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newneubergOuch2
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04/10/2014 11:19 pm  

In Germer's letters he repeatedly states his True Will is to publish works by Crowley.


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Shiva
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05/10/2014 12:59 am  
"newneubergOuch2" wrote:
In Germer's letters he repeatedly states his True Will is to publish works by Crowley.

Well, he certainly succeeded in getting some of them published. Too bad his True Will wasn't to continue in administration of an operative OTO, while he was publishing those books ... I guess. After all, it's not my place to be saying what somebody's will should have been.


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Anonymous
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05/10/2014 3:30 am  
"Tao" wrote:
"Los" wrote:
There are a number of problems here. First, you're trying to hang quite a lot on one single quotation, which just won't do (see above).

It only takes a single baby to disprove virginity. And this particular baby happens to be the place where Crowley specifically set out to define his terms.

The issue of Will, will or True Will is dealt with in Magick. Don't you think that if Crowley later on  really set out to redefine and/or reorder the definition of True Will as seen in his magnum opus, Magick (1929) that it would've been a big deal worthy of a reedit or a reprint?  It would be the equivalent of Newton redefining the laws of motion and theorems in his Principia.  This, "finite will" and, "totality of being" business appear to be mere musings therefore.   


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Tao
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05/10/2014 8:25 am  
"david" wrote:
Don't you think that if Crowley later on  really set out to redefine and/or reorder the definition of True Will as seen in his magnum opus, Magick (1929) that it would've been a big deal worthy of a reedit or a reprint?

As this is just the sort of question that fueled that whole kill/fill controversy that seemed to get everyone around these parts all hot and bothered, your question very admirably highlights why it's important to establish what the man actually wrote, when he wrote it, and if it did, at any point, amend or supersede prior writings.

Well done, david. In spite of yourself you seem to have forwarded the discussion.


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Tao
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05/10/2014 9:38 am  

The stream of souls (stars) flows ever towards Nuit; i.e., each man and woman has the same True Will - to regain its original Mother.

Commentary to Liber LXV, 3:54

By this point, at least, Crowley seems to have embraced the notion that True Will expresses itself on different levels. That is, while one might have an individual TW that guides one through the finite wills of profession and day-to-day decision making, all True Wills ultimately boil down to the seeking of union with the All.

Does anybody happen to have a date for the composition of the LVX commentaries? Internal evidence places them after 1923 but I haven't been able to nail down a specific year.


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Anonymous
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05/10/2014 11:02 am  
"Tao" wrote:
"david" wrote:
Don't you think that if Crowley later on  really set out to redefine and/or reorder the definition of True Will as seen in his magnum opus, Magick (1929) that it would've been a big deal worthy of a reedit or a reprint?

As this is just the sort of question that fueled that whole kill/fill controversy that seemed to get everyone around these parts all hot and bothered, your question very admirably highlights why it's important to establish what the man actually wrote, when he wrote it, and if it did, at any point, amend or supersede prior writings.

Well done, david. In spite of yourself you seem to have forwarded the discussion.

Thankyou Tao I appreciate that.  I am trying to be neutral.


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belmurru
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05/10/2014 11:43 am  
"Tao" wrote:

The stream of souls (stars) flows ever towards Nuit; i.e., each man and woman has the same True Will - to regain its original Mother.

Commentary to Liber LXV, 3:54

By this point, at least, Crowley seems to have embraced the notion that True Will expresses itself on different levels. That is, while one might have an individual TW that guides one through the finite wills of profession and day-to-day decision making, all True Wills ultimately boil down to the seeking of union with the All.

Does anybody happen to have a date for the composition of the LVX commentaries? Internal evidence places them after 1923 but I haven't been able to nail down a specific year.

1923 seems to be right. The passage you quote may have been written on 7 July of that year.

In The Magical Diaries of Aleister Crowley (edited by Stephen Skinner, 1979), he records composing the commentary on Liber LXV between June 17 and August 6, 1923.

"17 June [Sunday]. Began rough comment on LXV. Did Chapter I, ending at 3:30 a.m.!" (p. 69)
"[7 July]. Finished Comment on LXV, iii, & studied Chapter IV thoroughly, making notes." (p. 83)
"11 July [Wednesday]. Summary of Week's Work. ... 7 Saturday... LXV, iii, 37-65 & analysed Cap: IV." (p. 85)
"6 August [Monday]. Finished the Comment on LXV (Rough Draft)." (p. 117)


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05/10/2014 12:20 pm  
"Los" wrote:
Yeah, but you still haven't explained how you're reading "purpose," if not "The function for which something has been fit by nature...that which the thing naturally does." How does your definition of "purpose" diverge from mine?

The "purpose" aspect of will/True Will/"infinite will" issue in the thread hasn't been clarified as of yet.  In 1929's Book 4 part 3 Crowley writes, "'Do what thou wilt' is to bid Stars to shine, Vines to bear grapes, Water to seek its level; man is the only being in Nature that has striven to set himself at odds with himself."  With that said is there "purpose" behind vines growing grapes?  Paracelsus and Steiner would have us believe that angels and elementals hover over plants blowing life-energy into them but that isn't a necessary factor of biological law.  What about water finding it's own level?  This is a pointless, "purpose"less, mechanical observation of Newtonian proportions as is the shining thermonuclear heat/light emission of the stars.  To sum up here Crowley reduces and equivocates human True Will with mechanical materialistic processes of Nature wouldn't you say?.       

The dictionary definition of "purpose" deals with human intent or enthusiasm but in the more generally universal sense it is, "the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists."  This does not concern metaphysics.  Obviously this is going to lead mystics to try bring in the big bang and a possible metaphysical first cause (a la  Saint Thomas Aquinas), free will, determinism and teleology but would that be necessary?  Well, no imo.

In terms of trends in occultism consider how on Eshelman's  Temple of Thelema forum anyone who argues against his directive (quasi krsna consciousness transmigratory "true will" concept of "purpose") is muzzled even though Crowley urged us for the sake of balance to accept all viewpoints.  Occultists take that on board but unfortunately seem to have a scotoma when it comes to exploring materialism.  Science views the universe as a rolling dead machine devoid of "purpose" but is this incompatible with Crowley's view of True Will?  I think my earlier Book 4 citation above demonstrates that it isn't.


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05/10/2014 12:54 pm  

Just in case you think that universe as rolling dead machine is a bit "negative" I'd like to point out that there is no incompatibility there with 

18. These are dead, these fellows; they feel not. We are not for the poor and sad: the lords of the earth are our kinsfolk.

44. Aye! feast! rejoice! there is no dread hereafter. There is the dissolution, and eternal ecstasy in the kisses of Nu.

45. There is death for the dogs.

72. Strive ever to more! and if thou art truly mine -- and doubt it not, an if thou art ever joyous! -- death is the crown of all.

73. Ah! Ah! Death! Death! thou shalt long for death. Death is forbidden, o man, unto thee.


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newneubergOuch2
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05/10/2014 1:17 pm  

You can read Crowley, but you can't seem to read Crowley.

The above quotes of course are from Liber AL dictated to Crowley by a praeterhuman Aiwass.

When any works of Crowley (or Aiwass) uses the word Death, it usually means something else entirely in the main.

Spending too much of my recent time on this forum lately against my own better judgement. It is better lurking generally rather than catching up people with Crowley 101 information. Imho. Less tiring.

There are enough Crowley quotes in this thread that people should get an idea of what Crowley means by True Will, if you are struggling with understanding it, read more Crowley, read his letters, diaries, others letters etc, read ALL the biographies, biographies of other Thelemites, AA or OTO members or at the very least get off your computer and into the world of experience where Crowley himself forged Thelema. Most of Crowleys writings can only have meaning by living them, seeing what he did and not copying per se but gaining inspiration on how to tread the path to.....

NewneubergOuch2 out for the time being. Happy travels.
93s.


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belmurru
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05/10/2014 4:21 pm  
"david" wrote:
The "purpose" aspect of will/True Will/"infinite will" issue in the thread hasn't been clarified as of yet.  In 1929's Book 4 part 3 Crowley writes, "'Do what thou wilt' is to bid Stars to shine, Vines to bear grapes, Water to seek its level; man is the only being in Nature that has striven to set himself at odds with himself."  To sum up here Crowley reduces and equivocates human True Will with mechanical materialistic processes of Nature wouldn't you say?.       

No. And you meant "equates", not "equivocates."

As the understandably frustrated newneubergOuch2 observes, you aren't really reading Crowley; you are simply not grappling with the thought here. You are reading past him, seeing only your own assumptions.

In the case of this passage, Crowley grants to Man a special quality not present in any other "being in Nature" - that of being able to, even strive to, "set himself at odds with himself". Which physical law is that? What water sets itself not to find its level? What star tries to bid itself not to shine? Which vines strive not to bear grapes?

