The Fountain of Hyacinth [2 of 2]
It was too wet to walk. I call to witness the umbrellas of the
indigenous. I went book-buying and proof inspecting; in the shop I
nearly collapsed. Fresh air restored me. I went billiard playing and
Mandarin drinking. My billiards was again admirably astonishing. I was
then overcome by sleepiness; decided to go home & lie down. I had a
violent impulse to vomit; but after a --------- I felt perfectly well
again and the somnolence resumed its sway.
It is worthy of remark that my regiment seems to have restored my
"drug-virginity" so called by writers on the subject. The fact is that
most of the fixed ideas about drugs are superstitious. I have long
observed this fact with regard to a great many. But the more I learn,
the danger is the rubble-heap of accepted statements. For instance,
with ether, hashish, mescal, opium-smoking and morphine, I find no
tendency to habit whatever. More still, I am unable to force myself to
use these drugs at all, except on the rarest occasions. Yet I have
nothing but the most pleasant and profitable experiences in connection
with them. With heroin & cocaine, on the contrary, I have not much to
thank them for; and there has been a good deal of annoyance connected
with them. Yet it is for these and these only that I hanker. I begin
to have a grave suspicion that there is a masochistic complex at the
bottom of all this: "a will to suffer", integral with the sense of
"sin" which accounts for the popularity of humiliating creeds such as
Christianity in all its forms among degenerate races -- (I include
such infantile wish-fulfillment phantasm reactions as "Christian
Science' among those morbid phenomenon.
I have been noticing in myself a tendency to irritability and
suspiciousness. It is not very acute or very persistent; but it is
sufficient to be evidence of a state of mind exceptionally foreign to
my assertion -- acquired habit of thought. It has appeared by fits and
starts during some months.
Programme for Sunday.
Reveille 1:00 PM
Curfew 3:00 PM
As adjuncts: strychnine appears of great use physically. I think I
will try emphasizing this in the two or 3 hours before Reveille.
Alcohol is a decided moral aid; but I suspect it of lessening
physiological resistance unless one is careful to restrict its scope
to assisting appetite and digestion or promoting sleep. I am somewhat
astonished to notice how prolonged by lethargy is. The impulse is to
be alarmed; but Nature knows best. This is Her way, presumably, of
replenishing the resistance.
A curious incident took place before dinner. After leaving my room, I
thought of my supply of cocaine -- was it safe? I went back, assured
myself of its integrity -- and that of the servants thereof -- and put
it back with elaborate precautions against a grain of it reaching my
anatomy. I now wonder whether this action was dictated by the
subconscious wish to take some.
I dined slowly on light food in great moderation and was instantly
impelled to violent and voluminous vomiting. Painless, almost
pleasant. It leaves me, like the previous entry -- doubtful as to
whether this, too, is not a "device of the demon. Yet there is ample
explanation elsewhere -- I was reading the life of Lord Russell of
Killoween by R. Barry O'Brien. Perhaps this sickness has saved my
I feel as if another shivering fit were about due, so I get to bed
and take 3 gr. Quinine.
The shivering was avoided. I feel generally washed out, neither tired,
sleepy, hungry nor anything else. My thoughts are similarly
colourless. For instance, I wonder, without interest, whether I might
die before morning.
I now feel quiet and comfortable but rather bored.
Throat congested, stomach irritated, sleep coy; will take 1/2 tablet
dialcura(?) 11:53 (?) a second 1/2 tablet then sleep till nearly 9 and
dozes till 11:30.
Suffering acutely from dyspepsia, eyes watering, yawning, lassitude,
etc. I suppose this is the cumulative trouble: I have arrears of my
daily ration to make up. I must admit a very strong temptation to
break my rules not by artifice but by sheer weariness of the struggle.
Shouldn't be surprised if today was a severe test of the treatment. If
I break down, it is obvious I need alien aid. It upsets and weakens me
that I have no news of 31-666-31.
