“Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law.”
Now that statement has been misunderstood for years. I don’t
share it with you because Crowley said it; in fact, I wish he hadn’t.
But regardless of the speaker, we are beings who choose, who have free
will. If I won’t admit that I have choice, I can’t be empowered.
If I don’t accept that I have choice, I still believe that my life
is determined by the choice, but I believe that it is determined by the
choices of others. As I become more actualized, I have more choices.
I can choose what I do and what I don’t do. I can choose what I
say and how I communicate. Eventually, I can choose how I act and how
I react to the world around Me.
Crowley ’s controversial statement said - Do what thou will.
He was referring to the choices made by the divine
self, not the ego self. Therein lies a lifetime of personal work. To
mandate, I have to know my divine self and how it differs
from my ego self; I have to know the world around me and who other people
really are. Choice is an action. It describes my relationship to the
world; it does not imply that I created that world. The first Cornerstone
for our community is choice.
You are a being with choice. You have the power to choose. This power,
like all others, has limits and context. I am not saying
that the world is shaped according to your choice or that everything
about you was created by your free will. But, you have chosen to join
this community. Right now, you are choosing to read this material. You
can choose to put it down. You can choose coffee or tea and what to put
in your coffee or tea. A being with the power to choose has far more
options than one who doesn’t have choice. You can affect what you
do, your relationships, your future and your own becoming. If you will
agree with this paragraph, you are freer and more responsible than you
were before you read it.
But no, wait. I am controlled by other people’s choices. My boss,
my partner, my children, my needs, my responsibilities...you don’t
understand. Yes, I chose coffee - with cream, but I didn’t choose
to sit here writing this... I have to do it. I have
a deadline. My living depends on it. I have no choice.
Choice. I choose to do this. If I don’t choose to write,
I do choose what I write. I chose this life. I think about all of you.
We all have to eat and have shelter, but each of us has a different way
to move through the world, a different way to provide for our physical
needs. We have a different definition of what is necessary. We have different
ways to be productive, to be of service, to relate to friends, to fulfill
our obligations to family. Different activities give our life meaning.
We have made different choices.
When I say I choose this work, this life, even this deadline, my entire
relationship to my life changes. I am more powerful. I am less a victim
of circumstances. If I say I chose this life, how will I ever get help?
How will I ever get sympathy? Does admitting choice mean I must live
in a world without compassion or assistance? How can I ask for what I
need if I tell you that I chose this job? Well, I could choose to ask
for help and if it is your choice, you could give it. You might want
to help me even if my request is not based on a dire need imposed on
me by outside forces.
You might want to help me even if I am doing what I want to do and
I need help. You might join me because you want to do this job with me
and your choice is based on the work that we can do together rather than
my state of being. And mutual desire might even be a more rewarding basis
for our working relationship than desperation.
If I act from choice, then you will only be involved with me based
on your choice. I give up the wondrous power of guilt, shame, and being
controlled by desperate circumstances beyond my control.
There is great vulnerability in choice. There is great vulnerability
in being powerful or empowered. Neither my honesty
about having chosen my life nor the truth that I am a powerful and effective
person condemns me to live in a world, alone, without help or need for
help. Knowing that I choose, that I do as I will, simply let’s
me see myself as accountable for the direction of my life.
I am accountable and the whole world is fluid. My deepest personal
philosophy is based on choice, not absolute truth. I am accountable,
if not for my fortune and my misfortune, for my continuing involvement
in my fortune or misfortune. Choice - if you choose, can imply responsibility
but not blame.
Choice does not change reality, only our relationship to it. Choice
doesn’t simplify the world, it makes it ultimately more complex.
If I am going to think of myself as a being with choice,
I need to know what my choices are... I need to know the nature of things
that are completely independent of me.
You are independent of me. I may choose to be in a relationship with
you and I may choose not to be in a relationship with
you, but I can’t
choose who you are. How do I choose? I have to talk
to you, and listen to you. I have to accept your definition of who you
are and add to that my experience of you. I have to communicate, discern,
choose and respect your choices. This boulder is getting heavier.
I am here at Diana’s Grove because I choose to be. Choice implies
personal power; it acknowledges power. Is that why we are afraid to admit
we have it? At times, admitting that our actions are based on our choices
is seen as selfishness. Choice does not imply motivation. We choose what
we choose for a multitude of reasons, from a vast array of motivations.
Our choices take us into pre-existing complex realities that were created
without any input from us. The situations that we choose to enter my
have been created without any consideration of our desires, intentions,
wishes and wants. I can choose to go outside, but I don’t choose
the weather or the world.
I may choose to relate to you, but I can’t choose how you will
respond to me or what you will think of me. Based on
how you respond, I can choose whether I wish to continue relating to
you. I can choose to present this idea to you. I cannot choose how you
will respond to it or to me for sharing it. If I decide that this idea
has no merit, I can choose to develop another idea. My choices open a
world of possibility for me to explore; but choice is not commitment.
Commitment is a choice.
Empowerment - by its very nature it can only be gained through choice.
It can’t ever be given to anyone against their will. The most magical
ritual or process isn’t empowering unless you choose it or have
choice within it.
Freedom is abandonment when it is given without choice. Talent is a
burden if someone else decides you should develop it. Destiny ceases
to be a path to self-actualization and becomes a prison if we have no
free will. When we have no choice, we have no power. So - if you choose,
help me put the power of choice in place as a cornerstone.
If we want to build a community based on choice, we need to have greater
clarity about what we are, a clearer self definition. We need to let
you know what you are choosing. We have a responsibility to define and
communicate our structures, agreements, and boundaries.
Choice - I am mystified as to why, when we admit that we have the power
to choose, that truth is handed back to us as if we
then must have designed the world according to our desires. Realizing
that we have choice doesn’t
mean that we choose everything that happens to us or
everything that we are. When this principle is used to define the totality
of reality, it can become a boulder held over our heads, rather than
a cornerstone to build upon.
When I stand on the cornerstone of choice, I have far more choices
that I realized. Even if I didn’t choose the menu, I can choose
whether I want to eat. I may not choose what happens, but I can choose
how I act and at times, react to what happens. I don’t choose the
facts, but I do choose what I consider to be relevant
or true from many possible perceptions of experience.
Your involvement in this group is an exercise in choice, it is an affirmation
of your ability to choose this magical journey for yourself, and to choose
how you will use what we offer. Take your ability to choose into your
hands and see if it enables you to move more freely through your days,
your life and your relationships.
Can you choose another way to perceive a situation or your role in
a relationship? Can you look for choices in an area of your life where
you feel trapped? Does the idea that you have choice let you move more
freely through the minutes of your day? Does it let you move more freely
through the labyrinth of your emotions? Does the idea that you might
possibly be free to choose how you will act, react, free you? Does the
realization that you are the one who arranges the obvious facts of a
situation so they add up to the truth free you? When you grab it, the
right to choose, how heavy is it? Are you lighter when you hold it?
Your choices bring you into situations and relationships. You may,
at times, need to choose again. You can choose to make another choice.
But only if you know that you can choose to go, will you ever truly know
that you choose to stay.
“We are the sum total of our choices”