Thursday, 21 May 2009
From the section Extra-Terrestrial Gnosis in Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus.
In my opinion there are two indispensable works on UFOlogy that establish the necessary perspective. In Passport to Magonia, Jacques Vallee (pictured above)suggested that there seems to be one phenomenon which has been interacting with the human race from our earliest days. It takes on different forms in various cultures.
Firstly, faerie lore yields suggestive comparisons with abduction cases. The classic tales tell of dome-shaped mounds with open lighted entrances. Once lured within them, time/space becomes dangerously relative. After partying it up with the Little People, and maybe even having sex with one of them, it would become apparent on leaving that fifty years might have elapsed.
During the Christian Middle Ages, the most far-out possibilities of experience would be a visitation from Jesus and the BVM (Blessed Virgin Mary) or an encounter with an angel or demon. And such tales are by no means a thing of the distant past. Vallee studied modern accounts of apparitions of the BVM, most notably the 1917 Fatima event. I don’t think anyone could really examine that episode with an open mind and fail to feel that something genuinely very strange had occurred. A group of Portuguese children claimed to have seen and talked to the BVM. She initially appeared in a globe of light, telling them she would return at monthly intervals, prophesying a spectacular culmination in October. They kept their appointments, accompanied by increasingly large groups of people. Only the children could see her. They were clearly in some kind of trance state. Some minor, but odd, external manifestations would weirdly validate their stories. Branches of a tree where the Mary figure was supposed to be hovering bent as if supporting weight, and so on. The climax saw a huge crowd, approaching a hundred thousand in size, gather for the last appointment. They witnessed a seemingly miraculous heavenly phenomenon. It was as if the sun fell from the sky and plummeted, revolving, with a spectrum of colours towards the earth. Whatever it was that was happening, it was witnessed miles away. Many converted to Catholicism on the spot. It seemed that the woman clothed with the sun from the Book of Revelation was tangibly present.
At the very least, a group of small children had been able to assemble a Biblical multitude with exact timing, to witness a spectacular and obviously rare atmospheric event that if it had happened half a century later may well have inspired UFOlogical speculation. That in itself is extremely odd. Looking at other famous BVM cases like Lourdes, it’s interesting that the child visionaries at first don’t necessarily identify their “contact” as Mary. The response of adults that it obviously must be, conditions what follows. What the being looks like often changes to more fully conform to the archetypal Catholic visuals. Once this is established, messages of the “I am the Immaculate Conception” variety follow.
The earlier French case of La Salette in 1846 is another good example of fruitfully comparing the UFOlogical and Catholic realities. Two children saw a globe of light hovering above fields. It opened, disgorging a smaller but brighter light that came down and spoke to them. The Catholic children assumed it must be Our Lady. Prophecies were spoken concerning disease and pestilence which appeared to be validated within a decade. If this had happened in the America of the early nineteen-fifties it seems likely that the light would take on the form of the likes of the legendary Aura Rhanes, the female beach-babe flying saucer commander who wrecked the marriage of contactee Truman Bethuram. It has rightly been intuited that Crowley’s devotion to Nuit is akin to Catholic adoration of the Virgin Mary. Nuit is Our Lady of Space and could be considered to be present in the UFOlogicaly aspected BVM manifestations.
The modern UFO era has mutated the forms and beliefs of an archetypal mythology to always be just ahead of the current science. In the fifties “aliens” talked of coming from Mars and Venus. Once it was established that those planets couldn’t support life, the messages changed. The phenomenon seems to be interactive. We are intimately involved with it. Vallee came to feel that UFOs and their apparent occupants are not necessarily extraterrestrial.
Saturday, 16 May 2009
From the section Fin de Siecle Zeitgeist in Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus.
In the world of the arts although the absinthe-addled foppish aesthete became the style model to affect, with the likes of Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley enduring as icons of that epoch, some were made of sterner stuff. If the artists of that hedonistic time had potentially mystic temperaments they may have felt as the French poet Baudelaire in his Poem of Hashish that “Alas! the vices of man, full of horror as one must suppose them, contain the proof, even though it were nothing but their infinite expansion, of his hunger for the Infinite.”
From such intuitions common to the zeitgeist of the time the astonishing French teenage poet prodigy Arthur Rimbaud evolved a mission and methodology already in place by the Fin de Siecle that would massively influence Crowley and many subsequent kindred magicians and rock and rollers such as Jim Morrison and Patti Smith.
In a legendary 1871 letter to his friend Paul Demeny, Rimbaud stated that, “The first study of the man who wants to be a poet is the knowledge of himself, complete. He looks for his soul, inspects it, tests it, learns it. As soon as he knows it, he must cultivate it!” “But the soul must be made monstrous.”
“The Poet makes himself a seer by a long, gigantic and rational derangement of all the senses. All forms of love, suffering, and madness. He searches himself. He exhausts all poisons in himself and keeps only their quintessences. Unspeakable torture where he needs all his faith, all his super-human strength, where he becomes among all men the great patient, the great criminal, the one accursed--and the supreme Scholar!--Because he reaches the unknown! Since he cultivated his soul, rich already, more than any man! He reaches the unknown, and when, bewildered, he ends by losing the intelligence of his visions, he has seen them. Let him die as he leaps through unheard of and unnameable things: other horrible workers will come; they will begin from the horizons where the other collapsed!” Here was the poet as shaman magician, stealer of fire from heaven, Satanic rebel, Luciferian light-bringer.
