Aliester Crowley’s “The Book of Lies”

[I wrote this commentary back in August 1994. It is presented here without any editing… I added some comments on February 11, 2015.]



Crowley (1875 – 1947) was 38 years old when this book written by him was first published in London in 1913. Revised edition was published in 1952 with author’s own commentary (circa 1921). First reprint has recently been published in 1992 by SAMUEL WEISER, Box 612, York Beach, Maine 03910.

Crowley’s philosophy derives from eastern thought. It matured in the background provided by Free Masonry.

       “… it is composed of more or less disconnected elements.” An original creation is obviously unique and not connected to anything but itself. At the level of pure creation, there are no connections, and therefore, no logic.

       “… obscure oracles… obscure allusions… cryptograms…” Appearances, such as problems and mysteries, disappear when they are perceived in their entirety. Truth has to be altered to make it persist before it can be communicated.

       “… invoked Dionysus…” In Greek mythology, Dionysus (also known as Bacchus) was the god of wine whose mysteries inspired ecstatic orgiastic worship. Worshipers invoked ecstasy through loud singing, wild dancing, intoxication, drugs, licentiousness, and debauchery. When in a state of ecstasy, ego and identity are completely bypassed and one feels in complete harmony, and this leads to new realizations about life. But where one is dependent on physical vias (sex and drugs) one cannot sustain that ecstatic state and eventually degrades oneself.

       “… the spirit came over me…”  In its native state a being is totally at cause and it can confront and understand anything. When this state occurs, one feels completely in tune with life and totally aware. One is totally THERE and CONFRONTING whatever is there. This brings about an understanding of deeper meanings of life accompanied by indescribable ecstasy.

COMMENT February 11, 2015: I no longer think in terms of “a being at cause,” which was an idea from Scientology. This idea assumes there is a constant called a “being”. There is no such constant. Cause is not a property of being. Cause and effect are relationships that simply occur in associations. In native state the attention is totally free and it has no inertia because it has no fixed structure. A free attention can totally mould itself around whatever it perceives and understand it completely.

       “The entire symbolism… blazed upon my spiritual vision.” Anything that we perceive is a symbol in one form or another. The question is, “What is beyond all symbolism?”



       ?          – perplexed, confused… NOT KNOW, WANT TO KNOW

       !           – sudden realization… WONDEROUS ECSTASY OF KNOWING

COMMENT February 11, 2015: One may see “confusion of not knowing” as a veil. But the “ecstasy of knowing” could act as a veil too. One may get stuck in that ecstasy and become unable to mould the attention to what is now there. The flexibility gets lost with slightest bit of structure that stays even as ecstasy.




It refers to Silence. “O” is NOTHING in the absolute sense. “O!” is the exclamation of wonder or ecstasy, which is the ultimate nature of things.

COMMENT February 11, 2015: The ultimate nature of things is that there is no constant, except a wonder about what is there.



Nothing is.                 

– potential CAUSE unmanifested.

COMMENT February 11, 2015: What is not manifested can only be assumed even as “cause.”

Nothing becomes.   

– CAUSE manifests itself.

COMMENT February 11, 2015: What manifests is maybe the assumption. Ha ha.

Nothing is not.           

– CAUSE unmanifested, or its manifestation perverted to something else.

COMMENT February 11, 2015: An assumption is not what is truly there.


At a lower harmonic, these basic actions may be perceived as

– being there

– assuming a viewpoint

– taking full responsibility for that viewpoint, or without taking responsibility changing it to something else.

COMMENT February 11, 2015: These earlier ideas were from Scientology. They provide a fixed structure. Any structure has inertia. But the ultimate reality has no inertia.



I AM                         


I utter the word    


I hear the word     

– TOTAL RESPONSIBILITY (a totally willing effect of one’s cause)


At a lower harmonic, this is having full awareness at each single moment – BEING THERE and CONFRONTING.

COMMENT February 11, 2015: Many ideas in Scientology have been borrowed from Crowley. Such ideas interiorize attention into a sense of “I”. Such sense of “I” provides a structure that has the property of fixedness. The fixedness gradually congeals into ego. “I” develops as the “center of ego.” It believes itself to be “cause” that can also become “effect.” But cause and effect are truly the result of relationships only. They are not properties of “I”.



The word is broken up.

– alteration of what was originally created.

There is Knowledge.

– sequences and trail of alterations that can be known.

Knowledge is Relation.

– association among alterations which is logic and knowledge.

