The Comment after Liber AL

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The Comment after Liber AL

Postby FiatYod » Sat Sep 03, 2016 12:13 pm

I was looking for older posts on this topic, and found that the Comment is not to be taken as Class A material, but more as Crowley's personal Comment.
I could see why people living in "normal" (i.e., Christian) societies who talk about it would be at a certain risk, but I don't understand why the first sentence is in there.
The study of this Book is forbidden. It is wise to destroy this copy after the first reading.

We all obviously disregard this part of the Comment. So why did Crowley put it in there?
And how come he forbids us anything - let alone studying - if the word of Sin is Restriction?
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Re: The Comment after Liber AL

Postby mark0987 » Sat Sep 03, 2016 10:46 pm

Personally I see it as a test for stupidity. The text would have been shocking back in the day, and still quite is today (mostly the third chapter). If the person's old aeon beliefs get in the way and fear takes hold, or they have an aversion to what is written, then they simply aren't ready for Thelema.
"Anybody who has been seriously engaged in scientific work of any kind realises that over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words: 'Ye must have faith.'"

-Max Planck
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Re: The Comment after Liber AL

Postby FiatYod » Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:58 pm

mark0987 wrote:Personally I see it as a test for stupidity. The text would have been shocking back in the day, and still quite is today (mostly the third chapter). If the person's old aeon beliefs get in the way and fear takes hold, or they have an aversion to what is written, then they simply aren't ready for Thelema.

But there's a difference between saying "If you feel ..., then you shouldn't ..." and saying "... is forbidden", without any conditions.
And the case with the Comment is that it simply forbids, and it isn't being said as a recommendation, but as a real restriction - which is what made me wonder what this is all about.
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Re: The Comment after Liber AL

Postby Gnosomai Emauton » Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:22 pm

As with every line in the Book proper, I find this to have multiple meanings and shadings depending on when I happen to be interfacing with it. The overall one that sticks for me is that it was written with the intent of slagging off a particularly annoying disciple in a particularly annoying situation.

Within that, there is the shading that the word "study", at its core, aims specifically at intellectual comprehension: i.e., fitting it into current models so that it conforms to present understanding. This is perhaps the one rabbit hole that should be avoided when assimilating this particular book. Instead, one might be better served by destroying (de-struct-ing: breaking down into component pieces) the book and integrating each of them individually so that the resonances between them can begin to live within one's being without the negative coloring of traditional interpretation.
Go in all ways contrary to the world.
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Re: The Comment after Liber AL

Postby Hermitas » Fri Sep 09, 2016 7:38 am

"The study of this Book is forbidden. It is wise to destroy this copy after the first reading."


Sometimes words are written that seem to reflect multiple intentions. Where this multiplicity of meaning is not intentional, it's just unclear writing. Where such multiplicity of meaning *is* intended, it's artful.

I'm of the camp that believes its meaning is artfully ambiguous - on a genius level. With some, it reads like a true prohibition; with others, it reads as irony. With each group, I think the comment serves its appropriate purpose. Those who would be put off by such an ironic prohibition are certainly not ready for the book; those who press beyond the prohibition with its inherent irony, however, are ready.

My favorite reading of the comment looks at the way the second sentence assumes that you will, of course, read it anyway, despite the prohibition to study it. It strikes me as very like Mark Twain's kind of understated humor: "It is forbidden to study this book. So after you read it *anyway*..."

Just remember that the guy who wrote that comment also published and distributed the book. It wasn't published against his will or anything like that, so... take that comment with a huge grain of irony.
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Re: The Comment after Liber AL

Postby Hermitas » Sat Sep 10, 2016 3:44 am

The Guardian of the Threshold as a literary device declares to all that this is forbidden knowledge.
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Re: The Comment after Liber AL

Postby seekinghga » Sat Sep 10, 2016 5:46 am

Gnosomai Emauton wrote:Within that, there is the shading that the word "study", at its core, aims specifically at intellectual comprehension: i.e., fitting it into current models so that it conforms to present understanding. This is perhaps the one rabbit hole that should be avoided when assimilating this particular book. Instead, one might be better served by destroying (de-struct-ing: breaking down into component pieces) the book and integrating each of them individually so that the resonances between them can begin to live within one's being without the negative coloring of traditional interpretation.

Nicely said. Don't destroy the physical book itself but destroy the attachment to the internal comprehension of it. Live the words rather than talk and argue about them is another way of putting it. Liber AL is the kind of text that every time you take a pause from it and then come back it sings ever louder.

There are deep secrets in these songs. It is not enough to hear the bird; to enjoy song he must be the bird. I am the bird, and Thou art my song, O my glorious galloping God!
- Liber VII 6:14-15
"And they that read the book and debated thereon passed into the desolate land of Barren Words. And they that sealed up the book into their blood were the chosen of Adonai, and the Thought of Adonai was a Word and a Deed; and they abode in the Land that the far-off travellers call Naught."
- LXV 5:59
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