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Magick/True Will

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.pagan.magick,alt.consciousness.mysticism,alt.thelema,talk.religion.misc
From: tyagi@houseofkaos.abyss.com (nigris (333))
Subject: Magick/True Will (AC:MiTaP)
Date: 3 May 1997 01:54:01 -0700

[technical difficulties enforced delay -- apologies for outdatedness]

49970423 Kaos Day!  LUNAtix!

E6

john.sentrax@mail.ndirect.co.uk (John Everall):
#>#># ...if Crowley advocates Magick as the principal method of becoming
#>#># cognizant of one's True Will, then why were the majority of people he
#>#># acknowledged as following their True Will( artists, military leaders, etc)
#>#># not magicians? Can anybody explain this disparity?....

john.sentrax@mail.ndirect.co.uk (John Everall):
#># MTP is fairly clear on this, especially in the introduction.

john.sentrax@mail.ndirect.co.uk (John Everall):
#Perhaps it is just my interpretation, but points 4 & 7 seem to imply this.

[I insert the quote from that source]
$ _(4) The first requisite for causing any change is thorough qualitative
$ and quantitative understanding of the conditions._
$
$ (Illustration: The most common cause of failure in life is ignorance of
$ one's own True Will, or the means by which to fulfill that Will.  A man
$ may fancy himself a painter, and waste his life trying to become one;
$ or he may be really a painter, and yet fail to understand and to
$ measure the difficulties peculiar to that career.)
$ ---------------------------------------------------------------------
$  _Magick in Theory and Practice_, by Aleister Crowley, Dover, 
$	1976; p. xiv.
$ _____________________________________________________________ 

here Crowley does not disclose the method of coming to understand one's
true will.  he does posit the idea of someone's 'true calling' or, if
you prefer, 'real potential', but this says nothing about who is and 
who is not a magician.


$ _(7) Every man and every woman has a course, depending partly on the
$ self, and partly on the environment which is natural and necessary
$ for each.  Anyone who is forced from his own course, either through
$ not understanding himself, or through external opposition, comes
$ into conflict with the order of the Universe, and suffers accordingly._
$
$ (Illustration: A man may think it is his duty to act in a certain way,
$ through having made a fancy picture of himself, instead of investigating
$ his actual nature.  For example, a woman may make herself miserable
$ for life by thinking that she prefers love to social consideration, or
$ *vice versa*.  One woman may stay with an unsympathetic husband when
$ she would really be happy in an attaic with a lover, while another may
$ fool herself into a romantic elopement when her only true pleasures are
$ those of presiding at fashionable functions.  Again, a boy's instinct
$ may tell him to go to sea, while his parents insist on his becoming a
$ doctor.  In such a acase, he will be both unsuccessful and unhappy in
$ medicine.)
$ ---------------------------
$ Ibid., pp. xiv-xv.
$ __________________

I find this THEOREM to be very important in an elucidation of Crowley's
precise notions of one's "perfect orbit" as it relates to ability and
accomplishment.  it shows that he thought interference could occur as
regards a person's UNDERSTANDING of the true will and that one could
oneself vary from it.  it fits nicely with his expressions elsewhere
that once one's true will *is* so understood, nothing can stand in 
one's way (as one has the force of the cosmos at one's back).

however, this THEOREM says nothing about how to procure such an 
understanding, paired with THEOREM 4 above as an indicator of the 
powerbase by which *any change may be caused whatever*.  in effect he 
is explaining the generalities of actively preparing to be the cause 
of any change.  as THEOREM 2 above it in the same source maintains, 
these are expansions on the initial POSTULATE, that being:

$ _ANY required Change may be effected by the application of the proper
$ kind and degree of Force in the proper manner through the proper
$ medium to the proper object._
$ -----------------------------
$ Ibid., p. xiii.
$ _______________


#># curious about how Crowley evolved his criteria regarding the discovery of
#># the True Will.

of which criteria do you speak?


