Here is a book I cannot possibly give a "bad" review as it is almost entirely the work of Aleister Crowley, extracted from various previously published books. Even the introduction by Mr. Wasserman is so filled with quotations from Crowley, again from previously published and mostly still available books, that it is hard to find fault with the entire work. But there is, of course, a fault: the material in this book can be found published elsewhere, and often in better, more complete form.
Of the 174 pages, 105 of them directly after the introduction are taken up by Liber DCCCLX, John St. John, The Record of the Magical Retirement of G. H. Frater O.M. which was published as a Special Supplement to The Equinox, Volume I, Number 1. [For those interested, The Equinox, Volume I, Numbers 1-10, was recently reissured by Samuel Weiser, Inc., Box 612, York Beach, ME 03910, being 4,372 pages, a cloth set priced at $395.00 according to my latest information. It is a set well worth having and it would be the prize of any aspiring Thelemite's library.] While I applaud all accurate publications of Crowley's work, I cannot but help expect something from certain people if they are going to publish extracts from published works elsewhere available.
It would have been nice, for instance, if footnotes had been added by the editor to translate all foreign words and phrases in the text. Of course it could be said that Crowley had perhaps two "faults", excessive leg pulling and underestimating the educational level of his readers, and he assumed that we all have at least a working knowledge of Latin, Greek and various other languages. In his day he may have had some justification for believing this, but these days, here in the U.S., are different and it is something that an editor should be aware of. A further example of The Sleeping or Lazy Editor is to be found on page 37. Here, as on page 50 of the original Equinox version, we have the following:
"And as [Aleph Nun Yod] Ani 'I' thou art also [Aleph Yod Vau] the Negative, that is beyond these on either side!" [Hebrew characters were, of course, used in the original.]
No doubt the fault was the original printer's and publisher's [not Weiser] as Crowley would have certainly known the difference between a Nun-final and a Vau. While I am opposed to altering even to correct Crowley's text, at least in the majority of cases, every rule having an exception, I think it would be prudent of the editor in such a case as this to add a footnote to make the correction for the beginning students such a book is intended for. It seems to me that as editor, Mr. Wasserman could have done more than to merely clip this excerpt and part of that excerpt from a published work of the Master Therion's, stick them together and present them to the publisher to publish with his name attached, presumably deriving some profit from the publication.
Liber CLXV, A Master of the Temple can be found between pages 107 and 155 [as well as in The "Blue" Equinox, Volume I, Number 3, again recently reprinted by Samuel Weiser, Inc., being 456 unabridged pages, the hardcover priced $49.95], while pages 157 to 159 are "28 Theorems of Magick (From Magick in Theory and Prtactice)" - the examples and accompanying footnotes deleted. On pages 161 to 168 can be found Liber E vel Exercitiorum sub figura IX also from Volume I, Number 1 of The Equinox; "The Method of Training (From Magick Without Tears" [sic] on pages 169 to 170 and being only the first half of Letter #81; "The Book (From Book IV)" on pages 171 and 172; finishing with the "Selected Bibliography" on the final two pages of the book.
James Wasserman was once an editor for Samuel Weiser but terminated his association with that publisher around the same time that he associated himself with the late and quite mad Marcelo Motta - or perhaps he was terminated. Weiser has always been very professionally tight lipped in this matter. Wasserman and Motta eventually had a falling out - with Motta a fallowing out was inevitable! - and the Brazilian chap went on to write in his pseudo-Equinox, Volume V, Number 4, of March 1981 E.V.:
"James Wasserman: at a time was a Probationer under Marcelo Motta; received a full power of attorney from Motta to handle the legitimate transfer of O.T.O. property to qualified hands; disobeyed all his instructions and delivered the property into the hands of thieves. Was transferred to another instructor and subsequently was cut contact with for breaking his Oath. Has been instrumental in the piracy of O.T.O. copyrights and (reportedly) in the publication of the worst possible kind of pseudo-Thelemic material."
