will

Psychology of Liber AL – pt.4: Curse against Reason

Psychology of Liber AL

Curse against Reason

Aside from the Will being beyond rest, purpose, attachment to results, and morality, it also transcends reason and the mind in general in an important sense. In the normal functioning of daily life, the mind and reason often play integral parts: Thelema does not deny the usefulness of the mind and reason but seeks to put it in its right place. In the West, reason has held a central position in philosophy at least since Socrates. Reason was thought to be the only way to ascertain truth, and at times reason was often equated with God himself.1 The first major check to the dominance of reason in the Western mind came from Kant when he published his Critique of Pure Reason and demonstrated its various limits. This sort of check to the dominance of reason over one’s actions is echoed in Liber AL vel Legis. Essentially, the dominance and control of the mind, especially the reason, over the individual’s Will is brought into question. Liber AL vel Legis itself says,

“There is great danger in me; for who doth not understand these runes shall make a great miss. He shall fall down into the pit called Because, and there he shall perish with the dogs of Reason. Now a curse upon Because and his kin! May Because be accursed for ever! If Will stops and cries Why, invoking Because, then Will stops & does nought. If Power asks why, then is Power weakness. Also reason is a lie; for there is a factor infinite & unknown; & all their words are skew-wise.”2

Once again we must emphasize that Thelema is not denying the practical necessity of reason, but it attempts to delineate reason’s boundaries for the most effective functioning of the Will. On this Crowley writes, “We must not suppose for an instant that the Book of the Law is opposed to reason. On the contrary, its own claim to authority rests upon reason, and nothing else. It disdains the arts of the orator. It makes reason the autocrat of the mind. But that very fact emphasizes that the mind should attend to its own business. It should not transgress its limits. It should be a perfect machine, an apparatus for representing the universe accurately and impartially to its master. The Self, its Will, and its Apprehension, should be utterly beyond it.”3

First, “Because,” “Reason,” and “Why,” are all attacked under the form of a cursing by the speaker of the Book. If one asks “why” one should will something or if it is because of something, it cripples the Will and makes “Power weakness.” It was seen in an earlier segment of this essay that, if Will is considered to be “perfect in every way,” it must continue going or working without regard to purpose. In this way, the Will will be “unassuaged.” Crowley writes, “There is no ‘reason’ why a Star should continue in its orbit. Let her rip!”4 and also, “It is ridiculous to ask a dog why it barks. One must fulfill one’s true Nature, one must do one’s Will. To question this is to destroy confidence, and so to create an inhibition.”5 These considerations of purpose are understood now to cause the “Will to stop & do nought,” essentially making it impotent. Therefore, the very nature of our actions is not decided by conscious reason but is to be decided by the Will. “Reason is a lie” because of a “factor infinite & unknown,” which Crowley clearly states “is the subconscious Will.”6 The subconscious naturally cannot be completely understood by the conscious mind, the sphere of reason, so therefore reason’s “words are skew-wise.” It can never delineate the true Will in words because of the subconscious Will, a factor that is by definition “unknown” or below the conscious level of perception. The Will therefore can certainly not be coterminous with “will power” or “volition,” for the Will must encompass the subconscious aspect of one’s self as well as the conscious.

Crowley affirms this doctrine when he writes, “every time the conscious acts, it interferes with the Subconscious… It is the voice of Man, and not of a God. Any man who ‘listens to reason’ ceases to be a revolutionary.”7 Here Crowley makes the subconscious analogous to “the voice of… a God,” for the depths of the unconscious contents contain latent potencies that seem God-like when awakened and assimilated. Crowley explains Liber AL’s position on reason succinctly:

We now come to a challenge which is in some ways even more daring than any yet made. Before, the moral sense of men was outraged. He now turns to attack the Reason itself. He looks on reason as a soulless machine. Its proper function is to express the Will in terms of conscious thought, the will being the need of the inmost self to express itself by causing some Event.”8

