By Aleister Crowley

Chapter XLI: "Are we Reincarnations of the Ancient Egyptians?"

Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

That accursed conscience of mine has been pricking me ever since I dashed off that rather curt and off-hand letter card in answer to yours of the 18th.  I had intended as a matter of fact to let you have the present coruscation as soon as I could get my secretary in the offing, but I thought I would snap your head off in the strength of your question as salutary chastisement.

I do wish you would understand that all these speculations are not only idle and senseless because you cannot possibly verify their accuracy, but a deadly   You ask if we, meaning, I suppose, the English, are now reincarnating the Egyptians. When I was a boy it was the Romans, while the French undertook the same thankless office for the Greeks.  I say "deadly poison;" because when you analyse you see at once that this is a device for flattering yourself.  You have a great reverence for the people who produced Luxor and the Pyramids; and it makes you feel nice and comfortable inside if you think that you were running around in those days as Rameses II or a high priest in Thebes or something equally congenial.

You may say that I am myself the chief of sinners in this respect because of Ankh-f-n-Khonsu, but this was not my doing.  It was imposed upon me by The Book of the Law, and I do not feel particularly flattered or comforted by this identification.  The only interest to me is the remarkable manner in which this is interwoven with the existence of the "Cairo working."

Your second and third questions are still worse.  I should be ashamed of myself if I were to do so much as to refer to them.

That must serve for that.  But your fourth question I did answer after a fashion.  It has however struck me that I might have given you a more detailed instruction with advantage.

When I was up the Mindoun Chong in Burma, I started an investigation of my dreams; and the only way to catch them was to write down as much as I could remember on waking, instantly.  The result of doing this is rather surprising.  To begin with, I discovered, especially as the practice progressed, that I was having many more dreams than I had previously supposed.  This might have come about in either of two ways.

(1) The practice might have actually increased my tendency to dream, and (2) the habit of observation may have brought dreams to the surface which would otherwise have gone unremarked.  In either case the figures were quite definite.

I found almost at once, that is to say after about a month, that practically every dream that I could remember, could be quite clearly ascribed to one of two causes: (a) the events of the previous day or days, or the subjects which had interested and excited me during that period, and (b) the physical conditions of the moment.  For instance, a good deal of the time of the experiment I was sleeping in what might have been euphemistically called a houseboat.  It was liable to leak; and on such occasions as I woke to find water trickling down my nose, I found that the dream from which I had wakened was an adventure of some sort in connection with water.  (It is quite notorious, I believe, that many asthmatic subjects are pestered by dreams of having been guillotined in a previous incarnation.  Alan Bennett, I may mention, was one such.)

As the practice proceeds, you should find not only that your dreams increase in number per night, but also became very much fuller, clearer and more coherent.  I assume that the reason is that the fact of your paying attention to them brings them to the surface.

I am not quite sure whether this is a complete and adequate answer to your question 4, "How can I best bring my sleeping memory into my waking hours?"

I have studied, and my secretary has studied, and we can make no head or tail of your remark about brain exercises with sketch.

Well, I must hope for the best, and leave you with my blessing.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,


© Ordo Templi Orientis.  Original key entry by W.E. Heidrick for O.T.O.  HTML coding by Frater T.S. for Nu Isis Working Group.

Next Chapter
Previous Chapter
Back to contents