Open Buddha

Open Source Buddhism, Technology, and Geekery
Bay Area, California

Crowley and Spiritual Traditions

Now, I admit that I am biased in all things Crowley. I was never a “big ‘T’” Thelemite like some people I know, who seem to worship Crowley as a guide or the ultimate guide to life or something. I found the philosophy to have some value and felt that Crowley had a lot of gifts, along with his faults. I still feel that way but I’ve moved on.

So, I fully expect anything I say here to be dismissed by most as “Oh, he’s an ex-Thelemite, so of course he says things like that…”

That being acknowledged, I find it painful to watch people that I know, on and offline, who obviously are pretty gifted spiritually, trying to reconcile Crowley with other spiritual traditions or their own spiritual insights.

People study Yoga closely or a variety of spiritual traditions and find (surprise!) that maybe Crowley didn’t know anywhere near as much about a tradition as he liked to pretend or simply (gasp) failed to understand it, whether through lack of knowledge because of his era or simply because of his “I’m a wealthy white Englishman studying the brown peoples’ backward traditions” attitudes, whether conscious or not.

Folks, you don’t have to reconcile the spiritual traditions of the world and Aleister Crowley’s thought. Simply put, the man made mistakes or failed to grasp things. If your own growth, insight, or study shows this, it is not simply a matter that you aren’t advanced enough to see the more subtle level where he makes sense and doesn’t contradict these other traditions. It’s that he was, often or occasionally (depending on your view), wrong.

Shoehorning your own spiritual understanding to fit in the “Thelema” box or the “Crowley” box only damages your own spiritual development and insights.

Follow your Will and not Crowley’s and grow beyond Crowley. He is not the be all and end all of al spiritual development unless you are a “Crowleyite” instead of a “Thelemite.” Heck, why even call yourself the latter?

Ok, smug message over. Flame on!