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Thread: Do What Thou Wilt

  1. #1

    Do What Thou Wilt

    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.

  2. #2
    Registered User billl's Avatar
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    Don't be a tool, right? I mean, that'd be an over-simplification of how I see it, but... At least be conscious and approving of when we allow ourselves to serve some plan of another.

  3. #3
    confidentially pleased cacian's Avatar
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    Servantry you mean? A bit like the pharaohs and their slaves. Their only existence was to work as a stone mason and build the pyramids.
    I doubt it somehow.
    it may never try
    but when it does it sigh
    it is just that
    it fly

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    In the fog Charles Darnay's Avatar
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    trapped in a prologue.
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    I came across Thelemites when reading Rabelais. If you want to understand the philosophy of the belief without some of the bull**** involved with it, read chapters 52-55 of Gargantua and Pantagruel.

    "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" is in a way a rejection of the Christian "Thy will be done". It is a form of Reformation, in which the Thelemites take the power away from God and places in themselves. Like humanism, it posits that humans have an individual Will, and it is not jus God who has a will. Note that this is not a rejection of God, just a rearrangement of priority.

    Rabelais juxtaposes "thy will be done" with a quote from Socrates, something like: "how can I begin to rule others when I cannot rule myself."

    So "do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" is a rewrite of the Socratic idea (influenced by Rabelais' utopia Theleme) which strives for self-knowledge above all else.
    I wrote a poem on a leaf and it blew away...

  5. #5
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    This is the first time I've come across Crowley's The Book of the Law. It is only 12 pages long. Here's an online source for it:

    The Wikipedia article and the maze of links can get one adjusted to the vocabulary of the Thelema religion:

    One positive thing about them is that they seem to believe in "free will", or at least enough free will to pursue their True Will.

    The following lines hint of intolerance in spite of various references to "love". This is from The Book of the Law, Chapter 2:

    49. I am in a secret fourfold word, the blasphemy against all gods of men.
    50. Curse them! Curse them! Curse them!
    51. With my Hawk's head I peck at the eyes of Jesus as he hangs upon the
    52. I flap my wings in the face of Mohammed & blind him.
    53. With my claws I tear out the flesh of the Indian and the Buddhist,
    Mongol and Din.
    54. Bahlasti! Ompehda! I spit on your crapulous creeds.

    The Comment part at the end does have the following:

    There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.
    Love is the law, love under will.

    I suspect, this means love your friends and not your enemies. My initial assessment is that any of the religions that Thelema opposes are better than Thelema, but I haven't checked out what Bahlasti or Ompehda are.

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