Wednesday, May 4, 2011

(writing by me) Thelema - Ethics and Shadow Work

Crowley didn't believe that ethics were unnecessary, he believed that they were relative. Instead of trying to tell every individual exactly what they should think, or do, he invited people to discover the answers for themselves as they come closer and closer to being in perfect harmony with their own true Will.
In eight lectures on yoga, he says, "It will be seen that the formula – ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law’ has nothing to do with ‘Do as you please.’ It is much more difficult to comply with the Law of Thelema than to follow out slavishly a set of dead regulations.”

Also in - Liber II: The Message of the Master Therion he says “If every man and every woman did his and her will—the true will—there would be no clashing. ‘Every man and every woman is a star,’ and each star moves in an appointed path without interference. There is plenty of room for all; it is only disorder that creates confusion. From these considerations it should be clear that ‘Do what thou wilt’ does not mean ‘Do what you like.’ It is the apotheosis of Freedom; but it is also the strictest possible bond.

Do what thou wilt—then do nothing else. Let nothing deflect thee from that austere and holy task. Liberty is absolute to do thy will; but seek to do any other thing whatever, and instantly obstacles must arise. Every act that is not in definite course of that one orbit is erratic, an hindrance. Will must not be two, but one.”

In 1985, thirty years after having attained to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, Soror Meral (
a.k.a Phyllis Seckler) wrote in 'In The Continuum' Vol. III, No. 3, "The Path the aspirant is set upon is a path of self-perfection, not a path of self-indulgence. When one has steeped oneself thoroughly in LIBER AL and Crowley's works, this is more obvious than when one is beginning. The K. and C. of the H.G.A. is attained by the perfected individual, the one who has Willed this event and has worked hard to attain it, has done all in his power to control those tendencies and energies which would interfere with this perfection."

Crowley's system of Thelema promotes the middle path and seeks to strike an equilibrium between the religious extremes of, severe asceticism, and a completely materialistic view of the world that denies spirituality all-together (see this video clip about Lucifer Ahramin and the Middle Path for more on these concepts. - ) The goal is the union of spirit and matter not a divorce of one from the other. In the uniting of opposites, duality is transcended. 

Attesting to the value of balance, equilibrium, and spiritual growth, Crowley writes in Liber De Thaumaturgia, "The business of the aspirant is to climb the Middle Pillar from Malkuth to Kether; and though the other Pillars must be grasped firmly as aids to equilibrium, he should in no wise cling to them. He aspires to the Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel, and all other works are deviations."

The dark appearance of Thelema may characterized as a type of Jungian Shadow work (check out this podcast on Thelema and Transpersonal Psychology by Dr. David Shoemaker for a discussion on how Jungian Psychology parallels the Thelemic system. - ) Jung was rediscovering the lost art of Alchemy in which Thelema has deep roots. (See this article on Carl Jung and The Alchemical Renewal -

Jung says of the shadow that "Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual's conscious life, the blacker and denser it is." "Our most hated, feared or shamed qualities are the ones that hold the key to living the life of our dreams" (see this video clip on The Shadow Process - ) Thelemic teachings tell us that when one reaches a certain level elevated consciousness they receive further instruction on constructively tapping into the immense potential of their own lower nature, as in the mythic story of King Solomon when he commanded demons to build the Temple of Solomon (see my article on Baphomet - Alchemy - The Temple of Solomon for more on the relevant symbolism of this story. - )

Crowley didn't mind ruffling the feathers of the bloated majority that would judge him without taking the time to understand his work. Crowley often called himself the Beast 666. 666 represents the sphere of Tiphareth on the Tree of Life of the Qabalists. This sphere equates to the lover of every ecstatic mystic that ever walked the face of the earth. It represents Sol or Sun. Crowley once joked that "... you can call me 'Little Sunshine.'" In Thelema, the sphere of Tiphareth also equates to what is called the Holy Guardian Angel. Taking the name "The Beast", represented, to him, the achievement of attaining this level of elevated consciousness. In Thelema, Babalon is another main character. She is said to ride the Beast. The Beast represents the lower 7 sepheroth on the Tree of Life. It's main identity, however, is still the sphere of Tiphareth, as has been mentioned. Here is a video by Lon Duquette, who, since 1996, has been O.T.O.'s (O.T.O. is a Thelemic organization) United States Deputy Grand Master. Near the end of the video he talks about the fairy tale of the Qabalah. While watching, keep in mind that the prince represents The Beast and see how the princess (Us, you and I) are raised up to the level of the Queen, Babalon. - )

1 comment:

  1. A fascinating grimoire on the subject in relation to LILITH and demon summoning ~ www dot thebutterflysball dot com dot dot dot!