mystical attainment throws upon the details of the working of the human mind.

Further developments of this vision emphasized the identity between the Universe and the mind. The search for similes deepened. I had a curious impression that the thing I was looking for was somehow obvious and familiar. Ultimately it burst upon me with fulminating conviction that the simile for which I was seeking was the nervous system. I exclaimed: "The mind is the nervous system," with all the enthusiasm of Archimedes, and it only dawned on me later, with a curious burst of laughter at my naiveté, that my great discovery amounted to a platitude.

From this I came to another discovery: I perceived why platitudes were stupid. The reason was that they represented the summing up of trains of thought, each of which was superb in every detail at one time. A platitude was like a wife after a few years; she has lost none of her charms, and yet one prefers some perfectly worthless woman.

I now found myself able to retrace the paths of thought which ultimately come together in a platitude. I would start with some few simple ideas and develop them. Each stage in the process was like the joy of a young eagle soaring from height to height in ever increasing sunlight as dawn breaks, foaming, over the purple hem of the garment of ocean, and, when the many coloured rays of rose and gold and green gathered themselves together and melted into the orbed glory of the sun, with a rapture that shook the soul with unimaginable ecstasy, that sphere of rushing light was recognized as a common-place idea, accepted unquestioningly and treated with drab indifference because it had so long been assimilated as a natural and necessary part of the order of Nature. At first I was shocked and disgusted to discover that a series of brilliant researches should culminate in a commonplace. But I soon understood that what I had done was to live over again the triumphant career of conquering humanity; that I had experienced in my own person the succession of winged victories that had been sealed by a treaty of peace whose clauses might be summed up in some such trite expression as "Beauty depends upon form".

It would be quite impracticable to go fully into the subject of this vision of the Star-Sponge, if only because its ramifications are omniform. It must suffice to reiterate that it has been the basis of most of my work for the last five years, and to remind the reader that the essential form of it is "Nothingness with twinkles".

I conclude this note, therefore, by quoting certain chapters of Liber Aleph, in which I have described various cognate forms of the vision:

"De Gramine Sanctissimo Arabico.

"Recall, o my Son, the Fable of the Hebrews, which they brought from the City of Babylon, how Nebuchadnezzar the Great King, being afflicted in his Spirit, did depart from among Men for Seven Years' Space, eating Grass as doth an Ox. Now this Ox is the Letter Aleph, and is that Atu of Thoth whose Number is Zero, and whose Name is Maat, Truth, or Maut, the Vulture, the All-Mother, being an image of Our Lady Nuith, but also it is called the Fool, who is Parsifal, 'der reine Thor', and so referreth to him that walketh in the Way of the Tao. Also, he is Harpocrates, the Child Horus, walking (as saith David, the Badawi that became King, in his Psalms) upon the Lion and the Dragon; that is, he is in Unity with his own Secret Nature, as I have shewn thee in my Word concerning the Sphinx. O my Son, yester Eve came the Spirit upon me that I also should eat the Grass of the Arabs, and by virtue of the Bewitchment thereof behold that which might be appointed for the Enlightenment of mine Eyes. Now then of this may I not speak, seeing that it involveth the Mystery of the Transcending of Time, so that in One hour of our Terrestrial Measure did I gather the Harvest of an Aeon, and in Ten Lives I could not declare it."

"De quibusdam Mysteriis, quae vidi.

"Yet even as a Man may set up a Memorial or Symbol to import Ten thousand Times Ten Thousand, so may I strive to inform thine Understanding by Hieroglyph. And here shall thine own Experience serve us, because a Token of Remembrance sufficeth him that is familiar with a Matter, which to him that knoweth it not should not be made manifest, no, not in an Year of Instruction. Here first then is one amid the Uncounted Wonders of that Vision: upon a Field Blacker and Richer than Velvet was the Sun of all Being, alone. Then about Him were little Crosses, Greek, overrunning the Heaven. These changed from Form to Form geometrical, Marvel devouring Marvel, a Thousand Times a Thousand in their Course and Sequence, until by their Movement was the Universe churned into the Quintessence of Light. Moreover at another Time did I behold All Things as Bubbles, iridescent and luminous, self-shining in every Colour and every Combination of Colour, Myriad pursuing Myriad until by their perpetual Beauty they exhausted the Virtue of my Mind to receive them, and whelmed it, so that I was fain to withdraw myself from the Burden of that Brilliance. Yet, o my Son, the Sum of all this ammounteth not to the Worth of one Dawn-Glimmer of Our True Vision of Holiness."

"De quodam Modo Meditationis.

