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Temple of Set General Information and Admissions Policies

[from http://www.xeper.org/pub/tos/infoadms.html ]
   
Subject: Temple of Set General Information and Admissions Policies
                                     
File: InfAdm97
TEMPLE OF SET
Post Office Box 470307
San Francisco, CA 94147
U.S.A.

Internet: SetExec@jps.net
WorldWideWeb Site: http://www.xeper.org
GENERAL INFORMATION AND ADMISSIONS POLICIES
(c) 1986-1997 Temple of Set

- Updated July 13, 1998 -

[This document is subject to periodic updating. If this copy is over
a year old, please request a current one.]

Thank you for your inquiry. The Temple of Set is an institution
unlike any you have previously encountered. The Temple is designed
as a tool for personal empowerment and self cultivation. To decide
whether such a tool is a valuable one for you, you should consider
the philosophy of the Temple, the concept of Set, the obligations
and responsibilities which a Setian assumes, and what the Temple
looks for in a candidate.

SETIAN PHILOSOPHY

All schools of introspective inquiry [as opposed to those of faith]
address the one difference that distinguishes mankind from the rest
of the cosmos: the feature of *being*, of conscious willful
existence. This self-awareness makes possible all of our arts, our
sciences, our notions of “good” and “evil”. It necessitates free
will and each individual’s ability to assign meaning to thoughts,
statements, and actions.

Various religions confront this phenomenon of individual
consciousness in various ways. Some - for example, the Buddhist
quest for _nirvana_ - endeavor to extinguish it outright. Others
choose to label it the soul and hope that somebody else will take
care of it - such as IHVH or Christ. Still others deny it
altogether, relegating man to the same status as an animal.
Nevertheless there have also been consciousness-worshipping (or -
respecting) religions throughout all historical civilizations and
cultures.

Historically consciousness-worshipping religions have been more
intellectually demanding than their nature-worshipping counterparts,
since it is more difficult to reason a path through one's span of
conscious existence than it is to be swept along by a current of
semi-rational stimulus and response. Such schools were admired in
certain societies, such as ancient Egypt and Greece, but generally
their exclusive elitism and "supernatural" activities made them
objects of resentment and persecution.

The Temple of Set seeks above all to honor and enshrine
consciousness. We wish to apprehend what makes us each individually
unique and *use* this gift to make ourselves stronger in all facets
of our being. To do this we preserve and improve the tradition of
spiritual distinction from the natural universe, which in the
Judaeo/Christian West has been called Satanism, but which is more
generally known as the Left-Hand Path.

The Left-Hand Path is a process for creating an individual, powerful
essence that exists above and beyond animal life. It is thus the
true vehicle for personal immortality. It has certain components:

-- ANTINOMIANISM
Initiation begins with denial and rejection of the herd-mentality.
The cultural and social values of the masses, whether propounded by
conventional religions or by mass media, are recognized as obstacles
to individual spiritual development. Human society values
predictability, stability, or *stasis* above all things. The
Initiate, by contrast, seeks continuous, positive self-evolution.

Objective understanding and evaluation of the host society's values
are necessary in order to intelligently formulate one's own. In
Western conventional religions such independence is called
“Satanism”. [It was in a 1960s’ antinomian experiment, the Church of
Satan, that contemporary principles foreshadowing the Temple of Set
were explored and evaluated, resulting in the more sophisticated
formulation of the Temple of Set in 1975. We remain the only legally
recognized “Satanic” institution in the world.] But the Initiate is
rebelling against more than the idea of an external "god": In
secular life he seeks freedom from such external controlling forces
as propaganda, custom, and habit as well.

To work magic that evolves the self, the magician's will must
prevail in the subjective universe as the massed wills of others do
in the objective one. Once such strength of individual will is
obtained, it can be extended into objective environments as well.
But as long as an individual allows himself to be governed by animal
emotions such as shame, fear, or the desire for social acceptance,
he cannot become an Adept of Black Magic.

