Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be the Whole of the Law. Love Is the Law Love Under Will.

Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be the Whole of the Law. Love Is the Law Love Under Will


“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the law, love under will.” These enigmatic words have been associated with Aleister Crowley, one of the most controversial figures in the history of occultism and esoteric practices. The phrase encapsulates Crowley’s philosophy and serves as the guiding principle for his religious and philosophical system, Thelema. In this article, we will explore the meaning behind these words, their significance within Thelema, and address some frequently asked questions to shed light on this intriguing subject.

Understanding the Phrase:

At first glance, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” may seem to advocate for anarchy or unrestrained self-indulgence. However, its interpretation is far more profound. Crowley believed that each individual possesses a unique purpose or will, which should be discovered and pursued without inhibition. It is the true expression of one’s authentic self, free from the constraints imposed by societal expectations, dogma, or moral judgments.

In this context, “will” refers to the individual’s true purpose or destiny, which aligns with their essential nature and brings them closer to self-realization. Thelema encourages individuals to explore their desires and passions and to act upon them, as long as it does not infringe upon the rights and free will of others. It emphasizes personal freedom and autonomy, urging individuals to follow their own path rather than conforming to external influences.

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The phrase “Love is the law, love under will” complements the first part of the statement. While “will” refers to the individual’s unique purpose, “love” represents the principle of unity and compassion. Love, in the context of Thelema, is not limited to romantic or emotional attachments but encompasses a broader sense of empathy and connection to all beings. It is the recognition that we are all part of a greater whole and should act with kindness and consideration towards others while fulfilling our individual will.

Significance within Thelema:

“Do what thou wilt” serves as the fundamental principle of Thelema, a spiritual and philosophical system developed by Aleister Crowley in the early 20th century. Thelemites strive to discover their true will and follow it without hesitation or compromise. The philosophy encourages self-knowledge, self-acceptance, and the pursuit of personal growth and enlightenment.

The concept of will is central to Thelema, as it reflects the belief that every individual has a unique purpose or destiny. By embracing their true will, Thelemites seek to attain a state of self-actualization and spiritual fulfillment. This entails following one’s desires and passions, exploring new experiences, and continuously evolving as individuals.

The second part of the phrase, “Love is the law, love under will,” highlights the importance of love and compassion in the pursuit of one’s will. It emphasizes that love should not be sacrificed or disregarded in the pursuit of personal desires but should be integrated into one’s actions and relationships. Thelemites believe that love is a unifying force that can harmonize individual wills and create a more compassionate and interconnected world.

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Q: Does “Do what thou wilt” promote selfishness or hedonism?
A: No, the phrase encourages individuals to pursue their true purpose and desires, but not at the expense of others. Thelema emphasizes personal responsibility and respect for the rights and free will of others.

Q: Can everyone discover their true will?
A: According to Thelema, every individual has a unique will, but discovering it requires self-reflection, introspection, and personal growth. It is a lifelong journey that may require exploration and experimentation.

Q: How does Thelema view morality?
A: Thelema does not adhere to traditional notions of right or wrong imposed by external authorities. Instead, it emphasizes personal responsibility and encourages individuals to act in accordance with their own ethical principles, as long as they do not harm others.

Q: Is Thelema a religion?
A: Thelema can be seen as a religious and philosophical system, as it encompasses spiritual beliefs, rituals, and practices. However, it also allows for individual interpretation and personal exploration, making it a unique blend of spirituality and philosophy.


“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the law, love under will” encapsulates the essence of Aleister Crowley’s philosophy and Thelema. It promotes personal freedom, self-discovery, and the pursuit of one’s true purpose or will. Love, compassion, and unity are seen as essential components of this path, emphasizing the importance of harmonizing personal desires with empathy towards others. Thelema invites individuals to embark on a journey of self-realization, embracing their unique identity and contributing to a more compassionate and interconnected world.

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