So, if you read him closely here, Crowley is saying that Man is not quite natural; alone of all beings in Nature, he has the ability to thwart his natural function. It is another way of saying that Man has "Freewill", and that he often makes the wrong choices, against his nature.

This is a premise that we have to deal with, one way or another. It is arguable that he didn't really believe it, but said it for a rhetorical reason; it is arguable that he really did believe it; it is arguable that one part of him believed it as suitable in one grade, and one part of him believed it was not true in another grade; it is arguable that he was right; it is arguable that he was wrong.

But in this passage it is clear that he very definitely distinguishes Man from those other natural things which you characterize as "mechanical materialistic processes of Nature."


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belmurru
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05/10/2014 5:59 pm  

“Do what you like”, Ethics, Thelema, and True Will

Crowley invented the concept and the term “True Will”, so it always with his writings on it that we should begin – and we should start at the beginning. In the Confessions, he describes his “discovery” of this “true will” in the very earliest phase of his journey, beginning with the now well-known experience in Stockholm on December 31, 1896, even before he began studying alchemy or magic. Understanding what he meant by this shows that his concept of the True Will is inextricably entwined with transcendental and mystical  concepts, as it is with Magick: it is not merely an ethical method, however rational many of its techniques may be.

Crowley does anticipate the ethical component of what I take to be Los’ doctrine of True Will – find out what you really like, what you really want, and don’t let false ideas of what you should be doing (family, peer, societal or hierarchical dogmatic pressures) or things you like too much (like addictions or laziness) get in the way. It is basically like Campbell’s “Follow your bliss”, by means of constant introspection refined through training (“meditation” and “ritual”), like Mindfulness Meditation or Crowley’s “sammasati” meditation (or even “mahasatipatthana” taken to its furthest extreme) .  It is a form of self-directed Individuation (Jung’s term). By knowing who and what you are you will do what you want within the limits prescribed by both environmental limitations and your own ultimate vision of success (your “why” or purpose), you will have less inner turmoil (a clean conscience, certainty about yourself), more energy, and greater happiness. It is the equivalent of the Delphic γνῶθι σεαυτόν, nosce te ipsum, “Know yourself”, along with the other aim of philosophy – εὐδαιμονία –eudaimonia, literally “good spiritedness”, the condition of being in good spirits, happiness, or being content. For most of philosophy, this meant adjusting oneself to society, to one’s role or place in it, acting virutously; but for Los, following Crowley (but only partly, as I hope to show), achieving εὐδαιμονία is about the individual’s conscience, which is sometimes very much at odds with society’s expectations. This interpretation would have puzzled Aristotle, since he could not know how the last 500 years of ethical philosophy beginning in Europe would increasingly see the individual person and conscience as the core ethical basis of law and morality, but for Crowley and us it is a truism – “To thine own self be true.”

About this individualistic ethical approach, Crowley said (“The Temple of Solomon the King”, Equinox I,4 pp. 191-192; emphasis Crowley’s):

“Do not worry about this code and that law, about the jibber of this crank or the jabber of that faddist. To hell with ethical pigs and prigs alike. Do what you like; but in the name of your own Higher Self wilfully do no injury to your own body or mind by over indulgence or under indulgence. Discover your normal appetite; satisfy it.”

DO WHAT YOU LIKE – this seems to be a deliberate echo of “Do what thou wilt” – Thelema – but translated onto the merely ethical plane – with a following, moderating condition, “do no injury to your own body or mind.” It is a practical code of conduct for the free man. The “translation” shows that this ethical approach does not equate “what you like” with the technical meaning of “what you will” in “Do what thou wilt”; and the appeal to “your own Higher Self” – Augoeides, HGA – marks off the distinction further. Your True Will is not on the same plane as your ethical will, your appetites and preferences that should merely be satisfied so that you can get on with the pursuit of your real True Will.

Reaffirming this distinction between the naturalistic ethic of “do what you like” and the non-ethical principle of “Do what thou wilt” is The Message of the Master Therion:

“(I)t should be clear that ‘Do what thou wilt’ does not mean ‘do what you like.’ It is the apotheosis of Freedom; but it is also the strictest possible bond.”

Id est, True Will has nothing to do with discovering your natural appetite and satisfying it. As Michael Staley observed in another thread, such a view of True Will is superficial.


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Hamal
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05/10/2014 6:42 pm  
"belmurru" wrote:
“Do what you like”, Ethics, Thelema, and True Will

Crowley invented the concept and the term “True Will”, so it always with his writings on it that we should begin – and we should start at the beginning. In the Confessions, he describes his “discovery” of this “true will” in the very earliest phase of his journey, beginning with the now well-known experience in Stockholm on December 31, 1896, even before he began studying alchemy or magic. Understanding what he meant by this shows that his concept of the True Will is inextricably entwined with transcendental and mystical  concepts, as it is with Magick: it is not merely an ethical method, however rational many of its techniques may be.

Crowley does anticipate the ethical component of what I take to be Los’ doctrine of True Will – find out what you really like, what you really want, and don’t let false ideas of what you should be doing (family, peer, societal or hierarchical dogmatic pressures) or things you like too much (like addictions or laziness) get in the way. It is basically like Campbell’s “Follow your bliss”, by means of constant introspection refined through training (“meditation” and “ritual”), like Mindfulness Meditation or Crowley’s “sammasati” meditation (or even “mahasatipatthana” taken to its furthest extreme) .  It is a form of self-directed Individuation (Jung’s term). By knowing who and what you are you will do what you want within the limits prescribed by both environmental limitations and your own ultimate vision of success (your “why” or purpose), you will have less inner turmoil (a clean conscience, certainty about yourself), more energy, and greater happiness. It is the equivalent of the Delphic γνῶθι σεαυτόν, nosce te ipsum, “Know yourself”, along with the other aim of philosophy – εὐδαιμονία –eudaimonia, literally “good spiritedness”, the condition of being in good spirits, happiness, or being content. For most of philosophy, this meant adjusting oneself to society, to one’s role or place in it, acting virutously; but for Los, following Crowley (but only partly, as I hope to show), achieving εὐδαιμονία is about the individual’s conscience, which is sometimes very much at odds with society’s expectations. This interpretation would have puzzled Aristotle, since he could not know how the last 500 years of ethical philosophy beginning in Europe would increasingly see the individual person and conscience as the core ethical basis of law and morality, but for Crowley and us it is a truism – “To thine own self be true.”

About this individualistic ethical approach, Crowley said (“The Temple of Solomon the King”, Equinox I,4 pp. 191-192; emphasis Crowley’s):

“Do not worry about this code and that law, about the jibber of this crank or the jabber of that faddist. To hell with ethical pigs and prigs alike. Do what you like; but in the name of your own Higher Self wilfully do no injury to your own body or mind by over indulgence or under indulgence. Discover your normal appetite; satisfy it.”

DO WHAT YOU LIKE – this seems to be a deliberate echo of “Do what thou wilt” – Thelema – but translated onto the merely ethical plane – with a following, moderating condition, “do no injury to your own body or mind.” It is a practical code of conduct for the free man. The “translation” shows that this ethical approach does not equate “what you like” with the technical meaning of “what you will” in “Do what thou wilt”; and the appeal to “your own Higher Self” – Augoeides, HGA – marks off the distinction further. Your True Will is not on the same plane as your ethical will, your appetites and preferences that should merely be satisfied so that you can get on with the pursuit of your real True Will.

Reaffirming this distinction between the naturalistic ethic of “do what you like” and the non-ethical principle of “Do what thou wilt” is The Message of the Master Therion:

“(I)t should be clear that ‘Do what thou wilt’ does not mean ‘do what you like.’ It is the apotheosis of Freedom; but it is also the strictest possible bond.”

Id est, True Will has nothing to do with discovering your natural appetite and satisfying it. As Michael Staley observed in another thread, such a view of True Will is superficial.

Bravo Belmurru! A really excellent exposition and a pleasure to read!

🙂
Hamal


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Tao
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05/10/2014 6:56 pm  

I'll second that!

And thank you, as well, for the chronological confirmation above. Much appreciated.


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wellreadwellbred
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05/10/2014 7:48 pm  
"belmurru" wrote:
Id est, True Will has nothing to do with discovering your natural appetite and satisfying it.

Is there a differentiation between a 'True Will' which "has nothing to do with discovering your natural appetite and satisfying it.", and a 'true will' which has something to do with discovering your natural appetite and satisfying it?


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wellreadwellbred
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05/10/2014 8:44 pm  
"Los" wrote:
As I said in an earlier post, I think that what we call "Thelema" primarily comes from Crowley's writings (his interpretations of the Book of the Law), but that his writings are trumped by the Book itself, and the Book itself is trumped by reality. That is to say, if Crowley says something that can be demonstrated to be in conflict with the Book, then I'll go with the Book over Crowley. And if the Book says something that can be demonstrated to be in conflict with reality, then I'll go with reality.

