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Liber Oz Fest 2018: Address from Lon Milo DuQuette

by Lon Milo DuQuette


Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

I’d first like to thank Sister Jen, Knights Templar Oasis, and everyone at Liber OZ Fest for inviting me to be part of the activities this weekend.

I bring greetings from St. Constance of the Well, Our Lady of Perpetual Motion, who sends you her love and her profound thanks for getting me out of her hair for three whole days.

So far, we’ve heard from an impressive array of luminaries and Thelemic scholars. I’m truly honored to be appearing this weekend in their company. But in all honesty, I’m the biggest “Putz on the Panel! Perhaps my most notable qualification is the fact that I’ve survived active membership the O.T.O. longer than any other person, (living or dead); and I’m married to the truly-saintly Sister who next holds that distinction.

At the banquet of the Gods, I’m the whoopy cushion. At a black-tie reception of Hermes, I am a pair of brown shoes. I’m a block of Velveeta on the cheese-plate of the Masters.

and…… like me……Liber OZ has no Class….

How’s THAT for a segue?

We are all aware that in most printed versions of the text of Liber Oz, Crowley inserted seven quotes from The Book of the Law… 

“the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.”
“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.”
“thou hast no right but to do thy will. Do that, and no other shall say nay.”
“Every man and every woman is a star.”
“take your fill and will of love as ye will, when, where, and with whom ye will.”
“the slaves shall serve.”
“Love is the law, love under will.

These insertions are Class A; so, of course, we will never tinker with Class A material. But the actual text of Liber OZ is not Class A. Liber OZ is not one of the works that ‘…may not be changed so much as the style of a letter;’ Liber OZ does not represent “…the utterance of an Adept entirely beyond criticism.”

Because it is not Class A, Liber OZ stands exposed to honest analysis, comment, and criticism. Be that as it may, tonight I’m going to do my best not to unduly sway anyone to my personal biases or philosophies, or any of my geriatric hippie-born socio-logical sensibilities. 

But, just for fun……& because we’re not talking Class A, I’ve presumptuously performed a global-search-and replace surgery on the text of Liber OZ and printed up a tweaked version of the text.

Liber OZ
(tweaked a bit) 
Sub figura LXXVII

Oz:
“the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.” —AL. II. 21
“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” —AL. I. 40
“thou hast no right but to do thy will. Do that, and no other shall say nay.” —AL. I. 42–3
“Every man and every woman is a star.” —AL. I. 3

There is no god but woman.

1. Woman has the right to live by her own law—
to live in the way that she wills to do:
to work as she will:
to play as she will:
to rest as she will:
to die when and how she will.

2. Woman has the right to eat what she will:
to drink what she will:
to dwell where she will:
to move as she will on the face of the earth.

3. Woman has the right to think what she will:
to speak what she will:
to write what she will:
to draw, paint, carve, etch, mould, build as she will:
to dress as she will.

4. Woman has the right to love as she will:—
“take your fill and will of love as ye will, when, where, and with whom ye will.” —AL. I. 51

5. Woman has the right to kill those who would thwart these rights.
“the slaves shall serve.” —AL. II. 58
“Love is the law, love under will.” —AL. I. 57

[signature] Aleister Crowley

There is no god but woman! I’d like a show of hands….. be truthful. Who initially felt great joy and felt like shouting “Fuck Yeah!”?

Another show of hands … Who initially felt an uncomfortable little twinge when hearing this tinkered-with version? It certainly gave me a small taste of the mental gymnastics half the population of the world has to perform for centuries because of this ancient quirk in the English language.

Still, Liber OZ’s message remains the same, doesn’t it?

Now let’s get really audacious and Thelemic and read it this way.

Liber OZ
(tweaked a bit more) 
Sub figura LXXVII

Oz:

“the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.” —AL. II. 21
“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” —AL. I. 40
“thou hast no right but to do thy will. Do that, and no other shall say nay.” —AL. I. 42–3
“Every man and every woman is a star.” —AL. I. 3

There is no god but me.

1. I have the right to live by my own law—
to live in the way that I will to do:
to work as I will:
to play as I will:
to rest as I will:
to die when and how I will.

2. I have the right to eat what I will:
to drink what I will:
to dwell where I will:
to move as I will on the face of the earth.

3. I have the right to think what I will:
to speak what I will:
to write what I will:
to draw, paint, carve, etch, mould, build as I will:
to dress as I will.

4. I have the right to love as I will:—
“take your fill and will of love as ye will, when, where, and with whom ye will.” —AL. I. 51 

5. I have the right to kill those who would thwart these rights.
“the slaves shall serve.” —AL. II. 58
“Love is the law, love under will.” —AL. I. 57

[signature] Aleister Crowley

There is no god but me! Show of hands. How many of us were instantly delighted to hear this?

It works perfectly. For me it seems very comfortable.

