Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

On the Typhonian Tradition

“They callin’ me an alien, a big-headed astronaut”

            --Kanye West

“Typhon” should be a familiar concept to students of Western Ceremonial Magick, as it appears in the LVX signs as the “destroyer” god (paired with “Apophis”), a symbol of the destruction that precedes resurrection. It shows up in some of Crowley’s writings, perhaps most obviously in the verse that begins Liber LXV
The term “Typhonian” is usually used to signify the tradition of occultism that draws upon – or, at least, was originally largely inspired by – the writings of Kenneth Grant (1924 – 2011), a student of Aleister Crowley who claimed to be head of the OTO after Crowley’s death. For some time, Grant led a small group that called itself the OTO or “The Typhonian OTO” (or TOTO). Following a court ruling that declared the OTO headed by Grady McMurtry to be the owner of the OTO name, Grant’s group changed its name from OTO to “The Typhonian Order (TO).”

The influences that this tradition draws from are diverse, weaving together legend, fiction, “channeled” information, and more into a bizarre tapestry of images that differs from practitioner to practitioner, coinciding only on the point that they tend to involve images generally considered “dark” or “weird” or “evil” in popular imagination (naturally, of course, Typhonian practitioners interpret these images in very different ways). Some Typhonians invoke Cthulhu, the fictitious giant squid created by fantasy-horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. Others invoke alien spacecrafts and indulge in pathworking imagination exercises that resemble “alien abduction” accounts. Others imagine having sex with giant spiders or snakes or “Old Ones” or imagine being devoured alive by them as a magical technique. Others meditate on a painting done by Aleister Crowley (“Lam”) that depicts a being resembling what would later be called “Gray Aliens” in UFO lore. Others practice some kind of system inspired by Voodoo. Etc., etc. There are probably as many methods of Typhonian practice as there are Typhonians.
Read on for a discussion of this tradition and its relationship to Thelema.

On the surface, this tradition of occultism appears to have nothing to do with Thelema, aside from very tenuous links to Aleister Crowley. These tenuous links include practices involving texts and images generated by Crowley. For example, some Typhonians meditate on a painting Crowley made sometime around 1917 (“Lam”) and hardly wrote anything about. Others use magical sigils from one of Crowley’s “holy books” – sigils that apparently are supposed to open up the Qlipoth or “dark side” of the Qabalistic Tree of Life – to go on voyages of the imagination and produce visions.
It would be hard to imagine connections to Crowley that are more remote than these.

Yet, of course, “connections to Crowley” are very far from the same thing as “connections to Thelema,” and it should be noted that many if not most Typhonian practitioners seem to hold that their practices are either part of their True Will or practices that are capable of revealing their True Will.
It is tedious in the extreme to consider inane questions of whether Typhonians – or, indeed, any group – qualify as “real Thelemites” or not. But it is useful and relevant to consider whether a group of “Thelemic practitioners” has, according to their own words, a clear and coherent understanding of the concept of True Will and a clear idea of how their practices enable them to discover this True Will.This point ties in to my most recent post about the necessity of having a clear understanding of the goals of one's practice, how one's practice is supposed to work to allow one to achieve those goals, and the criteria by which one can tell if those goals have been achieved.

In what follows I intend to make two points: (1) that Typhonians often seem incapable of coherently defining True Will (the fundamental concept of Thelema that makes its practice possible) – In those instances where coherent definitions are given, they appear to be the opposite of those employed by Thelema – and (2) that Typhonians often seem incapable of articulating the goals of their practices and the criteria by which they would judge such practices to be effective. Bound up in point (2) is the fact that the descriptions Typhonians give of their practices seem to blur the distinction between reality and perception – the clear distinguishing of which is in fact the heart of Thelema – thus making it impossible under such a muddled understanding to discover the True Will as defined by Crowley.
Obviously, since the Typhonians are a group whose opinions and practices can vary drastically from individual to individual, I’m forced (for the purposes of this article) to generalize on the back of a small number of statements. For this reason, I will try to limit myself to the words of Typhonians who are either longtime members of the group or those whose words are representative of sentiments expressed by many others in that camp (whose words are often met with enthusiastic praise and never, to my knowledge, publicly challenged by other Typhonians).

It is, of course, my obligation to point out that I may be missing some aspects of Typhonian belief and practice, and I kindly invite readers to point to examples of Typhonians clearly defining the True Will and their practices.

It is further my obligation to point out that this article is not a critique of Typhonian practices per se. These practices – whatever one may think of them – may indeed be effective for generating certain states of mind, effective at encouraging artistic inspiration, rewarding to do for their own sake (as a piece of performance art), etc. My critique is made entirely from the perspective of Thelema, and my critique begins when individuals make factual claims about these practices, such as claims of these practices enabling individuals to discover their True Will or learn something about their True Natures.
With that said, let’s turn to the baffling words of Michael Staley, a longstanding member of the Typhonian Order who presumably now its head after the death of Kenneth Grant. On the forums, Mr. Staley has written, on more than one occasion:

When stating that True Will is cosmic rather than individual, I'm doing so to distance myself from the notion that True Will is something buried deep within the individual and thus solely an individual phenomena.
Here, the leader of the TO defines True Will in a way opposite to the way that it’s defined in Thelema. Please be aware that my critique here is not “his definition of True Will is different! And different is bad because I want to ‘impose my reality’ on everyone else like a mean ol’ skeptic!” Rather, my critique hinges around the important fact that whatever Mr. Staley is talking about here is categorically *not* the “True Will” that Aleister Crowley was talking about. He appears to be talking about something else entirely and merely using a term invented by Aleister Crowley (a term that labels something entirely different).

