Author Topic: Notes on Behold The Prince Of Darkness  (Read 269 times)

idgo

Notes on Behold The Prince Of Darkness
« on: September 30, 2018, 12:32:09 am »
I happened to have a few hours free today, and a Kindle copy of the book from Amazon. I've taken a few notes, addressing the logic and grammar complaints directly to the author.


Overall impression

The book's conclusions are pretty solid, save for the spot where it interprets "determinism" as "simple predictability" and goes on to mischaracterize most of modern science. Ironically, the whole section of making materialism look better by offering flimsy arguments against it could have been skipped entirely without spoiling the flow of the work as a whole -- the briefly mentioned placebo effect is sufficient to reinforce the claim that the mind/body relationship is more complex and bidirectional than it's generally given credit for.

The history lessons and comparative religion sections are useful overviews for someone new to those fields, and do a satisfactory job of calling out the key features of the faiths they describe to facilitate further investigation by the reader.

The book ends rather suddenly and un-actionably, as if a deadline for publication was reached and it was shunted out the door however finished it happened to be. I'm accustomed to works ending on a note of synthesis -- what is the reader supposed to do with the information? Remember to pursue their own xeper? Join a forum? Repetition of the core thesis helps a conclusion feel like a conclusion, which the book's current final section did not.

Edit: Oh right, and I was pleasantly surprised to find a reproduction of the Pyramid Texts included. They felt more like an appendix, but I was surprised that I didn't recall seeing them advertised in the book's promotions and blurbs. Maybe they're old hat to everyone who takes more kindly to the Formal Organized Ritual thing than I do, but they were new to me and I'm pleasantly surprised by their apparent power. And I would have appreciated a more vivid description of how the "opening the mouth" ritual went -- I can see it going either way between a gentle "scoot the jaw to a comfy position with the teeth apart" to carving a full-on Heath Ledger Joker smile across the deceased's cheeks.

Copywriting complaints

My overall impression is that the premises of the book are sound, but it's difficult to respect as a timeless or authoritative work thanks to lack of professional editing. I suspect that if/when you have a "real editor" go through it, they will grill you on every instance of the word "this", you'll replace 3/4 of them, and it'll be a clearer and more precise reflection of your ideas as a result.

You also have a habit of mixing "one" and "them" to refer to a single person through a sentence, which I'm not a fan of. If you're going to say "one", the proper way to refer back to "one" is "oneself". Or you can use "a person / their". Pick one of those at a time and be consistent within each sentence -- mixing them is badly distracting.

The phrase "And such" is lazy. "Things such as", doubly so. If this book had been professionally edited there would be few to no instances of the word "such" remaining -- each instance would be replaced with whatever the author meant by it, and the text would communicate its ideas more clearly as a result.

Additional typos are called out through my later notes that follow the book's sections.

Notes from reading

And continuing to the remaining notes taken as I read. Section headings stand alone; quotes are quoted. 

"Prince/princess of Darkness" Why gravitate to the child-of-monarch moniker rather than king/queen?

"this being is responsible for bringing consciousness to mindless matter" So, consciousness is necessarily provided by some impetus other than itself? Looking forward to a more rigorous argument on this later in the book.

"the greatest value for adherents to this being is to increase their own unique individuality" To me, "increase individuality" means "make more unusual, regardless of whether the changes result in subjectively preferable or objectionable circumstances". Interested in whether this is poor phrasing for a goal akin to my own, or good phrasing of a goal very unlike my own.

Stellar Religion

Draco "fell" and Polaris "took over"? Literally or figuratively? This would do well with a picture and/or some scientific citation.

"...were associated with the Egyptian God Set even before history began"? Uh, history had already begun at some point before Egypt and its gods existed, so this sentence makes no sense to me. And what texts, specifically, are being called "the first"?

"the individual becoming a god after their death, and transgressing against the 'natural order'" this highlights one of the bigger disparities between my worldview and Xepera's. I see no benefit to making death prerequisite for the benefits one wants from "becoming a god", and I see no benefit to defining "the natural order" as something to fight rather than use.  Perhaps subsequent sections of the book will change my mind.

"It is known as Setianism because Set is the oldest, the First" so if we get archaeological evidence that a Set-like figure was worshipped before Set, will the religion get renamed? Later on you say that Set was what reached back from the darkness when Aquino reached in, which sounds like a more plausible reason to name the religion after Set.

whoa you just referred to a hypothetical person as "we", "one", and "they" all in the same sentence (the "just obey or just repent" one), I'm impressed by your commitment to inconsistency

I can mostly infer out the likely meaning behind the passive voice -- "is also shunned", "is seen to be" -- but it adds uncertainty as to whether my guesses are correct.

Isolate Intelligence

"This is what you recognize when you, the reader of this text, states 'I exist'" ...uh the conjugation is "when you ... state" not "when you ... states"

"the higher consciousness recognized in human beings" recognized by what or whom? this time I can't just guess at a translation of the passive voice and have any certainty that I'd be thinking whatever the author was

"it's irrational to believe that such a thing could occur without interference from outside the system of the 'Natural World'" oh boy we're getting to the spot where the "Natural World" gets defined in a way that leaves Set out, that's what I'm here for

is Lust actually a conscious trait? Lust is what guarantees humans keep making more of themselves despite the horrors of infants literally ripping themselves out of the bits their mothers use for pleasure, though the rest of the traits in that list are certainly more voluntary

"Buddhism calls the self and illusion" tyop, meant an

materialism... How can a Self simultaneously not exist and exist as a slave? Seems like materialism could have been characterized in a way that at least makes it sound internally self-consistent

"one cares about themselves" no, it's "one cares about oneself" if you're aspiring to traditional grammar

Xeper - To Come Into Being

thanks for spelling out the pronunciation; my brain was hitherto sounding it out as zep-per

"static verb" for something continually occurring... isn't that just a progressive? past, present, and future progressive simultaneously, perhaps, but all the same...

