Just gonna–uh, leave this one here.
My earliest memories hover around when I first experienced Self-awareness.
Like a cloudy dream, I remember sitting on the floor in my parents’ kitchen with a gallon of milk. I needed two hands to lift the milk out of the refrigerator. It was heavy. I put a cup down on the floor and tried lifting the gallon in order to pour it into the cup. I watched with a brief joy of the cup filling up and then the cup overflowed. Milk went everywhere. Imperfection.
I liked to dance myself silly in the living room. I would dance so hard I would give myself carpet burn on my knees and arms. I remember popping into our stereo system a clear cassette tape with James Brown’s “I Feel Good” on there. When the song was over I would get up and rewind it. I would dance and spin circles in unison to the trombones for hours.
Freedom has always tasted just like a good James Brown song. Tight, funky, far-flung, alone, and feeling good.
You can’t be big and small at the same time. You need to be the one.
Sweet snowy rain
I hear you rumble–
Breathe upon me
Until the moon has failed
And shattered every heaven
Out of itself, out of herSelf
Until the moon has failed
And the fires of Her bleeding stop.
Covered fully, still covered
An eyeless wingless winged angel weeps
No process, devouring every clock.
I tear away at my scalp
Ripping out each hair together
Wrapped around my wrist
A halo and a rope
What does it take to let go?
Do I tear the hanged man away
From the caring or the apathy?
Or do I offer him
The poison of the pleased?
They used to say all the things to me
That hinged on early Victory.
Forget the old emanations.
Swirling above in hotel suites
Far above the stars.
“He who knows (the Dao) does not (care to) speak (about it); he who is (ever ready to) speak about it does not know it. He (who knows it) will keep his mouth shut.” -Lao Tzu
There’s something to be said about what brings people to the point of joining the Temple of Set. Self-improvement, curiosity, material wealth, all could be possible answers. And honestly, I truly feel that the tools we have here are great at helping anyone willing to put in the work a new world filled with all three of those things. Is that all there really is though?
*Queues up some Peggy Lee*
The nature of objectivity, at least in my estimation, is that it’s incredibly fleeting. It’s extrinsic. It’s temporary. And that fact that all of this (*slaps hands on the floor, desk, my body*) is so temporary feels like motivation enough to live the best way that I can muster while I am pinned to this physical, temporary, and fragile reality. Death drives humanity. It’s a great unknown in the scope of everything we seem to think. To me, My big Truth lies NOT in objectivity. The ironic thing about death and the Lao Tzu quote starts with the opening line “he who knows does not speak.” It reminds me of one of William Blake’s “Proverbs of Hell”:
“The dead body revenges not injuries.”
The dead understand the nature of death and yet they cannot speak about it because they have fallen away from all of this—they could also care less about the body they lived in their whole objective lives because there’s an illusory quality to objectivity that I feel is discounted by some of what the basic “fast and dirty” superficial and surface level LHP philosophy has to say regarding the “Truth.”
I know what you’re thinking….
“Nikoletta, would you call getting punched in the face an illusion?”
Speaking from experience, I’ve been punched in the face quite a bit, so I’ll offer my perspective to further clarify where I’m coming from:
No, getting punched in the face is not an illusion. Traumatic physical events can do real damage to the subjective, “real” Self. Especially so when I forget that I shouldn’t get too attached to my body since I’m not going to be in it for long. Getting punched in the face is also bad because it’s has the potential to physically damage the tool in which I use to expand my subjective Self—my objective body.
The terms subjective and objective are tossed around a lot, but they really boil down to what “is” and “isn’t.” And ultimately, in my cosmology, I’m trying to reconcile the usefulness of using either term. The lines of what is and what isn’t often seem to be flipped and interwoven much more than I initially thought. A lot of times, subjectivity seems much more real because damage done to it can’t be healed without a perspective shift. And that requires, at times, making conscious choices that our physical bodies will rebel against. That doesn’t mean denying the body pleasure. But rebellion isn’t as simple as wearing a short skirt even though your dad hates the idea. Rebellion, in my world, lies in the understanding that I can pull mySelf away from automatic behaviors that are comfortable (both physical and mental) through the adept manipulation of my subjective perceptions. Do you think Set slays Apep the same exact way every night? The slice to the jugular isn’t so exciting after you do it over and over again.
