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Monday, March 25, 2013

Masks of the Illuminati, Part Six

Pages 167-213 of the Dell Edition; Pocket Books pages 138-176; about 60 percent of an ebook

"I am seeking multi-dimensional vision. I wish to see deeply into Gothic novels, Zola novels and all other masquerades, and then beyond them." Page 173, Wilson's artistic credo, derived from reading Joyce.

"who  understands modern mathematics as well as Aleister Crowley, but aside from that his head is a swamp of mushy mysticism." RAW liked math and was accused of mushy mysticism.

Book Four by Aleister Crowley page 182, in spite of the fact that a book written in 1912 ought to be easily available in the public domain, I have not been able to locate a downloadable complete copy. The first three parts may be read online here. (Update: It appears everything is here -- see the comments.)

Page 184, to say "This is transitory" about all incidents and events is a key teaching of Buddhism.

"The Moral Majority," page 185, Wilson's opinion of the group, but also a way to signal that Wilson himself wrote "De Oculo Hoor," that it's not an authentic old document.


Oz Fritz said...

Tom, it appears that all 4 parts of "Book 4" show up in that link. "Book 4", of course distinguishes itself as the central text in Crowley's School or curriculum.

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...


I'll plead ignorant here (because, well, I'm ignorant). Is Part IV the same thing as "Equinox of the Gods"?

Oz Fritz said...

Yes, "Equinox of the Gods" is part 4 of "Book 4." "Magick in Theory and Practice" is the title of part 3.

gacord said...

And down the rabbit hole goes Tom. And perhaps, back to the attic to dust off my copies goes me... Rerabbitholegoen.

Oz Fritz said...

p. 177-178 the “succinct and representative example” of Crowley’s verse RAW chose to give from Konx Om Pax references the days of the week.

Cabalistically, each day of the week corresponds with one of the ancient “planets:” Monday = the Moon, Tuesday = Mars, Wednesday = Mercury, Thursday = Jupiter, Friday = Venus, Saturday = Saturn, Sunday = the Sun.

“ Wednesday cardiac symptoms come” again conjures the 68 motif; cardiac = Tiphareth = 6, Mercury = 8. The two words in the middle of the verse also add to 68 by their initials.

“Then on Sunday, I suppose
I’ll be beri-beried”
appears isomorphic with the Paprus of Ani (The Egyptian Book of the Dead) instruction for the departing soul to identify themselves with Osiris in the afterlife. Osiris corresponds with Tiphareth and thus the Sun.

PQ said...

This section features what were my two favorite parts of the book so far.

pg. 182
The anecdote about Crowley winning a chess game while calling out his moves from an adjacent room in the middle of giving his mistress "a most gratifying experience; or several gratifications, in fact" made me burst into laughter.

And the Buddha story beginning on p. 183 was the most striking thing I've read in the book up until now. Left me in a contemplative pause and I had to read the selection over again a few times.

Oz Fritz said...

p. 183, De Oculo Hoor does appear to have been penned by RAW. It means the Eye of Horus, and immediately announces: “This is the Opening of the Eye of Horus…” eye = Pan by some qabalistic reckonings.

Though the title quite obviously references Crowley’s cosmology, in fact Crowley used the same title for a chapter in his “Book of Wisdom and Folly,” the rest of RAW’s “De Oculo Horus” has nothing directly to do with Crowley.

This parable also has nothing directly to do with the 4th Way (ie Gurdjieffian) system except that the moral to it, in my view, appears to say “remember yourself,” the central aphorism to Gurdjieff’s teaching. Crowley’s “Do what thou wilt” seems a more active version of “remember yourself.”

So I see De Oculo Horus as referencing core elements of both Gurdjieff and Crowley with a story from a completely different tradition. Apart from its wisdom, this story demonstrates the universal nature of the esoterica RAW presents in Masks of the Illuminati.

p.184, “And Mara did sorely afflict the monk with death of offspring, and insanity of loved ones, and eye troubles, and slander, and malice, and the great curse of Law Suits, and diverse sufferings …”

RAW suffered a death of his offspring not long before he wrote Masks. He writes of this in Cosmic Trigger. I wonder if the other hardships mentioned derive from his personal experiences or possibly from people he knew?

Oz Fritz said...

PQ, the anecdote of Crowley playing chess while making love gives a candid portrayal of the O.T.O's IXth degree secret - if you can call anything a secret so blatantly in the open - of sex magick. Wilson picked it up from Crowley's autohaigography, "The Confessions of Aleister Crowley."

CrypticMusic said...

Thanks everyone for all of the great analyses. I'm trying to catch up on the part four reading, but I did notice something that hasn't been mentioned yet.

Oz noted that De Oculo Hoor was a chapter title from Crowley's Book of Wisdom or Folly, Liber Aleph. It seems that mosbunall of the Latin section titles going back to the beginning of Part 2 have been taken from Liber Aleph, and while they don't reference Crowley's book directly their English translations do support the sections of Masks: "On the Forbidden Secret", "On Monsters", "On the Blindness of Men", etc.

The Liber Aleph TOC with English translations can be found here:

The entire book can be read here:

Eric Wagner said...

On pg. 160 when it says, "beautiful ladies showed themselves [as the glamour faded] wrinkled and odious hags" reminds me of what happened to Jack in room 217 in the novel The Shining (room 237 in the movie). I just watched the documentary "Room 237" which I loved. One might see that room as Chapel Perilous, as one might see "the room" in "Stalker."

Rarebit Fiend said...

De Oculo Hoor is R.A.W.'s rewrite of Crowley's "The Three Characteristics" from "The Collected Works of Aleister Crowley Volume II." It is more succinct than Crowley's and follows a slightly different trajectory but all the elements of De oculo hoor can be traced back to "The Three Characteristics" (which can also be found in Wordsworth's "The Drug and Other Stories.")

Also I'm pretty sure the "billions and billions" quote from De oculo hoor is a jab at Carl Sagan.

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