Saturday, 9 May 2009
Robert Coons’ work has publicised the concept of global chakras. He has been shamelessly ripped-off as the idea has entered into general New-Age parlance often without any acknowledgement of him as its main impetus.
The first mention of global chakras in print however comes in Thelemite Kenneth Grants The Magical Revival in 1972, a work in my opinion, of incalculable power and genius. It does seem that the two men came to their ideas independently.
Here is an extract from my upcoming Avalonian Aeon dealing with a most interesting difference between Grants top chakra choice and the usual candidate. The final printed version will be in a slightly edited form.
Grant locates his thousand petalled lotus crown chakra at Arunachala, a sacred mountain in southern India. The beliefs about this holy hill are most striking and can be fruitfully compared with the Tor mythology. The famous Himalayan Mount Kailash (often a choice as global crown)has been referred to as the abode of Shiva. Arunachala is considered to actually be Shiva, who says in the Skanda Purana that coming within a thirty mile radius of Arunachala “shall by itself suffice to burn off all defects and effect union with the Supreme.” Its name is taken to mean form of light, meaning unmoving fire or light. This is suggestive of Shiva’s subtle form. It is believed that a column of light runs down the centre of the hill from an infinite height above. Other channels of subtle energy are also present. A scripture dedicated to the hill states that it’s true form is the Sri Chakra yantra. This is a geometric design. In esoteric Hinduism a yantra reveals the true nature of the deity it represents and the method of its invocation. The New Jerusalem geometry could be considered to be a kind of yantra.
If the archaic site has become known in the west, it’s mainly due to its association with the twentieth century pristine peerless saint, Ramana Maharshi, who spent most of his life at the foot of the mountain. He actually considered Arunachala to be his Guru. One could say that the mountain has revealed itself to the modern world through his vehicle. Sri Ramana is known as a supreme exemplar of the philosophy known as Advaita Vedanta that affirms no separation between the individual and universal consciousness. The suggestion is that there’s nowhere to go and nowt to do because we’re already there if we did but know it. The Maharshi conveyed the reality of this realisation through his overwhelming presence, quite often in silence. Indeed, he tends to be associated with silence and the realm of the formless. This is the Arunachala transmission of unmoving fire or light.
Beyond that though, some strange phenomenon accompanied his relationship with the holy hill. Speaking of it’s inner light beam, Kenneth Grant states in Outer Gateways, 'Down this column, as down a pathway cut through space by the beams of the full moon, swarm the unearthly siddhas who, while upon earth, reside within the caverns of the hill.’ These are mysterious inner plane dudes of vastly ancient provenance who can manifest in whatever way they choose. Maharshi said that ‘A number of siddha purushas live on this mountain. It is perhaps with a desire to see me that they come and go assuming various shapes.’ Strange lights have been seen over Arunachala and have often given the impression of being under some kind of conscious control. When Maharshi died a bright light was seen moving slowly across the sky that then appeared to enter the hill. The Indian Tripurarahasya has a tale of a hill containing an entire universe within it. Someone who gets inside returns to find aeons of time have passed. Think of faery lore and the shining ones of the hollow hills and the recent links with ufology so excellently elucidated by Jacques Vallee and John Michell. Think of Glastonbury Tor.
Kenneth Grant believes that Arunachala, ‘constitutes the most powerful concentration of spiritual energy on this planet.’ ‘The hill represents and conceals some form of gateway to a state of consciousness outside terrestrial conditions.’ ‘Arunachala, therefore, is associated with such concepts as light-siddhas-caves-tunnels-visions (of mazing cities), flower-gardens-temples; and Dakshinamurti, the Guru who confers diksa by Silence. Dakshinamurti means, literally, the formless (amurti) dakshin (south/Set). This pervasive and formless light of Arunachala was congealed into a solid columnic mass or pillar, in aeons-old Lemuria.’‘Both Aiwass and Dakshinamurti (the Sage associated by tradition with Arunachala) are Lords of Silence, and they initiate by silence. Aiwass is the angel or “minister of Hoor-paar-kraat ... the Lord of Silence & of Strength.’ ‘ Silence is the true nature of the Self for it transcends all vibrations and is the type of absolute stillness symbolised by Arunachala-Siva, consciousness unstained by thoughts, which are but subtle vibrations.’ To intuit Grant’s Thelemic angle on Maharshi and Arunachala picture Sri Ramana standing in front of the mountain with his right forefinger raised to his gently smiling lips in the gesture of silent Harpoctates. The unmoving fire of Shiva consciousness.
Friday, 8 May 2009
From the section New Horizons in the upcoming Avalonian Aeon
I went out of my way to feed on selected impressions during this period. An American psychologist named Abraham Maslow (b/w photo above) had seemed very important from the first time that I had made contact with his ideas. He had realised that the theories of Freud and Jung had been developed through studying people who considered themselves to be sick or to have problems of some kind. The same kind of attention had never been given to those who felt healthy, sane, and fulfilled. Maslow decided that this potentially meant that the various psychoanalytical approaches might be unbalanced or incomplete and undertook research to rectify this.