In the quote above from page 5 in this thread, I think we have the principles of exegesis* on which Los bases comments, comments on the "Thelema" mentioned in the said quote.

* Exegesis is a critical explanation or interpretation of a text, particularly a religious text. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exegesis


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Anonymous
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05/10/2014 9:02 pm  

@ belmurru , thanks.


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05/10/2014 9:12 pm  
"belmurru" wrote:
“Do what you like”, Ethics, Thelema, and True Will

Crowley invented the concept and the term “True Will”, so it always with his writings on it that we should begin – and we should start at the beginning. In the Confessions, he describes his “discovery” of this “true will” in the very earliest phase of his journey, beginning with the now well-known experience in Stockholm on December 31, 1896, even before he began studying alchemy or magic. Understanding what he meant by this shows that his concept of the True Will is inextricably entwined with transcendental and mystical  concepts, as it is with Magick: it is not merely an ethical method, however rational many of its techniques may be.

I don't have Colin Wilson's "The Nature of the Beast" at hand but if I'm not mistaken he puts forth the view therein that Crowley underwent a crisis of an acceptance of his own homosexuality but in the context of a "spiritual experience."  Does anyone have Wilson's book? I'd like to know when and where that experience happened.  Does Wilson propose that this was the Stockholm experience?


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Anonymous
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05/10/2014 9:36 pm  
"belmurru" wrote:

But in this passage it is clear that he very definitely distinguishes Man from those other natural things which you characterize as "mechanical materialistic processes of Nature."

Yes I slipped up on the "man as separate to the other aspects of nature" point but my main point (which still holds) was about Crowley's definition of  "purpose" and (when man does indeed find his) True Will.  I think you and Neuberg overlooked that.  The "purpose" involved in Crowley's definition of True Will (which Tao hasn't addressed yet) is defined by Crowley in his  Newtonian views on water finding it's own level and grapes growing vines and stars emitting light.  Citation "Magick" 1929.


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Hamal
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05/10/2014 10:55 pm  

Oh gawd... the sanctity of this thread has been shattered!

::)
Hamal


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Tao
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05/10/2014 11:35 pm  
"david" wrote:
The "purpose" involved in Crowley's definition of True Will (which Tao hasn't addressed yet) is defined by Crowley in his  Newtonian views on water finding it's own level and grapes growing vines and stars emitting light.  Citation "Magick" 1929.

This is because Tao has seen no reason to address it again as Tao did address it in post #49. To wit:

I'm doing my best not to interpret it, rather allowing it to speak for itself for as long as it's able.

This response seems to have been adequate for all parties involved (save one) and, as that particular party has used it as a way to deflect the thread of discussion away from all of the other points raised in Tao's post #46, even in light of Tao's stated willingness to accept said party's preferred definition temporarily for the sake of argument, I wouldn't expect Tao to invest any more time and effort in it.

As a side note, your own quotation from Magick has (inadvertantly once again) provided support for the methodology of reading evidence at face value rather than attempting to fit it into a preconceived generalisation. As has been pointed out to you (and which you still refuse to see) the passage from Magick contrasts man to the rest of nature. Water may find its level by nature (call it water's "purpose", if you like, though that sounds a bit contrived to me) but Man can bid it to do so. Vines may naturally bear grapes (given the right conditions) but Crowley is here stating the Man can bid them to do so by setting himself apart from nature. Man is the exception to the rule. That is anything but the generalised definition that Los wants to fall back on.

Regardless, I personally would not attempt to cut and paste anything I might deduce from this particular passage onto a tract he wrote six years later unless he were specifically referencing it. I would, as suggested in post #49, allow the words of that tract to speak within the context in which they were written.


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Los
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06/10/2014 4:10 am  
"belmurru" wrote:
I don’t want to pretend to lecture an American about the US Constitution

Luckily, the historical specifics surrounding the example I used are beside the point. My point was simply that a piece of writing doesn't have to use an exact phrase to communicate an idea that can be summarized by that exact phrase.

The Book of the Law arguably presents a consistent idea about behavior. Let's call it X. Crowley called X "True Will." Maybe you'd rather call it "pure will" or "wuzzle whuzzle." Makes no difference to me. But to object to every instance of someone using "True Will" with "Well, you know, the exact phrase 'True Will' doesn't appear anywhere in Liber AL" seems to me rather pointless.

[Crowley] doesn’t mince his words about his belief in reincarnation, the True Self as the reincarnating Supernal Triad, and the Oaths taken in a past life informing the present one, in letter 47 of Magick Without Tears. These are some of his core beliefs, unprovable as he admirably admits, and they did very much inform his development of the doctrine of True Will.

Well, you've said a mouthful there. I *would* say that he "mince[d] words" about those beliefs, whereas you'd rather see his statements of skepticism as some kind of public face he put on for "plausible deniability." You might be right, but then again you might not be. Crowley's level of authentic belief in the supernatural is difficult to gauge, and probably should be discussed eventually on a separate thread.

But again I'd have to insist that if these supernatural beliefs did inform his development of the doctrine of the True Will, there's not very much evidence of that in his practical explanations of discovering and carrying out one's True Will. Yes, yes, I know. You're interested in the theory that underlies the practical application, but when certain supposed aspects of the theory are hardly visible at all in the explanations of the practical application, one begins to wonder how much of these aspects actually did "inform" much of anything at all.

[Crowley]really didn’t care if such beliefs could be "proven", as long as the belief worked for him and kept him going, even inspired him

Yeah, I think this is correct. And, of course, I consider it one of Crowley's many failings. Maybe it's a quibble of language, but I don't really think the word "belief" applies to situations where someone says he "believes" X but explains that his attitude is actually more like, "Ehhh, maybe it's true and maybe it's not, but who cares? It inspires me, so I'm gonna go with it."

In my book, "believing" something means thinking it's actually true. Someone who admits he doesn't care if something is true doesn't actually "believe" it, regardless of what he says.

Again, this point could just be a minor disagreement on our use of language, so I'm happy to drop it or save it for another thread.


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Los
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06/10/2014 4:25 am  
"belmurru" wrote:
we have to explain why we insist on riding Crowley’s coat-tails using the term “True Will” when it is not necessary if we are simply explaining a simple psychological or self-consciously ethical way to live.

To be as clear and as succinct as I can: I think I'm doing more than "using the term 'True Will.'" I assert that my interpretation of the practice of discovering and carrying out (what I call) True Will is practically identical to Crowley's interpretation of the practice of discovering and carrying out (what he called) True Will, for all intents and purposes. For all practical purposes, I claim I'm working with the thing that Crowley was discussing under the label "True Will," and I also claim that there's a lot of interesting and enlightening material by Crowley on working with it.

What Crowley thought the True Will actually was -- whether, for example, he thought it was the product of a magical critter that incarnated many times -- is irrelevant to the practice of accessing it and working with it.

That's the justification for using the term True Will: I'm using it to refer to the thing Crowley was referring to, whatever Crowley might have thought its ultimate ontology might be and whatever its ultimate ontology might actually be.

What we appear to be talking about on this thread is what Crowley thought the True Will actually *was* -- that is, where it "comes from," whether it's connected to something like a "soul" that survives death, etc. And that's a fine question, but whatever its answer may be, it doesn't change the fact that Crowley described how to engage with (what he called) True Will practically, and the practice requires nothing supernatural in the slightest.


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Los
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06/10/2014 4:32 am  
"belmurru" wrote:
"Los" wrote:
Look, imagine a scenario where you and I are talking to a person who wants to be a Thelemite. The guy asks, "So...I want to discover my True Will. What should I do?"

Crowley's answer would include three methods. In order of increasing importance:

1. Sammasati meditation, as codified for example in Liber Thisharb (this advice is given in The Message of the Master Therion). Introspection, "mindfulness meditation", self-observation.
2. Study and interpretation of your dreams. These are "pageants" of the True Will, this Will speaking to you directly - albeit in metaphor and imagery rather than in didactic language - "no longer inhibited by that conscious Control which is determined by Environment, and therefore oft times contrary to himself. This being so, the Will declareth himself, as it were in a Pageant..." (Liber Aleph, K (11)).
3. Astral journeys, travel in the "Body of Light" . This is of the highest importance because "Whereas the Direction of such Journeys is consciously willed, and determined by Reason, and also unconsciously willed, by the True Self, since without It no Invocation were possible, we have here a Cooperation or Alliance between the Inner and the Outer Self, and thus an Accomplishment, at least partial, of the Great Work." (Liber Aleph, Ξ (15)).

Thus: Introspection, Dream interpretation, Astral travel. 

Well, I agree that Crowley would recommend all of those things, but those are just three specific practices (and I'm not sure how you decided to rank them in importance...I certainly wouldn't rank them in that order, and I'm really not sure that Crowley would say to someone brand new to Thelema that astral travel is the most important practice for discovering the True Will).

