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The Non-Nature of the Psyche

[from ]

             Extract From Black Magic in Theory & Practice
  by Michael A. Aquino Ph.D VI*
    (posted to alt.satanism)
Subject:      The Non-Nature of the Psyche
From: (Xeper)
Date:         1998/04/12
Newsgroups:   alt.satanism

Phil Marfuta ( wrote:

>     Could you clarify?  Are you saying man is seperate/not subject to
>God and Nature?


The numbers in the text identify books on the Temple's reading list
which treat the point in greater detail. [I think the RL is probably
floating around the Internet already, in any number of legitimate/
pirated versions!]

Michael A. Aquino, Ph.D.

File: BlkMag-4

- by Michael A. Aquino VI*
(c) 1975-1995 Michael A. Aquino



What is it that has impelled so many curious and dissatisfied individuals
throughout history to try to break through the perceptual limits imposed
by alternative #2? The answer lies *not* in the flimsy, foolish arguments
for conventional religion, but rather in the real, observable phenomenon
of humanity *itself*. We perceive something in our own state of being
that does not seem to be explainable in terms of the objective universe.
We are not satisfied that we can be explained or defined merely in terms
of electro-chemical equations, even very elaborate ones. There is, we feel
something *else* within us - something unique to each being and ultimately
more essential than our objective, physical substance. First identified as
_ba_ by the ancient Egyptians, it became the _psyche_ of the Greeks and
eventually the "soul" in modern language. From _Webster's International

"_ba_: The living, immortal, eternal, and ultimately divine living soul in
Egyptian religious belief represented as a bird with a human head and
believed to leave the body at death and return eventually to revivify the
body if it is preserved.

"_soul_: (1) The immaterial essence or substance, animating principle, or
actuating cause of life or of the individual life. (2a) The psychical or
spiritual principle in general shared by or embodied in individual human
beings or all beings having a rational and spiritual nature. (2b) The
psychical or spiritual nature of the universe related to the physical worl
as the human soul to the human body ..."

Note the connection which is presumed or postulated to exist between
the human soul and the Universe. This connection has also been referred
to via the term _logos_. Again from _Webster's_:

"_logos_: (1) Reason or the manifestation of reason conceived in ancient
Greek philosophy as constituting the controlling principle in the universe
(a) A moving and regulating principle in the universe together with an
element in man by which, according to Heraclitus, this principle is
perceived. (b) A cosmic governing or generating principle according to
the Stoics that is immanent and active in all reality and that pervades al
reality. (c) A principle that, according to Philo, is intermediate between
ultimate or divine reality and the sensible world ..."

Atheists and agnostics - including sub-species such as logical positivists
materialists, humanists, etc. - are uncomfortable with the religious
connotations of the term "soul". They usually refer to the same
phenomenon as "self", "ego", "mind", or "consciousness". Within
the Temple of Set all words referring to the phenomenon are used
more-or-less interchangeably, with distinctions being made in specific
cases as necessary.

Essential to the notion of the soul is the sensation that it is somehow
alien to the physical body - a passenger in a vehicle, so to speak. It is
the "ultimate you" that, through the machinery of your physical brain,
moves your arms and legs, sees through your eyes, hears through your
ears, and in other ways interacts with the objective universe. If you
lose 20% of your body in an accident, however, you do not lose 20%
of this soul. Is it simply a freakish by-product of the brain's natural
functioning - an illusion or delusion incidentally caused by interactions
of electrochemical energy? (#19G) True, when damage is done to the
brain, the consciousness fragments. This is also true when the brain
deprives itself [through sleep] (#19E) or is deprived of [through
sensory deprivation] (#19N) contact with the objective universe.

Many efforts to prove that the soul is not a mere function of the
material brain have centered around ideas of reincarnation, ESP,
out-of-the-body ("astral") travel, hauntings, and the like. The idea
is to demonstrate that the consciousness can and does exist apart
from the physical brain. Such efforts range from the serious and
sophisticated (#18D, #19H) to the ridiculous. Fear of death motivates
many such efforts and colors the results; we seek reassurance that
our being will not vanish with the death and decay of our physical body.
(#18A) But the search can also be motivated by honest curiosity,
and that is the _raison d'etre_ of the Temple of Set.

The key which we apply to this problem is what Eric Hoffer refers
to as "the unnaturalness of human nature". (#17D) The soul or self
does not behave as though it were merely a "sum total" of the brain's
sensory and manipulative capacities, combining and recombining
inputted information as though it were an "organic" electronic
computer. It has a sense of identity, a sense of uniqueness, a sense
of distance and differentiation from everything else that exists. It
has characteristics which are something more than instinctive and
something less than logical; these are called "emotions".