These fragments are Creation.

– the alterations hide the original creation, and, therefore, persist.

The broken manifests Light.

– because they persist they can be communicated or exchanged.


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  • Chris Thompson  On September 6, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    Dang Vinaire! You are shotgunning so many of these that I’m interested what science or philosophy will be left off your list when you finish taking these apart…!

    Keep going!


    • vinaire  On September 7, 2012 at 7:26 AM

      It is amazing to realize how connected all knowledge is!

      Just focusing on the basics of each subject is quite revealing.



  • Chris Thompson  On September 8, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Yes, and my own attitude toward this has become that great knowledge has been and is routinely discovered and often written up by man throughout his tenure on earth and is just as routinely immediately totally or partially shelved.

    The moral of this for me is that each of us truly walks his own path. We know what we know and that may be all that ever happens. Like soap bubbles rising into the air from a pipe, we seem aware of the other bubbles and they seem aware of us. The awareness seems to not be contained within the bubble but to me seems to be the bubble itself. The bubble lasts for a time and then bursts and whatever was there returns to whatever brought it forth. The bubble seems to be made of considerations, and inside the bubble is a small “volume” of unknowable.

    This is still so wondrous for me to contemplate.


    • vinaire  On September 8, 2012 at 2:53 PM

      The fun is in discovering for yourself by digging into fundamentals. This is becoming more possible now in this Information Age.

      I am now looking at Quantum Mechanics and Biochemistry together. The secret of life is somewhere there.



      • Chris Thompson  On September 8, 2012 at 11:44 PM

        Yes, the descriptions and analogies of others are readily available. My point is that I only know what I know and you only know what you know. If a rapt study of QM or chem is pleasing then by all means pursue that.

        The fun is what you get and what belongs to you. I see no evidence that life goes deeper than that. The mysteries of the universe are hidden within the enormous scope of the universe. We are many many orders of magnitude away from being able to observe small effects and we are many many orders of magnitude of space-time away from being able to encompass an observation of very large effects…

        Direct observation of real time eludes us. But in time the secrets may yield to scrutiny if we continue. Our persistence as a specie seems to be limitless and so possibly our future generations may enjoy a sophisticated and enlightened existence. Or they may be gone. I don’t have any particular feeling of which that ball will bounce.


      • vinaire  On September 9, 2012 at 6:03 AM

        Chris, you make many good points here. There is nothing beyond what is obvious. It is what we visualize that makes what is there more complicated.

        Ideas, such as, ‘I’, ‘you’, ‘self’, ‘ownership’, etc, are visualizations. I am moving toward the appreciation that each DNA molecule has marvellous computing abilities, and that ‘will’ and ‘intelligence’ are there as a result of such capabilities.

        Pure knowledge resides in mathematics. But even mathematics may be much simplified. I really need to study Alan Turing’s work underlying computing.

        Furthermore, it is the knowledge of mass particles, such as, molecules, atom, electron, proton, neutron, etc., and energies, such as, charge, electromagnetic force, nuclear attraction, and finally space, that drives my curiosity crazy. Space, energy, mass seems to be the primary manifestations. Time is a secondary manifestation that comes about with changes in space-energy-mass.

        There is too much of phenomena out there to grasp fully. Attempt to grasp it all is the wrong way to go. A manageable way seems to me is to dig into the fundamentals hunting down all the inconsistencies that one comes across.



        • Chris Thompson  On September 9, 2012 at 8:38 AM

          That is my understanding as well. If we understand one bit at a time and then “allow” our minds to make the pieces correlate it makes sense to me that we will move forward solving these great mysteries.


        • vinaire  On September 9, 2012 at 9:11 AM

          Ditto! And what is the great mystery? It is what we are visualizing.

          So, the solution is to let the mind sort itself out by holding on to a non-judgmental viewpoint.



        • Chris Thompson  On September 9, 2012 at 9:24 AM

          Imagine if Alan Turing had his hands on the computer power that we enjoy today! Both Benoit Mandelbrot and Stephen Wolfram used modern computers to overcome the enormous scope of the universe to take Alan Turing’s work and simple code and expand it into a larger frame of reference that becomes meaningful to you and me.

          Writing that, something wants to float up in my consciousness – something to do with our relationship with the world at our extant order of magnitude. In other words, when something is too small – we don’t get it. And when something is too large – we don’t get it. Something about our frame of reference but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

          Relevance may be a powerful word in the context of what I am trying to spit out.


