Though many books have ostensibly been written on Crowley’s philosophy, this might well be the first one truly accessible to an intelligent reader with no prior or current interest in the occult—yet THE LAW OF THELEMA nowise pretends that one’s True Will can be ascertained without the patient utilization of esoteric techniques.
In the tradition of Franz Hartmann’s Life and Doctrines of Jacob Boehme (1891), the author organizes quotations from diverse works by Crowley into a set of themes, but mostly lets the Beast speak for himself. However, the author helps the reader parse through Crowley’s unique combination of Western iconography and Eastern concepts, while showing how Thelema is similar to and different from other systematic methods of attainment.
Rather than turning himself and his readers into “centres of pestilence” by discussing the contents of Liber Legis, the author merely arranges the Prophet’s own scattered comments into a coherent, carefully referenced whole. This book should thus also prove indispensable to anyone who genuinely wants to work Crowley’s actual system, but may not have the time or resources to connect every last dot.
ANTTI P. BALK is a Finnish historian and philosopher best known for his scholarly translations of Aleister Crowley and kindred authors.