"It is... something that occurs naturally" so the book is using a definition of "natural" that includes Xeper. This is making the section on "natural order" coming up look even more exciting...

Whence the "~95%"? Gotta check that footnote 9 once I get to the end, but the Amazon cloud reader makes it hard to get back if I follow its link now.

lol "black magic in the Left Hand Path sense is not something sinister in any sense" but sinister means left in Latin so there's a highly pedantic sense in which everything on the LHP is "sinister" as everything on the RHP is "dexter"

Summary

Wait you're saying the "I" isn't part of the natural world but you haven't defined "natural world" yet? Guess I oughtta be patient...

"founded by an inner circle consisting off some esoteric members" like... the members were esoteric? does that mean they were something other than human? gotta check out footnote 12 when i get there

Nature-as-God for RHP vs determinism-as-adversary for RHP is a helpful synopsis

whoa, "objective, academic studies on what defines LHP" in footnote 21? this'll be interesting

"most Setians are explicitly against the violations of church and state" and then you go on to discuss violations of the *separation* of church and state... accidentally a word there?

"far fewer organizations or set works that address Theistic Satanism" Set Works? I see what you did there :)

"much more uniformed in its base ideology" I think you mean uniform

"light... is the knowledge and experience we gain through simple living" do we gain something other than knowledge through complex living?

Setianism vs Kenneth Grant's Typhonian Tradition

so uh you title your section that and then go off on a Crowley tangent and say nothing about who Kenneth Grant is? oh, you get there eventually, but you had me convinced for a page that the title was misplaced.

AL is a stellar based religion? I thought it was a book, and Thelema was the religion?

The vs. tables at the end of this chapter would be much improved by structuring them into tables or columns, such that the truths about each faith are stacked below its name.

Part III

Would be nice to have an illustration of an early depiction of Set as described

why are some instances of "God" capitalized while others aren't, even though a single paragraph?

history section is a bit of a slog but i made it... history section would be so much better with more illustrations, even if it's just a map or timeline drawn out of the events it discusses.

part IV

materialism is compatible with patterns in matter existing, though, is it not?

The following small text is where I tear apart the characterization of materialism and falsehoods about determinism. Feel free to ignore if you're not in the mood for critique.


"it appears clear that Material Reductionism is scientifically false and logically inaccurate" claimed with no citations of science nor logic? really?

in the chart dichotomizing mind/consciousness vs brain/matter, the overall valid conclusion is weakened by the presence of some incoherent claims:
  • How do you prove whether or not the mind takes up space without defining the mind?
  • If the mind is not accessed through the senses, then what is used to "access the mind"? I personally hold that it might have to be a sense, if senses are defined as the channels through which information reaches the mind.
  • subjective and objective are descriptors added on after the fact, not innate traits
  • how do you define "experience" such that matter can't have it? It is entirely consistent to say "the brain experienced an electric shock" for instance
  • want to offer any proof that the brain and matter "behaves in a linear way", whatever that means?

(mind is not matter. a program is not a CPU. A melody is not the instrument it's played on. Yet we don't go around freaking out about how programs or melodies "don't exist" just because they aren't made of matter in the same way as the things that link them to the world)

"we can scientifically prove this by applying anesthetic..." After the surgery, the patient can observe the sutures and bandages and pain and conclude that it occurred. They can thus conclude that the body continued existing during the surgery, without their mind's intervention. This appears to be a better refutation of idealism than of materialism.

"Surely when your TV or radio stops working you do not believe the stations cease to exist" speak for yourself. When I stop getting radio reception, I recognize that it's most likely that something is between me and the station, it's somewhat likely that my radio might be broken, and it's least likely but still possible that the station may have ceased transmitting. And who's to say that the brain might not be both transmitter and receiver, like how you can pair your phone to a little bluetooth radio emitter plugged into your cigarette lighter then tune your car's radio to the emitter's station if you happen to have a vehicle that came after tape decks went out of style but before aux cords.

You can't just fudge the definition of deterministic processes to exclude the mind from them but include everything else in the known universe... a chatbot which insists it's questioning everything is still deterministic. A chatbot so complex that a human can't reliably predict what it'll say, and questions everything, is still deterministic. Just because it takes a highly complex process to deterministically produce a system which investigates the nature of reality, doesn't make it impossible. How much have you even played with AI, to be making such claims about it? Give a deterministic system enough processing power and the right starting conditions, and it absolutely engages in metacognition eventually. In fact, the very need for some external force such as Set to tweak the starting conditions of humanity in a way that yields metacognition is shaped like an argument for, rather than against, determinism.

Are you arguing that learning demonstrates nondeterminism? Because all of evolution is a form of learning....

"deterministic systems like nature.... act in a specific, linear, and entirely predictable way" do you claim you can entirely predict nature? If so, what are you doing writing books, when you could instead be predicting the seeds of RNGs and making literally all the money and breaking all the encryption... since those seeds are formed deterministically, after all!

