Home > Uncategorized > Thelema has Certainty of Experience, not Superstitious Faith & Belief

Thelema has Certainty of Experience, not Superstitious Faith & Belief

“I give unimaginable joys on earth: certainty, not faith, while in life, upon death; peace unutterable, rest, ecstasy; nor do I demand aught in sacrifice.”
The Book of the Law

We must have faith! This is what innumerable Christians say & parrot all day long. We must believe! We must have faith! Faith that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. This is nothing but a surrender of our God-given faculties of experimentation & reasoning to blind adherence!

This blind faith has lead to the indiscriminate slaughter of people who simply do not espouse belief in the same God, or simply use a different name for God! The Book of the Law acknowledges “Every man and every woman is a star” in the company of Heaven. This Heaven is not some place attained after we die but is here & now, even as Jesus tried to explain: “And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21)

This blind faith has lead to restriction of the freedom of others – such as the prevention of equal rights for homosexual couples – innumerable times. The Law of Thelema enjoins us to “not repress or restrict any true instinct of your Nature; but devote all in perfection to the sole service of your one True Will.” (Duty)

This blind faith has lead to the infinite suffering of uncountable souls, who worry endlessly about their fate in some “here-after” instead of enjoying their life here & now on Earth.

This blind faith has lead people to commit atrocious acts and childishly negate their responsibility for them, saying “God told me to do it.” But if there is no god but man, you are still responsible!

In Thelema we abide by the certainty of our own experience, not blind faith. We only speak of God when we know God (and become God!). We might as well kiss Hank’s ass if we are working from faith!

“It all depends on your own acceptance of this new law [Do what thou wilt], and you are not asked to believe anything, to accept a string of foolish fables beneath the intellectual level of a Bushman and the moral level of a drug-fiend. All you have to do is to be yourself, to do your will, and to rejoice.” (Law of Liberty)

If we have faith, it is faith in ourselves. It is a faith in our Will to meet each moment with skillful and strong Love. This is a faith of action which is alive & dynamic instead of a faith of belief which is dead & stagnant. Not worrying if every action is sinful and guilt-ridden, we experience the pure joy of existence in each moment, having discarded the phantoms of fear and abiding in the strength & simplicity of the Law of Liberty, Do what thou wilt.

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  1. January 3, 2010 at 1:08 am

    This sounds like pure antinomianism to me, or worse!

    • January 3, 2010 at 3:14 am

      93 irishanglican: Just so I know exactly what we are speaking about, what exactly do you mean by ‘antinomianism’? Simple lawlessness or the more subtle idea that only predestination brings salvation? Thanks for your comment, and hope to hear your response.

      • January 3, 2010 at 4:56 am

        Antinomian for me means without the moral law of God, and both without the Holy Scripture and the Church Catholic of God. Not just Roman however.

    • January 3, 2010 at 5:50 am

      93 irishanglican: We understand the moral law of God to be “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” “Thou must (1) Find out what is thy Will. (2) Do that Will with a) one-pointedness, (b) detachment, (c) peace. Then, and then only, art thou in harmony with the Movement of Things, thy will part of, and therefore equal to, the Will of God. And since the will is but the dynamic aspect of the self, and since two different selves could not possess identical wills; then, if thy will be God’s will, Thou art That.” (Liber II) Our Holy Scripture is the Book of the Law. The Church Catholic is continued as the Gnostic Catholic Church with the rites of the Gnostic Mass. Thanks for your comments!

      • MH
        January 3, 2010 at 2:23 pm

        After trying to comprehend this law of yours, I still think it could just as likely be used to commit atrocities.
        Hitler found out what his will was. He did it with one-pointedness, detachment and peace. He was of a different religion, nonetheless. But I think we agree he believed his was the Will of God.
        Secondly, I was wondering if you could explain what you mean when you say the Catholic Church is continued as a Gnostic one. Historically speaking, the Church dealt with gnosticism in the first centuries before Christ and deemed those writings as heretical. These are writings like the Gospel of Judas, the Gospel of Philip, and other writings that did not reflect the same belief in Jesus Christ as saviour and true God and true man. Peace be with you!

  2. January 3, 2010 at 2:15 am

    Very interesting blog, & thank you very much for your visit to our blog ecclesiaprimus.blogspot.com, Splendor Veritatis Missio.