Liber OZ is not a Class B document either. It’s not a ‘book or essay that is the result of ordinary scholarship, enlightened and earnest.’ Nor is it a Class C document, composed of ‘matter to be regarded as suggestive than anything else.’Liber OZ isn’t included among ‘AA rituals and instructions’ so it’s not a Class D document either. I was surprised to learn that Liber OZ it is not even listed among the Class E documents that consist of ‘public announcements and broadsheets.’

Liber OZ is simply signed, “Aleister Crowley”; not Frater Perdurabo, not Ankh-f-n- khonsu, not O.M., not 666, not O.S.V., not V.V.V.V.V., .not TO MEGA THERION. Liber OZ was written and signed by the man Aleister Crowley – A man …declaring the “Rights of Man.” 

Crowley labels Liber OZ, “…an historical document,” and tells us that it was meant to “…convey the “O.T.O. plan in words of one syllable.”

I’m sure we could get a little debate over exactly how to interpret “O.T.O. plan” but for a concise and authoritative statement of “The O.T.O. plan” we might turn to Section 2. of the Revised 1917 Constitution, which tells the world,

“the principle purpose of the O.T.O. is to teach True Brotherhood, and to make it a living power in the life of humanity.”

As such, Liber OZ appears to be intended for each and every man, woman, and child upon earth. Liber OZ is not just for O.T.O. members; it is not just for Brothers of, or Aspirants to AA. Liber OZ is not a message just for self-proclaiming Thelemites; Not just for magicians.

Liber OZ is the declaration of the rights of each and every human being whose evolving consciousness has developed a sense of Self, and whose self-identity has formulated a Will.

As we have heard several times today, Liber OZ, in its present form, was written in 1941; Seven years later, on Dec. 10th 1948, as the nations of the earth were still convulsing from the catastrophe of World War II, United Nations representatives from around the world formally adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It’s a document I believe everyone, especially each of us here, should own and study. If you don’t have one, I think I have brought along enough copies for everyone.

It’s an inspiring little document worthy, in my opinion, of universal acceptance. It’s remarkably thorough; declaring in thirty brief Articles a broad spectrum of the economic, social, cultural, political, and civil rights of all people on our planet.

But, it is important to remember (for those of us who claim to be Thelemites) that ultimately, it is patently impossible for the United Nations, or any Community, State or National government to “grant” anyone these rights! No charter, no constitution, no warrant or document of any kind has power or authority to “award” or “grant” anyone these rights.

No! We possess these rights the instant we recognize and accept the fact that they are ours by virtue of being born…by the virtue of being alive…by virtue of existing in this dimension as human beings. 

These rights cannot be purchased, rationed, doled out, allocated or allotted to us by any particular cult’s imaginary God, or by some vaporous special privileges we’ve inherited because of the circumstances of our wealth or our race, or our genes, or our family, or tribe, or nation. These rights are not privileges extended to us by some international or interplanetary government or club.

Speaking Thelemite to Thelemite…I’ll be perfectly frank, If you believe any organization or entity outside yourself has the power to grant or deny you any of these rights… 

…then perhaps you are not yet prepared and ready to claim and exercise them.

I’ll go even further…If you believe there IS an entity outside yourself capable of granting or withholding any of these rights from you…

…then perhaps you are not yet prepared and ready to claim and exercise them.

Until you’ve awakened to your true nature, your drowsing consciousness will continue to divide dream-self against-dream-self. You’ll continue to hoodwink yourself; and remain self-bound, and self-medicated. You’ll continue to bamboozle yourself into ignoring your birthright as Godhead, and only continue to imagine that you have transcended the flat-earth, dying-Sun, divine-right-of-kings, slave-consciousness of the Osirian Aeon.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a fine attempt at idealistically enshrining WHAT the rights man might look like if ever they were to be put into practice by motivated people and institutions guided by a modicum of human decency by a desire for evolutionary unfoldment of human potentiality. 

But Liber OZ, is a far more profound and visceral declaration. It declares WHY we fundamentally possess these rights. I personally believe that, as far as Liber OZ is concerned, we are free to identify ourselves as anything we sincerely believe we are: any philosophy; any political persuasion; any gender; and, Yes…. any religion. We are even free to believe that something is truly our WILL even if it is against civil or criminal laws…. even if (in the eyes of others) it appears embarrassingly stupid, misguided or dangerous.

You are even free to believe that something is truly your WILL even if all your friends and loved-ones think you are out of your fucking mind and you’re making the biggest mistake of your life!

It’s not for you or me or anyone else to ultimately judge on a karmic/incarnational level what truly is or is not another person’s WILL. Who are we to judge on the huge cosmic level? After all….. such stupid behavior might be part of your WILL to die when and how you will.

At the moment, I generally consider myself a bit of a radical liberal humanist. I guess the polite term in today’s American political scene is “Progressive” or Democratic Socialist. So is Constance, and so are quite a few (but certainly not ALL) of our friends both in and out of the O.T.O. and magical communities. I can’t speak for Constance or any of our friends, but my motives are cold-heartedly selfish, and fit quite nicely with my person al understanding of the Law of Thelema.

