Life magazine has posted a set of Aleister Crowley photos, most of which we have all seen before, but still enjoyable to scroll thru, so take a look.

From BOINGBOING, a post about one of the grand old pioneers of consciousness exploration, Aleister Crowley.

“Today is a special Crowley anniversary too! On this day 106 years ago, Crowley was in Egypt taking dictation from either his subconscious, or a messenger of the god Horus named Aiwass. The resulting text was Crowley’s most famous work, The Book of The Law, containing his oft-repeated rule-of-thumb: “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” Love him or hate him, Crowley not only talked the talk, but he walked the walk. To celebrate the Aiwass anniversary, Life has published a gallery of images related to Crowley’s remarkable life.”.

It’s rather sad and disappointing that boingboing would call the Book of the Law Crowley’s most famous book – a sign I suppose of the inevitable corruption of religion into all aspects of self-development and the exploration of the brain, mind, and consciousness. The book of the Law is ultimately Crowley’s worst book, a piece of trite psuedo-religion, the sort of junk that is always or almost always produced by “automatic writing” and trance writing experiments.

Oh, it’s pretty enough, and fine poetry, and if you have to have religion it’s not the worst religious document on the planet. It’s just not that special, and it contributes very little.

And I say that as someone who thinks of himself as a thelemite (well, a HIGHLY modified and modernized thelemite), and who thinks Crowley was one of the great geniuses of consciousness study in the 20th century.

There are many other Crowley books that are so much better, so much more worth reading and study, that it’s one of the great tragedies of Crowley’s life (a life filled with tragedies) that for so many people the Book of the Law, and the failed religion that surrounds it, is likely to be the introduction (thru groups like the oto) to the study of Crowley.

Don’t let that be you. For better poetry, read The Book of Lies; for better theory, read Magick in theory and practice, for better training tips, read Magick Without Tears, and for an explanation of the hermetic world model that underlies much of Crowley’s work, read The Book of Thoth.