Search results for: aleister-crowley-and-the-temptation-of-politics

Aleister Crowley and the Temptation of Politics

Author : Marco Pasi
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Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) is one of the most famous and significant authors in the history of western esotericism. Crowley has been long ignored by scholars of religion whilst the stories of magical and sexual practice which circulate about him continue to attract popular interest. "Aleister Crowley and the Temptation of Politics" looks at the man behind the myth - by setting him firmly within the politics of his time - and the development of his ideas through his extensive and extraordinarily varied writings. Crowley was a rationalist, sympathetic to the values of the Enlightenment, but also a romantic and a reactionary. His search for an alternative way to express his religious feelings led him to elaborate his own vision of social and political change. Crowley's complex politics led to his involvement with many key individuals, organisations and groups of his day - the secret service of various countries, the German Nazi party, Russian political activists, journalists and politicians of various persuasions, as well as other writers - both in Europe and America. "Aleister Crowley and the Temptation of Politics" presents a life of ideas, an examination of a man shaped by and shaping the politics of his times.

Aleister Crowley and the Temptation of Politics

Author : Marco Pasi
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Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) is one of the most famous and significant authors in the history of western esotericism. Crowley has been long ignored by scholars of religion whilst the stories of magical and sexual practice which circulate about him continue to attract popular interest. "Aleister Crowley and the Temptation of Politics" looks at the man behind the myth - by setting him firmly within the politics of his time - and the development of his ideas through his extensive and extraordinarily varied writings. Crowley was a rationalist, sympathetic to the values of the Enlightenment, but also a romantic and a reactionary. His search for an alternative way to express his religious feelings led him to elaborate his own vision of social and political change. Crowley's complex politics led to his involvement with many key individuals, organisations and groups of his day - the secret service of various countries, the German Nazi party, Russian political activists, journalists and politicians of various persuasions, as well as other writers - both in Europe and America. "Aleister Crowley and the Temptation of Politics" presents a life of ideas, an examination of a man shaped by and shaping the politics of his times.

Aleister Crowley

Author : Tobias Churton
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At last, the unexpurgated, true story of the amazing Aleister Crowley—philosopher, poet, artists, writer, magus, explorer, parapsychology—and spy. Packed with fresh research and previously unpublished ‘Crowleyana.’ For 100 years, Aleister Crowley’s true achievements have been suppressed and his true character defaced in a campaign of vilification unparalleled in British history. Until now, Crowley’s life has not been written—it has been written over. Tobias Churton is a world authority on Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, and Gnosticism. In writing Aleister Crowley, he enjoyed complete access to all Crowley’s restricted papers, unpublished letters and personal diaries kept in a trust at London’s Warburg Institute and in the Ordo Templi Orientis archives. Ninety percent of the authentic material here has never before been published.

Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism

Author : Henrik Bogdan
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This volume is the first comprehensive examination of one of the twentieth century's most distinctive iconoclasts. Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) was a study in contradictions. Born into a fundamentalist Christian family and educated at Cambridge, he was vilified as a traitor, drug addict, and debaucher, yet revered as perhaps the most influential thinker in contemporary esotericism. Moving beyond the influence of contemporary psychology and the modernist understanding of the occult, Crowley declared himself the revelator of a new age of individualism. Crowley's occult bricolage, Magick, was an eclectic combination of spiritual exercises drawn from Western European magical ceremonies and Indic sources for meditation and yoga. This journey of self-liberation culminated in harnessing sexual power as a magical discipline, a "sacrilization of the self" as practiced in Crowley's mixed masonic group, the Ordo Templi Orientis. The religion Crowley created, Thelema, legitimated his role as a charismatic revelator and herald of a new age of freedom. Aleister Crowley's lasting influence can be seen in the counter-culture movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s and in many forms of alternative spirituality and popular culture. The essays in this volume offer crucial insight into Crowley's foundational role in the study of Western esotericism, new religious movements, and sexuality.