This is the summary of Liber AL vel Legis’ point-of-view of the correct use of reason. Here we see that reason is “a soulless machine” in that the actual self or soul is not in reason, but the Will merely utilizes reason and the mind in general as a machine for expression. Essentially, the proper function of reason is to express the Will in terms of conscious thought but not dictate its actions, for that would cause the Will to “stop & do nought.” The idea behind this is that reason cannot fully comprehend and execute the demands of the Will because “This will (as such) is not conscious. We can only become aware of it, and thus enjoy and learn from the Event, by making an Image of it. Reason is the machine whose function it is to do this. When reason usurps the higher functions of the mind, when it presumes to dictate to the Will what its desires ought to be, it wrecks the entire structure of the star. The Self should set the Will in motion, that is, the Will should only take its orders from within and above.”9 Jung echoes this exact sentiment when he says, “The intellect does indeed do harm to the soul when it dares to possess itself of the heritage of the spirit. It is in no way fitted to do this, for spirit is something higher than intellect since it embraces the latter and includes the feelings as well.”10 The Self that Jung equates with “spirit” in this quotation includes both conscious and unconscious contents and therefore its actions should not be delineated by reason, a construct of merely the conscious aspect of his being.

The overuse of reason has caused a split in modern man’s psyche, detaching him/her from the subconscious sphere of the psyche. Carl Jung defines nervous disorders as “consist[ing] primarily in an alienation from one’s instincts, a splitting off of consciousness from certain basic facts of the psyche.” This over-extension of reason’s boundaries in our Western society has caused “a splitting off of consciousness” from the basic facts of the subconscious. Jung continues, “Rationalistic opinions come unexpectedly close to neurotic symptoms. Like these, they consist of distorted thinking, which takes the place of psychologically correct thinking. The latter kind of thinking always retains its connection with the heart, with the depths of the psyche, the tap-root.”11 Here he identifies “psychologically correct thinking” as that “kind of thinking [which] always retains its connection… with the depths of the psyche, tap-root.” This “psychologically correct thinking” is exactly the same notion that is implied in Liber AL’s curses against the intellect and reason. The thinking which takes its directives from the Will is “psychologically correct” whereas reason delineating boundaries itself will cause the Will to “fall into the pit called Because” and become impotent.

While commenting on one of Jung’s works, Stephan Hoeller writes, “Thinking, the function of reason, has many commendable uses and cannot be eliminated, but it also builds barriers between the personality and its unconscious matrix. In order to reach the necessary transformative self-knowledge, one needs to keep the thinking function subservient to the inspiration proceeding from the Self.”12 Once again the same doctrine is expounded. “The inspiration proceeding from the Self,” which contains both the conscious and unconscious, is the Will of the individual and therefore to this the thinking function must remain subservient. If it does not, it will “build barriers between the personality [conscious self] and its unconscious matrix,” to do so would create a conflict in the Will and it will “perish with the dogs of Reason.”

“If the Sun and Moon should ever doubt, they’d immediately go out.”
William Blake

>>PART 5>>

1 The logos of the Gospel of John ch.1 refers to the Word of God but is sometimes translated as “Reason.”

2 Crowley, Aleister. Liber AL vel Legis, II:27-32.

3 Crowley, Aleister. The Law is For All, II:28.

4 Crowley, Aleister. The Law is For All, II:30.

5 Crowley, Aleister. The Law is For All, II:31.

6 Crowley, Aleister. The Law is For All, II:30.

7 Crowley, Aleister. The Law is For All, II:30.

8 Crowley, Aleister. “Djeridensis Working,” II:28-31.

9 Crowley, Aleister. “Djeridensis Working,” II:28-31.

10 Jung, Carl. “Psychological Commentary on The Secret of the Golden Flower” par.7.

11 Jung, Carl. “The Soul and Death” from Collected Works of C.G. Jung, volume 8: The Struture and Dynamics of the Psyche, par. 808.

12 Hoeller, Stephan. The Gnostic Jung, p.76.

>>PART 5>>

The Will in Thelema: Considered on Two Planes

The Will considered on two planes

The Will is completely central to Thelema. Liber AL vel Legis, the central text of Thelema states:

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. (I:40)
Thou hast no right but to do thy will. Do that, and no other shall say nay. (I:42-43)
There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt. (III:60)

There are two “planes” that one must consider the Will on for it to be understood completely. The first plane will be labeled the “theoretical/absolute” and the second will be labeled “practical/relative.” As Aleister Crowley warns in many places we are not to “confuse the planes” – that is, we must keep the considerations of each plane within its own sphere and not let the judgments that pertain to one be confused as pertaining to the other.

On the theoretical/absolute plane, everyone and everything is already doing its “true” or “pure” Will. 

