Book of Law Study Group 1.11


I find this line the hardest to understand of any so far. At first glance it seems a dismissal of the Gods of some/other groups, but from previous readings of Crowley generally and his appraoch to 777 I know this isn't the case. I found this quote online, which I think I must remember from being in Book 4 also.

Crowley Liber Librae said:
21. In true religion there is no sect, therefore take heed that thou blaspheme not the name by which another knoweth his God; for if thou do this thing in Jupiter thou wilt blaspheme YHVH and in Osiris YHShVH. Ask and ye shall have! Seek, and ye shall find! Knock, and it shall be opened unto you!


If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise.
William Blake.
In verse 8 we were told that, "The Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs". To worship or adore external objects, people, or Gods "separate and out there" is a mistake. It's a denial of your own Truth. But all roads lead to Rome. Even if some are more circuitous than others.

I sense a lot of airy division in this verse. Fools - Gods & Men. This is contrary to one of the central doctrines of Thelema. Deus est homo.

I also see a rebuke against popularism. (Is that a word? :laugh:) It could almost be a comment on our current obsession with celebrity, brand names, and consumer goods. Modern gods for shallow people, living in empty times. Everyone wants to fit in. To be yourself runs the risk of standing out from the group, and that would be so un-cool. :rolleyes:

Why are so many people unhappy these days? Well what do you expect when people constantly wish they lived like someone else. Looked like someone else. Or actually were someone else.
You are you for a special reason. Why wish to trade places with another? Surely that is the height of folly and a blasphemy against yourself.


The word fools suggests to me something airy and insubstantial. The stuff that thoughts are made of. Yet thoughts can be a trap, stronger than any physical cage. They frame and define our sense of reality.

I also get the feeling that this verse is setting the stage for the next verse. In verse 11 it's the fools that men adore. This suggests mature adults. The next verse talks about the children coming forth. A childs sense of reality is quite flexible. What isn't possible in a childs mind? But as the child grows toward maturity, those mental bars begin to solidify and suddenly very little becomes possible. Maybe it's that child-like sense that needs to be re-captured or brought forth.


Aeon418 said:
They frame and define our sense of reality.
A comment on the Star/Emperor swap? The 15th path is Heh - Window. The perceptual framework that defines reality.

Old: The Emperor - rigid law, clockwork universe, limits and constraints.
These are fools that men adore.

New: The Star - infinite possibilities, relativity, quantum uncertainty, mystery.
Come forth, o children, under the stars


This verse seems obvious enough. I'm sure Crowley has some convoluted explanation as to why it doesn't mean what it says.


Abrac said:
This verse seems obvious enough. I'm sure Crowley has some convoluted explanation as to why it doesn't mean what it says.
But what does it say? That's hard to determine because the grammar is so difficult and confused in this verse. That's a sure sign that different levels of meaning are present.

When a unified Briatic truth is expressed on the plane of Yetzirah the result is often confusion and contradiction. This is why intuition is needed when trying to unravel the mysteries of Liber Legis. A purely literal reading is bound to mislead, and will barely scratch the surface.

Why is Biblical literalism rightly scorned? But a literal reading of Liber Legis is fine? How come some Tarot readers, people who regularly interpret symbols, suddenly lose this ability when it comes to Crowley and Liber Legis?

Ross G Caldwell

I think a reasonable literal reading of the verse is that the "fools that men adore" are the "many and the known". That's who the pronoun "these" refers to. The many and the known are contrasted with the few and secret, who men can't adore, because they are secret.

I have to agree with Aeon that the syntax is subtle, if we keep to a literal (basic) interpretation. "Their" in the second clause refers to "men" of the first clause.

Thus, straightened out, it says "The many and the known are fools that men adore. Both the Gods and the "known" men (the prominent, well-known, famous public rulers, but really ruled over by the secret and few) of these men are fools."

Of course I also agree with Aeon that we have to apply different levels of interpretation as well.


It becomes even more confusing when you realise that Crowley was not at all sure about the correct punctuation of this verse. Crowley added much of the punctuation after the dictation, as was his right according to the book. Removing the punctuation often has the effect of subtly altering the surface meaning of the text. Verse 11 is a case in point.


AL 1:11. Aleph - Wisdom or Folly.

Fools - Aleph, Aleph - A.'.A.'., Astron Argon, One Star in Sight.


fools - Aleph(1) + Aleph(1) = Beth(2) - Illusion.