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#37072 - 03/26/10 11:11 PM The Jeweled Tablets of Set
William Wright Offline
active member


Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 862
Loc: Nashville
I have a question that, although directed at Dr. Aquino, I hope will generate a wide array of responses from my opinionated colleagues here. My question pertains to the Temple of Set’s Jeweled Tablets of Set. For those who don’t know, the Jeweled Tablets are a collection of documents given over time to Setians by the Temple leadership. I°’s get the Crystal Tablet. II°’s, in addition to the Crystal Tablet they already possess, get the Ruby Tablet. The higher one’s degree, the more tablets he or she receives.

My question is: Why not give all Setians, regardless of their degree, all the tablets? For that matter, why not make the Jeweled Tablets available to everyone, just as Aquino’s CoS and ToS eBooks are available to everyone? (I’m sure that some, if not all, of the tablets are available online if one knows where to look.) Aquino’s answer, from what I understand, is that one must be recognized as a certain degree before receiving a particular tablet because otherwise it would be irresponsible on the part of the leadership. That is to say, one must first demonstrate that he or she is “ready” to receive the knowledge contained in the tablets.

Skeptics might look at this a couple of ways. First, they may see it as condescending and hypocritical for an organization committed to the pursuit of knowledge and “truth” to withhold knowledge from others because of their degree status. They might argue that it sounds a bit like God’s insistence that Adam and Eve be “sheltered” from the knowledge of good and evil. Second, they may see it as a thinly veiled attempt to acquire members and encourage their rise up the ladder by rewarding them with a tablet for each new degree that is recognized.

Thoughts?
_________________________
In Minecraft all chickens are spies.

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#37073 - 03/26/10 11:39 PM Re: The Jeweled Tablets of Set [Re: William Wright]
JWG Offline
pledge


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 68
William,

Not that I am an expert on this by any means, but it is to my understanding that the foundational philosophy is all found within the Crystal Tablet (given to all First Degree's), and more specific focuses are expanded from that within the proceeding Jeweled Tablets. I think this may be to ensure people actually focus entirely on the base philosophy, that they may study it, ask questions/discuss it, choose to apply it and become proficient with the material in both understanding and application in their lives first. I can see the value in this, as it allows for both the organization and the individual to mutually evaluate if the philosophy of the Temple of Set will be beneficial or not for both parties, and avoid people jumping ahead of themselves. Studying more complex concepts that are rooted in the core philosophy held within the initial 'Tablet', before they even thoroughly assess the compatibility of said core philosophy and views of the organization, would make no sense to me and would appear to be jumping the gun.

Just my take on it, though. Not an official spokes-person by any means.

Sincerely,
JWG
_________________________
In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play.
-Friedrich Nietzsche


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#37079 - 03/27/10 02:12 AM Re: The Jeweled Tablets of Set [Re: William Wright]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
stalker


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2573
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
When we [re]created the Temple of Set in 1975, we thought that it should have both temporary/periodical and permanent/reference publications. The Scroll of Set newsletter took care of the former, and has amassed a vast amount of articles, essays, art, news, Order/Pylon/Element reports, conclave pre/post-discussions, etc. since then. In this Internet age all of the back-issues are downloadable by all Setians.

The Jeweled Tablets got their name-inspiration whimsically, as a take-off on the fabled, forbidden, and funky Emerald Tablet of Thoth, in which all great occult knowledge was supposedly contained. So we decided to do a real set, as it were, but designed to complement our initiatory degree system.

The Crystal Tablet (gem color of the I°) would be provided to all Setians, and issued to entering Setians I°. It would serve as an introduction to and summary of Setian philosophy and metaphysics, explain the various administrative systems and functional groups comprising the Temple, and discuss opportunities for each Setian to undertake personal initiation. As it is the Temple's "common reference document", its contents are relevant to all Setians, not just the I°. And, like all of the JT's, it is constantly updated. We used to send it out as a looseleaf binder; nowadays it's a CD, and all of its contents are also in the Temple's Intranet.

The Ruby Tablet (gem color of the II°) would be available to Adepts II°+, and would be a repository of the Temple’s more extensive and permanent documents than would normally be found in the Scroll of Set newsletter. Since most of the Temple of Set’s information is intentionally for the benefit of all Adepts, the RT would be the largest, and “backbone”, volume of the JTs. And so it has been. By the mid-1980s it was already about 6 large red binders in size, and was rapidly becoming cost-daunting even at nonprofit. Happily it too has been rescued by the Internet, and is now wholly searchable & downloadable there.

Its contents are of equal significance to all the II°+ and are contributed to by all of them as well.