    The tenets in which we based our Faith cannot be blind, but based in the experience of God in our simple, and everyday, life.

    The truth, if it is to shine must be not only believed but known through concrete experience. Of course, we can expend a lot of time trying to limit the extend in which a “concrete experience” is truth, or expreses the truth.

    The man who lives into prayer is able to discern an increasing knowledge about self, and the world. And yes, faith in ourself is of the essence to open the doors to reality. But only faith in ourselves limits one to a dangerous subjectivism in which what I say is “the truth”, as opposed to any other “thruth”, so that at the end an anarchy of reasoning is all that is left. And, if our “joy of existance” has no other base but one self, then all ends in isolation, which is worse than death itself.

    Basically, we choose our phantoms of fear, and the extend of blindness of our faith, but there is no way to discern about truth or reality if all we have is our subjective, isolated self.

    And as far as atrocities is concerned lets not forget the fruits of iluminsm/rationalism, etc: Those sacrifised on the altar of the model of the French Revolution, the one based on classes walfare in the Soviet model, those based on race, on the National-Socialist model, the gulaps, the Khemer Rouge, the Maoist Revolution, etc. The pile of the victims are so atyrocuious that does not merit one to contrast “my victims” agaisnt “your victims”.

    If truth is to be found, and experienced, much more solid foundations will be needed than “thelema”.

    God bless,
    Robert Nicodemo

    • January 3, 2010 at 3:46 am

      93 Robert Nicodemo: Great post, your comments are much appreciated. I agree that tenets held must be “based in the experience of God in our simple, and everyday, life.”

      “The man who lives into prayer is able to discern an increasing knowledge about self, and the world.”

      This is true, but what it means to pray changes depending on what one understands of God. If one thinks of God as an external being who answers the petitions of human prayers like a father does to a child, then Thelema does not believe in prayer. If by prayer you mean a petitioning of & opening to the divine spark/fire within oneself – within every man & every woman – to let the Godhead be manifest in the world through man, then I can agree!

      …an anarchy of reasoning is all that is left.

      Yes, that is why Thelema has its doctrine of cursing Reason. This does not mean we neglect Reason, the basic truths of mathematics, empirical sciences, etc. but rather states that the Truth of Godhead is not subject to rational analysis or normal logic. There is an occult doctrine which, in short, is of Reason reaching only up to Knowledge but not to Wisdom or Understanding, which comes from gnosis.

      And, if our “joy of existance” has no other base but one self, then all ends in isolation, which is worse than death itself.

      But this ‘self’ has been expanded through acts of “love under will” to include all things, and we see each star in ourselves and all as one, and that one expressed through the many. Isolation comes from shutting oneself up. Thelema has a doctrine of “Black brothers” (not black magic or racially black people, but a metaphor) who “shut themselves up” in their own ego, and fail to “drain all their blood out” which symbolically is the release of ego-self. There is a similar doctrine of the “virgin” or “Mary” who is the feminine image of the “shut-up” person in that they do not allow “love” or union, which is a symbolic metaphor for the ego shut-up in itself. The ego is a good servant, and a bad master! “Love is the law, love under will” – where is the isolation in that?

      … there is no way to discern about truth or reality if all we have is our subjective, isolated self.

      As the Book of the Law says: “Success is your proof.” Even if we were to say we had our subjective, isolated self we can still determine relative truths through trial & error.

      I think Thelema is exactly the Rock needed for a sturdy foundation & the light needed to open the way away from darkness. It is the New Aeon of the Crowned & Conquering Child, whose Name & Word is “Do what thou wilt!”

  3. January 3, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Dude! I can’t believe you’re aiding & abetting the criminals who hijacked the name “Christian”, then killed real Christians, then committed genocide slaughtered innocents using the hijacked name! Consequently, everyone now blames us, while Constantine and the other monarchs get off the hook!

    Proof that the “Christianity” of the Roman Empire and European Monarchs was hijacked: all the spilled blood came after Constantine at the hands of Emperors and Monarchs!

    I provided a more-thoughtful response here: http://neozine.org/inside/3269/comment-page-1#comment-7509

    • January 3, 2010 at 5:09 pm

      93 Keith McCallum: While you may want to blame early Romans, self-proclaimed Christians in every century have committed atrocities, physical and spiritual. The selling of indulgences, the constant berating re: sin & hell, and the restriction of liberty on almost all planes may be the result of “the Roman Empire and European Monarchs” but it is what we have called Christianity for over a millenium. Millions – no billions – of people believe in the Christianity that was supposedly hijacked and that is what we are fighting. Thelema brings Christianity back to its original roots even as Christianity itself appropriated many pagan symbols & rites. Thanks for your comment, Keith.