"why we are able to test things consistently with the scientific method" Is that the same as why every time a science experiment is performed, it gets the same results? Because, spoiler, that's not how science tends to work. This section loses credibility by painting the world as a vastly simpler system than anyone who's explored the edges of human knowledge can experience it to be.

"next, the human mind has the ability to go against the flow of nature" you still haven't given a rigorous definition of "the flow of nature" yet!!

I know plenty of dogs sufficiently well trained that they do not eat a treat until they're given explicit permission to do so. I guess that's empirical proof of the separation between the dog's mind and brain too?


Placebo effect is a radically stronger argument than everything you've set it next to.

"no set holy books" lol I see what you did there again

Part V

would've been nice to mention when discussing the pyramid texts earlier that they'd be reproduced in this part

"thousands serve him, hundreds make him offerings" sounds like such a small population proportionate to modern terms...

"lasting bones of cooper"?

"jackle" or "jackal"?



« Last Edit: September 30, 2018, 04:02:13 am by idgo »

Xepera maSet

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Re: Notes on Behold The Prince Of Darkness
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2018, 01:37:45 am »
Thanks! This is going to be insanely helpful for furthering the work. Remind me I owe you a copy.

Working overtime to uncover
the mysteries of existence
(as described by Onyx)

I have come into being like Set,
the Separator who contends against Osiris for Eternity.



Xepera maSet

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Re: Notes on Behold The Prince Of Darkness
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2018, 01:42:14 am »
I'll respond in full when I can get to my laptop and charger.

Working overtime to uncover
the mysteries of existence
(as described by Onyx)

I have come into being like Set,
the Separator who contends against Osiris for Eternity.



idgo

Re: Notes on Behold The Prince Of Darkness
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2018, 03:57:03 am »
No worries. If I got one wish for a future edition, it would be that you learn a programming language and work on a software project too complex to be simulated entirely within the mind, but still definitely deterministic, for a while. At least, that's the best initiation I know to cure one of the illusion that deterministic systems are inherently simple, boring, or otherwise inferior to oneself. The unknowable nature of whether or not the mind behaves "deterministically" is unrelated to the benefits and use that one can derive from choosing to anthropomorphize a pattern of experience as Set.

idgo

Re: Notes on Behold The Prince Of Darkness
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2018, 02:42:13 am »
@Xepera maSet , halp! I just realized that for Setianism and other astral paradigms which choose to assign darkness as the fount of knowledge and secrets, the English word "enlightenment" gets all broken!

Is there a better word to use, for "knowledge from the dark" rather than "knowledge from the light"? "Endarkenment" simply doesn't have the same ring to it :(

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Re: Notes on Behold The Prince Of Darkness
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2018, 02:49:49 am »
The history lessons and comparative religion sections are useful overviews for someone new to those fields, and do a satisfactory job of calling out the key features of the faiths they describe to facilitate further investigation by the reader.

The book ends rather suddenly and un-actionably, as if a deadline for publication was reached and it was shunted out the door however finished it happened to be. I'm accustomed to works ending on a note of synthesis -- what is the reader supposed to do with the information? Remember to pursue their own xeper? Join a forum? Repetition of the core thesis helps a conclusion feel like a conclusion, which the book's current final section did not.

Thank you, I will make note of this and working on making a better conclusion!

Quote
Edit: Oh right, and I was pleasantly surprised to find a reproduction of the Pyramid Texts included. They felt more like an appendix, but I was surprised that I didn't recall seeing them advertised in the book's promotions and blurbs. Maybe they're old hat to everyone who takes more kindly to the Formal Organized Ritual thing than I do, but they were new to me and I'm pleasantly surprised by their apparent power. And I would have appreciated a more vivid description of how the "opening the mouth" ritual went -- I can see it going either way between a gentle "scoot the jaw to a comfy position with the teeth apart" to carving a full-on Heath Ledger Joker smile across the deceased's cheeks.

Thank you, also good feedback. I will mention it earlier on and also elaborate upon the ceremony. Also want to add more about the Egyptian view of the soul.

Quote
Copywriting complaints

My overall impression is that the premises of the book are sound, but it's difficult to respect as a timeless or authoritative work thanks to lack of professional editing. I suspect that if/when you have a "real editor" go through it, they will grill you on every instance of the word "this", you'll replace 3/4 of them, and it'll be a clearer and more precise reflection of your ideas as a result.


I do plan to have a professional editor go over the book if possible.

Quote
You also have a habit of mixing "one" and "them" to refer to a single person through a sentence, which I'm not a fan of. If you're going to say "one", the proper way to refer back to "one" is "oneself". Or you can use "a person / their". Pick one of those at a time and be consistent within each sentence -- mixing them is badly distracting.

Huh, I am pretty much unaware of that in my own writing. Not that I don't do it, I just never realized it! This will be fixed with a professional editor I am sure.

Quote
The phrase "And such" is lazy. "Things such as", doubly so. If this book had been professionally edited there would be few to no instances of the word "such" remaining -- each instance would be replaced with whatever the author meant by it, and the text would communicate its ideas more clearly as a result.

Additional typos are called out through my later notes that follow the book's sections.

My copy is pretty heavily marked already, there are going to be tons of little changes.

Quote
Notes from reading

And continuing to the remaining notes taken as I read. Section headings stand alone; quotes are quoted. 

"Prince/princess of Darkness" Why gravitate to the child-of-monarch moniker rather than king/queen?

I... I have no idea.

Quote
"this being is responsible for bringing consciousness to mindless matter" So, consciousness is necessarily provided by some impetus other than itself? Looking forward to a more rigorous argument on this later in the book.