"Now for the Chief of that which was granted unto me, it was the Apprehension of those willed Changes or Transmutations of the Mind which lead into Truth, being as Ladders unto Heaven, or so I called them at that Time, seeking for a Phrase to admonish the Scribe that attended on my Words, to grave a Balustre upon the Stele of my Working. But I make Effort in vein, o My Son, to record this Matter in Detail; for it is the Quality of the Grass to quicken the Operation of Thought it may be a Thousandfold, and moreover to figure each Step in Images complex and overpowering in Beauty, so that one hath not Time wherein to conceive, much less to utter, any Word for a Name of any one of them. Also, such was the Multiplicity of these Ladders, and their Equivalence, that the Memory holdeth no more any one of them, but only a certain Comprehension of the Method, wordless by Reason of its Subtility. Now therefore must I make by my Will a Concentration mighty and terrible of my Thought that I may bring forth this Mystery in Expression. For this Method is of Virtue and Profit; by it mayst thou come easily and with Delight to the Perfection of Truth, it is no Odds from what Thought thou makest the first Leap in thy Meditation, so that thou mayst know how every Road endeth in Monsalvat, and the Temple of the Sangraal."

"Sequitur de hac re.

"I believe generally, on Ground both of Theory and Experience, so little as I have, that a Man must first be Initiate, and established in Our Law, before he may use this Method. For in it is an Implication of our Secret Enlightenment, concerning the Universe, how its Nature is utterly Perfection. Now every Thought is a Separation, and the Medicine of that is to marry Each one with its Contradiction, as I have showed formerly in many Writings. And thou shalt clasp the one to the other with Vehemence of Spirit, swiftly as Light itself, that the Ecstasy be Spontaneous. So therefore it is expedient that thou have travelled already in this Path of Antithesis, knowning perfectly the Answer to every Griph or Problem, and thy Mind ready therewith. For by the Property of the Grass all passeth with Speed incalculable of Wit, and an Hesitation should confound thee, breaking down thy Ladder, and throwing back thy Mind to receive Impression from Environment, as at thy first Beginning. Verily, the Nature of this Method is Solution, and the Destruction of every Complexity by Explosion of Ecstasy, as every Element thereof is fulfilled by its Correlative, and is annihilated (since it loseth Separate Existence) in the Orgasm that is consummated within the Bed of thy Mind."

"Sequitur de hac re.

"Thou knowest right well, o my Son, how a Thought is imperfect in two Dimensions, being separate from its Contradiction, but also constrained in its Scope, because by that Contradiction we do not (commonly) complete the Universe, save only that of its Discourse. Thus if we contrast Health with Sickness, we include in their Sphere of Union no more than one Quality that may be predicted of all Things. Furthermore, it is for the most Part not easy to find or to formulate the True Contradiction of any Thought as a positive Idea, but only as a Formal Negation in vague Terms, so that the ready Answer is but Antithesis. Thus to White one putteth not the phrase "All that which is not White," for this is void, formless, and not clear, simple, and positive in Conception. But one answereth Black, for this hath an Image of his Significance. So then the Cohesion of Antitheticals destroyeth them only in Part, and one becometh instantly conscious of the Residue that is unsatisfied or unbalanced, whose Eidolon leapeth in thy Mind with Splendour and Joy unspeakable. Let not this deceive thee, for its Existence proveth its Imperfection, and thou must call forth its Mate, and destroy them by Love, as with the former. This Method is continuous, and proceedeth ever from the Gross to the Fine, and from the Particular to the General, dissolving all Things into the One Substance of Light."

"Conclusio de hoc Modo Sanctitatis.

"Learn now that Impressions of Sense have Opposites readily conceived, as long to short, or light to dark; and so with Emotions and Perceptions, as love to hate, or false to true; but the more Violent is the Antagonism, the more is it bound in Illusion, determined by Relation. Thus, the Word "long" hath no Meaning save it be referred to a Standard; but Love is not thus obscure, because Hate is its twin, partaking bountifully of a Common Nature therewith. Now, hear this: it was given unto me in my Visions of the Aethyrs, when I was in the Desert of Sahara, by Tolga, that above the Abyss, Contradiction is Unity, and that nothing could be true save by Virtue of the Contradiction that is contained in itself. Behold therefore, in this Method thou shalt come presently to Ideas of this Order, that include in themselves their own Contradiction, and have no Antithesis. Here then is thy Lever of Antinomy broken in thine Hand; yet, being in true Balance, thou mayst soar, passionate and eager, from Heaven to Heaven, by the Expansion of thine Idea, and its Exaltation, or Concentration as thou understandest by thy Studies in the Book of the Law, the Word thereof concerning Our Lady Nuith, and Hadith that is the Core of every Star. And this last Going upon thy Ladder is easy, if thou be truly Initiate, for the Momentum of thy Force in Transcendental Antithesis serveth to propel thee, and the Emancipation from the Fetters of Thought that thou hast won in that Praxis of Art maketh the Whirlpool and Gravitation of Truth of Competence to draw thee unto itself."