In response to Mr. Staley’s claims, I posted the following list of quotes from Aleister Crowley, which clearly define the True Will as something entirely internal, something belonging solely to the individual (emphasis added):

"But the 'Small Person' of Hindu mysticism, the Dwarf insane yet crafty of many legends in many lands, is also this same 'Holy Ghost', or Silent Self of a man, or his Holy Guardian Angel. He is almost the 'Unconscious' of Freud, unknown, unaccountable, the silent Spirit, blowing 'whither it listeth, but thou canst not tell which it cometh or whither it goeth'....So also our own Silent Self, helpless and witless, hidden within us, will spring forth, if we have craft to loose him to the Light, spring lustily forward with his cry of Battle, the Word of our True Wills. This is the Task of the Adept, to have the Knowledge and Conversation of His Holy Guardian Angel, to become aware of his nature and his purpose, fulfilling them." - New Comment to AL I, 7

"Our minds and bodies are veils of the Light within. The uninitiate is a 'dark star,' and the Great Work for him is to make his veils transparent by 'purifying' them. This 'purification' is really 'simplification'; it is not that the veil is dirty, but that the complexity of its folds make it opaque. The Great Work therefore consists principally in the solution of complexes." - New Comment to AL I, 8

"Now initiation is, by etymology, the journeying inwards; it is the Voyage of Discovery (oh Wonder-World!) of one's own Soul...Each of us, as he grows, learns Repression of himself and his true Will. 'It is a lie, this folly against self.': these Words are written in The Book of the Law. So therefore those Passions in ourselves which we understand to be Hindrances are not part of our True Will, but diseased Appetites, manifested in us through false early Training...Give Ear, give Ear attentively; the Will is not lost; though it be buried beneath a life-old midden of Repressions, for it persisteth vital within thee (is it not the true Motion of thine inmost Being?)...For that Will, being always present, albeit (it may be) latent, discovereth himself when no longer inhibited by that conscious Control which is determined by Environment, and therefore of times contrary to himself." - Liber Aleph

"It should go without saying that until the Magician has attained to the Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel he is liable to endless deceptions. He does not know Himself; how can he explain his business to others?" - Magick in Theory and Practice [equating KC of the HGA with knowledge of the self]

"The sincere student will discover, behind the symbolic technicalities of this book, a practical method of making himself a Magician. The processes described will enable him to discriminate between what he actually is, and what he has fondly imagined himself to be. He must behold his soul in all its awful nakedness, he must not fear to look on that appalling actuality. He must discard the gaudy garments with which his shame has screened him; he must accept the fact that nothing can make him anything by what he is. He may lie to himself, drug himself, hide himself; but he is always there. Magick will teach him that his mind is playing him traitor." - Magick in Theory and Practice

"This being so, the Adept will be free to concentrate his deepest self, that part of him which unconsciously orders his true Will, upon the realization of his Holy Guardian Angel. The absence of his bodily, mental and astral consciousness is indeed cardinal to success, for it is their usurpation of his attention which has made him deaf to his Soul, and his preoccupation with their affairs that has prevented him from perceiving that Soul." - Liber Samekh

"Genius - or Initiation, which implies the liberation and development of the genius latent in us all (is not one of the names of the "Holy Guardian Angel" the Genius?)" - Magick Without Tears

There are, of course, dozens of similar quotes in which Crowley explains the True Will in similar ways. In addition to this, we have the words of Liber AL itself: “thy stature shall surpass the stars.” It would be difficult indeed for an individual to surpass the stars if that individual’s will were “cosmic” or subjected to some kind of “cosmic plan.”
In the interest of fairness, I should point out that Mr. Staley was saying on that thread that True Will is partially individual and partially not. He writes in that same post:

True Will is cosmic in the sense that it originates beyond the individual, and individual in the sense that it is refracted, elaborated, developed and expressed through and by the individual; we're not puppets on a string.
This qualification, however, is spurious and deeply misleading.

The beginning of my response to Mr. Staley on that thread – edited very slightly for clarity – is instructive on this point:

The true will “originates from beyond the individual” in the sense that the preferences that comprise the will are caused by other things which were caused by other things which, if we wanted to, we could trace back to the very beginning of time, but it’s nothing more than the inexorable motion of blind, purposeless natural forces.

But “True Will” – if it’s going to mean anything at all, and if it’s going to be the basis of a practical philosophy – has to refer to a specific thing in that cosmos of forces, and it does: it refers to the natural inclinations buried in an individual. Crowley couldn’t be any clearer in those quotes above: true will is something inside the individual, which the individual’s development masks with repression, and it’s the goal of the individual to discover (from the etymology to dis-cover, to remove the covering from) that will, to “purify the veils” that surround it, etc.

By definition, the True Will that Thelema is concerned with is entirely individual, and its only connection to the “cosmos” is the fact that it – like everything else in existence – ultimately derives from (completely blind and purposeless) sources beyond itself.

[Here ends the extract from that thread]
To summarize what’s so wrong about Mr. Staley’s position, “True Will” is the label that Crowley put on “a course, depending partly on the self, and partly on the environment which is natural and necessary for each.” It’s a label for the path of action resulting from the conjunction of the individual’s authentic desires and the realities of the environment. Absolutely nothing about it is “cosmic,” in any commonly understood sense of the term. One could conceivably call it “cosmic,” in a very different sense of the term, on the basis that it is caused by things that were caused by things that were caused by things…all the way back to the Big Bang, but such a label is unhelpful because *everything* can be so labeled.

The chair that I’m sitting in was *caused* by the intent of the chair-making company and the wood of the tree it came from. The intent of the chair-making company was caused by the desires of its founders, which were caused by their particular experiences, which were caused by thousands of other things that we could trace back even further; the tree the chair came from was caused by a seed, which fell to the ground in that spot because of the wind patterns, which were caused by lots of things, like maybe a butterfly flapping its wings halfway across the world…..and so on and so forth.
If we keep going like this, eventually, everything that has ever happened in the universe can be said to be a “cause” for the chair (or my True Will, or this cup of coffee next to me), all the way back to the Big Bang, and thus I am sitting in a “cosmic” chair.

Ta-da. It’s a word game. Amusing, perhaps. Capable of inducing certain states of consciousness, perhaps, if meditated on for a while. But it’s ultimately just a word game that we could apply to anything.
And when applied to the True Will, this word game is spectacularly unhelpful in understanding what it is and how to discover it, and it is potentially misleading. One might easily get the false impression that since we can play a word game that defines the True Will as “cosmic,” then discovering the True Will might involve a process of communing with imaginative beings also said to be “cosmic” (such as “Lam”). This conclusion would be as big a mistake as deciding that since coffee is equally “cosmic,” communing with Lam will make me a cup of coffee.

The only difference is that making coffee is an action that has criteria for success that anyone can measure, and if I tried to make coffee by communing with Lam, it would immediately become apparent what a stupid idea that is. Discovering the True Will, in contrast, is an action that has criteria that only the individual can measure, so one who thinks he’s “discovering his True Will” or “unmasking illusion” by conversing with Lam, though he will be equally unsuccessful, may delude himself indefinitely into thinking he is succeeding.
At any rate, the important point here is that Crowley never describes the True Will as “cosmic” in the manner suggested by the Typhonians. In fact, he consistently presents it as something buried in an individual that must be unearthed through effort.

