The City of God

Aleister Crowley

Copyright (c) Ordo Templi Orientis
JAF Box 7666
New York NY 10116 USA
www.oto.org


February 18, 1995 e.v. key entry by Darryl Lee Emplit III' O.T.O.
February 19, 1995 e.v. first proof reading, more needed.
by Darryl Lee Emplit III' of O.T.O.
Greek translation and notes by Mbabwa.
ASCII Text Standard.

                      THE CITY OF GOD

                        A RHAPSODY

                            by

                     ALEISTER CROWLEY

      "In Macrocosmo ELIOS PHALLUS in Microcosmo,
       Lucis, Vitae, Libertatis, Amoris est Fons Deus"
       cui testis Aedes Moscoviae Kremlin.
                              Marius de Aquila.


Christ = IPSOUS CHRISTOS THEOU _ _ _S SOTER = IChTh _ S = Pesce
                                   LAMOS BASILE _ S TELEPYLOU




                         Dedicated to

            Alexander, Aleikhin, Alapin and Azev;
         Blavatzky, Bakunin, Boris and Boguljuboff;
             Dostoevsky, Dmitri and Diaghileff;
          Gogol, Gregory, Gapon, Glinka and Gorky;
                      Ivan and Ilyitch;
                   Katherine and Kropotkin;
                     Lenin and Lermontoff;
       Mendeljeff, Maisky, Mussorgsky, and Moiseivitch;
                 Pushkin, Pavloff and Peter;
      Rurik, Rimsky-Korsakoff, Rasputin, Rachmaninoff and
                         Rostopschin;
     Timoshenko, Tschaikovsky, Troitsky, Tschigorin, Trotsky,
               Turgenieff, Tolstoi, and Tchekoff;
                    Vassily and Verestchagin;
                     Zosimoff and Zimbalist;

        and so on through all the thirty-six letters of
         the Alphabet; stones of honour and dishonour
          that go to the building of the City of God.

                              [2]



                           PREFACE


     Poetry is the geyser of the Unconscious.
     Poetry is the intelligible musical expression of the Real
whose mirror is the phenomenal Universe.
     Poetry is the Hermes to lead the "soul" Eurydice from the
murk of illusion to the light of Truth; "and on Daedalian oarage
fare forth to the interlunar air".
     A living poem must effect a definite magical excitement-
exaltation in the hearer or reader, similar to the experience of
"falling in love at first sight" with a woman. Analysis and
argument cannot convince, and may inhibit the reaction, which is
above emotion and reason.
     The reception of a poem, being a ritual Magical initiation,
suffers no interruption. The music must be perfect; hard, maybe,
to appreciate, as is Beethoven, but unmistakably sublime when
fully understood. Technical perfection, in the absence of
Creative Energy, is vanity, like the playing of "Exercises".
     The "work of art" which appeals to contemporary judgement
can never, save some rare accident, be of the timber of
Yggdrasil. For one main factor of its immediate success must be
its amalgram with the Zeitgeist, a mercurial element corrosive of
true gold. Hermes Trismegistus distinguishes three degrees: (I)
true, (2) certain beyond error, (3) of all truth. "The Way, the
Truth, and the Life" is "the same yesterday, to-day, and for
ever". Great Art is independent of conditions.
     T.S. Elliot, Ezra Pound, W.H. Auden, haec turba taeniarum
omnis, have log-rolled their heads and their styles until
Bloomsbury, Brixton, Balham, Bournemouth and Baaston believe them
to be poets. Pendantry and preciosity, push and peacockry, are
not the stuff of song.
     Go (with some trifle of aid from Socrates) and challenge
their sycophants! It is easy to compel them to define "poetry" so
as to exclude John Keats - fed, by the way, on honest porridge,
not on "cereals" out of a can. And one will not impossibly be
content to leave it at that!  [3]
     Here, then, is your chota hazri, fellow-pilgrims to the City
of God, with the first blast of a challenge to the critics.
Expect a fanfare, OLLA it shall be called; Reistafel for your
breakfast dish! At the Solstice, with a bit of luck!

                                             ALEISTER CROWLEY.

                              [4]










                      THE CITY OF GOD


Day after day we crawled
Beneath the leaden, flat,
Featureless heaven, across dull emerald
Field after field, whereon no aureate
Sunrise awakened earth's Magnificat,
Save at the marge where, rimmed with duller pines,
Dun earth mixed with black heaven, there unsealed
A red eye glowing through that furtive field,
As if the bloodhound of Eternity
Tracked the thief Time. Remorseless rain 
Beat down, pale piteous monotony,
Upon the inexplorable plain.

