Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be the Whole of the Law

Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be the Whole of the Law: Understanding the Philosophy

The phrase “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law” is often associated with Aleister Crowley, a controversial figure known for his involvement in occultism and esoteric practices. This statement, which became the central tenet of Crowley’s philosophy known as Thelema, has generated much intrigue and debate. In this article, we will examine the meaning behind this enigmatic phrase and explore some frequently asked questions about its implications.

Meaning and Interpretation

At first glance, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law” may seem to advocate for unrestrained hedonism or selfishness. However, Crowley’s philosophy delves deeper into the nature of true will and personal liberation. Thelema emphasizes the importance of discovering and pursuing one’s individual purpose or destiny, referred to as the True Will. It suggests that true fulfillment and happiness can only be achieved through the alignment of one’s actions with this inner calling.

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FAQs about “Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be the Whole of the Law”:

1. Does Thelema promote moral relativism?
No, Thelema does not condone moral relativism. It encourages individuals to explore their own unique path, but also stresses the importance of ethical behavior and respect for others.

2. Does “Do what thou wilt” imply doing whatever we desire without consequence?
The phrase does not condone thoughtless actions or disregarding the consequences of our choices. It invites individuals to act in harmony with their True Will, which encompasses a deeper sense of purpose and responsibility.

3. Is Thelema a form of Satanism?
Although Thelema has been associated with Satanism due to its occult connections, it is distinct from traditional Satanism. Thelemites do not worship or believe in Satan, but rather focus on personal spiritual development.

4. Can “Do what thou wilt” be interpreted as an excuse for immoral behavior?
No, Thelema does not endorse immoral or harmful actions. It encourages individuals to explore their true nature, but always within the boundaries of ethical conduct.

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5. How does Thelema view societal laws and regulations?
Thelema respects and acknowledges societal laws, as long as they do not infringe upon an individual’s freedom or hinder the pursuit of their True Will.

6. Is “Do what thou wilt” a call for anarchy?
Thelema does not advocate for anarchy. It promotes personal freedom and individuality, but within the framework of a harmonious society.

7. Does Thelema reject the concept of duty or obligation?
Thelema encourages individuals to align themselves with their True Will, which may involve fulfilling certain duties or obligations. However, it emphasizes the importance of doing so willingly and without coercion.

8. Can “Do what thou wilt” be applied to every aspect of life?
Thelema encourages individuals to align their actions with their True Will in all aspects of life, including work, relationships, and spirituality.

9. Is Thelema a religion?
Thelema is often categorized as a religious and philosophical system. While it contains spiritual elements, it is also open to interpretation and personal exploration.

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In conclusion, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law” is a statement that encapsulates the core principles of Thelema. It invites individuals to discover and pursue their True Will, emphasizing personal freedom, responsibility, and ethical behavior. Understanding the deeper meaning behind this phrase allows us to appreciate the philosophy and its potential for personal growth and self-realization.