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1.0 Introduction

The Temple of Set is today's leading religious and philosophical initiatory organization of the left hand path. (At least we think it is.)

  • The Temple of Set is a philosophical organization. Its activities revolve around the philosophies represented by the ancient Egyptian principle of Xeper (roughly translated as "self-improvement" or "self-creation"), and the ideals represented by our modern understanding of Set, once called a god by the ancient Egyptians.

  • The Temple of Set is an initiatory organization, dedicated to the growth and development of its members. We recognize several levels or degrees of initiation, and identify our members by their degree. This helps our members recognize and work with their relative peers. It also helps our less experienced members identify the more senior initiates when they have difficult questions with which they need help.

  • The Temple of Set is a religion, incorporated in and recognized as a religion by the state of California and the federal government of the U.S.A. Its priesthood represents not only the Temple and its organization, but they also represent the being we call Set. We are an unusual religion in several ways:

    • We have no permanent building or church, believing that each of our members can follow the religion on their own, wherever they happen to be.

    • We do not "worship" Set (or anything else) as most religions would use that word, nor do we worship any god as conventional religions use that terms. Set, whose name likely has the ultimate meaning of "Initiation," causes change in the Universe by the simple fact of his Being. In seeking our self-change and betterment, we put into motion those changes in the world that are Set's Work in the world of mankind. Our bond with Set, is one of self-interest. As a religion we believe in Set and work with Set, but do so more as if he were a father, elder brother, or close friend, rather than a god as defined by most religions. (Whether we call him a god or not depends upon our individual views and definitions of just what a "god" is.)

    • We don't require religious belief of our junior members. The philosophy of Xeper and the process of initiation are more important to us than the religion.

  • The term "left hand path" suggests a philosophical orientation which feels that the individual is extremely important. The individual initiate pursuing Xeper is more important than our society in general, any peer group, and any organization (including even the Temple of Set itself). Responsible individualism and freedom are goals to which the organization lends its energies.

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