Concerning Isolate Intelligence

Don Webb V°, High Priest

I would like to say a few things about Isolate Intelligence, the "thing" or "substance" of which we say Set is the God of.


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The phrase has undergone a little modification over the years. Like all things when they are new, the Temple defined itself against what was already created and conditioned -- particularly the hedonist/critical strain of the Church of Satan, and the 0=2 formula of A. Crowley. (The former break determined the aesthetic and social purpose actions of the Temple, the later its ontology). Dr. Michael Aquino, our human founder, choose the term "Isolate Consciousness" to reflect a belief in the actual separateness of perception of sentient beings. When Stephen Edred Flowers wrote Lords of the Left Hand Path, he modified the term to "Isolate Intelligence" reflecting, he felt, even more of the idea of self-ordering.

An isolate intellignce has a job. Its job is to turn terror into Joy through Strength.

Certain shocks awaken the psyche to the knowledge that it exists apart from the impermanent universe. These shocks are not pleasant, and can either be accepted as a path to strength or rejected as pact with denial. Our selves don't live on in our children, our achievement, or (to use a trendy word) our memes. This is the intellectual shock. Then we begin to see that nothing on this Earth is permanent -- from your favorite restaurant to your first girlfriend -- all is subject to change. This is the emotional shock. Then you realize that your body won't be around forever. This is the physical shock. Your indigence has one unavoidable object of contemplation: its other -- and it has every objective indication that the other will survive it. Against this it has an inherent Knowledge that it can survive, if it furthers itself. This Knowledge, which alas can only be felt not rationally proven, is (in our sectarian language) the Gift of Set.

The three shocks create great despair in the soul. It leads to various mythologies or to bad coping mechanisms like alcoholism, or obsessive hobbies. Each of these are ways to momentarily soothe the soul, but for a very few heroic souls there is the harder job of simply changing how it perceives the universe.

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If it can prove that it is an actor in the universe rather than a temporary spectator, it can take the fundamental condition of the objective world -- which is impermanence -- and use that state to its own benefit. The formula is very simple -- "If I can be permanent, and all is in flux, eventually all will conform to me."

This gives the soul a daily challenge -- what can I do to be stronger and happier? Each action in the Objective World what furthers this, infuses some part of yourself into that world. This absolute commitment to action is the only guide to Setian activity. Among certain immature LHP practitioners the fact that Setians think in order to act is seen as a "spiritual" trait. That which is of You ultimately belongs to You -- it will return in the fullness of time to You. This is not karma, a form of external justice; but the Mystery of the Self. The Self can (and must) start cycles of action in the impermanent world, and learn about itself form the feedback these cycles will bring to it. This is encapsulate in the formula: I Have Come Into Being, and by the Process of my Coming Into Being, the Process of Coming Into Being is Established. Or in the Egyptian of the Bremner-Rhind Papyrus: Xepera Xeper Xeperu.

It takes a strong, happy, and careful person to view that all they do will return to them, so that they might know themselves, as a thing of Joy. It is easier to believe that all of the cycles of one's life are due to some greater whole, of which you are but a part. But if you choose that belief, if you choose the path of irresponsibility, you ultimately will have identified with the principle that governs the world outside of the Self: impermanence.

Thus you will fade as do all things of this world, since the greater whole is a mindless vortex.

This choice to struggle against the universe is what separates the Left Hand Path from other ways of thinking. We see the Prince of Darkness as the First to make such a struggle, and we see His infusing of his Gift as way to enrich the universe -- for if it was only mind that was permanent, eventually all would reflect that mind, and it wouldn't have the richness of the actions of others to enrich its cycles.

We, like our patron, choose to Awaken others, so as they begin their cycles in this mutable world, our own are enriched with wonder and friendship and -- most importantly an ever growing Knowledge of the Possible. The later Knowledge is the prerequisite to Freedom.

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