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[t93] Reflections on the word Thelemite

From: Julianus 
Subject: Re: [t93] Re: Reflections on the word "Thelemite"
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 13:54:59 -0500


cameron wrote:

> I'd like to see to a kind of linguistic genealogy of will, tracing its
> development from antiquity to its modern use.  Philo of Alexandria and St.
> Augustine both had sophisticated conceptions of will and I suspect that in
> both cases the source may be the Hermetic notion of 'Logos' or 'Cosmos',
> maybe even 'Aeon' which is similar in meaning.  From what I understand,
> Sanskrit is the root of most Eurasian languages.  

This is common misconception (and one I suspect Crowley subscribed to.) 
Sanskrit is an Indo-European language and thus shares a common ancestor
with most known languages of Europe (English included) and western Asia.
 It is not the ancestor of any languages except for some in India (Pali,
Bengali, Hindi, Urdu, Romani (Gypsy,) etc.)  It is a very old language
though and preserves very ancient forms which make it most useful for
the historical linguist.  In fact historical linguistics was essentially
invented to explore the relations between Sanskrit on one hand and Latin
and Greek on the other.

The actual ancestral tongue of all these is called Proto-Indo-European,
PIE for short, and while there are no extant examples of it, it has been
partially reconstructed.

Here's a good general source page for Indo-European studies:

And here's a nice family tree of the Indo-European languages:

> Does anyone know if there
> is a Sanskrit word for will?  Or something similar, perhaps in the Vedas?

I don't have an English-Sanskrit dictionary handy, but I do recall some
mention of it from my studies.  Chiefly in reference to the Kshatrya
(warrior) Caste who are described as 'self-willed' or 'self-controlled.'

As the the English word 'will,' it derives from the PIE root *wel2 (the
* means it's a reconstruction, the 2 means it's one of several PIE
homophones with different meanings.)  It carries the meaning of 'to
wish, will.'  Info from the American Heritage Dictionary of
Indo-European Roots, 2nd ed.  Houghton Mifflin, 2000.

93 93/93!

-- Julianus

‘Nothing on the face of this earth -- and I do mean nothing -- is half
so dangerous as a children’s story that happens to be real, and you and
I are wandering blindfolded through a myth devised by a maniac.’
-- Master Li Kao (T’ang Dynasty)

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