What IS The Will-?
 
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What IS The Will-?


kidneyhawk
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I would like to throw this question out to the board as it has cropped up recently on several threads and seems to be a source of more difficulty than one might imagine:

What IS The Will?

It would seem that the most bottom line common denominator amongst self-proclaimed "Thelemites" would be the "Law of Thelema." There is a general sense of impatience here with the interpreatation of the Law as being "Do whatever you want" but when approaching it from a more precise standpoint, it seems that things begin to break up in our understanding (or at least how we communicate our understanding).

Some of us seem to regard it as ultimately Mysterious, describable in various ways but eventually leading into a Mystery which evades attempts to give it expression using language or logic. Erwin seemed to be moving in the direction of cutting down to a basic underlying theme which would no longer be assailable by the axe of questioning, yet none the less, something very definite, which we might all be able to agree upon.

Whether someone asks us about Crowley, Thelema or we are simply contemplating on how we ourselves view the matter, I think it is a question which asks for SOME sort of answer.

So, concentrating on this one word-Thelema-WILL...WHAT IS IT?


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 Anonymous
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93 kidneyhawk,

It matters really what map you use to talk about it, in a way. One could approach the Will from a Qabalistic "map." In this case, we would look at the 5 parts of the Hebrew soul: the Nephesh (body & senses), Ruach (intellect/ego), Neshamah (Intuition), Chiah (Life force & Will), and Yechidah (divine spark). In this sense, the Will is part of the 3-in-1 triad of the Supernals. The Chiah is above the abyss and therefore beyond duality - it is not subject to scrutiny by the rational intellect/ego (the Ruach, which is below the Abyss). Taking Will from this point will bring you to conclusions like this and supports statements (in my opinion) from the Book of the Law like:

AL II:27. 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.
AL II:28. Now a curse upon Because and his kin!
AL II:29. May Because be accursed for ever!
AL II:30. If Will stops and cries Why, invoking Because, then Will stops & does nought.
AL II:31. If Power asks why, then is Power weakness.
AL II:32. Also reason is a lie; for there is a factor infinite & unknown; & all their words are skew-wise.
AL II:33. Enough of Because! Be he damned for a dog!

I think a good way to look at the Will is in the Wikipedia article (yes) for True Will:
"True Will is a term found within the mystical system of Thelema—established in 1904 with Aleister Crowley's writing of The Book of the Law—and is defined at times as a person's grand destiny in life and at other times as a moment to moment path of action that operates in perfect harmony with Nature. This Will does not spring from conscious intent, but from the interplay between the deepest Self and the entire Universe. Therefore, the enlightened Thelemite is one who is able to eliminate or bypass one's ego-created desires, conflicts, and habits, and tap directly into the Self/Universe nexus. Theoretically, at this point, the Thelemite acts in alignment with Nature, just as a stream flows downhill, with neither resistance nor "lust of result.""

This shows that in one sense, Crowley talks about the Will as a person's grand destiny (which is sort of implied in Liber II when he tells you to look into the magic memory to help find your will). Liber II also gives credence to the second definition, though.

In the Book of the Law, the Will is dealt with throughout, but is focused in the lines from AL I:39-45 and AL II:27-33 (quoted above).

AL I:39. The word of the Law is THELEMA.
AL I:40. Who calls us Thelemites will do no wrong, if he look but close into the word. For there are therein Three Grades, the Hermit, and the Lover, and the man of Earth. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
AL I:41. The word of Sin is Restriction. O man! refuse not thy wife, if she will! O lover, if thou wilt, depart! There is no bond that can unite the divided but love: all else is a curse. Accursed! Accursed be it to the aeons! Hell.
AL I:42. Let it be that state of manyhood bound and loathing. So with thy all; thou hast no right but to do thy will.
AL I:43. Do that, and no other shall say nay.
AL I:44. For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.
AL I:45. The Perfect and the Perfect are one Perfect and not two; nay, are none!

Crowley attempts to explain the Will in Liber II:

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.

There is but one other word to explain. Elsewhere it is written -- surely for our great comfort -- "Love is the law, love under will."

This is to be taken as meaning that while Will is the Law, the nature of that Will is Love. But this Love is as it were a by-product of that Will; it does not contradict or supersede that Will; and if apparent contradiction should arise in any crisis, it is the Will that can guide us aright. Lo, while in the Book of the Law is much Love, there is no word of Sentimentality. Hate itself is almost like Love! Fighting most certainly is Love! "As brothers fight ye!" All the many 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. Mighty and terrible and glorious as it is, however, it is but the pennon upon the sacred lance of Will, the damascened inscription upon the swords of the knightmonks of Thelema.

These statements are not 'final' at all, mostly just a springboard for further conversation.

