First Principles In Liber Al Vel Legis

First Principles In Liber Al Vel Legis Cover The principles of existence in Liber AL vel Legis are proclaimed as a dichotomy (much like the Taoist concepts of yin & yang and the Western concepts of the elements water & fire) in the first line of both chapter 1 and 2. They are Nu/Nuit and Had/Hadit, which are understood as Infinite Space/Potential and Infinite Motion respectively. Interestingly, they are represented under the ancient symbolic figure, “In the sphere I [Hadit] am everywhere the centre, as she [Nuit], the circumference, is nowhere found,” which echoes an almost identical statement made by Empedocles in the 5th century B.C..

Nuit is “The infinite in whom all we live and move and have our being,”[3] “Nuit is all that may be, and is shewn by means of any one that is,”[4] “the total of possibilities of every kind,” and she proclaims of herself, “I am Infinite Space, and the Infinite Stars thereof.”[6] Hadit is very abstract: he “hath no Nature of His own, for He is that to which all Events occur,” and he is “any point which has experience of these possibilities.”[8] The universe is then understood to be made up of the complements similar to Matter and Motion, Space and Time, but understood under the symbolic figures of Nuit and Hadit, etc. In this way, we can see that Thelema posits a universe much like our own understandings (e.g. the space-time continuum) yet adds a symbolic and almost personal dimension to these ideas. Further, Liber AL has presented a symbol set for the subconscious to work with.

“The manifested Universe comes from the marriage of Nuit and Hadit; without this could no thing be. This eternal, this perpetual marriage-feast is then the nature of things themselves; and therefore everything that is, is a crystallization of divine ecstasy.” The first fact of life for the Thelemite is then that all things are understood under the symbol figure of a coition or ‘perpetual marriage-feast’ of these two ideas of “Infinite Space” (Nuit) and That Which Experiences these possibilities (Hadit); therefore life itself is understood as “a crystallization of divine ecstasy.” These are the first evidences that Thelema, as expressed in Liber AL vel Legis, puts forward a new psychological point-of-view of joy, a subject that will be touched upon in greater depth in a later section.

Essentially, a sort of dichotomy has been established: the Perceiver-of-events, having no qualities in itself, is called Hadit and All-events-that-can-be-perceived, the Field of perception, is Nuit – a perfectly acceptable model for Understanding the world psychologically. This echoes a similar statement made in the Hindu Bhagavad Gita: “Whatever exists… animate or inanimate, is born through the union of the field and its Knower.” It also is remarkably similar to the ideas of the psychologist Carl Rogers who described his “client-centered therapy” in 1951, four years after Aleister Crowley's death. Rogers delineated nineteen propositions that describe his system of therapy, and the very first proposition is:

“All individuals (organisms) exist in a continually changing world of experience (phenomenal field) of which they are the centre.”

The individual point-of-view, Hadit, exists in a continually changing phenomenal field, Nuit, of which he/she is the centre, just as was seen above. Rogers claims in the seventh proposition, “The best vantage point for understanding behaviour is from the internal frame of reference of the individual.” These are the first instances of Liber AL vel Legis anticipating various psychological models.

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Aleister Crowley - Liber Al Vel Legis

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