Setian Perspectives

March, 1999

On Sat, 13 Mar 1999 01:16:30 -0800 (PST), Nephele Anath posted some questions asked of her by a local newspaper columnist. She forwarded those questions to the list (and added one of her own). I felt that the responses were reasonably demonstrative of common Setian perspectives on these topics, and have copied them onto this web page (with permission).

Since it really doesn't matter who stated what, or even if they're members of the Temple of Set, I have left off all identification except where the contributor stated that identification would be appropriate (eg: me, identified by "PP:").

(The statements are in the approximate order in which they appeared in Xepera-l.)

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  1. If a child were to ask you who or what God was, what would you say?

    • God is a Supreme Being.

    • PP: If it's someone else's child, I tell them to ask their parents.

      When my child asked, I told him God was a myth that other people believed in.

    • When my son asks me about God, I plan to tell that he will have to figure out God on his own, but if he want to know my opinion God is simply a projection of a portion of one's psyche.

      When it comes to other people's kids, I would simply say, "I don't know."

    • Damned if I know!

    • I would tell them that god was a myth used to explain the unexplainable in ancient times and in new. It made (makes) the world seem a little more ordered and a little less frightening to a lot of people.

  2. Can one be religious and still accept the laws of science? Explain.

    • Definitely, depending on what religion you choose to adhere by.

    • PP: There is no contradiction between the two unless one's religion declares science to be wrong. My religion demands that I look about me with open, intelligent, and questioning eyes, and use science to its fullest capability to understand the world around me.

    • My approach to life and being isn't all that religious, and I am somewhat confused by what other people mean by religion. If religion is taken to be unquestioning belief in things you just plain can't see or answer conclusively, I'd say no these two systems are not compatable. However, a brief survey of the history of modern science will show that many scientists have framed the metaphysical or ontological aspects of their work with religious language.

      When writing for lists such as Xepera-l though, I am inclined to say, "I don't know."

    • I guess so. Some people seem to make a religion out of science.
    • I consider myself religious (in my beliefs as a an invidual) and science is a means by which the world around us can be explained and understood more fully yet any scientific proof or religious proof shouldn't be accepted blindly.

  3. How important to you is the separation of church and state?

    • Paramount, it is a freedom worth sacrificing one's life.

    • PP: Extremely important. Both institutions of church and state have their opportunities for abuse of power and influence. When separated, each serves as a check and balance on the other. History shows us that when the separation weakens or disappears, abuses almost invariably grow intolerable.

    • The separation of church and State is very important, and is a principle I wholly support. If I live to see the rise of a Theocracy I will do all I can to separate myself from the State in which it happens.

    • VERY important! A person's "church" *is* his own private state(of mind).

    • It is very important for me. Throughout history the people who have your best interests (i.e. your well being... spiritual or otherwise) at heart or who are doing something for your own good often have a gun in your back and/or a rope around your neck.

  4. Do you have any reservations about your religion, or do you follow every tenet?

    • No, but I am careful with my words and speech so my ideology is not misconstrued to be something other than it IS.

    • PP: Given that my religion has but two tenets:
      1. There is a Set (with no specification as to what Set actually is)
      2. Xeper is important and beneficial
      Yes, I follow every tenet, without reservation. (I strongly agree with the second, and happen to agree with the first.)

    • Whenever I sense within myself a religious impulse I get nervous, and I have reservations. I have chosen to be a Setian, in part, due to the fact that this philosophy encourages individual conclusions based on individual seeking. As such I follow every tenet, since I am the final authority as to what my tenets are.

    • I have no "religion" so I have no tenets.

    • After careful and thoughtful consideration on my own I find myself in agreement with the existence of Set (whoever and whatever Set really is) and that Xeper is powerful and necessary.

  5. Does evil exist? How do you define it?

    • Yes, but to define it would take volumes.

    • PP: Evil is the willful (even if unthinking) imposition of unnecessary limitations on conscious life. For examples of evil, look to places where the separation between church and state do not exist, or to places where wars are fought because of religious differences.

    • No, I do not buy the idea of Evil or even evil. On the other hand, I certainly do think that there are things and events which are undesirable in as much as I can't figure out how to make these things work for me instead of against me or those I like and love.

    • Generally speaking I agree with certain Buddhists who basically say that all that is simply is and if it hurts its because one hasn't learned to change his own perception.

    • I beleive that Evil does exist as a primary factor of Reality. *Evil*, as an archetype, is representative of total separation and isolation from the world, universe, and the "brotherhood of man"; dwelling within oneself to the exclusion of concern for others. However, *evil* acts seem to occur when this basic aspect of human nature is inhibited and a consequent uncontrolled and hypocritically denied reactionary outlash occurs.

    • Evil is the conscious or unconcious attempts at imposing harm (whatever harm means) on human and animal life without any regard for anyone but yourself or your 'cause'.

  6. Where do you go and what do you do for spiritual solace?

    • Spiritual solace can be found anywhere but my favorite retreat is in the mountainous backcountry or on the ocean.

    • PP: I have no need for spiritual solace. This question doesn't apply to me.

    • I don't understand this question. What is spiritual solace and does it cost money?

    • If this means having a big cosmic Mommy or Daddy to comfort me, I don't seek any spiritual solace. However, I do like to reach that quiet balance point within wherein I can find myself oriented in the "center of the cyclone".

    • I go to me.

  7. What happens to people when they die?

    • They are freed from there physical bodies.

    • PP: They stop living. Eventually their tissues decompose. Everything else is speculation.

    • From what I can tell they, we stop breathing, our bodies decompose and the atoms from which these bodies where assembled end up in other configurations. If an individual is a kook like me, he may opt to get his body frozen at death in hopes of eventual reanimation.

    • I have my own speculations on this, but since this was asked seemingly with a definative answer in mind, I would say ask me after I am dead.

    • My friends used to call me a militant agnostic: "I don't know and you don't know either!". :-)

  8. Do you believe in miracles?

    • Yes, in a sense.

    • PP: No.

    • Nope.

    • Sure! I call them Magick.

    • No. As with my first answer, anything that occurs that seems beyond the realm of human capabilities or explanations can be considered miraculous or even magical. Considering them miracles just makes it easier to explain and 'stengthens' faith (non-rational non-supported trust) as well as relieving folks of muchrational thought and introspection.

  9. What does a Satanist do to combat depression?

    • Learn about it and do what is appropriate.

    • PP: If it's a medically caused depression, get a medical cure. If it's a "life is treating me rotten" depression, Xeper to where you control enough of your life so it can't treat you rotten.

    • Well when I get depressed I engage in secret rituals designed to recalibrate the neurotransmiter levels in my brain. Usually this means I go sit out in the sun and pretend I am a reptile. If this doesn't work, I add exercise. If the exercise doesn't make me happy, chocolate is consumed. If the chocolate doesn't work, I put on black clothes and cheesy plastic fangs, and I walk around saying, "I am a vampire! I am a vampire!" If the silliness of this doesn't make me smile I know that I am doomed, and I resolve to like being depressed.

    • I am not a Satanist, but I guess I agree with Balanone's answer here.

    • I agree with Balanone in that if it's a medical or therapeutic cure then get it! If it's a life situation that is not to your liking then do what you must to change it.

      The old cliche about nothing succeding like success is hardly that. I have found it to be very true and a longer lasting cure for my blues than anything a psychiatrist could possibly prescribe.

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