  4. MH
    January 3, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    MH :
    Historically speaking, the Church dealt with gnosticism in the first centuries before Christ

    the first centuries AFTER Christ lol typo. My apologies. Peace!

    • January 3, 2010 at 5:33 pm

      93 MH: I don’t think that comparing religions or philosophies based on their likelihood to engender atrocities is the best way to go. We could argue about Hitler all day long. In general we say that “Love is the law, love under will” in addition to “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” By this we mean the nature of Will is Love. Further, we say “Every man and every woman is a star” – including Jews, gypsies, homeless, crippled, etc. – and believe each star has the right to do their Will to the fullest.

      “Secondly, I was wondering if you could explain what you mean when you say the Catholic Church is continued as a Gnostic one. “

      I am saying there is a cultural continuity between facets of Christianity and Thelema. The Holy Book is now the Book of the Law instead of the Bible, we celebrate Liber XV: Ecclesiae Gnosticae Catholicae (Gnostic Mass) instead of the normal Mass, and have the E.G.C. instead of the Catholic church as we know it. Check out this link to see more of exactly what I mean by the Gnostic Catholic Church. This is not Gnosticism in the sense of early century gnostics, but we use the term to refer to Gnosis (the direct spiritual experience of God) along with the particular mysteries concealed & revealed by the Mass (even the Christian one at parts!). Thanks for your comment!

  5. January 3, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Thelema (English word of the Konie Greek noun law), is of course the work of Aleister Crowley, and his..The Book of Law. In reality it is occult, yoga and certain forms of both Eastern and Western mysticism, as the Qabalah. It is indeed another form of the now modern (so-called) Gnosticism.

    • January 3, 2010 at 7:24 pm

      93 irishanglican: All of these things are true in a sense. “Occult” only means “hidden” and Thelema seeks to reveal what is hidden… The same spoken of in I Corinthians 2:7, “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.” It is ‘gnostic’ in that it strives towards personal experience of the divine, but it has little in common with ‘Gnosticism’ as such.

    • Stacy Galt
      January 3, 2010 at 11:00 pm

      Actually, thelema means “will,” not “law.” The Greek for “law” is nomos.

      • January 3, 2010 at 11:37 pm

        93 Stacy – Yes, correct. The word of the nomos is Thelema, you might say. The Law itself is “Will.” Interestingly, Greek letters have corresponding numbers and both Thelema & Agape (Will & Love) add to 93 even as it is said “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” and “Love is the law, love under will” in the Book of the Law. Thanks for your comment!

      • January 4, 2010 at 1:06 pm

        But “they” use it as law, thus will for them. But you are correct, “nomos” means law. And back to my original post antinomian, which they surely are in reality. This is hardly real Christian mysticism, of which I have a real respect, i.e. Pauline mysticism and also Johannine.

  6. January 3, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    i.e. the occult

  7. January 3, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Wow! I thought some kind of formal reasoning structure would somewhere come out. However, if “thelema” is what thelema is, & if all you have to do is follow “that” & the doctrine of the “Black Brothers” is all one can argue, then I don’t see why we need to regard the Christians bible, or the Christians writings (Fathers of the Church, etc), as dogmatic, or something to that effect.
    It seems to me that “thelema doctrine” is as dogmatic as anything I’ve seen out there, as far as a ‘doctrine’ based on itself without any comparative reference to any other formal corpus of thought.
    The reasoning here is circular…”it is true b/c thelema says so”…and “I say that, b/c thelema claims that”…
    I have not much patience for lack of precision for philosophy, history, etc with disregard of the instruments that a given science uses, once it is defined what do we mean by x, y, or z…
    And, as far as I can see this has given others opportunity for all sorts of grandiloquent statements….the “Roman Church is…”, the “genocide was due to…”, “criminals who hijacked…”, etc.
    An statement is but that…and statement. We need at least a minimal precision in language, and most importantly documental data that different people can agree upon, with disregard to the difference of opinions.
    Thus, I would comment, very briefly, on prayer.
    We need not to “depend on what one understands of God”, etc. God is, and we are but contingent personal individuals. God reveals himself. The idea of God as only “external”, etc is ours. Not God’s. And as far as “being like a child” is concerned, that is deeply rooted in Christian teaching/experience…thus, ‘only the meek we’ll see’, the poor and the child are much better equipped to open themselves up to God, etc.
    Of course, you could argue that the “thelema doctrine” states otherwise. In order to be able to make an intelligent exchange there should be clarity. We must make clear what documents will be supporting your position, where your doctrine comes from, what do one mean when one states this or the other, etc.
    Only thing I can state here is that “gnosticism” was the first great opposing force agains Christianity, and St. Paul was clear enough to kill that position…and we could not even count on the fathers of the Church to understand how no-christian those, oriental-greeck philosophies, were.
    And, finally, if by “killing Reason”, but at the same time doing what you are “suppose to do” is what allows you to advance in rational understanding then all is quite chaotic: how do we know?? B/c the book “X” says so?… No my friend, I don’t think so…
    Yeah, is getting quite chaotic out there, sorry to say…

