"No more fatal mistake can be made than to grasp after a grade. Attainment is an appalling danger if one is not perfectly fitted for it at every point. One must search oneself unsparingly for weak spots; the smallest scratch suffices to admit a germ of disease and one may perish altogether through a moment's carelessness. It is unpardonably foolhardy to take a chance in matters of such serious import"
- The Confessions of Aleister Crowley
(Hill & Wang, 1970 E.V., page 526)
In TNN I.6 we discussed Kenneth Grant by way of reviewing his books entitled The Magical Revival, Cults of the Shadow and Nightside of Eden. In TNN II.6 we did the same by way of another of his books, Aleister Crowley & the Hidden God. Very generally our conclusions were that Mr. Grant is indeed knowledgeable, but that in his all too eager pursuit of attainment, rushing up the Tree without taking each step carefully, and instead of Crossing the Abyss and the false sephira Daäth, he plunged into that direct entrance to the qliphothic realms, donned the false crown of Daäth (Knowledge) and accepted Choronzon (essentially the false self or ego) as his god. Throughout his books he consistantly admits to this in simple language, surrounded, of course, by the grossest of rationalizations that confuse the issue enough to disguise what he has said to the typical sloppy reader.
We do not wish to repeat ourselves here. However, during our Period of Silence Mr. Grant had another book published and it seems only fitting and natural that we should review it now, in this place. That book is entitled Outside the Circles of Time and it is published by Frederick Muller Limited of London (1980 E.V.) - and really, they should exercise more integrity next time they publish. Sure the book probably sold enough to make a profit for the publishing company, however, it has also served to pervert Thelema and misguide already ill-guided students, and the bloody book is simply full of errors and perversions of fact. Seriously, gentlemen, can you justify publishing such rubbish? Grant's first book was okay so far as it went, although far from perfect, but as his mind deteriorated, torn to shreds by the qliphothic forces that are eating him alive, his knowledge became more twisted and has turned to sheer madness. Just trying to read one of Grant's latter books is guaranteed to give one a terrible headache! I therefore hope we can say that Outside the Circles of Time is his last book.
There is in Outside the Circles of Time some interesting art work reproduced in black and white. Among the best are the works by Michael Magee, Allen Holub, Samuel Adkins, Austin Osman Spare and some of Steffi Grant's. Some of Steffi's work is bad while the absolute worst is Michael Bertiaux's. Maggie Cook (aka Andahadna) is good, but her figures look rather lifeless and manikin-like. Art reflects something of the artist as a written work reveals something of the writer, and Maggie's art work tends to make one think that perhaps she is rather artificial and affectatious. Spare's work shows genius, but twisted and perverted, as his human figures are twisted out of shape. Bertiaux's "art", if you will excuse the ill use of that term in this instance, shows the artist to be very crude, undisciplined and violent. Generally speaking, even the best of these artists seems to have a nasty turn of mind that causes them to consistantly gravitate towards the macabre and horrendous. It makes one wonder about the minds of such occultists. But this is all beside the point. The point is Kenneth Grant and his state of mind. He chose these works to incorporate in his book and his choice also says something about him. Throughout his book, in fact, he goes on to say that so-and-so claims this, and so-and-so says that, and so on, telling us what several of these occultists claim and believe and yet never seeming to come to a point. Kenneth Grant's thoughts seem to be, more than ever, unfocussed and dispersed.
Grant constantly cites Spare and Charles Stansfeld Jones (Frater Achad) as authorities when in fact they had both fallen. Spare had shut himself up into a tower as a black brother, giving up women and resorting to the exclusive practice of the VIII° O.T.O., that is to say, the production and direction of magical energy via auto-sexual practices alone - masturbation. Jones, on the other hand, fell to the very depths of the qliphothic realms and believed himself to have achieved the greatest heights of magical attainment. His ego became so unbelievably inflated that he rearranged the entire Tree of Life that was developed by many wise scholars over many centuries.
Likewise, Grant uses as authority such manufactured pieces of garbage as Maggie Cook's Liber Pennae Praenumbra. In fact, throughout this book Grant refers to "a certain rare and secret manuscript" (page 26), "a certain secret grimoire" (page 20), "the 'secret comment'" (page 48), and so forth to lend weight to his words and make himself appear to be in possession of vast secret wisdom and thus lure the innocent and eager to learn into his clutches.
There is talk about the so-called Æon of Maat which is already supposed to have dawned - over 2,000 years earlier than is commonly accepted. This is sheer nonsense and utopian wish fulfillment. His explanations of "linear sequence of events" and "a perichoresis" only serve to confuse the matter - and that is exactly what he wants to do.
Confusion is the greatest tool in the arsenal of the Black Brotherhood. To this end, as well as to seem intelligent and important, Grant employs the typical charlatan's trick - he uses a lot of ten dollar words that mean to impress as well as lose the reader:
"Ultra-dimensional and extra-temporal consciousness", "perichoresis", "an implosion of synchronicity", "sense derangement", "creative delirium", "extra-dimensional absence", "sub-chtonian levels", "Protoplasmic Reversion", "anoesis", "the Nilotic mud of matter", etc., etc., etc..
As Aleister Crowley wrote in The Confessions, page 879,
"Nothing is easier than to pick up a few awe-inspiring terms and stir them into soup. It is the only way to impress those even more ignorant."
Grant consistantly confuses and twists things in order to misguide the student of Magick and Thelema. Everything he writes is calculated to lead the as yet ignorant in the wrong direction and directly into magical disaster. For instance, on pages 61 and 62 he writes,
"The A.·.A.·. or Silver Star of Set, is focussed upon earth via Aiwaz who transmitted the 93 Current from that Star to earth ..."
