Do What Thou Wilt
English occultist Aleister Crowley wrote "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" in his classic The Book of The Law forcibly dictated to him by the discarnate higher intelligence called Aiwaz.
What is meant by this "law"? Does it mean we are free to do whatever we please - in other words that there is no law? Or does it convey a deeper, more subtle, truth?
Compare "do what thou wilt" to Jesus' expression of "thy will be done", referring to God's will. Are the two teachings irreconcilably incompatible? As we shall see, maybe not…
In answering these questions we must draw upon two fundamental Spiritual principles.
Firstly, that even while incarnate upon the earth plane we remain at essence Spirit (temporarily clothed in flesh). Thus as individuated Spirit entities we each carry part of the Great Spirit (ie God) within ourselves.
Secondly, we choose our earthly purpose before incarnation. As pure Spirit we decide what lessons we wish to learn, and what experience types we shall be subject to on our earthly adventure. This for many is one of the hardest Spiritual truths to accept. When we consider our own difficulties, or look around at others facing even greater problems, we ask how could we/they have possibly made such choices.
The key to understanding comes with the realization that our stay in this world is ultimately of utter insignificance. Our bodies eventually cease to function and we pass back (home) to Spirit. All that we take with us is lessons learned.
Indeed some do choose very hard lessons just as some enroll in advanced classes at school. Of course when clothed in dense flesh it’s a rare soul that can clearly or directly remember their pre-incarnation Spiritual choices. Once here we simply have to get on with it.
This does not mean that we do not have earthly free will; we do – but it is limited. Sometimes we make decisions which alter our direction, but often however we try to choose we are presented with opportunities to learn the things on our Spiritual agenda.
So isn’t “do what thou wilt” about seeking to discover one’s true “destiny” and embracing it to the best of our ability?
But how can we know our hidden purpose?
- Know thyself – Analyze yourself, your likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, prejudices. Review key choices of your past, why did you act (or fail to act) as you did? Take some personality tests if you like, eg http://similarminds.com/, but accept only what’s intuitively right.
- Look back at your life story. Are there any commonalities that seem to crop up again and again? Is fate trying to push you in a particular direction even though you may consciously resist?
- Take time to meditate, to switch off from external distraction and to listen to the inner voice. It may be saying something different to your conscious mind.
But simply beginning the journey of discovery is not enough. This “law” exhorts us to actively do our will, ie to carry it out.
One form of violating Crowley’s law is the abdication of responsibility which manifests itself as dependence on the advice (will) of others or the the word of psychics. Another transgression occurs when we allow ourselves to be tossed around on the winds of fate.
Many of us continue to do the same things, day after day, week after week, year after year. Simply because that’s the way things are and always have been. It’s as though we’re sleepwalking through life. A large part of doing thy will is this battle against waking sleep.
Much mental and physical disease stems from ignorance or denial of our true will. Even where it may be difficult due to the expectations of other individuals or society. Remember – you have your path, they have theirs.
The fact we are all part of Spirit also means there is no incompatibility between Lord Jesus’ “thy will be done” and “do what thou wilt” since the two wills are one and the same.
“Do what thou wilt” is not license to harm others. That which inhibits the will of another is not our true Spiritual will. We are all of Spirit, and Spirit would never willingly harm (another part of) itself.
Crowley himself writes, “act’s invasive of another individual’s equal rights are implicitly self-aggressions.” and, “It is also excluded from ‘as ye will’ to compromise the liberty of another person indirectly, as by taking advantage of the ignorance or good faith of another person…” [Crowley, A; The Law is for All; Chapter I, verse 51].
Discover your true will, do your earthly best to fulfill it, and when you’ve done this place your trust in Spirit. But remember it is not the job of Spirit (or psychics) to relieve you of the reason you came here.
“This above all: to thine own self be true” - Shakespeare (Hamlet)