As I have said, the late Mr. Motta was quite mad - a megalomaniac, paranoid to an incredible degree, his delusions causing him to act as if he believed in a perversity of an old adage, "Why tell the truth when a lie will do?" et cetera - and, as a court of law easily proved, he had absolutely no right to claim ownership to the very few Crowley copyrights in existence. We can dismiss, pretty much, the charges Motta made in that book that slandered numerous individuals and groups, but we must keep in mind the old saying: like attracts like. What drew Wasserman to Motta in the first place? Immature idealism? Perhaps. Probably it was a combination of factors that brought the two together and bonded them for a time, but it must also be considered that some of those factors were the worst human qualities that the two men shared in common which also, inevitably, broke that very same bond they forged. The proof of this seems to be in the fact that now Wasserman is associated with another pseudo-o.t.o., the Caliphate gang, and shamelessly he perverts Aleister Crowley and the Practice of the Magical Diary on the page opposite the first page of his introduction [ix] with the following:
"Parties interested in contacting A.·.A.·. may write in care of Ordo Templi Orientis, J.A.F. Box 7666, New York, NY 10116".
As has been often pointed out by Newaeon, the Caliphate gang is not THE O.T.O., that having died with the deaths of Crowley and then Germer, and the A.·.A.·. is also not represented by them - this lie deriving from the fact that Jane Wolfe, a grave disappointment to Crowley, received from him a Probationer form recognizing her aspiration to the A.·.A.·.. Wolfe was an utter failure, left the Abbey of Thelema in Cefalu, later proved more disappointing still when she became a part of the ill-fated original Agape Lodge of the O.T.O. in Pasadena, at which time she, quite against the rules and without authorization, typed up a bogus A.·.A.·. form and as Probationer accepted Phyllis Seckler [Wade/McMurtry], a.k.a. Soror Meral, as a Probationer. Upon this sham the Caliphate pseudo-A.·.A.·. was founded, and to this day Soror Meral, pretending to be a great teacher of the occult and Thelema still proves herself to be no better than the worst Student.
For steering interested parties and students so wrong with the above recommendation I would advise one not to waste money on this book, low profits perhaps encouraging the publishers to be more responsible in the future. However, it is a nice little compilation of Crowley excerpts. Yet it would be better to obtain the books elsewhere published that these extracts were taken from. It is, of course, your choice.
A friend, in a letter, asked if I had yet read this book [I had] and then proceeded to give me his opinion of it:
"Aside from a few snivelling obeisances to the Caliphate pseudo-o.t.o. (and a forward by the ubiquitous Hyperanus Beta), a few outright mistakes, a noticeable sprinkling of typographical errors, and a healthy dose of atrocities with punctuation, it's not too bad. It's certainly worth ten of [another Caliphate member's] trivial, self-centered piece of shit."
In my letter of response I replied:
"I agree. It's not too bad. But of course, it is also not too good."
And that is my general opinion of Lon's book. I wanted to like it. I thought an earlier book was quite helpful and gave it a "good" review. However, my final comment on this book, which I wrote on the title page, was this:
"Another example of riding on Crowley's shoulders to the bank."
Currently I am working on a semi-historical novel [but don't worry - there is plenty of Thelema in it even though I do not hit the reader over the head with it!] and more times than I can count, people have suggested that I write a book on Magick and Thelema. Perhaps one day, I have replied every time, but only if it will be original, covering ground Crowley did not cover in his works, or truly helpful in better understanding the Master Therion's work. Simply rehashing material already published and available, presenting watered down or inaccurate versions of that material, or republishing Crowley's material with a few pages here and there actually written by myself, riding on the Beast to the bank - that's not for me. Before I would do that [and I never would] I would rather simply reprint the work of the Master as he had originally published it, perhaps with necessary but brief editorial corrections via footnotes, and let the Beast speak for himself. Who could say it better? In Magick in Theory and Practice practically every question brought to mind by a reading of the text is answered somewhere within that text. The book is admittedly a lifetime study, but that is one of the beauties of it - every time you pick it up with a bit more life and experience under your belt, you seem to find new material in it, new shining points of Light which of course were always there but unseen before. Even if someone could rewrite Magick so that anyone could pick it up, read it once and understand everything immediately [and I do not think anyone can, and certainly Lon hasn't], each ritual an easy to follow step-by-step guide to enlightenment, it would be nothing more than cookbook magic, and the thousands of things you could have learned during the struggle to understand you would not learn so that the end results would be of little worth or effect.