Conventional society instinctively fears and often hates what it
cannot easily understand. If you seek out the Temple, you may find
yourself senselessly accused of popular conventional evils of the
day: racism, sexism, anti-this or pro-that. When you can look around
with your own eyes and see that the Temple embodies and promotes
none of these things, you will realize a great deal about the
suspicion and antipathy with which conventional social/religious
cultures regard any manifestation of intellectual independence of
consciousness.


-- INDIVIDUALITY
No one can do the work of self-change for you. The intensity and
pace of your own initiation will be up to you, not the Temple of
Set. Nor can the Temple dictate your personal goals. You yourself
must do so, again with wisdom rather than emotion or impulse.


-- CONTROL
The world is a chaotic environment characterized by the masses’ lack
of intelligent goals and the discipline necessary for their
attainment. The Initiate must have a strong sense of personal
discipline before embarking on any adventure. The ability to
recognize, start, and complete great quests distinguishes the
Initiate from the “occultnik” who seeks to parody greatness by
mindlessly muttering a few incoherent “spells”.


-- BLACK MAGIC
Followers of the Left-Hand Path practice what, in a very specially-
defined sense, we term “Black Magic”. Black Magic focuses on self-
determined goals. Its formula is "my will be done", as opposed to
the White Magic of the Right-Hand Path, whose formula is "thy will
be done”.

Black Magic is shunned and feared because to do Black Magic is to
take full responsibility for one's actions, evolution, and
effectiveness.

Since magic enables you to influence or change events in ways not
understood nor anticipated by society, you must first develop a
sound and sophisticated appreciation for the ethics governing your
own motives, decisions, and actions before you put it to use. Merely
using magic for impulsive, trivial, or egoistic desires is not
Setian. It must become second-nature to you to carefully pre-
evaluate the consequences of what you wish to do, then choose the
course of wisdom, justice, and creative improvement.

The Temple of Set utilizes a wide cultural and conceptual spectrum
of magical tools, far beyond just the "Egyptian", and is always
seeking new approaches and techniques.

Magic may either be operative - to cure your mother's illness, get a
better job, strengthen your memory, etc. - or
illustrative/initiatory. The latter magical workings seek to enable
and enact the lifetime process of Initiation. They are like the
“rites of passage” of many primitive cultures and conventional
religions, but they are distinguished from these by an important
factor: They represent individual rather than social change.
Initiatory workings thus represent the actualization of self-
deification, while social “rites of passage” integrate an individual
into society. A “rite of passage” communicating passage into
adulthood establishes that the individual involved is now possessed
of certain dignity and responsibilities. An initiatory working
awakens oneself to certain individual powers [and responsibilities],
which may or may not be used in a social context.

Initiatory magic, which is necessarily individual, places the
practitioner at a conceptual distance from society. Initiation does
not occur *within* a ritual chamber, but it is illustrated there.
Black Magic is the means by which Initiates of the Left-Hand Path
experience being gods, rather than praying to imaginary images of
gods.


SET
The oldest known form of the Prince of Darkness, the archetype of
isolate self-consciousness, is the Egyptian god Set, whose
Priesthood can be traced to predynastic times. Images of Set have
been dated to ca. 3200 BCE, with astronomically-based estimates of
inscriptions dating to 5000 BCE.

Set is a more complex, less stereotypical metaphysical image than
that of the Judaeo/Christian Satan. Satan, the archetype of
rebellion against cosmic order and stasis, may be the symbol for
many people’s initial commitment to initiation, but this symbol is
too tied to conventional religions and their moral codes to be an
effective representation of the richness, subtlety, and complexity
of the Left-Hand Path.

In ancient Egyptian culture Set went through periods of immense
popularity alternating with total denunciation. Set in the
Predynastic and Archaic periods was an essentially positive deity
introduced from the east as a god of the *extension of existence*.
He is therefore god of *expanding* borders and radical changes of
being - particularly birth, circumcision/initiation, death in
battle, and rebirth through the Opening of the Mouth ceremony.