Now granted, Typhonian practitioners are quick to note that Crowley is not “infallible,” that we are not “slaves to his will,” that Crowley has been dead for some time, that Thelema must “move past Crowley,” that we must break past “Thelemic Orthodoxy,” and all the rest. And while it is undoubtedly true that we are indeed beyond Crowley, by the fact that he’s dead, if nothing else – and must, of necessity, develop Thelema as we learn more about its practice and about reality – this simple fact in no way indicates that we are free to redefine Thelema in any which way, and it especially does not mean that we are free to redefine it into its opposite.
As I’ve said before, Crowley is an “authority” on Thelema in the same way that Darwin is an “authority” on evolution. Darwin came up with the basic idea and the mechanism, and as we learned more about it and about reality modern understanding of evolution diverged from Darwin’s on many points (in some cases significantly), but the theory of evolution is still recognizably the basic idea Darwin originated.

Similarly, we would expect that as we learn more about Thelema and reality, our modern understanding of the details of Thelema may (and will) diverge from Crowley’s, but any system that calls itself “Thelema” but inverts the basic premise of Thelema (that there is a “True Will” inherent in the individual that the individual must discover and fulfill) simply isn’t the Thelema that everyone else is talking about.
While some other Typhonians appear to define the True Will as internal, they seem surprisingly unable to articulate what it is and how to discover it. Their inability is all the stranger for the fact that Aleister Crowley was very clear and that the facts of the True Will should become very clear to an individual with a little bit of experience in these matters.

One Typhonian, artist Kyle Fite, defines True Will as follows:
the philosophy of the True Will, the stirring of that sleeping sense of purpose which only One's Deepest Heart can reveal, along with the unfolding of Powers to Move in it
And shortly afterwards adds:

Will chooses its mode of expression with increasingly freedom (freed FROM that small-self, monkey-mind conditioning), Going as it Will. And in that Going, the Will and the "choosing" are one.
These extracts are vague and misleading, sounding more like a description of the emotions than the True Will [see this post for a discussion of the distorting influence of the emotions]. True Will is categorically not a “sense of purpose” – as all “purpose” and “because” are inventions of the mind – nor is it an actual force that “chooses” anything, including “modes of expression.” It is described by Crowley simply as the authentic preferences in conjunction with the realities of the environment, and we wouldn’t need to talk about it at all if it were not for the fact that the mind veils those preferences from the individual, often by means of a “sense of purpose” or a desire to choose “modes of expression.”

Incidentally, this idea that the Will “chooses” its mode of expression echoes what Michael Staley says that the Will – which, according to him, in stark opposition to the words of Crowley, “cosmic” and not individual – is “refracted, elaborated, developed and expressed through and by the individual; we're not puppets on a string.” Yet the concept of True Will, as defined by the creator of Thelema, Aleister Crowley, is implicitly deterministic, ultimately voiding the idea of “choice” entirely, despite our sensation of free will. He writes in Liber II, “Do what thou wilt” is “the apotheosis of Freedom; but it is also the strictest possible bond.”
One does not “choose” what one’s True Will is. One either discovers it (and it’s already there waiting for one) or one does not. When we’re talking about what Thelema is, that isn’t an opinion: those are the facts, and anyone claiming otherwise is talking about something quite other than what Crowley was when he used the word “Thelema.”

Getting back to Mr. Fite’s vague prose, he has a difficult time on that thread -- and on many others -- of clearly articulating what he means by "True Will," and when he finally claims to "not disagree" with a skeptic who has been pressing him -- as he does when he finally tells Erwin Hessle in this post that he's not in fundamental disagreement with him -- the point on which he does not disagree is one that completely contradicts his explanation of his practices.
The fact  that he cannot give a coherent explanation of what a True Will is suggests both that he’s never really seriously thought about it (as he remarks elsewhere on Lashtal, "wasn't 'reason' to be 'damned for a dog?'" when objecting to the "use of logic," suggesting both a misinterpretation of Liber AL [see here] and a steadfast refusal to think through his ideas on the subject).
Moving from definition of True Will and into practice, the Typhonians continue to disappoint. One passage from Grant’s books that Michael Staley likes to cite is the following:
Like other accounts of unclassifiable phases of earth's history, the Cthulhu Cult epitomises the subconsciousness and the forces outside terrestrial awareness. It may be said in passing that true creativity can occur only when these forces are invoked to flood with their light the magical network of the mind. For purposes of explanation the mind may be envisaged as divided into three rooms, the edifice which contains them being the only real or permanent principle. These rooms are:
1) Subconsciousness, the dream state;
2) Mundane consciousness, the waking state;
3) Transcendental consciousness, veiled in the non-initiate by the state of sleep.
The compartments are further conceived as being connected with the house that contains them, by a series of conduits or tunnels. The house represents trans-terrestrial consciousness. The invoked forces - Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth, Azathoth, etc - are then understood, not as malignant or destructive entities but as the dynamic energies of consciousness, the functions of which are to blast away the delusion of separate existence (the rooms in our illustration).

This passage treats the characters of the Cthulhu mythos as symbols for “transpersonal consciousness” who are invoked to destroy the individual – that is, their invocation supposedly causes (or aids) destruction of the ego or “blast[s] away the delusion of separate existence” – in a manner analogous to the way that Cthulhu is said to devour his worshippers or even the world itself (and parallels to the opening of the eye of Shiva are probably appropriate here as well).
Of course, there’s only one big glaring problem here: just because Grant claims these practices achieve the aim of destroying the ego, this in no way means that the practices actually do achieve this aim. Without a clear explanation of why one would think that such practices would accomplish such an aim – and without clear criteria by which one can determine that such practices have accomplished such an aim – an individual is just guessing when he says that these practices do so.

Let’s pick a similar example, this one advanced by Kyle Fite, who claimed that communing with Lam enables him to discover his True Will by unmasking certain illusions. In a public conversation with Erwin Hessle – who pointed out that Kyle’s claim that his dealings with Lam are “dealings […] with unsettling elements” about the universe and the self is really just “sitting in your bedroom fantasizing about spacemen in perfect comfort and safety” – Kyle says, making reference to Grant’s treatment of the Cthulhu mythos which I have just covered:
"Unsettling elements" may very well refer to the way in which our ego reacts to the dissembly of Skandhas as it is unmasked and revealed to be an illusory construct. In fact, this seems to be very much how Grant treats "Cthulhu" in his books.

But once again, there is a vast difference between, on the one hand, engaging in a practice that one thinks will unmask illusion and, on the other hand, actually unmasking illusion. There is a vast difference between imagining destroying the ego and actually destroying it.

