In Chapter 1 of his book, “Uncle Setnakts Essential Guide to the Left Hand Path,” Mr. Webb points out four characteristics of the magical self. This post will do a deep dive into the third level of self – the Core Level.

Four Characteristics of the Self

  • Surface Level
  • Medial Level
  • Core Level
  • Daemonic Level

The material isn’t quite clear how these levels were derived, detailed, nor who did the work. Simply, I’m relating this as my notes and in my own understanding of what Don Webb is depicting as the varying layers to the “self.”

I place “self” in quotes, because the “self” that most of us adhere to as an identity is quite false. We are more than our body, more than a limited scoped being. We are vast.

I’m taking this view of mine into the LHP descriptors of Don Webb and other Temple of Set authors, to try and understand their perspective.

Previously the surface and medial layers of self were discussed, and they’re linked below for reference.

Core Level of Self

Now at the third level of self, we come home to the idea of our permanent form of self. This is the unchanging self, that offers our greatest potential to us.

This state sets up conditions that start the awakening process.

“It is, in short, the reason for your unique existence, and all furthering of its development is the Work of the Left Hand Path. It is rarely perceived in our lives since our attention is loosely housed there.”

Uncle Setnakts Essential Guide to the Left Hand Path,” by Don Webb

Mr. Webb mentions that it’s very difficult to perceive this level, as our perception is already here… I suppose he’s saying that one would have to go beyond this, in order to see this directly.

Principle of Isolate Intelligence

I’ve heard “isolate intelligence” mentioned in various conversations of Left Hand Path discussions. Usually I had little clue to what was meant by the concept.

In this section (Chapter 1), Webb is naming the Core Level of self as the principle of Isolate Intelligence and is symbolized as the inverted Pentagram within the circle. But what does that mean? What is the Isolate Intelligence?

Each particular instance of this soul—this phenomenon of the sub-  jective universe—implies the existence of a first form or general prin-  ciple from which all the particular manifestations are derived. In the most philosophically refined of the schools of the left-hand path, this  first principle of isolate intelligence is identified as the “Prince of Dark-  ness,” or the ultimate deity of the left-hand path. (Note that words  prince and principle both derive from Lat. princeps, “emperor, leader,”  with the literal sense “he who takes first place.”) This is the archetype  of the self from which all particular selves are derived. This is also an  element of the nonnatural universe that objectively belongs to the uni-  verse itself. In this way, the Prince of Darkness can be seen as an inde-  pendent sentient being in the objective universe because this is the  very principle of that quality in the universe. Humanity is the only  species we know of which shares that quality. 

Lords of the Left Hand Path,” by Dr. Stephen Flowers (pg. 27)

While investigating this further, I came across an old post from 2014 cited as the writings of Michael Aquino:

To them you are only what meaning they assign to you, whether consciously as gods or as they just bump into you animalistically from time to time. You may assume for the sake of comfort and reassurance that you are “part of them”. This is delusion. You are utterly sole, utterly alone against all else.

I suppose I’m going to have a time with this one. What Flowers and Webb are saying, is that each sentient being is a Subject Universe unto themselves and at the core of that universe is a source – the Isolate Intelligence… and this source, like a sun, shines its many rays (each ray being a sentient form of life in their own subjective universe.) This I can agree with, and all is fine.

Where I feel a divergence in thought, is with Aquino’s own views above… He warns that you may think that you connect and are part of something/someone else, but it’s a delusion. You and I are utterly alone, connected to none.

But this is the quandary for me… wouldn’t you be connected and at “one” with the source of “you,” that is to say the Isolate Intelligence… that Prince of Darkness?

Beyond the deep metaphysical aspect here, we can also talk about the psychological sense of oneness that we all feel. A man may feel he is an individual… until he meets a significant other. Then the two are felt as one… If the “Other” is harmed, the psychological harm is felt by the fellow. If they have a family, then the sense of “self” is expanded to include the family… if they have a passion for a race, creed, faith, or otherwise large collection of people – then that too is an expansion of self.

It’s rather like having a deflated balloon. At first it’s deflated and neutral. As you start to blow air into it, the expansion extends the boundary of the balloon further and further out. If pushed too far, it will pop and the air inside will mix and merge with the air around. That would be the final state of total union described by mystics. Before that state, however, is the varying degrees of expansion we already feel.

This is very hard for me to accept, that there is no union at all, with anything. It seems quite open that we are in union with others around us all the time – such union at this gross level is the forms of race, gender, political movements and so on. The expanded version of this, is spiritual identification with all of humanity, or all spiritual beings.

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