Changes to Liber Al?

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Changes to Liber Al?

Postby Archaeus » Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:02 pm

93

Some of you may have heard about Proposed changes to Liber Al to be implemented in the new edition of the Holy Books to be released by OTO at some point in the future.

Apparently this is because in a scribbled note in an old copy of the Holy Books there is the phrase: "Kill me" in place of "Fill me" in the adoration's.
My first reaction is that they are changing Liber Al, and therefore should be shunned as centers of pestilence. Although seeing as the adorations are pre-liber al does this mean that they are not part of the document? And if it is a revision the AC intended then why did he not change it in editions of liber al released in his lifetime?

Your thoughts?

Edit: I stand corrected, the original manuscript does clearly say: "Fill me". OTO is a center of pestilence. Might have to consider resigning.
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Re: Changes to Liber Al?

Postby Starry Soul » Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:15 pm

Well, the first change I'd shun is L. to אל. :twisted:
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Re: Changes to Liber Al?

Postby Los » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:10 pm

Archaeus wrote:Some of you may have heard about Proposed changes to Liber Al to be implemented in the new edition of the Holy Books to be released by OTO at some point in the future.

Has someone actually proposed this, or are you just speculating?

Apparently this is because in a scribbled note in an old copy of the Holy Books there is the phrase: "Kill me" in place of "Fill me" in the adoration's.

Some context: it's long been debated whether the line is "kill me" or "fill me," as "kill me" appeared in the versification of the Stele from the vellum notebook (now lost) published in The Equinox of the Gods and in the Equinox I (7), while "fill me" appeared in the editions of the Book of the Law published by Crowley.

There was a recent discovery of a note that Crowley made in the margins of his copy of "Thelema" (an early version of the Holy Books), correcting "fill me" to "kill me."

The manuscript reads:

I adore thee in the song
"I am the Lord of Thebes" etc from vellum book
Unity -------
---------"fill me"

My first reaction is that they are changing Liber Al, and therefore should be shunned as centers of pestilence.

First of all, the "Comment" says that those who discuss the contents of the book should be shunned as centers of pestilence, not those who change Liber AL.

Second of all, the text of the Book of the Law is clearly already very different from the manuscript, since the versification of the Stele does not appear in the Book. Apparently, it would appear that whoever was dictating the Book instructed Crowley to stick the versification in at that point.

In other words, the text already diverges from the manuscript significantly, so there already have been "changes" made.

Third of all, I see no reason to think that subsequent editions would change, and even if they did, I don't see what difference it could possibly make, as long as the manuscript is always published with the Book.

the original manuscript does clearly say: "Fill me". OTO is a center of pestilence. Might have to consider resigning.

Well that's a hysterical overreaction.
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Re: Changes to Liber Al?

Postby Los » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:11 pm

Starry Soul wrote:Well, the first change I'd shun is L. to אל. :twisted:


Technically, changing the title didn't change any of the letters: it just added another letter. There's nothing in the Book that says you can't add letters in front of other ones (just like there's nothing in it that says you can't draw a grid over one of the pages).
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Re: Changes to Liber Al?

Postby Shadow Self » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:20 pm

mine says fill, admittedly this is the 2009 edition, I don't see the extra line making a k, but if you want to ask it to let it kill you go right ahead.

His f does not have the little crossing thing on it, and I suppose it could also be mistaken for an h, but how much sense does let it hill me make.

Also, my mom saw the book and she felt that given the handwriting Crowley was depressed when he wrote it.

Its in the book of Ra Hoor Kuit line 37 if you have that edition of the book.
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Re: Changes to Liber Al?

Postby Los » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:28 pm

Los wrote:Third of all, I see no reason to think that subsequent editions would change, and even if they did, I don't see what difference it could possibly make, as long as the manuscript is always published with the Book.


It's also worth noting that, symbolically speaking, "fill me" and "kill me" both express the same idea in the adoration: allowing the light of the Khabs (that is, the individual's Self) to "fill" the individual and shine forth is a kind of "killing" of the self-image and the false ideas about the Self (the Khu that normally veils the Khabs).
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Re: Changes to Liber Al?

Postby Archaeus » Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:02 pm

Los wrote: Well that's a hysterical overreaction.


