Need help finding guest for show on Aleister Crowley

#21
Passio did some stuff on him, but I skimmed through the video of Crowley is someone who doesn't interest me. Passio said he had some good information, but fell off the path and natural law had caught up to him and that's why his life ended it the way it did.

His name seems to come up quite often lately so I guess I will research him
I reached out to Passio but no reply yet. I'd love to gently push him on his claim that we should, "do what Crowley says not what he did." As if! I'd suggest we take it one step further and not bother with Crowley at all... except for this episode.
 
#22
Ah yeah he's not exactly in the same circle as the esoteric folk, he's a fiction writer but he has a lot of essays on the subjects around this board:

http://www.warrenellis.com/

Honestly I'm curious how these sorts of people feel about the bleed of esoterics and alternate models of consciousness into pop culture. Heck Alan Moore, if anyone could reach him, would be another interesting guy as he knows about Crowley and those folk as well - Aeon even wrote an article about Moore's idea of Time.
Interesting. But I'm not sure I want to approach some one and say, "will you come on my show so I can tell you how wrong you are." now that I think about it, I guess I do that all the time :) but it works a lot better with atheists/materialists :)
 
#23
Lon Milo DuQuette is a prime hardcore Thelema magick practitioner with a lot of lore of Crowley, his life and his path nowadays, as far as I know. I didn't find his e-mail, but here is his Facebook page - maybe it can be used to contact him.

He also, if my memeory serves me well, was a friend of Timothy Leary and Robert Anton Wilson... So, he would be able to tell something about them as well - and his acquintance with these luminarieis may itself serve as a kind of indirect recommendation.

What do you think?
great. are you willing to reach out? makes sure he know what I'm up to re my low regard for Crowley... but that I'm willing to be enlightened.
 
#25
great. are you willing to reach out? makes sure he know what I'm up to re my low regard for Crowley... but that I'm willing to be enlightened.
I'm not on Facebook, so, sorry... I won't help much this time. However, some people here must have a Facebook account. So, I'm asking any Facebook dwellers for help! Please... :eek:
 
#26
Sure, Alex. I've heard JMG get asked a few times in interviews about Crowley, as it's apparently one of the few names related to the occult that people outside of occult circles have even heard of. I can't easily provide links there, as unfortunately most podcasts are not as diligent about putting out transcripts as Skeptiko is. But generally his response is similar to what you suggested in the most recent Gordon White episode-- that the outcome of Crowley's life really speaks the most about the quality, or lack thereof, of his magical and mystical approach. By the way, it is clear through hearing JMG speak that he's actually read Crowley closely.

As far as JMG Crowley links go, here's what Google turned up:

It turns out that JMG actually wrote the entry on Crowley at Llewellyn's Encyclopedia page. As far as encyclopedia entries go, it's pretty scathing: "self-proclaimed messiah of the New Aeon", "There Crowley went through an experience that, in his opinion, marked his ascent to the grade of Ipsissimus, the highest level of magical attainment...", etc. I'm pretty sure it's lifted straight from JMG's Llewellyn-published "New Encyclopedia of the Occult".

In a post on his blog The Well of Galabes entitled "How Not to Learn Magic", he briefly talks about Crowley for a couple of paragraphs, pairing him with Julius Evola as two cases of people who tried to create their own magical systems without doing sufficient work on their own personal imbalances first-- resulting in less than stellar outcomes. Later, in the comments under the article, JMG writes: "...one of the things about serious magical practice is that you can't afford to let the personality spin further and further out along the lines of its existing imbalances. Do that and you end up like Crowley. He started life rich, talented, handsome, intelligent, and charismatic, and ended it a burnt-out drug addict in a small town flophouse with an estate worth fourteen shillings and a name that he'd personally made a laughingstock on three continents. Not an example to follow!" And then later: "Crowley's such a perfect object lesson in how not to practice magic!"

Also perhaps worth a glance is the part of a Galabes post called "A Plea For Occult Philosophy", in which among other things, JMG writes about the (modern) origins of Wicca: "Gerald Gardner, who was one of Crowley’s students, tried to take over from Crowley as titular head of the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO), the magical order-slash-sex club that Crowley had more or less hijacked from its founder Theodor Reuss, but found out very quickly that Crowley had left such a bad taste in the mouth of the English occult scene—and yes, you can read that any way you wish—that nobody was interested." (And so shortly after, Gardner created his own order to lead, and Wicca was born.)