But specifically about The Magick of Thelema...
The cover is very quiet and dignified in appearance, but do not crack the book open too often as the glued-in pages may start to fall out.
There is a Forward by "Hymenaeus Beta X°, Frater Superior, O.T.O.", the Caliphate pseudo-o.t.o. that is, for of course Lon is still a member of that gang. He either does not recognize the fact or is afraid to face it, but it seems obvious to me that while he thinks he has been helped greatly by his association with the Caliphate gang it has actually held him back more than anything else. But I digress. Breeze in the Forward wrote that
"Aleister Crowley possessed far too much technical knowledge of magick to readily understand the problems of ordinary students. He frequently asked his younger colleagues to help make his teachings more accessible, and once explained that 'It's the sort of thing I can't do myself, not knowing the scope of the mind of the "gentler reader"'."
However, Mr. DuQuette wrote on page xvii of the Introduction:
"It did not matter to him [A.C.] that his writings would continue to be misunderstood for generations after his death. Neither did it matter to him that only a few individuals at any given time would understand him. It only mattered that the works would survive to reach them."
It looks to me that Breeze and DuQuette do not agree as much as probably the latter fellow thinks, and it appears that at least one of these gentlemen is wrong. Actually, the truth of the matter is somewhere inbetween.
By the way, it is also written in the Introduction that Crowley
"did not die amid squalor and abject poverty. His modest residence in Hastings was, and still is, a charming and reputable country boarding house."
True, except that I am not sure that it still is. An associate of mine visited England and Scotland a couple of years back, was graciously invited to tour Boleskine House, although it is not recommended that people so bother the owner of the private residence, but in searching for the Netherwood it could not be found and finally he was informed that it had been torn down several years ago.
Chapter One opens with a misquote from Magick:
"Magick is the Art and Science of causing change to occur in conformity with Will."
It should be "Science and Art", the C in "change" is capitalized, and actually all of "MAGICK" should be in upper case to be exact. However, but for the order of "Science and Art", the rest is nitpicking. Still, it made me a wary reader right off the bat. I noticed then that nowhere in his Introduction did Lon trouble himself to make a clear distinction between "will", or egoic desire, and "True Will", the purpose for existing. Of course, understanding the nature of True Will and the difference between it and the petty desires of the ego has always been a problem among members of the Caliphate gang and this may be yet one of many instances where Lon has been contaminated.
At least on page 17 Lon wrote:
"I confess that I am not a high initiate, nor am I an exemplary specimen of the ideal Thelemite",
repeating this theme at least once or twice later on in the book, and I hope that it is simple honesty and not a ploy to encourage critics to be kind to him. This critic, by the way, shows his sincere kindness by being straight forward and honest.
Pages 21-45 are The Book of the Law, derived from the original handwritten version, or a copy thereof, to judge by the minor differences that can be found in every publication of CCXX, but even this is not perfectly accurate in the sense that there are three differences on pages 30, 39 and 43 from the original handwritten version from the Beast. Although minor, when it comes to this book the differences are important.
Pages 46-49: colour reproductions of the front and back of the Stélé of Revealing along with the paraphrase of the inscriptions on both sides.
Pages 51-75 deal with "THE PENTAGRAM RITUALS" but as with the entire book, this material is not very helpful and a frequently repeated mistake is such as that on page 60: "Clasping the hand [sic] upon the breast". Pages 62-65 are a series of black and white photographs of a woman [his wife Constance?] in a robe too long to show all of the positions the feet should be in, demonstrating the various signs to make during ritual working. There are errors such as the head position in "Osiris Slain", which should not be raised heavenward. In "Puer" the left hand should rest at the junction of the thighs and not on the left hip as it is in the photo. Et cetera. And the sign of Harpocrates or "Silence" is not even given. Furthermore, Lon reorganized the form of the Lesser and Greater Rituals of the Pentagram supposedly to make them more workable, but they were fine as Crowley had them and Lon's paraphrasing and reorganization of Crowley's rituals are really of no help at all. One is much better off working with the original material by A.C. in Magick.
