The Book of the Law

The Book of the Law

by Aleister Crowley

"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." This oft-misunderstood phrase, which forms the basis for Crowley's practice of Magick, is found in The Book of the Law. Allegedly dictated to Crowley in Cairo, Egypt between noon and 1 pm on three successive days in April 1904, the Book of the Law is the source book and key for Crowley's philosophy and/or religion, Thelema.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Occult
  • Rating: 3.88
  • Pages: 160
  • Publish Date: March 1st 2004 by Weiser Books
  • Isbn10: 1578633087
  • Isbn13: 0824297633082

What People Think about "The Book of the Law"

It certainly seems that we are reaching an age where sexuality can be divorced from shame, where people can look inside for their morality, rather than the printed pages of one book, or another. I was a Thelemite for some time, but I found I had to constantly stop and reconcile aspects of the book of the law with my paradigm.

Despite Crowley probably being out of his mind, he does convey an occasionally surprising depth of thought and consideration of this whole Thelemic thing, the central law of which is "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the law, love under will." Hey, at the very least it makes a great inspirational poster!

There are truly some enlightened and beautiful words written here. No doubt people without esoteric knowledge will be confused and most likely repelled by this book.

This is the book that most often quoted by people interested in Aleister Crowley, and it certainly deserves to be read. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. The study of this Book is forbidden. There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.

Crowley asks skeptically: how do I know this Being speaks with any authority? Space is the Nuit, and this Egyptian space god is the creation of the universe and brings forth the "total of possibilities of every kind". For Crowley understanding this means every event has a "uniting of some one monad" with which only one experience is possible to each monad. Thus the claim does follow, "Yet all the time neither of us can know anything of him the salt in my example at all beyond the total impression made on our respective mind." He concludes what I imagine was some self-reflection for anyone who caught onto his bullshit of either oversimplification or just making it up as you go. Chapter III - The Law of Thelema Honestly, this is the best part of the book. With this, we come to the whole of his philosophy, "Do what thou wilt shall be the Whole of the Law. Love is that law, love under will. There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt." I enjoy it because its a fairly easy concept to understand, and that runs the whole of the book. Because each, as he says, will move onto his "true orbit" which is defined by the positions in the world we inhabit, in which Monads come into constant contact with us as "the impulse of our past experiences" to move us forward into the "Law of our Growth". Monads do not, for Crowley, come with ethical or moral baggage; "all events are equally lawful--and every one necessary, in the long run...but in practice, only one act is lawful for each one of us at any given moment. ChapterIV - The New Aeon So I hope you love some occultist history because apparently different Gods control different periods of our planets existence, and this period lasts "2,000 years," during what he calls "The Equinox of the Gods". For Crowley, certain Stars (such stars are called gods) are said to be a collection of Monads. Collection of experiences like, being the son of god, giving the Sermon on the Mount; monads of experience collected to him. "In the history of the world, as far as we know accurately (heh...heh), are three such Gods"-- Wait the earth is 4.54 billion years old, Crowley. Sorry to break your heart, but "the history of the world", has a lot more Gods to count. "Next" (yes that's all women are good for as gods, Simple Nourishment), the Father Osiris period begins in 500 B.C., the father brings forth the idea that the universe is pretty "catastrophic" giving raise to new monads of love, death, resurrection, with which "Experience was built up". But you can't, because then you'd "...show Knowledge and Power such as no man has ever been known to possess." In this period, we learn from both previous governmental systems, but for the purpose of "continual growth," and to not be bound to circumstance. And being that Crowley studied for a period at Cambridge University from 189598. Chapter V - The Next Step There isn't much to say here; all forms of governmental authority for Crowley are just childish tantrums "hemming us in". But yet, the world seems to move forward from its child-like ways because there are always the "Light of genius." And this light of genius may only come to pass if we can establish the Law of Thelema. Chapter VI - The Book of the Law (as transcribed by Aleister Crowley from the massager Aiwass) Enter Aiwass, Messenger of the rulers of the world and bringer of the glory of truth to the "unveiling before the Children of Men!" This messenger explains that only "the few & secret" will be his servants which shall rule the "many & the Known" because they are fools, and so are their Gods too! And the wife, "his woman called the Scarlet Woman", that this power from the gods will be given to them. From there this messenger explains that there is no other God but Lord Hadit or as his friends call him Nuit. Then saith the prophet and slave of the beauteous one: who am I, and what shall be the sign?" Anyway, to the best of my knowledge I think Crowley and his wife engage in copulation. At this point, this God asks the Prophet to follow his "ordeals of my knowledge" and look only for him, that all joys within will redeem him "from all pain." This is when I think Crowley took another hit of cocaine and fell into a deep trance with which he asks the God for the ordeals he should follow. So I think by this page, on 29, the next day Crowley has somehow gotten heroin intravenously, and was ready for round 2 of this new series, "Spirits speak to drug addict". I will say, at least this God gives some mild self-help to pass unto us. If you are, then you are in great company; this God is going to-- well not do anything because he's always leaving you with the bill- but trust me, he loved the meal you had. Just enjoy all things of sense and rapture: fear not that any God shall deny thee for this...But Exceed! Following this philosophy "Do as thou wilt" can lead to --Vomiting, indigestion, hallucinations, Spirit Gods' telling you to take more drugs, blood in urine, dry mouth, Sleeplessness, partially understood occultism, memory loss, shaking, stupidity, nonsense making sense, and possible death. If you can, bake this for 10 minutes at 425 degrees and make "cakes & eat unto me." But Crowley isn't done there- this God has a message to his wife, the Scarlet Women. "Do as thou wilt but don't you dare fucking walk away from me!" Oh hey, but you know, if youre a good girl, I'll "breed from her a child mightier than all the kings of the earth." So hey, there's that! All questions of the Law are to be decided only by appeal to my writings, each for himself" So I guess it was all for not, but whatever Crowley, I do what I want.