One like the others
The more I consider Aleister Crowley, the more do I come to understand him as no more than an advocate of mainstream western thought, which is emanationist, kabbalistic and freemasonic. He was a consolidator rather than a rebel.
Emanationism sees the manifestations of the cosmos as unwilled and necessary, and modes of existence of an infinite, undiminished, unchanged primary substance.
The various modes of existence, including mankind, areoften explained as an outflow of beings of descending perfection from the infinite and originatory substance.
Salvation is often thought of as rising through the stages of emanation to become one with the ‘Active Intellect’.
And this, it seems to me, is what Crowley advocates. The tarot ‘fool’s journey’ as he understands it, is to start from 0, i.e. the original andunspoken Logos, travel through all of life’s emanations, struggle to ‘do what thou wilt’, only to accept that one is ultimately inseparable from the originatory substance. This is the salvific journey.
Emanation and pantheism go together in that everything is considered to be an emanation of the one underlying reality. There is no separation from the One, only the illusion of separation.
The human response to emanationism has been to accept that any notion of separation from the One is illusory and that, in reality, man has to accept that he is not afree and creative entity with a free will. The truth is that free thinking can only aspire to the acceptance of necessity. The response ultimately to emanationism is the suicide of the self.
Emanationism has its roots in Pre-Socratic philosophy, Orphism and other related Greco-Roman origin myths, Helenistic Judaism, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism, Jewish Kabbala, freemasonry and modern materialistic science. I have limited this list to Western schools and in doing so acknowledge the exclusion for now of the emanationism which is the foundation of many Eastern religions.
Modern emanationism has its roots in the Iberian expulsion of the Jews and Luria’s modification of Kabbalah to suit an exilic mindset. Spinoza took much from Luria, influencing western philosophy and economics, particularly through John Locke and Karl Marx.
Crowley and his ilk are thus to be considered as cheerleaders for, rather than rebels against, the dominant thought forms of the western mainstream. In fact the entirety of the western canon of art, literature, philosophy and science serves to bolster this emanationist, kabbalistic and freemasonic western tradition through figures as diverse as Spinoza, Locke, Berkeley, Nietzsche, Hegel, Baudelaire, Blake, Steiner, Marx and Engels, Voltaire, Rousseau, Darwin, Heidegger, Freud, Jung, Blavatsky, Steiner, Pollock, Warhol. The immediate political manifestation of emanationism is globalism. The psychological impact of emanationism upon the individual is the suicide of the self.
Evolutionism differs from emanationism in that it claims to be directionless (though often theories stress progress). In evolutionism the transformation and development of matter forms the constitution of the universe, whilst in emanationism the primal source or principle remains unchanged as everything else proceeds from it.
What does not change in evolutionism is the Law, the continuous unfolding of the Law of Evolution. The individual remains subject to the Law of Evolution.
© John Dunn.