When I’m in doubt, I usually find it helpful to just take a good, hard, long look at my Pentagram of Set and muse over the implications that symbol has to my life—both superficially and on an entirely different level that doesn’t cross paths with that superficial objective illusion. Objectivity, has the potential to fool my true Self through the biologically driven ego (that is NOT the Self) into wanting to stay attached to the things that have defined me through the experience of being human. My NeterSelf isn’t concerned with all of this (*waves hands around*) but it/she/him can get caught up in the irrelevant if I give into the things I really don’t want, even though my body might. To quote Blake again—“He who restrains desire does so because his weak enough to be restrained.” I desire to be more than what I am. And if that means making an effort to exercise, and eat as clean as I can afford to, or confront my bad habits, I’m going to do that. Indulgence can go to the over the top extreme of the Duc in “120 Days of Sodom” aka the way of the Libertine, or you can indulge your higher Self in creating habits and lifestyle choices that will make you happier in the long run. Of course, these are all my interpretations.
We all need to create our own cosmology. The tools are all here to make that happen.
The “existence” of Set question is hard. It’s a disservice to mySelf to try and pin down what Set, is, wants, did, etc. All of that is hogwash created by my mind to try and justify the unknown in terms of what it means to be human. I don’t like thinking about Set as the one that gave me his “gift” because, to me, that notion alone is very un-Set like. Set isn’t an immovable mover. Set is the active springing of energy.
ALL OF THAT SAID…
If I were to attempt to personify Set in a limited human sense I would say it like this:
Set is a neter of war, nightmares, conflict, storms, and all around assholery. He doesn’t have time to take pity on a bunch of hairless apes by giving them a gift. The only way that would occur is if those apes were like a giant red button and he just wanted to see what would happen should he press it. Set is chaotic neutral. He might save your life. He might also steal your car. He doesn’t want adherents—unlike other neter. The sha, or Set animal is allegedly imaginary. Imagination is weird. Set is weird. (Set is also Wryd). Humans also have the potential to be weird in the same way. Maybe that’s another reason why I’m here in the Temple of Set—to learn the Weirding (Wyrding) ways like any Self-respecting Bene Gesserit would….
Because, I mean, if we wanna get real serious here all the big life questions usually all circle back to Dune anyway…Star Wars ripped it off, so I guess it’s good enough for me to rip off as well. Of course I’m being facetious, but you should read Dune if you haven’t. Initiatory tools that are also entertainment are hard to resist recommending.
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” -Paul Atreides, Dune
Xeper through the mirror of the Self.
And bring yourSelf into new fire
Return to suffer
Without limbs! Without fever!
Climb out onto the dusty rings of Saturn
And reanimate cognition
Without limbs! Without fever!
There I heard the secret words:
“NOSTOS!” She whispered.
“ALGOS!” He cried.
Were the good times then?
If only I had known while I wasn’t living it.
I once discerned that Xeper
Was far from what it is
I started digging trenches
When my dirt came pouring in
Lady Liar, she lives in mirrors
When in fact
No pain can die
It was raining hard one evening in Bisbee
When ‘ole Beezlebub came on by…
All of my life,
My head’s a buzzin’
Screamin’ madness in my ear
What is Truth that’s not intrinsic—
But a brothel built on bricks of fear?
Everything is not enough.
Too much is none at all.
There my eyes began to leak
My frustrations drenched not dry.
My head’s a buzzin’ endlessly
That strength, once vibrant
Can one day fail
What’s a snake without a slither,
As he feeds upon his tail?
I tried on many wigs that day
In hopes of what I’d see
A look of dearth is all I found
Despite the black one suiting me
Who was this lawless princess here
Departing from my eyes?
Rejection smiled injury
There I caught her by surprise.
I tore mySelf away from that mask
I tried on exactly zero more
My green eyes moved to fuller reds
And ‘ole Bub stopped buzzing recklessly
This morning brought me realizations
Looming past me dark and tall
Everything is not enough,
Enough too much and not at all.
Twist the nails out of the fingers and bones,
Cold beyond remedy
The Alien theatres of the Second Age
Tear me away from the bleeding eyes
In the everyday, I step into new oblivions!
I am filtered inward
Speak not of what was created
But what was maintained!
Far removed from the Grandfather’s chime
A tick—constricted through biology
I’ve forgotten the tiny measures
And half step into a new oblivion
I shed my skin, I shed my skin! I shed it!
Before the fires
A towering spear am I,
So far from the moonbeams
So far from the light.
The Living Dog breathes not the breath of free will
Automatic it rains
Oceans of Devil’s wire
I am smeared into the winds of a final Saturn.
Looking for his monument
I turn my back to all the names!
And pierce the daystar
As a false moon.
My mind shares no true belief
In the lunacy of flesh
In the lunacy of flesh…
My mind shares no true belief.