Maybe it is; in which case I have to ask myself why I'm so ready to this particular Order? Anyway, thats another topic, but thanks for flagging it up.
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Re: Changes to Liber Al?

Postby Avshalom Binyamin » Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:46 am

The manuscript clearly says fill. So I don't see the relevance of the debate over variations in print versions of the poem.
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Re: Changes to Liber Al?

Postby Archaeus » Sat Apr 13, 2013 4:12 am

Avshalom Binyamin wrote:The manuscript clearly says fill. So I don't see the relevance of the debate over variations in print versions of the poem.

My point is: if the manuscript says 'fill' then the typescript should say the same thing Those saying otherwise are relying on a rather weak technicality that in my opinion should not even be an issue.

(For those not aware; this thread is a response to Hymaneaus Betas recent decision to change the wording of a class A document.

http://oto.org/news0413.html

They are calling it a 'correction' as if calling it something made it true when in fact it's more likely that the scribbled note is more of a Crowley doodle as he never saw fit to alter the wording to 'kill me' in subsequent editions of the Holy Books.

I may be an oto initiate 'for now at least' but I'm not a complete blithering idiot. When one source says one thing and all the others say something else I'm inclined to go with the greater part of the evidence.
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Re: Changes to Liber Al?

Postby Takamba » Sat Apr 13, 2013 4:31 am

Los wrote:
Los wrote:Third of all, I see no reason to think that subsequent editions would change, and even if they did, I don't see what difference it could possibly make, as long as the manuscript is always published with the Book.


It's also worth noting that, symbolically speaking, "fill me" and "kill me" both express the same idea in the adoration: allowing the light of the Khabs (that is, the individual's Self) to "fill" the individual and shine forth is a kind of "killing" of the self-image and the false ideas about the Self (the Khu that normally veils the Khabs).


Yes, but Hymenaeus Beta is giving credit to "the Secret Chiefs" for allowing such fortunate events to occur so as to point this "correction" out at just the proper time. How does that make you feel, Los?
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Re: Changes to Liber Al?

Postby Los » Sat Apr 13, 2013 4:58 am

Archaeus wrote:My point is: if the manuscript says 'fill' then the typescript should say the same thing Those saying otherwise are relying on a rather weak technicality that in my opinion should not even be an issue.


But as I just pointed out above, the manuscript also clearly says "etc from vellum book," which doesn't appear in any version of the text. The song itself also does not appear in the manuscript, while it does appear in the text. So you seem to be ok with the text and manuscript not matching....

For what it's worth, I personally like the "fill me" line and would like it to stay, but your objections -- the way you've forumalted them -- don't really seem to carry much weight.

(For those not aware; this thread is a response to Hymaneaus Betas recent decision to change the wording of a class A document.

http://oto.org/news0413.html

They are calling it a 'correction'


There is no "decision to change the wording" of anything there.
Last edited by Los on Sat Apr 13, 2013 5:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Changes to Liber Al?

Postby Los » Sat Apr 13, 2013 5:01 am

Takamba wrote:Yes, but Hymenaeus Beta is giving credit to "the Secret Chiefs" for allowing such fortunate events to occur so as to point this "correction" out at just the proper time. How does that make you feel, Los?


As much as I admire the OTO for their publishing efforts, I think they'll always be held back by the weird pseudo-Thelema supernaturalist religion that seems to dominate the group.

The "Secret Chiefs" comment did give me my daily dose of el-oh-el, though.
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Re: Changes to Liber Al?

Postby Archaeus » Sat Apr 13, 2013 5:46 am

Los wrote:
Archaeus wrote:My point is: if the manuscript says 'fill' then the typescript should say the same thing Those saying otherwise are relying on a rather weak technicality that in my opinion should not even be an issue.


But as I just pointed out above, the manuscript also clearly says "etc from vellum book," which doesn't appear in any version of the text. The song itself also does not appear in the manuscript, while it does appear in the text. So you seem to be ok with the text and manuscript not matching....

For what it's worth, I personally like the "fill me" line and would like it to stay, but your objections -- the way you've forumalted them -- don't really seem to carry much weight.