On page 88 we have "Table 1. Numerical Equivalents of the Greek Alphabet" - okay but giving the English equivalents of the Greek might have been of assistance to students unfamiliar with Greek and of course he missed the fact that Digamma, whose upper case looks like an English F, has a lower case that looks like an italicized F with the vertical line sweeping back and below the baseline.
Pages 89-92 presents Liber XXV, The Star Ruby, but there are errors here as well as corrections in the Greek and again we have his paraphrasing and reorganization of the original material.
Since Mr. DuQuette wrote on page 88
"Referring to the Greek words employed in The Star Ruby, Crowley wrote, 'The secret sense of these words is to be sought in the numeration thereof.'"
you may find the following of some interest:
APO PANTOS KAKODAIMONOS [Depart from me all evil spirits] = 1408 which is also the numeration of Soter [Saviour], phonen [a voice - Luke 3.22, Acts 9.4, Revelation 6.6] and Hcho [Echo, daughter of Gaea], etc..
SOI [To Thee] = 280, also the numeration of edranon [a seat, abode, dwelling], monon [only, alone], ois [a sheep, ram or ewe] and Samael, k.t.l..
O PHALLE [O Phallus] = 1366, also the numeration of e Phone [the voice - Revelation 4.1, 10.8, 14.2], dodeka onomata [the twelve names - Revelation 21.14], Kynokephalos [Cynocephalus] and phallos + Kteis [phallus or lingam + kteis or yoni), k.t.l..
ISCHYROS [Power] = 1580, which is also en phroneo [live in harmony of mind] and ischyros itself can be found in Revelation 18.8.
EYCHARISTOS [Thanksgiving] = 1886, and also having the numeration is ek toy oyranoy [(the one) from heaven - John 3.13], etheken kleronomon panton [appointed heir of all things - Hebrews 1.2], Terpsichora [Terpsichore, one of the muses], and o kyrios meta soy [the lord is with thee], k.t.l..
And finally in this place, IAO = 811, which is also proaylion [gate, gateway], titas [an avenger], mastos [breast, chest], and 811 is also the total of 718 + 93, for what that may be worth. Simply food for thought.
Getting back to the chore at hand...
Pages 103-112 present Liber V vel Reguli reorganized, some small changes made in Crowley's original wording with about six pages of material at the end edited out. Again, a better, truer version can be found in the original works by Aleister Crowley.
Chapter Six is "THE HEXAGRAM RITUALS", pages 113-122, and it is like everything before it. On pages 116-7 Lon writes that
"The first phase of the Great Work is to unite the 5 of the Magician with the 6 of the H.G.A.",
but this is at best misleading [and revealing] because the first phase is actually to purify and integrate or reintegrate, as the case may be, "the 5 of the Magician", which is, in part, what the Pentagram rituals are all about. And on page 120 the labels of the Invoking and Banishing Hexagrams have been scrambled so that Air is labelled Water, and Water labelled Air. One of the many problems with rehashing material that misleads aspirants and students.
Liber XXXVI, The Star Sapphire is dealt with on pages 129-132 as usual. And finally we come to Liber Samekh. On page 138 Lon wrote:
"My only criticism of Liber Samekh deals not with the ritual but its orignal format."
