In thelemic words, what is a vice?
When Hadit says "the vices are my service", what he is saying?
Yes, I know that vice in thelema has no relationshio with vice in drugs and oter stuffs.
Vice in thelema has another meaning. What is this meaning?
...although I note the artisan failed to observe the injunction not to "veil it in virtuous words".
The short answer is that "vice" means the same thing to a Thelemite that it means to everyone else: an action or habit considered "evil, degrading, or immoral," as one online dictionary puts it.
First, some context.
AL II: 52 reads: "There is a veil: that veil is black. It is the veil of the modest woman; it is the veil of sorrow, & the pall of death: this is none of me. Tear down that lying spectre of the centuries: veil not your vices in virtuous words: these vices are my service; ye do well, & I will reward you here and hereafter."
The key point here is that we are not to "veil" our vices in virtuous words. The implication is that a lot of things that are natural to human beings -- in the particular example of this verse, sexuality (and especially female sexuality) -- are considered "evil, degrading, or immoral" by other people or by society at large.
The solution, in the previous aeon, was to accept this idea that our natural inclinations are "bad" and to proceed to "veil" those vices -- i.e. prevent others from seeing them, often by concealing them in terms that make them seem "virtuous" to society. Hence, the idea of the "modest" woman, who does not flaunt her sexuality in public.
The Book of the Law is explicitly saying that those so-called "vices" -- the ones that are natural to people, in line with their true will -- are "my service," an expression of the individual's nature. There is no longer any need to "veil" them, to play the silly game of society that requires us to pretend that our natures have to live up to the ridiculous expectations of others and of even our own silly minds and the foolish notions of "goodness" or "spirituality."
Considered alongside AL I:22 ("Let there be no difference made among you between any one thing & any other thing; for thereby there cometh hurt."), this verse illustrates the result of not making a "difference" between things. It's not "better" to perform an action that people consider "virtuous" than it is to perform an action that people consider a "vice." Every action is unique and cannot be compared or contrasted to another in any objective way: to the universe, each is equally a fulfillment of possibility.
That being the case, there is no basis for choosing one action over another except for the nature of the individual (i.e. the true will).
While we're on the subject, a lot of people try to twist one small part of AL II:21 ("Compassion is the vice of kings") to mean the exact opposite of what it actually means by reading it next to II: 52.
I don't have much to add to it, but I'll put some emphasis on a point he makes toward the end: the phrase "vice of kings" is from Hamlet, where it indicates, essentially, the idea of playing at being a king, pretending to be a king.
A beggar thinks that "acting compassionate" is a "royal" thing to do, a "good" thing to do, so he deliberately tries to be "compassionate." In the process, he "makes a difference" and assumes that being compassionate is *better* than being cruel, rather than responding to the situation as the situation warrants (which is what a real king would do).
Real kings obey their nature in conjunction with the environment: they act in a particular situation according to their wills, not according to some arbitrary idea that it's "good" to be compassionate or kind as a matter of principle or some arbitrary ideas about what is "virtuous" or "vicious."
Seen from this perspective, the Book of the Law is consistently affirming that an individual's nature is the only guide of conduct and that ideas about how one "should" behave -- that one should act in ways considered virtuous or good or compassionate or nice -- are nothing more than restrictions that interfere with carrying out the will.
@Los: Well said! But "Real kings" know and understand the principal of 'nobless oblige," and their duties as Patrons (in the Spanish sense) to their communities and as patrons of The Arts, and The Artists.
These are not ideas of how one "should" behave. They are but a few of the ideals behind "the eight and ninety rules of art." The student should note how Liber Al Vel Legis calls one to action with proactive suggestions for conduct. That's proactive, Dear Friends, not reactive. One is rarely doing one's Will in a reactive situation, unless one is *really* on the ball.