One does not “unmask illusion” by sitting around and imagining a conversation with a being. One unmasks illusion only by observation of the self in real time.
As Erwin puts it in his response to Kyle:

you aren't going to achieve anything worthwhile in this area by fantasing about spacemen. If you want to unmask and reveal illusory constructs, you have to go out there and unmask and reveal them, you can't do it by sitting around having fantasies. If for no other reason, if you do attempt to do it like this what you're almost inevitably going to end up doing is exchanging one set of illusions for an even more opaque set. That's precisely why I said you need to be looking outside of the imagination, not into it. If you want to free yourself from illusions, then look somewhere where there aren't any.

Even if a practitioner were to claim that these practices are really analogous to something like therapy, the analogy fails, as therapy does not work by means of imaginary conversation (quite apart from the point that it is at least highly debatable whether the purpose of therapy is to allow an individual to discover his or her True Will to begin with).

The inability to clearly explain the goals of practice and how one can tell whether the practice works or not suggests that Typhonians typically use how things subjectively feel as a barrier of determining truth, not only of the efficacy of their practices, but of evaluating other claims about reality.
And indeed, this confusion between how things feel and how things really are runs through much Typhonian discourse, with practitioners claiming at times that it is impossible (or unnecessary) to distinguish the world outside of one’s head from one’s subjective perceptions of that world. Many – following the lead of Kenneth Grant – make claims that imply that reality is in theory indistinguishable from fantasy.

One Typhonian phrased the position thusly:
Nothing in [a quote from Grant] supports the bizarre theory of physical little green men [i.e. aliens]. But then again, after a while. You realize that what Grant says is that there is no difference. This does not mean that for instance the fictional characters we find in Grants litterature is just as real as us. But that we are just as unreal as them.
One of the major points of Kenneth Grant is a frontline attack on our whole idea of reality.
In other words, of course none of these fantasies are real…but only in the sense that nothing at all is real, so for practical purposes, these fantasies *are* real after all! It’s the ol’ switcheroo.

In fact, a recurring theme of all conversations I’ve had online with people who identify themselves as “Typhonians,” or at least students of Kenneth Grant, is a resistance to clearly defining reality, along with various real things like “Thelema,” “True Will,” etc.
The forums – for many years the only real bastion for Typhonians online –  are littered with conversations I’ve had with people who seriously propose that reality isn’t “real,” that we can’t clearly define reality (and therefore can’t really know reality), that there’s no evidence we aren’t all creating reality as we go, and that there’s no evidence that we’re not all brains in a vat.

Suffice it to say that pretty much anyone who’s not a college freshman, a head-in-the-clouds philosophy student, or a stoned fan of The Matrix would easily be able to refute such laughable arguments. There may be a “believers say the darndest things” article lurking there because “Reality isn’t Real!” is a script I’ve encountered from all sorts of religious believers, usually as a justification for believing any old tripe on the grounds that no one can “really” know what’s “real.”
But the strong implication of these "reality isn't real!" beliefs is that it's impossible to know anything (including, ironically, that it's impossible to know anything). Yet, if it's impossible to know anything, on what grounds could these practitioners actually claim that their practices "work" to reveal the True Will?

As Michael Staley says,

As an occultist and a mystic for many years now, I place value on what some might regard as intangibles such as vision, imagination, intuition, subjective experience and the like. That might make me prey to delusion, but it's a risk I'm prepared to take.
I’ll leave it for fair-minded readers to determine if this attitude is consistent with – and conducive to the practice of – the heart of Thelema, which encourages an aspirant “to discriminate between what he actually is, and what he has fondly imagined himself to be.” (Magick in Theory and Practice)

For the time being, I will leave out all potential objections to the writings of Kenneth Grant: that his “philosophy” consists mainly of bizarre ramblings; that his gematria is hopelessly flawed (including unbelievable “plus one” and “minus one” gematria); that he is obsessed with fantasy at the expense of reality, a point on which Crowley himself was critical of Grant; etc., etc.
None of the above criticisms need concern us in this post: my focus is entirely on the ability of the Typhonian tradition to define the True Will and explain the path to discovering it, areas in which the Typhonians fail spectacularly.

In the grand scheme of things, “Typhonians” account for only a tiny number of people interested in the work of Aleister Crowley, and as such, little is to be gained from critiquing them specifically. However, critiques of their theory and practice of Thelema have value as being generally instructional. These folks and their arguments are practical examples of the dangers of allowing oneself to be duped by philosophy and by empty or vague platitudes like, “Nothing is real” or “Embrace reality through the imagination!”

As we have seen, people who accept these flawed premises go on to accept other errors in thought on that basis. Beginning with flawed premises allows for a cascade of false conclusions, and this is one of the key reasons that one should practice skepticism.

Those who think that there is “no harm” in believing that we might all be brains in a vat should be aware that such a premise can lead to the conclusion that talking to Spacemen might reveal an individual’s true nature because “consciousness pervades all” since “no one can really know what’s real, so we just have our feelings to go on, and I feel like consciousness pervades all!”
The arguments are really that poor.

Some people have criticized the Typhonians on the grounds that their practices are “icky,” involving imagining having sex with creepy crawlies. See, for example, Ian Rons' entertaining review of Grant’s book Outside the Circles of Time, and the threads on in which he criticized Typhonians.
Yet such critiques seem childish in the extreme. That an image is “gross” or “disgusting” is a judgment that is almost completely subjective. And on top of this Crowley himself was no stranger to (what some might call) “icky” imagery, and it would be a weird hypocrite who would criticize Typhonian practices while ignoring Crowley’s use of “gross” imagery.

No, a far sounder basis on which to criticize Typhonian practice is the fact that many of them – including their leaders and most outspoken members whose opinions are never questioned in public by other Typhonians – cannot explain what it is they do and why, and when they do, they invariably explain themselves in ways that starkly contrast with the ways that all other Thelemites – including Thelema’s found, Aleister Crowley – understand the terminology under discussion.
Of course, it should be noted once again that I do not object to Typhonian practices as occult techniques, as methods of inducing states of consciousness, as recreation, or even as imaginative exercises to generate inspiration for art, all of which are perfectly legitimate uses of such practices. My objection is solely from the perspective of Thelema (and, more broadly, from the perspective of skepticism, a mindset that leads naturally to Thelema).

Such practices do not appear capable of enabling individuals to discover the True Will – certainly, there is no good reason to think that they *do* enable individuals to do so. Were any of these practices to succeed, they would do so merely by random chance, and no one would have any good reason to think that they succeed at all.


