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You are watching: Do what thou wilt but harm none


Thelemites live through the legislation of Freedom, “Do what thou it must be shall it is in the totality of the Law.” Is this a moral code? for comparison over there is the gold Rule, “Do unto others together you would have actually them do unto you.” Witches, Wiccans and Pagans can draw on the Rede, “An it harm none do what ye will.” perform these codes offer the very same function?

The golden Rule is soon recognizable together a rule of ignorance for person conduct. A version shows up in the Bible, Matt. 7:12, and also Confucius teach it to his followers centuries earlier. The “silver rule” adds the corollary, “don’t perform unto rather what you wouldn’t have actually done to you.” The meditation here is come reflect on exactly how you would like others come treat you and also what you wouldn’t want them to do, and then to analyze that set of ideas into optimistic conduct. Ns don’t prefer being shouted at, so I try not to shout at others; I like pleasant conversations, therefore I try to be cheerful.


The golden Rule dead a noise of moralism about it, favor a Sunday college kid’s comic, one unrealistic ideal. This is the way we know we’re supposed to behave yet we don’t. That Republican-bashing meme feels great when we article it but the liberal-bashing image seems prefer an unfair dig. Same is the vital here – “others” method everyone, the people we like and also the civilization we don’t. The gold Rule directly difficulties sexism, racism, course distinctions, and other creates of inequality. For the reason maybe it deserves a new look.

The Wiccan Rede says, “Eight indigenous the Wiccan Rede fulfill, one it injury none do what ye will.” execution of this couplet show up in assorted poems through Doreen Valiente, for instance The Witches Creed, and also it is generally (though no universally) attributed come her. Jason Mankey explores the background of the Rede in The Rede the the Wicca.

What go “harm” mean? I’ve had plenty of a late night discussion hashing out the implications. Also strict a an interpretation of injury renders the ascendancy impractical. Walk that typical I can’t swat a mosquito? for a Jain this could be true. Expect I need to shoot who who’s make the efforts to kill my family? One problem is the the prescription “if that doesn’t hurt anyone” is a negative. A quick an interpretation could attract on the silver- rule, don’t perform anything girlfriend wouldn’t want done to you.

The other fifty percent of the Rede is proscriptive, “Do what girlfriend will.” This sounds comparable to the Thelemic expression from the Book that the Law, “Do what thou wilt shall be the totality of the Law.” because the Rede and the legislation are comparable some case Crowley “wrote” the Rede. He definitely did not, however just as certainly Valiente was acquainted with Crowley’s version (as Mankey clues out).

The difference between them is the qualifier “An it damage none.” together a young esotericist i was acquainted with both Rede and Law yet I was vastly an ext comfortable through the Rede’s expression “An it injury none”. “Do what she wilt” seemed harsh and also even lawless.

Just this week a BBC write-up held increase the expression as an instance of lawlessness. In A suggest of View: Why no caring around anything is just for the young, will certainly Self estimates Dostoevsky:

Ivan maintains the without id in the possibility of one afterlife, one in which we will certainly be judged because that our sins, there have the right to no longer be any kind of moral stricture limiting our Earthly behaviour – we may fornicate, intoxicate and even murder as lot as us want. If we were to paraphrase Ivan’s contention, it’s the in a godless world, “Do what she wilt” constitutes the whole of the law.


It is exactly the misconception the “Do what you wilt” condones violence that leads to the advertise to qualified the expression with something choose “if that doesn’t injury anyone”. In Living Thelema David Shoemaker explores Crowley’s essay top top Duty, “A note on the chief rules of practical conduct come be observed by those that accept the regulation of Thelema”. Shoemaker notes the the main point unit of any group – marriage, family, country – is the individual, and it is the individual who bears obligation for your own an individual behavior.

For Crowley, the law of Thelema needs not only that an individual exercise an individual responsibility, but that every individual respects the will of every various other person. Come harm an additional directly restricts the liberty of the one who is harmed. “Crime gift a direct spiritual violation of the law of Thelema, it have to not be tolerated in the community,” he says clearly. The Law likewise extends to every being and also object in the world; children, animals, plants, every little thing should be aided come its true purpose, and any misuse is a “crime versus nature.”

Thelema excels at presenting challenges. The an obstacle of the radical formulation “Do what thou it must be shall it is in the whole of the Law” is to recognize Will, i m sorry is our duty in the universe. It places responsibility squarely on the individual to guarantee not only their own freedom, however the flexibility of every others, which is the very same thing. Once we recognize that our actions connect with the action of other people, other creatures, other forces in the universe, we recognize ourselves as component of that whole; this is the spirituality component the the law.

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Each of this codes represents a spiritual suggest of view. It’s illuminating to meditate top top the differences and also similarities both in your messages and also in just how they duty for the civilization guided by them.