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  People In Glass Houses
Social Justice Posted by Colin S McLeod on September 16, 2001 @ 04:07 PM
from the astonied-view dept.

In the recent discussion of the application of the principle of the law of love under will in the daily lives of Thelemites, there was a remarkable paucity of ideas as to what that statement of law does actually mean.

Yet, since then, there have been reports of attendees at a conference of a well-known neo-Thelemic body running about chanting the statement at each other as if they were all in clear agreement of the meaning. In more recent threads, we have had allusions to love under will implying, once more, that the writers assumed the statement meant more or less the same as "Love is good, hate is bad, thou shalt all be nice to everyone." Again, these dodges ignore the present tense of the statement (in contrast to the ambiguous present or future tense of "shall") and the implication that it is therefore not an aspirational statement. Despite what many people like to think, it must be a statement of how things already stand. It is something to accept as a reality, not something yet to be attained or imposed.

The temptation is, of course, that of greedily wanting to be loved; leading even to, like the Black Brothers, begging at the knees of love. This vice leads to misinterpretation and to the use of it in condemning those whom one is not loved by. But wouldn't the law of love command the support of those one does love, and to not support those one doesn't (disregarding hollow charity and its legion of fellow leeches) -- and to fight those misguided souls who interfere? One might think someone following their love mad, bad or deluded, or suffering from the vice of limited love, but who amongst us can claim to be perfectly free of such impurities? Who was it cast the first stone? The mere fact of hating and fighting does not in itself contradict the law of love under will. That law must apply itself to the impure or it could not be a present-tense description of the law as it stands in the world today.

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  • The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.

    Re: People In Glass Houses
    by Fra THA;M on Sunday September 16, @04:59PM
    One has to first define what love is, or probably more correctly, what love is for that individual. The notion that there is one broad generally applicable definition of that word is an anethema to me. Trying to state categorically what Love is can too often end in idealoguery or an inflated ego resulting from assuming one has the moral high-ground. I for one don't deign to assume that it is the crass and common definition.

    "Love is the law, love under will. Nor let the fools mistake love; for there are love and
    love. There is the dove, and there is the serpent. Choose ye well!" AL I:57

    • Re: People In Glass Houses
      by jazzcat on Sunday September 16, @10:42PM
      sometimes, when all the fire sermons of black and white realities go by, and all the blind followers
      are cowed...

      there are those, that look else where!

      after all the gibber jabbering pontificaters
      and pundits have blathered our ears off...

      then, in the wee hours we may hear the doves
      the birds, the flight of birds of a different color, and the nightengales inthralled song!


      we can begin to catch a glimps of the serpent's tail...and what a TALE it is...shhhhhhhhhhh!!!

    • Re: People In Glass Houses
      by Colin S McLeod on Monday September 17, @08:24AM
      "The notion that there is one broad generally applicable definition of that word is an anethema to me."

      I heartily agree. Indeed, my point was to defend not just the right of persons to hate as they will but to love in as mean and perverse a way as will makes them and their tiny minds can imagine. I might have a few ideas of my own about what love means but, of course, I respect The Comment and expect people to define it for themselves. What I will object to is contradiction of the plain meaning of the language where it is written, apparently, in "white words". There are plenty of appallingly-obscure passages in the texts which I wouldn't begin to be dogmatic about, but the English language is the primary reference and the immediate context. So, for instance, the idea of "love" is very plastic as it has a wide range of precedents in English language and literature. However, a word such as "is" is much less plastic and one can be dogmatic about what interpretations of it are credible. My point above is more about dismissing a general but unsupportable assumption about the law than it is about asserting my own interpretation.


      • Re: People In Glass Houses
        by Mordecai on Monday September 17, @09:19AM
        >My point above is more about dismissing a general but unsupportable assumption
        >about the law than it is about asserting my own interpretation.

        And yet this is no more than an assertion of your interpretation. Besides, what exactly is your point? Love may be the law in the present tense, but that doesn't prevent anyone from violating it, past, present, and future.

        • Re: People In Glass Houses
          by Nekial on Monday September 17, @09:38PM
          Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.

          As I read it, the Law of Thelema is inviolate. Like gravity. You can try to violate it, jump off your garage and flap your arms, but you just bust your ass. It is a fact of nature, one that needs to be dealt with.

          Love is the law, love under will.


          • Re: People In Glass Houses
            by Mordecai on Tuesday September 18, @09:23AM
            If this is true then what's the reason for promulgating Thelema? If "Love is the law" demands nothing of us why should we care one way or the other? If people can't not love under will why did Crowley bother with telling them to?