Aleister Crowley Sylvester Viereck Literature Lust and the Great War

Author : Patrick J. Quinn
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This book explores the lives of two writers, one born in Germany (Viereck) and one born in England (Crowley), who were both influenced by decadent French writers such as Baudelaire and Mirbeau and English poets such as Swinburne and Wilde. They both wrote decadent poetry early in their careers before becoming known in literary circles as two of the most wicked writers in America (Viereck) and the world (Crowley). By their twenties, their reputations as rebels against the restrictive and stifled cultures they inhabited were firmly established. Both men enjoyed breaking with the status quo by writing poetry, short stories, and plays with exotic scenes that celebrated the beauty of the female body. Both writers were captivated by the femme fatale and her deleterious effect on her male victims, robbing them of their opportunity for transcendence into a spiritual realm. Their work, especially their love poetry, their science fiction works dealing with vampires, and articles and essays concerning the onset of the Great War are still very readable today. What is also intriguing is that, in 1915, both men were working together in New York, where Viereck was the editor of two pro-German magazines, The Fatherland and The International. Searching for an editorial position at that time, Crowley learned about an opening and was hired by Viereck. There is speculation that Crowley’s “discovery” of the job opening for these pro-German magazines was a clever plan on the part of the British secret service to place one of their agents inside the German spy network in America, of which Viereck was a key player. Propaganda, intrigue, cover-ups, and the American declaration of war on Germany all make this alliance between the two very decadent poets, and perhaps spies or even double agents, worth knowing more about.

Aleister Crowley The Beast in Berlin

Author : Tobias Churton
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A biographical history of Aleister Crowley’s activities in Berlin from 1930 to 1932 as Hitler was rising to power • Examines Crowley’s focus on his art, his work as a spy for British Intelligence, his colorful love life and sex magick exploits, and his contacts with magical orders • Explores Crowley’s relationships with Berlin’s artists, filmmakers, writers, and performers such as Christopher Isherwood, Jean Ross, and Aldous Huxley • Recounts the fates of Crowley’s friends and colleagues under the Nazis as well as what happened to Crowley’s lost art exhibition Gnostic poet, painter, writer, and magician Aleister Crowley arrived in Berlin on April 18, 1930. As prophet of his syncretic religion “Thelema,” he wanted to be among the leaders of art and thought, and Berlin, the liberated future-gazing metropolis, wanted him. There he would live, until his hurried departure on June 22, 1932, as Hitler was rapidly rising to power and the black curtain of intolerance came down upon the city. Known to his friends affectionately as “The Beast,” Crowley saw the closing lights of Berlin’s artistic renaissance of the Weimar period when Berlin played host to many of the world’s most outstanding artists, writers, filmmakers, performers, composers, architects, philosophers, and scientists, including Albert Einstein, Bertolt Brecht, Ethel Mannin, Otto Dix, Aldous Huxley, Jean Ross, Christopher Isherwood, and many other luminaries of a glittering world soon to be trampled into the mud by the global bloodbath of World War II. Drawing on previously unpublished letters and diary material by Crowley, Tobias Churton examines Crowley’s years in Berlin and his intense focus on his art, his work as a spy for British Intelligence, his colorful love life and sex magick exploits, and his contacts with German Theosophy, Freemasonry, and magical orders. He recounts the fates of Crowley’s colleagues under the Nazis as well as what happened to Crowley’s lost art exhibition--six crates of paintings left behind in Germany as the Gestapo was closing in. Revealing the real Crowley long hidden from the historical record, Churton presents “the Beast” anew in all his ambiguous and, for some, terrifying glory, at a blazing, seminal moment in the history of the world.