While before this on page 61 he wrote,
"The 93 Current emanates from or is uttered by, the A.·.A.·., which is identical with the Star of Set, Sirius, or Sothis."
It is his habit to constantly misdirect the student into searching the heavens for a physical star in the material universe when in fact that Silver Star is within. In The Book of the Law, Liber AL vel Legis sub figura CCXX, Chapter I, Verse 3, it is written that "Every man and every woman is a star." While in Magick in Theory and Practice, the last two lines of "One Star in Sight", Therion has written,
Grant makes references to the qliphoth that indicate that a great deal of communion with them is desirable when in fact they are the excrement that we must all learn to cast off - we are not to wallow in the sewage of the qliphothic realms as Grant would have us do. Yet there are times that he speaks plainly enough - if only his confusion would not lead to the desire to commune with the qliphothic forces. Page 40 clearly warns against the qliphoth - it is like a glimmer of reason and rationality still hanging on to the tattered shreds of the man's sanity.
"To give reality to the dream-haunters is to give birth to the dark influx of forces that are ever waiting to gain access to the human life-wave. These qliphotic entities are known as the Liers-in Wait [sic]."
"These creatures, which are of a qliphotic nature, are permeating the astral atmosphere of the earth, preparing the way for the denizens of Daäth that swarm beyond the Veil of the Abyss."
And page 67:
"How to deal with them is one of the most urgent problems now facing humanity."
However, Grant's solution is to let them in to have their way, to run amok. Page 15:
"It should be evident that those who let in the forces of the Qliphoth must themselves assume the Mask of the Beast."
This is very misleading for "the Beast" should be "a beast" as 666 would accomplish just the opposite, and since the Beast is considered "good" to the Thelemite, then it must be good to let those qliphothic forces in to our (personal) universe - or so such a sentence leaves one to conclude. He even goes so far as to suggest that one identify with certain qliphothic forces which could only have one result if successful - the ruination of the magician via possession.
Grant rationalizes the importance he places upon Choronzon (the numeration of whose name is 333, ChVRVNZVN [Hebrew consonants implied]) by continually pointing out that "Shugal-Choronzon (333 + 333)", on page 77 and elsewhere, equals 666. Since when do two wrongs make a right?
One of Grant's favourite tricks is to drop a fact upon you without explanation, such as the numeration of things. Instances: Page 20, "Dagon is qualistically [sic] equivalent to the number 777". Presumably he is spelling Dagon in Hebrew, DGON (Daleth, Gimel, Ayin, Nun). Page 52, Azyn = 718? Only if you count the Nun-final, once more, as 700 - AZYN. IPSOS is supposed to equal 696 (it is a manufactured Word, by the way) and this can only be so if spelled IPhShVSh, although Grant, as usual, never bothers to explain this. And yet when the numerations to certain words are given they are incorrect! Page 92: "... maion, and its numeration - 257". As MAION it would come to 171. Exchange the Aleph (A) for an Ayin (O or A'a) and it is 240. And counting the Nun-final as 700 certainly would not help! Page 107: "ABN ShLDMH = 438". It comes to the numeration of 432. Page 119: "eighteen being the number of the Graal, and of ChIA". ChIA is 8 + 10 + 1 and according to my math that equals 19. Page 122: "216 is also the number of DRAVN". No. DRAVN in Hebrew equals 261, a number used above. Can we blame this one on the printer? Does like attract like? Page 125: IMAHBI = 88? It actually equals 68, i.e. 10 + 40 + 1 + 5 + 2 + 10. [88 is possible if you spell the Yods out completely, IVD + MAHB + IVD, i.e. 10 + 6 + 4 + 40 + 1 + 5 + 2 + 10 + 6 + 4, but this is such a twisted way to achieve the desired numeration that I doubt even Grant thought of it. -ED] KLChK = 78 on page 129 and not number 58 as Grant claims. Also on page 129 he states that "Nu + Had = 61" and this is really confusing as throughout he has been using Hebrew and the only way that these two god-names can come to 61 added together is if they are spelled as Nu Digamma (56) and Alpha Delta (5), that is, in Greek.
One of the greatest conceits of his ego is his magical name, Aossic Aiwass 718. You will note that it not only incorporates the name of the Angel of the Æon, Aiwass, but the initials of the Argenteum Astrum or A.·.A.·.. One page 51 he writes that "237 is also the number of Aossic, spelled in a certain manner", but of course he does not explain how this is so. Twist your head around just a bit and you can come up with it. AVSSIQ = 237.
It is interesting to note that the numeartion of Aossic, the name of his false self which he accepts as the True Self, transliterated into Greek, Aossik (Alpha Omicron Sigma Sigma Iota Kappa), comes to the numeration of 501, which is also the numeration of the following: sapron, "bad, rotten, worthless, a bad or harmful word"; o planos, "the deceiver" (2 Jn. 7 of the New Testament);skaios, "on the lefthand side" - a reference to the Left Hand Path in the most negative sense of the phrase. And that says it all!
Here we have just skimmed quickly over the first half of the book. How much more nonsense might we find by a careful study of the entire work!
There is little or no worth in the works of Kenneth Grant and more likely than not one can only be led astray by bothering with his books and taken off of the True Path (Atrekes Atrapos).
Book burning is a horrendous crime to my mind, still........
(TNN IV.4.6-9, Autumnal Equinox, September 1985 E.V.)