1+ 1:1 PM.
Lunch and strychnine helped out but I was glad when Reveille came.
Big. I didn't really want this but I'm "hopping mad clear through"
today about nothing. I had no letters. It is now cold weather. I am
upset about all sorts of things and I can't put names to them. I
expect a brisk walk would put me in good condition.
Feeling particularly well after a short stroll. Returned for my
sweater as it is very cold.
Back from a really good long fast walk. Feeling very much better. By
a curious paradox I want to break the regimen so as to make better
best! However, I made certain considerations as follows: Having been
busy reducing the doses, I have not been able to extend the intervals.
I wanted to advance the hour of curfew so as to avoid heroin insomnia.
But I may not go on the other track. I will maintain curfew at 3 and
make Reveille later.
e.g. [moon] Reveille 1:30 -- 3 doses
[mars] 2:40 -- 2 doses
[mercury] 3:0 1 dose.
It is no plan of my plan to drop from one dose to none until I have
reached the interval of 48 hours. The only permissible alternative to
making my one-dose days 25 hours long is this: to replace the heroin
on alternate days by cocaine. The objection to the whole scheme is
this; that the hour of taking the dose always approaches bedtime while
it is most desirable (on the contrary) for it to be as early as
possible. Suppose, however, I extend the two-dose period in this way:
1 dose on waking, the other at 3:00 PM and extend the interval by
advancing curfew to 2, 1, noon, and reducing to one dose when the
times coincide. This scheme has the advantage of changing the
physiological cycle which compensates (I think) for the temporary
reduction of the interval which it is desired to extend.
I may observe that I am recovering to a great extent my normal healthy
interest in ordinary affairs and also that I am not in the least
suspicious as to my motives in making the above entry. I feel, in
fact, quite considerable confidence in myself -- for the first time --
Indeed, I should have little hesitation for my own sake in going on
the loose entirely: I refrain from doing so because it would
apparently ------ my record.
Dined rather well; feel all right, bar a tendency to indigestion. But
I observe that my virile reaction to various matters is renewed like
the Eagle's and a pretty nasty tempered Eagle at that. I find myself
wanting an "eye for an eye" from certain people.
Heroin was (note from S. Roberts--he has either been drinking because
his handwriting begins to sprawl also he does not record taking
anything) originally prescribed for my bronchitis. It stops an attack
in a few seconds. Now I have spent this evening fighting the
aforesaid malady with compresses and pastilles, obtaining practically
Am I morally justified in resorting to heroin out of business hours?
If it were a moral question the problem would be pertinent; but it is
not: I am making a purely scientific experiment with no moral
implications soever; there is therefore no difficulty whatever in
deciding to abstain. I mention this as an example of the astounding
simplifications effected by referring all questions of conduct to the
Law of Thelema.
There is nevertheless a `critical temperature': I should take the
heroin if not to do so would spoil the record in any case: for
example, if the spasms of coughing increased so as to endanger life.
The use of drugs in such an extremity would indeed form a pertinent
episode in the experiment.
I am making a regular St. Patrick's Night of it. Throat trouble with
phlegm standing like the Old Guard and fever, insomnia, etc. on top;
my mind surging with phantasms of projects of various sorts --
persistent, but without alacrity or ability to hold my interest. There
is no definite drug hunger; but I suspect my quite indefinable
symptoms to be in reality so many "legal arguments" of the body, too
cunning to complain frankly what it wants.
Nothing for it but a Dialcuria(?) once more.
One spasm follows another each ending in complete exhaustion. I have
tried inhaling eau de cologne: no good. I will make one last stand at
Useless sacrifice of human life. Retire on second line. Ils me
Relief very slight.
Medium -- almost calm.
I could almost certainly have cut short the attack with less trouble
if I had not let it go so far. I am "all in" from exhaustion, every
muscle aching from the strain -- breath still quick and laboured --
traces of phlegm still in throat.