A better answer would be to say that Crowley would recommend, in general, that the student gain control of his or her body and mind, to prepare for the task of seeing "beneath" these veils. There are two primary methods of gaining this control: the first is stilling the body and mind (yoga), and the second is exciting the body and mind (magick). The end goal is the same: these are just two roads to the goal.

There are various practices that can be utilized, and certainly the formal practices of yoga and magick will probably not be suited to most students. Crowley would probably recommend a number of those formal practices, but more important than any of the practices is the general idea behind them, without which a student is just flying blind.


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Los
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06/10/2014 4:45 am  
"belmurru" wrote:
About this individualistic ethical approach, Crowley said (“The Temple of Solomon the King”, Equinox I,4 pp. 191-192; emphasis Crowley’s):

“Do not worry about this code and that law, about the jibber of this crank or the jabber of that faddist. To hell with ethical pigs and prigs alike. Do what you like; but in the name of your own Higher Self wilfully do no injury to your own body or mind by over indulgence or under indulgence. Discover your normal appetite; satisfy it.”

DO WHAT YOU LIKE – this seems to be a deliberate echo of “Do what thou wilt” – Thelema – but translated onto the merely ethical plane – with a following, moderating condition, “do no injury to your own body or mind.” It is a practical code of conduct for the free man. The “translation” shows that this ethical approach does not equate “what you like” with the technical meaning of “what you will” in “Do what thou wilt”; and the appeal to “your own Higher Self” – Augoeides, HGA – marks off the distinction further. Your True Will is not on the same plane as your ethical will, your appetites and preferences that should merely be satisfied so that you can get on with the pursuit of your real True Will.

And I thought that Tao guy was trying to hang way too much on one single quote!

First of all -- not that it matters all that much but -- didn't Fuller write most of the "Temple of Solomon the King" pieces? I don't have the time to look up whether Fuller or Crowley penned the passage you quote.

Second of all, you're trying to make your entire case on the back of one single quote you've pulled out from one text and juxtaposed with another quote from a different text, using them to construct a syllogism and then attempting to attribute the conclusion *you* derive from a syllogism *you* constructed to Crowley himself.

You're lucky I'm about to go to bed and don't have the energy to express how disappointing and exasperating your post is.


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Tao
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06/10/2014 5:53 am  

Well, at least this Tao chick can see the methodology that you are either completely unable (or unwilling) to acknowledge. That is, that a specific writing can only be expected to reflect the contents of a mind at the time it is committed to paper but that, if one wants to understand a mind in its fullness, one must engage with all of the different states in which it existed over its lifetime.


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Tao
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06/10/2014 6:47 am  
"david" wrote:
Seriously, what other affairs are there other than the mundane?  Bolstering weakened self-images with delusional stories that we were  Joan of Arc or the Queen of Sheba or King Solomon in a past life?  Pretending that aliens transmit ESP messages to us about our mission on earth?  Make believing that we have super powers?

In his commentaries to Liber LXV, written in Summer of 1923, Crowley had the following observations on the role of True Will in and around the attainment of Knowledge & Conversation of the HGA:

Immediately the Adept has attained to the K. and C. of his H.G.A., he loses no time, but goes on the way of his True Will, borne upon the flood of the physical life which he has spilt in order to enjoy the impersonal and effortless life in communion with his Angel.
- Comment on IV:41

The point of this passage is to show how the attainment [of K.&.C. of the H.G.A.], instead of being as the postulant was apt to imagine the completion of the Great Work, may extend his conception of that work from a personal to an impersonal sphere.
- Comment on IV:56

In the course of preparing to carry out the Operation of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, I discovered that my interests were inseperable from those of humanity at large. I however formulated my True Will in this way. My mission on earth was to teach men "the next step", i.e., to induce them to devote themselves to attain the K. and C. of the H.G.A. as opposed to more philosophically universal tasks such as the Hindu and Buddhist sages proposed. It was my own attainment that compelled me to extend the scope of my Work to the function of the Logos of the Aeon much as has been explained in the passages of the Chapter just discussed.
- Comment on IV:60

This may mean that my Work may reawaken real religious fervor in those who have lost all faith and vision; their wrath against me will arouse them to realize that at the bottom of their hearts is the instinct that they are spiritual beings.
- Comment on II:27

The stream of souls (stars) flows ever towards Nuit; i.e., each man and woman has the same True Will - to regain its original Mother.
- Comment on III:54

Leaving out the unnecessary judgement as to his relative level of delusion, it seems pretty clear that Crowley believed that there were non-mundane ("impersonal") affairs toward which the True Will could be directed. In his own life, that manifested as the promulgation of the Word of an Aeon but it also carried the implied weight of restoring the power of religious fervor to force humans to "realize... that they are spiritual beings." Even aside from his personal biography, he believed that, underlying every individualized outward manifestation of True Will, "each man and woman has the same True Will - to regain its original Mother," i.e., to reunite with Nuit, the Tao, the All that is Not. Hardly "mundane" to my way of thinking.

It is unfortunate that, rather than trying to engage with the discussion, you spent the rest of your effort on that post taking my words out of context in order to try to paint me as "want[ing] Crowley as mystic and otherworldly wizard (which is a common desire amongst occultists of course) whist avoiding the mundane practicalities of his writings on Thelema."  To re-purpose your closing words in a more useful way: That sort of thing is not conducive to finding what Crowley meant by TW imo.


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Tao
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06/10/2014 7:56 am  

In finishing his Commentary to Liber LXV, ch.4, the following comes up:

In the midst of a long explication of verse 64, in which he is attempting to determine the correct interpretation of "...extending beyond the permitted end of the endless one," Crowley posits the arena of Will by noting: "The canon of perfection of will is given in CCXX, I, 44:-'For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect'."

Following that, his comment of verse 65 picks up the thread:

65. Then, O thou heart, will I the serpent eat thee wholly up; yea, I will eat thee wholly up.

The conclusion - and be it remembered that this whole chapter concerns itself with the expression of the Unconscious Will - is that the "Consummation" of the K. and C. of the H.G.A. whose connotation is fixed by verse 64 is the complete and irrevocable absorption of the human consciousness of the Adept in that of his H.G.A. The symbol of the heart, i.e., of the passive passionate life of the Adept, is consumed (consummation) in the divine and eternal life represented by the serpent... The consummation implies the transformation of the reverberatory vibration of human life into the continuous serpentine spiral vibration of the pure energy which is not assuaged by its results, which neither lusts for its results nor is assuaged by them. [emphasis his]

In this, Crowley appears to equate the "pure will" spoken of in Liber Legis to the pure energy of the Angel which is "divine and eternal life." He also, unless I read him wrong, equates that to yet another "will", the "Unconscious Will", capitalised and distinct from "True Will" which, in order to be effective, must be conscious.

This seems to be yet another datum towards the idea that Pure Will is both distinct from True Will and working at a higher and more universal level, originally suggested by several posts much earlier in this thread.

A possible interpretation: Prior to K&C of the HGA, the True Will guides one in a practical, mundane way that is fully in line with one's nature. K&C is the union of the True Will with the Pure Will thus transforming the conscious expression of it from a temporal, mundane, human reverberation to a universal, spiritual, serpentine spiral vibration.
Example: The transition of "To teach the next step" from "advocating K&C" to "promulgating the Word of the Aeon".


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belmurru
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06/10/2014 6:05 pm  

Los - I think we do need a new thread (or revive an old one) for the topic most of interest to you, and also to others I imagine, which might be titled something like "True Will - what is it, how do I discover it?"

What I really want with this thread is to explore what Crowley said about it. Despite the inevitable personal opinions and of course interpretations we all will do, I really want to focus on Crowley's own words here rather than judgments or extended theorizing, however tempting.

I really came to this subject without many preconceptions, depsite knowing the term "True Will" for most of my life. I knew it was supposed to be discovered, formulated, and lived. But I didn't know the history of the concept or how Crowley used it - in a systematic way, I mean. The discussion on this thread has actually clarified a lot of previously vague notions I had. I hope it continues this way, rather than descending into a fight over who's got the better understanding.

But if we want a fight - in the proper spirit of course - let's take it to a new thread, and leave this one to continue on full of Crowley quotes and explorations of what HE meant.


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belmurru
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06/10/2014 7:52 pm  
"Los" wrote:
Well, I agree that Crowley would recommend all of those things, but those are just three specific practices (and I'm not sure how you decided to rank them in importance...I certainly wouldn't rank them in that order, and I'm really not sure that Crowley would say to someone brand new to Thelema that astral travel is the most important practice for discovering the True Will).