He discovered that people from all ages, genders, and backgrounds reported what he came to call “peak experiences,” a phrase that has passed into general cultural vocabulary. In all kinds of different circumstances, a sudden feeling of extraordinary well-being and elevated sensibilities might descend on people. For example, a young drummer talked of occasions when, after extensive practising, he suddenly found himself in a superb focused state where it was if the drums played themselves. There are now so many reports of similar phenomenon in sport that a whole literature and psychology has grown up around it. A mother preparing breakfast for her husband and children went into a state of profound joy and fulfilment when a ray of sunshine suddenly lit the scene. It seemed to simultaneously illuminate her higher emotions. She felt profound gratitude for what her everyday consciousness had started to take for granted. Once peak experiences were discussed, people began to remember many others. They also started to have new ones with increasing regularity. The psyche responds readily to all intimations of transcendent wholeness.
This sort of thing would be called gratuitous grace by Catholics. They are often simple transient versions of the states recorded by the more famous mystics. Maslow believed that the ground can be prepared for them but they can’t really be induced to order. The preparation involves meeting the demands of what he called the Hierarchy of Needs. We have primal desires for food, shelter, and breeding. Freud developed a whole theory of human behaviour and the nature of society on the basis of these factors, feeling they were sufficient to explain everything. Maslow believed that if the basic needs are met, there is another dynamic that arises and also requires urgent fulfilment. He called it “Self-Actualisation”. People need to have a sense of inner worth, of distinct individuality, of growth. Some kind of creativity seeks expression. Denial of these urges produces alienation, inertia, all manner of dysfunctional grief.
Colin Wilson (colour photo above) knew all about this problem. His first book, cult classic The Outsider, was a study of the self-destructive path of many confused artistic types who had sought an outlet for their inner dynamism in a society that could not adequately accommodate them. The painter Van Gogh, the dancer Nijinsky, and philosopher Nietzsche, were all examples of intense talents that imploded. Their urge to super-consciousness came up against consensus pessimism, a major symptom of the sleepwalking trance of humanity that Gurdjieff had explained to Ouspensky. Wilson went on to write an Outsider series. One of them, The Age of Defeat, attracted the attention of Maslow in 1959 and the two began to correspond. Wilson had railed against the sense of doom and despondency that characterised European cultural thought. It led to people feeling passive, insignificant, and unable to lead a happy life or make a difference in the world. Colin Wilson considered this to be a fundamentally flawed and dangerous attitude. It could be summarised in the modern world as the “everything’s bollocks, let’s get the beers in” syndrome that I had even seen in evidence in university professors. Maslow told a story about how he had once asked one of his student classes which one of them would make significant contributions in their field in the future. None had raised their hands. “If not you, who will?” They got his point.
Eventually Colin Wilson wrote one of his most important works, New Pathways in Psychology, on “Maslow and the Post-Freudian Revolution.” Where Wilson diverged from Maslow was in his belief that we don’t have to wait for the peak experiences. We have many ways to cultivate them as part of intentional self-actualisation, a kind of new existentialism. I went into my hypnotherapy adventure determined to study as never before the psychology of health and sanity, feeling that such everyday wisdom should form a vital part of any magical mystical curriculum.
Thursday, 7 May 2009
From the section The Psychology of Thelema in Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus
Similar ideas were taught by Gurdjieff to Ouspensky who recorded them in the classic works In Search of the Miraculous and The Fourth Way. It was stated that most of us can be said to be asleep in a trance of distraction. Each of us believes in a unique individuality but, on closer examination, most cannot demonstrate any real unity of functioning. We are full of small separate personalities. One part may proudly proclaim the intention to stop smoking, take up a regime of exercise, follow some idealised spiritual path etc. The “I” that likes to smoke or overeat or take drugs, be sexually deranged and so on, will later on assert its own claims and the lofty talk will be worthless. We have many I’s. They can all be ‘caliph for an hour’. Work on oneself involves the conscious cultivation of a “magnetic centre”. It is the responsibility of this aspect of oneself to seek out those influences conducive to the maintaining and expansion of its function.
What does that mean in the real world? The feeling of it can be better grasped by looking at it alongside another of Gurdjieff’s teaching ideas. Ouspensky discusses the concept of “food”. He takes it beyond the usual definitions. As well as what we eat in the normal sense, the case is made for regarding air as food. If anyone thinks it isn’t, try living without it for a while. Most stimulating of all was the classification of “impressions” as food. What we input through our senses can nourish or poison us. To take an extreme example, a person feasting everyday on hardcore porn and horror, someone who regularly read the literature of hate, racism etc, would be thoroughly poisoning themselves. Contrariwise, a person who immersed themselves in great art, literature, music, and the religious classics of the world, with a view to changing themselves for the better, would be getting some kind of higher food vitamins and protein. Although just what constitutes appropriate input is hugely debatable and variable, the basic principle is a call to some sort of conscious awakening. Gurdjieff suggested that once this process was really in motion, somehow one magnetically attracted to oneself the necessary higher influences. The world was full of them, but to the average tranced-out sleepwalking person they were all but invisible.