(For those not aware; this thread is a response to Hymaneaus Betas recent decision to change the wording of a class A document.

http://oto.org/news0413.html

They are calling it a 'correction'


There is no "decision to change the wording" of anything there.


Actually it does say so in the manuscript if you care to go look at it:
http://lib.oto-usa.org/libri/liber0031.html?num=54
which makes it a part of a class A document. And although it is referred to it as a correction this is something that we could debate about until the cows come home.

If the note in the manuscript is a penciled in note then so is the note in that copy of the Holy Books, in which case I'd still refer to the Original Manuscript for a final decision.
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Re: Changes to Liber Al?

Postby Archaeus » Sat Apr 13, 2013 5:50 am

Los wrote:
Takamba wrote:Yes, but Hymenaeus Beta is giving credit to "the Secret Chiefs" for allowing such fortunate events to occur so as to point this "correction" out at just the proper time. How does that make you feel, Los?


As much as I admire the OTO for their publishing efforts, I think they'll always be held back by the weird pseudo-Thelema supernaturalist religion that seems to dominate the group.

The "Secret Chiefs" comment did give me my daily dose of el-oh-el, though.


On this we are agreed at least. Using the 'Secret Chiefs' as a stalking horse to justify the alteration is ludicrous.
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Re: Changes to Liber Al?

Postby Los » Sat Apr 13, 2013 5:54 am

Archaeus wrote:Actually it does say so in the manuscript if you care to go look at it


I don't think you're following me.

My point -- and I thought it was pretty clear -- was that there are already substantial changes between the text and what's written in the manuscript. That is, the manuscript contains stuff not in the text ("etc from vellum book"), and the text contains stuff not in the manuscript (Crowley's versification of the Stele).

That being the case, it seems very difficult to make the case that one word should not be changed, on the grounds that the change wouldn't accurately reflect the manuscript, because that same argument could be applied to the text as it now stands.

I'm saying that your argument, as it's formulated, isn't a very strong one.

Now, apart from this particular argument of yours, I agree that the "fill me!" should probably remain in the text, but there's nothing that necessarily requires it to be so. Further, as I pointed out above, "fill me" and "kill me" function in identical ways, symbolically.
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Re: Changes to Liber Al?

Postby Archaeus » Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:09 am

Los wrote:
Archaeus wrote:Actually it does say so in the manuscript if you care to go look at it


I don't think you're following me.

My point -- and I thought it was pretty clear -- was that there are already substantial changes between the text and what's written in the manuscript. That is, the manuscript contains stuff not in the text ("etc from vellum book"), and the text contains stuff not in the manuscript (Crowley's versification of the Stele).

That being the case, it seems very difficult to make the case that one word should not be changed, on the grounds that the change wouldn't accurately reflect the manuscript, because that same argument could be applied to the text as it now stands.

I'm saying that your argument, as it's formulated, isn't a very strong one.

Now, apart from this particular argument of yours, I agree that the "fill me!" should probably remain in the text, but there's nothing that necessarily requires it to be so. Further, as I pointed out above, "fill me" and "kill me" function in identical ways, symbolically.


okay I see your point that the script has already been changed (I haven't the time to go through the whole manuscript looking for typo's but going from what I already know about drawn on grids and the adoration's I'll accept it).

I guess what I'm finding really interesting is my own reaction to this and what it says about my relationship to the book. Cheers. :)
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Re: Changes to Liber Al?

Postby Takamba » Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:26 am

Los wrote:Further, as I pointed out above, "fill me" and "kill me" function in identical ways, symbolically.


Here I do not agree, but I don't want this to turn into a thread-long argument about whether you and I agree. I use the versification of the Stele in my Resh. For me to say "Appear on the throne of Ra! Open the ways of the Khu! Lighten the ways of the Ka! The ways of the Khabs run through To stir me or still me: Aum! Let it kill me!" feels experientially a lot different than "fill me!" "Kill me" implies, as you've pointed out, ego death. "Fill me" to me expands the "ego" (not to be confused with one's sense of grandiosity and pride, but then those aren't considered bad qualities in my system of magick anyway, so in a way, they are also included).

My point being, contrary to what you seem to be saying that they make no difference either way, as practice, they do make a difference.