You may think me completely naïve and deluded, but I truly don’t care. For whatever reasons, it’s clear to me I have a number of unique and particularly important things I must do with my life in the time I have in this dimension; things for the benefit of my own consciousness and for the benefit of the consciousness’ of others in this dimension with whom I come into contact.

Call it destiny. Call it my Great Work, call it Ego. Call it madness…. I don’t give a shit what anyone calls it. I have come to the conclusion it is in my private, personal, selfish, self-centered, narcissistic best-interest to live and pursue my Great Work in a relatively safe, healthy, stable community environment, undisturbed and unencumbered by violent social unrest. Part of my pursuit of happiness includes not being surrounded, distracted, or menaced by hungry, unhappy, diseased, unemployed, homeless, downtrodden, resentful fellow human beings.

Maybe it’s a character flaw, but I cannot segregate their consciousness from my own. It unsettles me. It irritates me. It makes me unhappy to know such fellow centers of consciousness are currently unable to develop their own unique and particularly important things they must do. It is particularly unsettling to me to think that there might be things I can do myself that might address and correct the situation.

Doing what I can to ease and correct the conditions in the space/time environment we all share is the least I can do. In fact, I believe it is one of the unique and particularly important things I must do in the time I have in this incarnation.

But that’s just my life…. my WILL. You are, and must be your own unique center of consciousness. In the O.T.O. (and ultimately in Thelema) one’s individual politics are an entirely a personal matter. They have to be. In my opinion, there can’t be a true Thelemic political party unless its platform was to encourage its membership to vote for whomever they personally prefer and support the programs they personally agree with.

Anything less would be like saying, “We believe that ‘there is no law beyond Do What Thou Wilt’ and we want a law to make you believe that too!” It is profoundly understandable that many individuals who embrace Thelema’s philosophy of personal liberty would want to live in an environment that allows them and all others the maximum degree of this freedom.

But as Thelemites, we know (or we should know) that no environment is capable of granting or withholding these rights; no Government is capable of granting or withholding these rights; no army or police force or court or prophet, priest, king or OHO is capable of granting or withholding these rights.

If we really and truly believe we are Thelemites, then there should never be a shadow of a doubt in our minds that this FREEDOM is already OURS by virtue of our Will to consciously seize and affirm it as our birthright!

For Constance and me it is feels perfectly natural to support laws, measures, candidates, and parties that promote policies that support equality and strong civil liberties and such. But our progressive attitudes aren’t dictated by Liber OZ or our interpretation of the tenets of Thelema.

Ours’ are personal attitudes, unique to us. Perhaps, they spring from our youthful idealism, or the romantic attitudes we’ve formed and cling to throughout our long and adventurous life together. Perhaps they are simply formed by our observations and interpretation of what appears to us to be objective reality, and from what we believe is mature wisdom or our sense of human decency.

You may find our attitudes admirable or childishly naïve. But, please, if you disagree with our positions on social or political issues … do not be quick to blame our flaws on our acceptance or understanding of Thelema.

The same should be remembered of our Brothers and Sisters with whom we share so many other wonderful things in common concerning the Art of Magick and the Great Work, but whose political views we may find abhorrent. 

Always remember each of us have attitudes and pathologies that have been molded by factors infinite and unknown. For some of us they have been factors of pain, or fear, or trauma that none of us are truly able to understand in another. Each one of us is bat-shit crazy in our own unique way.

Disagree with others as vehemently as you will. Call them out and bust them honestly on social media if you feel you must. Sadly, in these days of political madness things may get so bad that old friendships are destroyed. But if you must lose a Brother or Sister’s love and friendship try never to let them lose your love and friendship. 

Such events are painful and you can find lots of very mundane causes to blame for a Brother or Sister’s irrational attitudes; loneliness, a past history of drug or alcohol abuse, Freudian issues, parental trauma, unhealthy fixations on guns, addiction to power, or just old-fashion greed.

But never be tricked into blaming the transcendent nature of Thelema for something as stupid as conflicting attitudes on politics. And if someone else tries to…. Don’t be trolled into the conversation at that level.

I admire Crowley. He’s my holy prophet. But I’m not obliged to comb my hair, or select my wardrobe, or my diet, or my lovers, or vote the way he did. Thelema is bigger than Aleister Crowley. And nobody can tell you how to interpret The Book of the Law. If anyone ever does you should feel empowered to give them a hearty “fuck you!

Love is the law, love under will.

Lon Milo DuQuette


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2 thoughts on “Liber Oz Fest 2018: Address from Lon Milo DuQuette

  1. “I admire Crowley. He’s my holy prophet. But I’m not obliged to comb my hair, or select my wardrobe, or my diet, or my lovers, or vote the way he did.”

    I am though

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