In the early twenties Gurdjieff established a base in France in a large house with extensive grounds. Many people of a high level of culture and breeding joined him there. His teaching did not just consist of a series of lectures. He directly confronted the malfunctioning mechanical side of human life. To this end AR Orage, a leading figure on the London literary scene, was asked to go out into the garden and dig a ditch. Not exactly full of enthusiasm, he complied. Gurdjieff then told him to fill it back in again. Orage came to realise that such tasks are, in themselves, neutral. What matters is the quality of attention, the focus and emotional engagement we bring to them. They may frustrate and fatigue us but a kind of inner work could transform our relationship to them. The capacity for vast endeavours lies slumbering within us if we but knew how to awaken it. Gurdjieff gave out incredibly complex exercises to engage the full spectrum of functioning. Whilst performing ditch-digging type tasks someone might also be trying to memorise a list of Tibetan words and sensing different parts of their bodies in strange sequences. Orage and his colleagues began to experience threshold crossings where barriers of annoyance and lethargy gave way to heightened awareness and increased stamina. He ended up enjoying the digging. None of this would have been any surprise to Zen Buddhists. Their monastic traditions have a strong focus on the cultivation of a meditative attitude towards daily hard physical work.
Wednesday, 6 May 2009
‘Let not the Magician forget for a single second what is his one sole business. His uninitiated “self” (as he absurdly thinks it) is a mob of wild women, hysterical from uncomprehended and unsated animal instinct; they will tear Pentheus, the merely human king who presumes to repress them, into mere shreds of flesh; his own mother, Nature, the first to claw at his windpipe! None but Bacchus, the Holy Guardian Angel, hath grace to be god to this riot of maniacs; he alone can transform the disorderly rabble into a pageant of harmonious movement, tune their hyaena howls to the symphony of a paen, and their reasonless rage to self-controlled rapture.’
Aleister Crowley. Magick. Notes for an Astral Atlas.
Tuesday, 5 May 2009
‘Was it not the whole secret of personal life to find out what your innate nervous and mental fatality was, and then to drag it into your sorcerer’s cell and work magic on it, and make of it your peculiar apparatus for testing your “truth” among all the “truths” of which the universe is crowded?’
John Cowper Powys. Autobiography.
Monday, 4 May 2009
Another treasured Beltaine Thelemic memory to go alongside the 1998 Pan invocation detailed in my May 1st entry takes me back to 2006 when I became part of a living Tarot trump in an extraordinary magical event: the wedding of Deborah Benstead and Yvan Cartwright at Coombe Abbey (there I am holding the cord aloft between them).
I appeared on a stage fully robed to introduce the gathered family and friends to the incredible scenario with notes prepared by author and historical researcher Graham Phillips (who can also be seen in the picture above).
On the very same date, Mayday, in 1613, another wedding had occurred at Coombe Abbey, that of the daughter of King James I, Princess Elizabeth Stuart, and the German Prince Frederick who would become King of Bohemia. Although important on a political level as both states were Protestant, another more esoteric influence was at play as the wedding was staged as a magical mystical drama of the newly emerging Rosicrucian philosophy which promoted an ideal of a new age of tolerance and wisdom.
After their marriage the royal couple set up court in Heidelberg where they encouraged an esoteric culture that featured masques and general paegentry. Rosicrucian texts were published in Europe in the three years following, causing a great sensation. The most famous of them all,The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz may well have been directly inspired by the royal wedding and the style the couple cultivated around them.
Alchemy was concerned with the transformation of the base everyday self into a higher being capable of bringing positive change into the world around them. The wedding ceremony was consciously conceived as an alchemical rite. The Solar King and Lunar Queen would combine to create a power they hoped would change Europe for the better.
The ceremony at Coombe (where Elizabeth had spent some of her childhood) was actually the second performance of their wedding. The first had been a few months earlier on Valentines Day in London. The wedding was heralded as a major event and many illustrious figures steeped in the esoteric philosophy of the time so magnificently documented in the works of Frances Yates attended. The first performance of Shakespeare’s enigmatic Tempest was part of it.
Aided by Graham Phillips, Debbie and Yvan researched the costumes and ceremonial details with a view to recreating as much of the original event as possible. Vast amounts of diamonds were not available but the wedding dress was designed from tapestries and descriptions of the time. The text of the Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz was utilised. Where there were gaps, Thelemic elements were introduced. Also on stage as a bridesmaid was noted heresies investigator Lynn Picknett (who had dedicated her Secret History of Lucifer book to Debbie).
At the point in the proceedings shown in the picture above, Graham Phillips was intoning ‘Bind in the name of Babalon and Therion. Adonai bless you. Adonai enlighten your minds and comfort your hearts and sustain your bodies. Adonai bring you to the accomplishment of your True Wills, the Great Work’.
It was the most remarkable wedding I have ever attended. Ripples of powerful energies have spread out from it ever since. Happy anniversary Debbie and Yvan.
From the Ultraterrestrial section of Extra-Terrestrial Gnosis in Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus
Lets hear it for John Keel!
Operation Trojan Horse by John Keel (pictured)serves as a valuable companion piece to Magonia. Keel was wonderfully prepared to investigate the UFO enigma. From a young age he had fed his head on the full spectrum of the paranormal as well as stage magic. This helped him to communicate with a poltergeist in the family home over a period of months through a rapping code. He soon became a journalist and radio presenter and was able to do a Halloween broadcast from the Great Pyramid. In his mid-twenties he had spent four years travelling on a quest for mysterious phenomenon. This had included him studying the arts of Indian fakirs and mastering their tricks including being buried alive. He saw two possible Yeti on Himalayan slopes and communicated with a telepathic levitating Tibetan adept. At Aswan in Egypt he saw a flying metallic looking silver disc in daylight. From that point on he paid attention to the UFO sensation. His autobiographical Jadoo tells the whole story.
Keel likewise came to feel that one shapeshifting phenomenon has been interacting with the human race for aeons. It can be discovered in historical material from the same range of material Vallee covered. Keel also looked at ghosts, telepathy, automatic writing, trance mediumship, poltergeist manifestations, vampires, and psychic phenomenon in general along with anomalous airships and mystery planes from before 1947. All of this threw new light on the modern UFO events. Alien entities seem very similar to traditional angels and demons.
Very much at odds with most mid-sixties UFOlogy, Keel did not necessarily believe the source of it was off-planet. He coined the term Ultraterrestrial to designate the intelligences involved. As he later stated in The Mothman Prophecies, ‘When you review the ancient references you are obliged to conclude that the presence of these objects and beings is a normal condition for this planet.’ Some other forms of consciousness are present here with us, albeit on an extended spectrum we normally do not suspect the existence of. The Ultraterrestrials ‘operate outside the limits of our space-time continuum yet have the ability to cross over into our reality.’ They can manifest for brief periods in a bewildering variety of forms.
Keels “Paraphysical hypothesis” suggests that UFOs and their inhabitants originate in the astral realms familiar to occultists, mystics and spiritualists. Their bizarre home worlds that awestruck contactees sometimes journey to are not dissimilar to the spheres of the Qabalah or the Lokas and hidden kingdoms of eastern lore that blink in and out of consensus reality and can only be noticed by the prepared. Keel came to believe that human consciousness was an important factor in how the phenomenon manifested. The history and folklore of an area created a psychogeographical matrix that interacted with its inhabitants. Predisposition towards paranormal experiences was another aspect of the alchemical blend. The phenomenon was interactive.
Concerning the Ultraterrestrials, John Keel stated in Trojan Horse that this ‘unknown extra-dimensional intelligence --- controls important events by manipulating specific human beings through the phenomenon of mystical illumination’. The most obvious spectacular modern accounts concern individuals who are caught in a beam of light from some aerial source. Making a similar point to Crowley on the St Paul illumination issue, he noted that ‘persons caught in these beams undergo remarkable changes of personality. Their IQ skyrockets, they change their jobs, divorce their wives, --- suddenly rise above their mediocre lives and become outstanding.’ The John Travolta movie Phenomenon gives a bitter-sweet depiction of the theme that has increasingly entered into popular culture through the vehicle of UFO mythology.
I am going to regularly scatter diverse teaser extracts from my upcoming Crowley work on this blog not just to promote the book but for the sheer fun of it.
From the section: Crowley and the Nazis
There is one definite link between Crowley and Hitler that makes an interesting case-study for those who believe occultists are deluded ineffectual people unable to really influence the world. It comes through the unique career of Major-General John Frederick Charles (commonly JFC) Fuller, known as Boney. I first came across Fuller when I was a twelve-year-old history obsessive. He was the author of The Decisive Battles of the Western World and their Influence on History. I owned a two-volume paperback abridgement that I repeatedly read. I later discovered that he had been one of the Beast’s most ardent followers, writing a book,The Star in the West, that praised him as a god. It’s a work of immense verbosity that is nonetheless hugely entertaining. For example, he referred to Jesus Christ in passing as, ‘that unfortunate fakir’. Fuller executed some excellent magickal artwork for Crowley’s publication The Equinox such as designs for the decoration of a temple. Best of all is a superb painting of Baphomet (pictured above). Like many other of Crowley’s associates he eventually fell out with him but communication lines between them were not completely severed.
Fuller went on to develop revolutionary theories concerning the possible applications in war of tank forces. The British army showed limited interest but the Germans were more enthusiastic. Fuller has the dubious distinction of being credited as an inspiration behind Blitzkrieg. In April 1939 he was one of only two British guests to attend Hitler’s fiftieth birthday celebrations. Fuller had accepted The Book of the Law. Crowley passionately believed that its reception and publication had ushered in the immense events that followed.
Sunday, 3 May 2009
Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus contains an extensive consideration of the enormous Montauk corpus. I believe it may well be the largest treatment yet seen outside the circle of its immediate proponents such as Peter Moon (pictured above from www.skybooksusa.com).
The basic material and the manner of its presentation has been controversial and is often derided. I include below a selection of paragraph extracts that I hope serve to indicate how interesting this modern legend is, my own attitude towards it, and why I would include it in my work.
An even more extensive treatment of Robert Anton Wilsons' Cosmic Trigger precedes it, alongside John Keel in a section entitled Extra-Terrestrial Gnosis which is of central importance in the book and conjoins with the Montauk material to establish an even greater perspective.
I am covering a vast amount of ground in the optimistic belief that people still read books and find certain aspects of life on this planet to be of a modicum of interest.
From the section entitled The Montauk Legend.
What can be termed the Montauk Legend might just be the most outrageous story ever told. The saga manages to contain so many modern classic conspiratorial elements as to feel like every episode of the X Files combined and then some. Its main chronicler Peter Moon likes to point out that the first published account of Montauk appeared before the show made its TV debut. Crowley and Jack Parsons’ Babalon Working become a constant theme in the unfolding legend and they are not treated negatively. Pyramids of Montauk states clearly that ‘Both of their writings reflect the fact they were warriors for consciousness.’ At various points in the proceedings Peter Moon comments on and interprets The Book of the Law, eventually coming to feel that he understood its ‘Key’. Regardless of the veracity or otherwise of its material, Montauk is a major modern myth and to find Thelema as a significant core element within it seems to me to be yet another indicator of the power and nature of the unfolding Aeon.
In the pages of Preston Nicholls and Peter Moon’s The Montauk Project: Experiments in Time, Montauk Revisited: Adventures in Synchronicity, Pyramids of Montauk: Explorations in Consciousness, Encounters in the Pleiades: An Inside Look at UFOs, and Moon’s solo Black Sun: Montauk's Nazi-Tibetan Connection, Synchronicity and the Seventh Seal, The Montauk Book of the Dead, and the novel, Spandau Mystery, can be found Crowley, the Babalon Working, Scientology, pyramids of Egypt and Mars, historical and legendary ancient civilisations, sacred geometry, a planetary grid of sacred sites, mind control, ETs, Illuminati, New World Order, Nazi occultism with its Antarctic, Tibetan, and UFO offshoots, time travel, Qabalah, John Dee and Edward Kelly, and above all, synchronicity.
The enormous range of material in these works has been strongly criticised for its large number of factual errors and the manner of its linking together. Tenuous is a word that comes to mind. The main Montauk protagonists, Preston Nicholls, Duncan Cameron, and Al Bielek have been repeatedly harangued as barking-mad bullshitters, and general disinformation artists. There’s no doubt that their tales are about as outlandish as it’s possible to get even in a field full of wackos. The basics of the overall story are near to impossible to prove in any consensus way.
Like Morning of the Magicians I have put aside my doubts concerning the factual errors and occult gossip in order to appreciate what I consider to be the merits of the story and the way in which it is presented which could be considered a form of fantastic realism that does potentially deliver a genuine gnosis. What I find of continuing interest is the odyssey of Peter Moon who co-wrote the early works with Nicholls and went on to the solo projects at the end of the sequence.
At the very beginning of the story in The Montauk Project it is stated that ‘This book is an exercise in consciousness. It is an invitation to view time in a new manner and expand your awareness of the universe.’ Synchronicity and the Seventh Seal makes it clear that ‘It is absolutely crucial to realise that the Montauk Project itself, as originally recounted, is a blend of incredible legend and archetypal (cabalistic, if you will) mythology mixed with certain irrefutable facts.’ Montauk Revisited begins with Moon priming his readers with the most appropriate meta-perspective. ‘Perhaps the most important point in dealing with the phenomena of Montauk is that we are dealing with “the stuff of which dreams are made”. We are directly tapping into the creative zone of consciousness.’ As he investigated Montauk he found that a powerful process of synchronicity was unleashed that he happily went along with as it led him into ever more extraordinary territory. He was always aware that much of the information he was led to and some of the unusual characters he encountered could be considered dubious but the bigger process was more important.
Peter Moon is unique in as much as he had significant contact with two of the participants in the Babalon Working. He spent eleven years in Scientology, which included time in their elite Sea Org navy where he was able to observe L Ron Hubbard at close quarters. LRH features in all of the books from Montauk Revisited onwards and most extensively in The Montauk Book of the Dead, a fascinating and moving memoir that deals very clearly with why he presses so many buttons. It’s a useful corrective for those previously fed exclusively on anti-Ron material.
Much later he had a number of meetings with Marjorie Cameron during the last years of her life. She strongly communicated to him that synchronicity is the key to magic. This became his fundamental research tool. He eventually wrote a whole book on the subject of synchronicity as not just an acausal connecting principle as Jung would have it but an intelligent initiatory principle. A good example of how this manifested for Moon occurred on January 24th1986. He learned that L Ron Hubbard had died a few days earlier and then, literally within a few minutes, heard that the space shuttle had exploded. In Synchronicity and the Seventh Seal he described it as ‘like a one-two punch without any lag in between.’ It was as if the two events were connected. In terms of Moon’s personal destiny and the dream logic of synchronicity they were but it took a few years for him to interpret the meaning of this waking dream. Jack Parsons was responsible for the development of the shuttle fuel, subsequently dying in an explosion. Now, as LRH left his body, there was a powerful echo of their connection and an affirmation that these were not ordinary men but major game-players in a bigger picture. This was an event fine-tuned for Moon himself. He could have found out about Hubbard at any time in the previous few days. It could have been maybe a few more hours before hearing about the shuttle.
Looking for any possible verification, Moon read the immense autobiographical Confessions where Crowley mentioned that in 1918 ‘I spent the summer in a tent beyond Montauk at the extremity of Long Island.’ This was the period between the Amalantrah Working and the public appearance of the Lam picture. There was also mention of a Duncan Cameron as well. Moon considered this to be a synchronistic affirmation that his line of research was worthwhile.
Getting back to the basic Nicholls/Moon narrative, huge events began in August1983 when the big transmitter was turned on and left to run solidly for days. Suddenly, on the 12th, it fell into synchronisation with the Philadelphia Experiment and the USS Eldridge appeared at the end of the time vortex portal. It was exactly forty years on from the original event. Some arcane twenty-year planetary biorhythm sequence had made it possible to link in with 1943.
The August 12th date so significant in 1943 and 1983 was also the day that Crowley married Rose in 1903. It was mentioned in The Book of the Law where there are instructions for it to be a feast day. Thelemic orders and individuals honour it as a major date in their magickal calendar. It fitted in with the twenty-year planetary biorhythm cycle mystery. It was exactly forty years before the Philadelphia Experiment as that in turn was forty years before Montauk 1983. Moon eventually wondered if the famous prophetic verses in The Book of the Law concerning the forties and eighties referred to those very events. The eighties being ‘abased’ might hint at the catastrophic implosion of the Montauk Project.
Robert Anton Wilson encountered all kinds of people with Illuminati tales to tell. He kept to a wise agnosticism and stayed sane. John Keel knew that he was thoroughly in the depths of the Mothman mystery when weird phone-calls, messages, and meetings conveyed to him the apparent presence of a higher guiding intelligence. He came to distrust it as potentially a liar and trouble-maker. When we are led towards the possibilities that the Nazis were potentially tuned-in to the mysteries of the universe, had advanced scientific projects set up by ET contact and suchlike we need to be extremely cautious. I reiterate: at a point in the process archetypal stuff gets activated. As well as the synchronicity machine bringing pertinent data to hand, it may well also involve all kinds of people coming out of the woodwork who provide initiatory tests of discrimination.
I consider the Montauk legend and its potential trigger effect on consciousness to be a classic modern Aeon of Horus manifestation. It demonstrates the kind of things that can get activated when the necessary stimulus is applied. Moon’s connections back to the Babalon Working show perhaps the most powerful sign yet of the tangential ripples still moving ever outwards from the Parsonage. Looming behind the turbulence is Crowley himself, enigmatically at Montauk during the period of his extensive past-life considerations that took his consciousness outside the circles of time and brought the image of Lam into the world. Crowley’s ideas do rather seem to be able to press some spectacular on-buttons. When Shin, Kundalini, the Holy Spirit, gets increasingly switched on so the corresponding energies of oppression kick in.
With the ideas on Lam and the swastika in Black Sun and even more so with Shin in Synchronicity Moon has provided some very useful material in getting to grips with the issues raised in Extra-Terrestrial Gnosis concerning the forces activated. If some mysterious force had to use the vehicle of occult gossip and assorted semi-crazies to get it to surface then so be it.
Whatever the exasperation of the dedicated researcher and their laudable desire to establish consensus facts, let’s be clear here, in this work I am not just talking about history in itself but using history to put forth fantastic realism in the cause of magick and the New Aeon. Montauk and the Illuminati are great teaching tools to that end, calling us to develop a psychology able to accommodate and use such vehicles for the unveiling of our true shining genius rather than its distortion and destruction.
Saturday, 2 May 2009
From the Section
The Most Dangerous Man in America
in Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus
John Lennon found a copy of The Psychedelic Experience in the recently opened Indica book shop in London on a visit with Paul McCartney. He apparently took the contents on board and tripped-out in that reality-tunnel. A particular line lingered. ‘Whenever in doubt, turn off your mind, relax and float downstream.’ Such was the inspiration for the Beatles first psychedelic track Tomorrow Never Knows that appeared on their 1966 Revolver album. This was one of the most radically experimental musical compositions of the sixties. The basic sound of it was unlike anything heard before. It’s a candidate for the accolade of being their greatest moment, even beyond the coming triumphs of Sgt Pepper. A basic Indian-style drone and processed hypnotic drum beat had backward tapes of guitars, cymbals, and strange tape-loop sounds overlaid to form an appropriate soundscape for Lennon’s double-tracked vocals that seemed to chant as much as sing the lyrics.
John Lennon’s journey was one of the most remarkable of all sixties examples of how far things could move in a short period of time. In 1964 he had been singing, ‘I want to hold your hand.’ A mere two years later he was encouraging his listeners to,
‘Lay down all thought,
Surrender to the Void,
It is shining
It is shining.
That you may see
The meaning of within,
It is being,
It is being,
That Love is all and
Love is everyone,
It is knowing,
It is knowing.’
Within another year it had come to,
‘Limitless undying Love which
Shines around me like a million suns,
It calls me on and on, across the universe.’
After a chat with Marshall McLuhan, the great sixties media analyst and prophet of the communication age global village where the medium is the message, Timothy Leary was advised that he himself was a vital part of the package he was hoping to disseminate. He needed to cultivate an endlessly positive persona. This wasn’t too difficult for him. He also needed a snappy soundbite slogan for the media advertising age. ‘Turn on, tune in, drop out’ would resound down through the decades to Leary’s good and to his detriment. It became the equivalent of Crowley’s ‘Do what thou wilt’ and took precedent as a legacy over Leary’s preferred ‘Think for Yourself. Question authority’.