Pessoa

Author : Richard Zenith
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FINALIST: 2022 PULITZER PRIZE IN BIOGRAPHY A NEW STATESMAN AND SPECTATOR BOOK OF THE YEAR 2021 'A revelation. Such a revolutionary literary discovery seems unlikely to be on offer again. It's that good' Sunday Times 'A masterpiece of literary biography. Zenith has produced a work in some ways as astonishing as those of Pessoa himself' John Gray, New Statesman For many thousands of readers Fernando Pessoa's The Book of Disquiet is almost a way of life. Ironic, haunting and melancholy, this completely unclassifiable work is the masterpiece of one of the twentieth century's most enigmatic writers. Richard Zenith's Pessoa at last allows us to understand this extraordinary figure. Some eighty-five years after his premature death in Lisbon, where he left over 25,000 manuscript sheets in a wooden trunk, Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935) can now be celebrated as one of the great modern poets. Setting the story of his life against the nationalistic currents of European history, Zenith charts the heights of Pessoa's explosive imagination and literary genius. Much of Pessoa's charm and strangeness came from his writing under a variety of names that he used not only to conceal his identity but also to write in wildly varied styles with different imagined personalities. Zenith traces the back stories of virtually all of these invented others, called 'heteronyms', demonstrating how they were projections, spin-offs or metamorphoses of Pessoa himself. Zenith's monumental work confirms the power of Pessoa's words to speak prophetically to the disconnectedness of modern life. It is also a wonderful book about Lisbon, the city which Pessoa reinvented and through which his different selves wandered. 'Definitive and sublime' New York Times 'Completely superb and magisterial. Finally, this extraordinary poet gets the great biography he deserves. Unsurpassable' William Boyd

The Eloquent Blood

Author : Manon Hedenborg White
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In the conventional dichotomy of chaste, pure Madonna and libidinous whore, the former has usually been viewed as the ideal form of femininity. However, there is a modern religious movement in which the negative stereotype of the harlot is inverted and exalted. The Eloquent Blood focuses on the changing construction of femininity and feminine sexuality in interpretations of the goddess Babalon. A central deity in Thelema, the religion founded by the notorious British occultist Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), Babalon is based on Crowley's favorable reinterpretation of the biblical Whore of Babylon, and is associated with liberated female sexuality and the spiritual ideal of passionate union with existence. Analyzing historical and contemporary written sources, qualitative interviews, and ethnographic fieldwork in the Anglo-American esoteric milieu, the study traces interpretations of Babalon from the works of Crowley and some of his key disciples--including the rocket scientist John "Jack" Whiteside Parsons, and the enigmatic British occultist Kenneth Grant--until the present. From the 1990s onwards, this study shows, female and LGBTQ esotericists have challenged historical interpretations of Babalon, drawing on feminist and queer thought and conceptualizing femininity in new ways. Tracing the trajectory of a particular gendered symbol from the fin-de-siècle until today, Manon Hedenborg White explores the changing role of women in Western esotericism, and shows how evolving constructions of gender have shaped the development of esotericism. Combining research on historical and contemporary Western esotericism with feminist and queer theory, the book sheds new light on the ways in which esoteric movements and systems of thought have developed over time in relation to political movements.

One Truth and One Spirit

Author : Keith Readdy
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Based upon academic research at the University of Amsterdam's Center for the History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents, One Truth and One Spirit is a much-needed work that covers a previously unexplored history of the modern religious movement known as Thelema. This work details the theoretical framework of Aleister Crowley's spiritual legacy in the O.T.O. and the A?A? and covers the years of Thelema since Crowley's death in 1947. One Truth and One Spirit approaches a complex topic with a complex history, with exhaustive citations and sources, but it is written for anyone interested in the subject of Thelema. The author utilizes published source material as well as previously unavailable information, which makes this a unique contribution to the available literature. One Truth and One Spirit is expected to be of interest to the novice, the scholar, and the seasoned practitioner of Thelema. The work provides a general historical overview of Thelema from a theoretical vantage point, explores the historical development of the movement from the 1960s to the 1990s, and applies the author's own critical discussions on the topic itself.

High Culture

Author : Christopher Partridge
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History is littered with evidence of humanity's fascination with drugs and the pursuit of altered states. From early Romanticism to late-nineteenth-century occultism and from fin de siècle Paris to contemporary psychedelic shamanism, psychoactive substances have playedcatalyzing people. Yet serious analysis of the religious dimensions of modern drug use is still lacking. the use of drugs and the pursuit of transcendence from the nineteenth century to the present day. Beginning with the Romantic fascination with opium, it chronicles the discovery of anesthetics, the psychiatric and religious interest in hashish, the bewitching power of mescaline and hallucinogenic fungi, the more recent uses of LSD, as well as the debates surrounding drugs and religious experience. This fascinating and wide-ranging sociological and cultural history fills a major gap in the study of religion in the modern world and our understanding of the importance of countercultural thought, offering new and timely insights into the controversial relationship between drugs and mystical experience.