Magic without Tears (英語) ペーパーバック – 1984/9
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Magick Without Tears is a personal encyclopedia of magickal instruction, annotated by experience and explained in unguarded language. Crowley covers: how to use the Qabalah as a tool rather than merely as a system of reference; the symbols of magick; etymology and its philosophy; the three major schools of magick--white, black and yellow--their approach to life and use of power; hints for meditation and astral projection; the I Ching; The Book of the Law; the Tarot; Astrology; the importance of talismans, lamens and pentacles; how to distinguish prophecy from coincidence; etc.; etc.
Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), also known as 'The Great Beast' and the 'Wickedest Man in the World,' was one of the most profound students of Magick, Qabalah and yoga psychology. His vast influence reaches through all modern occultism. He is widely recognized as the first Western investigator to give initiation a truly scientific method. In reconciling occultism to physical science, mathematics and philosophy, Crowley achieved a lasting synthesis that remains unsurpassed for depth of insight and comprehensiveness.
This is on the paperback edition: The paperback edition on Amazon is simply a scan off the .pdf and printed. If you see a "1" or "2" or "" or "§" you are S.O.L. to know what it is foot-noting to. This doesn't have that even listed in the back. No introduction by Israel Regardie. No table of contents. No index. Not even his "Sincerely's" ("Love is the law, love under will. Fraternally, 666"). Unless you know what he's talking about on every point (being a Thelemite or accustomed to the text), then you will be scratching your head or going online to find the .pdf to read. In that case, what's the point of having the book? I was going to keep this (JUST got it this afternoon), but with all that I have listed, it's too grievous of an issue to keep. Sadly, if you want the goods, you'll need to make sure it is the "Thelema Media, Apr 1, 1991" copy, which I thought this might have been a revision of. This doesn't even list a publisher! It's just printed out and thrown in a glossy (over-stretched) cover.
Stay away from this paperback version 1 out of 5 stars.
The better quality book is by and large one of the best "short and to the point" answers on Magick and related topics. This book clearly shows in his letters to Freida Harris, that he was coherent up until the end (along with "The Book of Thoth"), instead of insane like all of the yellow press and his detractors tried to convince. I've read this book countless times and it never fails to inspire me. This, along with "Liber Aleph Vel CXI: The Book of Wisdom Or Folly" should be able to clearly instruct people on the nature and ethics of life and Thelema. It really doesn't get any better than these funny and massively informative (and personal) letters he sends to her. Sadly, we don't have her letters as a reference, BUT Crowley touches on each topic mentioning what they were in each letter. You're not left guessing "What in the heck is he talking about?" If the topic is about vampirism or if angels cut themselves shaving, he will put that explicitly in the statement of the answer. Get this book, rent this book, see if a library has it: JUST GET YOUR HANDS ON THIS BOOK...BUT NOT THIS COPY!
I'd easily give the book 5 stars, its a collection of essays by Crowley, written under the guise of a communication between himself and a sister in his order. It gives a very practical explanation of some things Crowley had purposely made originally vague and veiled in his other writings. Perhaps he realized later that too many aspiring occultists wouldn't have access to the formal style of esoteric instruction, and would need a helping hand to interpret some of his works.
That being said, since the book was written quite a long time ago, it has fallen into the public domain. Some guy somewhere uploaded a PDF file of the original to Createspace (which is a print on demand publisher) and is now making a buck off the fact that the book itself is currently out of print.
There is no information about the publisher, no footnotes (even though there are annotations for various notes in each chapter, there is no where to actually refer to). So this is a very CRAPTACULAR edition of this book. Hopefully the OTO will get Magick Without Tears back into circulation so that magicians can have a decent paperback version to refer to.
Its hard to read certain parts (especially those which use algebra since the fonts are off) and there are no editor notes and the footnotes/endnotes are just deleted (they were probably still under copyright). So again, this edition sucks, so I'd either wait for the book to be legitimately reprinted, or find a good used copy.
An amazing work, Crowley discusses the principles and practice of various magical disciplines in an easy to understand manner without becoming over-simplistic. He explains many of the pitfalls in the path, and gives details on the "Black Brothers" who fall from the Great Work. Those who seek more specific practical instruction would do well to seek out Crowley's own Magick: Liber ABA (Book 4) and/or Lon Milo Duquette's The Magick of Aleister Crowley: A Handbook of the Rituals of Thelema
This book, and the The Book of Thoth: A Short Essay on the Tarot of the Egyptians, Being the Equinox Volume III No. V give lie to the myth that in his declining years Crowley was a confused and bitter old man in his dotage: these two works both illustrate that Crowley's mind was as sharp as it ever was, and that his grasp of the Mysteries had deepened as his admittedly acerbic character mellowed in his old age.
It makes no matter if you are a student of the Golden Dawn, the O.T.O., the Servants of Light, the Builders of the Atydium, or the A.'.A.'., if Qabbalistic Hermeticism is your cup of tea, you'll find much to quench your thirst for knowledge with this volume. My only criticism with this particular edition is that Mr. Regardie edited over 300 pages of material included in the 1954 1st edition. Be aware that there exists a two-volume edition of this book, published about 30 years ago-- that edition is unexpurgated and heavily commented on by Marcello Motta, but Vol. II is devilishly tricky to find.
2012 Addition-- This book is now out of print. PDFs of the Regardie edit can be found through a simple Google Search of the Internet. A new, annotated, restored edition is currently being worked on and was expected to be released in this year. This new edition should prove to be the 'ultimate' edition, but it's not clear that its release will meet the 2012 publication deadline previously announced.