Yoga

Panopticon Podcast: Exploring Thelema with IAO131

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

IAO131 on Panopticon

“On this episode, Panopticon speaks with IAO131. IAO131 is the creator & editor of the Journal of Thelemic Studies and author of many essays on Thelema, magick, and mysticism including the short treatise Naturalistic Occultism. He has been an active Thelemite for over 6 years and is a member of the O.T.O. and A.’.A.’..

We speak about The Journal of Thelemic Studies, ways in which Thelema can inform our culture, politics, and art. We also speak about Thelemic groups, as well as the podcast that IAO131 is working on, The Speech in the Silence podcast.”

Love is the law, love under will.

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Finite and Infinite Will

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Finite and Infinite Will

The central goal of Thelema is the discovery and accomplishment of one’s will. It can be said that there are two aspects of the will which must be discovered, the finite will and the infinite will, and both are necessary. Aleister Crowley writes in “De Lege Libellum,”

“The great bond of all bonds is ignorance. How shall a man be free to act if he know not his own purpose? You must therefore first of all discover which star of all the stars you are, your relation to the other stars about you, and your relation to, and identity with, the Whole. In our Holy Books are given sundry means of making this discovery, and each must make it for himself, attaining absolute conviction by direct experience, not merely reasoning and calculating what is probable. And to each will come the knowledge of his finite will, whereby one is a poet, one prophet, one worker in steel, another in jade. But also to each be the knowledge of his infinite Will, his destiny to perform the Great Work, the realization of his True Self.”

Fresh Fever From the Skies: The Collected Writings of IAO131The infinite will is therefore tied up with the Great Work, in going beyond the Nephesh (body) and Ruach (mind) to reach the Secret Self in the Supernal Triangle (Neshamah-Chiah-Yechidah). It is entirely removed from one’s earthly position, proclivities, and ambitions and the perception of this Truth is open to all people. It is the goal of Yoga – complete dissolution in the Infinite, in the Beloved – and it is also the end of all true Magick, being directed towards Knowledge & Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.

Whereas the infinite will unites us with that identity which one in essence and diverse in expression in each star, the finite will defines us as a particular star in relation with other stars and the entire expanse of Space. Crowley writes in “Liber ThIShARB” which is a book dedicated to the practice of magical memory, “This book is not intended to lead to the supreme attainment. On the contrary, its results define the separate being of the Exempt Adept from the rest of the Universe, and discover his relation to that Universe.” The finite will therefore refers to the karma of the particular individual – their specific point in space & time – where each person has their own different, unique will to follow out. This is the aspect of oneself where one discovers if poet, prophet, steel worker, or anything else.

To find our will completely we must then both perform the Great Work of coming to know our True Selves beyond all manifestation along with understanding our particular star’s manifestation. To become truly One, we must become both None and Two.

Love is the law, love under will.

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Is the Holy Guardian Angel internal or external?

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

The Holy Guardian Angel is Within & WithoutMany people push for an interpretation of the Holy Guardian Angel as exclusively internal (as in the case when we say the Angel is another name for the unconscious or a name for some deeper/truer aspect of ourselves) or exclusively external (as in the case when we say the Angel is a physically and mentally separate entity from the individual who oversees and guides his or her life).

In Magick Without Tears, Crowley is discussing how language is often vague when describing “God” and spiritual experience in general. He talks about this notion of God as “within” when he says, “‘The word of Sin is Restriction.’ (AL I, 41).  Our formula, roughly speaking, is to go out and grab what we want.  We do this so thoroughly that we grow thereby, extending our conception of ‘I’ by including each new accretion instead of remaining a closely delineated self, proud of possessing other things, as do the Black Brothers. We are whole-hearted extroverts; the penalty of restricting oneself is anything from neurosis to down right lunacy; in particular, melancholia.” Even in our extroversion – in our reaching out to & interacting with the world – we are exploring that which is within and letting it manifest.

“You ask whether these remarks do not conflict with my repeated definition of Initiation as the Way In.  Not at all; The Inmost is identical with the All. As you travel inward, you become able to perceive all the layers which surround the “Self” from within, thus enlarging the scope of your vision of the Universe… When the entire system of the Universe is conterminous with your comprehension, ‘inward’ and ‘outward’ become identical.” (emphasis added)

Even as we moved inwards even in our moving outwards as extroverts, so too does our Way In lead us to the All. In talking about the Holy Guardian Angel and Attainment, we often speak about getting beyond dualities including good and evil, upright and averse, mercy and severity, and even self & not-self. One we also have to learn to get beyond is our dualistic understanding of things as either inside or outside.

While this is true, we have to understand that it may be more practical & effective to speak about the Holy Guardian Angel as either external or internal at various times and to different people. Fresh Fever From the Skies: The Collected Writings of IAO131Crowley, when talking about whether angels & demons were truly external/separate from ourselves, remarked “Our Canon of Truth is Maximum Convenience.” If it makes communication clearer & more coherent to speak of a Being separate from myself, the Angel will be spoken of as external; if it makes communication clearer & more coherent to speak of the True Self or an aspect of oneself that is the Angel, then the Angel will be spoken of as internal. All this should be understood in the light that Godhead itself is beyond these divisions with which language inherently limits us.

“The keystone to this arch some have called God, some Brahma, some Zeus, some Allah, some even IAO the God of the sounding name; but in truth, O seeker, it is Thy-SELF – this higher dimension in which the inner becomes the outer, and in which the single Eye alone can see the throbbing heart, Master of the entangled skein of veins.” -The Temple of Solomon the King

Love is the law, love under will.