“Know firmly, o my son, that the true Will cannot err; for this is thine appointed course in Heaven, in whose order is Perfection.”— Liber Aleph, “De Somniis”

“There are much deeper considerations in which it appears that ‘Everything that is, is right’. They are set forth elsewhere; we can only summarise them here by saying that the survival of the fittest is their upshot.” — Magick in Theory and Practice, Chapter I

“The uninitiate is a “Dark Star”, and the Great Work for him is to make his veils transparent by ‘purifying’ them. This ‘purification’ is really ‘simplification’; it is not that the veil is dirty, but that the complexity of its folds makes it opaque. The Great Work therefore consists principally in the solution of complexes. Everything in itself is perfect, but when things are muddled, they become ‘evil’.” –New Comment to AL I:8

“…Each of us stars is to move on our true orbit, as marked out by the nature of our position, the law of our growth, the impulse of our past experiences. All events are equally lawful – and every one necessary, in the long run – for all of us, in theory; but in practise, only one act is lawful for each one of us at any given moment. Therefore Duty consists in determining to experience the right event from one moment of consciousness to another.” –Intro to Liber AL, part III

This last quotation touches on the pertinent issue of this short essay: “All events are equally lawful – and every one necessary, in the long run – for all of us, in theory.” This is the Will perceived from the theoretical/absolute plane – Crowley himself uses the terminology of “in theory” to describe this aspect. In an “absolute” sense, or from an “absolute” perspective, “all events are equally lawful – and every one necessary.”

He then writes, “but in practise, only one act is lawful for each one of us at any given moment… Duty consists in determining to experience the right event from one moment of consciousness to another.” This is the Will perceived from the practical/relative plane. In a relative sense, there is discrimination needed.

The first and most common “confusion of the planes” occurs when one perceives the truth of the theoretical/absolute plane of Will. In this sense, all events are lawful and necessary and there is no “wrong” or “evil.” This means in the world that no actions are to be restricted whatsoever because all things “work out in the end,” you might say. This will literally be the death of you if one decides to adopt the theoretical/absolute perspective as a practical/relative philosophy. Although the Will is “perfect” and “necessary” on the theoretical/absolute plane, there is a “Duty” that is the practical necessity of determining the action that is “right.”

The theoretical/absolute plane of Will is virtually useless on a practical level, although knowledge of the fact that Will cannot truly ever err may give rise to a certain confidence, detachment, and carefree attitude. It is on the practical/relative plane of existence that we normally function on, therefore a practical/relative understanding of Will is needed.

In Thelema, the practical/relative application of this is stated as:

Love is the law, love under will. (I:57)

Fresh Fever From the Skies: The Collected Writings of IAO131Love is the modus operandi of the Thelemite, and it must be “under will.” “Each action or motion is an act of love, the uniting with one or another part of ‘Nuit’; each such act must be ‘under will,’ chosen so as to fulfill and not to thwart the true nature of the being concerned.” (Intro to Liber AL, part III)

Therefore, the Will of Thelema must be considered as simultaneously operating on two planes: the theoretical/absolute and the practical/relative. On the plane of the theoretical/absolute, all events are perfect, pure, & necessary; on the plane of the practical/relative, the Thelemite operates under the formula of “love under will,” assimilating experience in accordance with their unique nature.

See also in the series on Will in Thelema:

IAO131 on Patreon

If you enjoy these writings, please consider pledging $1+ on my Patreon

Thelemic Thought-experiments

Thought-experiments in Thelema

Here are a couple of thought-experiments to ponder the intricacies of what many people take to be simple on the face of things… There is no “right” answer to any of these (although I definitely have my own answers) but are meant to bring some subtle complications to light

1) Addiction:
a) Suppose that someone is addicted to a substance or some behavior. Does this mean that they are
a priori NOT doing their Will?
b) If you answer yes: Suppose that this person conquers their addiction and therefore learns more about themselves – they learn about their limitations and the extent of their willpower. Now are they doing their Will?
c) Is the person doing their Will ‘better’ or ‘more completely’ because of this ordeal? If yes, then wouldn’t this imply that going through addiction is beneficial to the development of Will?

2) The problem of other Wills:
a) Suppose that person A does not enjoy what person B is doing. Does person A have a right to say that person B is not doing their Will?
b) Suppose that person A feels he is being infringed upon by what person B is doing, but person B feels she is doing their Will. Does person A have a right to say that person B is not doing their Will?
c) Suppose person A thinks person B is being irrational. Does person A have a right to say that person B is not doing their Will? Can person B point to the doctrines of Reason, Why, and Because being hindrances to assert her their position?
d) Is there any circumstance where person A can be sure about their right to tell person B that they are not doing their Will?
e) Is there any circumstance where person B can prove to person A that they are doing their Will?

