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- An Introduction to Aleister Crowley's Essays On The Psychology Of Hashish with The Complete Text of Aleister Crowley's THE HERB DANGEROUS


241 pages, Published in 1994 by Newcastle publishing.

Israel Regardie is one of the most important figures in the twentieth century development of what many have termed the Western esoteric tradition which normally refers to the synthesis accomplished by MacGregor Mathers within the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn during the 1890's. Among those who proceeded to explore and build among this tradition are Israel Regardie and Aleister Crowley. In this 1968 classic, Regardie prefaces and expands upon Crowley's discovery that drugs initiate and stimulate the mystical state, providing the reader with a background to Crowley's The Herb Dangerous. The following excerpts from Regardie's opening text hint at the flavor of this classic work: "Willis W. Harman in a sensitively written essay The Issue of the Consciousness-Expanding Drugs, asserted that down through the ages of recorded history, various groups with the several religious traditions alike have insisted that man has far vaster potentiality for knowledge, and hence power over his fate, than he ordinarily dreams of as possible. These included the ancient Gnostics and the modern Theosophists, including also the Hindu, Buddhist, Moslem, and Christian religions. They have always claimed that it is possible to know-in a way that is completely different from the mere accumulation of facts-to realize man's essential nature and his true relationship to the creative force behind or within the universe. There, wrote Harman, his fulfillment lies-that is, what it is he values most highly when the meaning of life is clearly seen. For this particular species of knowledge, men have followed religious teachers of every shade and opinion, and joined secret societies. They have willingly submitted to the travails of elaborate initiation procedures and trained for years in different yoga and meditation techniques. They have practiced fasting, flagellation, and all kinds of austerity. Among them all, the experience of gnosis, of direct perception and knowledge, has been most highly prized of all human experiences and attainments." A new school of psychologists is developing currently. They regard the mystical experience as a healthy development in the onward growth of the psyche. They do not consider this phenomenon outside of their psychological field, as did nineteenth century science. Since it is a piece of naturalistic human behavior, it is regarded as well within their scientific purview, rather than as belonging to the field of religion. Instead of the new phrase, the "peak" experience, to refer to the same inner phenomenon, they are inclined to view its occurrence as a good deal more common that was previously supposed, and that there is a spontaneity in this frequency. More often than not, in non-religious people such as poets and artists it is not evoked or precipitated by the use of prayer, devotion, or other religious techniques."

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