Edward Alexander Crowley, who came to be more popularly known as Aleister Crowlay, was a magician, occultist, painter, writer, active mountaineer and religious ideologue from England, who courted a lot of controversy during his lifetime but is still considered among the most famous Britons. Crowley was born in 1875 in a wealthy family and developed an interest in writing poetry and climbing mountains during his time at the prestigious University of Cambridge. He also learned ceremonial magic from the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and then went to India in order to learn more about Hinduism and Buddhism. Crowley wrote a considerable number of books on occult practices and in addition to that, he had also turned over a large number of novels and poetry collections during his career. However, his most important contribution as an occultists and religious ideologue was the establishment of the religion Thelema. Crowley’s fiercely libertine activities made him a controversial figure and his love life, drug usage and views attracted the wrath of British society. Some people even believe that he was actually a member of the British intelligence agency and even Crowley had himself claimed that once. There is no doubt that Crowley is one of the most fascinating characters from history and here are some of his most famous quotes.
I’m a poet, and I like my lies the way my mother used to make them.
One would go mad if one took the Bible seriously; but to take it seriously one must be already mad.
May the New Year bring you courage to break your resolutions early! My own plan is to swear off every kind of virtue, so that I triumph even when I fall!
I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on awakening; I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning.
Having to talk destroys the symphony of silence.
The sin which is unpardonable is knowingly and wilfully to reject truth, to fear knowledge lest that knowledge pander not to thy prejudices.
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Magick is the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will.
Ordinary morality is only for ordinary people.
Science is always discovering odd scraps of magical wisdom and making a tremendous fuss about its cleverness.
Every man and every woman is a star.
I hardly ever talk- words seem such a waste, and they are none of them true. No one has yet invented a language from my point of view.
Your kiss is bitter with cocaine.
I’ve written this to keep from crying. But I am crying, only the tears won’t come.
The Way of Mastery is to break all the rules—but you have to know them perfectly before you can do this; otherwise you are not in a position to transcend them.
I’ve often thought that there isn’t any “I” at all; that we are simply the means of expression of something else; that when we think we are ourselves, we are simply the victims of a delusion.
What the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over.
Love is the law, love under will.
It is the mark of the mind untrained to take its own processes as valid for all men, and its own judgments for absolute truth.
It is necessary, in this world, to be made of harder stuff than one’s environment.
Happiness lies within one’s self, and the way to dig it out is cocaine.
Paganism is wholesome because it faces the facts of life….
For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.
Modern morality and manners suppress all natural instincts, keep people ignorant of the facts of nature and make them fighting drunk on bogey tales.
Balance every thought with its opposition. Because the marriage of them is the destruction of illusion.
We must conquer life by living it to the full, and then we can go to meet death with a certain prestige.
Truth! Truth! Truth! crieth the Lord of the Abyss of Hallucinations
Some men are born sodomites, some achieve sodomy, and some have sodomy thrust upon them…
I was not content to believe in a personal devil and serve him, in the ordinary sense of the word. I wanted to get hold of him personally and become his chief of staff.
The most delicious sensation of all is the re-birth of healthy human love. Spring coming back to Earth!
To read a newspaper is to refrain from reading something worthwhile. [….] The first discipline of education must therefore be to refuse resolutely to feed the mind with canned chatter.
The ordinary man looking at a mountain is like an illiterate person confronted with a Greek manuscript.
Your friends will notice at once that glib vacuities fail to impress, and hate you, and tell lies about you. It’s worth it.
He shall fall down into a pit called Because, and there he shall perish with the dogs of reason.
Indubitably, Magick is one of the subtlest and most difficult of the sciences and arts. There is more opportunity for errors of comprehension, judgement and practice than in any other branch of physics.
64. I am the blue-lidded daughter of Sunset; I am the naked brilliance of the voluptuous night-sky.
…in the absence of will power, the most complete collection of virtues and talents is wholly worthless.
For I am divided for love’s sake, for the chance of union.
Don’t talk for five minutes, there’s a good chap! I’ve a strange feeling come over me–almost as if I were going to think!
The key of joy is disobedience.
This complaining rambling rubbish is the substitute which has taken the place of love.
Since all things are God, in all things thou seest just so much of God as thy capacity affordeth thee.
Their false compassion is called compassion and their false understanding is called understanding, for this is their most potent spell.
