:

LIBER

CCCXXXIII

THE BOOK OF LIES

FALSELY SO CALLED

Aleister Crowley

(c) Ordo Templi Orientis.

First published London: E.J. Wieland, 1913.

Second edition with commentary Ilfracombe: Haydn Press, 1952

This electronic edition created by Celephaïs Press

somewhere beyond the Tanarian Hills

Original key entry by Frater E.A.D.N. Formatting and some further proof reading by Frater T.S.

THE BOOK OF LIES

WHICH IS ALSO FALSELY CALLED

BREAKS

THE WANDERINGS OR FALSIFICATIONS OF THE ONE THOUGHT OF

FRATER PERDURABO

(Aleister Crowley)

WHICH THOUGHT IS ITSELF UNTRUE

A REPRINT

with an additional commentary to each chapter.

“Break, break, break

At the foot of thy stones, O Sea ! And I would that I could utter

The thoughts that arise in me!

COMMENTARY (Title Page)

The number of the book is 333, as implying dis-persion, so as to correspond with the title, “Breaks” and “Lies”.

However, the “one thought is itself untrue”, and therefore its falsifications are relatively true.

This book therefore consists of statements as nearly true as is possible to human language.

The verse from Tennyson is inserted partly because of the pun on the word “break”; partly because of the reference to the meaning of this title page, as explained above; partly because it is intensely amusing for Crowley to quote Tennyson.

There is no joke or subtle meaning in the publisher’s imprint.

V

AA

Publication in Class C and D Official for the Grade of Babe of the Abyss

?

!

KEFALH H OUK ESTI KEFALH

O!1

THE ANTE PRIMAL TRIAD WHICH IS

NOT-GOD

Nothing is. Nothing Becomes. Nothing is not.

THE FIRST TRIAD WHICH IS GOD I AM.

I utter The Word. I hear The Word.

THE ABYSS

The Word is broken up. There is Knowledge.

Knowledge is Relation.

These fragments are Creation. The broken manifests Light.2

THE SECOND TRIAD WHICH IS GOD

GOD the Father and Mother is concealed in Genera- tion.

GOD is concealed in the whirling energy of Nature. GOD is manifest in gathering: harmony: considera-

tion: the Mirror of the Sun and of the Heart.

THE THIRD TRIAD

Bearing: preparing. Wavering: flowing: flashing. Stability: begetting.

THE TENTH EMANATION

The world.

COMMENTARY (The Chapter that is not a Chapter)

This chapter, numbered 0, corresponds to the Negative, which is before Kether in the Qabalistic system.

The notes of interrogation and exclamation on the previous pages are the other two veils.

The meaning of these symbols is fully explained in The Soldier and the Hunchback.

This chapter begins by the letter O, followed by a mark of exclamation; its reference to the theogony of Liber Legisis explained in the note, but it also refers to KTEIS PHALLOS and SPERMA, and is the exclamation of wonder or ecstasy, which is the ultimate nature of things.

NOTE

  1. Silence. Nuit, O; Hadit; Ra-Hoor-Khuit, I.

COMMENTARY (The Ante Primal Triad)

This is the negative Trinity; its three statements are, in an ultimate sense, identical. They harmonise Being, Becoming, Not- Being, the three possible modes of conceiving the universe.

The statement, Nothing is Not, technically equivalent to Something Is, is fully explained in the essay called Berashith.

The rest of the chapter follows the Sephirotic system of the Qabalah, and constitutes a sort of quintessential comment upon that system.

Those familiar with that system will recognise Kether, Chokmah, Binah, in the First Triad; Daath, in the Abyss; Chesed, Geburah, Tiphareth, in the Second Triad; Netzach, Hod and Yesod in the Third Triad, and Malkuth in the Tenth Emanation.

It will be noticed that this cosmogony is very complete; the manifestation even of God does not appear until Tiphareth; and the universe itself not until Malkuth.

The chapter many therefore be considered as the most complete treatise on existence ever written.

NOTE

  1. The Unbroken, absorbing all, is called Darkness.

1

KEFALH A

THE SABBATH OF THE GOAT

O! the heart of N.O.X. the Night of Pan.

PAN: Duality: Energy: Death.

Death: Begetting: the supporters of O! To beget is to die; to die is to beget.

Cast the Seed into the Field of Night. Life and Death are two names of A. Kill thyself.

Neither of these alone is enough.

COMMENTARY (A)

The shape of the figure I suggests the Phallus; this chapter is therefore called the Sabbath of the Goat, the Witches’ Sabbath, in which the Phallus is adored.

