These theories that Sigmund Freud presented: The Eros and Thanatos instincts, the ‘fort-da’ game and the repetition-compulsion, share a commonality with the ancient Dionysian practice of the frenzied participant as well as the Apollonian practice of the stoic/detached observer. Whether the experience is painful or pleasurable, anyone demonstrating these behaviors or practicing these techniques get in touch with a primal part of themselves; hearkening back to an earlier state. This is a state of ‘no mind.’ On a microcosmic scale within one’s individual consciousness, this state of zero can be either the combined sensation of intoxication and clarity, or the combined sensation of intoxication and chaos. Throughout time, creative people – artists, musicians, writers, etc. have shared this state of mind in common with athletes; some of whom dubbed this state of consciousness as ‘being in the zone.’ When an individual attains this ‘zone,’ actions become automatic and inspiration is achieved instantly. Most importantly, the individual’s sense of self or ego is dissolved into whatever endeavor they are pursuing (be it sports, music, art, etc.).
Another example of The Zero Current at work on a microcosmic scale can be found within adversarial strife, warfare, and power struggles. Historically, those in positions of power have been reluctant towards change; social or political. On one side, there’s a desire to maintain control and to keep things the way they are. On the other side, there’s a need for change (whatever the reason may be). When social or political tensions reach their climax, war or civil unrest usually occurs. Regardless of how long this unrest occurs, there will usually be one outcome: either the conservative powers-that-be will win and regain control, or those fighting for change will win and achieve whatever goal they’ve been seeking. Again, there is this push/pull dynamic where the conservative side wishes to keep things at an earlier state whereas the progressive side wishes to move things forward. The tension and conflict between these powers gives rise to warfare and tragedy, and it is during this time of strife that the effects of the ‘zero mind’ is often felt negatively within the soldiers fighting in these wars. Going back to Freud’s example of repetition-compulsion, which by today’s standards would be classified as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), one suffering from these ailments find themselves regressing to a primal state due not only to the negative experience of combat, but also due to the intense mental conditioning and physical training they received.
On a macrocosmic scale, this Zero Current is a drive which pulls towards death and destruction; again hearkening back to an earlier state, while on a microcosmic level, evolving consciousness through tragedy. Biologically, the greatest example of The Zero Current is sex and the orgasm. On one level, an individual or individuals experiencing an orgasm regress to a primal state. The biological function of sex, regardless of whether one is heterosexual or homosexual, is meant for the procreation of life. Again, within sex and the orgasm, instincts revert while life propels. Secondly, nature has many different ways of restoring itself to a primal state. Scientists estimate that approximately 4 billion species have lived on this planet and that, due to disease, genetic obsolescence, or any number of environmental factors, (approximately) 3 billion 950 million have gone extinct; leaving about 50 million still alive to date. Some species strong enough to endure these numerous and harsh conditions end up adapting and evolving. There are a plethora of examples in which genetic adaptations have occurred. One such example (apart from Darwin’s finches) is frogs which have adapted to freezing temperatures by evolving a glycol-like substance. The Zero Current within nature is that adjustment which causes the death of certain species as well as what causes many species to progress, adapt, and evolve.
Regarding The Zero Current’s effects on the evolution of consciousness, mankind need look no further than himself and his own evolution. There are several biological and historical examples in which to examine and measure mankind’s growth throughout time. The Middle Ages in Europe, particularly during the outbreak of The Bubonic and Pneumonic Plagues, highlight The Zero Current’s effects upon nature and man both on a biological level as well as on a psychological level; macrocosmic and microcosmic.
At the time in which the Bubonic and Pneumonic Plagues (referred to as ‘The Black Plague’ or ‘The Black Death’) spread throughout medieval Europe, the Christian religion (along with its superstitions) dominated the worldview and the culture at that time. Many believed that God sent The Black Death as a punishment for man’s sins and transgressions, while others blamed the Jews for poisoning the drinking wells. Groups of people, known as The Flagellants, went from town to town whipping themselves publicly (simulating the death of Jesus Christ) in order to atone for their sins and praying that God would remove The Black Plague from the earth. Also, in their delusion, The Flagellants also claimed to have performed miracles; particularly through shedding their blood as a form of their own transubstantiation.
Most importantly, during the occurrence of The Black Death, a French physician and surgeon named Guy de Chauliac studied the plague and meticulously recorded his research; later to be published as the Chirurgia Magna. The Chirurgia Magna would become the most important medical manual for the next three centuries thereafter. In an era where religion, superstition and irrationality ruled the world-view of the population, the Chirurgia Magna broke new grounds not only by providing insight into a deadly disease that was rampant all throughout Europe, but also as an early scientific guide that was based solely off of observation and less on faith-based speculation. On a macrocosmic scale, The Zero Current, represented as The Black Death, wiped out half of Europe’s population; forcing both peasants and nobles alike to start their lives over again after its devastation. On a microcosmic scale, The Zero Current forced mankind to realize the faults in his perception; leading him away from faith-based theoretical approaches and directing him towards rational observation-based practices.
