Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
How does recovery from alcohol or other addictions work in a Thelemic context?
At one point, I worked as a counselor in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center that functioned based on the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Many different people, including Thelemites, often balk at the aspects of the 12 Steps that involve giving up one’s power and/or the “God stuff”. In the process of working in this setting, I came up with a “Thelemic version” of the 12 Steps.
This is not offered as medical advice, nor is it offered as a perfect system. It is merely offered for contemplation, and especially for any who are in the process of recovery and might find this helpful.
I found that following out the desires, wishes, and whims of my conscious self (ego) left me living a life with diminished purpose, less meaning, less fulfillment, and/or lack of wholeness.
I came to realize that there is a source of greater wisdom and power than my ego, the True Will, that can bring my life to a place of increased purpose, meaning, fulfillment, and wholeness.
I made a conscious and resolute decision to seek to progressively and more completely know and accomplish this True Will as I understand it.
I made a searching and fearless inventory of my environment, of others, and especially of myself to find the ways this True Will is being both aided and inhibited in various ways.
I honestly explained the exact nature of these aids and inhibitions of my True Will to myself, to my deeper Self with its True Will, and to another human being.
I became entirely ready and earnestly committed myself to rooting out all these inhibitions and strengthening all these aids to the accomplishment of my True Will.
I humbly asked my deeper Self, in whatever ways seemed genuine and earnest to me, to aid me in the rooting-out of inhibitions and strengthening of aids to the accomplishment of my True Will.
I made a list of all persons I had harmed with my previous ways and all persons that I felt had harmed me in the past, and I became willing to make amends to those I had harmed and to forgive those who had harmed me.
I directly made amends and gave forgiveness to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure myself, them, or anyone else.
I continued to take an inventory of the ways in which my environment, others, and especially myself inhibit and aid the accomplishment of my True Will, and I promptly admitted to myself (and others when appropriate) when I was acting out of selfish desires, wishes, and whims of the ego rather than a desire to more fully know and actualize my True Will.
I sought through meditation, ritual, prayer, and other means I found suitable to improve my conscious contact with my True Will as I understood it, asking only for knowledge of this True Will and the power to carry it out.
Having progressively come through various struggles and awakenings to re-align myself from self-will to True Will, I tried to carry this message to others I found struggling, and to practice these principles in all of my affairs/in all parts of my life.
Love is the law, love under will.
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7 thoughts on “12 Steps of True Will in Thelemic Recovery”
Thank you. It never ceases to amaze me how what one needs appears when one needs it, and when least expected.
Wouldn’t it be easier to use Alcoholics Anonymous precisely as it is and use “true will” as your higher power? The way you have worded these steps uses “True Will” frequently. I am not a Crowleyfile or Thelemite and know only a little… It seems that a working Thelemite AA could use “ego’s will run riot” as opposed to “True Will.” I would be VERY interested in any feedback.
For some people the language of the Big Book and the constant need to translate it, while concurrently suppressing a feeling of repulsion or disgust, becomes a barrier to recovery. Similar to how a person can’t control their way out of addiction, persons negatively affected by the original steps can’t deny this response either.
In the context of Thelema, “True Will” has a very different meaning than will or ego as it is used in AA. If you Google “Holy Guardian Angel” you can learn more about the Thelemic meaning.
Thank you I needed this. I struggle going to meetings. All the talk of drinking gets me thirsty even though I know it will be hell. Schizo program. I read diary of a dope fiend and it gave me the realization that I Will stop. My true will coming through to aid in the recovery process. God says bring a shovel he won’t do anything… so how is god doing for me? Schizo program for sure.
I am presently active in alcoholics anonymous, for the time being I am using it as a means of getting sober, as an addict and alcoholic I always referred to myself as a thelemite but NEVER did any of the work, I believed my true will was to be a song writer but couldn’t pick up a guitar with being high on Adderall, I had no ability to meditate for 5 minutes much less preform a daily l.b.r.p or liber resh or middle pillar, I wouldn’t bother to try to set a goal I knew I couldn’t reach, getting sober gave me the ability to meditate 30 minutes a day, preform both the invoking and banishing pentagram rituals and the middle pillar ritual, I’m going to go through the 12 steps their way and the thelemic way (privately)at the same time, I would LOVE to start a thelemic 12 step program, I can’t even find refuge recovery around here, gotta do whatcha gotta do, 93.