    • January 3, 2010 at 7:36 pm

      93 Robert Nicodemo: Thanks for spending time on commenting.

      “Wow! I thought some kind of formal reasoning structure would somewhere come out. However, if “thelema” is what thelema is, & if all you have to do is follow “that” & the doctrine of the “Black Brothers” is all one can argue, then I don’t see why we need to regard the Christians bible, or the Christians writings (Fathers of the Church, etc), as dogmatic, or something to that effect.”

      Just because I am explaining the symbolism and wording of another system doesn’t mean that all other systems suddenly become un-dogmatic. Thelema embraces the empirical sciences and would never make a dogmatic claim like, say, the world is only 5000 years old. That is the type of dogma we are fighting.

      “It seems to me that “thelema doctrine” is as dogmatic as anything I’ve seen out there, as far as a ‘doctrine’ based on itself without any comparative reference to any other formal corpus of thought.”

      I suggest you look up the meaning of ‘dogmatic’ as it doesnt seem you know what it means. It is certainly a doctrine but it is not as unwavering in the face of obvious evidence such as many claims by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Thelema has its own dogmas in the sense of its own doctrines but I am striving hard to see how you can equate Thelema’s ‘dogmatic’ nature with Christianity’s or really any tradition with any other tradition. It seems you are just blurring the distinctions to make them seem equally good & bad.

      “We need at least a minimal precision in language, and most importantly documental data that different people can agree upon, with disregard to the difference of opinions.”

      No argument from me here, but frankly your own linguistic precision is lacking at parts. I am sorry that this is not a dry logical-philosophical treatise to suit your tastes, that you find some statements grandiloquent and imprecise but I am trying to convey a message to many strata of society.

      “Thus, I would comment, very briefly, on prayer.
      We need not to “depend on what one understands of God”, etc. God is, and we are but contingent personal individuals. God reveals himself.”

      Rather eloquent of you, and I agree.

      “The idea of God as only “external”, etc is ours. Not God’s. And as far as “being like a child” is concerned, that is deeply rooted in Christian teaching/experience…thus, ‘only the meek we’ll see’, the poor and the child are much better equipped to open themselves up to God, etc.”

      It may not be “God’s idea” but it is certainly taught as if it is doctrine. It has literally been heresy punishable by death to claim identity with God in the past. This is no exaggeration. I am not fighting against weird, esoteric, mystic, or irregular interpretations of Christian doctrine but Christianity as we know it.

      “e must make clear what documents will be supporting your position, where your doctrine comes from, what do one mean when one states this or the other, etc.”

      My doctrine comes from the word the Law, which comes from the Book of the Law. The Law is also expounded in other texts and Holy Books.

      Again, we are not Gnostics in the sense of the historical sect that was around during the time of Jesus. We are only Gnostics in that we seek gnosis.

      “And, finally, if by “killing Reason”, but at the same time doing what you are “suppose to do” is what allows you to advance in rational understanding then all is quite chaotic: how do we know?? B/c the book “X” says so?… No my friend, I don’t think so…

      “Killing Reason” is actually a fundamental part of many Christian mystic’s writings such as Miguel de Molinos, Francois Fenelon, and Meister Eckhart. This doesn’t refer to the suspension of epistemology where valid in its own sphere (I’m speaking on your level here, now), but rather to the fact that reason dictates our actions instead of Will. It also refers to the supra-rational Nature and Truth of God and Self. “Killing Reason” is a metaphor – it is more like we demote it from being King to being servant to Will. This chapter in an essay gives a much more complete answer on this topic.

