The cross of Jesus Christ, and its re-presentation in the Eucharist, is the site of a coincidentia oppositorum between Christ and Satan, and thereby, the ultimate coincidence of all opposites.
“Berashith” is a foundational essay of Aleister Crowley’s, and often taken to present an ontology that is consistent throughout Crowley’s life. In fact, this early essay has a number of limitations compared to the Book of the Law and to some of Crowley’s later writings, and is ultimately a reductionistic view of the relationship between nothingness and manifestation.
Last month I went on Talk Gnosis’ podcast to give a brief introduction to Charles Stansfeld Jones aka Frater Achad, including his history as Crowley’s “magical son,” his involvement with the Universal Brotherhood, his conversion to Roman Catholicism, and his declaration of the Aeon of Maat — among other things! Watch or listen here.
Some readers of The Light Invisible know that I’ve been working on a book project — I’m happy to report that The Inner Church is the Hope of the World: Western Esotericism as a Theology of Liberation has now been released! The book has encompassed most of my thinking about esotericism and theology since I graduated from Union Theological Seminary …
The radical French philosopher Georges Bataille and the English magus Aleister Crowley at first seem to have much in common—both explored the darker sides of eroticism and their links to spiritual experience, both were evocative writers expressing philosophical standpoints considered beyond the pale of polite early twentieth-century society, and both sought a rapturous mystical dissolution of the ego-bound self, a union with what traditional mystics would call the One or the All. But their understandings of the end of the mystic’s quest differ greatly—even to the point that, according to orthodox Thelema’s conception of the magician’s supreme goal of “crossing the Abyss,” Bataille could be labeled a member of the vilified Black Brotherhood, that society of Dark Adepts who ultimately fail in their spiritual task.