While the scientific approach proved to be a step in the right direction for mankind, The Zero Current has also shown that man’s greatest tool can also be his own undoing. Nothing has demonstrated this better than the era of The Cold War. When man developed nuclear weapons, he inadvertently created his own ‘reset button’ (if not, his own ‘game over’ button). In this case, man was not at the mercy of forces he could not control, but rather, at the mercy of his own creation. In the era of The Cold War, The Zero Current, on a macrocosmic level, threatened all life and all countries. On a microcosmic level, it forced countries like the United States and Russia into an arms race that benefited mankind in the form of space exploration. It also forced political figures to carefully evaluate foreign relationships and strategies that would prevent the occurrence of nuclear war. Again, we see this juxtaposition of the pull towards an earlier state (in the form of nuclear fallout), and a push towards advancement (demonstrated in the arms race and in building relations).
On a conscious and psychological level (microcosmic), The Zero Current has always been linked to tragedy. This was most understood by the ancient Greeks who created many rituals for Dionysus; the god of wine who, through his powers of intoxication, madness, and catharsis, could either relieve and save mankind or who could, by these very same powers, destroy them. Within the Apollonian and Dionysian dichotomy the Dionysian method of ritual, frenzy, and catharsis is a Left-Hand Path approach to tapping into The Zero Current whereas the Apollonian way of stoicism, detachment, and abstinence is a Right-Hand Path approach. The Middle Path ‘Dionysian’ does not necessarily limit themselves to either a Right or Left path, but rather, makes the entirety of both systems available to them for the purpose of tapping into The Zero Current.
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All myths and symbols arise initially in peoples imaginations, and if they are artists they will express them in creative terms more or less understandable to those around them. All of human imaginative life is inherently influenced by the unconscious, that aspect of the psyche that’s outside of our awareness, containing such things as instincts and automatic responses. Many psychologists believe the imagination acts as a medium between the conscious and unconscious mind, and as a result the art we create often gives us glimpses of our deeper, instinctive selves. Our creative urges move in response to these unseen currents of our own psychology.
As a theory* the unconscious was developed by the early psychologists of the 19th and 20th centuries, a group largely identified with Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, although in truth there were many other theorists involved. Carl Jung went on to describe how the unconscious also contained a deep reservoir of accumulated ancestral forms that he called the collective unconscious. In describing the collective unconscious, Jung said:
. . . we might think of it as a collective human being combining the characteristics of both sexes, transcending youth and age, birth and death, and from having at its command a human experience of one or two million years, practically immortal. If such a being existed, it would be exalted above all temporal change; the present would mean neither more nor less to it than any year in the hundredth millennium before Christ; it would be a dreamer of age-old dreams and, owing to its immeasurable experience, an incomparable prognosticator. It would have lived countless times over again the life of the individual, the family, the tribe, and the nation, and it would possess a living sense of the rhythm of growth, flowering, and decay.
(Carl Jung, Collected Works vol. VIII, par. 673)
Through their research, Freud, Jung and many others came to perceive that the unconscious could be understood in mythological terms. One way in which the unconscious expresses itself is through primordial human figures and story-like narratives that gravitate around fundamental human experiences such as love, power, cunning, birth, death and self-knowledge. Jung called these deep, unconscious patterns archetypes, and identified some of them, such as the mother, the trickster and the wise old man. Just as Jung describes the collective unconscious in terms of the totality of human experience, archetypes can be described as those continually arising themes in that collective experience.
For scholars such as Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell, the cohesion of human global culture, the consistency with which the same archetypal patterns emerge in different regional cultures testifies to the existence of such a collective unconscious. For example, the tidal movements of the mass media, the memes and trends, fashions and fads can all be interpreted as following the pull of archetypal figures and narratives. To this day, just like countless ancestors before us, we are fascinated by heroes and villains, the trickery and intrigue of politics and power, the magic of science, religion and art, the otherness and familiarity of nature. These mythological figures and narratives can all be traced back to our shared, collective unconscious. In this way its one of the sources of culture and language, the basic stuff of meaning.
Artists who have a particular sensitivity to the shared, collective unconscious will often create art that has a significant resonance within their own cultures. The fashion world exemplifies this process better than most aspects of modern culture, with designers reinterpreting old styles and garments within new contexts, finding what is most relevant to the most people. It could be argued that all art and culture has evolved along similar lines to biological evolution, with the most successful expressions of collective myth being the most enduring and at the same time the most adaptable. Those myths and symbols that manage to retain their influence as they change contexts will surely last longer than those that do not. As reflected in modern consumerism, there is great value in being able to create and express symbols endorsed by popular opinion for successive turns of the cultural wheel. This is exemplified by the modern practice of branding that strives to perpetuate the popularity of a single iconic image for an extended period of time. These modern symbols, although not explicitly set in a mythological context, inevitably draw on the universal mythic substratum of culture. Even though they have replaced older mythic symbols, they still exert a similar kind of power and influence.