Popular among easterners - his first cult site being Pelusium in the
eastern Nile Delta - Set's worship quickly spread to border areas,
where he was identified with local gods of initiation. Two examples
of such cult sites are Kharga in the south, which has always been
primarily a Nilotic culture area, and the Libyan settlement of
Ombos, wherein Set was identified with the local god Ash in the II
Dynasty.

Set's original worship as a circumpolar/stellar deity suffered a
decline with the rise of solar worship in the IV Dynasty. The Great
Pyramid of Giza is one of the last early monuments connected with
the idea of a Setian afterlife as well as a solar one. The Great
Pyramid had a special air shaft for the king's _akh_ to fly to the
star Alpha Draconis, which is the star of Set in the Constellation
of the Thigh (today’s “Big Dipper”).

During the Middle Kingdom Set was reduced to a symbol of Upper Egypt
and apparently seen only during the Setian festival of _heb-sed_
(“tying together”). It was during this time that Set was first
blamed for the murder of Osiris, a Semitic corn god who had arrived
in the III Dynasty. Previously Osiris had died of drowning.

No matter how "evil" Osirians might now portray Set as being, his
essential function of going out and expanding the borders of
existence and then returning that Chaotic energy to the center
always continued. It is the darkness that binds together the
Egyptian light. The murder of Osiris is the destruction of the
fetters of society, of accepting self-change and cultivation over
the forces that lead to self-stagnation.

The Hyksos, foreigners who invaded and ruled Egypt during the Second
Intermediate Period (Dynasties XIII-XVII, roughly 1785-1580 BCE)
actively identified themselves with Set and established their
capital at an ancient Setian site, Avaris. Very little is known
about their religious or magical practices, though excavations going
on at the time of this writing may prove informative. The Hyksos
were great horsemen, and the horse (like the ass) had became
identified with Set. Indeed not until the Hyksos dynasties was the
horse, which had been known in Egypt for at least the prior two
centuries, permitted to be portrayed in Egyptian art.

The second native blooming of Setian thinking may have begun in the
XVIII Dynasty, but certainly it reached its peak in the XIX and XX
Dynasties, when a family of Setian Priests from Tanis became the
pharaonic line. During this time of expanding borders, Set was
extraordinarily popular, as can be seen from pharaohs' names such as
Seti (“Set's man”) and Setnakt (“Set is Mighty”).

Two important Setian texts were produced: First, the _Tale of Two
Brothers_ tells how Set (identified with the god Bata) undergoes a
series of metamorphoses (_Xeperu_) that change him from a farmhand
to a star in the Constellation of the Thigh. Thus Set represents the
individual who through his own hard work, magical skill, and the
*use* of the resistance of the world Becomes divine.

The second text is the _Book of Knowing the Spiral Force of Ra and
the Felling of Apep_. This protective formula, which Rameses III,
son of Setnakt, inscribed on certain border monuments, shows two
Setian particularities. First, it recounts how an unnamed god comes
into being in the psychic (subjective) realm as the god _Xepera_.

Second, the spell gives the magician one of the powers of Set, which
is to slay Apep, the dragon of delusion. Set again serves as a role
model, in that each Setian seeks to end delusions in life.

With the coming of the XXII Dynasty, Egypt entered its long decline.
Set became a tremendously unpopular deity. His worship ceased
everywhere except the oases and the city of Thebes, where his cult
was absorbed into the cult of Montu, the warlord of Thebes. The
negative aspects of isolation and destruction were emphasized. As
Egypt turned more to an idealized past, Set-heh, the god of the void
called the future, came more to resemble what the eventual
Judaeo/Christian Satan.

The third blooming came with the coming of the Greeks to Egypt. It
is from this period that the Hellenic notions of independence and
self-worth began to revive both the operant and initiatory aspects
of the New Kingdom Set cult. The success of Graeco-Egyptian magic,
despite Roman persecution, saw an expansion of both the
philosophical and magical aspects of this tradition as far north as
Britain.

The Third Century of the Common Era was the height of Setian
Hermeticism. But with the imposition of Christianity as the Roman
imperial religion, individualism was again despised. Egyptian
(Coptic) Christianity identified Set with Satan, and he almost
disappeared as a figure in Egyptian magic.