But if I'm aiming for the stars and you're aiming for the moon, it is no odds then.
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Re: Changes to Liber Al?

Postby Los » Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:48 am

Takamba wrote:I use the versification of the Stele in my Resh.


Yeah, me too. I think most people who practice Resh do that. I've had eleven years of "fill me" four times a day now.

"Kill me" implies, as you've pointed out, ego death. "Fill me" to me expands the "ego" (not to be confused with one's sense of grandiosity and pride, but then those aren't considered bad qualities in my system of magick anyway, so in a way, they are also included).


Well, I was taking "fill me" to mean something like "fill the vessel of the Khu so that the Khabs shines forth and dissolves the restrictions of the Khu."

Read that way, its meaning is identical to that of "kill me." As someone pointed out in the Lashtal.com thread on the subject, the line "run through," earlier in the poem, could be taken as being "run through" with a sword (the sword of light of RHK), in which case "kill me" fits even more perfectly (in addition to suggesting a sexual element that also resonates with "fill me," obviously).

It's a "killing" of one's identification with the prefereces of the mind, a coming into awareness of the eternally-shining essence of one's actual, true Nature.

My point being, contrary to what you seem to be saying that they make no difference either way, as practice, they do make a difference.


I would agree that there is a difference in terms of the imagery suggested and, accordingly, in the appeal of the different phrases to an individual's personal taste. I'm certainly sticking with "fill me."
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Re: Changes to Liber Al?

Postby Los » Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:57 am

As long as I'm writing about this, it's worth noting that neither the idea of being "filled" nor "killed" is actually on the Stele of Revealing (see the appendix of The Holy Books of Thelema for a literal translation of each hieroglyph: the Stele literally says something more like "make way [...] that I might shine forth as an equipped one").

So we're not talking about something on the Stele of Revealing itself: we're talking about one line of Crowley's poetry.
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Re: Changes to Liber Al?

Postby The_Hawkheaded_child » Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:05 am

Archaeus wrote:Your thoughts?


Archaeus,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.

This what you talk of is quite upsetting indeed… but I am not at all suprised. I have seen editions of the book of the law, with “forewords” explaining different concepts through out the book and that is enough to upset me…

Is Hymenaeus Beta our new Pope? Because this is what this proposed change makes him to be… He has no more authority to interpret certain “happenings” as a sign of the gods than I do... He only has the authority to do so within the limits of the order itself… But… The book of the law is no special property of the O.T.O. – belonging more to this order than to anybody else. The book itself makes no mention of the O.T.O anywhere in the text…

It’s like that shipment were sent to me and I would have yelled: “let’s change the book” – no one would have cared or listened! And then I mean: No one! And since that book is no property of the O.T.O, we shouldn’t pay more attention to Hymenaeus Beta and his talk about secret chiefs – than me talking about the same thing…

This damn new Catholic Church should know it’s limits! I tend to agree with Los:

Los wrote:As much as I admire the OTO for their publishing efforts, I think they'll always be held back by the weird pseudo-Thelema supernaturalist religion that seems to dominate the group."


The book of the law is in no way a property of the O.T.O. – and the O.T.O. has in no way, any right to edit or make any corrections more than I do. As I have said: I have great respect for what the order has done for bringing Thelema into this new age, but I don’t want another Pope and another Catholic church...

I tend to respect the time that has passed and tradition itself (If it is a flaw that flaw is divine and holy holy! :wink: ). Crowley the prophet himself, made no effort to bring any changes to the holy book, and so shouldn’t we.

“Change not so much as the style of a letter.”

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Re: Changes to Liber Al?

Postby Los » Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:13 am

The_Hawkheaded_child wrote:I have seen editions of the book of the law, with “forewords” explaining different concepts through out the book and that is enough to upset me…


You mean like the introduction Crowley wrote and that is published at the beginning of most editions?

Or "The Comment" Crowley wrote much later that is appended to the end of practically all editions?

Is Hymenaeus Beta our new Pope? Because this is what this proposed change makes him to be


There have been no proposed changes -- outside of the hysterical anticipations of some people on this thread -- and even if there were, it wouldn't make anyone a "pope" to suggest changing something based on a piece of textual evidence.

The book of the law is no special property of the O.T.O. – belonging more to this order than to anybody else.


