Hello again, for those who actually read this little corner of the Web.  It has been a difficult few months but I have also had some strange and wonderful blessings that rounded out the unpleasantness nicely.

Just thought I’d make a short post to share something.

Now, many are familiar with Gerald Gardner’s Rede, which states:

An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will.

Some may even be familiar with an earlier, similar statement made by Aliester Crowley, with whose work Gardner was probably familiar:

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

It is similar but not entirely the same in meaning; Crowley’s contention was that one who was truly in tune with themselves and with the universe at large would need no reminding not to do harm.  

The similarities between these two statements of morality have led many to conclude that Gardner copied Crowley wholesale.

But today I came across another fascinating quote that follows in very much the same vein as the other two:

Dilige, et quod vis fac.

Love, then do what you will.

The twist?  This was penned by St. Augustine back in the 6th century, more than a millennium before Crowley and Gardner.

So does this mean that Aliester Crowley and Gerald Gardner just stole all their ideas from dark-age theologians?

Perhaps.  But I don’t believe it does.  I believe this is yet another example of the recurrence of a good idea.  It has often been said that “great minds think alike,” and if those who are revered as wise are truly tapping into the same consciousness, they will re-state the same ideas century after century without ever being prompted by another soul.

Look again at the writings of the world’s sages.  What themes come up again and again?  You need only to ignore the differences between the philosophies, religions, and great thinkers and examine their similarities.  There lies the truth, in ten billion shimmering fragments, waiting to be gathered by the student of the highest ideas.

Advertisements