Its not difficult to find in the concept of an archetype a rational explanation for gods and their powers. Many scholars have explored the idea that myths, even those expressed in a medieval form such as the Four Branches, were originally tales about gods. But it must be born in mind that the modern conception of gods and supernatural agency, particularly in the atheistic cultures of the West, may very well be far removed from how these things were experienced by people in the past. The well established practice of rationalism in modern academia necessarily separates gods and divine powers out from the individual so as to reveal them as cultural fabrications; once they have been separated out as such they naturally dissolve to the touch, converted into nothing more than words and ideas. But to experience such things as core elements of one’s self, as people in the past surely did, means these gods could not be separated out from the individual in any meaningful way. We must therefore bare in mind that when we reduce ancient gods and their powers to rational concepts such as the collective unconscious and its archetypes, we don’t automatically discount the power of belief in the creation of culture, for that would skew our own understanding of the historic past regardless of our own position on such things.
What symbols say.
But what exactly is a symbol in this sense? Its impossible to know what the unconscious actually contains; we can’t open up the brain and peer into it as we would a loft in a house. But we can guess at its nature by paying attention to how it influences the conscious mind. By watching the ripples on the surface we can make guesses at how the currents deep bellow are moving. By studying the symbolic images that rise up into conscious awareness, Jung believed that we could interpret the movements of the unconscious. This led him to perceive that one of the basic qualities of the unconscious is its continual attempt to redress psychological balance. He said:
The unconscious, [is] the neutral region of the psyche where everything that is divided and antagonistic in consciousness flows together into groupings and configurations. These, when raised to the light of consciousness, reveal a nature that exhibits the constituents of one side as much as the other; they nevertheless belong to neither but occupy an independent middle position.
(Carl Jung, Psychological Types, p.113)
Jung saw the unconscious as the place where the psyche attempts to regulate the different influences that flow into it. It brings conflicting elements together into what he called groupings and configurations that in turn are expressed in the conscious mind as symbols: images that contain a blending of the original influences. If this theory is correct, then when such symbols are expressed consciously, we should be able to see in them traces of those initially conflicting influences, but presented in a more or less stable state. I’ll explore this idea in the next post.
*It must also be stressed that the theory of the unconscious is by no means uncontroversial: many current researchers tend to remodel the notion of non-conscious processes according to recent developments in neurological science. But this new context of understanding doesn’t change the fact that regardless of their biological correlations and influences, non-conscious phenomena can still be interpreted on both individual and communal levels in terms of mythology.
At the beginning of this year I finally did it, I listend to my heart. Taking a big step like that wasn’t easy but I did it. Now it’s august and I feel freeër, but something is bugging me deeply. Some people have tried to stop me in my tracks, but I’m not giving up. Keep moving and strike when the time is ripe I would say. But I’m l’m losing track on where I’m going with this. Okay, here we go! I grew up in a family of drinkers, the bad girl had risen in me when I was about 6 years of age. Now I did this behind my dads back, otherwise he would have hit me. I had a sip of my dads beer. I guess when your a child your dependant on your parents for guidence, but you sometimes look at them and say: Oh no not again. I use to be afraid that I get hit. Now we weren’t religious and my parents didn’t like the churches at all. They use to say damn those churches, all they want is your money. I remember black candles burning juring X-Mass, and I use to look at them and wonder, I asked my mother one day about it, she would say she wanted something different. When I use to go to school we had lunches that were made for us, and we use to have a silent moment for the people who were in need for prayer. I never prayed, I would fold my hands upside down so it would form a heart. I only discovered this a month ago, as I was thinking about my school days. Now that I’ve been in to Satanism for about 3 years I can finally say it was right of me to follow my heart, and love myself first. I remember moving out of my dads house and in to my own place, everything was new, well almost I actually had a few second hand stuff. But it was worth it. Now my neighbour downstairs wasn’t so keen on me, nor was he keen on the rest of the people in the building. I later discovered that there was something wrong with him, I decided to ignore him. I was busy doing my own thing, like looking for a job, I had couple of odd ones but nothing lasting. Now let me go back a little bit before I moved out of the house. I was asked to appear in a collume. I would be interviewed by a former social worker of mine (a social worker I had when I was 19). I accepted. Now this interview wasn’t long, it was filled with one liners. I can’t really remember what I said. But he liked it. Back living on my own I realized how importend it was to be independant, I could do what ever I wanted. I remember getting my own computer, it was liberating. Now I don’t know what I’d do without it, my bills need to get paid. I like living on my own, it’s a challenge for me. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t miss having a relationship. I need to love myself first and think about what I want. Life is about enjoying yourself, and remembering how lucky you are to be alive.