He believes that it is awkward, unworkable, and so he has reorganized it but not to any discernable advantage. And anyway, each student for him- or herself should first study this, commit it to memory until it is ingrained into the fiber of the mind, working with the script that he or she should make for him- or herself. Here we have another example of cookbook magic and apparently Lon worked entirely from his "script". Such cookbook magic can only lead to mediocre results at best and not to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. I would myself be hardpressed to recite the words of the entire ritual and visualize everything on the spot from memory at this point, but when I performed the ritual "religiously" during my 1st Great Magical Retirement, c. 1975 E.V., I did just that and despite the fact that I do not claim to have a terrific memory. Having achieved the desired results, and judging also from Lon's book, I seriously doubt that he was himself successful in reaching the goal of this ritual and that being so one has to ask oneself: Why heed the advice of a man who has not himself succeeded with the ritual? It rather reminds me of how the Donner Party followed the advice of a book written by a man who had not himself taken the route he advised others to take. The results were, to say the least, disastrous. I doubt that Lon's directions would lead to such disastrous results, however, I see no justification for bothering to present them to readers and students ... no real justification for the entire book to be honest about it. And one has to wonder about a fellow whose every personal anecodote proves that, as he himself said, he is "not a high initiate, nor ... an examplary specimen of the ideal Thelemite". Take for instance that given on page 187:
"I confess that as an overzealous young fool, I celebrated The Mass of the Phoenix by using a surgeon's scalpel in place of the Burin to ... 'make the proper sign.' To my amazement the blade painlessly disappeared almost entirely into the flesh of my chest before I realized what was happening."
Now I have done really dumb things in my early magical career, but nothing so lacking in common sense as this! And still Lon continues to do the same thing over and over again in numerous not so obvious ways, the damage he does to himself, for instance, by associating himself with and assisting the Caliphate gang. He is still mutilating himself, cutting himself deep and dangerously over and over again, lacking the common sense to see what he is doing to himself.
In the book we have Liber Resh vel Helios sub figura CC, Liber XLIV/The Mass of the Phoenix, Chapter 62 of The Book of Lies, Liber Nv and Liber Had, as well as Liber XV, Ecclesiae Gnosticae Catholicae Canon Missae, but all of this material can be found and should be sought in the works of Aleister Crowley rather than to obtain them secondhand, as it were, in this or any other book, especially if someone has rewritten, reorganized or otherwise "improved" them. For instance, in this case, there are errors in the Greek on page 236 of Liber XV, or changes in the original text if you choose to view it that way, and on page 202 of Liber NV there is an error carried over directly from the original version in The Equinox, Volume I, Number 7, no doubt originally made by the printer and not Crowley who would have known better. "(Note Nfis [Nu Digamma Iota Sigma-final originally in Greek characters] = 72, the Shemhamphorash and the Quinaries of the Zodiac, etc.)" Yet one would think that Nfith [Nu Digamma Iota Theta] would better represent Nuith than Nuis [Digamma, F, may be V, W or even U, as the Hebrew Vau.), but of course that given in Liber NV would have the numeration of 266 [50 + 6 + 10 + 200] and the other would give us 75 [50 + 6 + 10 +9]. So how does one arrive at the numeration of 72? Simple, the printer made a mistake that DuQuette and Weiser remade, which would be fine with me if Lon had only added a footnote to clarify matters. The last letter should not be a Sigma-final; it should be a now unused letter in the Greek alphabet called a Stau, which looks very much like a Sigma-final, although extending further to the right on top, and which has the same numeration as a Digamma, 6, giving the St sound. Nfist, Nuist = 50 + 6 + 10 + 6 = 72. While one may not be able to easily see why Crowley chose to spell the name thusly, it is, at least, fairly obvious how any printer could make the mistake, the letters appearing to the untrained eye so similar. A word about this in a footnote from Lon would have been helpful to the poor student trying to figure this out using the table that DuQuette provided on page 88 which does not list Stau, frequently used by Crowley.
Then we come to Chapter Eleven, "THELEMIC ORDERS" - well - that is a matter of opinion. [Not really!] On page 215 Lon tells the reader:
"I was singularly fortunate to make contact with several of Crowley's personal students",
by which I take it he is referring to Grady McMurtry, his ex-wife Phyllis, Isreal Regardie, and who knows who else, but these individuals are/were, at best, like his book, full of all kinds of secondhand information that they have in a sense rewritten, reorganized, and added their own errors to. He was not as fortunate as he believes he was! Unfortunate is more like it ... and this is more akin to the Donner Party disaster.
