Opinions and commentary on the Left Hand Path
An open letter to the keyboard warriors of the LHP:
“Challenger” and “Adversary” does not mean “one-who-criticizes-everything-possible-in-hopes-of-drawing-affimation-or-accolades-from-other-on-line-Satanists.” You’re boring. You’re unappealing. You’re uncouth. Far be it from me to posit absolutes, but I will say that being adversarial or agnostic in your life does not require bitching about the perceived “satanic value” of various television programs, movies, books, or fellow internet denizens. It does not require you to dissect every post or video on multiple LHP forums in an attempt to bolster your Satanic internet credibility. Your opinion was likely not solicited, and your post only illustrates your need to socially display your pseudo-superior understanding of all things LHP in the most transparent and desperate way possible. These cyber-Satanists will often retort with ham-fisted excuses, my favorite being, “Why did you post this if you didn’t want it challenged?” What are you doing in your own life away from the computer screen to validate your assertions of superiority? Have you nothing better to do than surf the internet looking for “fresh prey?” Why is your Axis Mundi an unrelenting focus on YouTube or forums? What a sad existence. I can make this accusation because, at one time, I was one of these idiots.
So many find it necessary to belligerently give their alternate opinion or perception of a given topic in an attempt to present themselves as credibly Satanic. Varying degrees of hostility are not a benchmark of Satanism. Rather, I suggest that it’s the ability to politely carry on a conversation or contribute to a healthy debate that garners respect, if respect from others is what’s needed or desired. Belligerent criticism and posturing mean nothing. In any discussion, one must first have an intelligent and informed platform in which to present the issue or topic. Alas, these basic concepts of common courtesy are all too often assumed unnecessary within the cyber world of Satanism.
Then there are the schemers and trollsâ€¦ Those who spend most of their free time with eyes glued to their computers and post vague ideas under the guise of philosophy. They may also obfuscate overlong essays designed to repackage what has already been said by someone else in hopes of impressing the credulous or confusing the informed. They wait for someone unfortunate person to reply, then proceed to elevate themselves above the questions posed by bullying or denigrating the questioner. This is a common practice among many cyber-Satanists, some of whom are well known in many on-line communities. They are tolerated for a time, then banned, and move on to another forum or Facebook group to start again. These are parasites of the LHP, not Satanists.
My unsolicited advice to anyone still reading is simply this; honesty, courtesy and curiosity are still in style among those who know better. Your attitude will always define your behavior. Then again, this entire post is merely my opinion. How you interpret it is up to you. However, it’s my responsibility to present it with respect and candor, which I have genuinely tried to do here, and try to do with anything I do, say or write. Thanks for reading.
Sometimes a small reminder has to be given. A little push to look at the actual state of being from a society or (sub-)culture instead of a continuous trying to make the most popular ideology happen. Whereas it is easy to revel and support the quite hollistic terms of “freedom”, “carnality” and “individuality” it becomes more difficult to asses their true value within a landscape of like-minded individuals scanting the mutually agreed premises. The premise of individuality slowly being compromised as the individual now walks among the other like-minded and develops feelings of kinship and mutual trust. A something which eventually leads to cronyism. The individuality fully compromised.
With the emerging sub-culture and cronyism it suddenly becomes apparent that not all activities are being approached with the same sentiments. Certain fetishes which make part of the individual suddenly being frowned or looked down upon. The “freedom” now being dictated by a newly created microcosmic status quo of the sub-culture. It, together with a part of expressing and indulging in carnality, has been compromised. At the end of the day it can only be concluded that the sub-culture (microcosm) became but an emulation of the higher culture it both tried to oppose and was birthed from (macrocosm).
The paths of adversity, frequently labeled as LHP, are by definition lonely for that reason alone. Individualism cannot be found in mutual agreement nor within any group with like-minded individuals who uphold those principles. You are alone, as it should be. The devil never worked in numbers.
“I wanted to create a forum, a loosely-structured cabal for the productive aliens, not misfits who need to depend on a group. After the re-organization, I was free to be more selective. I would much rather attract and lend support to those individuals who use their alienation—just as most leaders are usually different or distinctive in some way. Groups encourage dependence on beliefs and delusions to reinforce their omnipotence. Instead of fostering self-sufficiency and honest skepticism, I saw my group lapsing into blind belief and unhealthy anthropomorphism. That’s not what I intended and I had to make moves to get the Church of Satan back on track.”