I would say consciousness always existed and itself came to interact with matter, where Set = Consciousness.

Quote
"the greatest value for adherents to this being is to increase their own unique individuality" To me, "increase individuality" means "make more unusual, regardless of whether the changes result in subjectively preferable or objectionable circumstances". Interested in whether this is poor phrasing for a goal akin to my own, or good phrasing of a goal very unlike my own.

Individuality does not necessarily have to be unusual. For a mundane example - as an individual I like watching mindless TV sometimes which is pretty normal. To not watch tv simply because it is normal would put the views of others (those defining "normal") above the individual self.

Quote
Stellar Religion

Draco "fell" and Polaris "took over"? Literally or figuratively? This would do well with a picture and/or some scientific citation.

Both. Draco contained the main pole stars for people like the Egyptians and Sumerians, and then it literally "fell" from the center of the sky giving way to Ursa Minor. This is shown in myths where the stellar tradition - rooted in things like the Ophic tradition (serpent worship). Genesis is the most well known example, where God strikes down the dragon and makes it a snake.

Quote
"...were associated with the Egyptian God Set even before history began"? Uh, history had already begun at some point before Egypt and its gods existed, so this sentence makes no sense to me. And what texts, specifically, are being called "the first"?

I more meant recorded history, whereas Egypt started in "pre-history". The Pyramid Texts are the oldest known religious texts.

Quote
"the individual becoming a god after their death, and transgressing against the 'natural order'" this highlights one of the bigger disparities between my worldview and Xepera's. I see no benefit to making death prerequisite for the benefits one wants from "becoming a god", and I see no benefit to defining "the natural order" as something to fight rather than use.  Perhaps subsequent sections of the book will change my mind.

You certainly begin becoming a God in this life, and the effects of that are seen in Black Magic and Xeper. You also can and should use the natural order, you just should not be a slave to it. We do often use nature as a tool and it is part of the scientific argument for Set.

Quote
"It is known as Setianism because Set is the oldest, the First" so if we get archaeological evidence that a Set-like figure was worshipped before Set, will the religion get renamed? Later on you say that Set was what reached back from the darkness when Aquino reached in, which sounds like a more plausible reason to name the religion after Set.

There likely are older versions, but they are not solidified in the way Set was. Similar to how their were beliefs before writing, but no religious texts before the Pyramid Texts. The question to your solution becomes why the being itself refers to itself as Set.

Quote
Isolate Intelligence

"This is what you recognize when you, the reader of this text, states 'I exist'" ...uh the conjugation is "when you ... state" not "when you ... states"

Will fix

Quote
"the higher consciousness recognized in human beings" recognized by what or whom? this time I can't just guess at a translation of the passive voice and have any certainty that I'd be thinking whatever the author was

Recognized by we as a species, by you yourself.

Quote
"it's irrational to believe that such a thing could occur without interference from outside the system of the 'Natural World'" oh boy we're getting to the spot where the "Natural World" gets defined in a way that leaves Set out, that's what I'm here for

is Lust actually a conscious trait? Lust is what guarantees humans keep making more of themselves despite the horrors of infants literally ripping themselves out of the bits their mothers use for pleasure, though the rest of the traits in that list are certainly more voluntary

Lust can go far beyond reproduction, at least so far as our species goes. For instance - sexual fetishes.

Quote
"Buddhism calls the self and illusion" tyop, meant an

Saw that one

Quote
materialism... How can a Self simultaneously not exist and exist as a slave? Seems like materialism could have been characterized in a way that at least makes it sound internally self-consistent

The Self as a concept still exists in materialism, but it is seen as an illusion or as being unreal.

Quote
"one cares about themselves" no, it's "one cares about oneself" if you're aspiring to traditional grammar

Will fix

Quote
Xeper - To Come Into Being

thanks for spelling out the pronunciation; my brain was hitherto sounding it out as zep-per

Quote
"static verb" for something continually occurring... isn't that just a progressive? past, present, and future progressive simultaneously, perhaps, but all the same...

Perhaps it is yes.

Quote
"It is... something that occurs naturally" so the book is using a definition of "natural" that includes Xeper. This is making the section on "natural order" coming up look even more exciting...

Whence the "~95%"? Gotta check that footnote 9 once I get to the end, but the Amazon cloud reader makes it hard to get back if I follow its link now.

lol "black magic in the Left Hand Path sense is not something sinister in any sense" but sinister means left in Latin so there's a highly pedantic sense in which everything on the LHP is "sinister" as everything on the RHP is "dexter"

Sure, I suppose the word "sinister" must be replaced.

Quote
Summary

Wait you're saying the "I" isn't part of the natural world but you haven't defined "natural world" yet? Guess I oughtta be patient...

I'm not looking at a copy but I believe nature is defined early on as the deterministic, mindless, material universe and how it works.

Quote
"founded by an inner circle consisting off some esoteric members" like... the members were esoteric? does that mean they were something other than human? gotta check out footnote 12 when i get there

Many of the members were interested in Esotericism - will fix

Quote
Nature-as-God for RHP vs determinism-as-adversary for RHP is a helpful synopsis

whoa, "objective, academic studies on what defines LHP" in footnote 21? this'll be interesting

Very good texts, including "The Invention of Satanism" and "The Devil's Party: Satanism in Modernity"

Quote
"most Setians are explicitly against the violations of church and state" and then you go on to discuss violations of the *separation* of church and state... accidentally a word there?

