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Aeon418  Aeon418 is offline
Join Date: 30 Sep 2003
Location: Earth
Posts: 4,342

Originally Posted by Abrac
Do what thou 'wilt' sounds different on the surface, but when you start to investigate what it's really saying it's no different from any other self-sacrificial dogma that teaches one to sacrifice their will to another supposedly more enlightened will.
You make it sound very passive. On the contrary, Do what thou wilt is intensely active. It's nothing like turning your life over to Jesus and hoping that he will sort everything out for you. You have to play your part too. Unlike conventional religion, you aren't provided with a convenient list of rules to follow or role models to imitate. It's spirituality for grown ups. If you mess up along the way, tough, the buck stops with you. Sort it out. Work with your problems. No more blaming your own stupidity and laziness on the Devil either.
From The Magick of Aleister Crowley by Lon Milo DuQuette. (Used to be called the Magick of Thelema)
Out of fear, frustration, or what might be called spiritual fatigue, many of us turn to religions whose champions are more than happy to tell us, in no uncertain terms, exactly where our place in the universe is.

The religions that Westerners most frequently are attracted to (Christianity, with it's many sects, Judaism, and Islam) postulate a Supreme Being who personifies and manifests the order of the universe. The mechanism of this order is often termed the "Will of God." By surrendering the individual will to Will of God, the religious devotee can theoretically harmonize his or her life with that of the Deity's. Not my will, but Thine be done.

In order for us to know God's Will, these religions offer, for our great comfort (and often from ancient and "infallible" sources), rules, commandments, and assorted scriptural injunctions to guide the thoughts and behavior of the faithful. As an added safeguard that these scriptures be "correctly" interpreted, a priestcraft of some form or another invariably evolves and assumes the role of a visible mediator between the worshiper and the Deity. For those who duitifully comply with the dictated formulae and surrender their wills to the prescribed Will of God, a great burden is lifted from their shoulders. They no longer feel the need for direct spiritual experience, and faith in the infallibility of the dogmatists makes even intellectual investigation unnecessary. The reward for such spiritual collaborators is the smug comfort of knowing that those who haven't submitted to the formula will suffer after death, and that they who have, will not.

Magick also postulates a universal order - call it God, Nature, the Supreme Being, the Grand Architect of the Universe, the Tao, or just the-way-things-are. But the Magician knows that the pure Will of every man and every woman is already in perfect harmony with the divine Will; in fact they are one and the same. It is the Magician's Great Work to endeavor to remove the obstacles that hinder his or her perfect realization of that Will and then proceed to execute it.

We perceive in the world around us a vast cosmic orderliness (or at least a glorious systematized chaos). Galaxies, stars, planets, atoms, electrons, and other sub-atomic particles all seem to have found their niche in the grand scheme of things and behave themselves accordingly. By realizing our True Wills we find our place ... our orbit. By doing our True Will, we have the inertia of the entire universe to assist us.

The Magician does not neccessarily want the burden of existence lifted from his shoulders; he wants to understand why he is carrying it and where.
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