Practically "all better" though frightfully tired. A noticeable
phenomena is a keen ambition to write a play in French verse!
(Suggested, probably, by picking up my pocket Tartuffe).
I shall consider myself provisionally as having "borrowed" the three
doses due today and pay them back if practicable by total abstention
till Tuesday 2:30 PM. I think also I shall go to Paris on Tuesday and
ask Dr. E--- G----- how best to combat these emergency attacks; it
should be worth while now that I know more or less what to expect.
Awoke with access of spasms more violent than before. As soon as I get
respite enough to control my muscles at all.
Med. I have been asleep dreaming voluptuously and planning various
projects in my puppet show.
Med. Also I have been sweating violently.
Still in the woods.
Woke very succinctly, my chest still raw and distressed, but a voice
in my ears, clear as ever came to me in my life and apropos of
Now the Yi had indicated this before and I had found excuses to dodge
it. I don't like the idea even now since fully awake. But I have
cleared up the Fontainbleau formula about Poupee, I think, with Mark
Twain's story "The Fine Loom of Life" (?) and NOTJZJP means (twitching
my mantle blue?) "Weep no more, gentle shepherd, weep no more." offers
the best possible conditions for the rest of my cure, including the
IX' -- XI' remedy and is in all ways rationally indicated. With my
habitual prudence, ask Thelema for an oracle. I get VIII I.53. The
applicability of the passage may or may not be discernible by those
who are not initiates of the VI' of O.T.O. It may involve my death, as
"an enchantment to unbind the bound."
I am a little calmer now I am sitting up in bed. By the way, I had a
strong "hunch" last night to play a libel action against Arnold
Bennett for the "Paris Nights" reference worked out in a friendly
spirit to gain publicity. On this point Thelema says CCXXX I.50 end of
verse. Doubtful: the suggestion seems to be not to let Bennett know
what is going on.
Mad with Leah for not having written. Went out about 10 and started
for forest before 11. Shored away from golf course. Exhausted by
night's struggle; much residual cough and soreness as well as fatigue.
A fine day and a fresh, cool invigorating wind; but I could hardly
drag one leg after the other -- I make no apology for [end of
1:04 PM. Medium.
1:21 PM "
1:36 PM "
10+ 1:58 PM
Small. Crawled in, still weak, about 2:30 PM.
11+ 3:22 PM
Wire and letters from Leah.
Eyes keep closing with sleep.
A nap, interrupted by a fool bell and the waking hideous with a
bronchial clinch. I have so shame in going for it at once with old
friend cocaine -- partly as a change from the heroin and partly
because it seems possible that it will touch the spot better. The
first small sniff does indeed seem to clear the matter up remarkable;
but I will go and see if the chemist can find me some balm in Gilead.
Two small cocaines. Note that in all this business there has not been
the slightest conscious "hunger and thirst for mightiness sake" but
sheer physical distress and believe me kid I know my -------- from my
elbow by this time.
The two little cocaine sniffs have removed the lump from my chest and
throat for the first time in 15 hours or so. The sinister circumstance
is that this is "just a week today since my Coco went away and its all
up with poor Tommy now!" I shall put the case before Cros fully and
meanwhile run along and ask the chemist if he can suggest some patent
pulmonary purgative and promise me a purple plenitude of serene
slumber, stainless of bronchial trouble, immune from the perfidious
and frustrating pangs of intercostal inhibition, of respiratory
reluctances. the bane of bronchial burdens, the curse of my
cantankerous(?) chest, (and please observe how instantly the cocaine
settles itself in my style. The last few phrases, redundant rubbish --
Normally, I should have diagnosed that another dose was due, and
loaded some more alliterations and parenthesis on my ------- back!)