Will fix

Quote
"far fewer organizations or set works that address Theistic Satanism" Set Works? I see what you did there :)

"much more uniformed in its base ideology" I think you mean uniform

Will fix

Quote
"light... is the knowledge and experience we gain through simple living" do we gain something other than knowledge through complex living?

Both.

Quote
Setianism vs Kenneth Grant's Typhonian Tradition

so uh you title your section that and then go off on a Crowley tangent and say nothing about who Kenneth Grant is? oh, you get there eventually, but you had me convinced for a page that the title was misplaced.

So mention Grant sooner - will fix.

Quote
AL is a stellar based religion? I thought it was a book, and Thelema was the religion?

Correct, will fix.

Quote
The vs. tables at the end of this chapter would be much improved by structuring them into tables or columns, such that the truths about each faith are stacked below its name.

That's the plan!

Quote
Part III

Would be nice to have an illustration of an early depiction of Set as described

I can do that!

Quote
why are some instances of "God" capitalized while others aren't, even though a single paragraph?

I don't know but it drives me crazy. Will fix

Quote
history section is a bit of a slog but i made it... history section would be so much better with more illustrations, even if it's just a map or timeline drawn out of the events it discusses.

I agree and that's a genius idea.

Quote
part IV

materialism is compatible with patterns in matter existing, though, is it not?

The following small text is where I tear apart the characterization of materialism and falsehoods about determinism. Feel free to ignore if you're not in the mood for critique.

"it appears clear that Material Reductionism is scientifically false and logically inaccurate" claimed with no citations of science nor logic? really?

I can add one but that's also the entire point of the section and what it shows.

Quote
in the chart dichotomizing mind/consciousness vs brain/matter, the overall valid conclusion is weakened by the presence of some incoherent claims:
  • How do you prove whether or not the mind takes up space without defining the mind?

The mind is you, the "I" in "I exist".

Quote
  • If the mind is not accessed through the senses, then what is used to "access the mind"? I personally hold that it might have to be a sense, if senses are defined as the channels through which information reaches the mind.

The mind knows itself directly, not through the senses.

Quote
  • subjective and objective are descriptors added on after the fact, not innate traits
  • how do you define "experience" such that matter can't have it? It is entirely consistent to say "the brain experienced an electric shock" for instance

Experience as in "something happened to me". To our knowledge, if I hit a wall the wall has no such experience, being mindless matter.

Quote
  • want to offer any proof that the brain and matter "behaves in a linear way", whatever that means?

Such as the urge to hit someone annoying your or depression, as elaborated on in the same section.

Quote
(mind is not matter. a program is not a CPU. A melody is not the instrument it's played on. Yet we don't go around freaking out about how programs or melodies "don't exist" just because they aren't made of matter in the same way as the things that link them to the world)

"we can scientifically prove this by applying anesthetic..." After the surgery, the patient can observe the sutures and bandages and pain and conclude that it occurred. They can thus conclude that the body continued existing during the surgery, without their mind's intervention. This appears to be a better refutation of idealism than of materialism.

That's a failure to understand how knowledge works. You can try and conclude that your body remained during the surgery, but you cannot know it in any way.

Quote
"Surely when your TV or radio stops working you do not believe the stations cease to exist" speak for yourself. When I stop getting radio reception, I recognize that it's most likely that something is between me and the station, it's somewhat likely that my radio might be broken, and it's least likely but still possible that the station may have ceased transmitting. And who's to say that the brain might not be both transmitter and receiver, like how you can pair your phone to a little bluetooth radio emitter plugged into your cigarette lighter then tune your car's radio to the emitter's station if you happen to have a vehicle that came after tape decks went out of style but before aux cords.

Even if it works both ways the example holds. Sure it is more complicated that a radio picking up a signal as you say, but the point remains - you know the station still exists even though it is not coming through correctly.

Quote
You can't just fudge the definition of deterministic processes to exclude the mind from them but include everything else in the known universe... a chatbot which insists it's questioning everything is still deterministic. A chatbot so complex that a human can't reliably predict what it'll say, and questions everything, is still deterministic. Just because it takes a highly complex process to deterministically produce a system which investigates the nature of reality, doesn't make it impossible. How much have you even played with AI, to be making such claims about it? Give a deterministic system enough processing power and the right starting conditions, and it absolutely engages in metacognition eventually. In fact, the very need for some external force such as Set to tweak the starting conditions of humanity in a way that yields metacognition is shaped like an argument for, rather than against, determinism.

Well an argument for Setianism is in ways an argument against determinism, for the position refutes determinism and contradicts it .

Quote
Are you arguing that learning demonstrates nondeterminism? Because all of evolution is a form of learning....

Advanced learning, yes.

Quote
"deterministic systems like nature.... act in a specific, linear, and entirely predictable way" do you claim you can entirely predict nature? If so, what are you doing writing books, when you could instead be predicting the seeds of RNGs and making literally all the money and breaking all the encryption... since those seeds are formed deterministically, after all!

I cannot entirely predict nature, but this does not mean it is not entirely predictable. If we could measure all the matter in the cosmos and knew exactly how it all worked, would could predict anything (based on current understanding of the material universe). For instance, if you drop a cup you know it will fall.

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"why we are able to test things consistently with the scientific method" Is that the same as why every time a science experiment is performed, it gets the same results? Because, spoiler, that's not how science tends to work. This section loses credibility by painting the world as a vastly simpler system than anyone who's explored the edges of human knowledge can experience it to be.

