“…not to bring peace, but to bring a sword.”
– Matthew 10:34
I am opposed, as a matter of principle, to the “dumbing down” instinct. This impulse, found throughout modern life, seeks to reduce every concept and experience to a commodity that can be pleasantly consumed by the lowest common denominator. No-where do I find this trend more noxious than in the realm of occultism. My recommendation is always to go to the source as soon as possible. Liber AL vel Legis, The Magical and Philosophical Commentaries on Liber AL vel Legis, Magick without Tears and Book 4 should clear up 75% of the problems a new student of Thelema encounters. However, I realize that three of these books are out of print, and all of them assume the reader possesses a fairly high degree of cultural capital. Many of the people approaching Thelema today will simply not have immediate access to these books, or be able to understanding them.
There is a highly popular school of “occultists” which is 99 % an escape-mechanism. The fear of death is one of the bogeys; but far deeper is the root-fear—fear of being alone, of being oneself, of life itself. With this there goes the sense of guilt. The Book of the Law cuts directly at the root of all this calamitous, this infamous tissue of falsehood.
What is the meaning of Initiation? It is the Path to the realisation of your Self as the sole, the supreme, the absolute of all Truth, Beauty, Purity, Perfection! What is the artistic sense in you? What but the One Channel always open to you through which this Light flows freely to enkindle you (and the world through you) with flowers of inexhaustible fervour and flame?
-A. Crowley, Magick Without Tears