The Orbital Mechanics of Enlightenment

There are a lot of ways one could define True Will.

This is a Thelemic concept related to one’s Destiny, and the harmonious path which one takes to arrive there. I’m not going to attempt to explain it in this article, as there have been entire books dedicated to its meaning.

Instead, I would like to construct an analogy for what happens during spiritual growth toward enlightenment in a visual manner.

Lets explore this using the concept of orbits.

An orbit is the path an object naturally takes as it falls around a larger object. It is a continuous movement, but it never collides with the larger object because it is moving at such a speed perpendicular to the force pulling it toward the larger object that it misses it and ends up in what seems to be an elliptical journey.

In fact, this path is a straight line around the object, because large massive objects curve space itself, but moving further into the details of this is beyond the scope of this article.

Because it is the natural path which an object follows, let’s describe True Will as this orbital path.

Interesting things happen if we push on the orbiting object.

If we add a momentary force which is mostly perpendicular to the direction the object is traveling, as if we poked it once with a stick, it doesn’t change into a higher or lower orbit. Instead, it begins oscillating around the path on which it was originally traveling.

It still crosses its original orbit, and it is possible for the object to be returned to its original orbit, but without any further outside forces it is now on an erratic path. Perhaps we can consider life events that momentarily draw us away from our True Will to be similar to giving ourselves a small shove out of our orbit. We’re wavering, but can easily return to our Destiny.

If we add a force against the direction the object is traveling its orbit will decay and it will eventually crash into the larger object. We could say this is like directly opposing your True Will. Fighting against it shrinks what is possible until eventually there is a collision.

But, if we add a force in the same direction that the object is moving, something interesting happens. The orbit on the opposite side from where the force is applied stretches out.

If we continue to do this evenly around the orbit, as a whole the object will take a larger path and the orbit becomes bigger.

Let us think of adding force in this manner as having some daily practice which leads to spiritual growth. As we practice, we’re giving ourselves more momentum along our path of True Will. This, in turn, results in an increase in inertia, making it more difficult for smaller forces to knock us around on our way.

If we add enough force, escape velocity is reached.

This is the point in which the gravity from the larger object is no longer sufficient to keep the smaller object in orbit around it. The smaller one will now follow a straight path away from the larger object. For our analogy, we can consider this moment to be an Awakening. It is the point at where an experience of a grander reality is realized.

In terms of a satellite, a planet, and a star, the satellite is no longer orbiting the planet, but is orbiting the star itself. If no further force is applied, it will continue to orbit the star, and as its, and the planet’s, orbit progress over time it will eventually meet the planet again. They will interact briefly, and then separate, over and over forever.

However, something important to realize is that the satellite was always orbiting the star, even when it was orbiting the planet. From its perspective it was following a smooth elliptical path around the planet, but from the perspective of the star it was moving in a corkscrew motion, dragged along with the planet.

But now our object has smoothed out its path, and has a greater perspective on the world in which it exists.

We could say that at this point, by adding momentum to and expanding the breadth of its True Will, the individual has reached a new stage of Enlightenment.

We can extrapolate from here to see this is not the end of the journey.

In terms of the reality of our universe, an object could reach escape velocity from the Earth and find itself now orbiting the Sun.

If we continue adding force to this object its orbit it will stretch and stretch, as the orbit encompasses the entire solar system, until it reaches escape velocity again. It sees that it was always orbiting the center of the Milky Way galaxy on a previously corkscrew path, but is now on its own free trajectory around it. A new Awakening, and a new perspective on its universe.

This can continue further and the object will escape the gravitational pull of the galaxy. Now the object finds itself in orbit around the center point of the local cluster of galaxies. Further still, and it’s orbiting a galactic supercluster. Faster and faster, it now orbits the center of a galactic filament.

In physics, the speed of light becomes a limiting factor here; there may be something to say about black holes and possible holographic nature of the universe, and perhaps this is where the analogy loses practicality.

Consider this visual aid alongside events in your daily life.

Are you adding forward momentum? Jostling yourself so that the orbit becomes erratic? Bringing yourself down to a crash?

And how big can you get?

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