I arranged them that way because that's the order they appear in Liber Aleph, chapters 9 to 15. Also, the first two are explicitly ranked as such, and the third, being a combination of "phantasy" and reason under will, at least a "partial" accomplishment of the Great Work, seems to be the highest method of all for exploring your True Nature. This recalls the path of Samekh from Yesod to Tiphereth in Liber XIII, whose main practice is '"Rising on the Planes".

A better answer would be to say that Crowley would recommend, in general, that the student gain control of his or her body and mind, to prepare for the task of seeing "beneath" these veils. There are two primary methods of gaining this control: the first is stilling the body and mind (yoga), and the second is exciting the body and mind (magick). The end goal is the same: these are just two roads to the goal.

There are various practices that can be utilized, and certainly the formal practices of yoga and magick will probably not be suited to most students. Crowley would probably recommend a number of those formal practices, but more important than any of the practices is the general idea behind them, without which a student is just flying blind.

Sure, but I can't cite any such general advice on his part offhand. It is useful to distill or summarize the process, but I'm trying to quote him wherever possible.


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Tao
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06/10/2014 8:47 pm  

The "general advice" to that end can be found in Section A of Duty, but it doesn't offer specific practices by which to achieve it.


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the_real_simon_iff
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06/10/2014 10:06 pm  

belmurru, 93!

I just see that AC used the phrase "true Will" in 1917 in Moonchild, chapter 18: "She was not insincere; but she believed with her whole soul that her immediate impulse was the true Will of her whole Self."

Just as an aside

Love=Law
Lutz


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Anonymous
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06/10/2014 10:25 pm  
"Tao" wrote:
Well, at least this Tao chick can see the methodology that you are either completely unable (or unwilling) to acknowledge. That is, that a specific writing can only be expected to reflect the contents of a mind at the time it is committed to paper but that, if one wants to understand a mind in its fullness, one must engage with all of the different states in which it existed over its lifetime.

I'm not sure about that.  You're aware that Crowley wrote that he reincarnated from a god that was worshipped in Sumer?  A s Los and Hessle have shown this statement goes against the scientific scepticism that he consistently promoted particularly in the magum opus , Magick.  (He even came out with some very silly clangers therein.)  The point being that he wrote a lot of nonsense in his time poetic musings, exagerrations  and ramblings such as, "I may be a black magician but I'm a bloody great one", "Syphilis is probably the physical basis of genius", "Painting, like golf, is an old man's game." or, Practically all women ought to be chloroformed at 35."    Are we to take these statements seriously?  Yes if they were in the theorems sections intro of Magick but they weren't.  The interesting thing about scientific scepticism is once you commit to it as being the bedrock of yours system as he did with Thelema then it's up to us to intelligently apply it to identify any drivel that he may have written.

I recently said that if he really had multiple conflicting ideas about what True Will is then this would be the equivalent of Newton back pedalling and arguing against the laws of motion and theorums proposed in the Principia.  We would've had, Principia mark 2 the revised update. but no we didn't with Crowley. 

This quibble about 1 44 "pure will" as somehow being different from the True Will in Magick is imo hair splitting and the result of  confirmation bias as  Liber Al as a transmission reads as the words of an English person.  I myself am English and I may tell you that e.g. as a child for me xmas- time was 1) delightful I reiterate it was 2) pure delight yes  it was 3) sheer delight.  I'm trying to convey the same base idea of delight there but as I natter on in the course of my communication I use different means to express that.  That's it!  I wouldn't read too much into that and I certainly wouldn't try and stretch that as being equivalent to the kill me /fill me conflict.  That was a whole different kettle of fish wasn't it? 


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Tao
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06/10/2014 10:44 pm  
"david" wrote:
The interesting thing about scientific scepticism is once you commit to it as being the bedrock of yours system as he did with Thelema then it's up to us to intelligently apply it to identify any drivel that he may have written.

As I haven't committed to scientific scepticism being the bedrock of my system (nor did ye grande olde Beast, as far as I can tell) I don't feel any need to commit myself to anything on that front. Feel free to commit yourself, though, if it be your will.

"david" wrote:
This quibble about 1 44 "pure will" as somehow being different from the True Will in Magick is imo hair splitting and the result of  confirmation bias as  Liber Al as a transmission reads as the words of an English person.

With this, as I think it's become patently obvious, I would disagree. If you would like to continue that conversation, please provide textual evidence or analysis to back up the claim rather than simple "imo".


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Anonymous
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06/10/2014 10:56 pm  
"Tao" wrote:
With this, as I think it's become patently obvious, I would disagree. If you would like to continue that conversation, please provide textual evidence or analysis to back up the claim rather than simple "imo".

Well ok we disagree.  With respect I think you're splitting hairs and it's unnecessary.  Textual evidence?  Exactly that.  I can read and write English as did the author of Liber Al.  That is my textual evidence.  I can't really add more to my "xmas as delightful/pure delight/sheer delight etc"  analogy/demonstration.    If you want to try to find flaws in that then be my guest.


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mika
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06/10/2014 11:15 pm  
"Tao" wrote:
As I haven't committed to scientific scepticism being the bedrock of my system (nor did ye grande olde Beast, as far as I can tell)

"The Method of Science, the Aim of Religion" is a clear commitment to scientific skepticism as the bedrock of the system of Thelema. If you disagree, then, what do you think Crowley meant by "the Method of Science"?


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Tao
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06/10/2014 11:40 pm  
"david" wrote:
  I can't really add more to my "xmas as delightful/pure delight/sheer delight etc"  analogy/demonstration.    If you want to try to find flaws in that then be my guest.

If you'd like to share your real name, I'd be happy to go out and analyse your use of the technical term "sheer delight" (capitalised or otherwise) within your body of published literature. I then might be able to determine whether you do, in fact, use it interchangeably with other similar terms or whether it does, possibly, hold a place of special significance within your understanding of the universe that also invests it with a meaning not common in general usage. Short of that, I'd say your analogy is indeed flawed.


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Tao
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06/10/2014 11:53 pm  
"mika" wrote:
"Tao" wrote:
As I haven't committed to scientific scepticism being the bedrock of my system (nor did ye grande olde Beast, as far as I can tell)

"The Method of Science, the Aim of Religion" is a clear commitment to scientific skepticism as the bedrock of the system of Thelema. If you disagree, then, what do you think Crowley meant by "the Method of Science"?

In deference to belmurru's request to keep this thread on topic, I'd be happy to investigate that particular phrase on a thread devoted to the subject.

For the purposes of this thread, suffice it to say that "The Method of Science... " is the motto of the A.'.A.'., a mystical and magical system developed by Crowley that many years later embraced the Book of the Law. He also somewhere (perhaps someone with better access than I have knows where?) referred to it as Pyrrho-Zoroastrianism which confirms that, even within the pre-Thelema context of the A.'.A.'., he was referring to Pyrrhonism (or philosophic scepticism), not scientific scepticism.

Either way, it is not the "bedrock of the system of Thelema", whatever that may mean. If there is, indeed, a bedrock to Thelema, it would be "Do what thou wilt", the extended definition of which is, actually, the purpose of this thread.


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wellreadwellbred
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07/10/2014 12:28 am  

[All in brackets, and all bold emphasis, added by me]

"Los" wrote:
There are various practices that can be utilized [for discovering the True Will], and certainly the formal practices of yoga and magick will probably not be suited to most students. Crowley would probably recommend a number of those formal practices, but more important than any of the practices is the general idea behind them [emphasis mine], without which a student is just flying blind.
"david" wrote:
[...] This quibble about 1 44 "pure will" as somehow being different from the True Will in Magick is imo hair splitting and the result of  confirmation bias as Liber Al as a transmission reads as the words of an English person.

"Magick Without Tears By Aleister Crowley Introduction
Letters written by the Master Therion to a Student[.]

"[...] Letter No. H November 10–11. [1943] 11 p.m.–2 a.m. [...] [glow=red,2,300]That verse (AL. I, 44 ["For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect."]) condenses the whole magical technique.[/glow] It [It = the general idea behind the whole magical technique] makes clear when you have understood it—the secret of success in the Great Work. Of course at first it appears a paradox. You must have an aim, and one aim only: yet on no account must you want to achieve it!!!

Those chapters of The Book of Lies quoted in my last letter* do throw some light onto this Abyss of self-contradiction; and there is meaning much deeper than the contrast between the Will with a capital W, and desire, want, or velleity. The main point seems to be that in aspiring to Power one is limited by the True Will. If you use force, violating your own nature either from lack of understanding or from petulant whim, one is merely wasting energy; things go back to normal as soon as the stress is removed.  This is one small case of the big Equation "Free Will = Necessity" (Fate, Destiny, or Karma: it's all much the same idea). One is most rigidly bound by the causal chain that has dragged one to where one is; but it is one's own self that has forged the links." [...] "..., there is this factor in all success: self-confidence. If we analyze this, we find that it means that one is aware that all one's mental and physical faculties  are working harmoniously. The deadliest and subtlest enemy of that feeling is anxiety about the result; the finest gauze of doubt is enough to dim one's vision, to throw the entire field out of focus. Hence, even to be aware that there is a result in prospect must militate against that serenity of spirit which is the essence of self-confidence. ..." Source: http://hermetic.com/crowley/magick-without-tears/mwt_intr.html - Magick Without Tears, Introduction[.] Letters written by the Master Therion to a Student[.]

