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Thread: Do What Thou Wilt

  1. #1
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    Do What Thou Wilt

    I have been reading the works of Aleister Crowley recently, in particular his Magick in Theory and Practice and The Book of the Law (otherwise known as Liber Al vel Legis). http://www.sacred-texts.com/oto/engccxx.htm

    My question is about the central theme of the text which is "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law" and whether one can realistically apply this to their life.

    At first glance, the phrase seems to be reading "Do whatever you want", but on closer inspection, it actually seems to be saying that everybody is born for a purpose and that the only rule in life is succeeding in that purpose, or Will as Thelemites (the followers of Liber Al) describe it.

    Although not an active occultist myself, I have long been interested in the subject, particularly as influenced by Crowley during his life and would welcome comments from others as to how The Book of the Law and its strange imagery can be interpreted.
    "Mere flim-flam stories, and nothing but shams and lies." - Sancho Panza, in Don Quixote, pt. 1, bk. 3, ch. 11 (1605)

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    Taken on face value...

    I don't think the statement is wrong par se, but actions still have consequences so, for example, it'd be a foolhardy amoralist who upon deciding that there was no Good or Bad ate nothing but hamburgers and was surprised when he put on weight.

    So its possible to exaggerate the extent to which "do what thou wilt" is really liberating.

    In terms of the Will or there being some great purpose in life... I don't really believe that, or see any particular reason to believe that. You can set yourself a purpose, but you could just as easily set yourself another one.

    I imagine someone who analysed their entire life and every action using an arbitrary purpose as a frame of reference would be pretty dull.

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    [QUOTE=Sancho Panza;1112845]
    At first glance, the phrase seems to be reading "Do whatever you want", but on closer inspection, it actually seems to be saying that everybody is born for a purpose and that the only rule in life is succeeding in that purpose, or Will as Thelemites (the followers of Liber Al) describe it.

    i amazaed how can they change the meanings of " do whatever you want" after closer inspection with " do what u have been assigned(purpose) to do" ?? is the purpose of all humans are same or different? i know the answer but from different angle

    will u plz little explain coz it seems interesting to me..

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    [QUOTE=usman.khawar;1112860]
    Quote Originally Posted by Sancho Panza View Post
    At first glance, the phrase seems to be reading "Do whatever you want", but on closer inspection, it actually seems to be saying that everybody is born for a purpose and that the only rule in life is succeeding in that purpose, or Will as Thelemites (the followers of Liber Al) describe it.

    i amazaed how can they change the meanings of " do whatever you want" after closer inspection with " do what u have been assigned(purpose) to do" ?? is the purpose of all humans are same or different? i know the answer but from different angle

    will u plz little explain coz it seems interesting to me..
    In the text it mentions that "Every man and every woman is a star" which indicates that everybody has that everybody has there own purpose and their own "Will", regardless of those around them.

    "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" is a direct reference to the Will or purpose of the individual and goes on to say that "love is the law, love under will." The important word here is "law" which suggests that it is one's duty as a human to discover and fulfill their Will.

    Its a complicated subject and I haven't described it very well, so here is what Wikipedia has to say:

    "According to Crowley, every individual has a True Will, to be distinguished from the ordinary wants and desires of the ego. The True Will is essentially one's "calling" or "purpose" in life. Some later magicians have taken this to include the goal of attaining self-realization by one's own efforts, without the aid of God or other divine authority. Do what thou Wilt shall be the whole of the Law for Crowley refers not to hedonism, fulfilling everyday desires, but to acting in response to that calling." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thelema
    "Mere flim-flam stories, and nothing but shams and lies." - Sancho Panza, in Don Quixote, pt. 1, bk. 3, ch. 11 (1605)

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    Regarless of what's being said here or there or anywhere, I agree, do as thou wilt, but do not violate the laws, because we'll wilt you to a contract of years behind bars no matter what thou wilt do if it is against the law.

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    BadWoolf JuniperWoolf's Avatar
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    Most modern witches extend it to "an harm ye none, do what thou wilt." I think that's more realistic, if you were always doing what thou wilt there would be a lot of people stabbing jerks in the face.
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    I dislike generalization when it comes to ethics and morals. One doesn't need to be religious to have a personal creed that one follows.

    Regardless of that, religions that state, ''You can do whatever you want, as long as you're not hurting anybody (Including yourself),'' promote freedom and expression, but are also simply stamps that beckon the youthful and rebellious. It's like candy.

    I think that now, more than ever, people should have a moral and ethical code that they stand by with passion. The lines drawn between what is right, and what is wrong, become increasingly lost in the fold of modern social customs.

    You only need to turn on your television to any myriad of programs that display the brash and outrageous, the crude and the rude. People filter out this garbage, and discard it as the 'norm'. But, when I start seeing excessive displays of rampant skin, I turn away in disgust. It's needless and sloppy.

    Intelligent dialogue and writing are lost in the need for higher ratings, and the general populace drink up the filth like life's blood.

    Yet, I have digressed, I apologize. I find philosophy and religion to be fascinating to discuss and read about, particularly the more New Agey religions, such as the occult, modern witches, paganism, because they challenge traditional doctrines.

    But, we should also remember that there is much value that we carry through those doctrines. They have survived for so long for a reason.
    There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. ~Oscar Wilde.

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    I agree about paganism and feel that its doctrines still have a lot to teach us about being human. For example they celebrate human fertility rather than hide it behind endless rules and restrictions. They also honour the natural world, without which Earth would be a desolate, lonely place. I wouldn't want to turn away from the modern world and all of its conveniences, but sometimes I yearn for a break, for deeper and more meaningful that I don't find in theistic religion.

    Returning to Aleister Crowley, one of the most important things he said was that "Every man and every woman is a star." They are not simply cogs in the capitalist modern machine that pollutes the world with money, but individuals with their own life paths to follow. As useful as progress is, people would do well to remember this.
    "Mere flim-flam stories, and nothing but shams and lies." - Sancho Panza, in Don Quixote, pt. 1, bk. 3, ch. 11 (1605)

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    Quote Originally Posted by JuniperWoolf View Post
    Most modern witches extend it to "an harm ye none, do what thou wilt." I think that's more realistic, if you were always doing what thou wilt there would be a lot of people stabbing jerks in the face.
    And jerks stabbing good people over the color of their shoes.

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    Original Poster Buh4Bee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafolini View Post
    Regarless of what's being said here or there or anywhere, I agree, do as thou wilt, but do not violate the laws, because we'll wilt you to a contract of years behind bars no matter what thou wilt do if it is against the law.


    You're a funny guy Cafolini. Make me laugh every time. I bet you are ugly!

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    Original Poster Buh4Bee's Avatar
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    I strongly subscribe to this basic premise. People who have no purpose are miserable. People with a purpose, may be miserable, but without a purpose could be very miserable. I talk about this is terms of finding a life vocation, whether it is raising a family, making money in the stock market, or taking care of old people. People need to find fulfillment in doing something. The man who likes going to work everyday is a lucky man. I have to teach or I fall apart. It is my current life's work- it is my purpose. Of course besides my commitment to God and my family.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buh4Bee View Post


    You're a funny guy Cafolini. Make me laugh every time. I bet you are ugly!
    I would bet you. I'm a gambler at heart. But I don't think you could have enough money to pay to see. I might have to be too charitable to allow it.

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    If you are willing to bet, than I guess the odds are in your favor. And your right, I probably don't have enough. The stakes are too high! LOL!

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