The name “SETimperative”, in its conception, has a double meaning.
The first is taken somewhat literally, where “set” is a verb in the imperative mood, and “imperative” is used with the meaning of a necessity or an unavoidable requirement.
So, SETimperative is a provocation to set yourself a life purpose.
It is often said that life has no inherent meaning by itself; it is just to be lived, like the utmost end in itself.
In a somewhat playful manner, the meme place it in the right context:
The meaning of life is to give life a meaning
Life is a paradox and therefore only through another paradox can it be rightly described.
In that sense, SETimperative represents the need to overcome that paradox, just like Alexander the Great untied the Gordian Knot: by cutting it in twain with his sword.
Another loved verse of mine is the following death poem of Shiaku Nyûdo (d. 1333):
Holding forth this sword
I cut vacuity in twain;
In the midst of the great fire,
a stream of refreshing breeze!
The poem was composed, as legend has it, after the samurai has helped his son to commit ritual suicide (seppuku or harakiri), in order not to be caught alive by the enemy.
Afterwards, Shiaku Nyûdo committed himself suicide amongst the blazes of his burning castle.
I hope western consumerism and degenerating hedonism has not make you so insensitive to valour that you cannot admire such determination and strength of spirit.
All that it takes is a decision ‒ a life-changing major decision that will shock you to your core and give your life meaning and purpose.
But it is not easy; not easy at all. Words and wishfull thinking won’t take anywhere.
As Henri Ducard so charmingly demonstrated in the memorable scene of training upon a frozen lake in Batman Begins (2005):
The will is everything. If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, you become something else entirely. Are you ready to begin?
There is no universal imperative here, no permanent or one-to-fit-all sollution.
Every man and every woman should make up their mind and set their own personal imperative.
That’s the way things are: to be or not to be is a matter of choice.
That is the essence of freedom.
The second meaning of “SETimperative” is a more esoteric and mystical one.
Here “Set” is the homonymous deity of the ancient egyptian religion, and “imperative” means command, order.
So, SETimperative is the high command of ancient god Set.
Before we outline what that command is, let’s delve briefly in the lore of the deity.
Set is a god of the desert, storms, disorder, violence, and foreigners in ancient egyptian religion
In Ancient Greece, the god’s name is given as Sēth (Σήθ) and was associated with the Titan Typhon, a monstrosity representing the destructive forces of raging nature.
But Set had also a positive role in the primordial legends of Egypt.
He accompanies Ra on his solar boat to repel Apep, the serpent of Chaos and therefore has a vital role in preserving order in the Universe.
Later Set was demonized and was portrayed as the usurper who killed and mutilated his own brother Osiris.
Nevertheless, in some outlying regions of Egypt, Set was regarded as the heroic chief deity.
Be it as it may, it is clear that Set is a controversial major god, concerned only with achieving his ends and not bound by established morality ‒ of gods or of humans.
A rather nietzschean jolly good chap, wouldn’t you say?
So, back to our business.
The imperative ordained by Set is this:
Overcome the duality of ‘good’ versus ‘evil’ and all imposed false dichotomies;
Discover and accept your inner nature and act in harmony with it.
“What if my inner nature is a egocentric maniac prick?” you may ask. So be it. Accept it and you will be liberated.
It may be the task of another human, though, to liberate himself by stopping your homicidal urges.
In such case both of you will be acting in accordance with the way.
The funny things is that once you dig deep inside the depths of your being you will discover no one there.
Buddhists got that right and modern science is coming to that conclusion too.
In the end as the darkness takes you, as is the common fate of every living being in the Universe, you will know: you are nothing.
But until then, while you live a meaningful and purposeful life, the Universe knows: you are everything.
Set your mind, spirit and soul to it and your chains shall be broken. Only then shall the Force set you free. Only then will you set the world ablaze.
Credits: Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash.