A MODERN DELUSION
One of the problems with which an aspiring Occultist must deal in the early stages of his/her development is the still-pervasive influence of Aleister Crowley.
Crowley was a talented and entertaining writer, but an inept Occultist, who merely adopted and adapted systems which had already failed, believing against all evidence that those methods were capable of giving success and eventually deluding himself that he had succeeded.
There was nothing new in Crowley’s teachings, but he put them together more attractively than any of his predecessors and was a more colourful character. So, for the past few decades, would-be Occultists have sought to attach to themselves something of the Crowleyan charisma, in the misguided but understandable belief that an Occultist has to have an image, and with a less comprehensible lack of faith in their own personalities.
Crowley failed. The only lesson to be learned from him is What Not To Do. Yet still there are Occultists hopefully doing what he did, making the same mistakes all over again and, like Crowley, refusing to learn from them.
“The Great Beast” was not a pathfinder, because he trod a well-worn and retrogressive track. Complex ritual circumscribes itself and, whilst it may be a useful discipline in the early stages, it must be outgrown if one is to make progress. Similarly, sex-magick is one of the devices used in the quest for self-understanding; a stepping-stone, not a doctrine in itself.
If Crowley had ever met a genuine Occult teacher, the meeting would probably have been unproductive. The dilettante would have recoiled in horror from the instruction that he must undertake the most difficult task in the world, achieving a knowledge and understanding of himself. And the teacher would have recognised one who was enthralled in the shadow, not the substance, of Occultism.
It has been considered a sad reflection on Occultism that the best-known Occultist got it all wrong. Not so: the ones who succeed are not heard of. They do not need adulation or any other reaction from others. They have achieved a form of self-sufficient which Crowley and his imitators could not even contemplate. To by-pass the shade of Crowley, to recognise it as a mere distraction, is a significant step on the Path, but there are many who will not or cannot take that step, whether or not they have recognised their own limitations.
Anonymous article taken from the Dark Lily Journal No 9, Society of Dark Lily (London 1989).