Finally, from the comments section of a post on The Archdruid Report from a few years back called "Magical Thinking" from a few years back, JMG wrote "He was actually a very minor figure in his own time; his posthumous popularity is almost entirely a product of the fact that he appealed to the Sixties mentality, which saw him as a sort of proto-hippie."

More generally, based on the kinds of spiritual questions you've been asking guests lately, I'd really love to hear you in that kind of conversation with JMG. Many of the questions you've been asking lately-- about the sheer variety and differences between mystical experiences, about good and evil and morality mean, and so on-- are ones he's addressed insightfully from various directions in the past, and I think you might get a lot out of such a conversation with him.
this is great Quin, thx. sounds like JMG nailed. might make for a good interview. but I worry that our views might be too similar... and our conclusions a little too out of sync (I do recycling unless it's really really convenient).
 
#27
Seems like Crowley was a spoiled Rich kid who got in to the occult and lead a life of debauchery and let his ego guide him on his path. I skimmed through his life, but there is so much to sift through I don't know where to start or what to believe. From Sacrifices to rape to sodomy
 
#28
all the scholars look like Crowley-philes... let me know if you see otherwise.
Well, Gary Lachman has been on Rune Soup a couple of times, though admittedly not to talk about Crowley specifically. Still, judging by the reviews on Amazon, his book on Crowley from 2014 apparently isn't very sympathetic towards its subject matter.
 
#29
Seems like Crowley was a spoiled Rich kid who got in to the occult and lead a life of debauchery and let his ego guide him on his path. I skimmed through his life, but there is so much to sift through I don't know where to start or what to believe. From Sacrifices to rape to sodomy
that's my read too.
 
#30
Well, Gary Lachman has been on Rune Soup a couple of times, though admittedly not to talk about Crowley specifically. Still, judging by the reviews on Amazon, his book on Crowley from 2014 apparently isn't very sympathetic towards its subject matter.
He's really difficult to talk to. I did an interview with him a couple years ago. It was awful. I never published it... first and only time I can remember that happening!
 
#31
this is great Quin, thx. sounds like JMG nailed. might make for a good interview. but I worry that our views might be too similar... and our conclusions a little too out of sync (I do recycling unless it's really really convenient).
Alex, a Crowley interview needn't be where where it happens, but I'd really like to encourage you to engage with JMG again some time. I feel that you'd find far more to be in sync about, if you talked more about the intersection of science and the spirit or other topics more in the traditional Skeptiko bailiwick. Crowley as a starting point could be just the thing to start it off. I can tell you're not sold, but let me just state that I have no doubt at all it would be an amazing conversation. At least, as long as you maybe just stay away from talking about the future of industrial civilization too much.

As I see it, the problem with your previous conversation with JMG is that he was saying some stuff that goes against your basic worldview, and it made you slightly edgy. Specifically, his repeated assertion that we are in the downward portion of our civilization's rise and fall. You're not alone in this, of course-- it's not a way that most people are comfortable thinking, precisely because our society constantly tells us the opposite, as well as our vested interest in the keeping a buoyant status quo, and talk like that makes a lot of people sort of turn their ears off.

The recycling thing is actually a good case in point. Alex, it was you who brought up recycling in the first place; then, JMG explicitly *agreed* with you that you were right, and that recycling doesn't make sense in many places; then he simply pointed out that it does sometimes make more sense in places where people live closer together, like where he lives. And finally he suggested that there were better ways to decrease one's carbon footprint besides recycling (which he wasn't even suggesting to begin with). So all he did was agree with you... yet now you seem to hold it in your memory as a conclusion of his that makes the two of you "out of sync".

Why is that? May I suggest that it's not about the recycling thing, but the worldview thing. If you ever do decide to talk to JMG again about energy issues (and again, I'm suggesting that you *not* do this right now, but instead talk magic and the occult and so forth), I hope that you'll use a little bit more of a Skeptiko, "Follow the evidence" kind of approach. The fact is that his argument that we are in a "Long Descent" *is* challenging, because it raises automatic armor in almost everyone who hears it. You might ask him for his evidence on the matter, I think he'd be happy to lay it out for you as clearly as he can so that you can properly follow it wherever it does or doesn't lead. (You never did ask him for anything like that in the last interview-- I think he kind of just mistakenly assumed that you were already on the same page there.)

But for now I'd just be absolutely delighted to hear you the two of you letting loose on magicians and materialists who go full retard!
 