CROWLEY.20 - In the original MSS. the second paragraph begins "The shape of my star is" -- and then breaks off -- the Scribe was unable to hear what was being said. This was presumably because his mind was so full of preconceived ideas about the different kinds of stars appropriate to various ideas. An alternate phrase was subsequently dictated to the Scarlet Woman, and inserted in the manuscript by her own hand.

CROWLEY.21 - [This] paragraph was written previous to the communication of Charles Stansfeld Jones with regard to the 'numbers and the words' which constitute the Key to the cipher of this Book. See the Appendix to these comments. I prefer to leave my remark as it originally stood, in order to mark my attitude at the time of writing.

CROWLEY.22 - This 'one' is not to be confused with the 'child' referred to elsewhere in this Book. It is quite possible that O.I.V.V.I.O. (who took the grade of {8 = 3} by an act of will without going through the lower grades in the regular way) failed to secure complete annihilation in crossing the Abyss; so that the drops of blood which should have been cast into the cup of Babalon should "breed scorpions, and vipers, and the Cat of Slime". In this case he would develop into a Black Brother, to be torn in pieces and reduced to his Elements against his Will.

CROWLEY.23 - I find myself in the greatest difficulty, again and again, in the comprehension of this chapter. It might be said roughly that at the end of the first five years of Silence (An 0-IV) I understood Chapter I; at the end of the second five years (an X-XIV) I understood Chapter II, [etc.]


Grant-Symonds.0 - [Of the comments, Kenneth Grant writes:]
"Aleister Crowley's first two comments on The Book of the Law were separated by many years. The Old Comment first appeared in The Equinox in 1912. The New Comment -- which he never published -- was written in 1920 as a result of the Cephaloedium Working, a rite of sexual magick in which the Beast (Crowley) and his Scarlet Woman (Alostrael {Leah Hirsig}) was assisted by Frater Genesthai {Cecil Frederick Russell}.

"The Djeridensis Working, another comment on The Book of the Law ... was written by Crowley in Tunis in 1923; he did not complete it. There were other comments, one of which was published in The Equinox of the Gods (1936); others failed to survive. The only comment that Crowley accepted as being directly inspired by Hadit -- as promised in the Book itself -- is the brief one that he received in Tunis in 1925...."

"The commentaries on The Book of the Law reveal a structure comprising three distinct categories: (1) the occult, including qabalistic workings and formulae of sexual magick; (2) the philosophical, wherein ancient systems of world attainment are co-related with recent scientific concepts; and (3) the political, where the sociological implications of the Law of Thelema are rendered applicable to the contemporary world situation, implications that today seem even more urgent than they did fifty years ago when the New Comment was written."
-- from Kenneth Grant's introduction to Magical and Philosophical Commentaries on the Book of the Law, edited by Symonds and Grant, 93 Publishing, 1974; pp. xiii, xv.

[A more extensive analysis of the publishing history of the comments may be found

Grant-Symonds.1 - These are technical designations of the grades of the A.'.A.'. (Argenteum Astrum), the Order of the Silver Star, which Crowley constructed from the ruins of the Golden Dawn.

Grant-Symonds.2 - 'The Lesser Holy Assembly', one of the books of the Zohar, translated into Latin by Knorr von Rosenroth and into English by Macgregor Mathers. See The Kabbalah Unveiled.

[Brother Heidrick writes elsewhere:

The S. L. Macgregor Mathers book, Kabbalah Unveiled, is often represented as a translation of the entire work; but it provides only a portion of the latter part of Tom II: Pars Secunda, Tracts 1 through 3, about 250 pages in all (Zohar sections: Sepher de Zeniutha/Liber Mysterii, Idra Rabba/Synodus Areae Magna and Idra Suta/Synodus Minor). Mathers published a translation of the Latin, but he excluded the Hebrew and Aramaic text which occupies about half of each page. Thus Mathers' Kabbalah Unveiled includes about five percent of the total text of Kabbala Denudata.
(accessed 7/25/10) -333]

Grant-Symonds.3 - AVIASHTBTSh is the Hebrew form of S t b ty I say f a. Crowley did not know the meaning of the word; it appeared seemingly by chance when Crowley was writing down The Book of the Law (Liber Legis) at Aiwass's dictation. 418 is the number of the Great Work.

Grant-Symonds.4 - CCXX 220, is the number of The Book of the Law which contains 220 verses.

Grant-Symonds.5 - By Qabalah, R = 200, P = 80. R is attributed to the Sun, P to Mars. Sh here refers to the Tarot trump XX; T to the Tarot trump XI. O = 70, the number of the Devil. V or Vau = 6, the number of Taurus or the Bull. AL, i.e. Aleph and Lamed, 1 and 30 respectively.

Grant-Symonds.6 - See The Magical Record of the Beast 666, [edited by John Symonds and Kenneth Grant, Duckworth, London,] 1972.

Grant-Symonds.7 - See The Great Beast, by John Symonds, 1976.

