Thoughts on Thelemic TRUE WILL

“Love is the Law, Love under Will” comes to mind often while riding my bicycle. If I were to strip the concept of True Will down it’s bare bones, it could simply refer to an effort to get from where one is to where one wants to be, in the safest, most efficient, and most fulfilling way possible. Will implies movement, I visualize it as an arrow, a line moving through space. Will is dynamic : it’s about momentum, Love is static, coming to a stop. It’s important, therefore, that Love is UNDER Will, not vice-versa. Love, in this context, could mean compassion, or even sacrifice. Love is certainly a noble cause, but must remain subject to Will, lest one loses one’s momentum.

When I’m riding my bike, I work up to a good speed and coast somewhat on the momentum I’ve built. When I am about to arrive at an intersection, I slow down and come to a stop to wait for a break in traffic. Often, a well-meaning driver will try to let me pass, stopping and even honking at me. If there isn’t a car close behind them, I will wave them on : if I’ve already come to a stop, I will have to build up my speed all over again, so the car that’s already moving may as well continue to move. I have never owned a car, so I’m not completely sure, but I’d imagine drivers, those who do not have experience commuting by bike, that is, are simply not aware that it is actually quite difficult to get moving again once one has stopped. So they think they’re doing me a favor, and are somewhat incredulous as to why I wouldn’t accept such a favor graciously. They are, after all, acting out of Love. But once again, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law, Love is the Law, Love UNDER Will. As Crowley puts it in Liber II, “Love is as it were a by-product of that Will; it does not contradict or supersede that Will; and if apparent contradiction should arise in any crisis, it is the Will that will guide us aright.”

True Will does NOT mean being hedonistic and simply doing whatever you want. Thelema does not advocate for anarchy or disorder. Those who don’t have “ears to hear” will assume the concept of True Will means everyone acting on their own conflicting desires, and therefore allowing said desires to lead everyone into a chaotic free-for-all that ends, inevitably, in everyone bumping into everyone else and having to fight for their needs to stay alive. But, Every Man and Woman is a Star, and as stars follow their path and do not collide, so Men and Women fulfill their Will in perfect harmony. So if you see a cyclist stopped at a crosswalk, consider that it may be best for the flow if traffic if you were to continue on your merry way!

Note: I realize this may seem to be a reductionist argument, and that’s because it is! But sometimes obscure concepts, such as that of True Will, are better explained when reduced to a concrete example from everyday life. Also, in the open-minded spirit of Thelema, I will mention that Crowley’s teachings are subject to various interpretations, and mine is only one of many.

1 thought on “Thoughts on Thelemic TRUE WILL

  1. Pingback: Thoughts on Thelemic TRUE WILL | Miss Ann Thr0pe's stuff

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