#33
Alex, a Crowley interview needn't be where where it happens, but I'd really like to encourage you to engage with JMG again some time. I feel that you'd find far more to be in sync about, if you talked more about the intersection of science and the spirit or other topics more in the traditional Skeptiko bailiwick. Crowley as a starting point could be just the thing to start it off. I can tell you're not sold, but let me just state that I have no doubt at all it would be an amazing conversation. At least, as long as you maybe just stay away from talking about the future of industrial civilization too much.
I like and definitely have a lot of respect for JMG... so I wouldn't mind talking to him again...

As I see it, the problem with your previous conversation with JMG is that he was saying some stuff that goes against your basic worldview, and it made you slightly edgy. Specifically, his repeated assertion that we are in the downward portion of our civilization's rise and fall.
I'm generally leery of anyone who thinks we are in some kind of "special time." Just about every age thoughout history has believed they were special.

The recycling thing is actually a good case in point. Alex, it was you who brought up recycling in the first place; then, JMG explicitly *agreed* with you that you were right, and that recycling doesn't make sense in many places; then he simply pointed out that it does sometimes make more sense in places where people live closer together, like where he lives. And finally he suggested that there were better ways to decrease one's carbon footprint besides recycling (which he wasn't even suggesting to begin with). So all he did was agree with you... yet now you seem to hold it in your memory as a conclusion of his that makes the two of you "out of sync".
I agree... he was very level headed about it. then again, the "carbon footprint" thing assumes a whole bunch of stuff about global warming (and by extension NWO/Globalization stuff). I didn't want to get into all this with JMG because I thought it would take focus away from his book.

Why is that? May I suggest that it's not about the recycling thing, but the worldview thing. If you ever do decide to talk to JMG again about energy issues (and again, I'm suggesting that you *not* do this right now, but instead talk magic and the occult and so forth), I hope that you'll use a little bit more of a Skeptiko, "Follow the evidence" kind of approach. The fact is that his argument that we are in a "Long Descent" *is* challenging, because it raises automatic armor in almost everyone who hears it. You might ask him for his evidence on the matter, I think he'd be happy to lay it out for you as clearly as he can so that you can properly follow it wherever it does or doesn't lead. (You never did ask him for anything like that in the last interview-- I think he kind of just mistakenly assumed that you were already on the same page there.)

But for now I'd just be absolutely delighted to hear you the two of you letting loose on magicians and materialists who go full retard!
sure, I'd be happy to have JMG on Skeptiko for a roundtable discussion like this. Pls reach out to him and see if he's interested.
 
#35
Alex, thank you for allowing the conversation to continue. It's my first time on the forum, and even though I know you make yourself out to sound approachable on the podcast, honestly I'm a little bit pleasantly surprised.

So as not to bury the lede, let's do this part first:

sure, I'd be happy to have JMG on Skeptiko for a roundtable discussion like this. Pls reach out to him and see if he's interested.
I'd be happy to, but I just need to check I understood first: you are talking about inviting him for the Crowley discussion, not the other stuff I was digressing on, right? And by roundtable discussion, you mean it would be you and at least one other guest as well? And finally, that it's not that he's being invited to an hour long discussion of Crowley, but rather that Crowley is a jumping-off point for a discussion about the common traps people fall into when they try to come to grips with the reality of extended consciousness realms? If I'm correct on all counts, I'll go ahead and reach out. If not, please correct me before I do.

Oh, and when forum users "reach out", what does it mean? Is it, I write to him, he writes back to me, and then I write back to you here? Or am I asking him to get in touch with you directly?

I'm generally leery of anyone who thinks we are in some kind of "special time." Just about every age thoughout history has believed they were special.
That's a bit ironic, as the argument that we're living in a unique, special time is what people generally use to deflect JMG's arguments! JMG has written about this more than once, see for instance here:

By and large, those who disputed Vico, Spengler, Toynbee, et al. either brushed aside the entire question of patterns of historical change, or conceded that, well, of course, those other civilizations of the past might have followed a shared trajectory, but ours? Never.That’s still the predictable response to any suggestion that the past might have anything useful to say about the future, and regular readers of this blog will have seen it deployed countless times in critiques posted by commenters here: in words made famous in any number of speculative bubbles, it’s different this time.

