- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: New Falcon Publications; Reprint edition (June 1, 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1561840076
- ISBN-13: 978-1561840076
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 19 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,423,101 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Eight Lectures on Yoga Paperback – June 1, 1992
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About the Author
Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), also known as 'The Great Beast' and the 'Wickedest Man in the World,' was one of the most profound students of Magick, Qabalah and yoga psychology. His vast influence reaches through all modern occultism. He is widely recognized as the first Western investigator to give initiation a truly scientific method. In reconciling occultism to physical science, mathematics and philosophy, Crowley achieved a lasting synthesis that remains unsurpassed for depth of insight and comprehensiveness.
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It's a very short work, but very dense and full of information. There will be parts of the book that will certainly test your mind and definitely make your head hurt!
The eight lectures are split into two parts: Yoga for Yoga for Yahoos and Yoga for Yellowbellies, which consist of four lectures each. The first part basically gives the reader a general overview of what is yoga, and explains the eight arms of yoga and what the mean and what they stand for, and the second part gives four lectures on more advanced concepts.
The book is a very quick read. It's only about 120 pages long not counting the notes in the back of the book.
I enjoyed the book and I recommend this book to anyone who wants to ease into Crowley and his works, and learn his take on the ancient practice of Yoga.
I should add here that actually reading the works of Crowley has given me a very different impression than the stigma that surrounds him. My preconception about Crowley were based on things I had read/heard... after all, I first read Diary of a Drug Fiend at fifteen years old, because of Crowley's reputation as a drug addled black magician, which seemed extraordinarily cool at the time. Perhaps that is why most people read Crowley... because of the tales and lore of his wicked personality, as if he is a child sacrificing, blood drinking, Satan worshiping beast. Now, I am not about to wipe his slate clean... his life seems to have been full of contradictions, because he seems to have explored both heights of enlightenment and depths of depravity. However, after rereading more of Crowley's work, he seems to be less deserving of the stigma surrounding him, and more deserving to be seriously read for his insights into spirituality in all it's forms.
Anyways, in this book Crowley instructs students on steps needed to approach mysticism through Yoga, and he details the complications that arise along the path. A major intention of his in these lectures was to dispel "myths" about Yoga, demystifying it's status as "exotic and oriental"... he tried to bring it down to Earth and examine it without and aura of obscurity. At the time the lectures were written Yoga was apparently seen as a bizarre practice from the exotic East... not so much today the case today, in which Yoga seems to be been co-opted as a fitness craze. This brings it's own bag of problems- I feel nausea every time I see an advertisement using the lotus pose as a sign of "inner peace", and every yoga class seemed to have made it as stressful as possible in order to tone old ladies muscles, rather than calm people down for spiritual discipline.
The book was written as a lecture series Crowley gave on yoga. It really reads as if Crowley is speaking, it has an amazingly natural flow and is full of humour. The best parts of this book are that it is very enjoyable and to read, and there are some passages that are rather deep, which are worth coming back to for further contemplation. Aside from that, I would really recommend Book 4 instead of Yoga for Yahoos, it is a better source for information, but has more of a "text book" feel. Yoga for Yahoos makes a good companion piece because of it's natural flow, and it's forays into Qabalistic theory, the complexities of logic and of quantum physics, and how all many various things relate to Yoga in practice.
If you are actually looking to read about Yoga in order to learn about and practice Yoga, I would instead recommend "Kundalini Yoga" by Swami Sivananda Rhada... it is absolutely excellent, and so full of practical and theoretical information/exercises that it can keep you busy for years. Above all, just practice instead of reading about it! If I could I'd give "Yoga for Yahoos" a 3.5 (but can't so it gets 4)... quite simply, I don't imagine I will refer to it much in the future, except for a few thought provoking passages... instead I will go back to "Book 4". The book would be a good addition for Crowley collectors.