Aquino wrote a little gem of a book called Black Magic. It’s legally freely available. So many topics are covered in this book. But one topic I’d like to focus on, is the nature of the soul.

Without having read this work on Aquino, I’ve already postulated or asked some of the questions he answers in this book called “Black Magic.”

Importance

Before digging into the many quotes I took from the book, I want to mention why this is so important to me. Without a vivid construct of self (“am I just a body,” “am I a soul or spirit?”) one’s place in the world (and in comparison to others) is missing the key to the work.

Consider this quote from Aquino:

“It is all too easy to perceive “life” as only the active functioning of one’s material, OU-constituted body. Such an attitude fosters a disease of thepsyche far worse than any of the body. It numbs you to that immortality which is inherent in the Gift of Set, and it makes you the prey of everyone who, in the profane world, seeks to control your life by threats against your body.” – Aquino “Black Magic

This is where the unwise cringe at the fears of the world around them. Fear is a great controller. Fear commands people to strike first, kick out outsiders (or undesirables.) Without fear, one can not easily be controlled by others.

Yet in many LHP posts on social media, I see this fear… and I see it turn into emotional reactions of hatred. This type of fear is worried about losing one’s culture, or racial identity. While the “Christian” claims to not be afraid (as God is the great provider) they are the most feared of everyone – they will even sell out their ideals to elect the opposite of their faith to rule them, simply out of fear.

Quotes from the Book

An early question I had was, does the Temple of Set have a view of the “self,” outside the scope of the body only. To which Aquino writes:

Aspirants to the Temple come to us because they do not accept the premise that rational curiosity must be limited to the OU.

This power of the soul is thus both apprehensive [reaching beyond the limits of the OU] and creative [enabling one to generate meaning, to initiate existence]. This creative aspect may be called the Subjective Universe (SU) to distinguish it from the OU.

A classic approach that I’ve used to discuss the self not being just the body/brain, is in the scope of the mind. In other words, if you lose 30% of the body, do you lose 30% of your self? This is a classic Buddhist argument. Aquino discusses this as well:

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 OU. 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, and continuous reinforcement by the OU.

Another approach that’s common, and something I’ve discussed with other spiritualists, is in the seeking of paranormal and/or out-of-body experiences. Aquino brings this up as well:

But the search [searching through out of body experience] can also be motivated by honest curiosity, and that is the raison d’etre of the Temple of Set.

Aquino’s views on Satanism from the Church of Satan perspective, criticized the work. He felt the motivation was misplaced and references the Hebrew doctrine to compare it against:

The ancient Hebrews drew no distinction between human souls and the animating force common to all animals (nephesh). Although some part of this animating force was thought to survive the destruction of the body, it was regarded with superstitious terror and referred to ambiguously by the terms elohim and rephaim. By the 2nd century BCE Hebrew doctrine had changed to include the revivification of the material body, but Hebrew theologians never extended this principle to the Pythagorean/Platonic concept of an independently- surviving psyche.

Viewed in this context, the Church of Satan’s initial Satanism was, in effect, Judaism with a YHVH who would let you do anything you wanted rather than one who was a vengeful sadist. Yet both systems – the nice (Satanic) one and the vicious (Jewish) one – came to a screeching halt at the grave.

In contrast, the Temple of Set view on the eternal substance (psyche) was that the body provides the vehicle for which the psyche can become aware of itself. But the psyche is beyond the scope of the body.

The essence of the psyche, stated Set in the Book of Coming Forth by Night, is such that its existence is neither dependent upon the material nor imprisoned in it for testing or task-fulfilling purposes. Rather the physical body provides a vehicle in which the psyche can become aware of itself and then reach out towards the limitlessness of its conscious existence. [It is this process which the Temple defines by the hieroglyphic term Xeper.] “This life” may be likened to a springboard or launching-pad towards the psyche’s ultimate Self-awareness and state of Being.

The essence of the psyche, stated Set in the Book of Coming Forth by Night, is such that its existence is neither dependent upon the material nor imprisoned in it for testing or task-fulfilling purposes. Rather the physical body provides a vehicle in which the psyche can become aware of itself and then reach out towards the limitlessness of its conscious existence. [It is this process which the Temple defines by the hieroglyphic term Xeper.] “This life” may be likened to a springboard or launching-pad towards the psyche’s ultimate Self-awareness and state of Being.

The Initiate is challenged to find, in the words of Dr. Raghavan Iyer,
‘… not the shadowy self or false egoity which merely reacts to external stimuli. Rather there is that Eye of Wisdom in every person which in deep sleep is fully awake and which has a translucent awareness of self-consciousness as pure, primordial light.’

This is accomplished through reflective, non-reactive thinking. Thus the individual becomes aware of his authentic self (psyche, soul); and upon activating this as the locus of his consciousness, looks outward at phenomena at the same depth. In other words, the superficial “self” looks out at its level and sees OU events – like bodily pleasure/pain, blue sky, ringing telephones, time defined by clocks and calendars, and so forth. The core or true self, however, exists as a neter and, when looking outward, sees a SU not of the works of other neteru, but of those neteru themselves. One “machine” sees other “machinery”; one “creator/operator” sees other “creator/ operators”.

“Immortality of the self is. Your ability to align your consciousness with your neter, rather than your superficial, animal, illusion of “self” is Xeper.” – Aquino

References

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