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Initiation in the Aeon of the Child: The…
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Initiation in the Aeon of the Child: The Inward Journey (original 2009; edition 2009)

by J. Daniel Gunther

Series: The Inward Journey (book 1)

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In 1904, The Book of the Law declared the advent of a new period in the course of human history - The Aeon of Horus or Aeon of the Child. The doctrine codified in the Book of the Law and the numerous other Holy Books known as Thelema revealed Aleister Crowley as the Prophet of the new Aeon. In this ground-breaking book, author J. Daniel Gunther provides a penetrating and cohesive analysis of the spiritual doctrine underlying and informing the Aeon of the Child, and the sublime formulas of Initiation encountered by those who would probe its mysteries. Drawing on more than 30 years of experiences as a student and teacher within the Order of the A. A. the author examines the doctrinal thread of Thelema in its historical, religious, and practical context. This book is written in clear, precise language that will aid those students who seek to navigate the difficult terrain of the spiritual quest. More advanced students will find tantalizing clues to serve as guideposts and eventual confirmation of direct experience. With numerous diagrams and detailed references encompassing ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic texts, the Apocrypha, the Old and New Testaments, alchemy, hermetic Qabalah, and tarot, as well as the writings of Carl Jung and Aleister Crowley.… (more)
Member:jgbell
Title:Initiation in the Aeon of the Child: The Inward Journey
Authors:J. Daniel Gunther
Info:Ibis Press (2009), Hardcover, 224 pages
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Intiation in the Aeon of the Child: The Inward Journey by J. Daniel Gunther (2009)

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This book is an overdue contribution from a man who has had a deep but quiet influence on the practice and development of Thelemic magick. It is not directed toward the merely curious but uninformed; it is rather aimed at sincere aspirants who already have some acquaintance with the nature and importance of Thelema.

Gunther is highly conservative in his exposition, stalwartly defending two of Crowley's most fragile and difficult positions: the khabs and khu readings of Liber Legis I:8-9, and the "heh-tzaddi switch" interpretation of I:57. In the case of the former, he nearly persuades me. His philology certainly takes advantage of more knowledge than Crowley could muster. He is not a hidebound orthodox however. Although in an early passage Gunther seems to accept a superficial reading of the aeons of Isis, Osiris, and Horus as positive history, he later points out (albeit in a footnote, 166 n. 13) that a scientific approach cannot validate and should not accept this narrative on that plane.

The dependence on theories from "depth psychology" was a bit dismaying to me. While I will happily admit the overlap in subject matter between that discipline and magick, I believe it is the proper role of initiates to explain profane theories in terms of esoteric principles, not the other way around.

There is a praiseworthy amount of original interpretation of passages from the non-AL Holy Books, and (most delightfully) The Vision and the Voice. But the great number of long quotes from the Crowley corpus means that there is even less of the author's own prose than one might at first suspect in this 222-page book. Some of the most provocative and original material for practical purposes can be found in an unremarked diagram showing ritual postures (74), and an appendix tabulating "Some Useful Attributions" (214).

Gunther's writing in his own voice concludes: "And with this, Speech is done with us for a while." And yet he seems to have been on a rather extended lecture tour in the many months following publication. More to the good, I think.
2 vote paradoxosalpha | Dec 2, 2009 |
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