  1. Grant's magick functions as more of an occult novel or fiction than practice, I think. Maybe that's why he's popular with groups like "Coil" who have a dark, feeling, ambience thing going on. There is also some kind of racist thing going on too occasionally - as evidenced by one of his novels about vodoun - can't remember the title.

  2. “Grant's magick functions as more of an occult novel or fiction than practice”

    I agree that Grant is primarily concerned with literature. There’s this relatively well-known passage from the last few paragraphs of the introduction to Outside the Circles of Time, where Grant writes:

    “It is not my purpose to try to prove anything; my aim is to construct a magical mirror capable of reflecting some of the less elusive images seen as shadows of a future aeon. This I do by means of suggestion, evocation, and by those oblique and ‘inbetweenness concepts’ that Austin Spare defined as ‘Neither-Neither’. When this is understood, the reader’s mind becomes receptive to the influx of certain concepts that can, if received undistortedly, fertilize the unknown dimensions of his consciousness.”

    What Grant is saying is that, basically, his books aren’t in the business of making factual claims, but rather are themselves magical objects that can trigger effects in the reader. One might even go so far as to say that this argument is consistent with what Grady McMurtry says of the Thelemic Holy Books in his introduction to The Holy Books of Thelema: “they give access to the source of the scribe’s genius, and can awaken, as if by sympathetic resonance, promptings toward similar experiences in the receptive reader.”

    By the way, I’m not trying to imply that Grant’s work is the equivalent of the Thelemic Holy Books, but I’m pointing out a similar claim that has been made about other works that might be considered “magical.”

    And comments like those are all well and good and are certainly not confined to “occult” literature. Joseph Campbell once said that reading Finnegans Wake is a consciousness-transforming experience. He’s right, of course, but then again so is reading any book: it’s only a matter of degree, determined largely by what the reader brings to the table. Reading and writing are themselves “magical arts.” Hence, the grammar/grimoire connection.

    But my critique in my post above isn’t aimed at the supposed literary merit of any of this stuff (though that might be a productive conversation of its own). My critique is from the perspective of Thelema, and the heart of Thelema, remember, is discriminating between what an individual actually is and what he fondly imagines himself to be.

    The Great Work isn’t a matter of reading books, letting them “fertilize your unconscious,” and then writing your own spiffy short stories or painting a bunch of works of “art.” You might as well say that the Great Work is nothing more than watching an X-Files marathon.

    No one’s going to discover their True Will by letting “in between” language “fertilize” the “unknown regions” of anything. You don’t discover the True Will by replacing your current illusions with more illusions: you have to get out there and detect your mind misleading the self in real time and correct for your errors. That’s really the only way to do it.

    And if someone disagrees, let them present a cogent argument for some other method.

  3. Reminds of of Schopenhauer, and who could ever put it better than he, "A man may do as he will, but he may not will as he will". And that's about the size of it.

  4. What a fascist view of Thelema!

    1. Xenoverses writes: "What a fascist view of Thelema!"


    2. Thank you dearly for your insight.. in my opinion however, Grant is not the authority on Typhonian and/or Thelemic magick in general, and I feel he possibly took over what may have been a credible understanding of this deeper connection to the imperative aspect of inter-dimensional channeling.. I get much of what he writes in Moonchild of Yesod and enjoy that reference immensely, but I also think that 'Lam' or what Crowley and others were channeling are not necessarily benevolent beings or aspects of their consciousness/Self but rather an outer force with a manipulative agenda, and there IS a difference (and why 'weeding through the dross/or 'gross' is vital to acquiring a perceptive discernment of a deeper form of resonance) then he also goes into the 'cult of isis' stuff which in my opinion led him Away from any true understanding of how important the Heart is in accessing any magick vision of manifestation properly.. (isis was involved in an intentional usurping of Hathor, hence the 'confusion' of their 'merging' as well as several others, lest I digress) also what is your opinion of the differentiation between Typnonian practice and a being of an inherent Typhonian bloodline?? There is not a definitive etching here.. maybe the reason for why 'they' "cannot explain what it is they do and why, and when they do, they invariably explain themselves in ways that starkly contrast with the ways that all other Thelemites" is that so much written and followed depends upon the work of another rather than the work within, which should be the primary focus.. Sometimes we may not understand the reasons for the messages we receive but knowing weather it is an extension of an intuitive guidance or outer/ego blurring the lines, is certainly up for debate..

      "detect your mind misleading the self in real time and correct for your errors. That’s really the only way to do it."
      Yes I agree very much and that is the continual work being done here, which also takes several incarnations to accomplish.. and the "True Will as something entirely internal, something belonging solely to the individual" may also be something hidden from ones.self entirely, until comprehension on all levels can even be accomplished..

      I also agree with you on how the statement 'reality isnt real' or as I have heard 'you are all just projections of myself' and while yes we are all mirrors, but that does not in any way discredit ones entirety of manifestation here on this plane..

      I feel there is a great integration of all cultural/indigenous/intergalactic avenues to this imprinted timeline coalescing in physical reality regarding what is all coming to light now.. its All coming together~ Always and in All Ways ♥

      Thank you for your Work and sharing a very unbiased perspective~ what also is your opinion of how the Hathors merged within to manifest several aspects of them.Selves rather than with outer.forces being a representation of this co.emergence??

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  6. Existing as a functional part of a solar system (and a galaxy and beyond) is something we all do every second and always have. We forget this and as part of Thelemic practice during the Cabbalsitic Cross we imagine ourselves leaving the earth to embrace the "body of Nuit."

    Is this "cosmic consciousness"? No, it's consciousness of the cosmos and facing that fact that the earth is one of many "heavenly bodies" and that there is a vast array of bigger activity going on out there beyond the personal concerns and preferences of the Khu.

    Your point about the pits of the notion of a specific "cosmic" true will and cosmic cups of coffee and cosmic chairs. Lol. I like that.

    For someone who doesn't get that True Will is just unveiling our true preferences in real time, the route to seeking cosmic consciousness can be a building of walls whilst trying to knock them down. Yes, Typhonian culture is a great example of such misconceptions in terms of what Thelema really is. Here's the irony, the Queen of Infinite Space itself says,"Let there be no difference made among you between any one thing & any other" and that includes "mundane/terrestrial" with "cosmic/extra terrestrial."

  7. Please read the "Heart of Thelema" by Michael Staley because this particular bits and pieces criticism of Thelema/ Typhonian tradition is not true. I consider the writings of Grant, Staley, and other contemperaries to be more Thelemic than anything I've read since Crowley.

