I have always liked the motto Crowley gave to his journal The Equinox: The Method of Science—The Aim of Religion. The first part in particular. Today science is something that many people connect with technology. In some sense, science and technology are inseparable. The beginning of the twentieth century was not without its technologies either. The Equinox began to be published in 1909 and by then, early versions of today’s ubiquitous technologies were emerging. The escalator, air conditioner, neon lights, gas-motor powered airplanes, vacuum diode, sonar, instant coffee, and even the theory of relativity all came to life in the first decade of the twentieth century. But when Crowley stated “The Method of Science…,” he was not talking about any of these technologies, nor ones to come. Instead he was referring to the way science is approached and practiced. Science has a method and at the centre of that method are questions.
When Crowley advanced the method of science it was, more than anything else, an attitude or an approach to reality. It is one of curiosity, open mindedness, and discovery. It was a method that elevates the question and only sees answers as doorways to other questions. Continue reading
The basis of Thelema is the Will (which is Thelema itself in Greek). The command “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” (Liber AL I:40) and “There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt” (Liber AL I:60) is often distinguished from the often misunderstood and mistranslated statement of “Do what you want.” Why is “Do what thou wilt” different from “Do what you want?” and is it similar in some respects? On this point, we may examine the positive and negative aspects of Thelema/Will insofar as positive means affirming and negative means denying. Continue reading
Ye Olde Morality
Most Westerns are familiar with the Ten Commandments that Moses brought down from Mount Sinai – the ten “thou shalt not”s. This system of ethics as set forth literally in stone by God and delivered through Moses is practically the perfect symbol of what I propose to call “old morality.” Old morality consists essentially in the belief that there is an absolute law of conduct, often rewarded with promises of heaven or some kind of pleasure and punished with verdicts of various types of suffering, even eternal suffering in a fiery “Hell.” This notion of absolute morality is most apparent in the Jewish religion, with its ten commandments (Judaism actually has 613 commandments in total), but it also appears in both Christianity and Islam (the “five pillars of Islam”). Both of these religions are characterized by their insistence on sin and the punishment of hell following sinful actions. These types of absolute morality are also apparent in many forms of Buddhism where they have “sila,” which consists usually of five “thou shalt not”s. In some forms of yoga, there are what is called “yama” and “niyama” which are essentially five “thou shalt”s and five “thou shalt not”s.
Now, this old morality being by definition founded on a notion of “absolute moral conduct,” is also necessarily quite inflexible. Not only did Moses invoke God as the source and authority of his commandments, but they were set in two gigantic tablets of stone.
In the course of history, one might say that these commandments, Jewish and otherwise, were necessary for that particular time. It can be agreed that many of these guidelines were (and still can be) effective if employed in the right circumstances, in the right cultures. For example, Continue reading
Subject: re: Uncle Al’s “Do what thou Wilt shall be the Whole of the Law”:
To: The zee-list
>>And you threw the Crowley quote as if to say it
>>means nothing more than, “do what ever you want to”.
>>In which case… if that was what it meant, that is
>>what it would read.
> >that is what it reads….i think..to me it is. anyone
>else care to suggest it means otherwise? i know there
>are some more qualified than me on this list on
Thelema is a Greek word meaning “Will”. The way that Crowley used the term, he meant *Will* as in a Path that one follows in Life. It has a kinda “higher” feel to it, in that one’s life should be spent discovering and then following their “True Will” (cf. *will*, as in a mere fleeting desire or want). Continue reading
There is no light, nor any motion.
There is no mass, nor any sound.
Still, in the lampless heart of the ocean,
Fasten me down and hold me drowned
Within thy womb, within thy thought,
Where there is naught-where there is naught!
From “Kali”, by Aleister Crowley
In the beginning was the KAOS water, the pure creative force of undivided being. Crowley called this “Nuit”, which seems to be the combination of the sky goddess “Nut” with the chaos God “Nu”, or “Nun”. This was the potential for manifestation before the dream of Siva, before the suffering of Sophia that coalesed into the mist of dark reality. This primal force exits in a perpetual state of non-being, always edging toward being. A binary movement sets up from this tension of pre-creation, from a state of collapsed oneness, to a state of open potential. This is the struggle between Siva; the force of perfect order, and Sakti; the force of pure chaos. In Siva is the need to collapse to stable systems, the continual drive for one-ness that uni-fests as the point monad of Kether on the Tree of Life. In Sakti is the need for continual creation, the pure fertile need to populate Universe with the divine sparks of manifested intelligence. From these two forces arises the numinous Androgyne. This force exists at the beginning of physical creation, from its parthenogenic fullness it emanates across the Pleroma of the void, and down the Tree to Malkuth. Continue reading