* A  dated Oct. 12, '43 constituted No. 48 in Magick Without Tears, and the following chapters from the Book of Lies: "Peaches", "Pilgrim-Talk", "Buttons and Rosettes", "The Gun-Barrel" and "The Mountaineer."

"Chapter XVII: Astral Journey: Example, How to do it, How to Verify your Experience" [...] "What you say about tension and eagerness and haste is very true. See The

Book of the Law, Chapter I, 44.

    "For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect."

This, from a practical [Crowley's emphasis] point of view, is one of the most important verses in the book.

The unusual word "unassuaged" is very interesting. People generally suppose that "will" is the slave of purpose, that you cannot will a thing properly unless you are aiming at a definite goal. But this is not the case. Thinking of the goal actually serves to distract the mind. [glow=red,2,300]In these few words [= AL. I, 44] is included the whole method[/glow] without all the bombastic piety of the servile doctrine of mysticism about the surrender of the Will. Nor is this idea of surrender actually correct; the will must be identified with the Divine Will, so-called. One wants to become like a mighty flowing river, which is not consciously aiming at the sea, and is certainly not yielding to any external influence. It is acting in conformity with the law of its own nature, with the Tao. One can describe it, if necessary, as "passive love"(*); but it is love (in effect) raised to its highest potential. We come back to the same thing: when passion is purged of any "lust of result" it is irresistible; it has become "Law." I can never understand why it is that mystics fail to see that their smarmy doctrine of surrender actually insists upon the duality which they have set out to abolish!" Source: http://hermetic.com/crowley/magick-without-tears/mwt_17.html - Magick Without Tears, Chapter XVII: Astral Journey: Example, How to do it, How to Verify your Experience

"(*) Here, MAGICK WITHOUT TEARS UNEXPURGATED COMMENTED PART I by ALEISTER CROWLEY and Marcelo Motta, contains the following: Cf. Liber VII [= A∴A∴ Publication in Class A: Liber Liberi vel Lapidis Lazuli] V, 46((*)) for this important point. Source: http://www.castletower.org/mwt.html#chapterXVII

((*)) "Nor by memory, nor by imagination, nor by prayer, nor by fasting, nor by scourging, nor by drugs, nor by ritual, nor by meditation; only by passive love shall he avail." Source: http://hermetic.com/crowley/libers/lib7.html - Liber Liberi vel Lapidis Lazuli or Liber VII or Liber 7.


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Anonymous
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07/10/2014 12:31 am  
"Tao" wrote:

"david" wrote:
  I can't really add more to my "xmas as delightful/pure delight/sheer delight etc"  analogy/demonstration.    If you want to try to find flaws in that then be my guest.

If you'd like to share your real name, I'd be happy to go out and analyse your use of the technical term "sheer delight" (capitalised or otherwise) within your body of published literature. I then might be able to determine whether you do, in fact, use it interchangeably with other similar terms or whether it does, possibly, hold a place of special significance within your understanding of the universe that also invests it with a meaning not common in general usage. Short of that, I'd say your analogy is indeed flawed.

I'd say that that was a dodgy analogy.  A published writer who uses the same English as anyone does not somehow have a special privilege whereby absolutely everything they say or write must have high significance.  I mean for those folk who are compelled to split hairs it's different yes but not for anyone else.


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Tao
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07/10/2014 1:34 am  
"david" wrote:
I'd say that that was a dodgy analogy.  A published writer who uses the same English as anyone does not somehow have a special privilege whereby absolutely everything they say or write must have high significance.  I mean for those folk who are compelled to split hairs it's different yes but not for anyone else.

If you examine the corpus of occult literature, you will regularly be confronted by the word "Light". If you suppose that the capitalisation means nothing and that the word is meant to simply represent the beams of energy emitting from the bulb above your desk, you will never understand the texts for what they actually mean. If, however, you come to understand that "Light" is being used in a very specific, technical sense, one that is akin to the light from your bulb and even, in many ways, overlaps with it but is still not exactly the same, then you will be on the right path towards understanding the cognate terms konx, khabs, and L.V.X.

Similarly, attempt a discussion of "particles" with a particle physicist, treating them as though they are "a minute portion, piece, fragment, or amount; a tiny or very small bit" of matter, distinct from energy, and see how far you get. (quoted from the Random House Dictionary)

The situation with "True Will" is analogous to that, not your Christmas delight. Absolutely everything that Crowley says or writes needn't have high significance but this particular phrase is a technical term, meant to convey something akin to the word "will" but not exactly the same as the generally accepted definition. As the growing list of quotations is beginning to show, that "something" that it is meant to convey has multiple levels of meaning when one attempts to distill it down into simple English. Since only the terms "will", "wilt", and "pure will" appear in the Book of the Law and "True Will" doesn't appear until at least 12 years later, it seems to me that anyone who wants to identify as a Thelemite might want to get some clarity on what the prophet's interpretation actually means, where it came from, and how "mystical" it actually is... or isn't.

I suppose that's just splitting hairs but, as suggested above, this thread is intended to split hairs in its attempt to discover all the pertinent details from Crowley's own writing. If you aren't a hair splitter, perhaps it's not the right place for you.


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Tao
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07/10/2014 3:43 am  

From the Commentary to LXV, V:7

This verse 7 may therefore be summarized somewhat as follows:-

The proclamation of Horus by 666 will enable every person to fulfill his proper function or True Will, and by so doing to reach the perfection of his own nature, whereas the illusion of dividuality is entirely destroyed. As it is written in Liber CCXX, I, 44-45:-

'For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.

'The Perfect and the Perfect are one Perfect and not two; nay, are none!'


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Anonymous
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07/10/2014 11:16 pm  
"Tao" wrote:
If you examine the corpus of occult literature, you will regularly be confronted by the word "Light". If you suppose that the capitalisation means nothing and that the word is meant to simply represent the beams of energy emitting from the bulb above your desk, you will never understand the texts for what they actually mean. If, however, you come to understand that "Light" is being used in a very specific, technical sense, one that is akin to the light from your bulb and even, in many ways, overlaps with it but is still not exactly the same, then you will be on the right path towards understanding the cognate terms konx, khabs, and L.V.X.
.

Light or light yes that's true but is it really akin to "true will" or "True Will" or "pure will"? 

"Tao" wrote:
Similarly, attempt a discussion of "particles" with a particle physicist, treating them as though they are "a minute portion, piece, fragment, or amount; a tiny or very small bit" of matter, distinct from energy, and see how far you get. (quoted from the Random House Dictionary)

The situation with "True Will" is analogous to that, not your Christmas delight.

I see what you're driving at that but terms used in science, "atom", "force", "mass" so on have specifically defined terms usually quantitative and measurable within the rigid context of a proposed empirical theorem e.g. Force = mass x acceleration.  However with Liber Al (which is a piece of prose not a mathematical-scientific  formulae) we have to apply the rules of English grammar to define the terms hence my attempt to show you this with the "sheer delight" explanation .   

"Tao" wrote:
. Absolutely everything that Crowley says or writes needn't have high significance but this particular phrase is a technical term, meant to convey something akin to the word "will" but not exactly the same as the generally accepted definition. As the growing list of quotations is beginning to show, that "something" that it is meant to convey has multiple levels of meaning when one attempts to distill it down into simple English. Since only the terms "will", "wilt", and "pure will" appear in the Book of the Law and "True Will" doesn't appear until at least 12 years later, it seems to me that anyone who wants to identify as a Thelemite might want to get some clarity on what the prophet's interpretation actually means, where it came from, and how "mystical" it actually is... or isn't.

On the subject of  isolating, insulating and scrutinizing the "pure will" in 1 44 from the "will" in 1 42 as follows.

42. Let it be that state of manyhood bound and loathing. So with thy all; thou hast no right but to do thy will.

43. Do that, and no other shall say nay.

44. For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.

45. The Perfect and the Perfect are one Perfect and not two; nay, are none!

There is a conjunction in 1 44 which ties together the "will" in 1 42 with the "pure will" of 1 44.  The conjunction is the word, "for".  Conjunctions may be small words, but conjunctions are highly functional and very important for constructing sentences. Basically, conjunctions join words, phrases and clauses together.