The fourth blooming of Setian thought began in the nineteenth
century with certain archaeological discoveries, but it reached an
explicit stage with the reconsecration and founding of the Temple of
Set in 1975, accompanied by the Word of the AEon of Set _Xeper_
(“kheffer”), an Egyptian verb which means "I Have Come Into Being".
This word, which is the eternal Word of Set, reflects the
consciousness-worshipping nature of our religion and the source of
ultimate responsibility in all things - the self.


STRUCTURE AND OPERATION OF THE TEMPLE
The deliberately individualistic atmosphere of the Temple of Set is
not easily conducive to group activities on a routine or programmed
basis. There are no congregations of docile "followers" - only
cooperative philosophers and magicians.

Executive authority in the Temple is held by the Council of Nine,
which appoints both the High Priest of Set and the Executive
Director. Initiates are Recognized according to six degrees: Setian
I*, Adept II*, Priest/Priestess of Set III*, Magister/Magistra
Templi IV*, Magus/Maga V*, and Ipsissimus/Ipsissima VI*.

Recognition as an Adept II* constitutes certification by the Temple
that one has in fact mastered and successfully applied the essential
principles of Black Magic. The bulk of Temple systems are geared to
attainment of and subsequent support for the II*, and that is the
level of affiliation which most Setians will maintain. It is
understood that this is an organizational point of reference, as
each Adept's magical and philosophical evolution will certainly
continue as he or she continues to energize and actualize it. The
III*-VI* are properly seen not as further benchmarks of individual
attainment, but as specialized religious offices conferred by Set
alone, and Recognized within the Temple according to his Will.

The design, care, and operation of the Temple are entrusted by Set
to his Priesthood. All Initiates of the Priesthood are originally
highly-qualified Adepts in the Black Arts. Most of your contact with
them will be in this context. Because they are responsible for the
integrity of the Temple as a whole, however, they have the authority
both to evaluate and Recognize Initiates' competence and, if
necessary, to suspend or expel individuals who have proven
themselves incapable of maintaining Setian standards of dignity and
excellence.

The Priesthood takes all of these responsibilities extremely
seriously, since it regards its name literally and its trust as
sacred. In this respect it stands significantly apart from
conventional religious clergy, who _de facto_ consider their
"priesthoods" as social professions and their deities as mere
symbols and metaphors for their institutional or personal
exploitation.

The knowledge of the Temple of Set is made available through four
principal avenues: an extensive reading list of published works in
twenty-four specialized fields, the newsletter _Scroll of Set_, the
publications of the Temple's various specialized Orders, and the
series of encyclopaedias entitled the _Jeweled Tablets of Set_. The
contents of the _Scroll_ and the Order periodicals are time-dated,
of course, but those of the _Tablets_ change periodically as ideas
are advanced, improved, or disproved; or as they become more or less
relevant to the Temple's areas of concern. The _Scroll_, Order
newsletters, and _Tablets_ are reproduced simply and inexpensively
[similar to this letter] to preclude excessive membership
expenditure for frequently-revised publications.

Many Initiates are geographically distant from one another. This
necessitates an organizational design geared more towards services
to the individual than to localized "congregations". Recognizing the
value and fellowship of a seminar environment, however, the Temple
provides for "Pylons" (named after the unique gates of ancient
Egyptian temples). Pylons are often geographically localized, but
some are "correspondence" Pylons with global membership and
interaction. While each Pylon is under the trust and responsibility
of a II*+ Sentinel, they are emphatically not "leader/follower
congregations", but rather cooperative and interactive forums for
individual Initiates.

Each new Setian is expected to affiliate with at least one Pylon
within a year of admission to the Temple, and Recognition to the II*
will normally be recommended and/or formalized by that Pylon.
Recognitions to the II* generally occur after the first year of
membership.

Individuals admitted to the Temple are provided with a personal copy
of the _Crystal Tablet of Set_, which contains a wide range of
organizational, philosophical, and magical information pertinent to
qualification as an Adept. There is a two-year time-limit for each
new Setian to qualify for Adept Recognition. If such Recognition is
not received by that time, affiliation is canceled.