I can imagine myself on my death-bed, spent utterly with lust to touch the next world, like a boy asking for his first kiss from a woman.
The man who denounces life merely defines himself as the man who is unequal to it.
This is the Night wherein I’m lost, the Love through which I am no longer
A man friends are more capable of working him harm than strangers; and his greatest danger lies in his own habits.
30. If Will stops and cries Why, invoking Because, then Will stops & does nought. 31. If Power asks why, then is Power weakness.
The more necessary anything appears to my mind, the most certain it is that I only assert a limitation.
A red rose absorbs all colors but red; red is therefore the one color that it is not.
Astrology has no more useful function than this, to discover the inmost nature of a man and to bring it out into his consciousness, that he may fulfil it according to the law of light.
A single ego is an absurdly narrow vantage point from which to view the world.
Chaos is Peace… Blackness, blackness intolerable, before the beginning of the light. This is the first verse of Genesis. Holy art thou, Chaos, Chaos, Eternity, all contradictions in terms!
There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.
Keep on acquiring a taste for what is naturally repugnant; this is an unfailing source of pleasure.
The first condition of success in magick is purity of purpose.
The nails from a suicide’s coffin, and the skull of the parricide, were of course no trouble; for Vesquit never traveled without these household requisites.
The Great Work is the uniting of opposites. It may mean the uniting of the soul with God, of the microcosm with the macrocosm, of the female with the male, of the ego with the non-ego—or what not.
I am perplexed
I do not think we were afraid of death; life had become such an infinitely boring alternation between a period of stimulation which failed to stimulate and of depression which hardly even depressed.
Light illuminates the path of humanity: it is our own fault if we go over the brink.
To resist and subdue Nature is to make for one’s self a personal and imperishable life: it is to break free from the vicissitudes of Life and Death.
Light, Life and Love are like three glow-worms at thy feet: the whole universe of stars, the dewdrops on the grass whereon thou walkest!
We [of Thelema] are whole-hearted extroverts; the penalty of restricting oneself is anything from neurosis to down right lunacy; in particular, melancholia.
Stab your demoniac smile to my brain, Soak me in cognac, love, and cocaine
Thou hast no right but to do thy will… For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.
She it is, she, that found me In the morphia honeymoon; With silk and steel she bound me In her poisonous milk she drowned me, Even now her arms surround me
Love in a night shall live and die, Love in a day shall wing and fly; Love in the Spring shall last an hour, Easily fade a spring-tide flower.
The technical developments of almost every form of wealth [e.g., oil, minerals] are the forebears of Big Business; and Big Business, directly or indirectly, is the immediate cause of War.
It is as if the first diviner of absinthe had been indeed a magician intent upon a combination of sacred drugs which should cleanse, fortify and perfume the human soul.
Remember all ye that existence is pure joy; that all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass & are done; but there is that which remains.
Bind nothing! Let there be no difference made among you between any one thing & any other thing; for thereby there cometh hurt
Sleep I forget. Her silky breath no longer fans my ears; I dream I float on some forgotten stream that hath a saviour still of death,
This is th’ abyss. Behold wherein I lurk The lazar-house my mind, wherein do work The horrid charnel-priests, whose loathly song Sickens my soul, and quells the spirit strong.
All this is true and false; and it is true and false to say that it is true and false.
Like clouds in rain, like seas Exultant as they roll, We mix in ecstasies, And, as breeze melts in breeze, Thy soul becomes my soul.
But to understand English is one thing; to understand an Englishman who talks is another.
When we’ve all finished talking, there’s something that never utters a word, but goes right down through the earth, plumb to the centre.
Do what thou wilt, the most sublimely austere ethical precept ever uttered, despite its apparent license.
Must not understanding lie open unto wisdom as the pyramids lie open to the stars? (6:2)
Verily, I say unto thee, many are the adepts that have looked upon the back parts of my father, and cried, “our eyes fail before the glory of thy countenance.
In vain we labour at the loathsome task Not knowing if we wake or sleep ; But in the end we lift the plum�d casque Of the dead warrior ; Find no chaste corpse therein, but a soft-smiling whore.
For when all is equilibrated, when all is beheld from without all, there is joy, joy, joy that is but one facet of a diamond, every other facet whereof is more joyful than joy itself.
The man of earth is the adherent. The lover giveth his life unto the work among men. The hermit goeth solitary, and giveth only of his light unto men.