For example let's say that I am talking about some cherry pies I had.  I bought some great cherry pies at the supermarket last week.  They were really sweet and the ingredients consisted of the finest sugar.  It gave me an amazing amount of pleasure for pure cherry pies when they are made by top class cake manufacturers are in every way perfect.  See what I did?  The subject of the first sentence were conjoined with the latter sentences (where I am still discussing the same subject (cherry pies namely "pure" cherry pies not the cheap tasteless ones.))  You could try to isolate or insulate or scrutinize the second "will" I.e. the "pure will" but it's conjoined with "will" in fact it is analogous to discussing water in it's fluid state ("will") and it's boiled state, steam  ("pure will" i.e. True Will)

In short the "will" in 1 42 to me is the process (or effort) of someone working towards finding their True Will which when they do it can be described as "pure" so therefore "pure will" is the same as True Will.  Furthermore True Will is pure in the alchemical or chemical sense of having burnt out that which is impure ; the impurities.  In terms of Los's definitions I would say "will" is the effort someone makes to open up to their true inclinations and once achieved they have gone through that purification process and have then found their True Will /"pure will".    The impurities are the psycho-physical distortions that  obscure the Khabs.


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Anonymous
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08/10/2014 12:06 am  

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.

I would also say that the earlier "wilt" (above) in 1 40 would be akin to all other three factors; True Will, will and pure will. 

I thought it would be pertinent to analyse the dictionary definition of the word, "will" in it's noun and verb aspects just to see how malleable the word actually is as follows.

.
n.
1.
a.  The mental faculty by which one deliberately chooses or decides upon a course of action: championed freedom of will against a doctrine of predetermination.

b.  The act of exercising the will.

2.
a.  Diligent purposefulness; determination: an athlete with the will to win.

b.  Self-control; self-discipline: lacked the will to overcome the addiction.

3.  A desire, purpose, or determination, especially of one in authority: It is the sovereign's will that the prisoner be spared.

4.  Deliberate intention or wish: Let it be known that I took this course of action against my will.

5.  Free discretion; inclination or pleasure: wandered about, guided only by will.

6.  Bearing or attitude toward others; disposition: full of good will.

7.
a.  A legal declaration of how a person wishes his or her possessions to be disposed of after death.

b.  A legally executed document containing this declaration.

v. willed, will·ing, wills

v.tr.
1.  To decide on; choose.

2.  To yearn for; desire: "She makes you will your own destruction" (George Bernard Shaw).

3.  To decree, dictate, or order.

4.  To resolve with a forceful will; determine.

5.  To induce or try to induce by sheer force of will: We willed the sun to come out.

6.  To grant in a legal will; bequeath.

v.intr.
1.  To exercise the will.

2.  To make a choice; choose.
Idiom:
at will
Just as or when one wishes.


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08/10/2014 12:33 am  
"Tao" wrote:

A new bit of information that I find to be very compelling (new to my eyes, at any rate) is the column from 777 wherein he places the "The True Self (Zeitgeist) - Spiritual environment" separate from and above "The True Will - Spiritual Energy", both of which are far removed from "The Human Will. Vital Force. Spiritual conscious self.”

Your definitions, at best, describe Crowley's "Human Will". It's not for nothing that "To be a painter", something you trotted out as a legitimate True Will according to your three definitions awhile back, is a desire that Crowley would relegate to the "Finite Will" (vide De Lege Libellum).

You are aware that 777 is an elaborate game that involves a form of confirmation bias?.  You have 10 file name categories and the task at hand is to take a subject and split it into ten components and then try to shove those different components into each category. Something has to go somewhere is the main rule of the game.


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Tao
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08/10/2014 5:27 am  
"david" wrote:
In short the "will" in 1 42 to me is...

In terms of Los's definitions I would say "will" is...

I don't see how any of this is germane to the topic of the thread. As belmurru has pointed out several times now, this thread is meant to explore Aleister Crowley's coining of, use of, and understanding of the term "True Will" and its relation to Aiwass's words in Liber Legis. This is not the thread for hashing out our own personal definitions.

I'm starting to feel like the internet police. Perhaps it's time for me to follow newneubergOuch's lead and step off the carousel for a bit. I'll return if I stumble across any more pertinent data.


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belmurru
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08/10/2014 8:24 am  
"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
I just see that AC used the phrase "true Will" in 1917 in Moonchild, chapter 18: "She was not insincere; but she believed with her whole soul that her immediate impulse was the true Will of her whole Self."

Thanks very much, Lutz.

I thought it might be in some writings in between 1916 and 1918, but I hadn't time to look yet (and my Moonchild is sadly missing, although I could search online copies of course - but that would take the pleasure of reading it again away!). I also haven't looked through all the Simon Iff stories - surely some solution is due to knowing the true Will of somebody in the story?

This is a great example – it defines the term “True Will” by implication. It’s a great example of how the obvious meaning of the term became a technical expression. Here “Will” is capitalized, so the reader will recognize the meaning of “overriding intent or purpose”; this is REALLY what she wants to do. But by adding “true” to it, and the qualification of “her whole Self” (the last word also capitalized), he implies that there is a deeper Will of the Self that she does not recognize, and that she mistakes this or that momentary passion for the Will of the whole Self.

The “Will of the whole Self” is, therefore, the “true Will”; but she doesn't really know her "whole Self." Her self is just a succession of selves, each all-consuming. The “immediate impulse”, in the foreground and short-term, is, by implication, a “false will”. These short-term fascinations and impressions completely overwhelm her judgment and allow her to pour all of her energy into the moment, as long as it is begun quickly enough, but it goes away as quickly as it comes, and another takes its place. She sees no apparent connection between her succession of all-encompassing drives, no “long view” that would draw a line between them all and tell her what unites them, and feels no need to seek such a connection (having the leisure to do so). 

It's a nice intermediate use of the term - not yet a technical term, but "true Will" qualified with "of her whole Self", in the context of a story rather than a philosophical exposition, shows that Crowley expected the reader to follow the meaning without too much difficulty.

Basically he’s saying that Lisa di Giuffria is serially possessed, a perfect medium for her unconscious. It turns out that even having a baby is not her true Will. Is it ever suggested in the book that she finds such a thing (not in those words of course)? I’ll have to read it again. 


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the_real_simon_iff
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08/10/2014 2:18 pm  

belmurru, 93!

"belmurru" wrote:
I also haven't looked through all the Simon Iff stories - surely some solution is due to knowing the true Will of somebody in the story?

I haven't found it in there, still have to check "The Scrutinies" though, since I don't have these as PDFs. But sure someone else has.

As far as my computer skills go, there seem to be no other mentionings of "true will" or "pure will" or "true self" throughout Moonchild.

Still searching....

Love=Law
Lutz


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08/10/2014 9:01 pm  
"Tao" wrote:
"david" wrote:
In short the "will" in 1 42 to me is...

In terms of Los's definitions I would say "will" is...

I don't see how any of this is germane to the topic of the thread. As belmurru has pointed out several times now, this thread is meant to explore Aleister Crowley's coining of, use of, and understanding of the term "True Will" and its relation to Aiwass's words in Liber Legis. This is not the thread for hashing out our own personal definitions.

Well it was an impersonal definition imo as I keep saying the touchstone to accessing the authority of Liber Al are the rules of English and English grammar and a logical assessment applied therein.  I think I did that in demonstrating the meaning of "will" and "pure will" in my post #142 for all to see and assess for themselves..  Are we adult enough to formulate our own intelligent commentaries on the terms used in Liber Al?  Isn't that what the new aeon is ; becoming an adult who thinks for themselves as oppose to a patronized child in a patriarchal world?


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Los
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08/10/2014 10:36 pm  

Look, I’m happy to have a conversation about what Aleister Crowley himself said, but we have to recognize that having such a conversation necessarily entails interpretation. When someone, like, say, that “Tao” guy, says that my reading of Crowley is correct but “doesn’t go far enough,” then he’s implicitly got in mind an interpretation of what Aleister Crowley said. Of course, it’s an incredibly murky and ill-defined interpretation, which is why I tried to get him to explain it – for example, I tried to get him to explain what he thinks Crowley means by “purpose” if not “function,” as I’ve been suggesting. He won’t answer the question because, I strongly suspect, he can’t.

So let’s talk about what Crowley said. I’m reproducing below, with commentary, a survey of places in the New Comment and Liber Aleph where Crowley explicitly talks about True Will as the individual’s natural function. Please note that I deliberately restricted myself to places where Crowley explicitly discusses natural function in terms of the phrase True Will or Do what thou wilt. If I were to include those quotations that don’t use the exact wording but strongly *imply* True Will, I’d be here all day reproducing quotes.

