Recently I have started to feel that the debate between theism vs atheism is something that I’m not personally invested in. It’s not really that relevant to me.
First, the broader question of “is there a God?”. I don’t see why I should care. I’m interested in deities and some such concepts in a mythological or occult sort of way, but not the concept of God Almighty as a religious concept. If there is a God, and that God is the father in the heavens that many people think of him as, I don’t care. I certainly do not feel inclined to obey such a God if that God is really the same God described in the Bible, the Tanakh and the Quran or in similar fashion to either of those texts, though maybe that’s the anti-theist in me. If there is a God, and that God isn’t a father in the heavens, I still don’t care either we still have a very distant God, remote from our lives. Hell, even if you believe in the monotheistic God, the reality is that God is of no use whatsoever because that God is actually quite distant. If there is no God, so what? What need do most people have of an almighty God anyhow when there is a lot about our lives that simply doesn’t depend on such a God. We don’t inherently need such a God to put bread on the table, to raise a family, to forge our societies and our laws, to determine the decorum of human relationships, to run our governments, or for most things. There even exist forms of spirituality that don’t actually depend on a concept of God Almighty (like the Buddhist kind, to use a familiar example). I certainly don’t feel my life depends very greatly on an outer God whether it’s the God adored by Abraham or Muhammad or the infinite God praised by the Hindus. As I said earlier, I might be interested in deities, but I don’t quite care too much about fealty or worship towards externalized deities as found in the polytheistic belief that came before Christianity and revived by modern pagans either since I am not a theist. And for that matter, why is the debate about God more pressing to people than individuated consciousness?
Then, the debate about theism vs atheism in Satanism. I am equally uninterested in that matter. Should it matter whether or not Satan is an actual deity worthy of worship outside the mind of the individual Satanist? This question is extraneous to the ultimate point of Satanism: Man ought to be master unto himself. Based on that premise, there is really only one “God” that I feel one really needs in Satanism. To me, any kind of divinity to be found within the individual self is more important to the Satanist than the existence of any outer being. Ultimately, I don’t care whether or not any outer beings actually exist. I just want to pursue my path, explore the possibilities, all while focused on my values and my growth as a person and in general not get too hung up about it.
I guess you can describe me as sort of agnostic, non-theistic, and in fact apatheistic – apatheist being the word for someone who does not care whether or not God exists. In other words, I am currently an apathetic agnostic Satanist/Luciferian.
To be an apatheistic Satanist, I feel, is a bit like what being a non-theistic Satanist would be like if the question of the verifiable existence of a God or a literal Satan was irrelevant. Whereas atheistic forms of Satanism, such as that of the Church of Satan, are partly based on the premise of certainty that there are no Gods at all, apatheistic Satanism means that you are a Satanist who thinks the question of God and literal gods is irrelevant and therefore the apatheistic Satanist isn’t invested in the question of God and the theism versus atheism debate.
Yesterday I heard of the story Mike Persi, a man who was once unable to walk until he was introduced to a born-again Christian yoga instructor named Mitch Menik. Apparently, through intensive yoga therapy, Mike learned to walk unassisted just as he used to, and everyone involved was thrilled and happy for him. What’s interesting is that the people involved treat his recovery as a miracle from God, while more conservative and more literal evangelical Christians, as can be expected, do not. They view yoga practice as leading directly to practicing the Hindu religion and leading people away from the Christian faith, and since they misguidedly view the Hindu gods as demons and Hinduism (like all religions other than Christianity) as created by Satan to mislead the people, they view yoga as leading to worship of Satan. So when they heard about the story of Mike being able to walk again after undergoing yoga therapy, they worried it was dark magic?
It reminded me of the ideal dichotomy of black magic versus white magic, which is found in many forms of occultism and persists in popular culture through high fantasy fiction. It also reminds me of a hypocrisy with both white magicians and religious believers in divine miracles. White magicians, religious believers, and right hand path thinkers are usually people who believe in a definite split between white magic and black magic, and that the key difference is that white magic is considered beneficent in that it is to be used to heal, protect, or do good, and often involves invoking “angelic” or white light beings, while black magic is considered maleficent in that it is believed to be used to do harm others or gain personal power at the expense of others, and involves sex magic, necromancy, and invoking demons or “demonic” beings.