65 & 210,
111-418

http://iao131.cjb.ne t"> http://iao131.cjb.net


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 Anonymous
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"Free Will is Destiny."

I am reminded of 'Purgatorio' in Diary of a Drug Fiend, Sister Athena speaks:

"One has to be very stupid not to discover within forty-eight hours that there is no possibility of amusing oneself in any of the ordinary ways. In London one could waste one's life before bringing one's mind to the point where Big Lion wants it. So one finds oneself immediately up against the fact that one has got to find something to do. Well, we go and ask Big Lion; and Big Lion says: 'Do what thou wilt.' 'But, yes,' we say, ' what is that?' He replies rudely, 'Find out.' We ask how to find out; and he says, ' How do you know what is the good of a motor-car?' Well, we think a bit; and then we tell him that we find out the use of a motor-car by examining it, looking at its various parts, comparing it and them with similar machines whose use we already know, such as the bullock wagon and the steam engine. We make up our minds that an automobile is constructed in order to travel along the high road. 'Very good.' says Big Lion, 'go up top. Examine yourself, your faculties and tendencies, the trend of your mind, and the aspirations of your soul. Allow me to assure you this investigation leaves you very little time to wonder what the devil to do with yourself.' 'Thank you very much,' we say, 'but suppose our judgment is wrong, suppose that what we have decided is an automobile intended to go, is in reality a coffin intended to contain a corpse?' 'Quite so,' says Big Lion, ' you have to test your judgment; and you don't do that by asking the opinion of people who are probably more ignorant than yourself; you get into the beastly thing and press the proper button, and if it goes it's an automobile, and you've made no mistake."


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

when approaching it from a more precise standpoint, it seems that things begin to break up in our understanding (or at least how we communicate our understanding).

I see my Will, and that of all others, as that path or set of actions ordained for me to fulfill in my role as a point-experience of the Continuum (Hadit in Nuit). The Last Written Words of Rabbi Lamed Ben Clifford (re Lon Duquette's 'The Chicken Qabalah') summarize it simply yet profoundly.

John (Thelemite-Calvinist?)

Love is the law, love under will.


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 Anonymous
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I have found the basic Newtonian laws of motion helpful in understanding what Will is. I think these laws apply in this context since "every man and every woman is a star".

Newton's first law is "a body at rest will remain at rest, and a body in motion will remain in motion with a constant velocity, unless acted upon by a force. This law is also called the law of inertia." It is of the nature of stars, planets, asteroids, and other manifest beings, to Go, to Move. The energy that drives this velocity is a remnant of the Big Bang, that orgasmic moment when Singularity burst into Diversity, when Kether could no longer tolerate being alone (all-one), and divided into Chokmah and Binah for love's sake, to use Qabalistic terminology. I think this law of physics can be applied to True Will: we move through life based on our intrinsic acceleration and mass, we have a predefined course based on the gravitational pull and push of other bodies in our celestial neighborhood. Those bodies whose gravitational pull threaten to pull us off course must be left behind, and they will be, if we keep Moving in our appointed orbit.

Will, then, is our essential nature, the Starfire that created us/this in the first place. We cannot escape that: "thou hast no right but to do thy Will". A dog is not a duck is not a swan.

Discovering one's True Will, and staying on course, should not be difficult, but it is because of all the forces pulling you in their direction; you cannot help but be influenced by the gravity of other celestial bodies (people) in your immediate vicinity. Best course of action: focus on the core of your Star -- Hadit, to use Thelemic terminology, and just keep Go-ing.

nick


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 Anonymous
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This is Will.


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 Anonymous
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DANGER DANGER

..simply put, for me... Will is Will.


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 Anonymous
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93

I did have a reasonable explaination for that last response, and unfortunately, I had to go AFK shortly after beginning. Here's what I have, for your perusal:

We make decisions (however we make them), subjectively and objectively, in our tiny little minds. Those decisions are then given addendums, riders, and amendments based on material information and of course, facts and often opinions, experimental knowns and unknowns included, wind velocities of projectiles, etc. Those little bits of data become a focus of interest. That focus of interest needs to become a decision for action. Action (be it physical, mental, political, sexual, etc.) requires valor, fortitude, and yes, commitment.

Now, with all of this in the palm of your hand and dropping onto the floor, realize that for the most part, these are actions that we take every day, night, whatever; calculations and decisions we make will within moments of a conversation become a split second trigger for the next. This is our biological design. To ask 'What is the Will" is, really more than subjective study. You might as well ask, in laymans terms, 'WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN', or simply 'WHY'.

Not everyones interprutation of 'Will' is the same. There's nothing that is medically, scientifically designated as Will, so why does it exist? Have you done something today of your own volition? That's will. You're not going to find any explaination for it other than that. If you make something happen of your volition, will. Nice. Now if only buying a BMW at your set price were that easy, eh?