I think copyright law would disagree with you.

I tend to agree with Los

[...]

The book of the law is in no way a property of the O.T.O.


Just to be completely clear, I accept that the OTO owns the copyright to the Book, and I think that is a good thing on the whole.
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Re: Changes to Liber Al?

Postby Archaeus » Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:20 am

I have no intention of accepting this proposed 'correction' myself because it's the result of a penciled in letter 'k' in one copy of the Holy books and although we don't know exactly when this was written (or even by whom?) AC certainly never saw fit to add 'kill' in any subsequent editions of the book, which could be (Conveniently)interpreted as an oversight but which he nevertheless had ample time to alter had he Willed to do so.

It has been 'fill me' for over 100 years now and in my view neither HB nor anybody else has any right to make 'corrections' on the basis of a note found in one single copy of the Holy books that was never followed through in subsequent editions.

Nonetheless there are as Los pointed out various other things in the manuscript that do not appear in the typescript, albeit mostly for the sake of clarity more than anything else so I can see the reasoning behind it, I just happen to disagree based on the fact that the overwhelming weight of evidence suggests that 'fill me' was the phrase that AC eventually settled on.
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Re: Changes to Liber Al?

Postby Avshalom Binyamin » Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:45 am

Yeah, I think it's one of the stupider things I've heard. Arguments in favor of changing it are pretty flimsy, and I would expect a whole lot more than flimsy before changing it.

Plus, seems in violation of the oath to accept the book of the law without wishing to change it.
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Re: Changes to Liber Al?

Postby Jason R » Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:02 am

My two cents is that whatever view one takes on the book, whether it was received or created by Crowley; whatever has been in there this long, has already been established. Of course my opinion is that it was received, and so it stands to reason that 'fill me' was used by AC, and used in the book for so long it should remain. AC actually mentions before that "harder" could have been "harden", yet in order to not "change so much as the style of a letter" he left it as it was written.
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Re: Changes to Liber Al?

Postby Jim Eshelman » Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:27 am

Archaeus wrote:My point is: if the manuscript says 'fill' then the typescript should say the same thing Those saying otherwise are relying on a rather weak technicality that in my opinion should not even be an issue.

It's not quite that simple IMO. BTW, I do agree that it should remain "fill," but that conclusion is not the point I'm addressing at the moment.
'
Crowley may well have written "kill" in the original versification, which was done in advance of Liber Legis' reception. My position would be, then, that whatever got written down at the time of the dictation is what goes with the book - just like "Hadit" was written down, and it makes no difference that the Egyptian on the Stele is now known to say Bedehty, or that the Egyptologist translating it wrote "Houdit." "Hadit" is in the manuscript, and that's that.

Crowley addressed this in the New Comment (or somewhere - I'd have to go dig it out). He acknowledged that something in his memory was insisting the word should be "kill," he was emotionally defiant in the face of the manuscript, and yet he then yielded and published the manuscript faithfully as it had come to him - and it said "fill." If that's his conclusion ion the 1920s, it's more than good enough for me. (If this becomes "a thing," I'll have to dig all that out sometime.)

By the time Thelema was published in 1909 (the three-volume set - the same typesetting from which Crowley's personal one-volume copy was made), the text said "fill." (I just checked my personal copy of that 1909 edition.) This isn't definitive, because that volume had numerous typographic errors.

The question IMHO is whether Crowley's best assessment was to trust the notes jotted down (at some unknown point before 1913) in his personal copy, or whether it was to go with the way he had published it repeatedly for decades (in at least three distinct editions). I know that my own copies of books have all sorts of notes I initially jotted down, and that I regret some of those marginalia :) . I also know, from copies I have of Crowley's personal grimoire, that he changed his point of view on many things over time.

So... once upon a time he noted that the word should be "kill." He addressed this in subsequent commentaries as a point of defiance of his memory against the text. And he continued to publish "fill" in edition after edition of CCXX. That tells me that - at the very least - he was sure that what the manuscript itself said is "fill." (f he'd had any doubt that the "f" was a "k," and his memory insisted it should be a "k," then he'd have gone with the "k.") To my mind, the matter is settled by what the manuscript says.

FWIW.
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