The assumption reminds me of a private exchange I had many moons ago about the differences between Thelema and Zen. My response illustrates Thelema’s unique characteristics by contrast.
My correspondent writes:
I just read Shun-Ryu Suzuki's "Zen Mind: Beginners Mind". And I was wondering, in what ways, practically speaking, would you say Thelema differs from the Zen approach? Because really, they seem very similar to me. That is when we define Thelema in the way you and Erwin do, as being something other than the practices and dogmas which are often bundled with it.
To quote Suzuki, "Zazen practice is the direct expression of our true nature. Strictly speaking for a human being , there is no other practice than this practice; there is no other way of life than this way of life."
Isn't that there the essence of Thelema, the true will, our "true nature" manifesting in the moment? Doesn't what is generally understood as Thelema lack for the simplicity of the Zen approach? Isn't much of it distractionary and even counter-productive? In short what does Thelema offer that Zen does not?
An excerpt from my response appears below the cut.