One of my favorite occult authors is Don Webb. Don was once the High Priest of the Temple of Set. In my talks with him I found him to be an amazing person. He was down to earth, open to talking with his readers and very true to his views.
In Don Webb’s work, “The Mysteries of the Temple of Set,” Don discusses the idea of Being and Becoming. Being, as a concept, is an expanded sense of Self. From my interpretation, it is a state that is not only the human state, but something greater than human. This state is achieved through a process of Becoming, the Setian word for this act is Xeper (“I have come into Being.”) It is the essence of being Self Aware.
The way to Being is through Exchange. In other words, Don describes a flow of growth. One is taking knowledge or ideas from one source and expressing it outwards towards others. Don even describes some who write in a webpage and expressing ideas (much like this one). Don suggests that such writing doesn’t feed the soul, that without real recognition from an audience (feedback, encouragement, etc.) the soul is not fed and the expression is muted.
I can see this in Don’s own social media feeds. He praises the work of his fellow Setians. He promotes their books, music and artistry and gives a response to their expression. Certainly it’s true that this website of mine (or any blog) doesn’t gather a lot of response. My ideas are expressed but few ever write in or resonate with it. This, Don Webb suggests, is why a good temple or group is necessary. But is that true? Is a group necessary? Is an expression only valid when it is received by an audience?
In the expression of ideas to a deaf audience (such as my words here), I’m learning and growing. This blog is as much (perhaps more so) about my spiritual learning than it is for any reader. As I write these thoughts down, my ideas congeal and I sometimes change the very direction of the initial essay. I may have started an essay in contradiction to an idea, but in the writing of my thoughts, it becomes clear that I actually agree with the situation.
Having a collective to respond or resonate to my words is really great, and sadly not something I have here. Yet I still have gain and the gain is internal. My writing changes me.
I’m reminded of what the Setian James Kirby said in the documentary “Left Hand Path.” He stated that all our magic is for us, to change us. By changing us we change what we need in the outside world. This analysis of Kirby is based on Aquino’s view of the Objective and Subjective universes… an idea that I also agree with, and is in strong alignment with the Buddhist concept of emptiness.
Expression, then is for the expresser more than it is for the audience. The audience has a role of encouragement, or perhaps influence. But without the audience the expression is still useful.
What Don Webb is presenting here is a case for a group to provide mentorship. I myself have utilized Don as a mentor with my private questions on the Left Hand Path… as I have likely asked the host of Black Flame Immersion.
The problem with a mentor is in the mixup with mundane mentors. A mundane mentor teaches a trade skill. One learns from a friend about software development, and then gets a job in the trade. In the mundane mentorship one obeys the mentor, without much disagreement or questioning. The mentor is a proven success, so the student applies what they are learning, and shelves any disagreement for the moment.
The spiritual dynamic is very different. Unlike the mundane world, our spiritual path is very subtle. Influence must be guarded. The guru is the spiritual version of a mundane mentor. Such spiritual leaders are treated as the spiritual success and students forgo their own identity and views, in order to do what is told to them, so that they too can become like the guru.
Such a process removes the individual from their Individuality. They are no longer seeking their own enlightenment, but have opted to become like someone else. This, to me, is not the Left Hand Path goal at all.
Yet I have mentors on the Left Hand Path… which, for me, they are more like advisors. These are people who offer advice when asked… they do not push their ideas into me, nor do they demand obedience or compliance to their philosophy.
Groups (both left and right hand path) will tend to cater to power dynamics. Where the leader wields a power, and the students crave it. The students will put up with bad behavior, humiliation, being told what to do (even when it goes against their own views), in order to get some gain. Once the gain is realized, or once the student realizes the goal is not obtainable, they will exit the group (often in an explosion way).
Seeking a mentor should be done carefully. If you feel you need advice and ask it, seek out a person who gets you to ask more questions… a person who’s ideas are not mandatory for further communication. Above all, their advice should seek to empower one’s Individuality and Personal Sovereignty.
I agree with Don Webb on the idea of Being. Being could be called Individuality, or the True Self, or even the Holy Guardian Angel. It is that aspect of Self that is expanded into a powerhouse of capability. It is the Daemon.
This is my goal on the Left Hand Path. It is the establishment of Self, of Individuality into an expression that goes beyond human existence.
Where I disagree with Don Webb is in the idea that the mundane forms of expression are the primary (only) mechanism to build this sense of Self. He describes a variety of forms of this process of Xeper and they tend to be mundane aspects of life. Getting a better job, starting a business, becoming a better musician… while these may empower the human self, I’m skeptical they resonate with a greater sense of Self (that which is not human, that which persists after death).
To some degree I suppose it’s true, that doing anything that establishes an Individual notion in this world (even starting a business) may help expand one’s great sense of Being. My concern though is this idea on focusing in the world at large.
My belief is that where we put our concentration/attention, is where we frame our sense of Being. If I were to focus my expression into a mundane act of playing or creating music (which I do), does that translate to spiritual evolution? Am I Becoming? Many people do this, yet they hold not a single notion to spirituality. They might be some Right Hand Path believing musician, or an atheist business owner. They are building their own nature and expressing it outwards, but it isn’t gaining spiritual momentum.