Most significantly, perhaps, are the creative soul's thought
prerogatives and dispositions. We don't just think to survive or
to react to external stimuli, B.F. Skinner notwithstanding. We
think creatively, spontaneously, abstractly, and aesthetically.
We conceive, design, and construct non-natural concepts,
arguments, processes, and objects. And we can distinguish
between the natural and the non-natural - something that would
be a logical impossibility if the consciousness itself could not
extend beyond the natural.

To demonstrate this capacity to yourself, consider something as
simple as a Moebius strip. Your consciousness rebels at a
phenomenon which it perceives as "against the law". As a matter
of fact, the various Moebius phenomena are not "against the law";
there is an entire field of mathematics - topology - which is
concerned with the properties of geometric configurations subjected
to various transformations. But here it is not the phenomenon itself
but rather your *reaction to it* which is significant. The revulsion
you feel is a manifestation of something in you which possesses the
*power* to view the order of the objective universe from *outside*.

The philosopher Immanuel Kant approached this power of the soul
from a somewhat different angle. He referred to it as humanity's
ability to *assign meaning* to natural phenomena - to recognize,
appreciate, define, categorize, rank, and otherwise determine the
importance, relevance, and significance of an event or object in nature.
"Objects of experience," he said, "are never given in themselves, but
only in *experience*, and have no existence outside it."

Schopenhauer went a step further, holding that the individual Will
is the source of *causality* itself, of which space, substance and
time are mere derivations.

Friedrich Nietzsche discussed the power in terms of the higher
intellect's ability to *build horizons* for itself beyond mere
recombinations of the known. (#16B) Plato defined this
suprarational quality of the mind as _noesis_ and held that it was
capable of perceiving the eternal, transcendent principles of all
existence beyond even the most rigorous reasoning (_Dianoia_):
the *Forms* or *First Principles*. (#12C, #16F)

This power of the soul is thus both *apprehensive* [reaching
beyond the limits of the objective universe] and *creative*
[enabling one to generate meaning, to initiate existence]. This
creative aspect may be called the *subjective universe* to
distinguish it from the objective universe. The subjective universe
and the objective universe contain mutually-incompatible elements
of definition, but they also blend into one another. For example,
we use the subjective universe to assign meaning to the objective
universe, and we regularly rely upon our knowledge of phenomena
in the objective universe to give us "building blocks" to construct
objects in the subjective one. [Many "fantasy creatures", for example,
can be broken down into "parts" of natural animals.]

The ability of any intellect to generate and operate the subjective
universe is not automatic [beyond the level of ordinary imagination].
It must be deliberately learned and exercised. The experience of such
perspective and power can be exhilarating and stimulating; more often -
to those unprepared for the sensation and psychologically unable to
accept it - it has been frightening. Man does not like the idea that he
doesn't fit wholly and completely into the natural scheme of things.
Hence he has sought an ally in a personalized God that created him
as a wholly natural pet project [for example, pre-"fallen" man in the
Garden of Eden]. He has invented religious and social codes that give
him a sense of conforming to the natural order of the objective universe.
He has built cathedrals and monuments to reassure and reinforce this
sense, and he has even had his dead body buried with rites commemorating
his inclusion in it. These very acts, ironically, expose his secret dread
that his conscious self - his soul - does *not* belong to it. When that
part of him which *does* belong to it - his physical brain and body -
separates from his consciousness and remains purely a component of
the objective universe [through physical death], he fears that his
consciousness, unlike his physical shell, will not obey the law of
conservation of matter and energy. Rather it will cease to exist.

While fearing the death of his self-consciousness, ironically, man has
also sought to punish it for its existence. He has mythologized it as
devils or, in Western Judaeo/Christianity as the Devil. (#3A, #3B)
He has tried to drive it out of his mind through psychological coercion
(#14E, #19L) as well as through physical punishment ranging from
simple fasting to the tortures of the Inquisition. And of course he has
tried to pretend that it is really not there at all - that any activity by
soul which is not harmonious with the objective universe is simply
disease: madness and mental illness. (#19R)

Nonetheless the soul endures. It has survived all efforts to destroy,
distort, disguise, or sublimate it - for none of these efforts has ever
actually succeeded in touching it. At most they have succeeded in
damaging only the physical medium for its expression.



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