Recently, the Sect of the Horned God accepted the membership application of a gentleman: university educated, professional career, family man, etc. He was exceptionally remarkable in how he perceived and lived the LHP and his list of philosophical influences, and explanation on how each impacted his life, was impressive in length and variation. The only hint of a dark cloud on the horizon was his birth and residence in an Islamic country. In this, my concern was ‘for’ him, and the possible negative ramifications that may arise. Regardless, his own enthusiasm was unbridled and he sent the personal information needed, such as a mailing address, full name, etc, to process the membership.
It was with very little surprise, though, to receive an email from him a few days later with a subject line that read “Cancel Membership!” The letter content explained that he had taken a phone call from an unrecognized number and to his “horror” (his words) was informed that “they” were aware of his involvement in the Sect of the Horned God. To make a long story short, the Intelligence Agency of his country demanded the cessation of any affiliation with the Sect. Regretfully, and from justifiable fear, he felt he had to comply.
I was saddened to read the letter, but it was soon replaced by a cold anger in that this man faces a “real world” danger that encompasses not only his family and job, but his very life. He cannot fall back on “Rights”, “Privilege”, “The Constitution”, or “Freedom of Speech”. While he is not the first member of the Sect to reside in an Islamic nation and to have encountered “resistance” because of membership, he has been the first to give it up for that reason. I can’t blame him for the retraction, nor the others for maintaining membership under the radar.
What the above situation brought to mind initially was an observation on how the word “Adversary” within a Left-Hand Path model in Western Culture seems to be morphing into a pabulum–like slop by many who insist on touting their “Adversarialism” while protected under the safest of conditions and circumstances. Rather than dignifying the actions of it in an arena where there is a real threat to person-hood, it is degenerating into a lesser form that assumes entitlement and respect amid pathetic bravado; A battle front waged in little more than the mire of an abandoned (and often internet) sand-box. To be honest, it reminds me of a LHP version of the Westboro Baptist Church.
Am I adversarial? Of course, but the situation has to be worth the conflict and is one that sits on many personal, community and national platforms. Any opponent considered less than worthy would otherwise face a wall of apathy. On the other hand, Adversarialism begs the question of whether you would risk the lives, through death, of those you have chosen to take on: husband, wife, significant other, children, or parents, for the recognition or attainment of your own ideals?
For myself? No. Never.
Considering the country, circumstances, and ideology of the member, I have nothing but respect for his decision to leave. Under the umbrella of the LHP and well knowing the personal code he abides by, he chose to own-up to the responsibility he had taken on “first”, rather than placing it/them in danger. Fear is a great motivator, of course, but to him it’s not an internet game or a philosophy to be kicked around. Leaving the Sect due to the the demands of the reigning religion and politics of his country does not mean he is not an adversarial man. Quite the contrary. Conflict resides not only in the external realm, but that of internal also. Where he’ll go with this, who knows, though I dare say he not done testing the boundaries…..
by Jake Block
A gay guy one night in Khartoum
Took a lesbian up to his room.
They argued all night
Over who had the right
To do what and which
And to whom!
Aside from being funny, the best limericks had a message that related to life in some form or fashion, usually in a bawdy and base kind of way. But isn’t that what much of life is anyway; bawdy and base? This particular limerick always struck me as saying, “Be careful what you wish for,” or “No matter how much you want it, sometimes it just isn’t for you!”
Many years ago there was a young woman of my acquaintance named Terri, and she came to me one day and said, “Jake, I know you are a Satanist, and Satanists have power! I need you to bring Richard to me. He is so beautiful and I want to love him so badly!”
Now, Terri was an attractive woman, with blonde hair, big, blue eyes and a captivating smile, not to mention a body that most men would sell their mothers to the Arabs for. So, after a moment, I asked, “Well… what seems to be the problem?”
“He’s gay,” she sighed. “Isn’t there something that I can do to get him to take an interest in me?”
I looked at her for a moment and she sat there, waiting for my words of wisdom and encouragement, and all I could come up with was, “Grow a penis?”
She was disappointed, but you know, that’s going to happen when you set yourself up for it. People think that the world should just change to suit them simply because they want it, without having to put forth any effort or make changes that would make situations swing from unfavorable to favorable. Simple problems have simple remedies. Richard likes redheads. Ok… dye your hair red. Richard likes his women thin… diet. Richard likes his women well read… hit the library. But there are things that can’t be changed by love nor magic, and a wise “wizard” knows that. There are people who will tell you that for a fee, they can make anything happen and you will be happy. We call these people con men, and they seldom have to look far for their next mark.
It’s not the fault of the con men. They are just doing what con men do. To my mind, they do not so much prey upon the gullible as accept the gullible that volunteer to be fleeced by someone willing to take them for all they have to give. It’s not the con man’s fault that their “mark” has set themselves up by deluding themselves that the unrealistic can be theirs simply for the taking. The age old saying, “If it sounds to good to be true, it is,” is lost on them, for in their delusional state, they somehow reason that against all odds, against all realities, the world will change to suit their needs, where in the millennia past, it’s held firm for all others.