      “Yeah, is getting quite chaotic out there, sorry to say…”

      Embrace the chaos, brother! 😉 Thanks for your comments.

  8. January 3, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    Everthing has its etymology and history, I am simply stating “Thelema”. (As to Aleister Crowley) And for what it is worth I hold both the D. Phil. and Th.D. I am an Anglican priest, but a conservative in the Catholic (Anglo-Catholic) & Anglican history. I was also a Roman Benedictine monastic in my 20’s.

    Fr. Robert

    • January 3, 2010 at 7:41 pm

      93 irishanglican – Yes, everything definitely has its etymology and history and they are interesting stuff. Thelema also has its roots in Francois Rabelais’ proclamation but also in St. Augustine’s “Love, and do what thou wilt.” Thelema itself is the Greek word used for God’s will in the Lord’s prayer and elsewhere. Crowley had an unfinished essay on the antecedents to Thelema. People often complain that Thelema is not entirely original when it never claimed to be! On the contrary it is a fulfillment and supercession of the old ideas & systems. Thanks for your comments.

  9. January 3, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Note, I have not heard a word from you about the true and incarnational wisdom of God, which is Christ Jesus Himself: 1 Cor. 1: 24 / Col. 2:2-3! From here comes the real historic, the Christ-event! Crucified-Risen-Ascended, (Eph. Col. Phil., etc.) Not to mention the Blessed Trinity of God! (John chap. 14-16)

    • January 3, 2010 at 8:19 pm

      93 irishanglican – We do not see the God-Man as a one-time event nor do we view it as a redemption from sin. We see the possibility of becoming like Jesus insofar as he was a symbol for the union of God & Man in One. Jesus is an archetype of sorts for the spiritual aspirant, though we disagree with some of his ethics & methods. The Trinity is still alive and well in some Thelemic writings (see ‘The Book of Lies’, ch.0 and ch.11 for example), though we understand this insofar as the One is expressed in Three and the Three contained in One. We do not say the Trinity is ‘above’ or ‘outside’ us, but identify it with the Eye of Providence and that with the Eye of Horus which is the Eye of Eternity… and those Eyes are the I beyond the normal ego-“I.” The same “I” when God says “I am that I am.” Thanks for your continued comments and input.

  10. eternallyhopeful
    January 3, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Christianity is not blind faith. I pray that truth is revealed to you so that you are able to understand Scripture and Christianity in truth. God bless, Roxanne
    http://www.eternallyhopeful.wordpress.com

    • January 3, 2010 at 8:16 pm

      93 eternallyhopeful – Christianity unfortunately has and does operate on blind faith for many people. Most even! The main message of Christianity is acceptance of Jesus as lord and savior and to most people this literally means saying “I believe in Jesus as my lord and savior” in their minds, while blindly accepting what their priest tells them at the pulpit. I am not saying all Christians have blind faith or that blind faith is absolutely inherent in Christianity but that is the way it has turned out! The main force fighting against the scientific theory of evolution is Christianity. The main force fighting against equal rights for homosexuals/transgenders is Christianity. That may not be comfortable but it is (unfortunately) true. The liberty of “There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt” instantly remedies this. Thanks for your comment – I appreciate your thoughts.

  11. dave
    January 3, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    Thanks for the comment. As a Christian, I obviously disagree with much of what you believe. Still, some of what you say about Christianity is true, at least with respect to how professing followers of Christ have observably behaved.

    May the love of Jesus Christ draw you ultimately to him!!

    • January 3, 2010 at 11:42 pm

      93 dave – I appreciate you taking the time to read my post, even if you disagree. I certainly do not ask everyone to accept & agree with everything I say, but rather I see it as a spring-board for ideas, discussion, and evolution of our thought. Luckily, I don’t need the love of Jesus Christ because I have my own light, being a star in my own right even as you are. “Every man and every woman is a star!” Even as the Rosicrucians said: “May thy mind be open unto the Higher! May thy heart be the Centre of Light! May thy body be the Temple of the Rosy Cross!” Jesus was an image of this mystery, for Jesus was the Sun of God, and his death is a reflection of and reflected by the “death” of the Sun at the Winter Solstice (even as the Sun is “crucified” by the ecliptic & equator at each Solstice), his rebirth at the Vernal equinox, etc. As I’ve said before, Jesus himself is a symbol of the God-Man, where God has become Man and Man has become God – Deus est Homo. Thanks for your comment!

