gerry456 wrote:Now, I recall that AC may have held a different definition
Given that AC doesn't use the term "fantasist", nor was psychotherapy practiced with nearly the frequency nor method that it is today, it's very possible that he did hold a different definition of the word... though I don't know where you might be "recalling" that from. His one mention of psychotherapy in this book recognizes it as a good start but fundamentally incomplete.
So, we have five confused people here who are deluding themselves, are unhappy for it and need to get in touch with the reality of their true inner natures in order to reach happiness. .
Indeed we do, as "illustrations" of AC's theorems for a general audience. As I'm sure you'll recall, he begins this particular book with the announcement:
This book is for
for every man, woman, and child.
My former work has been misunderstood, and its scope limited, by my use of technical terms. It has attracted only too many dilettanti and eccentrics, weaklings seeking in "Magic" an escape from reality. I myself was first consciously drawn to the subject in this way. And it has repelled only too many scientific and practical minds, such as I most designed to influence.
I have written this book to help the Banker, the Pugilist, the Biologist, the Poet, the Navvy, the Grocer, the Factory Girl, the Mathematician, the Stenographer, the Golfer, the Wife, the Consul --- and all the rest --- to fulfil themselves perfectly, each in his or her own proper function.
In essence, this was meant to be the "Magick for Dummies" of its day. As such -- in this introductory essay, at least -- he illustrates all of his technical theorems with mundane examples in order to make them understandable to bankers, pugilists, biologists, poets, navvies, grocers, factory girls, mathematicians, stenographers, golfers, wives, consuls, and all the rest. You can argue whether he keeps to this "dumbing it down for the masses" approach throughout the rest of the book (I would argue that, as in most everything he writes, he can't help himself but show off his intellectual superiority through his particular prose, thus undermining his stated intention) but, for this introduction at least, I'd argue that the conceit stands.
Thus, my statement above still stands: "This does, of course, play out in the psychological sphere... but not exclusively. Personal psychology is just one of the many aspects of Self that must be mastered in the process of becoming a 'Magician'."