I live and deal in a world of realities. I know that wishful thinking is something we all engage in from time to time, hoping that the world will function as we wish it to, and sometimes if we let our guard down, we can fall into solipsism, thinking that others think the way we do. Neither is reality, only a projection of our inner needs, and subject to little that is in our power to control. It is much better that we pay attention to our dreams and hold them dear as we would any precious stone, for in our dreams, we see possibilities and have the option of accepting what we see or manipulating them until we come up with something workable in our waking life.
Closely akin to the con man, but not in a larcenous way are the desperate. Desperation for money, desperation for love, desperation for security and in fact, desperation for just about anything will cause people to deny the realities that are right there before them and promise anything to get what they most desperately need. A desperate politician will make deals with the devil and promise things that his core philosophies simply cannot support in reality. He or she will justify it as “compromise” and hope that their constituents don’t see it as the selling out that it really is. A woman or man desperately in need of love will tell the one with whom they are obsessed, “I will be anything you need, do anything you want, feel anything, think anything… just love me.” The desperate will utter words similar to this in their one-sided negotiations… rather moral capitulations… to the objects of their lust, denying the reality that what they are promising might make the object of their desire happy, but will leave them feeling hollow and often used, once they realize that in their desperation, they have “sold their soul for gold,” only to see it tarnish in short order when desperation turns to the realization that their “deal with the devil” was one they entered into without a real ability to pay when payment became due.
You can lie to others or lie to yourself to get what you want or think that you need, but neither is a good starting point in a business or emotional contract, and neither will be sustainable in the long run. Any negotiation that is entered into from a position of greed or desperation is doomed to a mediocre resolution at best. Lying in business transactions might be a win in dealings with the less astute, but those who negotiate big deals seldom fall into traps. Lying in love might be a win in dealing with the desperate, but those who have a love that last a lifetime avoid the traps by being open and honest about what they want in a relationship and how to get it. Either way, I suppose they elders were right in the long run, when they told us, “honesty is the best policy.”
Be yourself, represent yourself as you are and when things are right they’ll come together. This applies in love and in business and pretty much everything else in between. The old saw goes, “If you tell the truth, you won’t need a good memory.” Or a lawyer to get you out of the mess you got yourself into.
Fit To Be Tied
by Madeleine Begun Kane
A fellow was fit to be tied
When he learned that his lover had lied.
He’d proposed. She said “No,”
And confessed, “Sorry Joe.
See that gal over there? She’s my bride.”
Now as you all know I am a Atheist, but I have a deep love and passion for mythology and pagan symbolic archetypes which also makes me a Satanist. Why you ask? Because mythology is important, a society without myth is dead. You might think how can a scientific and rational individual like me defend the pagan mythos and yet not defend the mythologies of say Christianity, Judaism or Islam. An the answer is I defend the mythology of all faiths, without believing in any of them literally or accepting them as scientific facts or rationally logical in any respect of the term. To me all deities, symbols, archetypes and unconscious entities within the collective unconscious of dreams and imaginations are just that they are the left over fantasies to which our unconscious brings to fruitation, when we listen to folk music, spend time in the presence of others to share symbolic resonance and emotions of connection. They are nothing more, but this makes myth even more beautiful.
Pan, Cernunnos, Faunus, Dionysus, Satan are all representations of raw human nature, the freudian id, the jungian shadow, I don’t repress this shadow. I embrace it as my core nature. These archetypes are merely differing aspects of my unconscious mind, they are not real entities, they are merely symbolic personifications and assimilation’s of the human mind, which if repressed can be very harmful psychologically, as studies show those who deny their core nature have mental instabilities ranging from experiences of mood imbalances, and even spurts of fury or rage without reasonable focus. Its simply a psychological fact that its psychologically damaging to the mind, to repress ones shadow.
There is no reason to repress ones demons, we need to walk with them from time to time to better our selves. Myth is that power which can be utilized to advance from a basic position of having no belief in a supernatural deity, to one which deities become symbolic metaphors of ones inner personality and unconscious mind. They are to be tapped into at will, and not to be disregarded by Satanists, but embraced with complete full on importance and value.
By Jake Block
“We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start giving”
We Are The World by Michael Jackson
In 1985, Michael Jackson teamed up with Quincy Jones to record We Are The World in support of efforts to aid Haiti feel good sentimentalities of the 1970s and early 80s that in many ways was an offshoot of the hippie movements of the 1960s and 70s.after its devastating earthquake. The song was used as a fundraiser to rebuild this poor and corruptly governed island and bring up the standard of living to a higher level than it had been prior to the quake. It tapped into the new-agey
A clear case of celebrities coming together to impose their collective voice to move people to unity to help save the poor people of Haiti… our brothers. But now, almost 30 years after that earthquake on that small Caribbean island, nothing much of great import has changed. Most of the people of that island nation still live in squalor and repression, while the corruption continues and the money collected for their rehabilitation languishes in the accounts of corporations set up to deal with it, drawing interest, which helps only the corporations and does little or nothing for those who those funds were intended to help.