You do realize much of modern science literally believes in a theory of everything, correct? 

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"next, the human mind has the ability to go against the flow of nature" you still haven't given a rigorous definition of "the flow of nature" yet!!

I have.

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I know plenty of dogs sufficiently well trained that they do not eat a treat until they're given explicit permission to do so. I guess that's empirical proof of the separation between the dog's mind and brain too?

Pavalonian Conditioning is not cognitive restraint.

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lacebo effect is a radically stronger argument than everything you've set it next to.

"no set holy books" lol I see what you did there again

Part V

would've been nice to mention when discussing the pyramid texts earlier that they'd be reproduced in this part

"thousands serve him, hundreds make him offerings" sounds like such a small population proportionate to modern terms...

I am assuming someone who does not understand the cultural context of the book has not read anything before.[/list]

Working overtime to uncover
the mysteries of existence
(as described by Onyx)

I have come into being like Set,
the Separator who contends against Osiris for Eternity.



idgo

Re: Notes on Behold The Prince Of Darkness
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2018, 03:50:19 am »
    This boils down to "thanks and also I'm still kind of a pedantic jerk":


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Stellar Religion

Draco "fell" and Polaris "took over"? Literally or figuratively? This would do well with a picture and/or some scientific citation.

Both. Draco contained the main pole stars for people like the Egyptians and Sumerians, and then it literally "fell" from the center of the sky giving way to Ursa Minor. This is shown in myths where the stellar tradition - rooted in things like the Ophic tradition (serpent worship). Genesis is the most well known example, where God strikes down the dragon and makes it a snake.


Wow, TIL! I would have enjoyed a pic in the book of the constellations before and after that change -- one of my indefinitely backburnered projects is to improve my skills at identifying stars.


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"...were associated with the Egyptian God Set even before history began"? Uh, history had already begun at some point before Egypt and its gods existed, so this sentence makes no sense to me. And what texts, specifically, are being called "the first"?

I more meant recorded history, whereas Egypt started in "pre-history". The Pyramid Texts are the oldest known religious texts.

Aha, makes sense. Historians use "history" as an era with a beginning and end, whereas lay folk such as myself use "history" as all the time that came before now.



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"the higher consciousness recognized in human beings" recognized by what or whom? this time I can't just guess at a translation of the passive voice and have any certainty that I'd be thinking whatever the author was

Recognized by we as a species, by you yourself.
Hmm. After all the work that RHP traditions have done to devalue individuality, I wonder if it's worth a bit more argument to persuade the reader that we as a species do see that.


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materialism... How can a Self simultaneously not exist and exist as a slave? Seems like materialism could have been characterized in a way that at least makes it sound internally self-consistent

The Self as a concept still exists in materialism, but it is seen as an illusion or as being unreal.

Aha. I would have gotten less confused if the preceding sentences had been worded as "materialism thinks self is an illusion" to replace "materialism thinks there is no self" (paraphrased of course)... I also may have misread.


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lol "black magic in the Left Hand Path sense is not something sinister in any sense" but sinister means left in Latin so there's a highly pedantic sense in which everything on the LHP is "sinister" as everything on the RHP is "dexter"

Sure, I suppose the word "sinister" must be replaced.

Ominous or malign would do. Or just nix the "in any sense".


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Summary

Wait you're saying the "I" isn't part of the natural world but you haven't defined "natural world" yet? Guess I oughtta be patient...

I'm not looking at a copy but I believe nature is defined early on as the deterministic, mindless, material universe and how it works.

Nature was partially defined in a few spots that I think I've noted through this wall of text, but the only definitions I saw were set up to automatically exclude "mind". The argument I looked for without finding was one as to why nature should be defined in this way -- I personally see mind as a perfectly natural phenomenon. I found it a bit tricky to keep track of which "nature" definition applied to the Setian sections of the book, since the comparative religion parts used local "nature" definitions applicable to the alternative religions at hand as well.

I don't personally find it profound to define nature as "all but mind" and then insist that "mind" is therefore insightfully proven to be unnatural, but my failure to be impressed by that line of reasoning is in no way a suggestion or request to restructure the book.


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Setianism vs Kenneth Grant's Typhonian Tradition

so uh you title your section that and then go off on a Crowley tangent and say nothing about who Kenneth Grant is? oh, you get there eventually, but you had me convinced for a page that the title was misplaced.

So mention Grant sooner - will fix.


Thanks. I'm easily confused, and an intro sentence to the Crowley bit along the lines of "to fully understand Grant, one must have some context on his predecessors" would have helped immensely.



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The vs. tables at the end of this chapter would be much improved by structuring them into tables or columns, such that the truths about each faith are stacked below its name.

That's the plan!

Yay!


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history section is a bit of a slog but i made it... history section would be so much better with more illustrations, even if it's just a map or timeline drawn out of the events it discusses.

I agree and that's a genius idea.

gosh thanks :)

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"it appears clear that Material Reductionism is scientifically false and logically inaccurate" claimed with no citations of science nor logic? really?

I can add one but that's also the entire point of the section and what it shows.

OK, I interpreted "it appears clear" as "it's already been shown". I think a phrasing tweak like "it's straightforward to demonstrate" or such would make it sound more to me like the start, rather than the end, of a proof.


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  • How do you prove whether or not the mind takes up space without defining the mind?

The mind is you, the "I" in "I exist".