On page 222 he wrote that
"Ordo Templi Orientis is more active today that it ever was during Crowley's lifetime",
but this is a loaded sentence for as a member of the Caliphate pseudo-o.t.o. he is referring to that gang and not the genuine O.T.O. which essentially died with Crowley and Germer, and while it seems to be true that the Caliphate gang is more active today than the real Thelemic O.T.O. was during Crowley's lifetime, that is not saying as much as it seems to say since the legitimate Thelemic order never really got too far off the ground. It was just too old æon to be Thelemically saved, in my humble opinion. I feel bad about that for Crowley's sake, as, in his last days, this must have been personally disappointing for him.
A footnote on page 216 states that
"It is commonly believed that A.·.A.·. stands for Argenteum Astrum (Silver Star). I have been informed in no uncertain terms that this is not the case."
So what does it stand for? I suppose you have to pay up and join to find out. And who informed him of this "fact"? No doubt either Phyllis Seckler who falsely claims to represent the A.·.A.·. or one of her toadies. She is also a member of the Caliphate gang, the first "Caliph's" ex-wife.
Of course A.·.A.·. does stand for Argenteum Astrum, the Silver Star, although Crowley also referred to it in his notes on "Greek gematria" as ASTER ARGOS [Eta for E and he used the old form of Sigma which looks like an English C] which essentially means the same thing and has the numeration of 983. 983 also being the numeration of o Therion 666, the Beast 666, and apokalypta, unveiling, as well as pyrigonos, fire-producing, k.t.l. [etc.]. But perhaps what Lon was referring to in his footnote was something that someone had told him after reading The Newaeon Newsletter, Volume IV, Number 1, in which the A.·.A.·. is discussed. Among other things, I pointed out that the A.·.A.·. is the Fixed Star, Aplanes Aster, and more importantly it is the True Path, Atrekes Atrapos or Atrekes Astrapos in Greek. Argenteum Astrum, however, is the primary meaning of A.·.A.·. as anyone with knowledge of the Tree of Life and the rituals, et al, of the Golden Dawn might be able to tell you.
Very rightly Lon wrote on page 216:
"No! One does not have to join any organization, society, order, club ... to be a Thelemite or practice Thelemic Magick. ... The very term, 'Thelemic organization,' seems to be an oxymoron. A collection of militant individualists all endeavoring to do their own Will - this sounds like a recipe for chaos; and in many instances it is precisely that."
The latter part of this may indicate that Lon is coming to a realization of the true nature of the gang he is associated with, for the Caliphate gang, some of whose members also falsely claim to be representatives of the A.·.A.·., is well described here. And on page 222 Lon wrote in reference to the A.·.A.·. that
"the real work is done by the individual. No one can reveal to you a real secret. No one can project enlightenment upon you. If you expect affiliation with any organization is going to lighten your magical work load, you are mistaken; and if you are waiting for a teacher who embodies perfection, or a group in which there are no jerks, you will wait forever."
Although groups can exist with far fewer "jerks" than one can find in the Caliphate pseudo-o.t.o.!
Is the phrase "Thelemic organization" an oxymoron? Opening up my Webster's I find: "organization ... any unified, consolidated group ... especially a body of persons organized for some specific purpose..." Individuals who are sincerely trying to discover and accomplish their individual True Wills may unify to assist one another to accomplish this task. Except for relatively rare instances in which the conflict is necessary for some great purpose, if these individuals are truly doing their Wills rather than simply catering to the petty desires of ego, then there should be no conflict and there is no reason why Thelemites, strong as their individuality may be, cannot organize to employ and combine their unique talents to some greater end. Conflict is not born of a clash between mature individualists who can learn to work together. Conflict is the result of immature and selfish egos with a focus upon self-gratification rather than the greater good of all. Should one calling him- or herself a Thelemite not see this, that person is proven to be a slave to his or her own ego, incapable of even the slightest understanding of Thelema, and not a true Thelemite.