The chapter begins with a repetition of O! referred to in the previous chapter. It is explained that this triad lives in Night, the Night of Pan, which is mystically called N.O.X., and this O is identified with the O in this word. N is the Tarot symbol, Death; and the X or Cross is the sign of the Phallus. For a fuller com-mentary on Nox, see Liber VII, Chapter I.

Nox adds to 210, which symbolises the reduction of duality to unity, and thence to negativity, and is thus a hieroglyph of the Great Work.

The word Pan is then explained, P, the letter of Mars, is a hieroglyph of two pillars, and therefore suggest duality; A, by its shape, is the pentagram, energy, and N, by its Tarot attribution, is death.

Nox is then further explained, and it is shown that the ultimate Trinity, O!, is supported, or fed, by the process of death and begetting, which are the laws of the universe.

The identity of these two is then explained.

The Student is then charged to understand the spiritual importance of this physical procession in line 5.

It is then asserted that the ultimate letter A has two names, or phases, Life and Death.

Line 7 balances line 5. It will be notice that the phraseology of these two lines is so conceived that the one contains the other more than itself.

Line 8 emphasises the importance of performing both.

2

KEFALH B

THE CRY OF THE HAWK

Hoor hath a secret fourfold name: it is Do What Thou Wilt.3

Four Words: Naught—One—Many—All.

Thou—Child!

Thy Name is holy. Thy Kingdom is come. Thy Will is done.

Here is the Bread. Here is the Blood.

Bring us through Temptation! Deliver us from Good and Evil!

That Mine as Thine be the Crown of the Kingdom, even now.

ABRAHADABRA.

These ten words are four, the Name of the One.

COMMENTARY (B)

The Hawkreferred to is Horus.

The chapter begins with a comment on Liber Legis III, 49.

Those four words, Do What Thou Wilt, are also identified with the four possible modes of conceiving the universe; Horus unites these.

Follows a version of the Lord’s Prayer, suitable to Horus. Compare this with the version in Chapter 44. There are ten sections in this prayer, and, as the prayer is attributed to Horus, they are called four, as above explained; but it is only the name of Horus which is fourfold; He himself is One.

This may be compared with the Qabalistic doctrine of the Ten Sephiroth as an expression of Tetra- grammaton (1 plus 2 plus 3 plus 4 = 10).

It is now seen that this Hawk is not Solar, but Mercurial; hence the words, the Cry of the Hawk, the essential part of Mercury being his Voice; and the number of the chapter, B, which is Beth the letter of Mercury, the Magus of the Tarot, who has four weapons, and it must be remembered that this card is numbered 1, again connecting all these symbols with the Phallus.

The essential weapon of Mercury is the Caduceus.

NOTE

  1. Fourteen letters. Quid Voles Illud Fac. Q.V.I.F. 196 = 142.

3

KEFALH G

THE OYSTER

The Brothers of AA are one with the Mother of the Child.4

The Many is as adorable to the One as the One is to the Many. This is the Love of These; creation- parturition is the Bliss of the One; coition- dissolution is the Bliss of the Many.

The All, thus interwoven of These, is Bliss. Naught is beyond Bliss.

The Man delights in uniting with the Woman; the Woman in parting from the Child.

The Brothers of AA are Women: the Aspirants to AA are Men.

COMMENTARY (G)

Gimel is the High Priestess of the Tarot. This chapter gives the initiated feminine point of view; it is therefore called the Oyster, a symbol of the Yoni. In Equinox X, The Temple of Solomon the King, it is explained how Masters of the Temple, or Brothers of AAhave changed the formula of their progress. These two formulae, Solve et Coagula, are now explained, and the universe is exhibited as the interplay between these two. This also explains the statement in Liber Legis I, 28-30.

NOTE

  1. They cause all men to worship it.

4

KEFALH D

PEACHES

Soft and hollow, how thou dost overcome the hard and full!

It dies, it gives itself; to Thee is the fruit!

Be thou the Bride; thou shalt be the Mother here- after.

To all impressions thus. Let them not overcome thee; yet let them breed within thee. The least of the impressions, come to its perfection, is Pan.

Receive a thousand lovers; thou shalt bear but One Child.

This child shall be the heir of Fate the Father.

COMMENTARY (D)

Daleth is the Empress of the Tarot, the letter of Venus, and the title, Peaches, again refers to the Yoni. The chapter is a counsel to accept all impressions; it is the formula of the Scarlet woman; but no impression must be allowed to dominate you, only to fructify you; just as the artist, seeing an object, does not worship it, but breeds a masterpiece from it. This process is exhibited as one aspect of the Great Work. The last two paragraphs may have some reference to the 13th Aethyr (see The Vision and The Voice).