Most of the uninitiated don't differentiate between "I exist" and "my body exists". If I asked a non-spiritual individual whether they take up any space, they'd stare at me like I was insane and be like "of course I take up space". You might get through better by defining the mind as a process which halts upon death, if that's accurate? It's easier to conceptualize that a person takes up no more nor less space than their own corpse.


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  • If the mind is not accessed through the senses, then what is used to "access the mind"? I personally hold that it might have to be a sense, if senses are defined as the channels through which information reaches the mind.

The mind knows itself directly, not through the senses.
So we use different definitions of senses. I consider the senses to include all channels of information into the mind, including those which originate in other portions of the mind... I find this necessary for consistency in the ways I think about self-awareness, such as the ability to introspect one's own reasoning or emotional state.

I recognize that I may be an outlier for holding this view, and your target reader may define senses as only those channels which carry information from outside the mind to into it. However, I'm curious: What do you say the mind uses to gather information about itself, if not a sense?

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  • how do you define "experience" such that matter can't have it? It is entirely consistent to say "the brain experienced an electric shock" for instance

Experience as in "something happened to me". To our knowledge, if I hit a wall the wall has no such experience, being mindless matter.


I can tell that I have experiences through introspection, sure. However, I accept that other people have experiences despite my inability to directly examine their memories. Instead, I trust that seeing the results of an experience (such as someone telling me a story about their trip, or showing me a photo) are all the proof I can or should want that an experience occurred. Someone else's experience becomes real to me when I sense some result of it.

If you leave a dent in the wall, every passer-by who sees it can deduce that something happened to the wall. I would argue that the wall's experience of being hit becomes real to me in fundamentally the same way as your experience of the trip you told me about.

Again though, this is probably just my peculiar brand of pedantry and not the views of your target audience.


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  • want to offer any proof that the brain and matter "behaves in a linear way", whatever that means?

Such as the urge to hit someone annoying your or depression, as elaborated on in the same section.


I don't understand what's linear about a dog eating a treat, or non-linear about a person who decides that the drawbacks of the consequences outweigh the benefits of a rash decision.

Then again I understand the word "linear" to mean either "of or pertaining to a straight line", or a 1:1 relationship between causes and effects. I don't see the relationship about the dog eating the treat to be 1:1 in the sense that eating it was the only possible thing that could have happened -- plenty of dogs run off with a treat and hide it when they get one. Similarly I don't see that a person who resists the urge to hit someone has necessarily chosen from more than one viable option -- if they're intelligent, they may know that the consequences of random violence are so severe that they don't consider engaging in it a real possibility.

Again though this is a me not comprehending the applicability of the words you picked issue.


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"we can scientifically prove this by applying anesthetic..." After the surgery, the patient can observe the sutures and bandages and pain and conclude that it occurred. They can thus conclude that the body continued existing during the surgery, without their mind's intervention. This appears to be a better refutation of idealism than of materialism.

That's a failure to understand how knowledge works. You can try and conclude that your body remained during the surgery, but you cannot know it in any way.

Might be worth mentioning the importance of the difference between firsthand and secondhand knowledge in the text, then.


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"Surely when your TV or radio stops working you do not believe the stations cease to exist" speak for yourself. When I stop getting radio reception, I recognize that it's most likely that something is between me and the station, it's somewhat likely that my radio might be broken, and it's least likely but still possible that the station may have ceased transmitting. And who's to say that the brain might not be both transmitter and receiver, like how you can pair your phone to a little bluetooth radio emitter plugged into your cigarette lighter then tune your car's radio to the emitter's station if you happen to have a vehicle that came after tape decks went out of style but before aux cords.

Even if it works both ways the example holds. Sure it is more complicated that a radio picking up a signal as you say, but the point remains - you know the station still exists even though it is not coming through correctly.

My point is that I don't "know" that the station still exists -- especially not if we're defining "knowledge" as only things experienced firsthand! I only suspect that the station's disappearance is a less likely explanation than some other failure. After anesthesia and surgery, I "know" that the surgery occurred through much more direct and immediate and unquestionable knowledge (sutures, pain, etc) than I "know" a radio station is broadcasting at a moment when I'm not in possession of a working radio set.


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... In fact, the very need for some external force such as Set to tweak the starting conditions of humanity in a way that yields metacognition is shaped like an argument for, rather than against, determinism.
Well an argument for Setianism is in ways an argument against determinism, for the position refutes determinism and contradicts it .

Maybe we're using different definitions of determinism? I'm like "hey you seem to be proving the thing" and you're like "nope can't be proving the thing because I've defined the terms such that it can't be the thing" so I don't really have anything constructive to say here.


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Are you arguing that learning demonstrates nondeterminism? Because all of evolution is a form of learning....

Advanced learning, yes.

I remain unclear on the difference between "advanced learning" and whatever you think that evolution is.


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"deterministic systems like nature.... act in a specific, linear, and entirely predictable way" do you claim you can entirely predict nature? If so, what are you doing writing books, when you could instead be predicting the seeds of RNGs and making literally all the money and breaking all the encryption... since those seeds are formed deterministically, after all!

I cannot entirely predict nature, but this does not mean it is not entirely predictable. If we could measure all the matter in the cosmos and knew exactly how it all worked, would could predict anything (based on current understanding of the material universe). For instance, if you drop a cup you know it will fall.