Chapter I, Verse 50 of The Book of the Law states:
"There is a word to say about the Hierophantic task. Behold! there are three ordeals in one, and it may be given in three ways. The gross must pass through fire; let the fine be tried in intellect, and the lofty chosen ones in the highest; Thus ye have star & star, system & system; let not one know well the other!"
As we are told in Chapter I, Verse 3 of The Book of the Law: "Every man and every woman is a star." System: "a set or arrangement of things so related or connected as to form a unity or organic whole; the body considered as a functioning organism; a number of bodily organs acting together to perform one of the main bodily functions;" et cetera. In physics, a system is "a group of associated bodies moving under mutual gravitation, etc." Thus you have in astronomy "star systems", and in such systems you have planets and other heavenly bodies including individual stars, each with its own specific magnitude, each with it's own unique orbit in the universe of being, each assisting the other in its way with shared magnetic, gravitational attraction and repulsion. While each follows its own individual course, these celestial bodies, these stars, contribute to the life and the forward course of the entire system with very few collisions, said collisions being the result of some body falling out of its orbit. The words in The Book of the Law were very carefully chosen, but by those dominated by ego they are not carefully studied with sincere objectivity and so they are twisted to mean something other than their obvious intent by ego to justify the petty desires or failings of ego. Quite clearly, Aiwass, through Liber AL vel Legis, tells us that we can discover and accomplish our own unique and individual True Will and work together for yet a greater purpose, our Will being the Will of the Universe, a purpose, one might say, whose sum is greater than its parts. If my Will is to write and by writing teach, is that all there is to my True Will? Of course not. As a writer I need others to assist me, a publisher for one, and that person's Will to publish and my Will to write are combined, united. We become, with those whose Will it is to publicize, to print, et al, a system. If we are true to our individual Wills, our shared goal to teach, then our Will is truly One and there need be no conflict. Our shared Will to teach leading to yet something far greater.
Of course, one cannot expect an individual dominated by ego, in a false fraternity that lacks sincere fraternity, composed of individual egos whose only real goal is self-gratification, often at the expense of others and the very philosophy that it claims to represent, that it uses to justify its greedy acquisition of petty personal pleasures only, to understand any of this. Ego cannot see beyond its own limitations.
On page 222 we also note that Lon wrote in reference to the A.·.A.·. that
"the real work is done by the individual. No one can reveal to you a real secret. No one can project enlightenment upon you. If you expect affiliation with any organization is going to lighten your magical work load, you are mistaken",
Not only is this true, but it is the single most important argument against becoming a member of a group such as the Caliphate pseudo-o.t.o.. Even if it were the Ordo Templi Orientis, which it is not, still the important work of reintegrating the conscious and the subconscious elements of oneself to achieve the Unity which is the supraconscious, the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel and ultimately Union with one's Angel, True Self, Genius or Daemon, must be done by the individual for him- or herself. Just as no one can "save" another's "soul", no one can initiate another as all initiation is essentially self-initiation, and the greatest ordeals leading to this are those created not by some arbitrary body of human beings, but by God, that is, by one's own True Self or Daemon.
As for "secrets", there are no secrets. The so-called "secret" is merely an obvious fact which one cannot perceive because of some limitation of self, most often a self-imposed, albeit often unconscious, limitation. Ordeals, if successfully passed through, lead to initiation, and initiation opens ones eyes, awakens ones spirit, enlightens ones mind, and enables one to see what has always been there, but which one has previously overlooked and possibly ignored. Another may assist you in this process, even guide you to this state of awakening, but if you are unwilling to do the necessary work to achieve this awakening, it cannot happen. And the work involved, because of ego, is difficult indeed.
Finally, on page 215 Lon Milo DuQuette wrote:
"Even though this is by no means a complete compendium of the rituals of Aleister Crowley, I am hopeful that it will be a valuable tool for both beginning and advanced students."
It isn't. The Magick of Thelema doesn't do any great harm, although it may mislead some students a little, but all of the material can be found elsewhere, in the original and better format, more reliably presented. As was said in the opening of this review and commentary, The Magick of Thelema is not too bad, but it is also not too good.