3) Lust of result:
a) Suppose Person A wants circumstance X to come about (for example, getting an A on a test, retrieving groceries, getting a paycheck, wooing some person, etc.). Does this mean this person A suffers from ‘lust of result’? If so, should all desires for anything be destroyed?
b) Suppose Person A does not achieve circumstance X. Is Person A’s lamentation of this fact ‘lust of result’? Conversely: Suppose Person A does achieve circumstance X. Is Person A’s celebration of this fact ‘lust of result?’

4) Pure will & duality:
a) Suppose Person A has not attained to a Trance of Non-Duality/Unity. Is Person A
a priori not doing their Will? Not doing their Will to the full extent? Are there different extents of doing one’s Will or is it simply Doing your Will & Not doing your Will?
b) Suppose Person A has attained to a Trance of Non-Duality/Unity but has “come down” from it – back to duality. Is Person A not doing their Will while in duality? Does the Trance of Non-Duality/Unity help this person to do their Will ‘better’ or ‘more completely’?
c) Suppose Person A enjoys a constant Trance of Non-Duality/Unity. Is this person necessarily doing their Will?

5) Killing others:
a) Suppose Person A kills Person B. Was Person A
a priori not doing their Will?
b) Suppose Person A kills Person B out of self-defense. Was Person A not doing their Will?
c) Suppose Person A kills Person B because Person B is infringing on their rights (Liber OZ). Was Person A not doing their Will? Was Person B
a priori not doing their Will even if they think they are doing their Will?
d) Suppose Person A kills Person B because they BELIEVE Person B is infringing on their rights. Was Person A not doing their Will?
e) Suppose Person A kills Person B in a fit of ecstasy. Was Person A not doing their Will? Can Person A appeal to the ideas of Reason, Because, Why etc. being hindrances in justifying this act?
f) Suppose Person A decides to have an abortion. Was Person A not doing their Will? Suppose Person A knows that they do not have the means to support their baby. Was Person A not doing their Will in having an abortion?

6) A priori Will:
a) Is it possible to say
a priori that anyone else is not doing their Will in any circumstance? What circumstances?

Active Thelema, pt.1: A Thelemic Universe, a Star Among Stars, All in the Night-Sky

Nuit the Night-Sky
Thelema is an all-encompassing paradigm. One problem with any kind of system of ideas that is conveyed primarily through writings is that the concepts can often be difficult to practically apply to life. These contemplations are offered to allow both the symbolic and more practical considerations of Thelemic philosophy to be more materialized in one’s life.

Consider the night sky. Please, really do whenever you can. (In French, night is called “nuit”…) When we see this immense expanse, a couple ideas often come to mind:

Boundlessness

Immense Power

Infinite Possibilities

The night sky is incredibly, unfathomably large. The poor ability of our eyeballs to only see a small fraction of the electromagnetic spectrum of light may very well be to keep us from being continually dazzled in wonder at the immensity of the space and power of the universe. Nietzsche characterized the world as a play of great power quite aptly when he wrote in his Will to Power,

“And do you know what “the world” is to me? Shall I show it to you in my mirror? This world: a monster of energy, without beginning, nor end; a firm, iron magnitude of force that does not grow bigger or smaller, that does not expend itself but only transforms itself; as a whole, of unalterable size, a household without expenses or losses, but likewise without increase or income; enclosed by “nothingness” as by a boundary; not something blurry or wasted, not something endlessly extended, but set in a definite space as a definite force, and not a space that might be “empty” here or there, but rather as force throughout, as a play of forces and waves of forces, at the same time one and many, increasing here and at the same time decreasing there; a sea of forces flowing and rushing together, eternally changing, eternally flooding back, with tremendous years of recurrence, with an ebb and a flood of its forms; out of the simplest forms striving toward the most complex, out of the stillest, most rigid, coldest forms toward the hottest, most turbulent, most self-contradictory, and then again returning home to the simple out of this abundance, out of the play of contradictions back to the joy of concord, still affirming itself in this uniformity of its courses and its years, blessing itself as that which must return eternally, as a becoming that knows no satiety, no disgust, no weariness: this, my Dionysian world of the eternally self-creating, the eternally self destroying, this mystery world of the twofold voluptous delight, my “beyond good and evil,” without goal, unless the joy of the circle is itself a goal; without will, unless a ring feels good will toward itself–do you want a name for this world? A solution for all of its riddles? A light for you too, best-concealed, strongest, most intrepid, most midnightly men?–This world is the will to power, and nothing besides! And you yourselves are also this will to power–and nothing besides!”

