Thelema Quotes 2: Discipline

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

This second installment of Thelema Quotes draws upon ideas surrounding self-discipline and how it affects accomplishing one’s will. All quotes are from The Book of the Law or Aleister Crowley (The Beast 666).

Quotation #1

“There is help & hope in other spells. Wisdom says: be strong! Then canst thou bear more joy. Be not animal; refine thy rapture! If thou drink, drink by the eight and ninety rules of art: if thou love, exceed by delicacy; and if thou do aught joyous, let there be subtlety therein!”
The Book of the Law, II:70

Quotation #2

“Behold the Yoke upon the neck of the Oxen! Is it not thereby that the Field shall be ploughed? The Yoke is heavy, but joineth together them that are separate — Glory to Nuit and to Hadit, and to Him that hath given us the Symbol of the Rosy Cross! Glory unto the Lord of the Word Abrahadabra, and Glory unto Him that hath given us the Symbol of the Ankh, and of the Cross within the Circle! …
Three are the Beasts wherewith thou must plough the Field; the Unicorn, the Horse, and the Ox. And these shalt thou yoke in a triple yoke that is governed by One Whip. Now these Beasts run wildly upon the earths and are not easily obedient to the Man…
The Unicorn is speech. Man, rule thy Speech! How else shalt thou master the Son, and answer the Magician at the right hand gateway of the Crown? …The Horse is Action. Man, rule thine Action. How else shalt thou master the Father, and answer the Fool at the Left Hand Gateway of the Crown? …The Ox is Thought. Man, rule thy Thought! How else shalt thou master the Holy Spirit, and answer the High Priestess in the Middle Gateway of the Crown?
…Thus bind thyself, and thou shalt be for ever free.”
-Liber III vel Jugorum

Quotation #3

“Consider the Bond of a cold Climate, how it maketh Man a Slave; he must have Shelter and Food with fierce Toil. Yet hereby he becometh strong against the Elements, and his moral Force waxeth, so that he is Master of such Men as live in Lands of Sun where bodily Needs are satisfied without Struggle. Consider also him that willeth to exceed in Speed or in Battle, how he denieth himself the Food he craveth, and all Pleasures natural to him, putting himself under the harsh Order of a Trainer. So by this Bondage he hath, at the last, his Will. Now then the one by natural, and the other by voluntary, Restriction have come each to greater Liberty. This is also a general Law of Biology, for all Development is Structuralization; that is, a Limitation and Specialization of an originally indeterminate Protoplasm, which latter may therefore be called free, in the Definition of a Pedant.”

Quotation #4

“Shameful confession, one of my own Chelas (or so it is rather incredibly reported to me) said recently: “Self-discipline is a form of Restriction.” (That, you remember, is “The word of Sin …”.) Of all the utter rubbish! (Anyhow, he was a “centre of pestilence” for discussing the Book at all.) About 90 % of Thelema, at a guess, is nothing but self-discipline. One is only allowed to do anything and everything so as to have more scope for exercising that virtue.”
Magick Without Tears, chapter 70

Quotation #5

“In the Body every Cell is subordinated to the general physiological Control, and we who will that Control do not ask whether each individual Unit of that Structure be consciously happy. But we do care that each fulfil its Function, and the Failure of even a few Cells, or their Revolt, may involve the Death of the whole Organism. Yet even here the Complaint of a few, which we call Pain, is a Warning of general Danger. Many Cells fulfil their Destiny by swift Death, and this being their Function, they in no wise resent it. Should Hæmoglobin resist the Attack of Oxygen, the Body would perish, and the Hæmoglobin would not even save itself. How, o my Son, do thou then consider deeply of these Things in thine Ordering of the World under the Law of Thelema. For every Individual in the State must be perfect in his own Function, with Contentment, respecting his own Task as necessary and holy, not envious of another’s. For so only mayst thou build up a Free State, whose directing Will shall be singly directed to the Welfare of all.”
-Liber Aleph, “DE ORDINE RERUM”

Quotation #6

“What is true for every School is equally true for every individual. Success in life, on the basis of the Law of Thelema, implies severe self-discipline.”
Magick Without Tears, chapter 8

Related quotes

  • “If an earnest person has roused himself, if he is not forgetful, if his deeds are pure, if he acts with consideration, if he restrains himself, and lives according to law—then his glory will increase. By rousing himself, by earnestness, by restraint and control, the wise man may make for himself an island which no flood can overwhelm […] One’s own self conquered is better than all other people; not even a god, a Gandharva, not Mâra with Brahman could change into defeat the victory of a man who has vanquished himself, and always lives under restraint […] He who, though dressed in fine apparel, exercises tranquility, is quiet, subdued, restrained, chaste, and has ceased to find fault with all other beings, he indeed is a Brâhmana, an ascetic (sramana), a friar (bhikshu).
    —Buddha, Dhammapada
  • “But those who are pure in heart, who practice meditation and conquer their senses and passions, shall attain the immortal Self, Source of all light and source of all life […] By truth, meditation, and self-control one can enter into this state of joy and see the Self shining in a pure heart […] Not by the weak, not by the unearnest, not by those who practice wrong disciplines can the Self be realized. The Self reveals Himself as the Lord of Love to the one who practices right disciplines.”
    Mundaka Upanishad, I:1:11, III:1:5, III:2:4
  • “Those who have attained perfect renunciation are free from any sense of duality; they are unaffected by likes and dislikes, Arjuna, and are free from the bondage of self-will.”
    Bhagavad Gita, chapter 5
  • “Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this divinity within by controlling nature: external and internal. Do this either by work, or by worship, or psychic control, or philosophy – by one, or more, or all of these – and be free. This is the whole of religion. Doctrines, or dogmas, or rituals, or books, or temples, or forms, are but secondary details.”
    Swami Vivekananda, Raja-Yoga
  • “[One] way to cosmic consciousness is the way of self-discipline […] Enjoy things, but don’t be attached to them. Be free. Be pleasant and self-controlled. Avoid becoming a slave to wrong habits, and act only according to your righteous convictions […] People seldom learn true self-control […] To be able to do things when and because you ought to do them, and to refrain from doing what you know is injurious – these are keys to real success and happiness […] the only way to health and happiness, and the sanest way, is self-control.”
    Paramahansa Yogananda, Man’s Eternal Quest

Feel free to leave your thoughts about these quotations in the comments along with suggestions for future topics of Thelema Quotes.

For more information on this topic check out these links:
  • Liber III vel Jugorum – An instruction for control of speech, action, and thought.
  • Liber E vel Exercitiorum sub figura IX – Instructs the aspirant in the necessity of keeping a record. Suggests methods of testing physical clairvoyance. Gives instruction in Asana, Pranayama and Dharana, and advises the application of tests to the physical body, so that the student may thoroughly understand his own limitations.


Love is the law, love under will.