Grant-Symonds.8 - 1920.

Grant-Symonds.9 - The Light of Asia, by Sir Edwin Arnold (1832-1904).


Heidrick.0 - Note on Source Text
Most of the [Commentaries text] has been [key] entered by [Frater Hymenaeus Beta], except for the text of Liber AL (entered by Frater [Ebony Anpu, aka Charles Reese] and proofread by many others), The Old Comment and portions of the New Comment omitted by [Louis Wilkinson; aka Louis Marlow?] in his abridgement.

This text of Liber 220 has been restored by comparison with an early surviving typescript [(TS)] of the work, except for Chapter II, the portion not covered by the typescript available at this time.

The Old Comment has been restored by [Frater William E. Heidrick], except for Chapter II, from the TS. In that portion, the Old Comment has been restored from less reliable sources and may need further revision to Crowley's text. The New Comment to Chapter II also needs further revision and expansion beyond the [Wilkinson] abridgement.

Some verses of Liber AL have were not individually commented by Crowley in this text. Some have only a New Comment, and not an Old one.

[...] for the comment to Chapter II, these may be in need of further correction to the original. [For this online version all notes have been relegated to links on a separate page.]

All other notes are [relegated to a separate page based on] attribution of origin [and] if no attribution of origin is given, the content of the curly brackets is an interpolation of a gap in the TS. These gaps were intended to be filled by hand-written symbols and foreign letters not available on the typewriter used to prepare the TS. They are in a variety of hands, sometimes missing altogether. The accuracy of these interpolations is very high, but not certain.}

Heidrick.1 - The Appendix has not yet been recovered. [Editor's Note: I have endeavoured to construct a preliminary to such an appendix by moving to 'Qabalistic (Notes) Appendix' all text from within the comments, notes, or body pertaining to numerological computations, ordinary and gematric calculations, and conclusions by equation. I have also changed all notes, such as this one, referring to the original, nonextant Appendix to be links, dropping all mentions by Brother Heidrick that it doesn't exist. -333]

Heidrick.2 - Although Crowley evidently felt that this characterization was true simply, it should be noted that this comment is not CLASS A.* The idea of center outwards and circumference inwards may actually have described the impression received by a male of the Victorian age in regard to men and women. Certainly every male mystic has the state here described as "circumference inward", " soul" and "female" at the time of reception --- vide Liber LXV. Equally, every woman who acts positively from awareness of her identity would qualify for "center outwards", "soul" and "male" in this sense. What Crowley identified as sex-linked may better be considered as modality linked, with the sexual linkage as much an accident of culture as anything else. [See also Heidrick's Note 7 on this chapter's content and women. -333]

[*The various 'Class' rankings from Crowley pertain to their reliability and to how much of the content of any one of the documents might be changed by those who present Crowley's materials. See Liber CCVII, called The Syllabus of the A.'.A.'., a.k.a. A Syllabus of the Official Instructios of A.'. A.'., which reads:

Class A consists of books of which may be changed not so much as the style of a letter: that is, they represent the utterance of an Adept entirely beyond the criticism of even the Visible Head of the Organization.]

Heidrick.3 - SIC. This is page 51 in Eddington, op. cit. 1920 edition, 1959 reprint:

"The denial of absolute simultaneity is a natural complement to the denial of absolute motion ..."
[Crowley originally had "61". -333]

Heidrick.4 - This word [OIVZ] is not certain.

Heidrick.5 - SIC, s.b. "Yang"? [Original was "Yun"; correction provided. -333]

Heidrick.6 - Elsewhere Crowley calls this sign "the secret sigil of the Beast" and it is depicted by a crescent attached to the left side of a circle. Sometimes the circle is dotted. Sometimes the Greek lower case letters sigma-theta are written connectively for this (vide. Liber MCCLXIV [The Greek Qabalah], value 209, first edition [Crowley from Liber MCCLXIV, value 209: "418 divided by 2; 209 {Symbol: MoonSun}" -333], [THE OTO NEWSLETTER, Vol. II. numbers 3 and 4], and note 28 [Crowley again from MCCLXIV Note 28: "28. Helios and Selene, Sun and Moon. The sigma-theta may refer to several things, but the total of these two letters is 209 .... The rendering of a similar structure as alpha-kappa-alpha-theta is not probable in this case. The letter name of Sigma means sign...." Heidrick note from within MCCLXIV: Crowley may also be referring to the fact that Theta looks a bit like a sun symbol (circle with a dot in the middle), while Sigma is sometimes rendered as a crescent -- that is in fact the most probable explanation for the cryptic entry under the number 209. Thus, by shape: GR:Theta = Sun, GR:Sigma (GR:sigma, C) = Moon." -333]).