#># If one accepts, for instance, that from an early age a
#># particular person was possessed of a burning desire to be a painter,and if
#># one accepts that this is their True Will, then how did they discover this
#># without recourse to elaborate ritual?
#>
#>not speaking for Crowley here: I would suggest that we can be nurtured to
#>RETAIN such a connection: that rite is not necessary but facilitory; that
#>some find initiatory experiences without engaging at all in ceremony.
#
#I would agree with this interpretation.


#># Is Crowley saying that some people are aware of their True Will 
#># and so don't have to bother with using his system?

in the areas to which you were pointing I don't see him saying this,
though I do think he would argue that self-understanding comes more
easily to some than others.  I'm not sure I remember him stipulating
that his was the One True Way to arrive at an understanding of the
true will, however.


#># Is he saying his system is only useful for those caught in the
#># tangle of False Will?

#I will attempt to find quotes to support this, but my point was quite
#general in that Crowley proposes a method to discover the True Will, yet
#seems to accept that certain people (point 28 in the intro to MTP) do not
#have to follow this procedure.

[again inserting the text from citation]
$ _(28) Every man has a right to fulfil his own will without being 
$ afraid that it may interfere with that of others; for if he is in 
$ his proper place, it is the fault of others if they interfere with him._
$
$ (Illustration: If a man like Napolean were actually appointed a destiny 
$ to control Europe, hs should not be blamed for exercising his rights.  
$ To oppose him would be an error.  Any one so doing would have made a 
$ mistake as to his own destiny except in so far as it might be necessary 
$ to learn the lessons of defeat.  The Sun moves in space without 
$ interference.  The order of Nature provides an orbit for each star.  A 
$ clash proves that one or the other has strayed from its course.  But
$ as to each man that keeps his true course, the more firmly he acts, the 
$ less likely are others to get in his way.  His example will help them to 
$ find their own paths and pursue them.  Every man that becomes a Magician 
$ helps others to do likewise.  The more firmly and surely men move, and 
$ the more such action is accepted as the standard of morality, the less 
$ will conflict and confusion hamper humanity.)
$ ----------------------------------------------
$ Ibid., pp. xxi-xxii.
$ ____________________

this is Crowley's most controversial example in the realm of Ethics,
especially amongst the religious who deem certain standard ethical
qualities (like nonviolence in a conventional sense) to be central
to the true will.  in fact, the most important violation which 
countervenes Crowley's ethical system is the violation of one's
"proper orbit", which may or may not (as this Napoleon example makes
clear) include physical, or other types of, violation of others.

however, compare THEOREM 26 and its footnote:

$ _(26)  Every man has a right, the right of self-preservation,
$ to fulfil himself to the utmost.
$
$ {NOTE: Men of "criminal nature" are simply at issue with their True
$  Wills.  The murderer has the Will-to-Live; and his will to murder
$  is a false will at variance with his true Will, since he risks
$  death at the hands of Society by obeying his criminal impulse.}
$
$ (Illustration: A function imperfectly performed injures, not only
$ itself, but everything associated with it.  If the heart is afraid
$ to beat for fear of disturbing the liver, the liver is starved for
$ blood, and avenges itself on the heart by upsetting digestion,
$ which disorders respiration, on which cardiac welfare depends.)
$ ---------------------------------------------------------------
$ Ibid., pp. xx-xxi.
$ __________________

the overall picture is important in the examination of the true will.
out of context this note could be used to support a contention that
"criminal acts are against the true will", and yet Crowley's
illustration plainly elaborates that how one's acts impact one's
surroundings are an imperative in the assessment of "proper orbit".

thus Napoleon, in that he was *establishing a new social order*, is
said to be engaging his true will while perpetrating the physical 
violence of warfare, yet the murderer and his habitual acts of 
violation are deemed by Crowley to be indications of 'false will'
since they ill-advisedly pit him against the Society of which he
is part.

it seems to me that his description here is an elaboration on
the conditions necessary so as to effect change; that this metaphysical 
orientation advises the proper placement of one's energies, and that 
the Art of magick, if so exercised within these conditions, will yield 
the greatest possible success.