I do take a third; but that is only to complete the exodus to
Boulevard Reulet(?) from the impasse inferno. (Note - corrections and
cross corrections -- the rest is illegible) --
The Third Coco
Interesting to note that just 23 years ago -- early in '99 I was saving
Allen Bennett from his cycle of asthma, opium, morphine, cocaine,
chloroform, exhaustion, asthma -- recurring, (it took from 1 to 2
months to make the round trip) by sending him out to Ceylon. Perhaps I
made some good Karma when I saved my master's life (at the risk of my
own as it happened) perhaps some one I never thought of may be on the
way to save mine.
To cap the pyramid.
I had a long delightful talk with a charming little chemist, bought
some iodine to paint my chest and some ether in case of a bad night,
played a little billiards, read some more Nordmann, drank some hot
milk, ate a small piece of bread, wrote Nordmann and P.S. to plead my
sanity -- and took several 5+ more sniffs of cocaine and one of
heroin! I did this dire deed quite deliberately. I seemed not worth
while to (?) my "fall from grace" but to treat the situation frankly,
get myself into a state of mind and body such that I could look at it
from the outside. Attempts to alternate the assassination and trammel
up his consequences would have been pitiful, inviting insincerity. My
plan is to begin again tomorrow, with the week's experience to guide
me as to what is wise. It is clear, for instance, that I can cut out
the cocaine completely without fear of being distressed and that I can
start with a two hour spell of 4 doses of heroin; having this
advantage, too, that I can make Reveille my time of waking which well
ensure early rising.
I am quite satisfied with strychnine to avert collapse and to control
craving. I am confident of my ability to adjust the hours of
"indulgence" cleverly enough to keep the "Storm-fiend" from the door.
I can rely on quinine in case of fever. My one weak spot is the
original emphysema -- asthma -- bronchitis; and I must find a sure
fortress against their ferocity, which was solely responsible for the
present "regrettable incident." E ---- G ---- will probably be able
to help there; and I dare say my own iodine and other defenses may
turn out impregnable. I am quite contented with my week's work and
proud that all moral attacks were detected and defeated. My sole
uneasiness is as to whether the severe physical assault had not a
Freudian basis. To that suggestion I reply with some conviction that
fever and vomiting were natural effects of the general strain ( as I
have seen often in past years) and that last night may well be set
down to my imbecile conduct in sitting on a damp log in an incipient
drizzle after a long cold walk in a heavy sweater to watch thirty
I blame myself, however, for carelessness in (a) observing my
physiological state in several obvious ways (b) keeping the rules of
hygiene and therapy, even those formally laid down in this record (c)
forcing myself to follow the prescribed course when unwise, e.g.
getting up and going out with a fever on me.
I am pleased with the frankness and conscientiousness of this record;
I think it full and free from all self-deception, stupidity, or
cowardice. I think it accesses justly the dangers, difficulties, and
determination which apply to the case. I feel that it has helped me
and will help others to audit accounts; and I am sure that the week's
teaching shows a good profit, judged either by the figures themselves
or by my demeanor and appearance.
Unfortunately there are no figures for the week previous but my memory
is quite clear that I have been taking heroin continuously for many
weeks; three or four doses to help me get up and others practically
all day at short intervals. As to cocaine, I must have had at least
two or three prolonged bouts of it every week, plus a few "hairs of
the dog" on most of the "off days". Most of my mental and moral powers
were seriously affected in various ways while I was almost wholly
dependent on them for physical energy, in particular for sexual force,
which only appeared after unusual excesses, complicated by abnormal
indulgence in alcohol. My creative life had become spasmodic and
factitious -- I could not even take interest in any kind of work; what
I did was forced, feeble and ill sustained, dependent on drastic
drugging even at that. I could not even face the task of dictating
important letters and shrank from contact with business of all kinds.
I could take no pleasure even in eating or drinking except when more
savagely spurred by the stimulants that usual. I had become incapable
of all human reaction, from love and self respect to hatred and self
preservation. I avoided washing, dressing, shaving, as much as
possible. I was unable to count money properly, to inspect bills and
so on; everything bored me. I could not even feel alarm at obviously
serious symptoms. My memory, though reliable, was very dull. I refused
to make any efforts.