  12. January 3, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    Hi, Thelema. First, the notion of blind faith supposes that the one who has such faith believes something despite the fact that his belief is unwarranted. The believer has no basis for his or her belief, but believes anyway. Thus, he or she believes by faith. But this is not a Christian understanding of faith. Within Christianity, faith refers to a reliance upon something or trust in something. Faith in Christ entails looking to Christ and relying upon Him to tell me what to think and how to live. It is all about the Lordship of Christ.

    In this sense of the word “faith,” we all trust in something. You, for example, believe that you are independently able to discern truth and that what you desire is moral by defintion. Your trust is in yourself. I suspect you wouldn’t say this is blind faith. Rather, you are relying upon yourself in the same way that Christians are relying upon Christ.

    The real question is, does the thing in which you have placed your faith stand up? One problem with your position is that if each person’s will is the standard of morality, then when one person’s will comes into conflict with another person’s will, there is no longer a standard of morality. If, for example, a serial killer desires to kill someone, and the someone who he wants to kill doesn’t want to be killed, then whose will should reign supreme? Do what thou wilt? Well, I’m sorry, but both people can’t do what they desire.

    This is the kind of dilemna you will face when you deny the truth of God in Scripture and attempt to establish your own way apart from Christ. The good news is that Christ came to save us from this kind of sinful thinking. Christ came and died on behalf of all who will trust in Him to rescue from the penalty of sin and the reign of sin in their lives. Therefore, turn from trusting in yourself and place your trust in Christ.

    • January 4, 2010 at 12:01 am

      93 Steve Galt – Thanks a lot for reading my blog and taking the time to comment, it’s much appreciated.

      “Within Christianity, faith refers to a reliance upon something or trust in something. Faith in Christ entails looking to Christ and relying upon Him to tell me what to think and how to live. It is all about the Lordship of Christ.”

      While ideally this may be the case, in practice many Christians have faith in the sense of belief that Jesus is Lord because they were told of this, belief in the reality of heaven & hell, belief in the sinfulness of oneself & others, etc. Even if we take faith as reliance, Thelema teaches self-reliance, but it goes beyond normal ego-self. Plainly, the Self of oneself is God, and God’s inmost self is one’s Self. Christians tend to seek reliance outside of themselves, even amounting to reliance on the priest or the church or church community for various reasons. In Thelema: “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law… Thou must (1) Find out what is thy Will. (2) Do that Will with a) one-pointedness, (b) detachment, (c) peace. Then, and then only, art thou in harmony with the Movement of Things, thy will part of, and therefore equal to, the Will of God. And since the will is but the dynamic aspect of the self, and since two different selves could not possess identical wills; then, if thy will be God’s will, Thou art That.” (Liber II)

      ” I suspect you wouldn’t say this is blind faith. Rather, you are relying upon yourself in the same way that Christians are relying upon Christ.”

      How are they faith “in the same way” in the least? I am aware of myself and my failing & successes and their consequences, etc. whereas Christ is only ‘revealed’ once you’ve heard of him in Sunday school and been informed he was tortured to death for your sins but you are still a sinner, etc. etc. If you want to label the consciousness of Self beyond the normal, bounded self of the ego as “Jesus Christ” then I would agree with you, but find the expression unaesthetic.

      “The real question is, does the thing in which you have placed your faith stand up?”

      Yes, I stand up, whereas Jesus and his followers have constantly bidden me to kneel.

      “One problem with your position is that if each person’s will is the standard of morality, then when one person’s will comes into conflict with another person’s will, there is no longer a standard of morality. If, for example, a serial killer desires to kill someone, and the someone who he wants to kill doesn’t want to be killed, then whose will should reign supreme? Do what thou wilt? Well, I’m sorry, but both people can’t do what they desire.”