"If we could measure all the matter in the cosmos, we could predict anything" is a super fun argument actually. Let's say we measure everything, and we want to simulate what will happen soon. So we rearrange a substantial portion of everything into a big powerful computer that can do simulations. Now we have to measure everything again, including that computer, and simulate faster than 1 second per second to get ahead. Let's say we simulate at 2 seconds inside the computer for every 1 second outside. Does the simulation account for what's happening inside the computer? Even the tiniest fluctuation in the computer's power draw or heat output will cause the surrounding world to diverge from the one being simulated! Oops, we'll need a bigger better computer to simulate what's going to happen at 2-seconds-per-second inside the first computer, so it can predict that computer's behavior. Better run the bigger computer at 3 seconds of simulation per second of wall clock, so we can get ahead of the first computer... oh wait, the 3-seconds-per-second computer is having effects on the environment that change the simulation results slightly too! Better build a... Yeah. You'd need a computer outside of the cosmos in order to simulate "everything" without simultaneously introducing uncertainty that makes the simulation imperfect.

We can asymptotically approach a perfect simulation, but never quite attain it.

And whatever proof you offer that nature is ultimately possible, just difficult, to predict -- what prevents that same argument from being turned around to contend that the mind and brain are similarly not-impossible-just-prohibitively-difficult to predict?


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"why we are able to test things consistently with the scientific method" Is that the same as why every time a science experiment is performed, it gets the same results? Because, spoiler, that's not how science tends to work. This section loses credibility by painting the world as a vastly simpler system than anyone who's explored the edges of human knowledge can experience it to be.

You do realize much of modern science literally believes in a theory of everything, correct? 

Is that supposed to be an argument for the credibility of science? It sounds like one against it to me? I'm confused? Then again I was just rereading https://fermatslibrary.com/s/why-most-published-research-findings-are-false lately so I'm firmly in the "phemonena are more complex than education makes them out to be" mindset at the moment.


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"next, the human mind has the ability to go against the flow of nature" you still haven't given a rigorous definition of "the flow of nature" yet!!

I have.

I whine that it was not rigorous, but that's just me whining.


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I know plenty of dogs sufficiently well trained that they do not eat a treat until they're given explicit permission to do so. I guess that's empirical proof of the separation between the dog's mind and brain too?

Pavalonian Conditioning is not cognitive restraint.

I don't see a meaningful difference between the dog who resists the treat for fear of being scolded and the dieter who resists the treat for fear that an unflattering figure will lose the respect of their peers, but that's likely just a quirk of my algorithms for assigning meaning to things.


Onyx

Re: Notes on Behold The Prince Of Darkness
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2018, 04:03:46 pm »
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This boils down to "thanks and also I'm still kind of a pedantic jerk"

It's all too common for people to come storming in acting like they know everything. May I ask what you have done that is so great? This forum is about the free exchange of ideas, not oneupsmanship. You could have easily offered your opinions in a mature manner without being an asshole.

idgo

Re: Notes on Behold The Prince Of Darkness
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2018, 04:37:01 pm »
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This boils down to "thanks and also I'm still kind of a pedantic jerk"

It's all too common for people to come storming in acting like they know everything. May I ask what you have done that is so great? This forum is about the free exchange of ideas, not oneupsmanship. You could have easily offered your opinions in a mature manner without being an asshole.

I will brag of nothing, save striving to salvage what tact may be available in a dialogue by prefacing it with terms meant to make it easier to ignore if it crosses the reader's line between perceiving critique as helpful vs perceiving it as personal criticism.

I hold a view of politeness which indicates that there is no graceful way to point at logical inconsistencies for a second time if the first attempt to do so was waved away. In particular, to follow the interaction "This looks inconsistent" "It is consistent because I say so" with the response "I still see it as inconsistent and would need to know more about X, Y, and Z in order to see it otherwise" meets my definitions of "disrespect" in that it shows unwillingness to take someone at their word rather than demanding proof. However, I hold the opinion that in the context of this book, the benefits of refining an argument so it can be understood on first pass by a reader with some of my own ignorances and flaws seem likely to outweigh the drawbacks of any discomfort on the way to those refinements.

If only the preface, meant for ease of dismissing my remarks if desired, qualifies me as immature and "being an asshole", I fear I may not understand what "being an asshole" means to you. If other parts of my response came across as needlessly inconsiderate beyond the fundamental unpleasantness of failing to fully understand a speaker's point on their second attempt to explain, I'd love to know which so I could fix up the tone to better match my intentions.

Liu

Re: Notes on Behold The Prince Of Darkness
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2018, 08:20:42 pm »
The majority of the content-related criticism looks to me like flaws of Setianism (or at least of how Setianism is typically presented), so nothing that's really the fault of @Xepera maSet. But something to aspire to refine in an updated version for sure!

The "prince" terminology is said to go back to it being the "first" (Latin "princeps"), or the "principle". But yeah, nothing that people understand without being told.

About a better term for "endarkenment" - that's a hard one. "negrido" is already in use for one of the steps to it. I heard/read people use "darkening of the soul" for progress on the LHP.

idgo

Re: Notes on Behold The Prince Of Darkness
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2018, 08:28:02 pm »
The "prince" terminology is said to go back to it being the "first" (Latin "princeps"), or the "principle". But yeah, nothing that people understand without being told.

Aha! The book gave me everything I needed to know to piece that together, but I didn't make the connection on my own. Thank you for it.


About a better term for "endarkenment" - that's a hard one. "negrido" is already in use for one of the steps to it. I heard/read people use "darkening of the soul" for progress on the LHP.

English may be out of luck for having been shaped so aggressively by solar traditions. Do we know of any languages with a stellar rather than solar bias?