Heidrick.7 - Crowley's opinion regarding the soul-less state of women refers to a matter of expression. He believed it more generally, but probably based it on Victorian male conceptions of "unliberated women". The Comment to this and the previous verse may say more about the defensive insecurity of Crowley the man than the verses of Liber AL. In Chapter I Comment, remember that all this is a male mind trying to contemplate the revelations of a goddess. Square peg and round hole problems may arise.

Heidrick.8 - Kenneth Grant, in his "Magical and Philosophical Commentaries ..." pp. 105-108 has a lengthy extension here. The [provenance] of the extension is not definitely known to be Crowley at this writing.... [This text has nonetheless been added within the Qabalistic Appendix. -333]

Heidrick.9 - [Kenneth] Grant, op. cit., adds several paragraphs here which appear to come from Crowley. ... [This text was added from Grant/Symonds to the Qabalistic Appendix. -333]

Heidrick.10 - ...This is just the bloody fallacy of FOUR TERMS! [The quotation from Russell was badly and incompletely rendered. It was corrected, and linked to an actual source online. In his text, Russell appears to provide an explanation about fallacies and their generation and character. -333]

Heidrick.11 - Sic. This is not possible and must be a typo in the TS. Grant op. cit. gives "18".

Heidrick.12 - Warning to those intending publication of the Commentaries. Besides obtaining O.T.O. permission to use the O.T.O. copyright material, it may be necessary to obtain permission from the owner(s) of the following quoted material. [I have not obtained permission from the cited author(s) in question, and have incorporated this quotation with proper references. -333]

Heidrick.13 - It is characteristic of Crowley's blind side that he saw no hint of satire in this passage. If success is the proof, all theories of utopian dependence on ant-like social order should be highly suspect. The flaw is four-fold: 1. omission of social mobility. 2. assumption of enduring intelligence linked with good will in the higher class. 3. preposterous ignorance of the limitations of tests and techniques. 4. failure to understand human motivation. All structured utopias are stagnating tyrannies. No utopian philosopher has yet devised a state which would have allowed that particular individual, the utopian philosopher himself, to survive childhood! Such fantasmogoria as these arise from the detritus of the elder age. Crowley himself once remarked to Grady McMurtry that he (Crowley) had been born before the age of Thelema and that it would take someone born in the age to fully comprehend the age.

Heidrick.14 - But see the NEW COMMENT on verse 51.

Heidrick.15 - Crowley's determined ignorance of Natural History as a subject of study is ably presented by his own direct affirmation in several of his works. Harem oriented species, including seals, sheep, cows, ... have a puritanical prig at the top of the pecking order. Pack and colony animals, such as wolves and meercats, often allow sex between only two individuals in the pack. At least it's not as bad as the parish priest who denounced homosexuality with the observation that it did not occur in animals, including dogs!

Heidrick.16 - This was written when Crowley had not yet joined O.T.O. and before he chartered O.T.O. lodges.

Heidrick.17 - Probably a slap against Freemasonry in decadence.

Heidrick.18 - ...See Frater Achad's Liber XXXI, not the same as Crowley's Liber XXXI, for more information.

Heidrick.19 - Evidently Crowley wrote this around the time of the American Prohibition. He denies virtue in illegal use, but advocates vigorous effort to change law.

Heidrick.20 - "Hadit" is the spelling of "Bahadit" found on the Stele. This is unusual in that most Egyptian spelling of the period maintained the "Ba" prefix. Crowley adopted the spelling from the Stele, and it is common as well in Liber AL. This "Hadit" or "Bahadit" is the winged sun disk, used over the entrances of temple doorways, at the tops of stel and elsewhere in Egyptian art and architecture. Interestingly, the full name of Ra-Hoor-Khuit is Ra-Heru-Khuti-Ba-Hadi, Ra-Horus who flies into the disk of the sun. --- information researched by Fr. Ebony [Charles Reese]. Liber AL was received during that part of the year in which Ra-Heru-Khuti-Ba-Hadi was said by the ancient Egyptians to rule the decan occupied by the Sun. It is not known if Crowley was aware of this particular deity being astrologically "on official watch" at the time.

Heidrick.21 - The crack about Jews is often deleted from copies of the Comment. Crowley's views in the 20s not withstanding, about 1/3 of the present members of O.T.O. are Jewish, The Paris Working was a homosexual love affair between Crowley and Victor Neuberg, and Crowley wouldn't even be "up a tree" without the Jewish Qabalah! One of the best features of Crowley is his absent-minded bigotry. No chance that any intelligent person would accept his opinions without repeated trial! In some versions of Liber Aleph the passage "never marry a nigger" appears after Crowley was seriously "paved" by his quadroon wife of the time. For the European whites, it is a matter of record that Crowley was sent a notice of expulsion from Beastship by Scarlet Woman Alostrael.

