Archive for the ‘books’ Category

O, The ‘Manipulation’!

July 26, 2006

This week, due to a certain occurrence, I was ‘manipulated’ into buying a copy of Israel Regardie’s “The Tree Of Life”, a book which I had put on the back-burner for the time being.

I haven’t begun reading it as of yet, but I have looked through it thoroughly and it looks incredible.

Also, the Vancouver chapter of the Esoteric Order Of Eris has landed.

Aleister Crowley’s Fiction Reading List

June 7, 2006

by Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton. Valuable for its facts and suggestions about Mysticism

A Strange Story
by Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton. Valuable for its facts and suggestions about Magick.

The Blossom and the Fruit
by Mabel Collins. Valuable for its account of the Path.

Petronius Arbiter
Valuable for those who have wit to understand it.

The Golden Ass
by Apuleius. Valuable for those who have wit to understand it.

Le Comte de Gabalis
Valuable for its hints of those things which it mocks.

The Rape of the Lock
by Alexander Pope. Valuable for its account of elementals.

by de la Motte Fouque. Valuable as an account of elementals.

Black Magic
by Marjorie Bowen. An intensely interesting story of sorcery.

Le Peau de Chagrin
by Honore de Balzac. A magnificent magical allegory.

Number Nineteen
by Edgar Jepson. An excellent tale of modern magic.

by Bram Stoker. Valuable for its account of legends concerning vampires.

Scientific Romances
by H. Hinton. Valuable as an introduction to the study of the Fourth Dimension.

Alice in Wonderland
by Lewis Carroll. Valuable to those who understand the Qabalah.

Alice Through the Looking Glass
by Lewis Carroll. Valuable to those who understand the Qabalah.

The Hunting of the Snark
by Lewis Carroll. Valuable to those who understand the Qabalah.

The Arabian Nights
translated by either Sir Richard Burton or John Payne. Valuable as a storehouse of oriental magick-lore.

Morte d’Arthur
by Sir Thomas Mallory. Valuable as a storehouse of occidental Magick-lore.

The Works of Francois Rabelais
Invaluable for Wisdom.

The Kasidah
by Sir Richard Burton. Valuable as a summary of philosophy.

The Song Celestial
by Sir Edwin Arnold. “The Bhagavad-Gita” in verse.

The Light of Asia
by Sir Edwin Arnold. An account of the attainment of Gotama Buddha.

The Rosicrucians
by Hargrave Jennings. Valuable to those who can read between the lines.

The Real History of the Rosicrucians
by A. E. Waite. A good vulgar piece of journalism on the subject.

The Works of Arthur Machen
Most of these stories are of great magical interest.

The Writings of William O’Neill (Blake)
Invaluable to all students.

The Shaving of Shagpat
by George Meredith. An excellent allegory.

by George MacDonald. A good introduction to the Astral.

by J. K. Huysmans. An account of the extravagances caused by the Sin-complex.

The Lore of Proserpine
by Maurice Hewlett. A suggestive enquiry into the Hermetic Arcanum.

En Route
by J. K. Huysmans. An account of the follies of Christian mysticism.

Sidonia the Sorceress by Wilhelm Meinhold.
The Amber Witch by Wilhelm Meinhold.
These two tales are highly informative.

Macbeth; Midsummer Night’s Dream; The Tempest
by W. Shakespeare. Interesting for traditions treated.

by Sir Walter Scott. Also one or two other novels. Interesting for traditions treated.

Rob Roy
by James Grant. Interesting for traditions treated.

The Magician
by W. Somerset Maugham. An amusing hotchpot of stolen goods.

The Bible
by various authors unknown. The Hebrew and Greek Originals are of Qabalistic value. It contains also many magical apologues, and recounts many tales of folk-lore and magical rites.

by Rudyard Kipling. An admirable study of Eastern thought and life. Many other stories by this author are highly suggestive and informative.

Reading The Golden Bough

June 6, 2006

This week I began reading “The Golden Bough” by J.G.Frazer – so far,
it has been invaluable in studying the concepts of magic(k). The
Baron heartily recommends what he has read of it to anyone interested
in these ideas.

Oprah: Surely You Jest

January 27, 2006

The entire brou-ha-ha over the so-called fictions in James Frey’s “A Million Little Pieces” is bringing me dangerously close to a nonstop tidal-wave of barf. Are these people kidding, or do people just like drama and love to jump on a bandwagon of hate? Probably both, let’s be honest we are a lynching people. Sources disagree to exactly how many witches were actually killed in the infamous witch trials, but let’s be honest: they were killing witches because they liked it, not because they really felt threatened by them. Ditto for the Spanish Inquisition. People love to see someone hounded and caught, whether they want to admit it or not, even to themselves. James Frey is just the most recent, and one of the more juicy, victims.

On her show yesterday Oprah Winfrey berated author James Frey for “betraying millions of readers.” I would love to ask her majesty if she truly believes, in her heart of hearts, whether every other memoir and autobiography she has ever read was 100% true. If she does believe that she is, in my opinion, at best extremely naive and at worst a deluded fool. Memories are by definition subjective, there is no getting around that. We do not have access to other’s memories, or some preternatural objective memory computer, so the best we can do is retell things as we believed they happened. This makes every single memoir and autobiography ever printed fiction, whether you would like to believe it or not.

I don’t know whether James Frey intentionally altered what he believed to be the truth in his memoir, nor do I care. I choose to think for myself, and not have others tell me how things are or are not. When I heard about the hole in the cheek and the dentist visit minus Novocain I immediately and instinctively felt that these stories were false. Did I know for certain? No, but if one is even slightly savvy they would ask themselves a multitude of questions concerning these two incidents, most of which would lead to the conclusion of fiction entering the narrative. Do I care? No, I do not.

Q: Why do we read?
A: We read to be entertained.

Were you entertained by the book? If so, great; if not, fantastic too, but can you really say you were more entertained when you thought it was true? If so, why?

This entire debacle reminds me of the people who took their Milli Vanilli records back to the store when it turned out the singers of the songs were not who the listeners thought they were – I remember thinking at the time: “But isn’t it the MUSIC these people enjoyed? The music remains the same.”

And so, people, I tell you: the words remain the same.