it can be intepreted as a type of predestination which not all 
Thelemites find palatable, and it lends a great deal of support for 
Tim the Wizard's contention that Crowley's "True Will" is really 
the God's Will or even the God in disguise.

those caught in the "tangle of false will" cannot take advantage of his
system of magick to effect "Change" (that is, willed change), for these 
have not the understanding of the conditions posited as necessary in 
THEOREM 4.  Crowley defined "Magick" at the outset as "the Science and 
Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will" (in his 
DEFINITION, Ibid., p. xii.), and yet he also defines it within his 
THEOREMS as follows:

$ _(23)  Magick is the Science of understanding oneself and one's
$ conditions.  It is the Art of applying that understanding in action.
$
$ (Illustration: A golf club is intended to move a special ball in a
$ special way in special circumstances.  A Niblick should rarely be
$ used on the tee, or a Brassie under the bank of a bunker.  But
$ also, the use of any club demands skill and experience.)
$ --------------------------------------------------------
$ Ibid., p. xx.
$ _____________

on its face this appears to be a kind of 'argument from design', 
implying that Crowley thought we were "created with some purpose".
however, it can be interpreted as an 'argument from applicability',
his illustration geared to our understanding of a human-refined
sport (he compares sports, arts and sciences later) and definition
with respect to its "most effective trajectories" such that the goal
of winning the game of golf may be achieved.

whereas golf clubs are rather static tools for causing change, humans
can be much more variable, at one point possibly being perfectly suited
for a task yet after a duration having stopped being so by virtue of 
the combination of elements or the relation to necessary triggers 
(cf 'the magical link' described in the same source, Ch. XIV).

Crowley's specificity as regards the steps of the path to *becoming*
a Magician, including the undisclosed magical process of coming to 
an understanding of one's orbit, is perhaps most clearly stated in 
subsequent pages of MiTaP:

$ ...once the above principles [apparently the I. DEFINITION, 
$ II. POSTULATE and III. THEOREMS from which we were drawing
$ previous citation] are firmly fixed in mind, it is easy enough
$ to sum up the situation very shortly.  One must find out for
$ oneself, and make sure beyond doubt, *who* one is, *what* one
$ is, *why* one is.  This done, one may put the Will which is
$ implicit in this "Why" into words, or rather into One Word.
$ Being thus conscious of the proper course to pursue, the next
$ thing is to understand the conditions necessary to following
$ it out.  After that, one must eliminate from oneself every
$ element alien or hostile to success, and develop those parts
$ of oneself which are specially needed to control the aforesaid
$ conditions.
$ ...
$ The sincere student will discover, behind the symbolic technicalities

$ of this book, a practical method of making himself a Magician.
$ The processes described will enable him to discriminate between
$ what he actually is, and what he has fondly imagined himself to be....
$ Magick will teach him that his mind is playing him traitor....
$ Magick will show him the beauty and majesty of the self which he has
$ tried to suppress and disguise.
$
$ Having discovered his identity, he will soon perceive his purpose.
$ Another process will show him how to make that purpose pure and
$ powerful.  He may then learn how to estimate his environment,
$ learn how to make allies, how to make himself prevail against
$ all powers whose error has caused them to wander across his path.
$ -----------------------------------------------------------------
$ Ibid., pp. xxiii-xxiv.
$ ______________________

now the way I understand it, all the recipes Crowley describes in
_Magick in Theory and Practice_ are meant as EXAMPLES, particulars
which display through model the implied "practical method of making
(one)self a Magician" being represented by "the symbolic 
technicalities of this book".  to seize on Crowley's method, therefore,
as the One True Way is to err even by *Crowley*'s characterization
of his own work.  his descriptor of preliminary orientation is an
expansion of the dictum to the magical student from time immemorial: 

			KNOW THYSELF

and might be followed up with the rest of the Sphinctoral Powers:

			WILL THE DISCOVERY OF THE WORD

			DARE THE GREAT WORK

			BE SILENT AS REGARDS THE RESULT

E6/6/6
 3 3 3


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