Heidrick.22 - Crowley lost his first child to illness. He blamed his wife for unhygienic practices. [The child to whom this edition is dedicated, Nuit Ma Ahathoor Hecate Sappho Jezebel Lilith Crowley. -333]

Heidrick.23 - This is not the recipe given in Abramelin, though it seems at first correct. That recipe took the proportions from the dry ingredients. If the essential oils are used instead at the same proportion, the mixture will be much too strong. In fact, the oil of cinnamon may injure the eyes or raise blisters if used at this strength!

Heidrick.24 - As the current Grand Treasurer General of the Order, I feel it incumbent upon me to offer a defense of General Cowie. In point of fact Crowley's pro-German involvement in the USA, whether clandestine on behalf of the Allies or not, occasioned a police raid on his British office. Cowie, a deafmute thousands of miles away from Crowley, could hardly prevent the Crown from seizing the Golden Book and such assets as lay about. Cowie's letters to Crowley were filled with invective against the Axis powers out of simple precaution of reputation. Crowley also was unable to understand that the British Government had seized his book sales stock. Crowley instead blamed the management of the warehouse!

Heidrick.25 - Shall we simply say that Crowley had a problem with misogyny in general? His love for the specific seems not to have been effected, witness the latter part of "Confessions".

Heidrick.26 - Some texts have "out" some "its". [This variation has been indicated by setting out the variable text into {curly brackets} and selecting between them. -333]

Heidrick.27 - Variation: "...Experts, and the Evangelical Revivalists with their Hell Fire..."


Motta.0 - Note on Source Text
Notes from Marcelo Motta are extracted from The Commentaries of AL, 1975.

Motta.1 - With regard to the above note by A.C., serious students should consult Liber V vel Reguli, the Ritual of the Mark of the Beast, for a more thorough analysis of the Word AL.

Motta.2 - This last sentence was added because A.C. was convinced that Aiwass was the Being worshipped under this name by the ancient Sumerians.

Motta.3 - Or of a woman, and initiate her. As to the meaning of the verses, there are at least four Great Meanings, one for each of the Four Ordeals mentioned in the Chapter Three, vv. 64-67. Besides these, there are subsidiary meanings which depend on the Grade of the Commentator, or the Grade of the reader. This is one of the reasons why this matter of commentaries is so difficult, and why any commentary must not be taken too seriously. The Four Great Meanings, of course, are beyond any danger of being confused, since they are experienced in Trance, and independent of Reason. They cannot be communicated through the intellect. Even the most accurate attempt to do so misleads.

Motta.4 - The reader will assimilate this more easily, on the intellectual plane, by considering the Theory of Relativity. From the point of view of Initiation, the difference between a Magister Templi and a 'Black Brother' is that the Magister knows that He is the Center of the Universe for himself, but understands that the same is simultaneously true of any other human being. The 'Black Brother' knows that he is the center of the universe, but does not understand that the same is true of others. Of all others. What is more, he does not want to understand. He interprets any manifestation of autonomy as an attempt against his authority. The reader must not think that a 'Black Brother' is necessarily a 'mean' person. On the contrary, his intentions are usually of the best. He wants your happiness. But since his definition of your happiness is based on what he thinks you should be happy with, he may cause you much harm by trying to help you. A Magister, as a rule, will not try to help you at all. The Magister is selfish. He minds His own business, and no other.

Frederick Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth had a very amusing tale of a man who approached two 'Black Brethren' and challenged them. "What does he say?" the second 'Black Brother who was somewhat hard of hearing, asked the first. "He says we are not God," the first explained. At once, the second snapped: "Atheist!" The utter lack of sense of humor is a characteristic of 'Black Brotherhood'. A Magister might have said the same thing ?but with a twinkle.

There are certain analogies between 'Black Brotherhood' and paranoia, but while paranoia is a mental disorder, 'Black Brotherhood' is of Dadth, and much more dangerous. Religious persecutions, throughout history, were always the result of a man reaching the threshold of the Abyss through the discipline of a particular faith, and then fearing to jump. His disease would then affect, telepathically and magically, those of his faith, with results such as Holy Inquisitions, Crusades, and others.

Motta.5 - Although this last sentence is grammatically wrong, we left it as written as proof of how hard it is to discuss certain Truths on the plane of the intellect. Aleister Crowley was a Master of the English Language;yet, in trying to express something that transcends Reason, he committed an error of syntax that any modern secretary would avoid! The problem was that he was caught in the quandary that the "indivisible essence" is simultaneously One and Many! Hence the 'error'.

Lay readers should understand that when A.C. writes "here Nuit appeals "what he actually means is "Here Aiwass, speaking as Nuit, appeals," etc. Aiwass, being an Ipsissimus, can of course speak in name of Infinite Space. The fact that Children is with C capital indicates a hidden technical meaning in the verse. Those Children are rather big Children! They are Giants, Titans, Gargantuas or Pantagruels of legend -- in short, they are Babes of the Abyss. This is the "Grade", or rather, the "Going" in which the Veil is Rent and the mind receives the first impact of the Infinite. In this sense, therefore, Nuit is appealing to 666 to become the Hierophant of the Greater Mysteries -- that is to say, the Magus of the Aeon, the Initiator of the Masters of the Temple. Obviously, He must be in Chokhmah.

