Small, thin paperback bound in a stylish aesthetic as seen in the advertised image. Contains both a copy of the manuscript in the original author's handwriting which is quite illegible and typed version. The book recommends that it should be burned after a first reading.
This is the infamous book which was dictated to Aleister Crowley by the Praetor-Human entity, Aiwass, in Cairo in April 1904, revealing the coming of the New Aeon of Horus, with Aleister as its Prophet. One of its main messages, "Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law", must rank as the most misunderstood, misappropriated and misinterpreted dictums in the history of Occultism. The phrase is directly connected to Crowley's concept of the True Will, which each individual human being must discover for him/herself. The idea is to honestly and objectively pursue this goal until the everyday facade, or persona, that a person wears throughout his/her existence is no longer necessary and may be utterly rejected. One's True Will, Destiny or status thus revealed in the scheme of human existence may be found to contrast sharply with the role one has been unwittingly playing all one's life: in many instances a falsehood imposed upon the individual by the exterior, socio-political and religious forces of societal conformity. This is why Crowley also stated: "The word of Sin is Restriction." He was acutely aware that the true identities and purposes of human beings had been crushed for generations by the Christian Empire. The Book Of The Law stated that this "Old Aeon" was about to be destroyed, and clearly outlined several, unambiguous predictions in respect of the rest of the 20th Century, which overtly manifested in reality. The text not only predicted the rise of Adolf Hitler and the coming of the two world wars, but also the turbulence and chaos of the 1960's, including the emergence of "youth-culture". Curiously, it was towards the end of that same decade that Aleister's own popularity re-emerged and then flourished - big time. As to the Entity responsible for the dictation of the Book, Crowley himself changed his mind several times with regard to the actual identity of Aiwass, equating him with his Holy Guardian Angel on one occasion and later dubbing the Deity "Our Lord The Devil".
The writer (and close friend of Crowley's) Louis Wilkinson accurately stated that the best way to approach The Book Of The Law was for each individual to treat the text as a personal, private and confidential letter, written by Aiwass and for the reader's eyes only. In this way, certain Chapters, Verses or simple lines of text would hold immense significance for that person and the true Magick of the Book would be liberated by the securing of this personal bond between the text and the individual. How a person chose to interpret these significances and act upon them was their business: but it was strongly advisable that the person NOT speak to anybody else about this personal, one-to-one relationship, - or discuss the Book at all - in order to enhance and empower further the personal, Magickal link. This beautifully produced, Centennial Edition of The Book Of The Law - complete with a newly scanned copy of the original, handwritten manuscript and colour plates of the Stele of Revealing - is now sublimely aesthetically suited to such a relationship.
Unfortunately, many of Crowley's self-ordained disciples self-evidently follow a base, ego-powered obsession with "being a Magus", with the overblown conceit, arrogance and pretensiousness in each case serving as the stark, concrete evidence for the aberration. All such expressions of immature, weakling stupidity are supremely contrary to the Law of Thelema. The Book Of The Law speaks not whatsoever to any of the ego-tripping, imbecilic, self-styled, stereotypical Crowley-Clones out there - but is written for the attention of the true Thelemite, the innate Individualist and the congenital Magician.
I read this book some lengthy while ago and found it then a trifle incoherent as well as stylistically melodramatic and poetically victorian as well as a dense and obscure read-But that partly depends on ones background reading...It is very nineteenth century actually and having now heard the writers extraordinarily reedy and weedy voice courtesy of Amazon it would be better read than heard,I think...If you believe alchemy works then you might be instructed by this but there are in fact far more rational reads for the openminded wanderer between the worlds in Bob Munro and Sylvester Muldoon or even in the superb Lethbridge...But I still like it for just that element of berserk Victoriana by that curious combo of Libertine reactionary who could as easily become an aristocratic fascist or found a bohemian commune as Crowley might have been and did with his Thelemic philosophy of sex,drugs and jazz-And occult poetry,of course...The magic of this book,however,is in its its influence that inspired the kind of persons who in turn founded the Waffen SS,Led Zeppelin,psychedelia or who wrote Performance et caetera...I recommend some of Crowleys other works such as The Moonchild and take the suggestive Satanism with a pinch of salt...The book is a wyrd maze but not a handbook,I think,of astral travel or of magic powers or their attainment...I would call it an incoherent curio but then many people are,too,and we still read them.
As you can tell from the other reviews of this book, it provokes a wide range of reactions from its readers. To some it's an idol; to others, a comic book. The book itself says, "The fool readeth this Book of the Law, and its comment; & he understandeth it not. Let him come through the first ordeal, & it will be to him as silver. Through the second, gold. Through the third, stones of precious water. Through the fourth, ultimate sparks of the intimate fire. Yet to all it shall seem beautiful. Its enemies who say not so, are mere liars." I would suggest that no one buy this book unless they are prepared to find it either disappointing or transformative.