I just want to add that it seems to me that vice has been defined by the previous posters, and I agree with that definition (namely a habit that you yourself feel is bad or that you wish you didnt have, or action you dont really enjoy but do anyway because you 'cant help it'). That said, I don't think we should confuse this concept with sin. In my opinion sin does not exist. I think Liber AL does a good point in illustrating how the concept of sin is nothing but a chain for lesser beasts and that it has no real use in modern society which I feel should be unrestricted compared to in the past, as we definitely have a higher evolved state of human generally speaking than 2 millenia ago (I believe).
Do we think vice could be confused as or maybe possibly equated with sin in Liber AL? just curious on your opinions. I personally feel they are separate.
I'm not well versed on this topic, but I really like Walter Five's commentary. It seems to me that I once read something Crowley wrote that had a similar vibe.
Isn't it in the Book of the L.aw that, "The word of sin is restriction"? That is the only sin in Thelemic terms? That is, if there's a distinction between sin and vice.
...although I note the artisan failed to observe the injunction not to "veil it in virtuous words".
Well put, Los.
LeticiaCopetti, from the perspective of Thelema, a "vice" is any thought, word or deed that is contrary to the nature (true Will) of the individual in question, actions which are artificial to that individual's true nature.
You're thinking of AL I:41: "The word of Sin is Restriction."
In one sense, yes, you can read this verse as saying that the only "sin" of Thelema is restricting one's own will.
In another sense, though, you can read this verse as saying that the idea of "Sin" itself is a kind of restriction. In this sense, "sin" doesn't exist at all; it, like morality and the concepts of "virtues" and "vices," is a creation of the imagination and -- like all creations of the imagination -- is not real.
Actually, I believe that concepts such as "virtues" and "vices" are more often learned from the environment rather than being created by the imagination, although one might say that people imagine them to be true for themselves when they may not necessarily be so.
Thanks for everyone! I have undestood that my vices were something that I needed to know to acomphish my Tru Will, because as Hadit has said, vices are his service. That's ok, but what is a vice? I used to ask my self(smile). To know what are my vices I need firstlly, to know what is a vice in thelemic sense.
In other words, vice is the true Nature of a human being. In my opinion, if someone starts to thing between virtue and defect and put vice at the place of what the society would consider like a defect, this persons creates a moral thought and this is the contrary of what a themite looks for, I think.
about the relation between sin and vices, I think that since a thelemite veils his vices, it's a sin, if we consider that sin is restrition. To veil a vice is a kind of restrition.
i agree with you for once . .that's partially why i asked the question to see if i was the only one 🙂 i think the idea of sin is just control programming.
If Thelemites are nothing else, they are cerebral, thinking creatures. I myself, only hope to keep up in these forums. All of you challenge me in the best of ways. That's to say, always thought provoking. Anyway, thanks to Letticia Copetti's originial question, I now have a better grasp on will in regards to Thelema; however, I'm not there yet. Is will spontaneous, or something the Thelemite must ponder. Does every percieved want spring from the eternal well of will or is it a process in which an individual must learn to discern true will?
I reccomend Crowley's Magick in theory and practice regarding willl. short answer True Will is discovered through hard work and meditation. its thus spontaneous but not self revealing without the work (yoga meditation ceremonial etc) . that my understanding.
and of course you may never find it. its a striving.
Will is defined as an individual's nature in conjunction with the environment -- thus it is "spontaneous" in the sense that it is an expression of one's natural inclination. But the will is not necessarily one's immediate reaction to a situation, which will often be colored by the emotions, a sense of "morality," a tendency to jump to false conclusions, and other distorting influences. According to Thelemic metaphysics, these distorting influences arise because each individual (Khabs) is equipped with a body and a mind (Khu), which make experience possible, but also have their own agenda that could potentially lead one astray.
Therefore, it is necessary to "discover" the true will. Notice the etymology of "discover": to uncover, to remove the covering from. The process of discovering the true will is a process of identifying the ways in which the mind distorts perception and causes one to go astray. In the context of this thread, one of the ways minds distort perception is to label behaviors as "vices" or "virtues," to think that some action can be inherently good or bad.
