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BERASHITH


 

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Title:

Berashith.  An Essay in Ontology with Some Remarks on Ceremonial Magic.

   

Upper Cover: State (a)

 

Lower Cover: State (a)

 

 

Errata/Limitation: State (a)

 

Page 1: State (a)

 

Clarke & Bishop: State (a)

 

Print
Variations
:

State (a):

200 copies printed on China paper.1
Bound in white paper wrappers incorporating the title-page with limitation notice and Errata on verso.1 
Upper cover lettered in black  ‘A.B. 2447, | PARIS | [rule] | 
בראשית | AN ESSAY | IN | ONTOLOGY | WITH SOME REMARKS ON | CEREMONIAL MAGIC | BY | ABHAVANANDA | (ALEISTER CROWLEY) | PRIVATELY PRINTED FOR THE SANGHA OF | THE WEST’.1
These copies should be numbered 1 through 200,1 but not all copies are numbered.

9 1/4” x 7 3/8”.1

State (b):

Printed on machine-made paper.1
Bound in white paper wrappers incorporating the title-page.1

Upper cover lettered ‘A.B. 2447, | PARIS | [rule] |  בראשית | AN ESSAY | IN | ONTOLOGY | WITH SOME REMARKS ON | CEREMONIAL MAGIC | BY | ABHAVANANDA | (ALEISTER CROWLEY) | PRIVATELY PRINTED FOR THE SANGHA OF | THE WEST’.1
10 5/8” x 8 5/16”.1

 

Publisher:

Privately published.1

 

Printer:

Clarke & Bishop, 338, Rue St-Honoré, Paris.1

 

Published At:

Paris.1

 

Date:

1903.1

 

Edition:

1st Edition.

 

Pages:

24.1

 

Price:

Priced at 5 shillings for state (a).4
State (b) priced at 5 francs.1

 

Remarks:

Berashith is a Hebrew word meaning "in the beginning" and is the first word of The Book of Genesis.3

Written under the pseudonym of Abhavananda.

Berashith” was originally titled “Crowleymas Day”, was written at Delhi on March 20 and 21, 1902.2

 

Pagination:

Page(s)

 

[1-24]

Text

 

Contents:

 

 

Author’s
Working
Versions:

 

 

Other
Known
Editions:

+

The Sword of Song.  Called by Christians The Book of the Beast.  Society for the Propagation of Religious Truth, Boleskine, Foyers, Inverness, 1904.

+

The Collected Works of Aleister Crowley, Vol. II, pg. 233, Society for the Propagation of Religious Truth, Boleskine, Foyers, Inverness, 1906.

 

Bibliographic
Sources:

1.

L. C. R. Duncombe-Jewell, Notes Towards An Outline of A Bibliography of the Writings in Prose and Verse of Aleister Crowley, The Works of Aleister Crowley, Volume III, Appendix A, Gordon Press, New York, 1974, p. 236.  

2.

Aleister Crowley, The Works of Aleister Crowley, Volume II, Gordon Press, New York, 1974, p. 201.

3.

Lawrence Sutin, Do What Thou Wilt:  A Life of Aleister Crowley, St. Martin’s Griffin, 2002, p. 98.

4.

Aleister Crowley, Mortadello, Catalog “The Works of Mr. Aleister Crowley,”, bound in back of book, Wieland and Co., London, 1912, p. 113.

 

Comments by
Aleister
Crowley:

     The twentieth and twenty-first were great days in my life. I wrote an essay which I originally gave the title “Crowleymas Day” and published under the title “Berashith” in Paris by itself, incorporating it subsequently in The Sword of Song. The general idea is to eliminate the idea of infinity from our conception of the cosmos. It also shows the essential identity of Manichaeism (Christianity), Vedantism and Buddhism. Instead of explaining the universe as modifications of a unity, which itself needs explaining, I regard it as NOTHING, conceived as (illusory) pairs of contradictories. What we call a thought does not really exist at all by itself. It is merely half of nothing. I know that there are practical difficulties in accepting this, though it gets rid so nicely of a priori obstacles. However, the essay is packed with ideas, nearly all of which have proved extremely fertile, and it represents fairly enough the criticism of my genius upon the varied ideas which I had gathered since I first came to Asia.
     — The Confessions of Aleister Crowley.  New York, NY.  Hill and Wang, 1969.  Page 275-276.

______________________________
 

     I published a small private edition of “Berashith” in Paris; but my spiritual state was in reality very enfeebled. I am beginning to suspect myself of swelled head with all its cohort of ills. I’m afraid I thought myself rather a little lion on the strength of my journey, and the big people in the artistic world in France accepted me quite naturally as a colleague.
     — The Confessions of Aleister Crowley.  New York, NY.  Hill and Wang, 1969.  Page 337.

______________________________
 

     Another seed of the past began to bear fruit at this time. I had never attempted to transmit my occult knowledge as such. I had never attempted to write prose, as such, apart from short accounts of my climbs, with the exception of the preface to White Stains (Collected Works, vol. II, pp. 195-8). Berashith was my first serious attempt at an essay.
     — The Confessions of Aleister Crowley.  New York, NY.  Hill and Wang, 1969.  Page
536.

 

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