In my experience, what is my will is not what is neccessarily possible.... and in that case, there's the HGA that keeps me in check. There has to be some reason, when i've lost mine (and that's frequent).

Robot is Wills' reason.
Will is the walking question mark, young, headstrong, and filled with reckless valor. Robot is the conversation with probability, science, knowns, and stern warnings and implications based on fact. Will is the vigilant and able inner child. The HGA becomes the mighty sword of flame / pure light that defends that, or becomes the helping hand that picks him up, when he's been knocked on his ass.

The two can simply not exist without the other in this work.

If you want something that won't damage the ego, and somewhat more humanist:

Charlemagne rarely (almost never) wore the clothing of a wealthy man, chosing the dress of a commoner. When a man who is both 'King' and 'Holy Roman Emperor', controlling most of the known civilized world can make decisions like that, you have your definition.

What is valor, what is discretion, what is the balance of judgement and severity tempered with the passion of mercy? Herein is your 'Will'.

-Enki Carbone.


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 Anonymous
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Enki,

I like your "Lost in Space" metaphor better than my "Stars in Space" thing. I give it "two snaps up"!

nick


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 Anonymous
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It appears to me that True Will is simply... Being alive! This seems to relate to Newtons' concept of inertia as well. IF a portion of Wikipedias' definition of True Will was relevent, being "a moment to moment path of action that operates in perfect harmony with Nature. This Will does not spring from conscious intent, but from the interplay between the deepest Self and the entire Universe." We have to ask ourselves what that interplay is, exactly. Is it Magick? Is it day to day life if being alive is equivelent to True Will? It appears to me we are all doing our True Will so long as we are constantly analysing ourselves and processing the experiences occuring within this Universe and our own reality, and evolveing from them. I think evolution happens very slowly, as has been observed, and that this process is what fosters it, for humanity. If our experience of being alive operates in perfect harmony with Nature (which I deem as God itself), then so long as we learn from our mistakes (by analyzing our actions and/or taking new action) we will progress for the better, even in the mistakes made on the way there if in the end, they are learned from as well.

It would seem that the most bottom line common denominator amongst self-proclaimed "Thelemites" would be the "Law of Thelema." There is a general sense of impatience here with the interpreatation of the Law as being "Do whatever you want" but when approaching it from a more precise standpoint, it seems that things begin to break up in our understanding (or at least how we communicate our understanding).

It would seem to me that the word 'ineffable' might be appropriate here. Magick is often described as just this, seemingly indescribeable by the very people who work it most. I think the reason for this is the exact same reason a Christian or a Muslim could not come up to me and hope to have me converted; their experience is relevent to the life they've lived, and mine, my own. I simply will not relate. And so communication becomes frazzled. What might be profound and important to one person, regarding the Law of Thelema will mean virtually nothing to some one else who works with different frames of reference much like the "maps" Aum418 was talking about.

True Will being a form of our own Destiny, we are technically each living out our own True Will every day. It wasn't a decision made overnight how we live, where we live, why we get up in the morning, or our being conceived by Mother but what manifested from the day we were each conceived and then borne into our Destiny under the influences of what has been each of our 'Natural courses' of life. Imo, if we stand back and take a good long look at where we are currently standing, how we arrived there and how we feel about it, we get a good sense of True Will by simply observing our own brains' reaction to this mere observation of 'now'.

I hope this isn't too un-Thelemic. 😆 I wouldn't want to think for myself at all...

Agape and Sincerity,

Becky


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 Anonymous
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"Vilaven" wrote:
It appears to me that True Will is simply... Being alive! This seems to relate to Newtons' concept of inertia as well. IF a portion of Wikipedias' definition of True Will was relevent, being "a moment to moment path of action that operates in perfect harmony with Nature. This Will does not spring from conscious intent, but from the interplay between the deepest Self and the entire Universe." We have to ask ourselves what that interplay is, exactly. Is it Magick? Is it day to day life if being alive is equivelent to True Will? It appears to me we are all doing our True Will so long as we are constantly analysing ourselves and processing the experiences occuring within this Universe and our own reality, and evolveing from them. I think evolution happens very slowly, as has been observed, and that this process is what fosters it, for humanity. If our experience of being alive operates in perfect harmony with Nature (which I deem as God itself), then so long as we learn from our mistakes (by analyzing our actions and/or taking new action) we will progress for the better, even in the mistakes made on the way there if in the end, they are learned from as well.

It would seem that the most bottom line common denominator amongst self-proclaimed "Thelemites" would be the "Law of Thelema." There is a general sense of impatience here with the interpreatation of the Law as being "Do whatever you want" but when approaching it from a more precise standpoint, it seems that things begin to break up in our understanding (or at least how we communicate our understanding).

