Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Century 16 and the Dawn (Aurora) of Crowleyanity [Notes]

"François Rabelais (French: .... 1494 – 9 April 1553) was a major French Renaissance writer, doctor, Renaissance humanist, monk and Greek scholar. He has historically been regarded as a writer of fantasy, satire, the grotesque, bawdy jokes and songs. His best known work is Gargantua and Pantagruel. ... " (Source)

"Rabelais travelled frequently to Rome with his friend Cardinal Jean du Bellay, and lived for a short time in Turin with du Bellay's brother, Guillaume... Rabelais probably spent some time in hiding, threatened by being labeled a heretic. Only the protection of du Bellay saved Rabelais after the condemnation of his novel by the Sorbonne. du Bellay would again help Rabelais in 1540 by seeking a papal authorization to legitimize two of his children (Auguste François, father of Jacques Rabelais, and Junie)." (Ibid.)

"Despite the popularity of his book, both it and his prequel book on the life of Pantagruel's father Gargantua were condemned by the academics at the Sorbonne for their unorthodox ideas and by the Roman Catholic Church for their derision of certain religious practices. ... Even though most chapters are humorous, wildly fantastic and sometimes absurd, a few relatively serious passages have become famous for descriptions of humanistic ideals of the time. ... It is in the first book where Rabelais writes of the Abbey of Thélème, built by the giant Gargantua. It pokes fun at the monastic institutions, since his abbey has a swimming pool, maid service, and no clocks in sight. ... Rabelais gives us a description of how the Thélemites of the Abbey lived and the rules they lived by: All their life was spent not in laws, statutes, or rules, but according to their own free will and pleasure. They rose out of their beds when they thought good; they did eat, drink, labour, sleep, when they had a mind to it and were disposed for it. None did awake them, none did offer to constrain them to eat, drink, nor to do any other thing; for so had Gargantua established it." (Ibid.)
 (Fais ce que tu voudras)
"In all their rule and strictest tie of their order there was but this one clause to be observed, Do What Thou Wilt; because men that are free, well-born, well-bred, and conversant in honest companies, have naturally an instinct and spur that prompteth them unto virtuous actions, and withdraws them from vice, which is called honour. Those same men, when by base subjection and constraint they are brought under and kept down, turn aside from that noble disposition by which they formerly were inclined to virtue, to shake off and break that bond of servitude wherein they are so tyrannously enslaved; for it is agreeable with the nature of man to long after things forbidden and to desire what is denied us. ... George Orwell was not an admirer of Rabelais. Writing in 1940, he called him 'an exceptionally perverse, morbid writer, a case for psychoanalysis'. ..." (Ibid.)

Aleister Crowley took Rabelais seriously, and turned a house into his own debauched Abbey of Thelema in Cefalù, Sicily circa 1920.

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"Jakob Böhme (probably April 24, 1575[1] – November 17, 1624) was a German Christian mystic and theologian. He is considered an original thinker within the Lutheran tradition, and his first book, commonly known as Aurora, caused a great scandal." (Source)

"Böhme's writing shows the influence of Neoplatonist and alchemical...writers such as Paracelsus.... He has in turn greatly influenced many anti-authoritarian and mystical movements, such as the Religious Society of Friends, the Philadelphians, the Gichtelians, the Society of the Woman in the Wilderness, the Ephrata Cloister, the Harmony Society, the Zoarite Separatists, Rosicrucianism, Martinism and Christian theosophy. Böhme's disciple and mentor, the Liegnitz physician Balthasar Walther, who had travelled to the Holy Land in search of magical, kabbalistic and alchemical wisdom, also introduced kabbalistic ideas into Böhme's thought.[20] Boehme was also an important source of German Romantic philosophy, influencing Schelling in particular.[21] In Richard Bucke's 1901 treatise Cosmic Consciousness, special attention was given to the profundity of Boehme's spiritual enlightenment, which seemed to reveal to Böhme an ultimate nondifference, or nonduality, between human beings and God. Böhme is also an important influence on the ideas of the English Romantic poet, artist and mystic William Blake. ... (Ibid.)

"Wiccans...tend to favor Aleister Crowley's definition of magick as 'the Science and Art of causing change to occur in conformity with Will' (Crowley, 1973: 131), or Dion Fortune's, 'Magic is the art and the science of changing consciousness according to the Will'. ... Both of these definitions might usefully be compared with Jacob Boehme's vision of magic as 'in itself nothing but a will, and this will is the great mystery of all wonders and secrets. ... In sum: Magic is the activity of the Will-Spirit' ([1620] 1989:5:2 and 24)." (Qtd. in Joanna Pearson, Wicca and the Christian Heritage, p. 102.) 

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