From the mouth of Mr. Crowley:
“My essential spirituality is made manifest by yet another publication, which stands as a testimony of my praeterhuman innocence. The book is called White Stains and is commonly quoted by my admirers as evidence of my addiction to every kind of unmentionable vice. Asses!
It is, indeed, technically, an obscene book and yet the fact that I wrote it proves the purity of my heart and the mind in the most extraordinary fashion.
The facts are as follows: In the course of my reading I had come across von Krafft-Ebing‚Äôs Psychopathia Sexualis. The professor tries to prove that sexual aberrations are the result of disease. I did not agree. I thought that I was able to understand the psychology involved; I thought that the acts were merely magical affirmations of perfectly intelligible points of view.
I said to myself that I must confute the professor. I could only do this by employing the one form at my disposal: the artistic form. I therefore invented a poet who went wrong, who began with normal and innocent enthusiasms, and gradually developed various vices. He ends by being stricken with disease and madness, culminating in murder. In his poems he describes his downfall, always explaining the psychology of each act.
The conclusions of the book might therefore be approved in any Sunday School and its metaphysics is orthodox from the point of view of the theologian. I wrote the book in absolute seriousness and in all innocence. It never occurred to me that a demonstration of the terrible results of misguided passion might be mistaken for pornography.
Indeed, now that I do understand that vile minds think it a vile book, I recognize with grim satisfaction that Psychopathia Sexualis itself has attained its enormous popularity because people love to gloat over such things. Its scientific form has not protected it from abuse, any more than the artistic form of my own reply to it.
But von Krafft-Ebing has not been blackguarded as I have. The average man cannot believe that an artist may be as serious and highminded an observer of life as the professed man of science.”
~ Aleister Crowley (The Confessions of Aleister Crowley.)
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