On the Law of Thelema

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Forums -> Misc Topics -> On the Law of Thelema

On the Law of Thelema
By: / Novice
Post # 1
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

I originally made this post for my coven, and even though last I knew our coven forum was open, I've decided to also post it here for any interested in Thelema. For the most part this post is my expounding on Liber II, as well as well as Liber AL. I am always open to questions, so if you have any, feel free to leave them here, or in my inbox.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Love is the law, love under will.

This is what I would like to discuss.

Anyone who has ever paid any attention to anything I've ever said, knows that these words are a key aspect to Thelema, and that I, myself, am a Thelemite. So what does it mean? There are plenty of explanations from the Master Therion himself, some of which are directed toward the attention of the layman. What I would like to do, is use a combination of my words, and Crowley's to give a better understanding of what the Law of Thelema means, and just how, and why it pertains to magick.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. First and foremost, I'd like to point out that "Do what thou wilt", here does not imply, "Do what you want". The noun, "will", should never be interpreted to be akin with the verb, "want" when speaking of Thelemic views, and in fact, one might be better off to never associate these words with each other. The noun, "will", here is indicative, not of your will, nor the will of the divine, but the attainment of the perfection, and dissolution in the unity of these (A perfect and a perfect are as one perfect and not two; nay are they none). The discernment of true will, and the path we take to get there, is what is referred to as the Great Work. Simple as the task sounds, Work is appropriate, as this discernment, and living this philosophy, cannot effortlessly be accomplished. If you're sitting and thinking to yourself that this doesn't sound like a difficult task, consider not only the philosophy, but the implication of this law in practice. (Crowley said, "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.") Crowley said that this practice is the strictest bond. It's easy to see why. If there is no law beyond do what thou wilt, and no allowance for distraction beside it, then the whole of one's mind, body, self, and energy is to the paramount of this one goal; Do what thou wilt.
The next aspect of the Law of Thelema, is the word, "Love". "Love is the law, love under will." The Law of Thelema is both a strict laborious task, and a loving command to self. Doing one's own will without hindrance, is not only a show of love toward self, but an action, or series of actions that make it easier to show compassion to those around you. Think not on love as an emotion, because you will repeatedly get stuck. Emotions happen, but there is no place for them in your will, and no choice of word, or action, should be lead be emotion. (Lo, while in The Book of the Law is much of Love, there is no word of Sentimentality. Hate itself is almost like Love! ``As brothers fight ye!'' All the manly races of the world understand this. The Love of Liber Legis is always bold, virile, even orgiastic. There is delicacy, but it is the delicacy of strength. )Love here, and as I speak of it, is always a selfless act of sacrifice, when shown outward, and inwardly, is a sacrifice of small self, so that big self may prevail. There is no greater display of love for your Self, than to put yourself aside so that your will may be done. Once this is done, it is much easier to show love outwardly, because that love is already under your will. You have already made enough self-sacrifice, that no outward sacrifice seems greater.
I have discussed before the method of isopsephy. Similar to the Hebrew system of Gematria, isopsephy gives a numerical value to each character of the Greek alphabet, where Alpha=1; Beta=2, and so on. With the system, Thelema, , or will, is equal to Agape, ,or love; shown here:

We have to consider then, that where love is a by-product of the Law of Thelema, Love is also a tenet, whose value is equal to that of will. So once again, we can see love and will as separate, but on the whole, they are the same. (Again, "a perfect and a perfect are as one perfect and not two; nay are they none).

So, we have discussed the Law of Thelema, and what it means, now let's talk about how the practice of this law that I promulgate, pertains to a magickal system. Thelema, as a philosophical organization, has compiled to use more than one system of magick within itself. Delving into Enochian magick, Hermeticism, Esoteric Qabalah, Hindu, Buddhism, and more, Thelema without telling us it's doing so, answers a question that should be begged more often; "what is the common denominator?" In nearly all religious philosophical structure, there are two common pieces of ground shared, and they are, you guessed it, Love, and Will. There is almost always a call to align one's own will, with that of the divine, and this most generally leads to lovingkindness, compassion. This is not what links the law of Thelema to magick, rather it is what links the Law of Thelema to everything.
Let's take a moment to identify the word, "Magick". Magick, we can briefly define as any act of will (on nature)that causes change. This word, "will", continually pops up, doesn't it? Your will, fueled by your intent, is what makes magick happen, from the simplest, most practically mundane act, to the most complex of rituals, your will is what causes change. Doing that will, is the whole of the law of Thelema. "Do what thou wilt, and then do nothing else." "Thou hast no right but to do thy will. Do that, and no other shall say nay. For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way, perfect."
So, as a magician, or a practitioner of magick, the task with which you begin, is the task that will always by your drive. The task of discovering, and performing your true will. As a magician, how should we realize our true will? We know the will of our person, the will of our heart, of our sentiment, our emotions. How can we identify what is the true will, of true self? When you've identified your true will, how is appropriate for the magician to proceed?

"Thou must (1) Find out what is thy Will. (2) Do that Will with a) one-pointedness, (b) detachment, (c) peace.

Then, and then only, art thou in harmony with the Movement of Things, thy will part of, and therefore equal to, the Will of God. And since the will is but the dynamic aspect of the self, and since two different selves could not possess identical wills; then, if thy will be God's will, Thou art That."

When true will is identified, and the practitioner proceeds to do nothing but that will, without question, concern, worry, or expectation, the practitioner is in alignment with the divine, and as such, divine. Crowley says that if your will is in line with, then it is identical to the will of God. Since two separate beings can't possess identical wills, if your will is God's will, then you ARE god(A perfect (will) and a perfect (will) are as one perfect (will) and not two; nay are they none). If you are, and your will is equal to God, then your magick, that is the effect of the change, that occurs by your acts of will, can neither be refuted, nor seconded by any. What act of magick could be greater?

Love is the law, love under will.
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Re: On the Law of Thelema
Post # 2
That is an interesting topic, because that law can be taken in a lot of different ways and I think everyone that understands 93/93 has their own interpretation of the law. I personally like 93/93 however I don't get into the sacred geometry of it or do I really care for Crowley all that much, but 93/93 has always stuck with me. I am rather interested in hearing your idea on it.
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Re: On the Law of Thelema
By: / Novice
Post # 3
You don't have to be a fan of Crowley, to know that he had good ideas. The problem I suppose, is that those ideas, and his philosophies, and ways are shrouded behind enigmatic metaphor that was meant to be misunderstood, and so it was. Or people can't see past his equally misunderstood personal life, to care to understand what he meant. Ah well.
Either way, something of the Law, and as such his idealogy stuck with you. And truth be told, it couldn't be a more important piece. 93 93/93 is just a shorthand symbolism representing the Law of the Thelema. If something were going to stick, it may as well be that.
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