fort & crowley

Amishaman

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#1
it just occurred to me this morning to wonder whether the two were familiar with each other. certainly some parts of B.O.T.D. strike me as alluding to some of the crowleys metaphysics. Even the title is remnescent of his B.O.T.L. and in that book reason is "damned" (for a dog). perhaps fort was an initiate or maybe crowley was a fortean?

what first stirred my mind on this was stumbling across the word "LO!" (extact spelling) in crowleys qabalistic text 777. (value = 100).
 

Anome

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#2
Not wishing to pour water on your idea, but the exclamation "LO!" was fairly common at the time. If anything, I expect Crowley was using it in all earnest, while Fort was trying to use it ironically.

Still, I shouldn't be surprised if Crowley was familiar with Fort's work. (I can't remember if Crowley was active early enough for it to work the other way around.)
 

fortist

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#3
Metaphysics

On the point of Fortist and Crowleyan metaphysics: I don't know much about Crowley's metaphysics (if indeed his views deserved to be meritably called a metaphysic) but I think his Thelemas precept of the sovereignty of the individual will ("Do what thou wilt...") would clash with (a) the random chaoticism of Fort's exclusionist metaphysic (in BD) and (b) with the Hegelianesque metaphysic of "Development" in NL and Lo! - because (a) prescribes will simply as subject to dynamic cosmic forces and (b) subsumes individual will to cosmic development. Plus Crowley's understanding of "Love" as an essential dichotomy between male and female, fundamental to existence, would clash with Fort's thesis of Continuity, which rejects dichotomies outright. However both Fort and Crowley synthesise eastern and western philosophies - but I think that Fort did a better job of it.

Ian
 

BaronVonHoopla

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#4
For the record, Crowley's "Do What Thou Wilt" was not a re-phrasing of "Do Whatever You Want". It had a completely different meaning.
 

fortist

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#6
Fort and occultism

I'm no expert on occultism, but the exi

During the late nineteenth century a number of broadly "occult" organisations and societies flourished - theosophy, for instance - and it must surely be the case that Fort was aware of them and covered them in his researches (although interestingly he doesn't mention anything like "occult" or "folklore" in his - albeit partial - list of researched subjects in his story "The Giant, The Insect and the Philanthropic-Looking Old Gentleman" http://www.resologist.net/story29.htm). However that might simply reflect the "more scientific" side of his interests; for a long time Fort only studied the more conventional subjects, and only came to anomalous data later on, around 1915, when he began writing "X" and "Y". Or perhaps he didn't want to sully his impressively-academic learning with mention of occultism and spooks. Then again, Fort does discuss "secret societies" ... perhaps someone with occult knowledge (that is, knowledge about the occult!) could do a reading of the Books and see if they can find any telltale hints of occult reading? Fort's disinclination to quote sources or inspirations makes him a fun read - like "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" graphic novels - but also quite frustrating for those of us who like to write about him!

Ian
 
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