I'm wondering if maybe you have a misconception what JMG's "long descent" is about? He's not claiming any sudden apocalypse is on the way at all. In fact, it's the very opposite: he quite literally wrote a book called "Apocalypse Not" collecting hundreds of different apocalypses that people of various generations throughout history have been sure were going to happen, and didn't. Instead of suggesting a sudden collapse, he's following the philosophy of the comparative historians mentioned above, like Oswald Spengler, who argue that civilizations go through predictable cycles of rise and decline. He takes their model, plugs in the modern variables (petroleum in the center, as the main target of the current empire's resource sucking "wealth pump"), and draws his conclusions from there.

And that's why he's called it a long descent-- he thinks the current civilization's descent will take about 200 years to run its course! The very opposite of a apocalypse-fearing doomer.

But anyway the whole point is that things *aren't* any different this time. Anyone who believes that our civilization is going to be the first one that never declines and eventually fades away, but instead gets to just grow further and further forever, out into the stars (aka "the myth of progress") is the one who believes their age in history is the special one. (I'm not saying you are, by the way.) If somebody wants to believe that, that's fine, but if so then they ought at least acknowledge that they are the ones claiming we live in a unique age unparalleled in human history.

I agree... he was very level headed about it. then again, the "carbon footprint" thing assumes a whole bunch of stuff about global warming (and by extension NWO/Globalization stuff). I didn't want to get into all this with JMG because I thought it would take focus away from his book.
That was thoughtful. Yeah, you're probably not on the same page there, it's true. I don't think JMG's position on global warming is the one you think it is-- he actually seems to get misunderstood as a climate change denialist pretty often, because he has a nuanced view which acknowledges the problems with the way the scientific establishment has been handling the issue. But it's not really what yours appears to be either. As for NWO, I'm fairly certain JMG is of a different mind there as well. He knows his way around the conspiracy scene, he even wrote actually wrote an Encyclopedia of Secret Societies. But if I understand him right, he is of the school that the people at the center of conspiracies are far from omniscient, and there are many competing conspiracies, none of which ever end up "taking all the chips". Also, he's written about how he feels that wallowing in too many conspiracy theories is a coping mechanism to avoid personal responsibility-- which is sure to rub most conspiracy theorists the wrong way!

That said, not being on the same page as you doesn't mean you couldn't have a good conversation about it. :)
 
#36
I'd be happy to, but I just need to check I understood first: you are talking about inviting him for the Crowley discussion, not the other stuff I was digressing on, right? And by roundtable discussion, you mean it would be you and at least one other guest as well? And finally, that it's not that he's being invited to an hour long discussion of Crowley, but rather that Crowley is a jumping-off point for a discussion about the common traps people fall into when they try to come to grips with the reality of extended consciousness realms? If I'm correct on all counts, I'll go ahead and reach out. If not, please correct me before I do.

Oh, and when forum users "reach out", what does it mean? Is it, I write to him, he writes back to me, and then I write back to you here? Or am I asking him to get in touch with you directly?
all good questions... thx for clarifying:
- roundtable wasn't the correct term :) I just meant it would be kinda of an open dialog centered around a few topics. one of them would be Crowley. Another might be his take on the recent news wave surrounding occult and "Satanic" practices. A third might be the worldwide anti-globalization sentiments voters are expressing. Perhaps you have other suggestions.
- re how -- if you'd be kind enough to make initial contact, I'll follow-up and arrange the date/time and other specifics.

thx for doing this, Quin. I hope it works out.


I'm wondering if maybe you have a misconception what JMG's "long descent" is about?
I think I understood, but probably did miss some of the nuances. The problem I always had was with the implementation... the action plan... both individually and collectively. Peak oil and global warming are great examples of how difficult this can be. globalization is another.


But if I understand him right, he is of the school that the people at the center of conspiracies are far from omniscient, and there are many competing conspiracies, none of which ever end up "taking all the chips". Also, he's written about how he feels that wallowing in too many conspiracy theories is a coping mechanism to avoid personal responsibility-- which is sure to rub most conspiracy theorists the wrong way!
wow... interesting... and I totally agree on both counts. I think the secret to the assent is to look up, but that doesn't mean look away. It's helpful to understand our consensus reality the best we can. and I defiantly agree about multiple competing players/evil-doers (half-joking, but that 'ol Bush-ism always puts a smile on my face)... has to be.
 
#37
If nothing comes out of the Crowley search, it seems like Parnia is back attending the media after quite some time, presumably because the AWARE II project is due to conclude recruitment in May.

Also, Tom Campbell's proposed experiments seem interesting and were brought up in the 9/11 thread, but drowned in the political discussion.
 
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