Thelema places us all symbolically and philosophically into this world. In Liber AL vel Legis, the speaker of the first chapter proclaims, “I am known to ye by my name Nuit… I am Infinite Space, and the Infinite Stars thereof…” We have already considered the night sky, and now we must firmly realize that Nuit, the Egyptian star goddess is but a symbol of the night sky, and the night sky is a symbol of boundlessness, immense power & potential, and infinite possibilities; she is the field of space-time in which all events may potentially manifest. Essentially, Nuit is symbolically all possibilities. Every time you look at the night sky, one should be reminded of this conception Nuit with “Her” infinite potential. Within this “Infinite Space” of possibilities are “Infinite Stars,” and the third line from this same book, Liber AL vel Legis, proclaims this memorable line:

Every man and every woman is a star.

The reading of this line in Liber AL vel Legis may be memorable to some as the point when he or she put the book down and took it to be nonsense. Really consider what this is saying: Every man and every woman is a star… Last time I checked, every man and every woman is literally not a star, but human organisms – our own scientists label us homo sapiens, specifically. Let us be realistic: this statement cannot be taken literally with much benefit, but taken as a metaphor it has many rich meanings. As one conception, insofar as every man and every woman is an accretion of matter-energy, they are no different than stars… Let us take this contemplation further.

Consider the continually burning and churning energy of a star. Remember, our sun is the star closest to us. What are some other ideas related to stars?

Constantly Going

Energy Radiating

Self-luminous

Center, perspective, or point-of-view of its own Universe

With these  conceptions of “Infinite Space and the Infinite Stars thereof,” we can imagine the Universe to symbolically be represented as the boundless night sky of possibilities filled with infinite amounts of varying energy-clusters, stars, which are each a continually moving center of self-luminous light & energy.

Now that we have considered the boundless possibilities of the night sky and the infinitely varied points of motion (force) and energy (fire), the stars, let us consider another aspect of the same line from Liber AL vel Legis: The fact that every man and every woman is a star. Consider, first, yourself.

You are the center of your universe, a point-of-view, a star among stars. You radiate your energy, transforming the world physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. We attract and repel other stars – other men and women – by laws more subtle and complex than gravity which rules the motions of the macrocosmic stars. Think of all the directions one can go in, both physically and mentally. Everyone wants to be able to fulfill their own unique & utmost potential. The famous philosopher Nietzsche called this the will-to-power. The famous psychologist Carl Rogers called this the actualizing tendency. Thelema understands this to be each person’s and every star’s Will.

Just like each object is understood physically to have both kinetic or active energy (which comes in many forms) and potential energy, every man and every woman is a storehouse of both potential and active energy. Physically we have a bit of energy but psychologically, we have an incredible store of energy waiting to be let loose. It is often said the part of our pysches that we are aware of, the consciousness, is like the tip of an iceberg with the enormous majority being submerged out of sight underwater, the unconscious. The psyche’s untapped potential latent in the unconscious is but one source of the many ways of fulfilling one’s Will more fully. Essentially, we are all big masses of energy, both active and potential energy, which is waiting to be actualized.

Now, let us consider that even as each one of us desires the freedom to fully actualize our potential, so does every other star – every man and every woman – surrounding us. Many have self-destructive, divergent, and dampening tendencies which prevent the Will from actualizing in its full potency, but each person is a star nonetheless – and each has a particular, unique, and necessary Will that is part of the whole.

Every man and every woman is a star

Next time you see a person – when you are on a bus, driving next to people in cars on the freeway, talking to a friend – consider yourself and these other people all as stars. Fresh Fever From the Skies: The Collected Writings of IAO131Each is going its own direction, actualizing its own potential. Treat them as fellow stars, as royalty would greet royalty (with great respect & admiration), as children would greet children (with great openness & energy); this is enacting the formula of the Crowned & Conquering Child on the social plane. As one human with much will-power once said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” This man grasped the power of love that is envigorated by and issued from the Will of each individual.