It would seem to me that the word 'ineffable' might be appropriate here. Magick is often described as just this, seemingly indescribeable by the very people who work it most. I think the reason for this is the exact same reason a Christian or a Muslim could not come up to me and hope to have me converted; their experience is relevent to the life they've lived, and mine, my own. I simply will not relate. And so communication becomes frazzled. What might be profound and important to one person, regarding the Law of Thelema will mean virtually nothing to some one else who works with different frames of reference much like the "maps" Aum418 was talking about.

True Will being a form of our own Destiny, we are technically each living out our own True Will every day. It wasn't a decision made overnight how we live, where we live, why we get up in the morning, or our being conceived by Mother but what manifested from the day we were each conceived and then borne into our Destiny under the influences of what has been each of our 'Natural courses' of life. Imo, if we stand back and take a good long look at where we are currently standing, how we arrived there and how we feel about it, we get a good sense of True Will by simply observing our own brains' reaction to this mere observation of 'now'.

I hope this isn't too un-Thelemic. 😆 I wouldn't want to think for myself at all...

Agape and Sincerity,

Becky

93 vilaven,
There is a common argument: on one hand we are already perfect and striving for anything is imperfection, on the other hand we have to perfect ourselves to be the most perfect vehicles of our Will or reflections of the Macrocosm. It seems that both Yoga & Magick go towards the latter as they both recommend rigorous practical exercises. Yes, much might be a 'state of mind' but to say that everyone is already doing their true will means no one has any work to do. Therefore, what is the Great Work?

65 & 210
111-418

http://iao131.cjb.ne t"> http://iao131.cjb.net


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Anonymous
 Anonymous
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I had said "It appears to me we are all doing our True Will so long as we are constantly analysing ourselves and processing the experiences occuring within this Universe and our own reality, and evolveing from them." And Magick, as well as Yoga are both ways of implementing our processing of experiences and analyzing of ourselves and the World we live in. I should add to that that we must analyze the Universe, Nature and its' inherent Laws as well, in order to evolve. The Great Work is in living and breathing, as well as it is in reading, and attainment. The Great Work is in the persistent and dedicated analyzing of the Self and your surroundings however you should choose to do so, human growth, honest effort, sincerity, etc. I think the difference between those who evolve and those who do not is in their actions. Destiny or True Will is ultimately present, it is action which seperates it from being something akin to 'inert'.

And with respect to the dualities that Crowley himself worked with, I hope you can empathize with my point of view, even if you disagree.

Agape,

Becky

ps. Aum, can you explain to me why True Will isn't connected with choice and why it's seemingly unconscious, and specifically not a conscious thing? I must have the wrong ideas about this, either that or it isn't correct or there is something I'm not aware of which therefore I'm not able to factor in. Can you explain? ^_^


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 Anonymous
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"Vilaven" wrote:
I had said "It appears to me we are all doing our True Will so long as we are constantly analysing ourselves and processing the experiences occuring within this Universe and our own reality, and evolveing from them." And Magick, as well as Yoga are both ways of implementing our processing of experiences and analyzing of ourselves and the World we live in. I should add to that that we must analyze the Universe, Nature and its' inherent Laws as well, in order to evolve. The Great Work is in living and breathing, as well as it is in reading, and attainment. The Great Work is in the persistent and dedicated analyzing of the Self and your surroundings however you should choose to do so, human growth, honest effort, sincerity, etc. I think the difference between those who evolve and those who do not is in their actions. Destiny or True Will is ultimately present, it is action which seperates it from being something akin to 'inert'.

And with respect to the dualities that Crowley himself worked with, I hope you can empathize with my point of view, even if you disagree.

Agape,

Becky

ps. Aum, can you explain to me why True Will isn't connected with choice and why it's seemingly unconscious, and specifically not a conscious thing? I must have the wrong ideas about this, either that or it isn't correct or there is something I'm not aware of which therefore I'm not able to factor in. Can you explain? ^_^

93 Vilaven & all else,

To start, I will expand on the idea in my previous post with a quote from the "Little Essays Toward Truth" called "Mastery": "Initiation means the Journey Inwards: nothing is changed or can be changed; but all is trulier understood with every step. The Magus of the Gods, with His one Word that seems to overturn the chariot of Mankind in ruin, does not in fact destroy or even alter anything; He simply furnishes a new mode of applying existing Energy to established Forms." On we go...

Beware, there is much pestilence ahead! I empathize with your point of view in that I respect it, but I make no promises to appease you...

I had said "It appears to me we are all doing our True Will so long as we are constantly analysing ourselves and processing the experiences occuring within this Universe and our own reality, and evolveing from them."

