Tuesday, July 13, 2010
True Will Revisited
True Will -
The concept postulates that each individual has a unique and incommensurable inherent nature (which is identical to their "destiny") that determines their proper course in life, that is the mode of action that unites their purest personal will with the postulated course that preexists for them in the universe. -Thelemapedia
In this post I thought I would take a brief look at Crowley’s notion of True Will in light of my pursuit of becoming a college professor. If anything in my life could have been called my True Will, it would have been to be a college professor. I knew from an early age that this was what I was destined to be. I dreamed and breathed it. I thought about it, visualized it, planned for it and acted in ways to actualize it. Just as my goal was in reach, however, the fickle finger of fate pointed my life in another direction. While I believe that I managed to appear to handle this detour adequately outwardly, I clearly was suffering an existential crisis inwardly. Who was I? I had become no one. I had identified myself with being a professor (really more as a professor in-the-making) for so long that with the premature ending of my academic career I lost my identity and direction in life ( Is this what is supposed to happen when one is unable, for whatever reason, to actualize his/her True Will? What becomes of those whose True Will are denied them? Is such a thing even possible?).
Many years would pass before the devastating effects of this crisis began to recede within my psyche thereby permitting me to gain some much needed perspective on the situation (I am still working it through even today). One of the realizations that I have acquired of late is that I am and always have been MORE than a college professor. This got me thinking about my True Will. Does the fact that I recognize (in retrospect) that I am more than who I thought I was or who I thought I was to become discount my will to be a college professor as my True Will? This may very well be. Crowley warns about the self-deception that leads one to mistake a false “true will” for the real deal. If this is the case, how is one to distinguish between the false “true will” from the true “True Will” in cases where one is so sure of him or herself? (Maybe True Will or its false twin can only be determined retrospectively.)
While I am still dealing with many issues related to the fragmentation of my personality, one thing is becoming clear; namely, that if most of my life has been a pursuit of a false “true will” I still have time to find my real “True Will.”
(Disclaimer: I am not a Thelemite nor am I a Crowley expert. In fact, I find much of what Crowley has to say rather perplexing and convoluted. I might simply be misunderstanding the whole concept of True Will from the get-go.)