        • vinaire  On September 9, 2012 at 10:10 AM

          Probably one should examine one’s desire for inconsistency, or the source of desire itself. Is it a vector originating from a combination of certain phenomena?

          It always takes me back to the question of space, the modulation of space in form of energy, and the fixed patterns of energy emerging as mass.



        • Chris Thompson  On September 9, 2012 at 10:22 AM

          Vinaire “Is it a vector originating from a combination of certain phenomena?”

          Chris: Help me understand what you mean here, maybe with an example.
          (PS: I gotta fl’y out the door and won’t see this again until tonight.)


        • vinaire  On September 9, 2012 at 10:35 AM

          I was thinking of macromolecules, such as, the DNA, and all the variations going inside it in terms of the changing distributions of electromagnetic potentials, etc., and all of that resulting in the phenomenon of desire.

          Desire seems to be a much more basic phenomenon than the concept of self.



  • Chris Thompson  On September 9, 2012 at 12:06 AM

    I can read Hubbard’s axioms in these writings.


    • vinaire  On September 9, 2012 at 5:38 AM

      True. Hubbard got many of his ideas directly from Crowley and made them popular.



  • vinaire  On September 9, 2012 at 7:28 AM

    I am reading the article on OCCULT from Wikipedia. The first inconsistency is ‘Knowledge that is hidden.’ Here the solution lies in LOOKING.

    All these different orders of knowledge, such as, Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Theosophy, Wicca, Thelema, Satanism, and Neopaganism, developed separaely because of the restrictions on communication due to space and time. Such restrictions can now be overcome with the advent of Information Age. We can now compare the fundamental beliefs underlying these orders and sum them up as a mature order of knowledge.

    A common theme seems to be that of a Supreme Being. To me that is an assumption, which is superceded now with the concept of AS-ISNESS through LOOKING. All phenomena is there. It simply needs to be looked at non-judgmentally, and understood for what it is.



    • Chris Thompson  On September 9, 2012 at 8:55 AM

      There is an inclination by man (myself) to both: 1. to not take responsibility, and 2. to take an inordinate amount of responsibility.

      I feel this tendency in myself. I haven’t really looked at this to understand why but I think it could be fruitful to better understand and become better at looking.


    • vinaire  On September 9, 2012 at 9:22 AM

      To me, responsibility has to do with response to a situation. If there is no situation then no response is needed.

      But, if there is a situation, the response depends on the understanding of that situation, and not to some imagined situation.

      So, a true sense of responsibility comes from the actual perception of what is there. One must watch out for what one is made to think the situation to be.

      The primary question then becomes, “What is the situation really?” “What is the appropriate response to the situation?”

      And the situation is always in the present and not in the past.



  • Chris Thompson  On September 9, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    The Scientologist claims that the over-withhold-motivator sequence is the mechanic of reduced responsibility. Conversely, the Scientologist who audits “too much” seems to begin thinking they are themselves a supreme being. Possibly this is the result of a confusion assigning cause and effect? Or possibly a basic confusion and attempt to separate cause from effect?

    I am tending to think that becoming master of one’s own perception might be a plausible and expected result of looking, but “master of the physical universe?” Not so much as I see no evidence that one’s personal power expands into violating any physical universe law. I learn and I become more clever in manipulating the physical universe within the context of physical universe law, yes. Examples being the good businessman, chemist, architect, engineer. But examples of good wizardry? I do not see any examples of this — yet.


    • vinaire  On September 9, 2012 at 9:57 AM

      Wrong perception of a situation leads to wrong response. Thus, reduced responsibility comes from reduced perception of the actual situation.

      What is an overt-motivator sequence? Underlying this sequence there is fixed attention on some wrong solution to some misperceived situation. Hatfield–McCoy feud comes to mind as an extreme example of it. There is no resoluton because the situation is not being perceived in full. It is being perceived from biased perspectives. The attention is fixed on a certain perspective and a certain solution.

      An overt-motivator sequence indicates awareness of some wrong action, which is being justified somehow. This is an inconsistency that is being overlooked. One is being judgmental here.

      Wrongness is relative. One needs to look at the action non-judgmentally and trace it to the viewpoint that judges it wrong. Where is that viewpoint coming from and why. It is that understanding which will free one from the overt-motivator sequence.

      A Scientologist who “audits too much” is simply churning over the mental material incessantly and not looking in an extroverted manner. This is figure-figure. Of course, any conclusions reached through such auditing would not be consistent with reality.



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