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 Post subject: "36 Lessons of Vivec" inspired by Crowley?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 9:19 pm 
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Layman
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Hello all, I'm new here.

I've played both Oblivion and Skyrim, and have recently started playing Morrowind. I find myself incredibly drawn to the lore of Morrowind, particularly to the religious and mythological aspects. I've been reading the Lessons of Vivec and am trying to wrap my head around some of the more cryptic metaphors used. I'm finding a fair amount which seems to be influenced by Eastern mysticism, but I think the Lessons may have been largely influenced by "The Book of the Law", a work of Victorian occult author Aleister Crowley.

Take, for example, the ending of Sermon One:

'For I have crushed a world with my left hand,' he will say, 'but in my right hand is how it could have won against me. Love is under my will only.'

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.


and compare it to this passage from the Book of the Law:

I am the Lord of the Double Wand of Power; the wand of the Force of Coph Nia--but my left hand is empty, for I have crushed an Universe; & nought remains.

Paste the sheets from right to left and from top to bottom: then behold!

There is a splendour in my name hidden and glorious, as the sun of midnight is ever the son.

The ending of the words is the Word Abrahadabra.


The phrase "Love is the law, love under will" was the motto of the religion Crowley created, Thelema, which is Greek for "will".

The idea of axles and wheels, which features in Tamrielic cosmogeny, can also be found in the Book of the Law, and are embodied by the figures of Hadit and Nuit, which represent motion and the all-encompassing cosmos; I believe they also refer to the Hindu concepts of Shakti and Shiva.

I've read a few metaphysical discussions on the Lessons of Vivec, but have yet to find (though maybe I'm not looking hard enough) people linking the lore of TES to inspiration in occult writings and Eastern mysticism and interpreting it in this light.

Any Thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: "36 Lessons of Vivec" inspired by Crowley?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:46 pm 
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Guardian
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I have it on good authority from the closest possible source to MK that it was indeed inspired by those works. I can't link to the source because it's private now. I promise I wouldn't make a thing like that up, though.

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 Post subject: Re: "36 Lessons of Vivec" inspired by Crowley?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:28 pm 
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Yes, For the Lessons of Vivec it is clear that the developers were trying to be as cryptic as possible. For inspiration they doubtless looked to some far-out-there literature. Occult and Eastern Mystic works are known for this free-flow, psychedelic style.

From day one of playing Morrowind it was obvious to me that much of Dunmeri religious and social structure is based on Hinduism. The developers may have started with Hinduism and gone from there pulling from mystic-style sources for inspiration.

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 Post subject: Re: "36 Lessons of Vivec" inspired by Crowley?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:10 pm 
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Speaking of Hinduism, the religious beliefs of the Dragons in Skyrim closely mirror certain aspects of the older variations of Hinduism. The name "Bormahu" for Akatosh immediately jumped out at me as being a variation of Brahma, and of course there's the whole Kalpa and Egg of Time thing.

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 Post subject: Re: "36 Lessons of Vivec" inspired by Crowley?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:22 am 
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The 36 Lessons were not necessarily inspired by any writer. They convey much deeper lore in a cryptic form, but in essence shows who the "real god/s" is/are. It is clear, however, that Dunmeri culture is based off of Hinduism. The Tribunal are indeed manifestations of a single god, along with the House of Troubles or even all the et'Ada. The devs weren't necessarily trying to be cryptic, but rather formulated the words so only "The Wise" could understand them. This is why they give off a "psychedelic" vibe, not because they are strange, but rather because they were meant to be strange to the blind common man. The 36 Sermons can teach lessons about the real world even, or offer an entirely new perspective on it.

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 Post subject: Re: "36 Lessons of Vivec" inspired by Crowley?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:58 pm 
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Not by any one writer, no, but Michael pretty much flat out admitted Crowley was one of several influences. He also cited a variety of mind altering substances, including bourbon.

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"These were the spontaneous proverbs of something outside ourselves, behind even the stars, the artless signal of the bad half of the divine, and it was right here, right here at WG-T-One, where all things begin and end."


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 Post subject: Re: "36 Lessons of Vivec" inspired by Crowley?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:01 am 
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VirtualWeasel wrote:
The 36 Lessons were not necessarily inspired by any writer. They convey much deeper lore in a cryptic form, but in essence shows who the "real god/s" is/are. It is clear, however, that Dunmeri culture is based off of Hinduism. The Tribunal are indeed manifestations of a single god, along with the House of Troubles or even all the et'Ada. The devs weren't necessarily trying to be cryptic, but rather formulated the words so only "The Wise" could understand them. This is why they give off a "psychedelic" vibe, not because they are strange, but rather because they were meant to be strange to the blind common man. The 36 Sermons can teach lessons about the real world even, or offer an entirely new perspective on it.

And because Kirkbride wanted to be Rocket Man, and was higher than a kite by the time he finished. It feels "psychedelic" because it is psychedelic.

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 Post subject: Re: "36 Lessons of Vivec" inspired by Crowley?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:05 am 
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And you know this how...?

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