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What, if any, is the inherent danger in the following statement by Aleister Crowley?

“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.”
Please explain your position & understanding fully.
Thank You for answering!
Many Blessings!
I do not give TD!


  1. I have read his book about his life, I think, he means( I’m not that sure ) don’t to hurt or harm anyone , even if they hurt you, because what you send out may come back to you someday, be it positive or negative feelings, or thoughts. I hope that is of some help.

  2. This is a Wiccan statement that Crowley repeated.
    The inherent danger, of course, is that one wants to do may be a bad thing to someone else. The rest of the rede is that one pays consequences for actions.

  3. Do what you wilt if there are no consequences to others, But to harm others for your pleasure, and
    not give a damn, is reckless and dangerous.

  4. Immediately one thinks of the sadist, loving to inflict cruelty and pain on others for his or her own self gratification as they do whatever they want to do.
    One might also think of such historic figures as Adolph Hitler, Joesph Stalin, Chairman Mao, Jim Jones who were only doing that which they wanted to do to see how such can cause harm to so many.
    Ability and license must be tempered with responsibility, respect and regard towards and for all others and all else that exist.
    Think of the modern industrialist who, doing whatever they chose to do, polluted the water, the land and the air as they sought only their own material gain and gratification.
    No one and no thing exist in a vacuum. We are all a part of the whole of that which is rather than separate from the same which makes all relationships interdependent and not independent upon one another and all else that exist.
    Further, to harm any other is, in the end, to harm one’s self.

  5. This is obviously just an observation on human nature.
    Most do what they think that they can get away with. After a while a certain maturity sets in and people start to put themselves in the shoes of the other guy and we call it conscience.
    Later still we start to realize that the so-called others are doing the best that they can at any give moment against rather daunting odds and we then loose the judgment and just love them.
    Again this is about spiritual maturity. It isn’t a race and there is no hierarchy. It is simply the way and the end result is inevitable. Only the time that we chose to learn this lesson is of our choosing.
    Love and blessings Don

  6. A full discussion of the works and Philosophy of Aleister Crowley would be beyond the limited scope of this forum, one can’t fit a Life’s Work onto an index card.
    That said, the line you mention is derived from the satirical novel “Gargantua and Pantagruel” by Franciscan monk, later Dominican Monk and Physician Francois Rabelais. Rabelais, a Christian Philosopher, postulated an Abbey, called the Abbey of Theleme, in which the only rule was to do what one willed. It must remembered, though, that Rabelais believe in the intrinsic goodness of mankind, and that if properly raised that our natural honor would lead to virtuous actions unless distracted by necessity in an unjust or un-virtuous society.
    Crowley made a clear distinction in his book “Liber AL vel Ligis”, the source of the quote you give, between what he considered “True Will”, ones actual “Calling” in life and a reflection of the Divine will of the Gods, and ordinary will, the simple impulse to gratify ego and physical desires. “Do what thou will” referred to the True Will, rather than to hedonistic pursuit of pleasure as is commonly described, and Crowley advocated a lifestyle designed to allow integration of the subconscious True Will” into the conscious mind as part of a Spiritual Quest to find what each individual is actually “intended” to do and to do it thus achieving one’s actual Divinely Intended niche in Creation.-
    The dangers ascribed to his Philosophy were largely to the established Christian Churches since Crowley posited a personal spiritual quest in which the Christian clergy played no part thus undermining their authority and financial income. It was for this reason that they have misrepresented his Philosophy and condemned it as satanic, just as they did the Jews, the Mormon, and the modern Neo-Pagans.

  7. I have not read the book, I would not know the context and the meaning author has derived. However,’ the whole of law’ is only when my will is in tune with the Universal Will. I would agree with the author if the same is meant.

  8. Not that I would want to have anything in association with anything that one of the wickedest men ever to walk the planet had to say, but in a way God is the ultimate law ,the laws of cause and effect, reaping and sowing etc . The whole of the law is to do the will of God, only when one is so changed to have become the true reflective image would their will and Gods will be one and the same. Not some perverted back to front ,upside down ,demon infested dark magician like Crowley.

  9. Do what thou wist, as a law suggests anarchy. If every man considered only himself, there would be no society for we would be selfish and intolerable. This is the law of the jungle and the he jungle is a lonely and dangerous place. This kind of thinking separates people. divides nations and families. On man alone is easy to control by a gang of a very few. (divide and conquer.is the oldest and best strategy of war.) People who set aside their own will to follow what is right or good for all men, unite. Unity in numbers is strength. His suggestion that all should do as they will is an invitation for the selfish heart to destroy his own world unwittingly.
    Kuve, You have an interesting take on this issue.. right until you charge the christian church with conspirital motives of money and power. Here I suggest you should not state things against a people you do not understand. Your charge is baseless. You paint the entire church into this catagory and the followers you suggest are fools. this is an ignorant position to take and I suggest it is because you are using to large a brush to paint your picture.

