Concerning the Book of Coming Forth by Night
Following the 1975 decision by Magister Michael A. Aquino and other Priests of the Church of Satan to leave Anton LaVey's Church of Satan and form their own church or temple dedicated to the Prince of Darkness, Magister Aquino performed a Greater Black Magical Working that resulted in (among other things) an inspired document called the Book of Coming Forth By Night.
Such inspired documents seem to attract a lot of attention. Many, probably most religions that have these use them as their central Holy Book(s), with the Hebrew and Christian Testaments and the Islamic Koran being obvious examples. Less well known is Aleister Crowley's Book of the Law, which is similar revered within most areas of the Thelemic community.
The Temple of Set is different, because we view the philosophy of Xeper as being more important than the religion of Set. Because of this, while the Priesthood and many Adepti find the Book to continue to be very inspirational and meaningful, we removed the Book from the Crystal Tablet of Set (our volume containing the core principles of the Temple of Set, distributed freely to every I° Setian), and moved it to a section of the Ruby Tablet of Set (our reference volume available to II° Adepts) which contains a variety of inspired documents.
We similarly prefer that the Book of Coming Forth by Night not be distributed to the public at large, whether through photocopy or electronic means. From my view, this policy of not wanting the Book publicly available stems from two important factors:
1. The philosophy of the Temple of Set, Xeper, is more important than this or any document. This is a large part of the reasoning behind using www.xeper.org as our domain name, and behind using xepera-l as our mailing list name.
2. The document itself, while inspirational and meaningful to those who are strongly familiar with Setian perspectives, is easily confusing or meaningless to the majority without such a background.
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