Thelemic Law and it's applications.
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
I had a very interesting argument with a classmate of mine about Thelema, specifically the concept of will. The boy said he'd done extensive research on the subject (and him being one of the top students in our school, I believe him.) Yet I could not understand how he confused conscious vs. true will, which is one of the most important things to be understood by anyone who should even PEEK at Thelema.
Get this: here's his first interpretation of the Law of Thelema. Since the full quote is "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.", he interpreted that as "Do whatever the hell one desires while paying no attention to morality."
This interpretation, unfortunately, is a common one. I was shocked enough to see that someone outside the Thelemic faith had that interpretation. That was NOTHING compared to seeing articles by so-called Thelemites who also though of will and Thelema as an excuse to cause disharmony. Thelema is not for the conscious will; it only supports the true will and those conscious actions in harmony with it. Thelema is not for discord; it is a path to harmony.
So then what is the true will? How is it different than the conscious will?
The most definite example I can use would be the suicidal person scenario. Let us assume this person's body is in perfect working order and that he is "perfectly average". He makes a standard salary, lives in decent housing, and such. There is no drastic impediment to justify his suicidal tendencies in any viewpoint. This man's conscious will to die is in sharp conflict with his true will to live.
Why is this the case? One may argue that the ultimate result of living is death, and therefore, this man would be in accordance with nature because he speeds up his eventual death. However, the realistic application of the True will would actually state that although he at one point will die, he should speed up the process because his heart still beats unhindered by any condition, as does the rest of his body. By stopping natural bodily functions via a gun, he has thus restricted his true will to live by succumbing to a contrary desire that only satisfied his conscious will.
Conclusion to that scenario: the general application of the primary Law of Thelema is that at ALL times, the true will is supreme to the conscious will. Superficial desires that satisfy only on a physical level are why conscious will is unreliable. The veils cloud the true will's light.
Could there be a circumstance where death is permissible by the True Will though? In an extreme situation, yes. To understand how this statement can be justified by Thelemic views, one must first refer to Theorems in Crowlry'a Magick in Theory and Practice. Living can be justified as a magickal act; this statement is proven by Theorem 1: "Every intentional act is a magickal act." Now as Crowley wrote that first statement, he noted "But even unintentional acts so seeming are not truly so. Thus Breathing is an Act of the Will to Live." One might question with the consideration of this theorem in favor of the argument of justifying suicide in extreme conditions, but it must be remembered that all possible and applicable Theorems must be taken into affect. Adding the 4th and 5th Theorems into the argument askew the meaning of the 1st. Let us observe the effects one theorem at a time.
4th Theorem: "The first requisite for causing any change is thorough qualitative and quantitative understanding of the conditions."
To apply the justification of death in extreme cases using the Law of Thelema, the theorem states that we must first understand the qualitative and quantitative properties of life itself. Let us first look at the quantitative ones.
Human bodies consist of about 70% water (hydrogen and oxygen), and the other 30% is a mix of calcium, iron, sodium, potassium, and trace amounts of various other elements.
Now while that is not thorough, it is enough to say that human bodies are made only of common elements. We breathe, we eat, and we live with a unique binding of ordinary ingredients, but in the end, it only takes the contents of a shelf of vitamins to compose humanity.
That is as briefly as possible as I can state the conditions of human life (which, in truth, is not nearly enough to do it justice).
However that rational makes way for Theorem 5: "The second requisite for causing any change is the pratical ability to set in right motion the necessary forces".
For a mound of elements and componds to emerge in a unique state of life: that is the magickal act of living. That is HOW we live. But take into account the fragile state of the human body and it becomes apparent that one day a human must die.
Tying these points into the argument: In a normal situation, using the principles of Thelemic Law, suicide cannot be justified. The body is functioning (thus satisfying Theorems 4 & 5), and thus alive (thus satisfying the first Theorem).
If however, the suicidal person in question were terminally ill and in a state where their body can no longer function on its own, a suicide (a legal and medically administered one to which the person in question has given consent to) is justified.
Let it be noted that the above circumstance dictates the illness-stricken person as CONSCIOUSLY suicidal, and thereby conscious in general. This is so it can be establised that the consent of another person in lieu of the ill person themself is not necessary for consideration.
Let it also be stated that the above mentioned positions on suicide are those of the author, not of all Thelemites. They must be seen as such.
Love is the law, love under will.
Mihi Cura Futuri