I have been blogging with someone that follows Thelema – Christiantyisdead is the link (in case someone wants to read more). Since his site does not do much explanation on the nature of this idea – I figure I will chance to explain it – from Wikipedia (articles on Thelema and Crowley). Yes, Thelema is Aleister Crowley’s baby/life’s work. It is a spiritual system of some sort – that I will explain (in quotes from Wikipedia).
“Crowley’s system of Thelema begins with The Book of the Law, which bears the official name Liber AL vel Legis…This small book contains three chapters, each of which he wrote in exactly one hour, beginning at noon, on April 8, April 9, and April 10, 1904. Crowley claims that he took dictation from an entity named Aiwass, whom he later identified as his own Holy Guardian Angel.”
“The Comment” warns against discussing the Book’s contents, and states that all “questions of the Law are to be decided only by appeal to my writings” and is signed Ankh-af-na-khonsu (Crowley’s name)”
“Every individual has a True Will, to be distinguished from the ordinary wants and desires of the ego. The True Will is essentially one’s “calling” or “purpose” in life”
“Others follow later works such as Liber II, saying that one’s own will in pure form is nothing other than the divine will. Do what thou Wilt shall be the whole of the Law for Crowley refers not to hedonism, fulfilling everyday desires, but to acting in response to that calling”
“Crowley believed that in order to discover the True Will, one had to free the desires of the subconscious mind from the control of the conscious mind, especially the restrictions placed on sexual expression, which he associated with the power of divine creation”
“Thelema draws its principal gods and goddesses from Ancient Egyptian religion.”
(1) Highest deity – Goddess Nuit (night sky arched over the Earth symbolized in the form of a naked woman)
(2) Second deity – God Hadit (Hadit symbolizes manifestation, motion, and time. He is also described in Liber AL vel Legis as “the flame that burns in every heart of man, and in the core of every star’)
(3) Third Deity – Ra-Hoor-Khuit (or Horus) (symbolized as a throned man with the head of a hawk who carries a wand. He is associated with the Sun and the active energies of Thelemic magick)
Other deities: Harpocrates (god of silence and inner strength); Babalon (the goddess of all pleasure, known as the Virgin Whore); Therion (the beast that Babalon rides, who represents the wild animal within man, a force of nature)
“Thelemic magick is a system of physical, mental, and spiritual exercises which practitioners believe are of benefit. Crowley defined magick as “the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will”
“He also discussed sex magick and sexual gnosis in various forms including masturbatory, heterosexual, and homosexual practices, and these form part of his suggestions for the work of those in the higher degrees of the Ordo Templi Orientis”
“One goal in the study of Thelema within the magical Order of the A∴A∴ is for the magician to obtain the knowledge and conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel; conscious communication with their own personal daimon, thus gaining knowledge of their True Will. The chief task for one who has achieved this goes by the name of “crossing the abyss”; completely relinquishing the ego.”
“There are no “standards of Right”. Ethics is balderdash. Each Star must go on its own orbit. To hell with “moral principle”; there is no such thing”
“Liber Oz enumerates some of the rights of the individual implied by the one overarching right, “Do what thou wilt.” For each person, these include the right to: live by one’s own law; live in the way that one wills to do; work, play, and rest as one will; die when and how one will; eat and drink what one will; live where one will; move about the earth as one will; think, speak, write, draw, paint, carve, etch, mould, build, and dress as one will; love when, where and with whom one will; and kill those who would thwart these rights”
“Some interpreters of Thelema believe that this right includes an obligation to allow others to do their own wills without interference, but Liber AL makes no clear statement on the matter. Crowley himself wrote that there was no need to detail the ethics of Thelema, for everything springs from “Do what thou Wilt.”
“Duty is described as “A note on the chief rules of practical conduct to be observed by those who accept the Law of Thelema.”…There are 4 sections:
- Your Duty to Self: describes the self as the center of the universe, with a call to learn about one’s inner nature. Admonishes the reader to develop every faculty in a balanced way, establish one’s autonomy, and to devote oneself to the service of one’s own True Will.
- Your Duty to Others: An admonishment to eliminate the illusion of separateness between oneself and all others, to fight when necessary, to avoid interfering with the Wills of others, to enlighten others when needed, and to worship the divine nature of all other beings.
- Your Duty to Mankind: States that the Law of Thelema should be the sole basis of conduct. That the laws of the land should have the aim of securing the greatest liberty for all individuals. Crime is described as being a violation of one’s True Will.
- Your Duty to All Other Beings and Things: States that the Law of Thelema should be applied to all problems and used to decide every ethical question. It is a violation of the Law of Thelema to use any animal or object for a purpose for which it is unfit, or to ruin things so that they are useless for their purpose. Natural resources can be used by man, but this should not be done wantonly, or the breach of the law will be avenged. For instance, deforestation can cause soil erosion.”
***This is a bit about some of the background of Thelema and it’s beliefs as a spiritual system…I will add more commentary in the comments section of this blog.