Taken in by these do-gooder celebrities. thousands donated to the cause and became victims of the scam that the celebrities were unwittingly a part of. It’s very doubtful that they would have had any idea that the millions of dollars collected would become simply treasure in some “non profit” corporation’s coffers, or that this earworm of a song would be the vehicle for the victimization of the people of Haiti by those who had offered them a strand of hope in their darkest hour. And, in the end, who now even remembers Haiti, it’s earthquake or the glut of aid and riches that poured in from around the world? The world’s memory is short, but the momentary stimulation of this incident provided many with the right to claim their goodguy badge. They had done their service to mankind… THEY were the world. Kumbayah.
For some reason, even in Satanism, there seem to be those who have fallen for this “we are the world” schtick and, while claiming that their philosophy is totally Satanic, seem to have the need to take responsibility for the inadequacies of others and their enlightenment… of course, that’s enlightenment along the lines that they personally accept, and not necessarily that that their protege might choose on their own. In preaching our personal gospels and condemning any who disbelieve, are we as Satanists any better than those who preach the words diametrically opposed to ones we might utter?
“In a soldier’s stance I aim my hand
At the mongrel dogs who teach,
Fearing not that I’d become my enemy
In the instance that I preach.
My pathway led by confusion boats
Mutiny from stern to bow,
Ah, but I was so much older then;
I’m younger than than now.
Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats
To noble to neglect
Deceived me into thinking
I had something to protect.
Good and bad, I defined these terms
Quite clear, no doubt, somehow.
Ah, but I was so much older then;
I’m younger than that now.”
“My Back Pages” by Bob Dylan
Hypocrisy is the theme, the medium and the deed. When we declare the philosophy of another wrong and then supplant that with our own, demanding its superiority, we have given up any hope of high ground in any debate, for we forget that our truth applies only to the organism that hosts it and accepts it as an part of an organic process of personal evolution. Other organisms might hear our words and find them wise or, and just as likely, find us fools in our utterances, and that is their right, just as it is our right to accept those philosophies that ring true with us. Personal sovereignty reigns supreme in our individual worlds. Gods we may be, but only within our own skin.
Many pay lip service to the words, “Satanists are born, not made.” They mouth the words like a pious monk in prayer, nodding their heads at their wisdom and knowing in their hearts that they are true, but never really thinking about what they mean. If a person is genetically predisposed to have an understanding of math, he will. If a person is genetically predisposed to possessing dancing skills, he will. If a person is genetically predisposed to an acceptance of principles we term “Satanic,” then yes, they will hear and understand, but those who aren’t simply won’t be touched by the concepts and be unmoved… or angered by them. And really, we should know better than to argue with them about it, because it’s not our place to bring them up to our standards. A person must strive to achieve, else the reward is as meaningless, as a trophy given to an “athlete” who comes in dead last, with a hearty handshake and the hollow words, “thanks for participating.”
Satanism, to my way of thinking isn’t something that should be offered to anyone who wants a spooky title and a black shirt. Part of our culture as Satanists in general is the idea of merit versus entitlement. If a person is born with the genetic predisposition for the acceptance of “Satanic thought,” his life will be inexorably drawn to the “dark side,” and while they might never know the term “Satanism,” begin to exhibit the traits and practices associated with it, and a philosophy that, with a few societal and cultural deviations, might well be called Satanism by those whose personal lexicons define it as such. And despite their personal upbringings, their lives should move in that direction once they have the personal wherewithal to move beyond the values inculcated in youth by parents and teachers and authorities in their lives. So, my friends, if they are going to “get it,” they’ll do it without you having to pound it into their heads, and if they aren’t, no amount of cajoling, mockery or wishful thinking will make it so.
You’ve seen me quote the old adage from the 70’s, “Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.” This is precisely what I am talking about here. To preach Satanism like some black clad Evangelical preacher is simply a waste of time. Zealots are simply those consumed by rhetoric they find overwhelming to their senses and who solipsistically assume that their drug of choice will be universally accepted and they will be embraced by those they touch as one possessed of great wisdom. Well… probably not. A zealot is more annoying than anything else, and those in the thrall of of some philosophy feel they must share with others. I would urge you to resist.
We used to say, “The Church of Satan has never had a membership drive,” yet our numbers increased and the number of Satanists throughout the world continues to increase without the help of door to door salesmen preaching the gospels. The fact still remains that “If you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door.” Satanism has proven itself to be that “better mousetrap,” and its message is out there, but only those who are predisposed to taking it up will do so. While we might not have the most adherents, we’re not out to catch every mouse in the world. We’ve built a better “mousetrap,” and we’re catching “better mice.”
We are NOT the world. We’re a gated community that you must merit being a part of.
by Jake Block
“A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that’s just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from nitwits who believe it’s a joke.”
Soren Kierkegaard — Either/Or, Part I
I hope old dogs are never too old to learn, even though that learning process can be painful and a bit disillusioning at times. Closely akin to solipsism is wishful thinking and I’ve learned that I might sometimes be guilty of that, even though I have tried to keep my guard up and deal in reality.