It strikes me as astonishing that so complete a cachexia as this
should not have been accompanied by the slightest psychical
disturbance! I had no traces of hallucination or persecution-mania, no
tendency to duplicity or concealment, no delusions or defects of
judgment; not one (in short) of the classical psychoses which occur
normally in cases far less grave in other ways than mine. This is
especially strange in view of the fact that I had been subjected to
extreme mental worry of many kinds for many months and that I had lost
entirely the faculty of sleep which ensued only on (a) extreme
exhaustion, say after fifteen hours of painting and dictation,
followed by perhaps 6 hours sexual frenzy (b) hypnotics such as
vernol, reinforced by desperate determination to sleep or (c) heroic
doses of strong alcoholic drinks, absinthe, brandy, or hot rum.
Yet I have not even had so much as one unpleasant dream. The only
suspicious symptom has been occasional feelings of irritation,
disproportionate to the exciting cause, and of undue anxiety to avoid
allusions to subjects liable to annoy me. That I should have been able
to get back so nearly to normal good health -- on all planes -- in a
single week: this seems to me almost miraculous by the sombre
standards of the text books on drug neuroses.
The above entry is a fair example of what I can do when thoroughly
drunk on a mixture of heroin and cocaine. But it should be compared
with a similar effort last month. Tonight I am clear, calm; not too
verbose, redundant, detailed or frenetic. The basis of the entry is
mental and moral health. I write what I want to write, without
excitement or effort. The drugs merely inhibit my inhibitions. On
previous occasions, one may observe on insane intensity, an impatient
fury. There is a delirious outburst and I am enraged at my slowness
and my lack of mastery. Tonight there is none of this. I fell myself
in full control of my faculties. Also there is no impulse to appeal to
the drugs to "drive like the devil". I no longer crave to push on from
one piece of work to another. Before, I have "speeded up" Pegasus
though I have had no idea where I want to go. The result has been that
I have often spent a furious night with the Hounds of Hell, hunting
some horrible hyena in the dark across sterile sands; I have finished
the work for the sake of which I started drugging myself and gone on
with some quite useless stuff like "Limericks" or some shapeless,
idealess ranting ruins of obscure and obscene turgidity. Mine inmost
identity says: To worship me take wine and strange drugs whereof I
will tell my prophet and be drunk thereof:" it is lawful to do this,
for to worship Him is to make him manifest, and so to fill the world
with Truth and Beauty. But I have erred in going to far; the worship
has become forced and fallen into fanatical frenzy which blasphemes
Him. He bids us also to "exceed by delicacy" to "drink by the eight
and ninety rules of art"; but I have exceeded by depravity and drunk
by the three hundred and ninety three rules of the toper. He gives his
guarantee that this wine, these drugs, will not harm me; but the
condition is obviously that expressed above.
I must justify Him (and myself) by making myself unchallengable master
of these "means of grace". I must be as capable of using them, and as
confident in my capacity, as an engineer is of handling high
explosives; and every piece of work undertaken with the aid of these
tools, must prove by its perfection that his precepts and his promises
are wrought by Righteousness and tested by Truth.
In the past, despite my errors and excesses, these Orgia have brought
me beyond all previous human attainments and I must not fear to follow
the flag and fight the good fight with all my might. But I must not
get an arrow in my eye, like Harold of Hastings, and so lose control
of my English that they break out of their lines, drunken with
victory, fall into disorder, and perish beneath the lances of the
For the present, then, I must pursue my plan of suppressing the use of
drugs altogether. That duly done, I must lay down those "eight and
ninety rules of art" and keep them. I must be able to use heroin and
cocaine as adequately and masterly as Rembrandt used his paints. One
should not swear a nocturne with Rose Madder because one likes the
In practice, then, I go to bed instead of continuing this persistent
So yes proclaim altogether! (I will NOT disgrace this record by giving
it the title "Hero versus Heroin").
