I was once asked if a white stripe is painted down a black cat’s back, is it a skunk? And if a mug handle is attached to a metal bowl which is given a lid and a spout, is it a tea kettle? I realized then that creatures and inanimate objects have different natures–a cat with a stripe down its back isn’t a skunk, and a domesticated hound is not a wolf, but by utilizing or binding inanimate objects together, our species and many others create new purposes for the inanimate.
For the spiritual, this gets into purpose on a deeper level, one that often says that the use to which we put the inanimate object was its purpose all along. In the classic Christian view, man’s purpose is to serve a god; all other beings and things were “given” to man as “tools” to perpetuate his life. From a more holistic viewpoint, humans were born into an incredible ecosystem with its own ecosystems and their own ecosystems and human beings are their own ecosystems in and of themselves, with ecosystems within the ecosystems of their bodies!
The word “holon” comes from the Greek holos, which means “whole, entire, complete in all its parts” […] It was introduced in systems theory discussions by the hungarian author Arthur Koestler in the book Ghost in the Machine (1967). A holon, in Arthur Koestler’s discussions, is something that has integrity and identity at the same time as it is a part of a larger system; it is a subsystem of the larger system. A holon, according to Koestler, is a model-component with a “Janus-face”–one side looking “down” and acting as an autonomous system giving directions to “lower” components and the other side looking “up” and serving as a part of a “higher” holon.
Folke Günther, MSc
What role do we play in these ecosystems? We know the function of our livers, our kidneys, our lungs within the larger ecosystem of our bodies, and those among us who stop to listen to the Earth know that our ecological function is not merely to consume it in the maws of industry and capitalism. But what purpose do we–at our deepest level, our spirits or our purest, truest, highest selves–serve in the greater ecosystem of the Universe? The Norse know this interconnectedness as the Wyrd, the “spiritual non-religious” call it “fate” or “destiny” or the Web of Life, Paulo Coelho calls it one’s Personal Legend in The Alchemist, and Aleister Crowley called it True Will–that road ever before us, twisting and turning as we choose our path at the crossroads constantly presented to us.
Crowley, like most spiritual teachers, recognized that one’s Will is generally buried beneath a thick layer of what can be called Individual Ego–the conscious sense of “I” that feels separate from the Universe […] A Thelemite is therefore one who seeks to break through her “conscious programming” in order to reconnect with the secret self, thereby becoming aware of her true, unfiltered nature. This process is called the Great Work.
The techniques used to accomplish this difficult task fall under the general term Magick […] In the end, it is up to the individual to find the doorway to her own inner self.
John “Ash” Bowie, “Thelema 101”
“If Will stops and cries Why, invoking Because, then Will stops & does nought” (Aleister Crowley, Liber AL vel Legis). When you have found your purpose, and vowed to walk your true path, the Universe will taunt you as much as aid you. Everything in the world will try to keep you from fulfilling your path. You will be offered wild promises at every crossroads, but to reject the allure of superficiality will only make your Will that much brighter. “Every man and every woman is a star,” as Crowley opens the Liber AL vel Legis, and the intentions the Universe, the divine, the gods, and the spirits have for us are all unique while also perfectly twisted round one another, tangled up in one another, and waiting to be expressed in whatever way is true to you. So rejoice, and then be silent, and listen, and create.