Perhaps not since out point about Adolf Hitler as Bible Expositor have we considered if such an infamous person may have some insights in the contexts, contents and concepts within the Bible—spoiler alert: Hitler did not fare well at all; shocking, I know (for Hitler’s go at it, see here).
In Magick-Liber ABA-Book 4 Aleister Crowley pondered the following:
“One cannot even think of a ‘super-dog’ transforming the world of dogs, whereas in the history of mankind this happens with regularity and frequency. Now here are three ‘super-men,’ all at loggerheads.
What is there in common between Christ, Buddha, and Mohammed? Is there any one point upon which all three are in accord? No point of doctrine, no point of ethics, no theory of a ‘hereafter’ do they share, and yet in the history of their lives we find one identity amid many diversities.”
Well, gotta hand it to Crowley on this one as not many people are willing to admit that, indeed, Christ, Buddha and Mohammed are not in accord (agreement) regarding doctrines, ethics, the “hereafter,” etc.
Yet, our interest is the area in which he does claim that they accord; a certain life experience:
“Buddha was born a Prince, and died a beggar.
Mohammed was born a beggar, and died a Prince.
Christ remained obscure until many years after his death.
Elaborate lives of each have been written by devotees, and there is one thing common to all three—an omission. We hear nothing of Christ between the ages of twelve and thirty. Mohammed disappeared into a cave. Buddha left his palace, and went for a long while into the desert.
Each of them, perfectly silent up to the time of the disappearance, came back and immediately began to preach a new law.”
Before continuing with Crowley’s statement; let us fact check thus far. It is true that “We hear nothing of Christ between the ages of twelve and thirty” and that he remained “perfectly silent up to the time of the disappearance”? The facts are that Jesus did not disappear, He was not silent and we know what He was doing. Aleister Crowley is playing upon the misconception that there is such a thing as Jesus’ “missing years.”
Jesus did not disappear but for some time moved to Egypt to where Joseph was instructed to take Him and Mary for safety—see Matthew 2:13. From these “missing years” many have claimed that Jesus was, well, very busy as He is supposed to have traveled to India to study with monks and they claim that whilst in Egypt he was initiated into the mysteries. Well, such claims have been researched and are utterly baseless—for evidence see Jurassic Ark - Christ's "Lost Years" wherein you will also learn that at the age of 12 Jesus was found in the Temple discussing points of theology with the elders and also that we know what He was doing between the ages of 12-30 as Luke 2:52 states, “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” In other words, what was Jesus doing? Living a good ol' fashioned life. Personages such as Aleister Crowley cannot accept this because He must have been somewhere learning occult knowledge since they try to fit into their occult worldview—as does just about any and every worldview/religion; see Which Jesus?
Crowley continues thusly:
“This is so curious that it leaves us to inquire whether the histories of other great teachers contradict or confirm.
Moses led a quiet life until his slaying of the Egyptian. He then flees into the land of Midian, and we hear nothing of what he did there, yet immediately on his return he turns the whole place upside down. Later on, too, he absents himself on Mount Sinai for a few days, and comes back with the Tables of the Law in his hand.”
Do we really hear nothing of what Moses did in Midian? Again, this ain’t rocket surgery; as per Exodus 3:1 “Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law.” Sorry occultists but that’s all folks! He was just keeping flocks. No, but he must have…well, the claim was that we hear nothing but the fact is that we hear exactly what he was doing; living a good ol' fashioned life.
When it comes to what happened to turn a good ol' keeper of flocks into a man who “turns the whole place upside down” the Bible tells us this as well. As you can read in detail in the article Is the Bible Skeptical About Miracles? - Moses as Skeptical Scientist; he was minding his own business and lamenting his own people’s slavery and YHVH instructed him as to what was to be done.
That he then absents himself on Mount Sinai and comes back with the Tables of the Law is a whole other issue and again, we know about it because we are told about it in the Bible—see Exodus ch. 19.
Aleister Crowley continues:
“St. Paul (again), after his adventure on the road to Damascus, goes into the desert of Arabia for many years, and on his return overturns the Roman Empire.”
Indeed, Saul, later known as Paul was busy hunting down, incarcerating and murdering Christians until he had a supernatural experience with Jesus. Thereafter he wrote:
“when God…was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus.
Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas [aka Peter], and stayed with him fifteen days” (Galatians 1:15-18).
At one point he also tells Timothy, “When you come bring...the books, especially the parchments” (2nd Timothy 4:13). While we do not know, exactly, what he was doing in Arabia and Damascus he does note:
“I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven. And I know how such a man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows—was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.
On behalf of such a man I will boast; but on my own behalf I will not boast, except in regard to my weaknesses. For if I do wish to boast I will not be foolish, for I will be speaking the truth; but I refrain from this, so that no one will credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me” (2nd Corinthians 12:1-6).
He may be speaking of someone else as he dichotomizes that “On behalf of such a man I will boast” however, “on my own behalf I will not boast.” And yet, he continues by stating (verse 7):
“Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself!”
So it was either he who had that experience and he is speaking of himself in the third person or he was kept from exalting himself due to having heard of such a wondrous experience from someone else.
Aleister Crowley had noted that, “Mohammed disappeared into a cave” and it was therein where the supposed angel alleged Gabriel. Yet, Muhammad’s initial discernment was accurate as he thought that he was being deceived by jinn which are the Islamic version of demons to the point that he contemplated suicide (for details see here).
Crowley further wrote, “Mohammed would hardly have driven a camel until he was thirty-five years old if he had possessed any talent or ambition.” Yet, from a relatively young age Muhammad was a merchant.
Crowley also notes that “Buddha goes into details” but, firstly, what we know of Siddhartha Gautama aka the Buddha (if any such person ever existed) comes from after the time of Jesus. Also, Buddhists contradictorily claim that Siddhartha was born able to speak and noted his knowledge of reincarnation, etc. but also that he did not have this knowledge until he found himself meditating under a tree (a styled way to say that he partook a the tree of the knowledge of good and evil).
Overall, of course, Crowley had his own reasons for getting into such issue but the fact is that he misrepresents facts along the way so that whatever conclusions he was reaching are based on faulty reasoning.