    1. Please read the "Heart of Thelema" by Michael Staley

      I've read it. It was, in fact, one of the earliest documents I read about Thelema when I began my study around fifteen years ago.

      because this particular bits and pieces criticism of Thelema/ Typhonian tradition is not true.

      What part of my article specifically do you consider to be "not true"? It would be useful if you could quote one single point I make that you find to be "not true" so that we could discuss it.

      I'd be glad to discuss the entire article with you if you'd like, but it would be easiest to discuss it one point at a time.

  8. I guess I really don't see a dichotomy between any of your posted Crowley quotes describing true will or anything I've read by Grant and company. Grant's writings stripped away of Lovecraftian beings etc. has a very Advaitic core. True will as it is realized transcends the individual/ego and truelly becomes cosmic as the veils are stripped away, hence the analogy of the layers of the onion with Hadit at the core. Cosmic because initiation is an inward journey of self gnosis and and outward consciousness expansion beyond the individual awareness. If true will is defined as solely individual it would be very limited in scope and the goal of transcending the ego/crossing the abyss into cosmic consciousness where the individual was just a veil? "Success is thy proof: argue not; convert not; talk not overmuch!" AL 3:42

    1. Grant's writings stripped away of Lovecraftian beings etc. has a very Advaitic core.

      Indeed. And have you read Crowley’s Magick Without Tears? If you have, you know that he says in chapter five that Advaitism is “based upon a sorites of doubtful validity” and that “I hate this doctrine so rabidly that I can hardly trust myself to present it fairly!” He goes on to say that “The dogma appears to excite its dupes to dithyrambs.”

      His arguments in that letter echo and update his much earlier essay “Berashith,” where he also dismisses Advaitism, but in less forceful terms.

      True will as it is realized transcends the individual/ego and truelly becomes cosmic as the veils are stripped away […] Cosmic because initiation is an inward journey of self gnosis and and outward consciousness expansion beyond the individual awareness.

      The problem with what you say here is that it’s not terribly clear what you mean.

      True Will, as defined by Crowley in his works, is entirely individual: it’s a person’s actual, authentic inclinations in a given situation. That’s it. Now, the process of discovering and *carrying out* the True Will indeed requires a person to transcend a number of things: it requires him to transcend the faulty ideas he has about himself, to transcend the faulty ideas he has about the universe, and to *go out* and put his True Will into practice when having new experiences.

      If *that* is what you mean by “transcends the individual/ego” and by “outward consciousness expansion beyond the individual awareness,” then we’re in agreement and you’re just using needlessly confusing language to describe it. However, I think it’s likely that you mean something very different by “transcends the individual/ego” and by “outward consciousness expansion.”

      I’d be very interested in hearing what you mean more specifically and also hearing where exactly in Crowley’s body of work you find support for your ideas. Just to be clear, this is not a rhetorical gesture: this is a serious offer for you to share your ideas and have a conversation about them.

      "Success is thy proof: argue not; convert not; talk not overmuch!" AL 3:42

      Look. You’re the one who appeared on my blog saying that I wrote things that are “not true.” When I challenged you to quote something specific I said that you consider to be “not true,” you did not quote a thing. Instead, you gave me this somewhat vague response and concluded with a quotation that (I can only assume you *think* means) we shouldn’t be “argu[ing]” or “talk[ing].”

      “My holy book says we shouldn’t talk about this” isn’t a very compelling response to any argument. If you don’t want to talk or argue, nobody’s forcing you to. But I assume you have some kind of interest in Thelema, and if your interest is *serious*, then I would imagine you’d like to learn something about it, which a person can’t effectively do without talking and arguing.

      If you’re gonna let some book push you around, I’d say that that’s a sign you haven’t yet grasped the basics of Thelema.

  9. Yes I replied because I am a Thelemite and I believe that Thelema goes beyond Crowley and that people who stick to whatever Crowley said or wrote are very much limiting themselves. at one time Crowley was a Buddhist, Grant and AC both brought non dualism to the West. It really doesn't matter so much about the personality of Crowley, but what matters is the current that he and his successors transmited. I am not here to argue, I just feel Thelema reaches beyond Crowley, the OTO, or any type of personality cult. What I mean by transcending the ego is what is meant by spilling every drop of thyself in the cup of Babalon. Outer consciousness expansion is another way in my opinion of realizing the mystical unity of all consciousness beyond the individualized self.

    1. I believe that Thelema goes beyond Crowley and that people who stick to whatever Crowley said or wrote are very much limiting themselves.

      Alright, but you were specifically commenting on my post that argues that Typhonian theory and practice – such as it is – does *not* align with Thelema as explicated by Crowley. In your first comment, you even said that you don’t see a “dichotomy between any of your posted Crowley quotes describing true will or anything I've read by Grant and company.”

      That’s the crux of our disagreement, I thought. My position is that Typhonian theory and practice does not seem to be Thelemic in the sense of the term as defined by Crowley. Your last few posts seem to disagree with my position, which would mean that your position is that Typhonian theory and practice *does align* with what Crowley said.

      It would be interesting to explore this disagreement of ours. I’d be very interested to hear *support* for your position, such as places in Crowley’s work that supports this “cosmic” idea of True Will.

      But now in your latest post, you’ve bafflingly changed course and now seem to be admitting that Grant and company *don’t* align with what Crowley said about Thelema (and that this is okay because Thelema “reaches beyond Crowley”).

      So which is it?

      I just feel Thelema reaches beyond Crowley, the OTO, or any type of personality cult

      I agree, though it again depends on exactly what you mean.

      Certainly, we’re “beyond” Crowley now – if nothing else, at least we can agree that Crowley is dead and we’re not. I do think Thelemites need to *develop* Thelema beyond mindlessly repeating Crowley’s rhetoric and rituals. I’ve been an advocate for people being very critical of Crowley’s ideas and methods.

      But at the same time, if we’re going to have a conversation about Thelema, then “Thelema” has to mean something relatively definite. I consider Thelema to be a philosophy defined by the Book of the Law and explicated largely by Aleister Crowley’s interpretations of the Book. This doesn’t mean that Crowley was necessarily correct about all of his interpretations – I disagree with him on a number of points of interpretation – but it does mean that if a person has an idea of the central concept of Thelema (Will) that is *diametrically opposed* to the one that Crowley held, then it’s an exercise in confusion to call that person’s radically different ideas “Thelema.”

      As far as I can tell, the Typhonians are talking about something totally different than what Crowley was talking about, but they insist on calling it “Will.”

      What I mean by transcending the ego is what is meant by spilling every drop of thyself in the cup of Babalon.

