In late 1917 Jones was arrested in a Vancouver hotel, where he had been behaving erratically. He was imprisoned on suspicion of being a draft dodger who was pretending to be insane. He was released after three days.
Kenneth Grant, writing in The Magical Revival, claims that on Jones' return to Vancouver circa 1930, he was wearing only a raincoat, which he proceeded to throw off, and then circumambulated the center of the city as a magical operation of some sort, earning himself criminal arrest and a stay in a mental institution. This story, which Grant may have had directly from Crowley, is in all likelihood a confusion of the 1917 incident with the "insanity" of Jones' 1928 baptism and 1929 confirmation in the Roman Catholic Church.
Too bad he lost his footing and went mad. I guess that's the risk we take with the nonsense that is magic.
Speaking of which, that has been on my mind lately. After speaking to some designer acquaintances with backgrounds in esoteric theology, and being aware of the history of Achad and the Qabalah, I've come to realise that much of the talk about defining oneself is about defining one's own path through the chaos that is the potentiality of the human transcendence, which is really a developing ontology of symbolic interpretations of one's existence. Anyone with any experience in numerology, gematria, the Arabic abjad, I Ching, or any similar sorts of systems will know that everything is interrelated. No big whoop-dee-doo once your used to the notion and have experienced its beauty. To be honest, I'm reduced to tears when faced with it. (Tears of joy, so shut up.)
But for some that lose themselves to the patterns, the connections, all that which might seem all-important, they seem to be missing one important element of their own development: none of it is important. And as Stanley Kubrick said:
The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent, but if we can come to terms with this indifference, then our existence as a species can have genuine meaning. […] However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.
That "light" is the power we have to define our own path towards the next level of personal development. A passion, a dream, a goal, something to fight for. But the trick is, that development can only come out of the chaos of metaphorically destroying whatever came before it. That means you (or me). Getting too caught up in the wonders of the now — the you of any moment or time — can only get you so far.
We must always be willing to destroy ourselves in order to see what it was that held us together in the first place. And to end on one more quote, by Mamoru Oshii, the writer & director of Ghost in the Shell: Innocence:
Humans can only confirm that they are humans by reconstructing themselves into something else.