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Ross G Caldwell  Ross G Caldwell is offline
Join Date: 07 Jul 2003
Location: Béziers, France
Posts: 2,649
Ross G Caldwell 

Originally Posted by spiral
I whole-heartedly disagree with this sentiment on two levels - first that one's will is so fickle as to be changeable by interpretation, and secondly that pain should be any kind of obstacle in the serving of one's will.
It's not the Will that is "changeable by interpretation", but the interpretation of the verse that can be changed. I really don't know how someone could consistently try to act without mercy towards weaker beings in their lives, and if you try it with stronger ones, you'll simply be crushed. Yes it's fear - fear of pain, retribution - and fear is an important initiator. Fear *teaches* you respect.

Of course, there is a middle ground for fighting - fighting with beings with more or less the same strength - and this fighting leads to growth. But try being "cruel" with a tiger, and you'll understand how a simplistic application of the formula is misguided (I mean cruel with your hands, not with a cage and huge amounts of machinery).

As for pain being an obstacle, it depends on the degree of pain. You have to push it for any real growth ("no pain no gain"), but if you've made it to adulthood, you've proven that you know how to avoid the extremes that might prove fatal. I have many times wished to jump off a cliff or balcony, and been held back by the belief that I would crash to the ground rather than fly, as I really wish to do. Do you think that is a weakness of my Will, or that it is good knowledge that I'm not built for flying, and a mature respect of the person nature gave me?

Anyway I never understood the book of the law to be a code of conduct at all (referring back to the "be without mercy"). I see it as merely describing the world in which we live, and the entirely selfish transactions which take place between its citizens. I think that it's an honest account of 'the way it is'.
I also don't think the BOTL is necessarily a code of conduct. I see it as an initiatory document, for private contemplation only. Ethics comes from someplace else, perhaps informed by your spiritual path and the BOTL, but never dictated by some literal interpretation of a phrase by Nuit, Hadit and Ra-Hoor-Khuit.

Oh, and back on-topic - Crowley was just fantastic!
I wholeheartedly agree! I have memorized long passages of his poetry and other works over the years, not to mention having been a Thelemite since 1979.
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