In a way, this process of analyzing our'selves' and processing the experiences is a way towards this Will, to understand it better, perhaps but I don't think its the Will itself.Once again, I quote Liber AL II:28-33:

28. Now a curse upon Because and his kin!
29. May Because be accursed for ever!
30. If Will stops and cries Why, invoking Because, then Will stops & does nought.
31. If Power asks why, then is Power weakness.

32. Also reason is a lie; for there is a factor infinite & unknown; & all their words are skew-wise.
33. Enough of Because! Be he damned for a dog!

The act of 'analyzing' is asking 'why' and then your Power is weakness. This trying to pin the Will as 'something' with 'Reason' and 'Because' will cause it to "stop & [do] nought". This relates to your question about the conscious & sub/unconscious and how the "true" Will is seemingly unable to be comprehended with only the conscious mind/intellect/ego. I quote from Crowley's comment to AL II:33, "There is no 'reason' why a Star should continue in its orbit. Let her rip! Every time the conscious acts, it interferes with the Subconscious, which is Hadit. It is the voice of Man, and not of a God. Any man who 'listens to reason' ceases to be a revolutionary." (bolding is mine). Here, Crowley almost directly connects Hadit to the subconscious - probably as an attempt to combine his ideas of mysticism & occultism with the emerging freudian/jungian views of the Self. To Jung, the Self is at the core of your being, veiled by the persona & the ego (conscious self but the ego is partly unconscious) and also the shadow - the Jungian idea of individuation and getting to the core of the Self, past the veils that obscure it, is very similar to Crowley's idea of finding the Silent Self which he relates to the sub/unconscious. (To support this, Crowley comments on AL I:11, " I prefer to suggest that these "fools" are "Silent selves", impotent babes unborn; then verse 12 continues "Come forth!", that is, bring your Holy Guardian Angel from the womb of your subconsciousness.") His comment to AL II:31 says, "Power acts: the nature of the action depends on the information received by the Will; but once the decision is taken, reflection is out of place. Power should indeed be absolutely unconscious. Every athlete is aware that his skill, strength, and endurance depend on forbidding mind to meddle with muscle. Here is a simple experiment. Hold out a weight at arm's length. If you fix your attention firmly on other matters, you can support the strain many times longer than if you allow yourself to think of what your body is doing." This reminds me of Bruce Lee and how he said that he had trained his body and mind so completely that it seemed to strike on its own with no hesitatio.

Further, Crowley comments on AL II:32, "The 'factor infinite and unknown' is the subconscious Will. 'On with the revel!" 'Their words' -- the plausible humbug of the newspapers and the churches. Forget it! Allons! Marchons!" Reason, being a faculty of the Conscious mind, can never truly understand the Will because there is a 'factor infinite and unknown' which Crowley calls the subconscious Will. Qabalistically, the ego, "reason", "Because," etc. are part of the Ruach - the spheres below the Abyss from Chesed down to Yesod - which is teh mind/intellect/ego. The Will is in Chokmah, called Chiah in the Hebrew classification of the 'soul', and is beyond the Abyss, beyond the reaches of knowledge of the ego/mind.

Even further, Crowley's commentary on AL II:27 says, "Humanity errs terribly when it gets 'education', in the sense of ability to read newspapers. Reason is rubbish; race-instinct is the true guide. Experience is the great Teacher; and each one of us possesses millions of years of experience, the very quintessence of it, stored automatically in our subconscious minds. The Intellectuals are worse than the bourgeoisie themselves; a la lanterne! Give us Men! Understanding is the attribute of the Master of the Temple, who has crossed the Abyss (or "Pit") that divides the true Self from its conscious instrument. (See Liber 418, "Aha"! and Book 4, Part III). We must meditate the meaning of this attack upon the idea of "Because.""

The race-instinct might be taken as the subconscious itself, the Collective Unconscious of Jung. The idea here that I wanted to emphasize is that only the Master of the Temple - one whos consciousness is beyond the Ruach, beyond the Abyss, in the Supernals - can understand the uselessness of Reason in regards to the Will. Qabalistically, this was explained earlier in regards of the relation of the Chiah (Will/Life force) to the Ruach (Intellect/ego/reason).

The Great Work is in the persistent and dedicated analyzing of the Self and your surroundings however you should choose to do so, human growth, honest effort, sincerity, etc.

Taking the information above, one might say it is the opposite. It is the releasing of the self from 'analyzing' of the rational intellect to allow the Star to go on its proper course. I hope this might help clarify some issues & perhaps I answered your question(s).

