u80icf36nINT-4 In his Confessions Crowley gives a more detailed account of the writing of these books:
i2li2r T he spirit came upon me and I wrote a number of books in a way which I hardly know how to describe. They were not taken from dictation like The Book of the Law nor were they my own composition. I cannot even call them automatic writing. I can only say that I was not wholly conscious at the time of what I was writing, and I felt that I had no right to << change >> so much as the style of a letter. They were written with the utmost rapidity without pausing for thought for a single moment, and I have not presumed to revise them. Perhaps << plenary inspiration >> is the only adequate phrase, and this has become so discredited that people are loth to admit the possibility of such a thing.
The prose of these books, the chief of which are Liber Cordis Cincti Serpente Liber LXV and Liberi Vel Lapidis Lazuli Liber VII , is wholly different from anything that I have written myself. It is characterized by a sustained sublimity of which I am totally incapable and it overrides all the intellectual objections which I should myself have raised. It does not admit the need to explain itself to anyone, even to me. I cannot doubt that these books are the work of an intelligence independent of my own.>>
ica6p11l12.5f36 The reception of these books in the fall of 1907 E.V. was not unheralded. They were fruit of years of applied study in several magical and mystical disciplines. Crowley himself shows this in an untitled two-page manuscript chronology, reproduced in full on the opposite page. Terse as this document is, it is remarkably comprehensive. Beginning with his first tentative enquiries into occultism at age 22, it lists the high points of his early career, ending with the words << Books begin to be received at will >>, a reference to the Holy Books written in the fall of 1907 E.V. For the first publication of this chronology, page references are provided (in the right-hand column) to Crowley's accounts of the episodes cited, as published in his Confessions. By reading these passages in chronological order, the reader will to some extent share Crowley's perspective of the events leading up to the writing of these books. Obscure or abbreviated entries in the chronology have been expanded within editorial brackets.
This chronology will also prove a useful guide in clarifying certain historical references in Liber LXI Vel Causae. Crowley termed this document an << introduction to the whole series >> of Holy Books; it is therefore included as the Introduction in the present edition. Liber LXI recounts the modern history of the Ordo A...A.... A full and proper account of this Order is impossible in this place; readers are referred to the widely-available authorized account, << One Star in Sight >>.
Suffice to say that Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel is the central (through not final) goal of aspirants to the A...A.... Crowley's communion with his Angel, Aiwass, reached tangible expression in these Holy Books. He strove mightily to help others attain to this spiritual experience, and as the following excerpt from his unpublished writings shows, he expected similar communications to be received by those who succeeded in this, the Great Work. However, such books are a spontaneous by-product of the spiritual attainments they reflect, not ends in themselves. Years of aspiration and rigorous training are a prerequisite, even for a mystic and magician of Crowley's abundant native gifts. Several purported << Holy Books >> have appeared over the years; few, if indeed any, show much more than the conscious literary fecundity of their authors.
i2li2rAlthough it Liber Legis was not the direct result of invocation, unless the successful invocation of Horus be accounted such, yet in view of the Magical tradition that communications of this type may and should result more or less directly from the use of ceremonial methods, and of the absence of any other reasonable theory which covers the facts, I am led to make experiments and to induce others to make experiments on the assumption that people trained in a) Magical b) Mystical c) Qabalistic arts are more likely than those not so trained to receive similar communications with such fulness and accuracy as enables them to withstand the severest criticism. (The original communication was made to Rose Crowley but would obviously have come to nothing had I not been there to gestate and parturate the seed.) These experiments have been justified by such results as the books LXV, VII, 418, I, Ararita, and by such work as the editing of the Tao Teh King and the Yi King. The validity of the methods is demonstrated by John St. John. Also by the success of those who have put them into practice with fidelity, energy and intelligence. Indirectly also by the quality of the failures and disasters which have accompanied experiments conducted in ways which I disapprove. Incidentally I have been able to predict results both of the wise and foolish virgins under my supervision. It is my special business to set people to obtain the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel by such means as I have myself proved valid. By the word << conversation >> I understand communication similar to The Book of the Law as to origin, authority and value, each as may be suited to the nature and True Will of the aspirant or experimenter.