“Liber Null” by Peter J. Carroll

Many years back, I picked up a copy of Peter Carroll’s introduction to Chaos Magic which includes two texts: Liber Null and Psychonaut. Since it is my goal to start reading the books that have been accumulating on my shelves, I figured I would read the first text in this book and then the subsequent one later on.

Carroll begins by offering a definition of magic (similar to Crowley’s) and states the importance of mental focus when performing magical work.

Magic is the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will. The will can only be magically effective when the mind is focused and not interfering with the will. The mind must first discipline itself to focus its entire attention on some meaningless phenomenon. If an attempt is made to focus on some form of desire, the effect is short circuited by lust for result. Egotistical identification, fear of failure, and the reciprocal desire not to achieve desire, arising from our dual nature, destroy the result.

(p. 15)

By silencing the mind, one enters into an altered state of consciousness, which is requisite to successfully performing works of magic.

Altered states of consciousness are the key to magical powers. The particular state of mind required has a name in every tradition: No-mind. Stopping the internal dialogue, passing through the eye of the needle, ain or nothing, samadhi, or one-pointedness. In this book it will be known as Gnosis. It is an extension of the magical trance by other means.

(p. 31)

Having read James Gleick’s excellent book on the science of Chaos Theory many years ago, I found Carroll’s application of the scientific model to magical practice interesting.

Space, time, mass, and energy originate from Chaos, have their being in Chaos, and through the agency of the aether are moved by Chaos into the multiple forms of existence.

Some of the various densities of the aether have only a partial or probabilistic differentiation into existence, and are somewhat indeterminate in space and time. In the same way that mass exists as a curvature in space-time, extending with a gradually diminishing force to infinity that we recognize as gravity, so do all events, particularly events involving the human mind, send ripples through all creation.

(p. 52)

In conclusion, this is not a book for most readers. It’s very heady, demands a lot from the reader, and also includes some darker aspects of the mystical arts. But as with most books of this nature, there are some valuable insights to be gleaned.

Thanks for stopping by.



Filed under Spiritual

7 responses to ““Liber Null” by Peter J. Carroll

  1. Some pretty deep stuff here on a Monday Jeff! lol Great title for a book as well!

    • LOL – well, finished the book a while back and drafted the post last week. I usually have stuff written long before I post. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I just recently heard of Peter through Gordon White’s podcast. Although I will add this book to my list, it might be awhile before I get to it. I didn’t know you were into magic, Jeff. I do practice divination and meditation, and those practices do add some magic to life, I’m not quite ready to say that I practice magic. 🙂 Great post!

    • Ah, yes. I am a lifelong seeker and student. Not familiar with Gordon White. Is his podcast good? I have been listening to Occult London podcast. Excellent! Highly recommend it. I’m considering doing a blog series on Blavatsky’s Secret Doctrine soon, but that is a commitment. I’ve read excerpts but never cover to cover through both volumes.

  3. Depending on the guest, his podcasts are great. He has a website too with more information:


    I’ll check out the Occult London podcast. Thanks!

    A blog series!! That would be cool.

    • I’ll check out Rune Soup.

      I have done some series in the past, for longer texts; for example, Joyce’s Ulysses, Infinite Jest, and Crowley’s autobiography. I don’t like to write long posts, so for dense tomes I write multiple posts.

  4. Pingback: “Psychonaut” by Peter J. Carroll | Stuff Jeff Reads