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WHAT IS THELEMA?

“The word of the Law is THELEMA” is written in Aleister Crowley’s opus magnum, The Book of the Law. The Greek word Thelema (translated as “the Will”) introduces a theological and magical concept represented in Crowley’s works. In accordance with it, the manifested existence is the result of interaction between two universal principles: an infinitely expanding unique space-time Continuum and the individual Principle of Life and Wisdom. The interaction of these Principles create the ruling Principles of Consciousness. In the Book of the Law those Divine Principles are personalised by the trinity of ancient Egyptian pantheon: Nuit, the Goddess of Infinite Space; Hadit, the Winged Snake of Light; and Ra-Hoor-Khuit (Horus), Solar, the Hawk-headed Lord of the Universe. Thelema follows the traditional Hermeticism doctrine which states that each person possesses a soul or “body of light“ and has its own "Holy Guardian Angel” that can be understood as a "higher self”, but also as a separate sentinent divine manifestation.

As well as Buddhists, many Thelemits believe that after human body’s death the “body of light” reincarnates. The “body of light” obtains wisdom, consciousness and spiritual power while going through cycles of rebirth. They believe that the fate of a human after the death is only led by the person’s own Will.

The word “Aeon” in Thelema is used to determine a certain cycle of time to divide the human history into separate periods. This concept used by Thelema is adopted from the ancient traditions. For instance, there are Golden, Silver, Bronze and Iron Ages concepts in ancient Greek mythology, and four Yugas of Mahayuga in Hinduism. Christianity also adheres to this theory or, to be precise, some Christian “herecies” do. Thus, according to the writings of Joachim of Fiore (XII century), the world goes through three ages matching three hypostases of Christian God: Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. "The first state was marked by knowledge, the second lasts with a partial wisdom, the third will become a triumph of intellect. The first ran in a slavish obedience, the second is in a son’s obedience, and the third is in freedom. The first is ruled by the whip, the second - by act, and the third - by contemplation. The first is in fear, the second is in faith, and the third is in love. The first is the age of slaves, the second is the age of children, the third is that of friends.

In Thelema each of Aeons is also marked by its own theological concept and a unique formula of redemption and spiritual growth. The present Aeon is the Aeon of Horus. The last Aeon was the Aeon of Osiris, and before it was the Aeon of Isis. The Aeon of Isis occured in the Neolithic period, and its theology is said to be influenced by the idea of the Maternal with its formula requiring devotion to Mother Earth in order to gain food and protection in return. It is believed that the Classic/Medieval Aeon of Osiris was influenced by the Paternal principle, and its formula required sacrifice and obedience to God the Father. Following same logic, modern Aeon of Horus is ruled by the Principle of the Child which is sovereign, independent personality; its formula is the formula of growth, in consciousness and love, to self-realisation.

According to Thelema doctrine, the arrival of Aeon of Horus had been prophesied to Crowley by Aiwass in Cairo in 1904, when Crowley received the Book of the Law. The formula of the divine law to rule the new Aeon was “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” However, this law of Thelema is not a self-indulgence but rather a divine consent to search and to find the True Will or true meaning of life; and also letting others live and act by the same principles, but in their own way.

THE BOOK OF THE LAW

The Book of the Law ((Liber XXXI or CCXX)) is the most important revelation for each Thelemite that proclaims the end of the Aeon of Osiris and the beginning of the new Aeon of Horus. Despite each member of Ordo Templi Orientis accepting the Book of the Law, he or she should develop personal meaning and understanding of this writing.

The Book of the Law was dictated to Aleister Crowley in the spring of 1904 in Cairo where he had arrived with his young wife Rose Kelly. On March 16, Crowley performed the Bornless Ritual, “merely to amuse my wife by showing her sylphs," but she didn’t or simply couldn’t see them. This was the beginning of the event, which ended 23 days later with the revelation of Nuit in the first chapter of the new law, and the following second and third chapters.

Having missed the chance to see the sylphs, Rose clearly fell under someone's influence and kept repeating to her husband: "They are waiting for you!" On March 21, they went to the Cairo Museum, a place that neither of them had visited before. Aleister Crowley decided to check whether his wife had been contacted by some “spirits.” In a huge two-storied museum building he asked her to find a picture of Horus without resorting for anyone's assistance. Rose passed several images of Horus, and suddenly, shouting "he's here!" ran to some rather unremarkable stele. It was a wooden stele of the 26th dynasty where Horus in the form of Ra-Hoor-Khuit, labeled as ”Stele 666” was depicted.

After having "Stele 666" ("Stele of Revealing") found in the Museum in Cairo, and his wife's warning that the certain "essence" with a mysterious name "Aiwass" wanted to contact him, Crowley spent about two weeks waiting without having any idea of ​​what would this "contact" look like. The couple brought a desk to their home temple in Cairo. In the midday hours of 8th, 9th and 10th of April at that desk, Crowley was quickly dictated 220 verses of the Book of the Law. The method of recording was as follows: Crowley would enter the temple a moment before the beginning, sat comfortably at the desk holding swan pen and some writing-paper and to be ready exactly by noon. He was alone; his wife served as nothing more than an intermediary.

Later, Crowley described the voice of Aiwass (who had dictated the Book to him) as "a deep tenor or baritone, musical and expressive, with solemn, sensual and cruel intonations." The words were pronounced in perfect English without any accent.

The Book is divided into three chapters written, respectively, on behalf of Nuit, Hadit, and Ra-Hoor-Khuit.

The source of the material: oto.ru

Love is the law, love under will!