      This is a relatively common argument brought against Thelema, but it fails because you are equating Will with desire. ” ‘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.’ Take this carefully; it seems to imply a theory that if every man and every woman did his and her will— the true will— there would be no clashing. ‘Every man and every woman is a star,’ and each star moves in an appointed path without interference. There is plenty of room for all; it is only disorder that creates confusion. From these considerations it should be clear that “Do what thou wilt” does not mean ‘Do what you like.’ It is the apotheosis of Freedom; but it is also the strictest possible bond. Do what thou wilt— then do nothing else. Let nothing deflect thee from that austere and holy task. Liberty is absolute to do thy will; but seek to do any other thing whatever, and instantly obstacles must arise. Every act that is not in definite course of that one orbit is erratic, an hindrance. Will must not be two, but one.” (Liber II)

      “This is the kind of dilemna you will face when you deny the truth of God in Scripture and attempt to establish your own way apart from Christ. “

      By your logic, a Christian nation would be one without the problem of serial killers, etc. but there are tons of them. In fact, there is plenty of child molestation, rape, bribery, and other holy goodness coming straight from Christians themselves. We are erecting the Kingdom of God from inside out, not from top to bottom. “There is no grace, there is no guilt, this is the law: DO WHAT THOU WILT.” “And what are the conditions of this joy, and peace, and glory? Is ours the gloomy asceticism of the Christian, and the Buddhist, and the Hindu? Are we walking in eternal fear lest some ‘sin’ should cut us off from ‘grace’? By no means… This is the only point to bear in mind, that every act must be a ritual, an act of worship, a sacrament.” (The Law of Liberty)

      “The only possibility of ‘evil’ is that the Will may be hampered. On the contrary, to the slaves of ‘Jesus,’ there is scarce an act which is not of the nature of ‘sin’. ‘Even our righteousness is as filthy rags.’ ‘There is none good, no, not one,’ etc., etc., ad nauseam — et praetor! To us, then, ‘Jesus’ is the very fount and origin of all possible ‘evil,’ for he synonymous with the idea of Restriction on every plane. The Christian conception of sin as the will of the natural man, the ‘Old Adam,’ is the basis of all internal conflict — of moral insanity.” (comment to Liber LXV)

      Thanks again for your comment.

      • January 4, 2010 at 6:21 am

        You said, “While ideally this may be the case, in practice many Christians have faith in the sense of belief that Jesus is Lord because they were told of this, belief in the reality of heaven & hell, belief in the sinfulness of oneself & others, etc.”

        If one accepts the lordship of Christ on the basis of some other authority, then that authority becomes the ultimate authority. If one accepts the authority of Christ one the basis of his or her own reason, the word of a respected priest, or some other authority, then the person hasn’t really accepted the authority of Christ. Within the Christian tradition, Christ’s authority is ultimate. Thus, it is possible for someone to hold to a form of Christianity while denying Christ as Lord. This seems to be the kind of thing you’re talking about when you say “in practice…” I agree. Such things do happen in practice. But this is not Christianity, this is something that resembles Christianity, but ultimately denies Christ as Lord.

        You also said, “Plainly, the Self of oneself is God, and God’s inmost self is one’s Self.”

        This concept seems to be sheer conjecture on your part.

        You said, “Christians tend to seek reliance outside of themselves, even amounting to reliance on the priest or the church or church community for various reasons.”

        It’s true that Christians seek reliance outside of themselves. Yet those who ultimately place their reliance in a priest or church (such as in Roman Catholicism) hold to a form of Christianity but fail to acknowledge Christ’s ultimate authority (of course, they might argue that Christ’s authority is mediated through the church, but that debate goes back to the reformation. I’m a Protestant and so I’m giving you a Protestant perspective on these matters).

        You said, “How are they faith “in the same way” in the least? I am aware of myself and my failing & successes and their consequences, etc. whereas Christ is only ‘revealed’ once you’ve heard of him in Sunday school and been informed he was tortured to death for your sins but you are still a sinner, etc. etc. If you want to label the consciousness of Self beyond the normal, bounded self of the ego as “Jesus Christ” then I would agree with you, but find the expression unaesthetic.”

        Both you and I are relying upon something. We both have faith. You have faith in yourself whereas I have faith in Christ. The nature of our trusting/relying/believing is the same; the object of our trusting/relying/believing is different.

        You said, “This is a relatively common argument brought against Thelema, but it fails because you are equating Will with desire.”

        In English usage (note that usage determines word meanings), the word “will” speaks of volition. It can be a noun (speaking of the human decision-making mechanism) or a verb (speaking of the exercise of the human decision-making mechanism). Ultimately, my will is dependent upon my desire. Our will leads us to choose that which we most desire. And so while there is a distinction between the will and the desire, there is a close connection. What I most desire I also will. This is how I can choose one thing over another.

