I asked, in a journal entry a few days ago, “why the Left Hand Path?”
To continue with that theme, I wanted to pull resources that discuss the why’s of the Left-Hand-Path. After all, why not simply apply no path, or a path of the average spiritualist?
The Left Hand Path is a quest for Sovereignty.Webb, Don. Uncle Setnakts Essential Guide to the Left Hand Path (pg. 3)
Sovereignty is the goal… but rulership of what? Rulership of one’s inner and outer worlds.
The basis of the Left Hand Path is that humans are but machines, but may in potential become gods.Ibid.
In contrast, the Right Hand Path is a path of submission. I think this definition of Right Hand Path is probably the best I’ve seen. Personally, I don’t think the idea of RHP people seeking oblivion in some cosmic dissolution of self is a very true definition (yet it’s the most common to hear.) Most RHP religions do not themselves believe this. However, all Right Hand Path religions do have an aspect of submission. This, is the one true characteristic that they all share. <– I may have to revisit this idea of mine… as I’m not sure that Buddhist’s fit that. While a Buddhist may let go of the body to submit to pain, they don’t submit the mind. Nor do they seek oblivion (contrary to what many say.) Perhaps the Buddhist is not RHP at all.
Awake and Asleep
What factors put a person to sleep? What factors wake them up? As the host of Black Flame Immersion states in his podcast: drugs and alcohol seek escapism – this is a form of sleep.
Similarly Don Webb approaches this topic. For Mr. Webb the average person collects thoughts and views that try and dull the individual or put them into a spiritual coma. These hinderances are sought to be rooted out and they take root in all aspects of the self (body, mind, emotions and will.)
The forces that oppose the body are those things which shorten life, remove energy, or dull the senses. Most recreational drugs, legal or otherwise, fall in this category as does most fast food….. The forces that oppose the mind are those habits of non-thinking…. newspapers, TV and surf the Net learning what to run through our minds in imitation of thought…. The forces that oppose the emotions are those habits of feeling generally created by external sources… The forces that oppose the will are habits of blind obedience to external symbols and signals….Ibid (pp 2-3)
Above, is a link to this topic of rulership, that I had previously written about.
This quest for sovereignty requires a knowledge of self. Self, here, is an expanded sense of the word. There are layers of self (from the body, to the highest potential.) This is covered in the posts I wrote about the four levels of self.
Each of these parts [of self] must be awakened, its subcomponents harmonized, its place in the personal ecology controlled and regulated. Each of these parts is fed by and feeds the other parts.Ibid. (pg. 11)
Much like the self has four layers of operation, those same layers appear in the cosmos. This is important to consider: when the individual changes and harmonizes the four levels of self (the microcosm), this can and should create a harmonic resonances with the outer world (macrocosm, or Cosmos.)
All your magic is about changing you. All black magic is about changing himself , herself. You’re not doing this to change other people. The better you become the better your world becomes…. to me that’s what the left-hand-path is about, the examined life.Kirby, James. The Left Hand Path
Perhaps James Kirby said it best in the short film on the left hand path (cited above.) Changing oneself, changes one’s world. Notice I wrote “one’s world,” and not “the world.” My Buddhist leanings explain that my world, is different than your world – but I won’t get into that here.
The same levels of self (surface, medial, core and daemonic) also are represented in the Cosmos. As these (self and Cosmos) reflect one another if we investigate one, we gain insight on the corresponding other.
At the core level of the Cosmos, Don Webb describes the symbol that resonates with the idea of self-development… this symbol is different, depending on the witness.
The Symbol for he Prince of Darkness is culturally determined. In a society ruled by Right Hand Path paradigms, the Prince of Darkness is the rebel against cosmic injustice, Satan. In a society where the release of energy from dissipating patterns is revered yet feared, it is Shiva. In a society that stresses the role of the LHP magician as culture hero, it will be the supreme god of the pantheon like Odhinn or Tezcatlipoca. In a society where there is no central paradigm but may competing at the same time, it will be Set, the god against the gods.Webb, Don. Uncle Setnakts Essential Guide to the Left Hand Path (pg. 12)
For me, the image or wording of “Satanist,” is a hard one to identify with. This, for me, is due to the loaded image of the word. Everyone has a view of this person. For most it’s a goth kid who is angry and going through some issues… best to leave them alone. For the religious, the word invokes an image of one who kills animals and maybe people… Still others, will conjure an image of a hedonist, or an atheist who wants to play the role of the “bad guy,” from a movie. LHP folks are none of that.
This misunderstanding is in large part due to the religious institutions that demonized the rebellion of Lucifer, or the pagan self-transformative spirituality. Yet it is the body of members that continues and persists this demonized form.
Let’s be honest here… a group of political activists who dress up like “the Crow” (to quote Black Flame Immersion), and bull bait Christians, continues the inference of hostility. A “Satanist,” wearing a black metal T-shirt that has a crucifix with the head of Jesus cut off… well that’s not presenting the philosophy in a positive light either.
While this might be examples of antinomianism, it also has the intent to scare. This in turn makes the philosophy (for the onlooker) to be nothing more than fear tactics. Yet it’s not fear tactics. It’s a real system of philosophical thinking, as I hope I’ve described here.
For me, the word Satan, or Satanist, or Luciferian are just too loaded. A Setian I can get away with, because it’s something few onlookers have heard of. That at least gives me some space to form an identity free from the baggage of the loaded words.
What I hope to have conveyed, is an idea that the left hand path is goal specific. It is a self-transformative process. While some will disagree with the sentiment of apotheosis (becoming a god), the left-hand-path is still, non-the-less a path of self-transformation.
From the Temple of Set paradigm, the goal is to grow from the mechanism of being just a machine, into the mechanism of being a designer… a god-like being.
That is no ego play of patterning one’s current human ego, with godlike powers. Rather it is in the transformation of the “self” from an awareness locked at a low surface level, into the most expanded sense of self – a self that comprises the individual Cosmos.
By becoming better, our world becomes better. By shifting one’s identification, one becomes shifted. Away goes the old human surface level, and in shifts the higher self as one’s “self.”
That is the goal and process of the Temple of Set Left Hand Path method.