‘Wishing You a Speedy Termination of Existence’

Aleister Crowley’s Views on Buddhism and Its Relationship with the Doctrine of Thelema

In: Aries

Abstract

Aleister Crowley was considerably influenced by the doctrines of Theravāda Buddhism, which he studied in his youth, both theoretically and practically. He correlated its principles to the principles of scientific agnosticism and considered that its objectives could also be achieved through the practice of ceremonial magic. His eventual acceptance of Thelema’s religious philosophy led to his ultimate renunciation of Buddhism as a worldview. This essay examines Crowley’s early writings on the subject of Buddhism and suggests that the presence of Buddhist theories remains quite significant in his formulation of the doctrine of Thelema.

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