1967 rapidly manifested events typical of its mythic status. There had already been sizeable stirrings of what would become recognisable as hippieness. Something was building and the need was felt for a larger scale event that could expand it further. Talk of the coming Age of Aquarius was in the air. A date in January was chosen for astrological reasons suggestive of well-aspected communication. Golden Gate Park San Francisco hosted the Human Be-In, a 'Gathering of the Tribes’. Mysticism and politics met as chants to Shiva led by Beat poet Allen Ginsberg shared the stage with anti-Vietnam war diatribes and rock music. Leary, fully prepared by McLuhan, now manifested his full acid guru persona, dressed in white and intoning for the first time to a sizeable audience his ‘Turn on, Tune in, Drop out’ mantra. The 30,000-strong crowd smoked plenty of spliffs, tripped-out, and felt generally excited and empowered to see just how many of them there already were. Leary had been the star of the show.
I can forgive Timothy Leary his grandiloquence in trying to save the world with LSD. I will cut him some slack for what in hindsight was irresponsibility in encouraging a generation to drop out and thereby facilitating a westward flow of innocents like some children’s crusade that would soon overwhelm the Haight-Ashbury scene and be exploited, abused, and leave some very real human tragedies in its wake. The clinical pre-requisites for a good trip of set and setting would not always be available for some of these unfortunates. We shall examine the more gruesome outcomes of that shortly. In the sixties the sense of how far it was possible to take something dissolved. The space race was the best indicator of that. Huge developments in the history of the human race were occurring in rapid succession. The sky was no longer the limit. If we can put a man on the moon within a decade of deciding we want to do it who says we can’t transform the consciousness of humanity in a similar period of time? Such was the incredible spirit of the age.
On June 1st 1967 the most legendary of all rock-pop albums was released. With each passing decade perspective on the relative merits of the Beatles Sgt Pepper change. A few things remain constant. Some of it has always seemed brilliant and probably always will. Some of it is a bit weak. Other tracks people are changeable about. Maybe it’s not even the Beatles best album. It does carry a quite extraordinary atmosphere with it that snapshots a stunning period of time and always evokes it. The cover was an important part of the whole charisma of the album as it featured the band lined up in the company of rows of faces of famous people from different fields they had selected. This is where the dream-like thread of narrative that has taken us from the Berlin of 1930 has led.
John Lennon arranged for Aleister Crowley to be among the group featured on the cover. The famous shaven-headed image can be seen along the top row on the left. Early on in the project he had wanted to include Jesus and Hitler as well. Along with Mahatma Gandhi, JC and the Fuhrer never made it to the final version. There’s little to indicate that Lennon really knew much about Crowley at all, beyond his reputation as drug pioneer and general wild man. Just below the Beast, slightly to his right, is Aldous Huxley. It’s like Crowley is standing behind him looking over his shoulder. There they both are at the peak of the Summer of Love in a manner their most psychedelic visions and social prophesying could never have imagined.
A few weeks later, on June 25th, in a major moment for McLuhans’s new communication age global village, the Beatles represented Britain in an unprecedented satellite TV link-up called Our World, performing the specially-composed All You Need is Love to an audience estimated at 400 million. McLuhan himself actually appeared in the Canadian section of the broadcast. The global sensorium was thoroughly massaged. It was the peak of the great wave. Other vibrations were arising that would wither at least some of the flowers.
Friday, 1 May 2009
The Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus website www.aleistercrowley666.co.uk has gone live today, the first of May. Although the book is still being written and might not be published until July I want to stimulate interest in it and its wide-ranging contents alongside my first book Mysterium Artorius. To that end I shall be regularly posting blogs that contain extracts from the books and other unique material.
I chose the Beltaine period as it is one that carries some strong Thelemic associations for me. The second part of my blog tribute to John Michell dated 24th April mentions my journeys along the Michael ley using Qabalistic tarot imagery. In 1998 the day I travelled with my friends to Cornwall to be in place to begin such a journey the next day happened to be Mayday. The route took us past one of the most surreal places in Britain. Trago Mills are a big store not unlike B&Q. Why their branch near the town of Liskeard has extensive grounds full of Greek and Egyptian statues is a mystery to me. An extraordinary grouping featuring a giant Pan with attendant naked women can be seen from the road and almost caused the car I was in to crash the first time I saw it in 1991.
It seemed obvious that a recitation of Crowley’s famous Hymn to Pan was required. The posted photos show this and some of the aftermath. The tarot attributions used in the subsequent journey were the ones specified in The Book of the Law ie that the path between Chokmah and Tiphareth is not the Emperor trump used by the Golden Dawn but the Star. I shall say in passing that this was utilised with a visualisation at Burrow Mump, a site supposedly both on the Michael line and forming the nose of a giant dog that guards the alleged Glastonbury Zodiac. We saw a vast Egyptian Goddess figure standing at St Michaels Mount in Cornwall holding chalices aloft in the sky there, in which a great shining outline of a circle of zodiac figures could be seen in daylight. She then walked like a titan across the landscape coming to the Mump where she poured her starfire liquid upon the nose of the hound who arose up out of the landscape in the form of Anubis with shining red eyes as the outline shapes of the Glastonbury Zodiac lit up from the ground behind him.
It was a good journey.
I hope my websites, blogs, and books may be of some interest, entertainment, and general stimulation. Please check out my tributes to John Michell, article on the Stele of Revealing, and entry on my celebration of the Book of the Law in Cairo this April. Read about, and have the opportunity to watch, Kenneth Anger's Lucifer Rising. There's plenty more where that came from. Further personal Thelemic Beltaine memories may follow over the course of the weekend.
Love is the Law.