Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be the Whole of the Law: Meaning and FAQs
“Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be the Whole of the Law” is a statement often associated with Aleister Crowley, a renowned occultist and philosopher. This phrase, which has sparked much debate and controversy, represents one of the core principles of Thelema, a religious and philosophical system founded by Crowley. In this article, we will explore the meaning behind this enigmatic statement and address some frequently asked questions regarding its interpretation.
At first glance, the phrase “Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be the Whole of the Law” may appear to encourage unrestrained hedonism or selfishness. However, it carries a deeper and more complex meaning within the context of Thelema. Thelema promotes the idea that each individual has a unique purpose or True Will in life, which can be understood as their authentic and fulfilling path. This principle emphasizes the importance of self-discovery and personal growth.
Contrary to popular misconceptions, “Do What Thou Wilt” does not imply blind obedience to one’s immediate desires or impulses. It is not a call for anarchy or lawlessness. The Thelemic interpretation of this statement involves aligning one’s actions with their True Will, which is believed to be in harmony with the greater cosmic order. It encourages individuals to pursue their passions, talents, and goals without being hindered by societal norms or external influences.
The concept of the “Whole of the Law” signifies that living in accordance with one’s True Will is not only permissible but also necessary for spiritual fulfillment and the betterment of the world. It suggests that when individuals embrace their unique purpose, they contribute to the collective consciousness, creating a harmonious and interconnected society.
1. Does “Do What Thou Wilt” promote immoral behavior?
No, it does not. The Thelemic interpretation emphasizes that one’s True Will aligns with their highest potential and authentic purpose. This involves acting in accordance with one’s own values, while respecting the rights and autonomy of others.
2. Does “Do What Thou Wilt” mean I can do anything I want without consequences?
No, it does not. Thelema acknowledges that every action has consequences, and individuals are responsible for their choices. However, it suggests that by aligning with one’s True Will, individuals can make choices that lead to personal growth and positive outcomes.
3. Is Thelema a religion?
Yes, Thelema is considered a spiritual and religious philosophy. It incorporates elements of various mystical, religious, and philosophical traditions, including ancient Egyptian mythology, Eastern mysticism, and Western esotericism.
4. Does Thelema reject societal norms and laws?
Thelema encourages individuals to critically evaluate social norms and laws, but it does not advocate for blind rejection or anarchy. The emphasis is on understanding one’s True Will and acting within the boundaries of ethical and moral principles.
5. Can “Do What Thou Wilt” be misunderstood or misinterpreted?
Yes, like any philosophical statement, “Do What Thou Wilt” is subject to interpretation. Its true meaning is often lost in the sensationalism surrounding Crowley and his controversial reputation. It is essential to study Thelema in-depth to fully grasp its complex philosophy.
“Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be the Whole of the Law” represents a profound statement within the context of Thelema, a religious and philosophical system founded by Aleister Crowley. Contrary to popular misconceptions, it does not advocate for reckless behavior or disregard for others. Instead, it encourages individuals to discover and align with their True Will, their authentic purpose in life. By doing so, they contribute to the greater cosmic order and create a more harmonious society. Understanding the true meaning of this phrase requires a nuanced exploration of Thelema’s principles and teachings.