A gnome that staggers under the grim load
Set on his back by God,
Might pity our weak jolting as we moved
Hopelessly, yet inevitably, on,
Under who knows what senseless goad,
Unlovable as unloved,
Towards the evasive horizon
That mocked us without laughter, wrapped
In its own cynic sleep,
Careless of the vitalities it trapped,
Not sanguine from the blood it lapped,
Not livng from the life it sapped,
But in eternal gloom,
Its own soul's tomb.
This was the sombre way we went --
Not eloquent of death, since death is change,
But of some tideless ocean sad and strange
Beneath a mute, immobile firmament,
The sun himself struck silent at the nod
Of some more awful God.  [5]
We were so far from the one city we sought
That we had never hoped; and so despair
Never built bastions against the thought
That we might -- in some ultimate -- be there.
Sunset and dawn were but the same red eye,
The first behind us and the last before,
Nor was the night more leaden than the day,
Since -- to see less no worse than to see more,
Sight's limit being that monotony
Of grievous green and grey!

Wonder could no more touch the soul. The dawn
Broke as it peers had broken -- when we found
Ourselves in an enchanted ground
Where all the plain was suddenly withdrawn,
And we were in the midst of alien races
And monstrous market places
Where no man marked us. An armed man stood out
From the bright-coloured rabble: he was black
From head to foot, save for the peacock's plumes
That were his crest -- then was this wonderland
Storied Baghdad or silken Samarcand?
Kashgar the envied? Yarkand the yak's mart?
Himis of holy men beyond utmost wrack
Of Himalaya? Pride of Jhelum's strand,
Srinagar, happiest hope of every heart?
Oh! but the warrior signed for us to loose
Our shoes, for that the ground whereon we trod
Was holy already from profaner use,
Being the outskirts of the City of God.



                    II.

Close-ranked, the legions of the spear-bright rain
Roared as they charged; we came incontinent
Within a space: a threshold of twin spires,
Topaz and jade, confront the firmament,
And 'twixt them nestled the babe fane,
                    [6]
Formed with blue canopy, the golden fires
Of stars about it; there we stayed and there
Put up petitions well and thorough to fare,
Whirls of faint smoke that soared in the thin air.
Lo! suddenly we felt our feet unshod
Bleed with the sharp bliss of the City of God.



                    III.

Towered above the abyss, the red wall ran
Mightily forth, its crenellated crest
A square-toothed saw, God's luminous azure
Poured through each palpitant embrasure,
Save where, crown over crown, fan over fan,
Dome upon dome, cupola beyond cupola,
Great gland, sun, moon, cross, crescent, breast
And mightiest breast and gland and vesica
Heaving with natural and unnatural longing,
Crowding, coalescing, thronging,
Mixing their magic, clouding over all
With pale, pure gold, the spring sun's thrall
Thrilling with ecstasy to burst the blue --
Oh! all our hashish dreams came true
When we beheld the jewel of the city,
Its nine glands coloroued like all manner of fruit
And flowers with stripe and trellis, whorl and spire,
Even like all manner of beast and bird that be,
And every gland stood bare, disdaining pity,
Each shaft a column of fire,
And its vibration was a lyre,
And the echo of it a lute,
So that a mighty melody
Shone out thereof, a maze of moon in the gloom
All inexpressibly dowered with perfume.
And this was molten, this was living stone,
This was the very flesh and blood of God,
Incarnate Christ, the Saviour, hailed alone
Artifex, martyr, the reviving god  [7]
That on itself begat the one true vine
And from its own breast drew the only wine.
And all was rainbow and aurora blended
In fluent colours interchanged and splendid
Pure water whirled into pure fire and flecked
With miracles of form,
Wheels upon wheels expiring and erect,
Colour and sound in storm,
The heart of God within a frame of blue:--
Our hashish dream come true!


                    IV.


And all this hung above a mighty river.
Curve after curve, an amphisbaena, wound
About the base of those pale precipices
That cut the clouds, whose curtained eyelids quiver
In their absorb'd gaze into that profound,
The abyss of height confronting the abysses
Of East and North.--Oh! but the fiery fan
Of burning water that made molten love
To the fiery face of the fair fane above,
Whose pure and whose palingenetic plan
Was older than all worlds, than that hot hour
When Christ Ischyros capped the topmost tower
About whose root the royal river ran.