65 & 210,
111-418

http://iao131.cjb.ne t"> http://iao131.cjb.net


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 Anonymous
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I dont know what the difference between wanting and willing is in the thelemic context but it seems that we can evolve even when we hang ourselves because when we have the rope and the freedom then we can get on with it and discover whether or not something is helping or hindering and even then i dont know if it matters because its beyond life and death pleasure and pain then perhaps we benefit either way so i guess love is the law that pulls us the will direct it even though we may not have a clue of it after that i assume you become more and more conscious of it but thats for someone who has experienced that level i have not yet but this is what makes sense to me so far and i hope you leave lots of room for error I cant say honestly for sure what my true will is except to complete the great work after that its seems like all worrisome bulls--t that seems to take care of itself sometimes just in the nick of time things pull through i also remember reading that success is the proof that you are doing your will and i imagine being in a zen like state being in the zone very easy to focus on such tasks so i dont have a clue if i should work at home depot or target but i know that i want to complete the great work then i say to my self Mattsix:33 (even though im not a christian it is my favorite )seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all else shall be added unto you.the great work and although i cant tell anyone what their true will is and wouldnt dare this is what works for me so if i do my will and you do yours i wont be suprised if we meet up as one every one a hey ye he


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 Anonymous
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93,

I don't want to repeat what Aum said because I think he did it in a concise and elegant way, and it encapsulates, largely, my own view of Will. Rather, I just want to add two musings that occupy me when I'm otherwise idle - on the bus or the toilet, or, wherever.

I'm not far enough along in my education to speak in Qabbalistic terms, but, I sometimes wonder if we can ever be said to have "free will." I know the concept of "free will" and Will are not the same, but even the divine, perfect spark of Hadit sometimes fails to manifest, and even when it does it almost seems more like chance than anything.

As an example - imagine a crisis, a man pulls a gun on the bus I'm riding. What do I do? I can throw myself out the window, charge the man, weep, sit quietly, pray, or whatever else. Whatever I decide to do is a product of myriad different forces operating within or without me. From things as simple as blood sugar to whether or not I have a secret sexual desire to touch a gun. Is the Will, then, only one of the forces working within me? I have low blood sugar, so I want to cry, but maybe my true Will is to wrestle the man, even if Will triumphs and I charge him, is that really at my own direction, or does it have more to do with whether or not I ate a bag of potato chips earlier that day? Or if it isn't attributable to the potato chips, then what makes Will strong enough to overcome fear in this situation, and not others? What force fuels it?

The other point has to do with adaptation and change. Crowley wrote that the formulation of our true Will ought to be closer to a verb than a noun, and not in the sense of "I am something," that is, the Will should be formulated as something that is dynamic and not static, right? So what does it mean for us to say that we don't want to lose ourselves?

I ask this question because I am and have always been a very idealistic person with a love of Whitman, Blake, and all those pansies. But recently I had a discussion with my mentor teacher about learning to be practical to live in China, as Chinese culture and Chinese business tend to be much more practical, generally. The conversation made me uncomfortable because I felt that nebulous fear about "losing myself." I don't think my true Will is to be idealistic, yet once I start screwing with things like pessimism and optimism, or idealistic and practical, I get a little worried. I think that such alteration can change the entire way I view reality, and thus, reality itself. If I change the very way that I exist within reality, then might that throw me out of alignment with my Will?

Not sure if that's clear, but, I'm just a confused man waiting for the sunrise, and possibly facing west.

- Shangren


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algoul
(@algoul)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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I do not think that the true will is only being alive,

Simply I think that to arrive to true will first of all you must know who you are, know thyself,

Then you must delete all the compulsive charges of your present life which make you react thinking that you are doing your will but which it's not true, and then there are the compulsive charges of past lives and so on...

As stated by K. Grant to arrive to the true will brings an unleashed freedom which inflates the ego in a way that could be dangerous so it is necessary to understand the way of acting taking with it the responsability of the act


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 Anonymous
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"shangren" wrote:
93,

I don't want to repeat what Aum said because I think he did it in a concise and elegant way, and it encapsulates, largely, my own view of Will. Rather, I just want to add two musings that occupy me when I'm otherwise idle - on the bus or the toilet, or, wherever.

I'm not far enough along in my education to speak in Qabbalistic terms, but, I sometimes wonder if we can ever be said to have "free will." I know the concept of "free will" and Will are not the same, but even the divine, perfect spark of Hadit sometimes fails to manifest, and even when it does it almost seems more like chance than anything.