I have painted my chest and throat with iodine. The last of the phlegm
seems to have come away. I don't expect to sleep soon with all this
stuff in me, in spite of last night's struggle and the shortness of
the final sleep.
But my programme for the day is this:
on waking: Cafe and croissant
the first even hour: Reveille
Two hours later: Curfew
Four doses of heroin. No cocaine.
In case of physical trouble, treat symptoms as they arise without
narcotics. Walk in forest if fine.
(Provided money arrives)
Dine with Laverne (?)
Look for partner for IX': on no account have anything to do with 31-
666-31 unless the magnetic conditions are totally reversed. Use
partner aforesaid when found. Sleep early: wake early and repeat
Tuesday's programme: but 1 1/2 hours heroin in 3 doses.
Thursday ditto but 1 hour & 2 doses.
Friday ditto but 1 dose on waking.
Saturday ditto but 1 hour after waking.
Sunday ditto but 2 hours after waking.
Monday ditto but 3 hours after waking.
1+ 12:30 PM
2+ 1:00 PM Medium
3+ 1 (No entry)
4:44 PM. Vos(?) Paris. It has been a hard day. Chest never really
free, moral confusion, etc. Damp and dull. Had to use one or two extra
heroin. Letter form Algiers (?) Camille is there. What about journey?
Last night I had excited visions of your Epinal without reference to
Camille, vague phantasms of a marriage (suggested by seeing one
yesterday) and playing chess (next two lines gibberish)
11:30 PM. Leah left last night for London. Awake till after 6 AM.
Then deep sleep (after much Nortyl) till 2 PM when Boucier(?) woke me
with difficulty. Heroin and a little cocaine. Vomited just before
dinner. This whole period since my return to Paris can be summarized
"From Bad to Worse". Leah is a violent spiritual poison to me. We love
deeply and truly, we sympathize, we do all we can to help each other;
but we act on each other like cancer. It's the formula of the
independent growth in one flesh. Already I feel a new man; I have even
the direct sensation that I am "cured". I wrote to Dr. Edward Cros
last night telling him the whole story and asked him to call and fix a
sanatorium for me where I can direct my own treatment. To submit to
medical treatment would be to destroy my whole theory and blaspheme
the Gods whose chosen minister I am!
I have been morally paralyzed by Leah's presence. I will now begin a
new diary describing the completion of my mastery of myself in the
matter of heroin and cocaine.
Sleep still coy. (The rest of this short entry is incomprehensible and
Impressed upon me strongly that I must "go to Epinol" i.e. by -------
March 8 (in pencil)
heard from ---- and --------- A foul means of filth from a Detroit
garbage-can. Evening with Aimee.
Couldn't sleep till after 6 AM. Woke now.
Bright and lively till 8:30 then weighted down with weariness. Will
take Nortyl till I sleep. Must call on Edward Cros at 2:30 PM
Saw Cros (Method: Nortyl, slept till 1:30 AM. Took more Nortyl and
was picked(?) up at 11 AM.) He prescribes luminal and Dicome - les -
Bains (air) near Geneva. Dr. Bornums(?) I feel better already!
In back of book in A.C.'s hand:
February 12, 1922 Paris
This is the last will and testament of me Edward Alexander Crowley.
I revoke all previous wills. I give and bequeath the whole of my
property to Leah Hirsig (of New York, N.Y. U.S.A. and Cefalu, Sicily)
and I appoint her my sole executrix.
signed: Edwd. Alex. Crowley
A note on flyleaf says: "In case I die before getting this will duly
executed, get two people who were in Paris on the date to sign as
witnesses, after finding out from a lawyer -- without explaining the
circumstances -- exactly how it should by done.