Love Is The Law, Love Under Will
"Invoke me under my stars! Love is the law, love under will. Nor let the fools
mistake love; for there are love and love. There is the dove, and there is the serpent. Choose ye well! He, my prophet, hath
chosen, knowing the law of the fortress, and the great mystery of the House of God." Liber al vel Legis 1:57
This contains one of the most quoted verses in the Book of the Law. The entire doctrine of Thelema
is said to rest within the lines: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law," and "Love is the law, love under will."
We took a brief look at the way these verses interconnect during a study of Verse 40. Aleister Crowley,
who received the book through contact with the entity named Aiwass, made a brief interpretation of the verses. He wrote: "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 fulfill and not to thwart the true nature of the being concerned."
But there is much more to verse 57 than this one line. It will be beneficial for us to examine everything
Nuit had to say here before trying to ferret out the significance of love under will.
The verse opens with the command to "Invoke me under my stars!" The word
invoke generally suggests calling forth by incantation but it also can mean to simply summon through vocal request or prayer.
That Nuit, the creator, would order her invocation "under my stars" is significant. Remember from the beginning of her message,
in Verse 3, that "every man and every woman is a star." We have a picture here of Nuit watching
us lovingly from below as we light up the night sky with our individual light, each of us following a perfect orbit of will,
and her universe in perfect harmony.
Then she proclaims that "Love is the law, love under will."
In a published discourse on this subject, one writer suggested that will and love are two aspects
of the same thing. "Love under will does not mean that love is secondary to will, but that love is under the impulse of will.
In other words, love should be active . . . Will is the drive to do a thing, and love is the method for doing it."
But wait. Nuit's message does not end with this one simple sentence. She goes on with: "Nor
let the fools mistake love; for there are love and love. There is the dove, and there is the serpent. Choose ye well!"
Crowley wrote: "The Love of Liber Legis is always bold, virile, even orgiastic. There is delicacy,
but it is the delicacy of strength. Mighty and terrible and glorious as it is, however, it is but the pennon upon the sacred
lance of Will, the damascened inscription upon the swords of the Knight-monks of Thelema."
He also said: While will is the law, the nature of that will is love. But this love is as it were
a by-product of that will; it does not contradict or supersede that will."
In his many essays on this subject, Crowley concluded that our tasks, as followers of Thelema, is
to learn our will, and then do it with "one-pointedness and detachment. "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,"
This explains why we can each be compared to the billions of stars in motion in the heavens. If
we are all doing our will, or that task that became our reason for existence, then we are in perfect orbit and never in collision.
Chaos and confusion does not exist in our world. We are in harmony with the world and with our fellow man/woman.
But the Book of the Law is not just about will. Nuit, the creator, constantly declares her love
for us and her desire to have us understand and practice love for one another. But it must be love on her terms. It must be
love under will.
Does this mean it must be our will to love the other fellow or there can be no love? I do not think
Remember in our examination of Verse 53 we learned that Nuit declared the Earth "my
sister, my heart & my tongue, unto whom I send this kiss." Nuit, who is the entire universe, also is the planet
under our feet. Thus this planet is a sentient being and is quite aware of everything happening on its service.
Thus Nuit exists in everything, including the rocks under our feet, the trees in the forest, and
the birds in their nests. She also exists in each of her stars. Thus when she asks that we "Sing the rapturous
love-song unto me!" she is demanding that we understand her presence in all things. We are all one. Thus it must be our will to love Nuit. It must be our will to love the Earth. It must be our will to love one another
with equal fervor.
But it must not be blind, obedient love like the kind taught in religious circles. There is entrapment
"There is the dove, and there is the serpent. Choose ye well! He, my prophet,
hath chosen, knowing the law of the fortress, and the great mystery of the House of God," the verse concludes.
Love, as Crowley so eloquently suggested, can be harsh. While we can love the individual, we must
despise what some people do. If they are not of us, we must either separate ourselves or force them, sometimes with strict
discipline, to learn the way of Thelema.
Here is an example of what I am trying to say. Among our biggest enemies is personal ego.
Ego is a mask that all humans create for themselves even as little children. It serves to hide our real selves from the rest
of the world. Before we can understand our will and understand love under will, we must learn to control ego. And therein
cometh hurt. It is uncomfortable to remove the mask and expose ourselves. It is even harsher when those around us remove it
for us. Thelemites will sometimes do this out of love. We tend to view such action as
anything but love under will. But that is all it is.
Be forewarned: The Beast will be harsh when he arrives. That is probably why he is referred to as
the Beast. Yet his every action will be performed out of love under will.
This is what Nuit means when she says: "He, my prophet, hath chosen, knowing
the law of the fortress, and the great mystery of the House of God."
Copyright - James Donahue