There are a number of ways to train the mind to perceive clearly, including practices such as meditation, divination, ritual, etc. It's important to note that these practices are a prelude for the task of discovering the will, not an end in themselves. It is also important to note that one does not need to buy into the spurious supernatural "theories" surrounding these practices to engage in them and use them for the purpose of sharpening the perceptive faculties. [In fact, believing in such false theories is detrimental to the task]
Once one is able to perceive clearly, without distortions, one is ready to perceive the will, which must be perceived during one's day-to-day life. Since the true will is an individual's nature in conjunction with the environment, it can only be perceived during day to day life, in real time.
True will cannot be "pondered" because it arises from the nature of the individual, not from the mind. You cannot use the thinking process to "figure out" the will -- you can only observe the will after you have trained the mind to perceive without distortion. Through these observations, the mind can start to draw inferences about the will, but only so that it can help the will manifest (*not* so that the mind can direct action by itself).
For much more on this subject, I would direct you to Erwin's essay on "True Will" (http://www.erwinhessle.com/writings/truewill.ph p"> http://www.erwinhessle.com/writings/truewill.php ) and his excellent "Thelemic Primer" for beginners (http://www.erwinhessle.com/writings/thelp.ph p"> http://www.erwinhessle.com/writings/thelp.php ), which are best introductory texts available on the subject.
The will can actually be found in any moment. All you need to do is to get your mind (i.e. that part of your mind that is always spinning stories about reality, stories about good and bad and vice and virtue) to shut up for a little while -- then you can listen to what it is that your Self actually wants to do.
"Finding the will" isn't really some super-special conversion moment with lights and bells and whistles and the singing of heavenly hosts -- although the dawning of "Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel" might be experienced that way by some people (this phrase is Crowley's favorite metaphor for discovering the will, chosen, he said in Magick in Theory and Practice, because "the theory implied in these words is so patently absurd that only simpletons would waste much time in analyzing it. It would be accepted as a convention, and no one would incur the grave danger of building a philosophical system on it").
Discovering the will is not a lofty and impossible spiritual attainment that only a few will ever achieve. It's very possible, it has been achieved before by many, many people throughout history (most of whom have never heard of "magick"), and it is an achievement that is definitely within the power of the vast majority of people with the proper dedication and the courage to challenge their own convictions.
The will can be found at in moment, in any moment. And if you can find it in one moment, you can find it in the next moment. And you can keep finding it each moment, right up until your last moment. And then you'll never suffer again.
Absolutely, 'Now' is the knowing.
Following along with the above, it is much like an infant learning to walk, a seemingly impossible task at first from the point of view of the infant at the time, no doubt, yet at the same time somehow naturally inevitable with the appropriate determined effort. The initial hesitations must be overcome and, often with the aid of contingency plans (grabbing onto reliably stable supports, falling onto one's ass yet somehow surviving to get back up again, etc.), the process gradually becomes automatic and the initial clumsiness evolves into natural grace. Steps become strides and strides become leaps and bounds, each perfectly natural so long as their course is in keeping with the true nature, true Will, of the individual in question. It's a process, indeed. but nothing of the sort that need wait for an imagined afterlife or some such nonsense. If appropriate emphasis and diligence is applied to aligning oneself with one's true Will, which often involves painful introspection and self-analysis, as well as traumatic catharsis, success is inevitable, because it is nothing more than true self-realization and becoming accustomed to remaining steadfastly true to that Self.
Note: Remaining seated on one's ass in hesitation, or lulled by distraction, will not result in success in this endeavor.
Yes, I'd agree with that.
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I think "vice" in Thelema actually does mean "vice" in drugs. I couldn't think of it in any other way.
These are not ideas of how one "should" behave.
Actually, those are ideas of how one "should" behave. That is the meaning of duty.
If a so-called "King" acts out of duty, he is not acting according to his will. It's the other way around - a King's will may coincide with what others consider to be her duty, and that's what makes her a King.
Can you give an example of a quote from Liber Al Vel Legis that calls for conduct other than acting according to one's will? If so, then what is that "should" based on, if not
It is possible to achieve the understanding and discipline required to act according to one's will in a reactive situation. It just takes work.