Motta.6 - Aleister Crowley is being 'chosen and the choice is specifically declared: He is to be Hadit, that is, simultaneously Kether (the centre), Chokhmah (the tongue) and Binah (the ancient Egyptians believed that the heart was the seat of intelligence).

In short, in order to do the job for which he was chosen -- Nuit's Helpmeet?he must reach the highest Initiations possible to man. Which, of course, he did.

Motta.7 - Simple-minded readers must not think for one moment that A. C. is here "admitting the historical existence of the Virgin Mary"; on the contrary, he is obviously putting her on the same footing with Europa, Semele and others. The Virgin Birth, like the Dying God, is a much older myth than Christianity; and the Virgin was usually seeded by a God under the form of a Beast. Far from being original, Christian Theology is a pot-pourri of stolen goods.

Motta.8 - [Motta inserts his clarifying comments to Crowley's text in the following manner, followed by his note -333:]

This is the Task of the Adept, to have the Knowledge and Conversation of His Holy Guardian Angel, to become aware of his nature {the Adept's} and his purpose {the Adept's}, fulfilling them.
The Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel produce this result. It is not "the Angel's nature" or "the Angel's purpose" that are to be done by the Adept! For instance, Aiwass was the Holy Guardian Angel of A.C.; but Aiwass goes on doing His job, that of being minister of Hoor-paar-kraat, while A. C. {now 666?} does His. Suum cuique.

Motta.9 - When A.C. says, above, ..."Did we then suppose the converse?" he is speaking with his tongue in his cheek. He knows perfectly well that all religions, without one single solitary exception, suppose the converse. He, himself, had once supposed the converse.

This central mystery revealed by Aiwass was the darkest secret of most Initiatic Schools. All religions start as Methods of Theurgy; as Met hod degenerates into Routine, Blind Faith becomes more virtuous than Experience, and Dogma is born. Then God is put on a pedestal, where He, or She, or It, is less uncomfortably present when you indulge your basest appetites such as Preaching and Saving Souls.

The formidable nature of the Book of the Law becomes apparent when we see that this "Dark Mystery" is the first and simplest of its revelations. No wonder organized religions everywhere fought it! No wonder "Initiatic Orders" which had only this "Awful Truth"? "Os iris is a Black God"?to mask their financial and political maneuvers clamored that Aleister Crowley was a very wicked man.

Motta.10 - This verse establishes uncompromisingly that all Gods?G capital, that is to say, 'true Gods'-- and all men deified by legend or deceit -- that is to say, 'false gods'-- are fools. How come? It is a key. Distinction is clearly made between the two types: one are Gods; the other is men. The key is that both types are adored, which, as verses 7-9 established, is wrong. Wrong for Aspirants, of course.

The 'Gods 'are fools - that is, they reached the Plane of Consciousness of the Fool of the Tarot. The 'men' are also fools?the common, abundant variety.

Technically, an Initiate can be called a God only after crossing the Abyss. However, Masters of the Temple do not become known, therefore cannot be adored. It is Those of the Grade following, the Magi, who become known. It is the Curse of Their Grade that They must speak Truth -- so that the Falsehood contained in that Truth may enslave the souls of men. See Liber I vel Magi. Their Sphere of Consciousness, Chokhmah, receives the Influx from the Crown through the Path of Aleph, The Fool.

The 'men', in order to become adored, must be sufficiently powerful, magically speaking, to impress the consciousness of a sufficient number of weaker fools. No hard task for a Magician, but one that only a "Black Brother" would undertake. Now, although both cases result in enslavement, there is a difference in motivation and in effect. The Magus must speak, though He like it not; the 'Black Brother' ought to shut up (in order to become a Magister Templi), but he will not. The Magus fulfils the Law; the 'Black Brother' rebels against it. The enslavement produced by the Magus is in harmony with the Racial True Will; it is the kind of 'bondage that leads to freedom' (See Liber Aleph, Chapters 36-39). The enslavement produced by the 'Black Brother' invariably leads to stagnation and death. If a 'Black Brother' should ever become sufficiently powerful to 'supersede' the Magus of the Aeon in which he lives (which fortunately is absurd, although they are always trying), mankind might very well go the way of the dinosaur and other extinct species. Which is not about to happen, by any means. We are at War, certainly, and under atomic threat, certainly. Better this than the Stagnation that certain well intentioned fools would call 'Peace'! From the point of view of the Aspirant, what is the fundamental difference between the formula of the fools and that of the Gods? The Gods crossed the Abyss; they are Perfect. See verse 45: "The Perfect and the Perfect are one Perfect and not two; nay, are none!" That is, they are the "Fool of God" -- Zero.

