"The word of the Law is Thelema" says the main work of Aleister Crowley, The Book of the Law. This Greek word (translated as "Will") is the name of the theological-magical concept set forth in Crowley's works. According to it, all manifested existence is the result of the interaction of two cosmic principles: a unique, infinitely expanding space-time continuum, and an atomistic, individually expressed Principle of Life and Wisdom. The interaction of these two Principles brings to life the Principle of Consciousness that governs existence. In the Book of the Law the divine Principles are personified by the trinity of the ancient Egyptian pantheon: Nuit, the Goddess of Infinite Space; Hadit, the Winged Serpent of the World; and Ra-Hoor-Khuit, the Solar, Falcon-Headed God of the Cosmos. Thelema follows the traditional Hermetic doctrine that each person has a soul or "body of Light" and has their own "Holy Guardian Angel" who can be seen as both a "higher self" and a separate, intelligent, divine manifestation.
Like Buddhists, many Thelemites believe that after the death of the physical body, the "body of light" reincarnates. It acquires wisdom, consciousness and spiritual power through cycles of rebirths; it's considered, that the fate of a man after death is also determined by the Will.
The word "Aeon" in Thelema refers to certain time cycles into which human history is divided. In this division, Thelema follows an ancient tradition. It is fairly to mention the Golden, Silver, Bronze and Iron Ages in ancient Greek mythology, the four yugas that make up the Mahayuga in Hinduism. Christianity is no stranger to this, or rather, some Christian "heresies". Thus, according to Joachim of Florence (XII century), the world passes through 3 stages, which correspond to the three hypostases of the Christian God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. "The first state passed under the sign of knowledge, the second passes in partial wisdom, the third state will be in the fullness of the intellect. The first - in servile obedience, the second - in the obedience of sons, the third - in freedom. The first - under whip, the second - in action, the third - in contemplation. The first is in fear, the second is in faith, the third is in love. The first state is slaves, the second is children, the third is friends."
In Thelema, each of the Aeons is also assigned its own defining concept of theology and its own "formula" of redemption and spiritual growth. The present Aeon is called the Aeon of Horus. The previous Aeon was the Aeon of Osiris, and before that was the Aeon of Isis. The Aeon of Isis dates back to the Neolithic era, its theology was influenced by the User's of Mother, its formulas demanded devotion to Mother Earth in exchange for the nourishment and protection she provided. The classical/medieval Aeon of Osiris is said to have been influenced by the Father Principle, and its formula required self-sacrifice and submission to God the Father. According to this logic, the modern Aeon of Horus is subject to the Child Principle, a sovereign, independent personality; and his formula is the formula of growth, in consciousness and love, to self-realization. According to the Thelemic doctrine, the coming of the Aeon of Horus was predicted to Crowley by the Angel Aiwass in Cairo in 1904, presenting him with the prophetic Book of the Law. In it, the formula of the divine law in the Aeon of Horus was proclaimed - "do thy will". The "Law of Thelema", as it is called, will not be interpreted as a license to indulge any whim, but rather as a divine mandate to discover and fulfill the True Will or true purpose in life; and to empower others to do the same if they follow their own unique path.
The Book of the Law (Liber XXXI or CCXX) is the most important Revelation for every Thelemite, predicting the end of the Aeon (era) of Osiris and the onset of the new Aeon - Horus.
Each member of the Order of Oriental Templars accepts the Book of the Law, however, everyone can put their purely personal meaning in the recognition and interpretation of this document.
The Book of the Law was dictated to Aleister Crowley in the spring of 1904 in Cairo, where he arrived with his young wife, Rosa Kelly. On March twelfth, Crowley performed the Ritual of the Bornless One "just to amuse his wife by showing her the sylph," but she refused or was unable to watch. This incident served as the beginning of the event, which ended (23 days later) with the revelation of Nuit in the first chapter of the new law, then the second and third chapters followed.
Having lost the opportunity to see the sylph, Rosa clearly came under someone's influence and kept repeating to her husband: "They are waiting for you!". On March 21 they went to the Boulak Museum which they had never visited before. Aleister Crowley decided to check whether his wife had really been contacted by any "entities". In the huge two-storied building of the museum, he asked her to find the image of Horus without anyone's help. Rosa walked past several images of Horus and suddenly with a cry "he's here!" ran up to an unremarkable stele. It was a twenty-sixth dynasty wooden stele depicting Horus as Ra-Hoor-Khuit, labeled "Stele 666."
After discovering "Stele 666" ("Stele of Revealing") in the Boulak Museum in Cairo and warning his wife that some "entity" with the mysterious name "Aiwass" wanted to make contact with him, Crowley spent about two weeks without having even the slightest idea of what that "contact" would look like. The couple installed a desk in their home temple in Cairo. On that desk 220 verses of the Book of the Law were quickly dictated to him at noon on April 8, 9 and 10. The method of recording was as follows: Crowley would enter the temple a minute before it began, so that he would settle down at a desk with a swan quill and a sufficient amount of paper, and be ready by exactly noon. He was alone; his wife served as no more than an intermediary for the medium.
Crowley later described Aiwass's voice (who dictated the Book to him) as "a deep tenor or baritone, musical and expressive, with solemn, sensual, and violent intonations." The words sounded in pure English, without any accent.
The book is divided into three chapters: respectively written on behalf of Nuit, Hadit and Ra-Hoor-Khuit.
Love is the law, love under will!