The reason the RT is not available to the I° is twofold: (1) The I° is a "mutual evaluation" degree, wherein both the individual and the Temple have an extended [up to 2-year] opportunity to decide if they are suited for one another. Some join the Temple for the wrong reasons, or decide after contact with it that it is not after all their cup of tea. And from the Temple's perspective, some I°s simply don't have the aptitude, intelligence, or interest to become Black Magicians, which is what II° Recognition is all about. So during their I° time, Setians are expected to familiarize themselves with the Temple, its ideas, its tools, and flex their mental & magical muscles accordingly. Think of it somewhat as the "general education requirements" of a university, with entry-level/familiarization courses offered by the various departments. (2) The material in the RT is specifically written for Setians who have "passed the I° test" and shown themselves to be competent enough to handle it. Essentially we trust Recognized Adepts II° to use this information wisely and responsibly. We do not trust the Great Unwashed [public] to do so, and entering I°s need to get their "sea legs" first.

The Onyx Tablet (gem color of the III°) is available to the Priesthood of Set III°+ and contains documents specifically pertinent to the Priesthood as a personal initiatory and consecrating experience. [General material about the III° is contained in either the CT or RT as appropriate.] Thus the OT is written by III° Initiates for other III°s. Articles have to do with the essence of the III° and how it may be Recognized in Adepts. There are two general reasons for its III°+ restriction: (1) The authentic III° is a uniquely individual initiation if & when it occurs. If non-III°s read existing III°+ reflections on the Priesthood, they may be tempted to artificially imitate others' initiation. The Priesthood of Set is not and cannot be a "standardized office". (2) The Priesthood of Set is the consecrated core of the Temple of Set, and as such desires to preserve its privacy and serenity.

The Sapphire, Amethyst, & Topaz Tablets are all accessible to the Masters of the Temple of Set IV°+. Their distinction is simply that each contains material and commentaries specifically pertinent to the IV°, V°, and VI° respectively; and again this is only material that, for sound reason (such as the initiatory capability to understand it in proper context, and again deterrence of "initiatory imitation") should not be in the CT/RT (wherein again the vast majority of documents pertinent to the IV°+ are contained).

Incidentally the IV°+ access to the IV°/V°/VI° volumes reflects the principle that the IV° is the Æonic level of individual initiation. The V° and VI° are "specialized variations" of the IV°, and are thus fully comprehensible by it. Nor are we concerned about V° or VI° imitation, because the very nature of such Recognitions is antithetical to this.

So if you were to put all the JTs side-by-side, you'd find the RT to be huge, the CT to be a sort of "Boy Scout Handbook", and the other four to be very slim indeed. The main "push" in our magical & philosophical material is always to the RT, because there it is available to all adept Setians II°-VI°.

I should also point this out about Setian initiation: One's Recognition to a specific degree of initiation denotes the capacity, not the continuity of being present in and manifesting what is signified by that Recognition. Most adept Setians, myself included, function 95% of the time as Adepts II°. Only in certain instances where the unique characteristics of another degree are called for does it arise in consciousness.

That's about it. \:\)

Oh, and yes, of course there are pirated JTs all over the Internet. [There is pirated everything all over the Internet!] Can't help that. Because all of the JTs are being updated all the time, though, the stuff online is usually obsolete to varying measure; and as you can see here, the OT, ST, AT, & TT are relatively obscure without synchronization to individual initiation at related levels.
_________________________
Michael A. Aquino

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#37160 - 03/30/10 11:33 PM Re: The Jeweled Tablets of Set [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
BloodRaven Offline
stranger


Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 12
Loc: Tucson, AZ
I have another question. This might not be the right thread for it but here it goes anyway. I think you have explained why certain tablets are given to certain degrees well enough but what I'm curious about is if there is a fee for moving up the degrees. For example, If someone was an Adept 2nd degree and proved they were worthy and wanted to move up to a priest 3rd degree would there be a monetary fee? I looked over Xeper.org and saw there was an initial $80 fee(perfectly reasonable) to become a first degree but I didn't see any other fee info (although I could have overlooked it). If there are additional fee's the higher you climb what are they? Sorry if I sound disrespectful, I don't mean to be. I'm just pretty skeptical by nature.
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#37195 - 03/31/10 04:50 PM Degrees for Sale? [Re: BloodRaven]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
stalker


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2573
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
 Originally Posted By: BloodRaven
if there is a fee for moving up the degrees.

None whatever. Indeed it was Anton LaVey's decision to start selling all degrees in the Church of Satan in mid-1975 that precipitated the end of that institution except as his personal fan club and money-making vehicle. [This is also recounted and documented in the final chapters of my Church of Satan ebook, so I will not further respond to it here.]
_________________________
Michael A. Aquino

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#37200 - 03/31/10 11:11 PM Re: Degrees for Sale? [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
Dan_Dread Offline
stalker


Registered: 10/08/08
Posts: 3888
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Am I the only one that finds the fact aquino managed to turn a simple question about degrees in the ToS into a chance to both whine about 1975 and whore his E-Book pathetically hilarious?