Here is an interesting quote from Ram Dass (Dr. Richard Alpert) from his book 'Living the Bhagavad Gita ('dharma' means both universal harmony/law and personal duty, it is very similar to Will):

"...Everything is just lawfully running through us, including our apparent ‘choices.’ So we say, ‘I have no responsibility – I’m just my karma running off.’ But then, as we keep going further still and transcend the gunas, we come into the Brahmanic state – and there our will is truly, totally, absolutely free. We can do whatever we want to do. The only hitch is that by then there is absolutely no desire left within us. In a state of total bliss, what would you desire? From that place, the only acts we end up doing with our ‘free will’ are the things we are drawn to do by the workings of the dharma. That is, we end up acting only to fulfill the law, because there is nothing else we would conceivably do. We exercise our free will by surrendering into being the pure instruments of the dharma. All those desires that preoccupied us for so long? We could fulfill them with a thought – except that the desires themselves are long since gone. There is no longer any personal trip whatsoever that would motivate us to act, so although we’re entirely free, we act only to fulfill our role in the way of things.”
-Ram Dass, Paths to God, p.244 (italics are mine)

As an example - imagine a crisis, a man pulls a gun on the bus I'm riding. What do I do? I can throw myself out the window, charge the man, weep, sit quietly, pray, or whatever else. Whatever I decide to do is a product of myriad different forces operating within or without me. From things as simple as blood sugar to whether or not I have a secret sexual desire to touch a gun. Is the Will, then, only one of the forces working within me? I have low blood sugar, so I want to cry, but maybe my true Will is to wrestle the man, even if Will triumphs and I charge him, is that really at my own direction, or does it have more to do with whether or not I ate a bag of potato chips earlier that day? Or if it isn't attributable to the potato chips, then what makes Will strong enough to overcome fear in this situation, and not others? What force fuels it?

In a way, there is no Free Will. In another way, we need to act as if we did. One might also say that there is no free will below the abyss... (see quote above).

The other point has to do with adaptation and change. Crowley wrote that the formulation of our true Will ought to be closer to a verb than a noun, and not in the sense of "I am something," that is, the Will should be formulated as something that is dynamic and not static, right? So what does it mean for us to say that we don't want to lose ourselves?

Whoever said that? According to Thelema, you can never lose your 'self.'

AL II:9. Remember all ye that existence is pure joy; that all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass & are done; but there is that which remains.
AL II:21. We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world. Think not, o king, upon that lie: That Thou Must Die: verily thou shalt not die, but live. Now let it be understood: If the body of the King dissolve, he shall remain in pure ecstasy for ever. Nuit! Hadit! Ra-Hoor-Khuit! The Sun, Strength & Sight, Light; these are for the servants of the Star & the Snake.
AL II:58. Yea! deem not of change: ye shall be as ye are, & not other. Therefore the kings of the earth shall be Kings for ever: the slaves shall serve. There is none that shall be cast down or lifted up: all is ever as it was. Yet there are masked ones my servants: it may be that yonder beggar is a King. A King may choose his garment as he will: there is no certain test: but a beggar cannot hide his poverty.
AL II:59. Beware therefore! Love all, lest perchance is a King concealed! Say you so? Fool! If he be a King, thou canst not hurt him.

I ask this question because I am and have always been a very idealistic person with a love of Whitman, Blake, and all those pansies. But recently I had a discussion with my mentor teacher about learning to be practical to live in China, as Chinese culture and Chinese business tend to be much more practical, generally. The conversation made me uncomfortable because I felt that nebulous fear about "losing myself." I don't think my true Will is to be idealistic, yet once I start screwing with things like pessimism and optimism, or idealistic and practical, I get a little worried. I think that such alteration can change the entire way I view reality, and thus, reality itself. If I change the very way that I exist within reality, then might that throw me out of alignment with my Will?

One should always detach oneself from attachments & the ego and discard the veils that cover the True Will. Anything below the Abyss, the mind, the memory, the conscious ego, the shadow, the body, the senses - they are all impermanent and going to die, but "there is that which remains."

65 & 210,
111-418

http://iao131.cjb.ne t"> http://iao131.cjb.net


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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A.C.'s interpretation in prose on Lao Tzu, 'The Tao Teh Ching' explains the Magickal Will in its entirety. Reading between the lines of course...you will find visions of the Magickal Will as it arises through the lens of this phantasma...

It is one of my favourite books...which I refer to when I need to focus the lens of the subtle centres and remind myself of the dynamics and magickal power of the current.

Best Wishes

Charles


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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For me Will is the intellectual impulse to do something not becouse you feel its the right way but becouse you know it is true regardless of the conseqences or morrality. Also to subvert the idea of choice by inventing your own options and to love under the possession of lust, not vows. Will is an all conquring lust that is both destructive and creative and always addictive.


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 Anonymous
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damn ^


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 Anonymous
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"Aum418" wrote:
"shangren" wrote:
93,
The other point has to do with adaptation and change. Crowley wrote that the formulation of our true Will ought to be closer to a verb than a noun, and not in the sense of "I am something," that is, the Will should be formulated as something that is dynamic and not static, right? So what does it mean for us to say that we don't want to lose ourselves?

Whoever said that? According to Thelema, you can never lose your 'self.'