The Orders of the Temple are entirely different in concept and
operation from its Pylons. Each Order specializes in one or more
particular fields of the magical arts and sciences. Such a
specialization may be transcultural or oriented to a specific
geographic area, time-period, or conceptual tradition. Within one
year after II* Recognition, each Adept is expected to affiliate with
an Order reflective of his or her personal interests and aptitudes.
The collective knowledge of all of the Orders is available to the
Temple membership generally.

Setians are encouraged to communicate with one another by means of a
regularly-updated InterCommunication Roster, contained in the
_Crystal Tablet_, and periodic Conclaves are scheduled on a
regional, national, and international basis. A recent addition to
the Temple's structure is Glinda, a computer database and bulletin-
board system accessible by Setians only. Besides offering a means
for electronic mail and conferencing, Glinda serves as a repository
for a constantly growing library of Temple documents which Setians
can download at their convenience.

Personal affiliation with the Temple is kept confidential; your
admission is known only to the Priesthood. You may apply the
services and systems of the Temple as you wish, and as you deem most
complementary to your _Xeper_; otherwise they will not intrude upon
you.


AN IMPORTANT CLARIFICATION
Regretfully there still exist some individuals whose idea of
"Satanism" is largely a simple-minded synthesis of Christian
propaganda and Hollywood horror movies. The Temple of Set enjoys the
colorful legacy of the Black Arts, and we use many forms of
historical Satanic imagery for our artistic stimulation and
pleasure. But we have not found that any interest or activity which
an enlightened, mature intellect would regard as undignified,
sadistic, criminal, or depraved is desirable, much less essential to
our work.

The Temple of Set is an evolutionary product of human experience.
Such experience includes the magical and philosophical work of many
occult individuals and organizations which have preceded us. Some of
these were socially acceptable by contemporary or modern standards;
others were not. Some made brilliant discoveries in one field of
interest while blighting their reputations with shocking excesses or
tragic failures in others. In examining the secret and suppressed
corners of history for valuable and useful material, the Temple
insists upon ethical presentation and use of such discoveries as it
makes. Setians who are in any doubt as to the ethics involved in any
of the fields which we explore should seek counsel from the
Priesthood. All Setians are further expected to display a high
measure of maturity and common sense in this area.

The Black Arts are *dangerous* in the same way that working with
volatile chemicals is dangerous. This is most emphatically *not* a
field for unstable, immature, or otherwise emotionally or
intellectually weak-minded people. Such are a hazard to themselves
and to others with whom they come into contact. The Temple endeavors
to not admit them to begin with. If such an individual should gain
admittance and later be exposed, he will be summarily expelled. In
cases of doubt the Temple may be expected to place the burden of
proof on the individual, for the sake of all Setians and the
Temple's integrity.

The Temple of Set evaluates conventional religions as erroneous in
principle and therefore unworthy of peer status. We feel no need to
concern ourselves with their activities, nor for that matter to
maintain any sort of "diplomatic relations" with them [as in
councils of churches]. Our position is that they may serve a useful
social function as purveyors of soothing myths and fantasies to
humans unable to attain Setian levels of self-consciousness. Hence
we ignore conventional religious organizations unless they intrude
upon our affairs.

These warnings are not intended to be oppressive or intimidating,
but they should be taken seriously. The Temple is a forum for the
investigation of many subjects which conventional society finds odd,
mysterious, and even extremely frightening. The Temple will be
tolerated only to the extent that it is known to be pursuing its
interests carefully, expertly, and responsibly. It occupies a
delicate position in a world which is largely unhappy with itself,
and which is ceaselessly searching for scapegoats. Hence the Temple
must take care to maintain its social balance with prudence and
dignity.


AFFILIATION
The key to philosophy is not reading about it, it is *practicing*
it. Abstract ideas are not enough; it is only through lived
experience that Initiation occurs. Such experience is the mediator
between the realm of consciousness and the world.