My North Star in Satanism for the past 40+ years has been the promotion of Satanism as an intellectually viable entity, and to do it with dignity and as much grace as I could manage, saying what I mean, meaning what I say, and never allowing anyone to see me as a Satanist other than as a professional, and a worthy representative of what Satanism, as I had come to know it, stood for. And over the decades, I have come to see my place as somewhat of a historian of Satanism, and an advisor to those who might seek my advice. It’s always been my goal to “keep it real,” and to help others in maintaining a healthy sense of balance along their path as well.
The thrust of my self-appointed mission has been the advancement of Satanism, not in its becoming a mainstream philosophy or open platform for any and all who might somehow resonate with the term, but for those who saw Satanism as an entity to be respected, if not feared, and “serious business” for those who could use its name and message to better their lives and gain personal power through their associations.
In the early days of the Church of Satan, Anton LaVey found it necessary to sometimes draw attention to himself with talk show hosts who thought that he was something of a con man or showman, and that this new phenomenon called Satanism was just a scam perpetrated on the ignorant and gullible. As the years passed and Satanism became more and more of an institution within the United States and indeed, around the world, he settled down and got to business building the infrastructure of the Church with its Grotto System, allowing local working groups some degree of autonomy in the way they worked within their local communities. It was hoped that intelligent heads would produce steady and sophisticated bastions of “undefiled wisdom” amidst the bleating herds surrounding them. They were provided with basic guidelines for operation, but most were on their own beyond that. Some of the Grottoes thrived and became “crown jewels” of the Church of Satan’s ever-growing Infernal Empire. But “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.”
It was clear that, while some groups thrived, some simply existed and still others devolved as time passed, without firm guidelines to keep them on course. Many became cults of personality, as some Grotto Masters and Mistresses began to take themselves too seriously, or not take their charge as Satanic Grottoes seriously. It became embarrassing to hear of groups that might get together on Friday nights to do elaborate rituals or discuss societal ills and how to used them to further the goals of Satanism, only to file out into the streets after their meetings to descend upon the local Denny’s for a snack while dressed in their ritual robes, providing a show for the locals.
Eventually LaVey disbanded the Grotto System because it was becoming untenable, and at times an embarrassment to the Church of Satan, not to mention having to deal with some of the boorish and often asinine behaviors of some of the members who acted like it was Halloween every Friday night, cavorting in grave yards and making themselves a very visible nuisance within their communities. There was just too much “look at me,” going on, and not nearly enough enlightenment and responsible stewardship of the Franchise.
And there’s the point that I want to make with this essay. I know that it’s tempting to “go to Denny’s” and entertain the rubes… everyone likes a good laugh once in a while. But my friends, when you act like a clown, you’re going to have trouble getting people to take you seriously, even when you’re deadly serious about something… anything. Some groups banding together under the aegis of Satan today are like those misguided souls in Denny’s while wearing their ritual garb. They’re playing to the public for whatever notoriety they might gain, usually doing something silly and pandering to the lowest levels of social acceptability… anything for a laugh. “Hey, look at me!!!”
They find a way to insert themselves into any situation, where they might descend to get some attention from the press or the few locals who attend, hoping that there will be someone offended enough by their attendance that they will do some kind of protest or counter demonstration, thereby proving that they were motivated by a noble cause… freedom of (fill in the blank). Like the suicidal dolt who spits in the face of a Hell’s Angel and then cries loudly to any who will listen that his “rights were violated” by a “bully,” they get what they were after, attention, some giggles from the herd, and a slice of Andy Warhol’s “15 minutes of fame.” And while the herds laugh, any hope of imparting a serious message for change, personal growth or advancement of their stated agenda goes pretty much unnoticed.
Consider… a flash of humor is much more impactful when it comes in the midst of intellectual power than a flash of intellectualism when it comes in the midst of a laugh fest. Endorphins being what they are and doing what they do, they tend to lock in the resonances in context to their delivery into the brain. So, if you are in the middle of a lecture on the finer points of — say economics — and the lecturer punctuates his spiel with a humorous sexual anecdote about interest that makes you laugh, the point being made will be reenforced in your mind as the endorphins get that quick shot to the brain. Now, consider being in a comedy club, being brought to tears by a comedian like Don Rickles, whose rapid-fire delivery adeptly milks the humor from any situation, and forcing the mind to be flooded with endorphins. In the middle of this comedy assault, he stops mid-joke and says, “The world is going to end in ten minutes,” and then goes back to his comedy spiel. Despite the seriousness he might wish to impart to his crowd, they miss it, much like the clown in Kierkegaard’s quote at the beginning of this essay. It’s important, but not in context and not congruent with the situation at hand. Humor can illustrate or it can captivate or it can numb, and the average person craves entertainment much more than he craves enlightenment.