He can wedge that shit in anywhere!
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ADM
ideological vandal

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#37201 - 03/31/10 11:48 PM Re: Initiation [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
William Wright Offline
active member


Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 862
Loc: Nashville
OK, this might sound harsh (probably not too much when compared to Dan’s observation), but here goes: The whole initiation process of the Temple strikes me as kinda goofy. I’m sure the standard response is “you don’t get it”…OK, fine. Tell me what I’m missing.

I understand getting recognized for things like “I got a better job”, “I bought a house”, “I found my soulmate (lol)”, etc. Those are real accomplishments that any reasonable person would acknowledge as such. But the Temple doesn’t base its recognitions on such common-sense criteria, presumably because it isn’t mysterious enough.

Here’s my initiatory test: Are you taking charge of your life? If you can honestly answer yes and back it up with real-world accomplishments then congratulations, you’ve just been recognized as an Adept Black Magician. Now use the $80 you saved to take your significant other out for a night on the town.
_________________________
In Minecraft all chickens are spies.

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#37202 - 04/01/10 12:36 AM Re: Degrees for Sale? [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
MatthewJ1
Unregistered



I know this is a little bit off track, but I have just discovered Appendix 14 of the TOS e book. This is The Temples reading list, which runs for something like 125 pages!

Then there is the bibliography of The Compleat Witch, which apparently was a listing of many of the books on the shelves at 6114.

The combination of the two reading lists is just gold for someone like me who really wants to learn an extra thing or two and work hard and become a more knowledgeable magician.

There are a lot of great books here and they have to be read.

I will state this in Aussie - speak: its bloody tremendous stuff!

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#37204 - 04/01/10 01:00 AM Namárië [Re: William Wright]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
stalker


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2573
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
Well, we shall hope that Dan and William both discover what will finally comfort and content them.

And now the time has come for me to depart the 600 Club. I think I have fulfilled what philosophical, magical, and historical purpose I could contribute here. I thank you for your welcome and hospitality. I leave you all with good wishes, and with this parting thought: that anyone who takes the name of the Prince of Darkness will indeed find him. But it may take a little while. Enjoy your adventure!
_________________________
Michael A. Aquino

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#37216 - 04/01/10 09:39 AM Re: Namárië [Re: SkaffenAmtiskaw]
felixgarnet Offline
active member


Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 688
Loc: UK
Thank you for all your input, Dr Aquino. I shall be contacting you privately, if that is acceptable to you, with regard to your writings. \:\)
_________________________
"Here's to Artifice!" - Anton Szandor LaVey.

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#37245 - 04/01/10 09:37 PM Re: Goodbye, Michael Aquino [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
William Wright Offline
active member


Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 862
Loc: Nashville
Dr. Aquino, although I've disagreed with you – sometimes quite strongly - on a number of issues, I have a lot of respect for you and I’m kind of bummed that you’re going. You gave me a lot to think about, and I appreciate that. I wish you well.
_________________________
In Minecraft all chickens are spies.

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#37248 - 04/01/10 11:23 PM Re: Goodbye, Michael Aquino [Re: William Wright]
Shadow Dragon Offline
pledge


Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 95
Goodbye Dr. Aquino. I may be new here, but you seemed to be an intelligent person and added a lot to the community and I'm sorry to see you leave.
_________________________
"There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." - Socrates
Cogito ergo sum.

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#37250 - 04/02/10 12:48 AM Re: Goodbye, Michael Aquino [Re: Shadow Dragon]
Doomsage680 Offline
member


Registered: 10/01/09
Posts: 111
Loc: NJ, USA
I and numerous others have benefited from having someone of your intelligence and wisdom to learn from. Do What Thou Wilt!
_________________________
"I who have nothing but the comfort of my sins"
- Vinny Paz

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#37252 - 04/02/10 01:32 AM Re: Goodbye, Michael Aquino [Re: Doomsage680]
XiaoGui17 Offline
active member


Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 1139
Loc: Amarillo, TX
Goodbye, Dr. Aquino. Your contributions were greatly appreciated. Best of luck wherever you go!
_________________________
Wir halten uns an Regeln, Wenn man uns regeln lässt

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#37253 - 04/02/10 01:44 AM Goodbye, Michael Aquino [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
Clarence Offline
pledge


Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 61
Farewell Dr. Aquino. I fear this place shall be weaker for your loss. You have contributed a great deal here, and proven to be a man of sound judgement and formidable patience.

Thank you

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