Aleister Crowley

The Beginning of the New World

[Printed in The Revival of Magick, edited by Hymenaeus Beta & R. Kaczynski]

Unrest is the sign of this moment.

No man, however rich or safely placed, feels sure of next week. No man knows where he is going.

This is because no man knows where he ought to go.

The bases of society have been so shaken that it has become impossible for anyone to make a plan, just as a banker or a surveyor could not work if he were no longer sure of the multiplication table.

Now, this state of things is not wholly due to the actual conditions of material existence, to political unrest, or to economic confusion.

Circumstances have not the power to wreck the soul of man as long as he has in himself adequate driving-power and wit and skill to steer.

When men have a definite aim to pursue, they instinctively find means of overriding mutual interference, and may even work together (unselfishly, as it is polishedly called) to obtain their separate ends with the minimum of friction.

But when they are aimless they become distracted and witless; they push each other aside in their desperation; even the simplest tasks become impossible.

Today the mass of mankind has no longer any law by which to live, any unchallenged principles of right action.

The one deep cause of the present universal anarchy is the loss of all man’s moral sanction.

The many religions of the world have all lost their power to guide chiefly because the development of means of transport and of interna­tional commerce have convinced the educated that any one religion is about as good or as bad as another for the purposes of social discipline, and that none has any validity from the standpoint of actual fact, or his­torical or philosophical truth.

The remedy is evidently to be found only in one way. There must be found a formula based upon absolute common sense, without one trammel of theological theory or dogma, a formula to which no man of intelli­gence can refuse assent, and which at the same time affords an absolute sanction for all laws of conduct, social and political no less than individ­ual, so that the right or wrong of any isolated or concerted action can be determined with mathematical accuracy by any trained observer, entirely irrespective of his personal idiosyncrasies.

This formula must be scientific, not religious.

This formula is:

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

This formula does not, as ignorant or malicious people pretend, mean „Do anything you like.“ On the contrary, it is a most severe self­-control of every individual or social unit to concentrate its whole energy performing his true proper function; and this function is to be deter­mined by a profound, accurate calculation of the potentialities inherent in its constitution.

The first practical step towards this end is the formation of a strong central organization to direct coherently the activities of the numerous adherents already established in many countries.

It will then be necessary to convene conferences of experts in all the sciences, which treat of mankind in his social and individual character, in order to draw up a comprehensive international programme.