        You said, “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.’ Take this carefully; it seems to imply a theory that if every man and every woman did his and her will— the true will— there would be no clashing. ‘Every man and every woman is a star,’ and each star moves in an appointed path without interference. There is plenty of room for all; it is only disorder that creates confusion.”

        Again, this is un-argued conjecture.

        You said, “By your logic, a Christian nation would be one without the problem of serial killers, etc. but there are tons of them.”

        Well, there is and will be no Christian nation until Christ returns and establishes His kingdom (see Revelation 20-22). Thus, we would expect for there to be “tons of them.”

        “The only possibility of ‘evil’ is that the Will may be hampered.” How is it possible that the will would be hampered? In a healthy individual, the ability to exercise the will is always there.

        Perhaps you are using a definition of the word “will” that is specific to your belief system?

  13. Kevin Stevenson
    January 17, 2010 at 5:26 am

    “The Law of Thelema enjoins us to ‘not repress or restrict any true instinct of your Nature; but devote all in perfection to the sole service of your one True Will.'”

    How on earht, XiD, do you know whether or not homosexuality is an expression of another “star’s” “determined orbit,” or in other words, their “Pure Will”?

  14. kalimama93
    March 15, 2010 at 1:01 am

    93

    Interesting that I should come across this today; I was just about to transcribe my thoughts on this very subject. In short, it reads:

    Thelema is quickly becoming a dominant paradigm for one simple reason: The Information Age has dawned, shedding Light on the dark superstitions of the previous age. In other words, Christianity is dying not because it is fundamentally wrong, but because it has lost its relevance in a world increasingly reigned by Knowledge. It thrives on ignorance, in fact demanding its acceptance through the so-called virtue of faith.

    Faith is not without its place, but it is only becomes a virtue when it is satisfied by the eventual and inevitable accumulation of knowledge. For example, it is not wrong to have faith in one’s ability to make it through desperate times–it is that very faith that can provide the fuel and fire necessary to move forward through disaster. But when that time is over, when dawn has risen on the “dark night of the soul,” faith is replaced by the knowledge that one HAS the ability to see through dark times. It is not an exterior god that has provided the foundation on which to stand, but the person’s faith that their god wouldn’t let them down. In other words, it is by the individual’s own power that he or she survives–in effect, manifesting their faith in God by enacting their OWN wills. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

    The Christian “virtue” of continuous faith, on the other hand, cannot be replaced by knowledge–at least not in this life. Instead, they rely on an afterlife that may or may not keep the promises help up by the Bible.

    The Information Age is anathema to Christianity, and the more access people have to knowledge of the world around them, the less relevant Christianity becomes. This is why Christians of so many stripes are so diametrically opposed to the free sharing of information (and have been since the Roman Catholic Church stifled its first rival sect–our Gnostic forebears.) It is why they are so threatened by the promise of science to explain those things that the Christianity, as an entity, would just as soon have remain a mystery. God forbid they be proven wrong.

    Sure, we Thelemites use lots of silly Egyptian names, label our gods with names and appearances that seem every bit as archaic and outdated as those of Old-Aeon religions. However, the difference lies in what those silly names and costumes represent. We have essentially personified the principles of physics, breaking complex ideas and systems down into smaller, more easily digested chunks. We break the macrocosm and microcosm into symbols that our psyches can more easily work with, allowing us to manipulate and experiment with those forces. Rather than bow down and worship those things, we have directed them to serve us through the practice and discipline of magick. There is no god but man.

    We do not cower in fear of the blazing sun–we harness its power to our own needs through the application of Knowledge. We do not hide ourselves away from the darkness of night–we adjust our vision to discover the new world that emerges, because those things that thrive in the darkness bring balance and sustenance to the diurnal world.

    I know and love Christians of many stripes, and have loved what Jesus Christ has symbolized since I first came to know Him as a child in Nazarene school. But I cannot help but pity–at least a little–those that are content to live in ignorance.

    Question everything, because only through such childish curiosity can the wonders of our world be discovered, and make Crowned and Conquering Children of us all.

    93, 93/93

    • March 15, 2010 at 3:25 am

      93 – Thanks for your thoughts!

  1. January 7, 2010 at 6:42 am

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