You can't lose your 'self', but you can lose things that you had thought were your 'self'. And that can be- quite unnerving, to say the least.
I'm going through it now- all sorts of things that I used to think of as being key parts of 'me' are becoming totally irrelevant.
But I don't yet quite know what the end result is going to be. So if this is my Will, then it's certainly dynamic at the moment.


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gnosomai
(@gnosomai-emauton)
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Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 29
 

Hello LAShTAL!

I've been skimming posts for awhile now and gleaning a lot of great information but, up 'til now, haven't felt the need to post. Then I managed to think myself into a corner over this topic and thought maybe a fresh hit of new perspective might knock me out of my hole. This thread addresses it in a lot of ways -- thus the resurrection -- but, since its from so long ago, I thought I'd pose the query again to see if anyone currently reading might have something new to say on the matter.

My thinking, such as it is:

"Will", in its most fundamental, over-arching, capital-W sense is equivalent to the life-force that creates -- and in a sense is -- all of reality. It is Hadit, the force of motion, the "going" without which existence wouldn't. Everything that we perceive as "natural law" is, in fact, this life-force, or Chiah, playing out at every level, on every plane, in everything. It is Consciousness. It is Life. It Is.

Tracing this force back to its source, we arrive at something called the Primum Mobile, the "first swirlings", that reinforces this core idea of motion as the thing on which this force depends. First there was Not. Out of this Not: motion. From this motion, aeons upon aeons of a cause and effect chain landed us in the present moment. But this cause and effect chain by definition follows the rules of natural law -- Will -- without exception. The things that we think of as "selves" are results of this cause and effect chain. The things that we think of as our personal wills -- illusion, though they may be -- are results of this cause and effect chain. Every motion that Chiah now makes through reality is a result of this cause and effect chain.

When we are told by the Hermetic Mysteries that the idea of a personal will -- or free will as generally understood -- is an illusion and that the goal of the work is to open our personalities up to become better conveyors of the free-flow of Will, we are put in the position of believing that there is some power that we have that is not-Will which is currently blocking Will from freely flowing. How is this possible? The implicit paradox is breaking my brain a bit. I can wrap my head around the idea of an undifferentiated, non-enlivened Not/Nuit/field-of-form sitting around in the darkness of eternity awaiting the enlivening spark of Chiah/Hadit/Will to break its inertia and bring it into the dance. What I'm having difficulty wrapping my brain around is a bit of enlivened reality -- myself/my personality/me/[insert better descriptor here] -- that is somehow at odds with the very force that enlivened it while at the same time not violating the laws of nature by which that enlivening force is defined.

No matter how I follow the path, the premise of an omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, universal "Will" seems to imply a deterministic universe. Even letting that idea go and trying to focus on realizing a personal "True Will" doesn't get me away from an ultimate devolution of thought into a deterministic universe. This seems to remove "individual choice" from our toolbox. Without the thing that we generally call "individual choice", how is it possible for us to "cause change to occur in conformity with Will"? Aren't we, at that point, just automatons fulfilling the requirements of the cause and effect chain?

Thanks in advance for any insight.


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Tao
 Tao
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I'm not really qualified to speak about anything specific to the Thelemic concept of Will (though my own thoughts at this point are that the True Will isn't really an innovation of Crowley but rather a repackaging of earlier Hermetic entry-level concepts into an easily grasped dictum towards his stated goal of rehabilitating magic(k) in such a way that it would be palatable to all). If you're looking for specifically Thelemic advice, I'm sure the others can do better than I would

As far as Hermetic theory, though, if I'm understanding you correctly then it appears that you've put the cart before the horse in a way that's completely blocked the road. Your basic concept of capital-W Will is essentially sound as is the falseness of a "personal will" that is somehow separate from it. However, between those two you've inserted what you understand to be "natural law" as a foundation for your cause/effect chain, not acknowledging that "natural law" as we understand it is simply a human codification of human observations of the natural world. "Natural law", though addressing fundamental concepts of reality, is no more infallible than any other output of science. As it affects your current conundrum, "natural law" as understood by science does not recognize the power of attention to effect change while the Hermetic theory does.

If you want to interact with the Hermetic theory on its own grounds, you'll need to (at least provisionally) accept that it recognises that concentrated attention is a fundamental force of change in the universe and that you, and I, and pretty much any other point of individual consciousness, has it within our power to use.

Otherwise, you're right. The majority-held scientific theory of the universe does not currently give us a rationally supported alternative to determinism. The current experiments at CERN might change that but, for now, automatons we remain.


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gnosomai
(@gnosomai-emauton)
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But even if we accept "attention" as a fundamental force or a part of natural law, doesn't it still have to follow the cause and effect chain? Doesn't there have to be some antecedent cause that motivates one to "attend"? Or are you saying that "choice" is somehow independent of the chain? How is that possible?


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