Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Yesterday evening, I watched with manic glee as Canada’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, was massively rejected by the country’s electorate. I watched with less glee as I saw Justin Trudeau receive not just the mantle of office, but an absolute parliamentary majority. He seems like a thoroughly likable person, and that scares me. I feel a little safer with ruthless rogues who understand and enjoy the manipulations and compromises that are part and parcel of public office. And safer still when such rogues are constrained by an effective opposition that can moderate their dearer dreams, the ones they want to pursue regardless of how others see matters. While mainstream journalists lament the lack of drama in such minority governments – drama is their raison d’etre – but the fact is that some of the best government policies arise out of situations where a leader is unable to pull an entire country towards a shining destiny that turns out, in the end, to be just another kind of swamp.
The notion of the great political leader is one of the worst ideas persisting into our times. If such a leader or leaders were able to engineer meaningful, multinational consensus on species conservation and banning poaching, as well as on radically reducing hydrocarbon emissions, I’d be more enthusiastic. If a group of such leaders could then bring the international financial community under effective regulation, so that the threat of another 2008-style meltdown was reduced, ditto. Or if it were possible to impose genuinely crippling restrictions on governments that violently oppress their opponents, or on opponents that violently oppress governments … you get my point.
Such consensus is forming, but outside the pale of administrative authority. It will be a long and bumpy road yet before the dawn, but something inside me is insistent that the night is receding.
These days I have something like a Marxist perspective on history: that collective tides are producing the real changes, though they manifest in individuals, and that not only governments but even the great corporate powers that are today’s true colossi, can only respond to and exploit what happens. The shift of Aeons just over a century ago has produced the greatest wave of change that humanity has experienced since such mega-crises as the advent of fire, chariot warfare or the Black Death. That’s all predicted in our Book, and there’s more to come.
I’m culture-centric enough to hold that many important developments have emerged in and been embraced by Euro-American governments. Laws to constrain racial and religious inequality, or discrimination on grounds of gender or sexual orientation, are necessary and welcome, even if there’s been excess when valid comment is stifled. China, India and other places may be growing more rapidly than us economically, but they’ve chosen to crack down constantly on dissent, and on the endless demands from the literate and educated sectors of their societies for more liberty. The problem is, liberty and the desire for it are crucial elements of human make-up now as they’ve never have been in the past. You can’t arrest and detain ideas.
In his Confessions, Crowley wrote:
“It is evident to all serious thinkers that the only hope of saving mankind from a catastrophe so complete that the very name of civilization will perish is in the appearance of a new religion ….. There is no need for the fraud of divine right or the cant of democracy. The right of the ruler to rule depends solely upon the scientific proof of his fitness to do so, and this proof is capable of confirmation by the evidence of the experience that his measures really result in enabling each individual in his jurisdiction to fulfill his own peculiar function as freely as possible.”
But, I submit for your edification and consideration, that he was speaking as an Englishman raised at the height of the British Empire, and who died just as it was truly fading with the granting of independence to India. He had been raised to believe in great men and great statesmen, and their marginalisation was something he didn’t fully anticipate. We’re actually far enough along in the Aeon of Horus that, while political leadership is still necessary, just as is good transportation or a reliable food distribution system, it’s lost its primacy in the overall life-game. The onus is switching more and more onto us as individuals.
We might flinch from this, and we might try to run back into the shadow of presidents and governments, whence we can gripe and grumble in the gloom about their failings and meanness. We probably don’t want to have to stand in the sun (or the rain), but increasingly our options are diminishing. We first dethroned the Judge of All and His priesthood(s), and with that we began dissolving the societal models that flowed, however indirectly, from the concept of Divine Authority. Crowley died before that had progressed as far as it has.
The real leaders, I would argue, aren’t really political leaders, but people who connect with their True Wills, and find themselves empowered by that more than by political ideologies. They might be working for NGOs, or environmental lobby groups, but such entities tend to be partial reflections of their society, without necessarily charting new directions. Environmentalism, feminism and sexual liberation are, on their own, becoming weary echoes of their original force.
Crowley’s quoted comment about ‘a new religion’ alarms me as much as the cheerful naivete of Canada’s new PM. The word ‘religion,’ as in one body, one authority, or one tendency, would be a continuation of Old Aeon values. This might have been needed at the start, but my ‘Marxist’ hunch tells me that the Aeon is happening because all of humanity is in some measure now aligned with the urge towards self-knowledge. Groups have provisional utility, but not lasting purpose.
We know that there’ll be many more paroxysms to endure, some massive and tragic, before a genuinely recognisable and broad-based appreciation of True Will(s) comes into being; but then, inaugurating an Aeon is no small task. The key transformations won’t come from slogans and mass movements, let alone political parties, though there will be temporary need of them along the way. Rather, people who tune into the core actuality of their own nature, including above all the spiritual direction of their own lives, will produce the renewal we want and need as the old order of things continues to fall.
Meanwhile, I wish Justin all the best. He wants to legalise marijuana, but I hope first he un-muzzles the government scientists that Harper so determinedly gagged in the past few years. Stopping the persecution of a popular indulgence has been on the table since his father was PM, but the more recent war on data has done at least as much harm. And reactions to that are going to produce some interesting leadership from people who have important things to say and contribute. That can only drive more people to step out of their own fears and self-differentiate.
And so it will go.
Love is the law, love under will,