Therefore the Temple of Set does not provide services to the
casually interested. Its activities, publications, knowledge, and
services are reserved for those who affiliate with it - or on an
individual-case basis for non-Setians who request assistance from
the Temple which we deem to be in our interests or in the interests
of the community as a whole.

The First Degree (I*) of Temple affiliation is regarded as a "status
of mutual evaluation" wherein the Initiate and the Temple can assess
one another's merit from the standpoint of minimum investment and
involvement. If a I* Initiate should decide that the Temple is not,
after all, appropriate to his wants or needs, he is welcome to
depart with our good wishes for satisfaction elsewhere.

Aspirants to the Temple should understand that it is not a club or
fraternal society whose tokens may be “collected” along with those
of other social affiliations, occult or otherwise. Membership in the
Temple of Set beyond the I* precludes membership in any other
religious organization.

Members or former members of non-religious occult organizations
should understand that within the Temple of Set they will be
expected to respect and observe the Temple's protocol, and that
literature and other information from the Temple is not to be passed
to non-Temple individuals or organizations without prior approval of
the Priesthood.

If the Temple of Set can assist other deserving organizations or
individuals on occasion, it will be pleased to do so. But it must
exercise reasonable care over the Temple materials that are made
available - both so that our own Initiates may enjoy the fruits of
their honest labor [and that of their predecessors] and so that the
Temple of Set may continue to enjoy its exclusive reputation for
excellence in the disciplines it has pioneered.

Should you have questions which are reasonably pertinent to your
serious consideration whether or not to apply for admission to the
Temple, you are welcome to address them to the Executive Director of
the Temple.

If you wish to apply for admission as a Setian I*, there are two
avenues of approach available to you:
(1) If you are in contact with a Priest or Priestess of Set, you may
request him or her to sponsor your application. In that case you may
send a letter to the Executive Director mentioning this sponsorship.
With your letter enclose a check, money order, or credit card
authorization for US$65 (US$75 for overseas applicants), payable to
_Temple of Set_. [Please note that this amount must be in U.S.
dollars, either drawn on a U.S. bank or as an international money
order *only*. Or it may be charged to a Visa or MasterCard *only*.]
If Priesthood sponsorship is verified, approval is automatic.
*Important note*: If you are admitted, and if you are an overseas
resident, your admission packet will be sent to you by surface mail.
Depending upon the destination, this can take as long as two months.
If you wish the packet sent via air mail, your application fee
should be for the amount of US$105 to cover the extra air mail
postage.
(2) If you are not known to a member of the Priesthood, write a
letter to the Executive Director introducing yourself, summarizing
whatever aspects of your background you feel to be relevant, and
stating your reasons for deciding to seek entrance into the Temple.
Enclose the admission fee/card authorization. The Temple will make a
decision and respond to you accordingly. If necessary you will be
asked for additional information. Should your application not be
approved for any reason, the fee will be refunded. Persons applying
for admission via this procedure should be as objective and candid
as possible in their self-assessment. There is no point in
misleading the Temple concerning one's suitability for admission,
which will only result sooner or later in the truth coming to light
- with the consequent waste of both the individual's and the
Temple's time. If there are crucial areas of possible
incompatibility, it is incumbent on the applicant to identify them
before affiliation so that they may be addressed and, if possible,
resolved.

Whichever method you apply through, please be certain to include:
(1) Your full legal name [no pseudonyms] and sex. (2) Your complete
mailing address. (3) Internet (electronic mail) address if you have
one. (4) Daytime and evening telephone numbers. (5) A photocopy of
an identity card (such as a driver's license) that shows your date
of birth. (6) Present organizational affiliations. (7)
Visa/Mastercard authorization below if you use either card.

Annual renewal fee for all Initiates is US$60 (US$65 overseas). [The
first year is pro-rated from the month of your entry.] These fees
are designed, as is the admissions fee, to cover the cost of
mailings to you and the administration of the Temple.