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Secret Life of a Satanist: The Authorized Biography of Anton LaVey
All too often when discussing Satanism for a mixed audience , especially when it concerns the subject of the (symbolical) (ir)relevance of the (anthropomorphic) devil, and bringing up the all too known excuse of Satanists actually having an Atheistic outlook, many questions arise and even more so finger pointing to the seemingly contradictory statement. After all, how silly is it to wear the label of an atheist while your entire philosophy, and most of its key-symbols, are a direct reference to some mythological creature which is prevalent in Abrahamic religions? Not to say the empowerment of this symbol by a variety of rituals (alike the black mass) or recognition of so called “Satanic virtues”. These things, no matter how much they can be intellectually twisted and fitted into the “Atheist” label, will prevent from gaining any credibility. Even the most intelligent person, when it is being deconstructed, will state that weaving Satanism with the Atheist label is a mere joke.
And I will agree with said fictive intelligent person. Satanism in and in itself is not atheistic. The individuals within may hold the position of being atheists but this in no way should be attached to the Satanist label. After all, I can’t hold a convincing face of putting “Atheist” as a religious orientation (as a non-believer) while in the meantime conducting “Satanic rituals” or empowering the symbol of the devil in whatever way possible. A perhaps more fitting descriptor (note I refrain to use the word “label”) is that of “Free-thinker” as it denotes the freedom of mind and the possibility to make individual (philosophical) choices and practices which is celebrated and (should be) prevalent in many a serious/genuine adherent of the LHP or Satanism.
As a person I’m slowly turning away from the label of “Satanist” and begin favoring to label my praxis and philosophy as “Left Hand Path”. The reason thereof is me being pretty atheistic in nature and having never empowered, nor seen any reason to use, Satan or the devil as a viable allegory. The descriptor of “free-thinker” is one I already used since the beginning as it indicated the freedom of mind to progress and the involved (physical, intellectual and philosophical) choices as a means towards an end. While the descriptor hasn’t been mentioned until now (in any of my writings), it should become obvious by the underlying tone and position held.
In the search towards understanding and shaping the own weltanschauung it bears to witness how frequently a variety of different methodologies are used in order to “clarify” things in hopes of achieving an understanding or, like in some philosophies/religions, reaching enlightenment. Many of these methodologies involve trance-like states by use of meditation, drugs or both.
While these methods hold a certain efficiency by reason of (altered) focus, it seldom wields effective results as only the focus has been raised (or altered) and not so much the entire view. Most of the time will a shift of focus only result in a withdrawal of pride in association with apologetics so that at the core of ones ego nothing changes and the possibility of screwing up is post-phoned to a later date where the events became yet another experience from the past (where nothing was truly gained nor learned).
The purpose of a cathartic activity is not only to alter focus but also, more profoundly, shake the ego and have a deconstruction of the will in order to further shape the own weltanschauung. This means a breaking down of the will through both physical and mental exhaustion which will trigger a purely biological defense mechanism which will not only make clear what matters, but will also place things in context and perspective. One such a cathartic activity is touched upon within the Order of Nine Angels and is called “the black pilgrimage”. Another name under which it was published was the, conveniently called, “Self-immolation rite”. While within ONA there’s a certain focus on the importance of its historic roots and as a means to proof oneself to the order, the pilgrimage in itself is a cathartic activity because it shakes the aforementioned ego and deconstructs the will.
Whereas many within said order will see it as a one-time event of endurance and as a token for their loyalty, it is better seen as a tool which must be regularly used in order to progress and shape the own worldview. It is in the best interest of the aspiring Satanist, or initiate of the LHP, to have this deconstruction going on. Not only will it sharpen the mind to critically dissect, or simply dismiss, various intellectually worded brain farts, it will also shape perspective and bring about a change in character/personality as step by step the ego is being deconstructed and the mind guided in making and reacting to that which truly matters.
It is in the best interest an activity, like the self-immolation rite, is being offered as a tool to the aspirant in order for him/her to become “more” (through deconstruction of the ego and will). The authenticity of a cathartic activity is where physical endurance (and in some cases suffering) stands prime and where the deconstruction of the will and ego will comes as an automated natural. It might also be said a variety of religions endorse the same kind of reasoning as a means to justify and have the religious proof their worthiness to their respective god(s). The difference would be the subtle reference that the physical endurance (or suffering) is not motivated by belief but moreover to distance away from the ego which enables such (religious/philosophical) motivations in the first place.
1) Christos B.; 2003, ”The self-immolation rite: A guided Satanic pathworking through the dark spheres”; internet; http://archive.org/details/Self-immolationRite
2) Brad. J. Bushmand, Roy F. Baumeister; 1999; “Catharsis, agression and persuasive influence: self-fulfilling or self-defeating prophecies?“; internet; http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bbushman/bbs99.pdf
I totally oppose Christian values and would do so even if I was not a Satanist. I find Christian values hollow and hypocritical. Some of them I also find evil.
But what are the Christian values I oppose? The Ten Commandments? Well not quite all of them... I think it is usually wrong to lie and murder. But even with those, in the real world there might be exceptions where it is not wrong.