The Book of the Law

Yesterday I started and completed reading Aleister Crowley‘s The Book of the Law (also known as Liber AL vel Legis)– although I really shouldn’t say it is Crowley’s since, as the story goes, it was dictated to him by a spirit called Aiwass.

The book describes the philosophy of Thelema and is something of a holy text to two cults that I’ve been looking into recently: the Ordo Templi Orientis and Argenteum Astrum.

It ended up being your basic cult material. The basic theme of the book is the one law, “do what thou wilt”. All peaches and cream, right? Well, it would be, but they’re not a big fan of folks who don’t subscribe to Thelema.

Refuse none, but thou shalt know & destroy the traitors... Them that seek to entrap thee, to overthrow thee, them attack without pity or quarter; & destroy them utterly. Swift as a trodden serpent turn and strike ! Be thou yet dealier than he ! Drag down their souls to awful torment : laugh at thei fear ; and spit upon them !
Let the Scarlet Woman beware ! If pity and compassion and tenderness visit her heart ; if she leave my work to toy with old sweetnesses ; then shall my vengeance be know. I will slay me her child : I will alienate her heart : I will cast her out from men : as a shrinking and despised harlot shall she crawl through dusk wet streets, and die cold and an-hungered.
With my Hawk's head I peck at the eyes of Jesus as he hangs up the cross.
I flap my wings in the face of Mohammed & blind him.
With my claws I tear out the flesh of the Indian and the Buddhis, Mongol and Din.
Let Mary inviolate be torn upon wheels : for her sake let all chaste women be utterly despised among you !

Not a friendly bunch, eh?

But the keen and the proud, the royal and the lofty ; ye are brothers !

And it ends with this, The Comment:

Do whalt thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. The study of this Book is Forbidden. It is wise to destroy this copy after the first reading. Whosoever disregards this does so at his own risk and peril. These are most dire. Those who discuss the contents of this Book are to be shunned by all, as centres of pestilence. All questions of the Law are to be decided only by appeal to my writings, each for himself. There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt. Love is the law, love under will. The priest of the princes, ANKH-F-N-KHONSU