by Mahatma Guru Sri Paramahansa Shivaji (Aleister Crowley)
Aleister Crowley has achieved the reputation of being a master of the English language. This book which is as fresh and vibrant today as when it was penned over thirty years ago demonstrates this fact. It shows how impossible it is to categorize him as a particular kind of stylist. At turns he can be satirical, poetical, sarcastic, rhetorical, philosophical or mystical, gliding so easily from one to the other that the average reader is hard put to determine whether or not to take him at face value.
His description of mystical states of consciousness clarifies what tomes of more erudite writing fails to elucidate. It is in effect a continuation of Part I of Book 4 brought to maturity. Nearly three decades had elapsed between the writing of these two books, in which time his own inner development had soared ineffably. A great deal of what he has to say may seem prosaic at first sight, but do not be fooled by this. Other of his comments are profound beyond belief, requiring careful and long meditation if full value is to be derived from them.
This is not a book to be read while standing or running. It is a high water mark of Crowley’s literary career, incorporating all that we should expect from one who had experimented with and mastered most technical forms of spiritual growth. There is humor here, a great deal of sagacity, and much practical advice. This book cannot be dispensed with for the student for whom Yoga is ‘the way.’
March 21, 1969
Studio City, CA
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