IAO131 - True Will.pdf

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Top 10 Myths about True Will The concept of “True Will”, or simply “Will”, is fundamental to the Law of Thelema since our central tenet is “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” (AL I:40), along with “Thou hast no right but to do thy will” (AL I:42) and “There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt” (AL III:60). Thelema, after all, means “Will.” For Will being such a central concept in Thelema there are many misconceptions about it that limit our understanding as well as limit our potent
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     Top 10 Myths about True Will The concept of “True Will”, or simply “Will”, is fundamental to the Law of Thelema since our central tenet is “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” (  AL I:40), along with “Thou hast no right but to do thy will” (  AL I:42) and “There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt” (  AL III:60). Thelema, after all, means “Will.”  For Will being such a central concept in Thelema there are many misconceptions about it that limit our understanding as well as limit our potential for accomplishing or manifesting our Wills. Many of these myths or misconceptions are highly interrelated, but they are also different in their emphasis or approach; the list is not meant to be exhaustive or comprehensive but to hopefully lead to further thought and clarity about the notion of Will. Most fundamentally, this is a short list intended to challenge some common misconceptions about the Will in order that we may know and do our Wills more freely and  joyously. 1) “  True Will is found at a certain point in time. ”    The first myth is that True Will is discovered during a discrete event, a certain point in history. This means that you don’t know your Will but in the future you might, upon having some kind of insight or experience, suddenly know it. In contrast, Crowley informs us that “The will is but the dynamic aspect of the self…” ( Liber II  ). In this sense, the Will is simply the expression of our Nature. However poorly or incompletely, our Nature can’t help but be  expressed in some way, which is to say: We are always doing our Wills to some extent, but we could also always do a little “better” in the sense of doing it more fully and with more awareness. Even if we do have sudden or life- altering insight into the nature of our Wills, this doesn’t mean that this understanding might not need to change or be revised in the future.  2) “  True Will is something to be found in the distant  future. ”    Related to the first myth is the notion that True Will is not found in the present but at some point in the future. That is, one thinks “I don’t know my Will now but I will hopefully know it in the future.” Now, it is perfectly reasonable to believe that one’s knowledge or understanding of one’s Will may increase in the future, but  –  again  –  we are always doing our Wills to some extent. That is, the Will is not “found,” but our awareness and understanding of it may increase. Viewing Will as something found in the future forecloses on the potential for us working our best to do our Wills in the present moment. We may bemoan our circumstances, wishing that “if we only knew our Wills…” that everything would be alright, rather than working with ourselves in the present to be more fully aware and joyful with what is already occurring. That is, our very concepts of the Will as being something distant prevent us from seeing what is already here: we are all stars (  AL I:3) and Hadit, the flame of our Wills, is always at the core of our Being (  AL II:6). It is our job or duty to figure  out how to work with ourselves and our environment in order to most fully manifest that inherent Truth within us.  3) “You’re either doing your Will or you’re not doing it. ”    The language used around Will is often “digital” in the sense that we speak of it in “on or off” terms. I believe it is both more effective and more accurate to think of Will in “analog” terms, i.e. that we are always doing Will to some extent. The language of “True Will” implies this kind of digital dichotomy of true/false. In contrast, the idea of “pure will” is one of a matter of    degrees. A totally “pure” Will is 100% Will with no admixture or contaminants, just like pure juice is 100% juice  –  there is no moral connotation whatsoever. We may (for the sake of explanation) say that we may not be currently doing 100% of our Will but we may be at 30% or 80% of our potential at any given moment. This puts the responsibility on ourselves to try to enact our Will in the fullest, most “pure” way possible. It also means that we don’t need to think of others in terms of them doing or not doing their Wills; rather, everyone is doing their Will to some extent or another, and we can all engage in more intentional effort to get closer to the ideal of “100% Will.”   4) “  True Will is a single, unchanging thing. ”    The language used around Will also often implies that Will is a single thing, i.e. “It is my Will to be a doctor.” In fact, the idea of Will being a certain career in particular is one of the most common examples of this misconception. One
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