  10. i am only somewhat familiar with Crowley, but the quote is incomplete in that it leaves out the very important qualifier that “none be harmed.” Without this addition, the quote stands as carte blanche to do anything one likes with no consideration of its impact on another/others. And always, any harm done is returned to oneself “x”fold (number of times). There is great responsibility implied in the “whole of the Law.” But the partial attention to the Law brings only negative results.
    i am Sirius

  11. Very few people “do what they wilt”, instead they do what their conditioning tells them to do….and so cannot give themselves over to true will, the will to love, to explore and be creative in this magical arising of what has been and will be “wilt”. A Warning: what arises to most is a perversion of true will……the conditioning of the masses, informed by fear and greed……that’s why so many see his statement as dangerous. Who really dares to explore this wonderland, this arising of magic, unconditioned union of wisdom and bliss? It is said of the Knights of the round table that in the beginning of their quest for the Holy Grail “that each entered the forest at a place of their own choosing, where it was darkest…….and there was no path.” Who will enter this Quest with me?

  12. People may read it as “Do what you WANT shall be the whole of the Law.”
    Which misses the meaning completely. I just don’t think people have a clear enough understanding of the difference between desire and will for that quote to be useful for everyone.

  13. No danger at all–because none will adhere to the implications of that statement who would not have done so anyway. We do what we will, but we will what we have evolved (genetically and through post-natal socialisation) to will, and for the most part, that is to live within the normative framework of society. By which, fortunately, we are not inclined to discard any thought for the welfare of others.

  14. The law of accountability….
    It would server one well, if one were to know precisely what one was doing, and why one was doing it, before one did it.
    It would serve one well, if one were to become acquainted with the “Whole of the Law” before one did what thou wilt.
    It has been said that sometimes a human being will perform various options “out of sequence”, causing untold, unseen, and unnecessary hardship.
    If one understands the “Whole of the Law”, one will have a greater chance of not performing things out of sequence.
    Do what thou wilt, when thou understands the “Whole of the Law”.
    It has been said that one will be held accountable, for that which one does.
    Peace be always with you.

  15. Karen says, “The entire rede states: “For the free will of all and with harm to none, do what thou wilt.” Others say the will must be aligned with that of God for this to work. I say that one who is aligned with the will of God and able to bring harm to none is one who asks what they will and it is done. It is this person only who can fulfill Crowley’s postulation. The asking is symbolic. A perfected will does not require a voice, it produces creative energy that, like ether, is an ark containing the elements necessary for the manifestation of needed forms… in other words it just happens or “before you ask I have answered”…. it is the individual’s logos. Further, who qualifies? Consider this, that God is a Monad, self-fecundating which implies for our understanding a male/female principle or androgynous (“and darkness-male- was over the face of the waters-female). If we are created in that image then we should be androgynous as well and have no need to look outside ourselves for the ability to create or procreate. The Kingdom of God is described as having “neither male or female” (no dualities as we find here on earth) but something greater than either by themselves. This being inside of us, the kingdom, implies it is the strength of will that fuses the two together though at first “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”. The inherent danger in Crowley’s statement is that it will be utilized by one who is still viewing things from an earthly plane, whose consciousness is not yet able to accept the reality of what I have described, whose comprehension of the “will of God” has something to do with the creeks not rising, and obviously one who has not found their logos. The whole of the law cannot be approached when animality has not been paralyzed.

  16. There is no inherit danger in the words of any human. The
    danger lies in the one who listens, not in the one who speaks.
    Crowley was convinced that he had great insight into human
    nature and, I suppose, he was simply expressing the way he
    would like to have lived. In the 60’s, we had a similar anthem.
    “If it feels good, do it”. I think Crowley was a very self
    centered person with very little raw material on which to
    center so, like most of us, he just made himself up to be
    what he thought was someone special. Such is the way of
    the false prophet.

  17. It is a statement taken out of context (very similar to when we non-christians take certain versus out of the bible and quote them and the christians scream at us about taking things out of context)… you do need to read and understand the Liber Al vel Legis. Aleister states that each one of us are stars, individuals on our own unique path. All experiences are necessary, and cumulative, to create the person we are destined to be.

  18. Ever seen a person intoxicated with power, who feels it is his/her way or the highway? I have ~ not fun to deal with. Smiles…. This idea that we are a law unto ourselves, would and could only be handled by those who are so full of goodness, wisdom and grace. Even when we see the life of Solomon, known for wisdom, we see how many mistakes he made…. Most of life could not handle this….doing good without God in the ship. I need God second by second guiding me… honest… There would be devastation and collisions everywhere… My thoughts, my heart tells me we would be in trouble if we governed ourselves without God… taking the lead!
    How many perfect Laws would we make? (((hugs and many blessings))
    She Dances With Love

  19. theater.goodfight.org had an interesting exposé on him (on their website, to the lower right “mouse-over”)
    I think they were saying that after that quote, he started to add more rules to it: “accept the Lord Crowned Conquering something and then ya gotta work to further His earthly Kingdom/Reign” (Okay so that’s not an exact quote)
    And then they quipped “Whatever happened to ‘do as thou wilt'”? (I can’t confirm that right now; as I think my sound card blew a fuse.)


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