Uncle Setnakt's Reading List
by Don Webb
[Reprinted with kind permission from Don Webb]
A friend asked me what I would put on the reading list for Setians if we started all over.
As a thought experiment, I drew up a list of books, films and websites I would recommend to a Setian.
The first tier is:
- The Outsider by Colin Wilson
- Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
- Lords of the Left Hand Path by Stephen Flowers
- Uncle Setnakt's Essential Guide to the Left Hand Path by Don Webb
- The Satanic Bible by Anton LaVey
- Political Thinking by Glen Tinder
- A Very Short Introduction to Consciousness by Susan Blackmore
- On Becoming an Alchemist by Catherine MacCoun
- Cosmos and History by Mircea Eliade
Wilson's book shows how the notions of the Will-to-meaning has given outsiders a great place in shaping civilization. It is a good study for the Setian. LaVey's book to test against sweetness and light, MacCoun to show that harshness and gentleness are part of the process, Blackmore is a quick and well researched guide to the notion that brain activity is very different than consciousness—a secular approach of Fourth Way thinking. Lords of the Left Hand Path will give the Setian a historical perspective and Uncle Setnakt's is a practical guide. Flow is a secular explanation of the "Becoming" side of Xeper, and Eliade helps people with concepts of sacred time. Tinder is great for explaining the Meso-Cosmos.
For the second tier I would suggest:
- Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution by P.D. Ouspensky
- The Nine Doors of Midgard by Edred Thorsson
- The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
- Mysteries of the Temple of Set by Don Webb
- A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy by Edward Craig
- Runarmal I by Stephen Flowers
- A Very Short Introduction to Plato by Julia Annas
- The Seven Faces of Darkness by Don Webb
- Handbook of Modern Western Magic co-edited by Nevill Drury and Dr. Henrik Bogdan
Nine Doors shows what a balanced Initiatory system would be like, Craig introduces people to philosophy and Annas to Plato in particular, the Runarmal introduces a Setian to modern magical thinking—and Drury and Bogdan's book (soon to be published by Brill Academic) has excellent essays on current magical traditions. Webb is good for Setian topics of interest and The Chocolate War is an easy to read secular novel that shows how Xeper begins with transgression—explained entirely in non-magical terms. Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution explains the idea of Work and its effect on a person. Webb gives historical examples of the use of the figure of Set-Typhon.
For the third tier I would suggest:
- Theurgy and Numbers by Dr. Frederick J. Veldman
- Paradox Games by Waldo Thompson
- The Erbeth Transmissions by Fritz Frederick
- Dr. Aquino's collected fiction
- The Black Ship by Malphas
- Being and Event by Alain Badiou
- The Trickster and the Paranormal by George Hansen
- A Secret History of Consciousness by Gary Lachman
- Magic: History, Theory and Practice by Ernst Schertel
Schertel gives a great study of the magician as an extropic agent, which will help Setians understand their place in the human world. Lachman gives a great history of the idea of transpersonal Xeper—how consciousness is evolving. Hansen deals with Tricksters (such as Set) and how their mythology and manifestation affect wild talents. Badiou reconciles postmodern relativism and Neo-Platonism with the notion of the "truth process"—a good secular explanation of the process we call Initiation. Malpas gives a good account of Left Hand Path philosophy. The fictional works offer keys to Setian worldviews. Thompson and Veldman are good examples of active cosmological thinking within modern Left Hand Path practioners.
- Five Million Years to Earth
- The Man From Earth
- Meetings with Remarkable Men
- The Truman Show
- Simon, King of the Witches
- Whale Rider
- Ancient Egyptians
- An American Werewolf in London
An American Werewolf in London is a great study of awakening the monster within—if you Xeper, both your "good" and "bad" sides Xeper. Ancient Egyptians is a great TV series about Egyptian life, giving you a glimpse of the culture that embraced and later exiled Set. Whale Rider: "Xeper Through Arkte," the movie version. Simon, King of the Witches is a fun look at the persona of the Magus from the Age of Satan. The Truman Show is a movie about Awakening through the power of Runa. The "True Man" stops believing in the false world and fulfilling other's dreams aided by signals from the outside. Meetings with Remarkable Men is a stunning introduction to Fourth Way work and the ideas of dance and rhythm. The Man From Earth is Jerome "It's a Good Life" Bixby's meditation on immortality, a good one for would-be immortals. Satanis—home movies of where we came from. Five Million Years to Earth is a meditation on the Gift of Set as an alien and "demonic" property lie in the minds of some select humans.