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Magick Without Tears is a personal encyclopedia of magickal instruction, annotated by experience and explained in unguarded language. Crowley covers: how to use the Qabalah as a tool rather than merely as a system of reference; the symbols of magick; etymology and its philosophy; the three major schools of magick--white, black and yellow--their approach to life and use of power; hints for meditation and astral projection; the I Ching; The Book of the Law; the Tarot; Astrology; the importance of talismans, lamens and pentacles; how to distinguish prophecy from coincidence; etc.; etc.
About the Author
Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), also known as 'The Great Beast' and the 'Wickedest Man in the World,' was one of the most profound students of Magick, Qabalah and yoga psychology. His vast influence reaches through all modern occultism. He is widely recognized as the first Western investigator to give initiation a truly scientific method. In reconciling occultism to physical science, mathematics and philosophy, Crowley achieved a lasting synthesis that remains unsurpassed for depth of insight and comprehensiveness.
This book proves, to me, that most of what I have read about Crowley, previously, was filtered through the Lens of Prejudice.
I did not start reading Crowley's works, until recently, due to his reputation and the fact that I had read much negative information about him, from the time I was a child (my Grandfather owned "An Index of Possibilities: Energy and Power," which I inherited). Most of my Opinions and Views of Crowley were created by reading the works of Colin Wilson, Nevill Drury, etc.
However, when I started reading Crowley's own words....I saw a different man. In fact, I can no longer believe the accusations of him being mentally unstable at the end of his life.
"Magick Without Tears" was written in the last years of Crowley's life, when other writers say A.C. was nuttier than a fruitcake. Yet, if you read this book, you will quickly realize he was completely Sound of Mind, Educated, Well-Spoken (or written, I should say) and quite Articulate. He obviously retained an enormous wealth of Knowledge in his own mind--only referencing books when necessary. There is no doubt that his mental faculties were still in Prime Condition. In fact, even his crankiness was tinted with a Humorous Quality that made him rather endearing. He writes the way the old guys I hang-out with Act....cranky, yet always suppressing a Mischievous grin playing on their lips & their eyes dancing with boyish light.
Yes, he was a bit Eccentric...but, he seems to wish he had not been quite so Erratic--so that people would-have taken him a bit more seriously. His introversion was displaced by Forced Extroversion, leading him to act over the top many times when, perhaps, it would have been best for him to remain a Poet, instead of a "Beast."
The Contents of "Magick without Tears" prove that the Contents of his mind were a Storehouse of Hidden Knowledge and highly sophisticated schooling--enough-so, to challenge any Professor.
The thing I find most Interesting and Amazing about this book is Crowley's Anthropological Insight into Humanity! I am a student of Anthropology and I never imagined I would find such a wealth of Anthropological Research in the works of Crowley--a man accused of being a Scoundrel and worse, by other writers.
I must say, I have seen more common-sense in the writings of Crowley, than I have in most of the Text books and religious books I have read. I think, perhaps, the reason he was so Ostracized is because he told the Blatant Truth about humanity and people's wishes, desires, behavior, et al.
The rest of Society wanted to sweep their "faults" under the carpet and hide them in the closet--but, Crowley wanted to be Honest and Celebrate these truly Human and NORMAL desires.
I believe someone should bestow an Honorary Anthropology Phd on Aleister Crowley. He makes more sense than most supposedly "educated" men on the subject of the Human Condition.
I could not put this book down--literally...I carried it around the house, reading whenever I got a chance. I strongly suggest this collection of Crowley's writings to anyone interested in the subjects of Crowley, Magick, Anthropology, Psychology, History or Religion.
This book taught me a lesson: "Do your Own Research."
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