ON THELEMA
by Erica M Cornelius

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law - AL I:40
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​For being a spiritual person, it is not necessary to love or even like everybody. It is enough to respect everyone’s autonomy and to leave them alone to pursue their own lives as they see fit. 

If you find yourself policing other people’s thoughts and actions, you are too attached to some aspect of your earthly identity and are trying to make the world over in your own image by force.

Do you consider that people who disagree with you are just as much an outgrowth of Spirit as you are? At a time when I really didn’t like President George H. W. Bush, a spiritual mentor joked that I should put his picture on my altar. This was not only funny, it was a good idea. There is no part of society that is not of the gods. 

The more people are certain that some version of the good is the correct one for all humanity, the more they are pawns to that image. The more they spew hatred against their enemies, calling them names and saying, “Yuck,” the more they are possessed by some part of themselves that they deny. Try telling them that to them, though, and they will scream and howl and call you names. They are possessed. They cannot see themselves, but whirl blindly, a top spun by their own personal demons.

Everything is dual below the Abyss. You don’t have to like everything and everyone, and in fact you can’t. But to hate others because you are right means you have repressed one side of the duality in your own personal consciousness, and now it controls you. Most of your thoughts and feelings have now been colonized by your opposition. 

Here’s a recipe for creating racial hatred: ban some of the people from expressing their distaste about the cultures of some of the others. The more they are not allowed to express their different values, the more the differences will curdle into seething poison, waiting to explode. Values must find expression, one way or another: they must be born on earth, live a life, and die. Human values are universal; respectful disagreement around their expression unites, not divides, us. But enforce “love” and create hatred. Enforce “good” and create evil. Enforce “peace” and create war. If you wonder what a world looks like when entire potential discussions between people of differing views can be silenced and shut down with just one word—with just one name called—look around. Nowadays, people who don’t want to be bullied by others scramble to pass the litmus tests of acceptability, and often to really, really believe in whatever will keep them safe from criticism. This was the wonderful secret of the Medieval Catholic Church, who enforced belief in their God under pain of torture. Most people fail to notice the irony of the quieter, secular Inquisition. Remember, the Inquisitors thought of themselves as doing God’s Will. The secular version of this is “bringing about a just world”—not that this necessarily involves bullying; it could be engaged a Thelemic pursuit. The devil is in the details of how it is done and what “justice” is taken to mean and how it is regarded. 

Here’s a recipe for mutual respect between different races and cultures: create an environment in which each child can learn what’s bad and good about the cultures from which they come, what’s bad and good about the families from which they come. Teach the child to be objective and discerning about their own familial history and what it has brought about in terms of their own character and values. Then teach the children to embrace the positive in all of this and to be proud of who they are in particular. Teach the child to take responsibility for his or her own destiny, to go forward from here. Teach the children to think about why they decided to come to Earth as just this person, from this culture. Support the child to find his or her destiny, to worship his or her own God. Accept any outcome, regardless. Guide, but do not force or bully.

The cultural and racial pride to which I refer is not created by artificially inflating the goodness of the culture, nor by refusing to acknowledge its obvious weaknesses. It is created by knowing self, in balance. Once a child can say for himself or herself what is positive about even the negative aspects of his or her heritage, no longer are they the property and pawn of the group. Then even the group becomes composed of free individuals who uphold and promote certain values because it is part of their God-given destiny to do so, not because they are bullied into doing so by the people around them.

There’s a good reason we are all so different. Each individual and each culture or subculture embodies certain values. Every one is holy. Every one should be proud and regal. But the minute one becomes right and the other wrong, that “right” one has fallen into delusion. That one has fallen into thinking, “This form is all I am,” forgetting that they are Spirit incarnated in that form. Race and gender and class and ability and religion and sexuality and culture are forms of divine expression, not identities. If you make them into your identity, you make yourself a slave, a pawn to the mob. Identity is the opiate of the people, for the same reason that religion is: it makes you a pawn. Free yourself of personal identity, which is nothing but a “license” to be told what to do and think and to punished if you should stray from your pre-defined role. Yet embrace your personal and cultural history heartily, for therein lie the clues to your holy destiny in this lifetime.

The whole world has gone crazy thinking they are their form. Too few realize that they are the body of God. But those who do—those who still remember—are powerful in Spirit. Only they can go forth and do their Will among the living.


Written in Berkeley, CA
Saturday, April 1st, 2017 e.v.
Sun in Aries, Moon in Gemini



Love is the law, love under will. - AL I:57



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