As a matter of policy the Temple is not designed to make a profit on
its operations, and its assets are used exclusively for benefits to
its Initiates as a whole. There are no other regular or recurring
fees, save that Orders and Pylons may set reasonable charges for
their newsletters or other time/effort services. Special
publications of the Temple and events scheduled by the Temple are
customarily made available on a non-profit basis to Initiates who
are interested.

The only physical requirement for admission is that the aspirant be
at least 18 years of age. Those below the age of 18 may not visit
Temple functions, ceremonial or otherwise, whether or not they are
relatives of Initiates. The Temple has no programs for children. It
is our position that children and adolescents should not be
indoctrinated into the assumptions and prescriptions of *any*
suprarational system, whether it be our own philosophy or the faiths
and superstitions of conventional religions. Rather their youthful
years should be a time of *exclusively rational* training and
education, giving them a sound and meaningful basis by which, as
adults, they may consider and choose whatever philosophy or faith
seems most meaningful to them.

If your application is approved, you will receive notification from
the Executive Director's office, together with membership
identification, certificate, copy of the _Crystal Tablet of Set_
[including the current reading list & intercommunication roster],
most recent issues of the _Scroll of Set_ and Setian I* pendant
medallion.


WHAT THE TEMPLE LOOKS FOR
Every Initiate of the Temple is unique, but there are certain
qualities that distinguish a potential Setian from religious or
secular followers of stasis-oriented cults/ideologies.

* A realization that the world isn't fair or loving. Only if you've
been shocked by the unfairness of the world can you be awakened. The
shock must tell you that you are on your own, that things are tough,
and that if you want the world around you to be better, you've got
to work for it.

* A sense of wonder at one's own being. You must be convinced that
there is more to you  - to your sense of “ultimate identity” - than
the materialist world says there is. This will awaken the magical
curiosity which will impel you on your quest.

 * A willingness to learn, to go to school. If you are accustomed to
having everything you want spoon-fed to you, or doled out just
because you wait around long enough, the Temple of Set is not for
you. You must want to learn, to listen to other Initiates, to weigh
and apply both their advice and the good sense of your own higher
self.

* A desire to make yourself into something better. You must be
dissatisfied with your current state of self-awareness and presence,
both privately and insofar as you interact with society. If you
intend to use the teachings of the Temple to strengthen only your
social-influence skills, however, you will find the *internally*-
oriented concepts of Setian philosophy irritating and disturbing,
and ultimately painful to any “hollow shell” you have built up to
deny or conceal your true self. Correspondingly, if you focus only
on your personal individuality without attempting to express it in
beyond-personal environments, you also will experience frustration.
Change in yourself is manifested in part by your ability to *cause*
change elsewhere.

* Intellectual ability as well as access to the best scholarly data
you are capable of handling. Just as not everyone who admires a
champion martial artist can emulate such physical prowess, not
everyone who admires “philosophy” can “do” that either. If you do
not possess high intelligence, the exercises of initiation will
simply be beyond your capacity, and you must have the common sense
and honesty to recognize that and seek personal happiness elsewhere.

* Magical ability. When learning to ride a bicycle, One needs a
sense of balance to keep one upright when the training-wheels are
eventually taken away. The test of your magical ability will be not
your absorption and recitation of principles, but your skill and
wisdom in applying them.

* A sense of humor.

* An ability to privately acknowledge your fears, prejudices, and
problems, as well as to forgive your honest mistakes.

* A willingness to share with others what you have found, in the
right place and time - and to be silent when it is not the right
place and time.

The initiative is yours. The Temple of Set is designed to assist you
in the ways we have found to be the most practical, productive, and
factual. But, as versatile as the Temple may be, and as proud of it
as we are, it is nevertheless properly understood as a *tool*. *You*
are the one who must put that tool to use in a way that will enable
you to _Xeper_. Such is the Word of the AEon of Set.

--------------------------------------------------------------------
To: The Temple of Set

I hereby authorize my application fee of US$______ to be charged 
 to my: Visa [ ] or MasterCard  [ ]

Card Number: _________________________ Expiration date: ____________

Signature:  _________________________  Application date: ___________

EOF

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