5

KEFALH E

THE BATTLE OF THE ANTS

That is not which is.

The only Word is Silence.

The only Meaning of that Word is not. Thoughts are false.

Fatherhood is unity disguised as duality. Peace implies war.

Power implies war. Harmony implies war. Victory implies war.

Glory implies war. Foundation implies war.

Alas! for the Kingdom wherein all these are at war.

COMMENTARY (E)

He is the letter of Aries, a Martial sign; while the title suggests war. The ants are chosen as small busy objects.

Yet He, being a holy letter, raises the beginning of the chapter to a contemplation of the Pentagram, considered as a glyph of the ultimate.

In line 1, Being is identified with Not-Being. In line 2, Speech with Silence.

In line 3, the Logos is declared as the Negative.

Line 4 is another phrasing of the familiar Hindu statement, that that which can be thought is not true.

In line 5, we come to an important statement, an adumbration of the most daring thesis in this book—Father and Son are not really two, but one; their unity being the Holy Ghost, the semen; the human form is a non-essential accretion of this quintessence.

So far the chapter has followed the Sephiroth from Kether to Chesed, and Chesed is united to the Supernal Triad by virtue of its Phallic nature; for not only is Amoun a Phallic God, and Jupiter the Father of All, but 4 is Daleth, Venus, and Chesed refers to water, from which Venus sprang, and which is the symbol of the Mother in the Tetragrammaton. See Chapter 0, “God the Father and Mother is concealed in generation.”

But Chesed, in the lower sense, is conjoined to Microprosopus. It is the true link between the greater and lesser countenances, whereas Daath is the false. Compare the doctrine of the higher and lower Manas in Theosophy.

The rest of the chapter therefore points out the duality, and therefore the imperfection, of all the lower Sephiroth in their essence.

6

KEFALH F

CAVIAR

The Word was uttered: the One exploded into one thousand million worlds.

Each world contained a thousand million spheres. Each sphere contained a thousand million planes. Each plane contained a thousand million stars.

Each star contained a many thousand million things. Of these the reasoner took six, and, preening, said:

This is the One and the All.

These six the Adept harmonised, and said: This is the Heart of the One and the All.

These six were destroyed by the Master of the Temple; and he spake not.

The Ash thereof was burnt up by the Magus into The Word.

Of all this did the Ipsissimus know Nothing.

COMMENTARY (F)

This chapter is presumably called Caviar because that substance is composed of many spheres.

The account given of Creation is the same as that familiar to students of the Christian tradition, the Logos transforming the unity into the many.

We then see what different classes of people do with the many.

The Rationalist takes the six Sephiroth of Microprosopus in a crude state, and declares them to be the universe. This folly is due to the pride of reason.

The Adept concentrates the Microcosm in Tiphareth, recognising an Unity, even in the microcosm, but, qua Adept, he can go no further.

The Master of the Temple destroys all these illusions, but remains silent. See the description of his functions in the Equinox, Liber 418 and elsewhere.

In the next grade, the Word is re-formulated, for the Magus in Chokmah, the Dyad, the Logos.

The Ipsissimus, in the highest grade of the AA, is totally unconscious of this process, or, it might be better to say, he recognises it as Nothing, in that positive sense of the word, which is only intelligible in Samasamadhi.

7

KEFALH Z

THE DINOSAURS

None are They whose number is Six:5 else were they six indeed.

Seven6 are these Six that live not in the City of the Pyramids, under the Night of Pan.

There was Lao-tzu. There was Siddartha. There was Krishna. There was Tahuti.

There was Mosheh. There was Dionysus.7 There was Mahmud.

But the Seventh men called PERDURABO; for enduring unto The End, at The End was Naught to endure.8

Amen.

COMMENTARY (Z)

This chapter gives a list of those special messengers of the Infinite who initiate periods. They are called Dinosaurs because of their seeming to be terrible devouring creatures. They are Masters of the Temple, for their number is 6 (1 plus 2 plus 3), the mystic number of Binah; but they are called “None, because they have attained. If it were not so, they would be called “sixin its bad sense of mere intellect.

They are called Seven, although they are Eight, because Lao-tzu counts as nought, owing to the nature of his doctrine. The reference to their “living notis to be found in Liber 418. The word “Perdurabomeans I will endure unto the end.

The allusion is explained in the note.

Siddartha, or Gotama, was the name of the last Buddha. Krishna was the principal incarnation of the Indian Vishnu,

the preserver, the principal expounder of Vedantism.

Tahuti, or Thoth, the Egyptian God of Wisdom. Mosheh, Moses, the founder of the Hebrew system. Dionysus, probably an ecstatic from the East.