            • Re: People In Glass Houses
              by J. A. on Tuesday September 18, @12:48PM
              Absolutely last post:

              I don't see you doing anything to stop this crazy war.

              • Re: People In Glass Houses
                by Mordecai on Tuesday September 18, @01:01PM
                I'm not surprised that you couldn't keep to your intention to stop posting on Beast Bay. Here's a hint: if you stop reading it you won't be tempted to post.

            • Re: People In Glass Houses
              by Nekial on Tuesday September 18, @07:56PM

              Because it was his will (according to him). Dig, the reason promulgation helps (me, at least) is that it keeps me from busting my ass. Thelema exists, like gravity, but there are millions of people trying to ignore it and it ain't pretty.

              Remember when Crowley got the representatives of the races of the world together for the issuing of TBOTL, and the reporter was there and Crowley as good as predicted the Second World War, and the reporter says, "That's rather a dreadful thing you're wishing on us." And Al says 'Not my wish; just accept the law of thelema and we won't have these crazy wars.' And then he quoted James Brown, "We got to get over, before we go under." (Paraphrase)

              We can try to jump across the street ad eternum, and we can fall and get run over. The law of gravity and the law of thelema remain irregardless, and one gets on better when one is in tune with them.

              93 93/93

          • Re: People In Glass Houses
            by Colin S McLeod on Tuesday September 18, @11:04AM
            "Like gravity."

            Good point. (So, naturally, its one I've been making for years...) But while describing what is now the foundation of moral Law is helpful to live with it (just as gravity existed before Newton, but describing it was an advance), I do believe that there are aspirational elements of Thelema. Just as under profane law there is a minimum standard of behaviour which will keep one out of gaol but to live a comfortable life one has to strive for something more, in moral law there are what might be called optional extras. In the last aeon love, as I understand it, was one of those - but the bar was raised.

            • Re: People In Glass Houses
              by Fra THA;M on Tuesday September 18, @11:23AM
              I tend to find that people mistake the formula of Love UNDER Will to mean a sweet sentiment of passivity and gentleness to all individuals. While this is a noble aspiration, and should be instituted when opportune times arise, I direct peoples eyes to the passage from Al for a slightly different veiwe,

              " Beware therefore! Love all, lest perchance is a King concealed! Say you so? Fool! If he be a King, thou canst not hurt him. Therefore strike hard & low, and to hell with them, master! " ALII,59/60

            • Re: People In Glass Houses
              by Mordecai on Tuesday September 18, @12:13PM
              The difference between "law" in a scientific sense and "law" in a social sense seems to be lost on you. Quite surprising for someone who claims that words have an "objective" meaning.

            • Re: People In Glass Houses
              by Nekial on Tuesday September 18, @08:27PM

              Whereas what Mordecai says below is true (that I see the law of thelema in a scientific sense comparable to the law of gravity or thermodynamics), there is definitely an aspirational aspect to Thelema. To continue the metaphor, some people aspire to walk, and they know gravity well enough to balance and not to fall over (most of the time) and there are those that wish to fly, and they put together their hang-gliders or whatever and cruise over the landscape. It is a question of one's aspirations.

              There is the self-actualization of doing your will and there is path-working, K and C of/with the HGA, crossing the abyss, etc. The law of thelema leads through self-actualization to Ipsissimus; same as gravity pulls together. It is a question of degrees.

              93 93/93

            • Re: People In Glass Houses
              by Sidney on Friday December 21, @12:10AM
              >just as gravity existed before Newton, but >describing it was an advance

              Isn't gravity itself just a description though?

    Re: People In Glass Houses
    by Baphomet Rex 666 on Tuesday October 02, @10:08PM
    Love is beyond good and evil.
    Law is formation and again beyond good and evil.
    Good and evil are subjective terms to sway the hearts of blind sheep.
    Some may follow, some Revolt.
    The High lofty ones roll another blunt, laugh and toke.

    Re: People In Glass Houses
    by Ataniell Rising on Monday March 18, @11:45AM
    When I think of "Love is the Law, Love under Will" I think about all the times in my past that I got burnt because I allowed my love for someone else to distract me from my own Inner Will, and what a disaster that was for everyone concerned.

    Will is why you are here and Love is your relation to others, if you and they are doing your respective Wills. When people don't do their Will, they can't Love each other, because they're being false and dishonest even unto themselves, and they're not Loving themselves.

    That is why Love is Under Will. Love is the foundation of Will but Love also has to be tempered by Will. Without Will we might just all let go of our boundaries and merge into consciousness soup. This is not a place I want to be...

    93! Ataniell

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