      Gee, thanks for the clearing that up. In case you can’t tell, I’m being sarcastic: explaining one vague phrase with an even vaguer metaphor isn’t an explanation.

      Outer consciousness expansion is another way in my opinion of realizing the mystical unity of all consciousness beyond the individualized self.

      Well, this is a problematic definition because I don’t see any reason to suppose that “all consciousness” has any kind of “mystical unity.” I agree that one can get into a state of mind where it *feels* like "all is one," but things *feeling* a certain way and things actually *being* a certain way are two different things entirely.

      In fact, Thelema holds that consciousness is a veil that conceals the individual’s True Will. A person won’t find his True Will by looking into conscious thoughts or the imagination or trance states. The Will is “underneath” the conscious mind.

      At least, if we’re talking about the thing that Crowley called “Thelema,” what I’m saying is correct. You appear to be talking about something entirely different, which is my whole point about this Typhonian stuff.

      Anyway, I'm still waiting to hear what I said that's "not true." If you can demonstrate that something I said is not correct, I'll gladly retract it.

    2. In fact, Thelema holds that consciousness is a veil that conceals the individual’s True Will. A person won’t find his True Will by looking into conscious thoughts or the imagination or trance states. The Will is “underneath” the conscious mind.
      Exactly buried deeper in the subconsciousness.Which has affinities with atavistic resurgence, which Spare and Grant referred to often. I feel nothing exists outside of consciousness.
      All this reminds of me of something Crowley wrote:
      "The main Ethics of the Book of the Law. Man is asked to act as if it were true that he is a spark of that great light of God. Those who insist on making that assumption, on basing all their lives on it, are the Thelemites."(Churton quoting unpublished Crowley)
      I also think that all Thelema is Typhonian, and before Crowley ever used the word there was a tradition that informed the Golden Dawn, Blavatsky, etc. even if they didn't use the word Typhonian which mostly came from Gerald Massey. The Typhonian current is an extension and evolution of the traditional Thelemic current as well as others.

    3. I also think that all Thelema is Typhonian, and before Crowley ever used the word there was a tradition that informed the Golden Dawn, Blavatsky, etc. even if they didn't use the word Typhonian... The Typhonian current is an extension and evolution of the traditional Thelemic current

      Why do you think any of this is true?

      I see no reason to think that there are "currents" of any kind at all -- in anything other than a purely metaphorical sense -- and I see no reason to think that any of the influences on Crowley's Thelema should be called "Typhonian."

      [The True Will is] buried deeper in the subconsciousness

      Ok, so do you agree with me that the True Will is a person's actual, authentic inclinations in a given situation?

      If you do, what's "cosmic" or "not individual" about it?

      If you don't, then what do you think and why?

      I feel nothing exists outside of consciousness.

      This is the kind of statement that philosopher Daniel Dennett would refer to as a "deepity": to the extent that it's true, it's trivial, and to the extent that it's meaningful, it's false.

  10. I think that Grant kind of reached back and put Thelema in a more historical context in his first trilogy. In this is the answers to why I look at this as a current 93. I guess you have to look at the meaning of the Great Work itself. Esoterically has meant the uniting of the microcosm/human and macrocosm/cosmic or godlike. I would say the discovery an attainment of the HGA in Thelemic terminology would be more equivalent to the discovery and uniting with the true will in Tiphareth. The cosmic factor would seem more fitting after one has crossed the abyss as an aspect of the true will or flame of the Adept. But again this is just my interpretation and I cannot speak for other Thelemites or Typhonian practitioners.

    1. Is not the goal of the great work the annihilation of the ego or individualized ego consciousness?

    2. I’ll ask again the questions I posed above:

      Do you agree with me that the True Will is a term for a person’s actual, authentic inclinations in a given situation?

      If you do agree, then what’s “cosmic” or “not individual” about it? If you do not agree, then what do you think the True Will is and why?

      Is not the goal of the great work the annihilation of the ego or individualized ego consciousness?

      It depends entirely on what you mean by those words.

      Technically, the ultimate goal of the Great Work is to realize that the Great Work is unnecessary. All is already perfect – the problem is that it takes a great deal of work to be able to understand this (and thus to understand how unnecessary all the work is to begin with).

      In a more practical sense, the central goal of the Great Work, from the perspective of Thelema, is to align the individual’s actions with his authentic inclinations. This is called “discovery of the True Will” or “Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.” It corresponds to the 5=6 grade, and it is the main attainment that Thelema deals with.

      You seem to be confusing this attainment with an entirely different one: the 8=3 grade. The 5=6 and 8=3 grades have nothing to do with each other, and a person could hold one grade and not the other.

      8=3 is nothing more than the understanding that “self” does not ultimately exist. More specifically, it is the awareness that thoughts do not have an independent “thinker”: the “thinker” is itself a thought. None of this has anything in particular to do with the cosmos or “cosmic consciousness,” whatever that might mean.”

      Now, one could *describe* 5=6 and 8=3 in terms of “annihilating the ego,” but for each of those grades, the words “ego” and “annihilating” would mean something different.

      This is why crystal clear communication is an absolute must for anyone who is looking to understand Thelema and to succeed in the Great Work.

  11. In "Aleister Crowley and the Hidden God" in the last chapter I believe titled "Living Beyond Time" he gives a pretty good insight into the nature of true will or genius.

  12. Lastly have you read "the Typhonian Tradition" by Simon Hinton? I would enjoy hearing your thoughts on it.

  13. Yes I believe true will is individual in the way which you state but goes deeper. "According to occult lore Cosmic Consciousness manifests in humanity as sentience which concentrates itself into an individualized centre of awareness and splits into subject and object. Subject identifies itself with the conscious principle as ego, and object is its mechanism of awareness. This identification of consciousness with ego is illusory and thereby the Principle of Consciousness is veiled. The ego imagines itself to be an entity discrete from the objects which it senses, and, instead of pure feeling, hearing, seeing, tasting, knowing, there is the false assumption that 'I feel', 'I hear', 'I see', 'I taste', 'I know'. It is thus that the phenomenal world ( the world of appearances) is represented to us as Malkuth. The entire process, from Kether to Malkuth, is one of successive veiling accompanied by increasing loss of awareness of the principle of Consciousness, the whole purpose of incarnation being the 'redemption' and reintegration of the lost Principle." Grant
    That pretty much sums up my point of view also.

    1. Yes I believe true will is individual in the way which you state

      Okay. Then what do you think is "cosmic" or "not individual" about it, then? That quotation does not answer the question...or much of anything, I'm afraid.