With a true God you achieve Samadhi, Union; with a false god, one of the "fools" a 'Black Brother' you are enticed or ordered or coerced to pactuate. There is no Union involved, no Spiritual Experience. The pact functions only on the emotional and intellectual levels, and you give without receiving, since the 'Black Brother' is, deep down, afraid of you. He -- or she -- will cheat you, and play with you, and brag to you about it -- and yet, all the time, you will sense his or her fear. With a God, fear is all on your side. With a 'Black Brother'; the fear is mutual -- and usually his -- or hers -- is much bigger than yours, since he -- or she -- knows much better than you do what it is that he or she fears. Therefore, it is written: "all fools despise!" A true God needs no adoration, and will not be affected by your scorn. A 'Black Brother' will shrivel without one, and foam when faced with the other. (Exceptions to this rule pertain neither to the Grade for which this commentary is being written, nor to this verse. See Chapter Two, verse 79. See, also, Liber CLXXV.)

Aspirants must be on guard, constantly, because the 'Black Brethren' imitate the Magi, and may be mistaken for them by sloppy thinkers. Because of the confusion of their vehicles, and their spiritual pride, on reaching Samadhi with a spiritual current the 'Black Brethren' think that they are re-incarnations of the Magus who originated that particular current. They set out to do another man's job, instead of discovering their own Will, and doing it. As a result, all their words are skew-wise". But the unwary may spend centuries following a false master -- as the Roman Church, for instance, has proved.

Motta.11 - The above paragraph will sound a little naive to most readers born after the Forties. You must not forget that the Commentaries were written in the Twenties. At that time, if a pair of lovers were merely to embrace and kiss at a street corner, this would be cause for scandal.

Nor should you think that Crowley is necessarily advising you to copulate at midnight in the middle of Main Street. If you do, in most communities you are likely to interrupt or disturb traffic, thereby interfering with the will of others. Certain Operations are possible, at least at present, only 'under laboratory conditions'. But to make love under a starry sky on a grassy lawn in a public park is not only possible but, at least in this writer's experience, delicious.

To watch others 'doing it of course, is not as much fun, but it can be enormously instructive if the others have better technique than you do. If you can swallow your pride and fear and watch attentively, you may become a finer man -- or woman -- by it.

There is, of course, a technical sense in this verse, which varies according to the Grade of the reader. For instance, the numeration of 'love' is 111, which is Aleph, The Fool, and which is also a number of Binah, since its sum is 3. And 'fill' is 76, which sums 13, which is Unity, among other things (ACHD), but also Death in the Tarot. And so forth. Such sub-meanings may mislead, and their perusal or pursuit is better left 'to the right Ingenium of the Practicus' -- if to investigate them be his Will.

Motta.12 - The link between Nuit and us human beings, insofar as we are incarnated stars, is in the Sahashara Cakkram. See Liber V.

Motta.13 - Exoterically, this is a straightforward description of the relative positions of Nuit and Hadit in the stele. The esoteric meaning had better remain secret.

Motta.14 - A. C. "was inclined to believe" that "the Beast" and "the Scarlet Woman" are titles of office rather than persons. Whether this is true or not, speculation as to the secret meaning of this verse may lead to disaster. It is obvious that it is a temptation for an Aspirant's vanity to fancy himself as "the next Beast' or herself as "the Scarlet Woman".

There has been, in the last 65 years, a painful abundance of self- deluded disciples who fancied themselves as such.

It must be stated here that either office is neither easy nor pleasing to anyone's Ego, and that those who seriously aspire to become "Beast" or "Scarlet Woman" are more to be laughed at than envied. Robert Heinlein has an amusing story about how the Devil finally managed to dethrone God, and then, upon perceiving the responsibilities of Ruler of the Universe, cried in panic, "But I don't want your job!" "So sorry, old boy, now you're stuck with it," God replied gleefully, and presumably went vacationing on the Riviera.

Motta.15 - Those who are chosen for those Offices 'are not'; that is, they passed through the annihilation; they crossed the Abyss. Nor could they perform, unless they crossed. See Liber 156; also, verses 11 and 45 of this Chapter.

Motta.16 - In them, Kundalini must have reached the Ajna.

Motta.17 - The Eternal Sakhti (Nuit) must activate the Sahashara in them, attracted by the awakening of the Ajna.

Motta.18 - This word is communicated directly to any serious Aspirant when needed.

Motta.19 - Samadhi with any God is not the Ultimate Trance. The Ultimate Trance is the Union of Nuit and Hadit. That is why over the head of Ra-Hoor-Khuit in the stele, Kundalini has reached the Sahashara, and is radiating into Emptiness. See Liber VII, i, 36-40, Liber HHH, Section SSS, and Liber LXV, iii, 3 1-36.

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