The sacred monster of Aleister Crowley, the beast 666, as he called himself, is practically unbeatable in the Anglo-Saxon world of contemporary occultism. Few have ventured to criticize him for fear of attracting the wrath of a community with which they identify. The esprit de corps establishes a political correctness in a movement which nevertheless claims to open a rebellious and independent path beyond the accepted conventions.
And yet, what about a man born to a wealthy and practicing family who, after an almost puerile revolt against his environment, propels himself at the head of an order of ritual magic with doctrine pumped out of Orientalism and other philosophies and practices in vogue at that time? Some of his writings retransmit messages received from an entity (Aiwass, “The Book of the Law”) from another dimension, while others take up the traditional teachings of yoga and Indian tantra in British sauce.
Crowley’s flamboyant personality and sense of adventure, however, allowed him to explore new territories of the psyche and it’s probably his most precious legacy. A state of mind. Unlimited experimentation with sexual practices and drug use in order to provoke an illuminating catharsis were at the center of his teaching.
And for that, yes we can probably thank him. Poor and heroin addict at the end of his life, he does not seem to have achieved the achievement of which he was the lawyer. But be careful not to judge by appearances. The living liberated or Jivanmukti does not necessarily have the qualities expected by an unlit mind. Crowley is certainly a mystery.