      Can you explain in your own words what you think is "not true" about my post or where "cosmic" anything comes into this discussion?

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  15. I feel that pretty much everything about magick and Thelema is Cosmic. Take for example the gnostic mass, the priestess and the priest are no longer identified as mundane personalities but as more of a battery for the primordial creative forces of the universe ex. Scarlet woman/Shakti/Babalon and male/Shiva/Beast. I have given quite a few responses previously through quotes that resonate with me concerning the transcendental nature of initiation and will.
    I came your blog last week while researching the Typhonian tradition. As Thelemites I just don't understand the need to slander each one another and create more division when the Thelemic community is so small as it is. The pompous writings critiquing others just because you may differ in practice and views is un necessary. I understand that Kenneth Grant is not every Thelemites cup of tea, and thats fine but why create a blog criticizing people? Lastly, "Every man and every woman is a star" is a pretty cosmic analogy don't you think?

    1. Part One of Two:

      I feel that pretty much everything about magick and Thelema is Cosmic.

      As I keep telling you, it depends on what you mean by the words you use. Let’s have a look at your explanation of what you mean by “cosmic” here:

      Take for example the gnostic mass, the priestess and the priest are no longer identified as mundane personalities but as more of a battery for the primordial creative forces of the universe ex.

      Okay, so if I’m reading you correctly, you call the Gnostic Mass “cosmic” because it involves the participants imaginatively identifying with the forces that underpin manifestation itself (including all things, both on the earth and throughout the universe…hence “cosmic”).

      We could quibble about whether that’s a useful use of the word “cosmic,” but I’m happy to accept that usage for the sake of argument. So how, then, do you think True Will is “cosmic” in this sense? Discovering and carrying out the True Will does not involve imaginatively identifying with the forces that underpin manifestation itself, so I’m unclear on how you think True Will is accurately described by this use of “cosmic.”

      If your response is that True Will is *produced* by those forces you insist on calling “cosmic,” then I would reply that so is everything else, including the coffee cup I’m drinking out of right now, which makes the term “cosmic” meaningless in this context. If a term describes literally *everything*, then it’s not useful for discussing anything.

      Or if your response is that the Book of the Law uses the metaphor of a cosmic thing to describe human beings, then that’s not an argument for the True Will actually *being* cosmic. It’s an argument for it being *like* that one cosmic thing in some way (in this case, the similarity is in the *motion* and the *path*, not in the “being cosmic” part). I could compare my car to a star: would that mean that I’m driving a “cosmic” car?

      The fact is that there’s nothing specifically “cosmic” about the True Will in any sense of the word “cosmic” as it’s standardly used. That being the case, I can’t imagine why anyone would actually use the word “cosmic” to describe the True Will unless they were deliberately trying to be obscure or unless they were trying to promote the faulty idea that meditating on “cosmic” entities (like Lam) will help reveal the “cosmic” True Will. Spoiler alert: it won’t.

      I just don't understand the need to slander each one another and create more division

      Whom did I slander in this post? I *disagree* with several people, and I explain why I disagree.

      Personally, I think Thelemites need more rigorous thinking, more critical discussion of key concepts, and a more precise understanding of their goals and practices. No one learns anything by being overly-nice and agreeing with each other all the time. Learning comes out of the courage to attack one’s own assumptions and the assumptions of others.

    2. Part Two of Two:

      I understand that Kenneth Grant is not every Thelemites cup of tea, and thats fine but why create a blog criticizing people?

      Because There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt. If it’s “fine” for me not to like Kenneth Grant’s work, it should equally be “fine” for me to say so publicly. It should be equally “fine” for me to make a post where I analyze the arguments made by Grant’s exponents, demonstrating that they hold positions that contradict Crowley’s.

      I’ll put my cards on the table: it seems to me that this “Typhonian” stuff has nothing to do with discovering what Crowley called the True Will. It also seems to me that “Typhonians” promote ideas that are unsubstantiated and deeply misleading: the idea that “all is consciousness,” for example; the idea that some vaguely defined “cosmic consciousness” is in some way connected to the True Will; or the idea that communing with “cosmic” beings like “Lam” has anything at all to do with discovering one’s own True Will.

      I think these ideas are detrimental to someone actually interested in discovering what Crowley called the True Will because these ideas encourage people to look in the wrong place. The True Will isn’t inside consciousness, isn’t inside fantasies about “cosmic consciousness,” and it certainly isn’t inside imaginary conversations with made up aliens.

  16. Sorry, came across your blog last week.

  17. You make some good points and I will agree to disagree about our differences. Overall I will check back on your blog and our conversation has been very thought provoking. Thanks for your time.

    1. Thanks for the conversation and especially for the mature tone throughout.

      I wish you the best on your journey.

  18. I'm not sure that the ''True Will'' is the product of blind forces or that the cosmos is meaningless . Crowley most certainly believed that manifestation had a purpose; from the negative to manifestation and back again; a story told in the Thoth tarot. the 0= 2 becomes all becomes 0.In order to know itself in relation to time, space, change and asimilate all possible perspectives and point of view, to ''know itself in it's going''.

    Furthermore Crowley see's the True will as equivalent to the will of God; .

    ''Then, and then only, art thou in harmony with the Movement of Things, thy will part of, and therefore equal to, the Will of God. And since the will is but the dynamic aspect of the self, and since two different selves could not possess identical wills; then, if thy will be God's will, Thou art That''-The message of the master Therion.

    Of course Crowley also tells us in an introduction to Liber AL

    ;This Book lays down a simple Code of Conduct.

    “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.”

    “Love is the law, love under will.”

    “There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.”

    This means that each of us stars is to move on our true orbit, as marked out by the nature of our position, the law of our growth, the impulse of our past experiences. All events are equally lawful— and every one necessary, in the long run— for all of us, in theory; but in practice, only one act is lawful for each one of us at any given moment. Therefore Duty consists in determining to experience the right event from one moment of consciousness to another.

    Each action or motion is an act of love, the uniting with one or another part of “Nuit”; each such act must be “under will,” chosen so as to fulfil and not to thwart the true nature of the being concerned''.

    Crowley calls the True will the dynamic aspect of self, in other words, the ''true self'' in action.

    So True Will is absolutely unique to each and buried deep within, but at the same is connected to all other True Wills or else they would conflict when in fact, ''Every man and every woman is a star'' they interact in complex ways analogous to heavenly bodies effecting each other by gravitational force. There is harmony, yet orbits effect other orbits we are not hermetically sealed off from each other, in the end separation, duality is an illusion.