Discussion:
[General][Hermetic] Any good course books?
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Rev. Dustin Michael Shappee I, R.R.C.X.
2018-01-07 10:20:00 UTC
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Hello. This is my first time posting to this newsgroup. Nice to meet
you all.

I have read the Kyballion, as well as The Arane Teachings. I have
begun to study Crowley's /Liber/. Though I do not believe in thelemic
mysticism, I have much respect for Crowly's insights and
contributions. I believe myself now ready to rise to the level of
Student, and for the past few months I have indeed began to study.

My question for this group is simply what a good introductory
coursebook is. I have reservations for going gung-hoe to yet another
Crowley work, but I am considering _Majick in Theory and Practice_. Is
this a worthy purchase?

Thank you very much.

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LittleEndian65
2018-01-07 19:35:15 UTC
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Post by Rev. Dustin Michael Shappee I, R.R.C.X.
Hello. This is my first time posting to this newsgroup. Nice to meet
you all.
Welcome Rev. Dustin Michael Shappee I, R.R.C.X.

I can tell by your name that you're going to fit right in.
Post by Rev. Dustin Michael Shappee I, R.R.C.X.
I have read the Kyballion, as well as The Arane Teachings. I have
begun to study Crowley's /Liber/. Though I do not believe in thelemic
mysticism, I have much respect for Crowly's insights and
contributions. I believe myself now ready to rise to the level of
Student, and for the past few months I have indeed began to study.
My question for this group is simply what a good introductory
coursebook is. I have reservations for going gung-hoe to yet another
Crowley work, but I am considering _Majick in Theory and Practice_. Is
this a worthy purchase?
I'd say it's worth a read, not necessarily a purchase. You can read it
online here: https://hermetic.com/crowley/book-4/aba3

Much of Crowley's writings are hard to follow, as his writings are
obscure, to say the least. Reading them requires a precision of mind
that most coming to his works don't have. Most come to his works with
preconceptions as to what magick is about, and Crowley's words turn into
a mirror, reflecting back the reader's preceptions rather than teaching
them the actual theory and practice of magick.

While this facet of Crowley's works may have baked in by design, I do
wonder why people bother with such obscure writings when much clearer
writings are available elsewhere. But alas, for better or worse, many
prefer Crowley's path.

I think you'd probably be better off reading someone who makes Crowley
more palatable, and I can think of nobody better than alt.magick's very
own Erwin Hessle. I'd recommend starting with his A Thelemic Primer:
http://www.erwinhessle.com/writings/thelp.php

You might also want to supplement your readings with works from other
traditions. Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism are all traditions that
Crowley himself explored, and it may be useful to compare and contrast
their works with Crowley's.

I wish you all the best on your exploration of the mysteries.
Krysta Laurie
2018-01-10 07:48:49 UTC
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I thought the whole point of Crowley's "path" was that he wants you to challenge what you don't agree with and cut your own path. The point is to develop a ritual pattern in line with natural algorithms (biorhythms) so that you maintain a healthy psyche and thus control over your own microcosmic reality. In fact I heard it might even be a degree requirement somewhere in the o.t.o. that you write your own ritual. That said, Magick in Theory and in Practice is a good introduction to kabbalah, yoga and solomonic/enochian/thelemic ritual structure. Tbh Crowley's main form of working was enochian. Thus the A.A.'s concentration on knowledge and conversation with your holy guardian angel (Enochian is the language of angels). The 5°=6* of A.A. is the practice of liber samekh (Crowley's translation of a good old Solomonic Goetic Howling). Which is G.D. precursory work for enochian. The rabbit hole goes deep. My main advice is ask the right questions (who, what and where... not why or how),couple your learning with Jungian psychology/soul alchemy and attend to what is closest at hand first/foremost.
LittleEndian65
2018-01-10 20:06:47 UTC
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Post by Krysta Laurie
I thought the whole point of Crowley's "path" was that he wants you to challenge what you don't agree with and cut your own path.
Challenging what you don't agree with isn't unique to Crowley or
Thelema. In fact, it is a common theme in most traditions. For example,
Christianity has "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." and
Buddhism has the Kalama Sutra.
Krysta Laurie
2018-01-11 07:46:09 UTC
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I never said it was unique. I said it was the point of it. You're adding things for the sake of debate. ;)
Mike_Duffy
2018-01-12 07:48:30 UTC
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Post by Krysta Laurie
You're adding things for the sake of debate. ;)
It seems to me that you two are not arguing against each other, but rather
are saying substantially the same thing in a different way.

Of maybe I just don't understand. But that's why we are all here, no? I
have said before that I don't know why I'm here. Partly I guess it's a
diehard attempt to bring back Usenet to it's glory(?) days if I just wish
hard enough for it to happen.
Krysta Laurie
2018-01-13 07:37:34 UTC
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I was answering the thread opening topic...specifically, "I have
begun to study Crowley's /Liber/. Though I do not believe in thelemic
mysticism, I have much respect for Crowly's insights and
contributions.". The point of my last comment though was in reply to being accused of saying that Crowley's wanting his students to challenge his teachings was in any way a unique methodology. I said no such thing and feel that I was being debated with simply for the sake of debate and not for at all differing opinions on that specific subject. You are entirely correct my dear friend. :)
LittleEndian65
2018-01-14 17:18:13 UTC
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Post by Krysta Laurie
I never said it was unique. I said it was the point of it. You're adding things for the sake of debate. ;)
Nope. I first discussed Crowley's path in this thread as a comparison
with other paths. So I don't think it was unreasonable of me to assume
you were also making a comparison when you replied to that comment.
Krysta Laurie
2018-02-06 08:15:21 UTC
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Just because you're doing something doesn't mean I am following along. Any decent leader cuts their own path through the brush and knows enough to let a layman go first through the briar patch.
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