New Comment II:72

Every organ has 'no law beyond Do what thou wilt'. Its law is determined by the history of its development, and by its present relations with its fellow-citizens. We do not fortify our lungs and our limbs by identical methods, or aim at the same tokens of success in training the throat of the tenor and the fingers of the fiddler. But all laws are alike in this: they agree that power and tone come from persistently practising the proper exercise without overstraining. When a faculty is freely fulfilling its function, it will grow; the test is its willingness to 'strive ever to more'; it justifies itself by being 'ever joyous'. It follows that 'death is the crown of all'. For a life which has fulfilled all its possibilities ceases to have a purpose

[Comment: By analogy with organs of the body, Crowley explains that “Do what thou wilt” is a matter of the individual freely fulfilling his or her function. Notice at the end of this quote, Crowley uses the word “purpose” to discuss fulfilling the possibilities of an individual. From the context, we’re justified in inferring that Crowley means that fulfilling one’s possibilities is the fulfilling of the individual’s function. When one has fulfilled one’s function as much as one is able – when there are no possibilities left to fulfill in a given circumstance according to one’s function – then there can be no “purpose” left. It’s something of a tautology: one’s purpose is to perform one’s function, to fulfill all of the possibilities available given one’s circumstances]

III:20

The Ethics of Liber Legis are those of Evolution itself. We are only fools if we interfere. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law, biologically as well as in every other way.

[…]

Let us take an example. I am an antivaccinationist in a sense which every other antivaccinationist would repudiate. I admit that vaccination protects from small-pox. But I should like everybody to have small-pox. The weak would die; the strong might have pitted faces; but the race would become immune to the disease in a few generations.

[…]

On somewhat similar lines, I would advocate, with Samuel Butler, the destruction of all machinery.

[Comment: By identifying the ethics of Liber Legis (i.e. “Do what thou wilt”) with those of biological evolution, Crowley confirms that the Law is to act in accordance with nature, to fulfill the function for which nature fits each individual. The phrase “biologically as well as in every other way” does suggest that there are other “ways” in which the Law of Thelema applies, but it does not suggest that one of those other ways is non-physical. Crowley might mean to say that the Law of Thelema applies biologically as well as socially, ethically, politically, etc. Such an interpretation would accord well with what he says in the rest of this passage, where he first illustrates the biological application of the Law before applying it in social and political ways.

Incidentally, we can – and should – distinguish between Crowley’s ideas about the Law of Thelema (his ideas about what it is) and his ideas about specific applications for it. Crowley seems to be suggesting that vaccinating people is somehow against the Law of Thelema, which is absurd. Developing vaccines is perfectly “natural” behavior for human animals, and there’s no reason to suppose that this one type of natural behavior is somehow unnatural or in violation of nature. Crowley is just confused here, as he is on his point of destroying machinery.

Speaking of dumb ideas, this is also one of the several places in the New Comment where Crowley appears to say that rape can be excusable: “Thus the race-thought, subconscious, tells a man that he must have a son, cost what it may. Rome was founded on the rape of the Sabine women. Would a reasoner have advocated that rape? Was it 'justice' or 'mercy' or 'morality' or 'Christianity'?”]

III:60

Far better, let him assume this Law [of Thelema] to be the Universal Key to every problem of Life, and then apply it to one particular case after another. As he comes by degrees to understand it, he will be astounded at the simplification of the most obscure questions which it furnishes. Thus he will assimilate the Law, and make it the norm of his conscious being; this by itself will suffice to initiate him, to dissolve his complexes, to unveil himself to himself; and so shall he attain the Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel.

[Comment: Crowley says that consciously accepting and applying the Law of Thelema will lead the individual to be “initiated,” which he defines here in terms of discovering the Self (“unveil himself to himself”), which is a process that he puts in terms of “dissolv[ing] his complexes.”

Again, Crowley affirms that the Law of Thelema helps to unveil the actual self of the individual, dissolving the mental “complexes” that “veil” the individual from himself (see my commentary to Crowley’s comment to I:8 above]

II:19

A god living in a dog would be one who was prevented from fulfilling his function properly. The highest are those who have mastered and transcended accidental environment. They rejoice, because they do their Will; and if any man sorrow, it is clear evidence of something wrong with him. When machinery creaks and growls, the engineer knows that it is not fulfilling its function, doing its Will, with ease and joy.”

[Comment: Crowley straightforwardly compares an individual doing his Will to a machine fulfilling its function. Such an individual is the “highest,” who has mastered and transcended the “accidental” elements of his being and environment, which – in context – are clearly those elements that “prevent [him] from fulfilling his function properly,” i.e. the kinds of restriction/veils discussed in other places in my posts. “Accident” is here meant in its sense of being the contrary of “substance.” The thoughts/ideals/morality created in the mind are “accidental” in comparison to the “substantive” Will]

II: 58

Each star has a function in its galaxy proper to its own nature. Much mischief has come from our ignorance in insisting, on the contrary, that each citizen is fit for any and every social duty. But also our Law teaches that a star often veils itself from its nature. Thus the vast bulk of humanity is obsessed by an abject fear of freedom; the principal objections hitherto urged against my Law have been those of people who cannot bear to imagine the horrors which would result if they were free to do their own wills. The sense of sin, shame, self-distrust, this is what makes folk cling to Christianity-slavery. People believe in a medicine just in so far as it is nasty; the metaphysical root of this idea is in sexual degeneracy of the masochistic type. Now "the Law is for all"; but such defectives will refuse it, and serve us who are free with a fidelity the more dog-like as the simplicity of our freedom denotes their abjection.

[Commentary: Once again, Crowley explains the motion of each star as its “function” that is “proper to its own nature.” He again affirms that stars can “veil” that nature from itself (see above, “unveil himself to himself,” Crowley’s New Comment to III:60 and I:8 ). There’s a consistency to all of these observations, especially within the same text and – as my other post suggests – across texts that span decades]

32 DE LEGIBUS CONTRA MOTUM

thy Will moveth through free Function, according to its particular Nature, to that End of Dissolution of all Complexities, and those Ideals and Standards are Attempts to halt thee on that Way.

[Commentary: Again, the Will moves through free function, which is an aspect of its nature. It moves increasingly toward the “Dissolution of all Complexities” (see I:8 and III:60, above), which are explicitly explained in terms of mental “ideals and standards” (morality”) that halt the individual (and prevent the free function that is inherent in the individual’s nature)]

29 DE VIA INERTIAE

Of the Way of the Tao I have already written to thee, o my Son, but I further instruct thee in this Doctrine of doing everything by doing nothing.

[…]

thy true Nature is a Will to Zero, or an Inertia, or Doing Nothing; and the Way of Doing Nothing is to oppose no Obstacle to the free Function of that true Nature.

[Commentary: Once again, Crowley explains Thelema in terms of not interfering with the function of one’s nature…we may justifiably conclude that he would consider the “ideals and standards” spoken of above – the “complexities” and “veils” spoken of in other passage – to be common ways that individuals can oppose the natural function of their own natures]

30 DE VIA LIBERTATIS

If thou ease not Nature, she will bring thee to Dis-Ease. Free thereof every Function of thy Body and of every other Part of thee according to its true Will. This also is most necessary, that thou discover that true Will in every Case, for thou art born into Dis-Ease; where are many false and perverted Wills, monstrous Growths, Parasites, Vermin are they, adherent to thee by Vice of Heredity, or of Environment or of evil Training. And of all these Things the subtlest and most terrible, Enemies without Pity, destructive to thy will, and a Menace and Tyranny even to thy Self, are the Ideals and Standards of the Slave-gods, false Religion, false Ethics, even false Science.

[Commentary: Crowley speaks of the disease – “dis-ease” – to which all people are subject because they do not free the functions of their bodies and minds. Their free function – according to their natures – is expressed here as their true Will. The obstacles – those sources of ideals and standards and complexes and veils  spoken of in other extracts – derive from heredity, environment, and training…*most* especially the ideals and standards of the “false” gods, religions, ethics, and science (that is, “knowledge”) imposed on the individual by training. These are things that impede the natural function]

38 DE ORDINE RERUM

In the Body every Cell is subordinated to the general physiological Control, and we who will that Control do not ask whether each individual Unit of that Structure be consciously happy. But we do care that each fulfil its Function, and the Failure of even a few Cells, or their Revolt, may involve the Death of the whole Organism.

[...]

How, o my Son, do thou then consider deeply of these Things in thine Ordering of the World under the Law of Thelema. For every Individual in the State must be perfect in his own Function, with Contentment, respecting his own Task as necessary and holy, not envious of another's.

[Commentary: Crowley describes the Law of Thelema as requiring the function of each individual]

***********

Altogether, the above quotes are a tiny smattering of ones that I could reproduce in support of this point, and they serve to underline the point that Crowley thought of the True Will as the natural function of each individual (a natural function that, nevertheless, cannot be identified with either the body or the mind).

Some people have suggested that I’m correct but that I do not go far enough, that Crowley thought the True Will was something more than the natural function of each individual.

Here’s your chance to make your case, in exactly the way that I have done. Let’s see how many quotations you can present and explain for us – quotations whose ideas reverberate within and across multiple works – that support your reading.


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