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The Book of the Law: Liber Al Vel Legis Hardcover – March 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

For the first time the Book of the Law is offered in a deluxe, hardcover edition fittingly issued in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Liber AL vel Legis's transmission to Crowley.

About the Author

Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) was a magus, poet, sexual athlete, mountaineer, traitor, drug fiend, and Prophet of a New Eon. He has been dubbed "The Wickedest Man in the World." Author of 777, Diary of a Drug Fiend, and Book of Lies, as well as many other books, Crowley, with Freida Harris, also created the bestselling Thoth Tarot Deck.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Red Wheel Weiser; Anv edition (March 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578633087
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578633081
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #159,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

228 of 247 people found the following review helpful By Novus Focus on July 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
I love this book and read it again and again. Should you buy this book though? Well the entire text is available online all over the place. If you use a decent search engine like you will have no trouble finding it. So the reason for buying this book is if you wanted a nice bound copy of the text (In which case you have probably already read it a few times and know that's what you want and do not even need to bother reading this review).
If you aren't familiar with this book and you are curious I recommend first taking a look at it online and then purchasing "The Law Is for All : The Authorized Popular Commentary of Liber Al Vel Legis, the Book of the Law". The book of the law was kind of hard for me to read the first few times. "The Law is for All" is the Book of the Law with a Commentary by Aleister Crowleys. Parts of the commentary can really help out in studying the book of the law. Also I recommend visiting some of the thelemic websites out there (search "thelema"). Terms like Thelema, Nuit, Hadit, Khabs, Khu, Ankh-af-na-Khonsu, and Hoor Paar Kraat don't make much sense and are a little intimidating without a little outside commentary. There is also a very short paper called "Duty" by Aleister Crowley available on the internet which I think explains the major concepts of Thelema quite well. Highly recommended.
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70 of 79 people found the following review helpful By S. Craft on September 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
All the other reviews here express how I feel about this book. I would only like to add one more detail:

The Book of the Law requires serious, scholarly study. You will not understand it on the first read. Not unless you have Crowley's comments at hand, which is indeed a necessary companion to this text if you wish to understand it. Many people have put their lives into studying this book and still have not uncovered all of its hidden meanings. This is not a book that you can simply pick up and read one time through. Consider it as being similar to a full college course, because it will likely take that long to get a substantial understanding of it.

Crowley's comments on this text are published in "The Law Is For All," although I believe it's out of print. However, here is a link to a site with free electronic versions of various comments to this text, one of which is Crowley's own --> [...]

I'll end this review with one of my favorite passages from Liber AL (the technical name of The Book of the Law):

"Remember all ye that existence is pure joy; that all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass & are done; but there is that which remains."

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37 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Mike on June 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
Regardless of how some people may feel about Crowley, his works stand on their own. "The Book of the Law", is his most personal, central work, and Thelemite or no, you would have to lack a soul if you did not at the very least find much of the language contained therein as being quite beautiful, insightful, and inspired. This book will hit you in the head like a ton of bricks, and its prose and music is very comparable to many ancient religious writings, and we have the benefit of knowing that it has never lost anything in translation as it was originally written in the English language. For comparable writings....try "The Nag Hammadi Library", Carl Jungs "Seven Sermons to the Dead", and "The Holy Fire of St. Michael" by Richard Michael Willoughby.
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42 of 52 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
... Well not really :) Liber Al vel Legis can be viewed as an essay on the relationship of Man and "god". This book, "received" by Aleister Crowley on his honeymoon in 1904 is a powerfull work that can break through people's preconceptions (misconceptions?) of reality, religion and Man's place in the cosmos.
I have read this book more times than I can count, and always come away with new insights... not so much insights into the text, but insights into my own self. Reading this book is an agent of change, one cannot help being changed by reading it for the better or the worse.
(Such is the reason for Crowley's famous Comment appended to the end of the text, and the joke in the title of this review.)
A previous reviewer blasts this book and paradigm for "borrowing" from other religions and beliefs, but to me this is the sublime beauty of it. Crowley or Aiwass (whomever you choose to think the author is), did steal and borrow from all religions, finding the common threads, and weaving a wonderfull web out of the best, and disposing of the rest.
Overall, even if one is not interested in Thelema, magick, or anything out of the "ordinary", I would recommend this short book just to challenge what you believe and what you hold to be true
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By MWebb TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 26, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In Crowley's AHA he states that it was essential for him to surrender to god at one point in his initiatory progress. It is sad to see that some who follow Crowley today (one reviewer below, for example) think he is a devil worshipper and only idolizes himself! He is nothing of the kind! He is no more of a devil worshipper than those who worship Lord Shiva! Unfortunately, too many of us in the West condemn that which varies from safe and sane fundamentalist dogma. Admittedly Crowley seemed to have an axe to grind with hypocritical Christians, and probably didn't like the tyranny of "one God" either, but to see a reviewer applaud Liber Al vel Legis "if you hate God" appalls me.
That having been said, when one reads this revalatory, short, poetic text, one realizes he or she is not in Kansas anymore. Three gods are presented in Liber Al: Nuit, a sky (as opposed to earth!) mother, Had or Hadit, the stern male, and Ra-Hoor-Khuit, an exceedingly wrathful male. The text of Ra-Hoor-Khuit is particulary disturbing, so much so that Crowley tried to forget and lose the book for years, before coming to accept it. The story of Crowley's initial rejection and ultimate acceptance is fascinating. This story can be found in Book Four (ed. Hymanaeus Beta)together with a reproduction of the original soiled manuscript of the text.
This book is a koan wrapped inside a riddle wrapped in side a puzzle. Have fun with it!
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