                    V.

Gold upon gold, dome above dome, faint arrow
Kindling sharp crescent, as the sunrays swept,
Save for one midnight moment when one narrow
Fierce ray, exhaling from no eye that slept
Of God, our God, the sun - gold upon gold,
Frond upon frond, fold upon fold
Of walls like leaves and cupolas like flowers,
And spires and domes that were as fabled fruit
Of the low lands beyond the pillared seas  [8]
O hercules!
Silver, sharp showers
Swept on the city, and made mighty suit
To the great god whose amorous hours
Were housed in those eternities
Within, where, by the frescoes and the gold,
Musical, manifold,
Carven like lace, by malachite
And pophyry and chrysolite,
Where in their copper cold sarcophagi
Hundreds of emperors lie,
And in their reliquaries bediamonded
Thousands of saints still watch their jewelled bones;
And beneath canopies of precious stones
Invoked archangels, each an armed host,
Hold ready to defend with glaive and spear
The frontiers of the city, there appear
The emblazoned ensigns of the Holy Ghost
That all invisible pervades the whole,
Being its secret soul.
There, in that sanctuary of silences,
There is a Word,
The Word that built the city, never heard
By any of those archangel phalanxes,
Unuttered even in the holy heart
Of God, or breathed by its own lightning breath,
Since from all being it stands ever apart,
Its name being Life, and that name's echo Death.


                    VI.

Then when I was caught up into rapture -- yea!
From heaven to heaven was I swept away.
And all that shadow city past,
And I was in the City of God at last.
This city was alive, athrob, astir,
Shaped as the sacred, secret place of Her
That hath no name on earth, whose whisper we  [9]
Catch only in the silence of the sea.
And through it poured a river of sunset blood,
Pulsing its choral and colossal flood
Throughout the city, and lifting it aloft,
Too subtle-strenuous and too siren-soft,
So that the very being of it did swim
Into Herself, bliss to the buoyant brim,
And rose and fell as only rise and fall
The blosoms of those maids ecstatical
Whom Gods caress with giant spasms --
Red orgiastic dawns of the orgasms
Wherein the soul, beneath its own feet trod,
Spends itself in the sanctuary of God!





                    VII.

And in that heart of hearts was no more I,
No more the heart; but sobbing through the sky,
Came trembling the more awful beat, the blast
Of a million trumpets blazoning the past,
Heralding the to-be, and on their wings
Whirred incommunicable things.
And in their wake, tremendous and austere,
A form of fear,
Awe in the shape of the Most Holy One,
A globe, an eye, a hawk, a lion, a lord,
A bowl of brilliance, a winged globe, a sword --
All these in one, and one beyond all these,
Mute, ithyphallic, caryatides
Like gods about his car, came crested on
The one true God, the Sun!
Instant, the city swriling to its brim
With Life unthinkable, dissolved in Him.
Instant, explosion shook the bounding night,
Smote it but once, and left but one thing, Light.

Oh, but the scarlet swallows up the blue--
Our hashish dreams come true!   [10]







                    Liber LXXVII
                    Oz:

                                     "the law of
                                      the strong;
                                      this is our law
                                      and the joy
                                      of the world."

                                               AL. II. 21


"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law."  - AL I: 40

"thou hast no right but to do thy will. Do that, and no other
shall say nay." - AL I: 42-3

"Every man and every woman is a star." - AL I: 3

                 There is no god but man.

1. Man has the right to live by his own law --
       to live in the way that he wills to do:
       to work as he will:
       to play as he will:
       to rest as he will;
       to die when and how he will.

2. Man has the right to eat what he will:
       to drink what he will:
       to dwell where he will;
       to move as he will on the face of the earth.

3. Man has the right to think what he will:
       to speak what he will:
       to write what he will:
       to draw, paint, carve, etch mold, build as he will;
       to dress as he will.

4. Man has the right to love as he will:
       "take your fill and will of love as ye will, when, where,
        and with whom ye will." - AL I: 51

5. Man has the right ot kill those who would thwart these rights.


     "the slaves shall serve." - AL II: 58


         "Love is the law, love under will." - AL I: 57

 

 

The City of God