The Will in Thelema: Positive and Negative Aspects

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

Positive and Negative Will in Thelema

NOTE: written originally on October 5, 2008

The basis of Thelema is the Will (which is “Thelema” itself in Greek). The command “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” (Liber AL I:40) and “There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt” (Liber AL I:60) is often distinguished from the often misunderstood and mistranslated statement of “Do what you want.” Why is “Do what thou wilt” different from “Do what you want?” and is it similar in some respects? On this point, we may examine the positive and negative aspects of Thelema/Will insofar as positive means affirming and negative means denying.

The negative aspect of “Do what thou wilt”

The negative aspect of “Do what thou wilt” and Thelema/Will in general refers to those tenets and suggestions which we may answer with a “No” or negatively. The foremost idea that Thelema says “No” to is the idea of an absolute, binding morality and any kind of moral pronouncement. In this sense, “Do what thou wilt” is nearly identical to “Do what you want” because both deny that pronouncements of “You should/ought to do this or that” are irrelevant to our concerns. This is explained succinctly by Crowley when he says,

“The formula of this law is: Do what thou wilt. Its moral aspect is simple enough in theory. Do what thou wilt does not mean Do as you please, although it implies this degree of emancipation, that it is no longer possible to say a priori that a given action is “wrong.” Each man has the right – and an absolute right – to accomplish his True Will.”
-Aleister Crowley, “The Method of Thelema”

Here Crowley asserts that “Do what thou wilt” “implies [the same] degree of emancipation” as “Do as you please” insofar as “it is no longer possible to say a priori that a given action is ‘wrong.'” This is the crux of the “negative aspect” of Thelema/Will – that one cannot argue against a certain action as bad, evil, not useful, unholy, etc. Crowley says also,

“There are no “standards of Right.” Ethics is balderdash. Each Star must go on its orbit. To hell with ‘moral Principle;’ there is no such thing; that is a herd-delusion, and makes men cattle.”
-Aleister Crowley,
The Law is For All, II:28

Again, “there are no ‘standards of Right’ or wrong and “each Star must go on its orbit.” The fact that there are no objective, external standards firmly allows us to do whatever we Will. But this brings us to the “positive aspect” of Thelema/Will: What is it that we Will? What exactly is our particular “orbit” as a star in the Body of Infinite Space?

The positive aspect of “Do what thou wilt”

Insofar as morality and dogma are burdens upon the free exercise of one’s unique and individual Will, they are restrictions, and “the word of Sin is Restriction” (Liber AL I:41). To this we may add the “dogs of Reason” with its questions of “Why” and “Because” for the Will is supra-rational and not to be limited by it. Again, the pressing question once one has discarded the fetters of restriction in their many forms is “What is my Will?” This comes to the aspect of Will to which we may say “Yes”…

The most succinct command in this “positive aspect” is that ancient aphorism and command to “Know Thyself.” This is where “Do what thou wilt” splits apart from and is superior to the simple notion of “Do what you want” or “Do as you please.” Most people do not even know what they really want – what they really Will – and this requires an intense, continuing process of exploration and introspection. Traditionally, this is done by the methods of Magick and Yoga in Thelema. This allows us to not only control our body and mind but also explore the hidden regions and expand the understanding of ourselves to the uttermost. As Crowley says in the essay “On Thelema,” “The value of any being is determined by the quantity and quality of those parts of the universe which it has discovered, and which therefore compose its sphere of experience. It grows by extending this experience, by enlarging, as it were, this sphere.” Therefore we must use Magick, Yoga, and whatever methods we Will to explore ourselves and therefore manifest our Wills more fully, freely, purely, and perfectly.

Fresh Fever From the Skies: The Collected Writings of IAO131With these considerations of both the negative & positive aspects of Thelema/Will, we may understand the proclamation of the Master Therion when he says,

“From [this], it should be clear that “Do what thou wilt” does not mean “Do what you like.” It is the apotheosis of Freedom; but it is also the strictest possible bond. Do what thou wilt–then do nothing else. Let nothing deflect thee from that austere and holy task. Liberty is absolute to do thy will; but seek to do any other thing whatever, and instantly obstacles must arise. Every act that is not in definite course of that one orbit is erratic, an hindrance. Will must not be two, but one.”
-Aleister Crowley, Liber II: The Message of the Master Therion

Love is the law, love under will.

See also in the series on Will in Thelema:

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.

IAO131 on Patreon

If you enjoy these writings, please consider pledging $1+ on my Patreon