My advice… don’t become type-cast as an entertainer for the herd if you wish to be seen as any kind of serious professional as a Satanist or pretty much anyone with a serious message to convey. There will come a time when you want people to take you seriously and pay heed to a vitally important message, which most likely isn’t going to happen when a clown delivers it.
by Jake Block
Now, this is not to say that there aren’t angry people out there, or that there aren’t angry Satanists out there, or that there aren’t reasons to be angry. It’s simply to say that the majority of these “angry Satanists” are mostly buying into a stereotype and are part of a herd mentality of nonconformity. Many Satanists these days seem to feel that the way to become noticed and build up credibility as a Satanist, especially on the internet, is to become an anger machine, raging against anything and everything and simply becoming a contrarian personality, while claiming adversarialism. One can be contrarian and one can be adversarial, but there is a difference. Purpose.
You’ve probably heard the old adage that any publicity is good publicity, meaning that even if people are saying bad things about you, at least they are talking about YOU. This is the philosophy of the insecure, the fearful and the forgotten. Sure, they’re talking about you, but if what they are saying is, “Joe’s a loud mouth, but he doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about,” or “Joe talks to hear his own voice,” or “Joe argues just to argue,” then it’s not such a good thing. You are being marginalized because of your predictability. You are known to be a complainer. You know the type. The type that will argue with you whether the sky is blue or not… and then claim, “I was just being the “devil’s advocate,” when people get tire of the useless game he’s playing. He’s “angry” about something, although you may never be quite sure what, since he argues about everything.
You’re also acquainted with the concept of the bully who, in order to make him/herself look good, will try to find any victim that they can torment, so long as that victim is physically, emotionally, psychologically or philosophically unable to defend their self. These are the types who like to question everything to see if they can frustrate their opponent, demanding that they justify everything in their life to suit their antagonist. Now, most people simply say, “I don’t have to justify myself to you,” and refuse to take the bait. This frustrates the hell out of the bully who needs to have someone cornered and unable to defend themselves, so they can savage them and look strong. Challenge them, and they’ll predictably deny it… question THEM, and they will quickly say you’re bullying them. They seem to be angry too… why? Maybe because they’re afraid someone will find them out for the cowardly and inept people they most certainly are. They have to prove themselves right and convince someone to agree with them, thus giving them and their ideas validity and relevance.
Then we have the person who feels they have to live up to that stereotype and, by doing so, will give them power or credibility in the eyes of those they desperately need to respect them, usually because in their day-to-day lives, they get so little respect. Again… any publicity is good publicity. People will be talking about THEM. They seldom think about the consequences of their actions, because what they are looking for is notoriety and sensationalism, and are using Satanism to get it.
A rather well known Satanist told me that they would like to go on a TV talk show and when someone says anything negative about Satanism, smash them across the face with a chair. “That’s what they expect, so I might as well give it to them.” Great! Live up to the stereotypes of your intellectual inferiors and give them every reason to see you as the posturing clown that you display yourself to be. And BONUS, you get to go to jail or prison for felonious assault, spending years being told when to eat, sleep, and shit, with a new boyfriend named Bubba who won’t give a shit that you are a Satanist, so long as you get on your knees when told. You’re tough. You won’t bend over? Try telling that to Bubba and five of his friends, who all get a “piece of the pie.” Yeah… but you SHOWED THEM! Now they know what a REAL Satanist is.
Angry Satanists are a “dime a dozen.” Nobody really listens to them, because there are so many of them that their prattle becomes a cacophony of droning rhetoric that blends together into an incomprehensible mess. They’re a herd, and like the herd, the bleating of the sheep blends together until it all sounds the same and even the shepherd tends to block out their ruckus. They bleat louder and louder, trying to shout over the others and no one notices when, one by one, they get taken down by the wolf who just doesn’t care what they have to say.
Power as a Satanist comes from NOT being what is expected. In being what is expected, you are predictable and safe. People today have gotten used to the idea of the “angry” Satanist, his rhetoric, his uniform and his mannerisms. They’re no longer impressed by it, since the media has long ago made Satanism into a cliche’ that all except the religiously addled pretty much take for granted. It’s not really the scary bugaboo that it was just 50 years ago, and now either appears to most of the public as simple rebellion, goth wannabes, vampire wannabes or metal wannabes. They recognize the symbols and the uniforms (conforming to nonconformity,) and the “in your face attitudes,” all of which make their perception of the Satanist predictable… safe.
LaVey once said that trying to define what a Satanist is should be like trying to nail jello to a wall. Difficult, at best.
Bruce Lee, the archetypical karate master and philosopher said, “Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
That’s good advice, if you can understand it and take it to heart, and will serve you well in many situations where you are expected to act or react in a predictable manner. Simply said, if you are expected to act or react in a predictable way, don’t. This gives you the ability to frustrate your opponent and to manipulate situations in your favor. It’s a major tool in your tool box. Stronger than most and more versatile than specialized tools, like that 20 pound sledge most Satanists wield like a grossly exaggerated Swiss Army Knife.
“Be water, my friend.”