Carae Sorores et Fratres of the Knights Templar, OTO,
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
What with all of the events of late, both local and national, I find myself meditating on an Obligation we have all taken on together, regarding the principles of the Book of the Law and Freedom.
What does this mean to you? What are those principles we are to defend (not just uphold)? What is Freedom?
Brother Jack Parsons said in his essay, "Freedom is a Two-Edged Sword":
“…we can deduce positive principles:
1. Whatever the universe is, we are either all or part of it by virtue of our consciousness but we do not know which.
2. No philosophy, scientific theory, religion or system of thought can be absolute and infallible. They are relative only. One man's opinion is just as good as another's.
3. There is no absolute justification for emphasizing one individual theory or way of life over another.
4. Every man has the right to his own opinion and his own way of life. There is no system of human thought which can successfully refute this thesis.”
“It is necessary that we defend freedom unless we all wish to be slaves. It is expedient that we achieve brotherhood unless we desire destruction and it is convenient that we grant others the right to their own opinions and life-styles in order to maintain our own.”
And further still:
“If we abrogate another's freedom to gain our own ends, our own freedom is thereby jeopardized. That is the cost. If we wish to assure our own freedom, we must assure all men’s freedom. That is the technique.”
Crowley said in his, here excerpted, essay, “Duty”:
A. YOUR DUTY TO YOURSELF
- Never permit the thought or will of any other Being to interfere with your own.
Be constantly vigilant to resent, and on the alert to resist, with unvanquishable ardour and vehemence of passion unquenchable, every attempt of any other Being to influence you otherwise than by contributing new facts to your experience of the Universe, or by assisting you to reach a higher synthesis of Truth by the mode of passionate fusion.
- Do not repress or restrict any true instinct of your Nature; but devote all in perfection to the sole service of your one True Will.
"Be goodly therefore"
"The Word of Sin is Restriction. O man! refuse not thy wife if she will. O lover, if thou wilt, depart. There is no bond that can unite the divided but love: all else is a curse. Accursed! Accursed! be it to the æons. Hell. So with thy all: thou hast no right but to do thy will. Do that and no other shall say nay. For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect."
"Ye shall gather goods and store of women and Spices; ye shall exceed the nations of the earth is Splendour " pride; but always in the love of me, and so shall ye come to my joy."
B. YOUR DUTY TO OTHER INDIVIDUAL MEN AND WOMEN
- Abstain from all interferences with other wills.
"Beware lest any force another, King against King!"
(The love and war in the previous injunctions are of the nature of sport, where one respects, and learns from the opponent, but never interferes with him, outside the actual game.) To seek to dominate or influence another is to seek to deform or destroy him; and he is a necessary part of one's own Universe, that is, of one's self.
C. YOUR DUTY TO MANKIND
- Establish the Law of Thelema as the sole basis of conduct.
The general welfare of the race being necessary in many respects to your own, that well-being, like your own, principally a function of the intellegent and wise observance of the Law of Thelema, it is of the very first importance to you that every individual should accept frankly that Law, and strictly govern himself in full accordance therewith.
You may regard the establishment of the Law of Thelema as an essential element of your True Will, since, whatever the ultimate nature of that Will, the evident condition of putting it into execution is freedom from external interference.
Governments often exhibit the most deplorable stupidity, however enlightened may be the men who compose and constitute them, or the people whose destinies they direct. It is therefore incumbent on every man and woman to take the proper steps to cause the revisions of all existing statutes on the basis of the Law of Thelema. This Law being a Law of Liberty, the aim of the legislation must be to secure the amplest freedom for each individual in the state, eschewing the presumptious assumption that any given positive ideal is worthy to be obtained.
"The Word of Sin is Restriction."
The essence of crime is that it restricts the freedom of the individual outraged. (Thus, murder restricts his right to live; robbery, his right to enjoy the fruits of his labour; coining, his right to the guarantee of the State that he shall barter in security; etc.) It is then the common duty to prevent crime by segregating the criminal, and by the threat of reprisals; also, to teach the criminal that his acts, being analyzed, are contrary to his own True Will. (This may often be accomplished by taking from him the right which he has denied to others; as by outlawing the thief, so that he feels constant anxiety for the safety of his own possessions, removed from the ward of the State.) The rule is quite simple. He who violated any right declares magically that it does not exist; therefore it no longer does so, for him.
Crime being a direct spiritual violation of the Law of Thelema, it should not be tolerated in the community. Those who possess the instinct should be segregated in a settlement to build up a state of their own, so to learn the necessity of themselves imposing and maintaining rules of justice.
All artificial crimes should be abolished. When fantastic restrictions disappear, the greater freedom of the individual will itself teach him to avoid acts which really restrict natural rights. Thus real crime will diminish dramatically.
The administration of the Law should be simplified by training men of uprightness and discretion whose will is to fulfill this function in the community to decide all complaints by the abstract principle of the Law of Thelema, and to award judgement on the basis of the actual restriction caused by the offense.
The ultimate aim is thus to reintegrate conscience, on true scientific principles, as the warden of conduct, the monitor of the people, and the guarantee of the governors.
How do you live this ideal everyday? How do you model this behavior for others?
When and where have you failed in this? What baggage or unrealized beliefs do you have that caused this? What steps can you take to correct this lapse in judgment?
I have a running joke at work: a coworker will mention a non-violent crime they heard about in the news, perhaps one I have strong person feelings about, such as the last time, and I come out for stiff penalties and then 'realize' it is not in line with my beliefs and change my mind and say the same thing each time. Let me give you the last example:
MM told us about a guy who was repeatedly arrested in the New Bedford area for stealing DVDs. He hit the third time rule and now has life in jail for stealing massive amounts of DVDs.
Anyone who has been to my house knows that I love movies and I own quite a few DVDs. So, I 'came out' for his life sentence, saying something like, "Good, dirty thief deserves life in prison." Then, "Oh wait, I am against jail time for non-violent crimes, never mind, they should release him and make him do thousands of hours of community service instead." And we all laugh.
Are your statements and behavior consistent with your professed beliefs? Do you genuinely defend the principles of the Book of the Law in the name of the Freedom of Man? Crowley attempted to summarize these principles so simply that all men could understand them in "Liber LXVII: Oz", which says:
"the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world." —AL. II. 2
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." —AL. I. 40
"thou hast no right but to do thy will. Do that, and no other shall say nay." —AL. I. 42–3
"Every man and every woman is a star." —AL. I. 3
There is no god but man.
- 1. Man has the right to live by his own law—
- to live in the way that he wills to do:
to work as he will:
to play as he will:
to rest as he will:
to die when and how he will.
- 2. Man has the right to eat what he will:
- to drink what he will:
to dwell where he will:
to move as he will on the face of the earth.
- 3. Man has the right to think what he will:
- to speak what he will:
to write what he will:
to draw, paint, carve, etch, mould, build as he will:
to dress as he will.
- 4. Man has the right to love as he will:—
- "take your fill and will of love as ye will,
when, where, and with whom ye will." —AL. I. 51
- 5. Man has the right to kill those who would thwart these rights.
- "the slaves shall serve." —AL. II. 58
"Love is the law, love under will." —AL. I. 57
Have you defended all of these rights for all men? Do you make moral judgments about people that are not in line with this text? Do you say nay?
Take a few minutes and think about it. Go out and live by your convictions and hopefully mankind will be uplifted by your good example.
Love is the law, love under will.