The hypocrisy here is that those who consider themselves white magicians have no problem with violent magic so long as it invokes or coerces God or angelic beings (from the Christian perspective at least) to bind and destroy demons or to strike down their “diabolical” foes, yet if a black magician were to use magic for the same or similar purposes he would be condemned as evil. In Christian belief, any supernatural work that can be attributed to Jehovah, Jesus, or the saints is considered a divine miracle, and everything else is not just magic, it’s often considered demonic or associated with Satan. In other words tantamount to black magic. The problem is, how are the works of Jesus and the other saints not simply magic by another name?
While there is disagreement in the actual definition of magic per se, magic can be commonly defined as the means by which the practitioner can make things happen that would not ordinarily happen through the trained will of the practitioner. For Left Hand Path magicians, and perhaps black magicians, there is no such thing as good or bad magic, as they recognize magic as a tool for the purposes of the magician thus essentially amoral, and any moral limits are strictly based on those applied by the individual magician.
Why exactly am I talking about magic? Because that feeds into my position on miracles. One the one hand, I think miracles in the traditional religious sense might basically be just that: magic. When we think of miracles we think of things that happen out of nowhere with no scientific cause. While the latter part is true in that they cannot be attributed to observable laws of nature, I don’t think they happen out of nowhere, and certainly not in the context of so many painfully light family movies that are clearly intended just for children and the elderly. Christian doctrine might have us believe that it is God working through the performers of miracles in order to perform the miracles, but it’s possible they may have performed them on their own, albeit with some divine spirit inside them that is invoked. Effectively this makes Jesus, and the saints, magicians in their own right, possibly magicians for whom faith is a source of power.
On the other hand, say the Christians are right and miracles happen through God’s will or grace, in any case direct divine intervention. That would basically mean miracles are nothing more than borrowed power, and it is a temporary power at that. In that case, perhaps miracles are distinguishable from magic. If magic is a practice that involves the will of the magician, then miracles are not if they are ultimately acts of God since for Christians God is an external entity. If that’s the case, then no wonder Christians are averse to all things magical, even their own magic, because they are trained in the doctrine that miracles happen through the influence of God’s will or grace. This would mean Jesus and the saints perform miracles not as an exercise of their magical will or divine powers, but because God granted them powers and the ability to do so.
But let’s return to the impetus of this post: yoga. Specifically, was Mike Persi’s ability to walk a miracle or magic? I don’t think it was a miracle, in the sense that it was a sudden act of divine intervention on the part of any God. Could it be a magical act? That’s debatable. Ultimately Mike, having recovered through yoga therapy, must have recovered as a result of some effort, in a way an application of his own will to make the extraordinary happen. Saying that, however, that might be as shallow as it gets. Whether yoga can be classed as magical, or has any magical properties, is ultimately down to the individual practitioner.
Lately I have been thinking a couple of things, about some new ideas about Satan, Chaos, God, light and darkness, and a great fire, and it has been difficult to express these things.
Let’s start with God. I feel like I am seeing that God is something that can be interpreted differently by different people, and how we interpret God in a way shapes our belief system, and this includes both the left and right hand paths. Personally I feel that the concept of God as a single deity that creates, rules, and operates the universe is a mistake. It doesn’t matter if that deity is Jehovah, Allah, Vishnu, or even Shiva, or Satan that matter, and it doesn’t matter if the belief system is theistic or anti-theistic, right-handed or left-handed, it still means falling for a kind of ignorance because the conception of God being employed is erroneous, and it kind of risks a victim mentality depending on how you take it. I think if God is anything it is a divine spark of creation within each of us, Creator in Man rather than Creator above.
Then we have Chaos. I think that the divine spark I mentioned (or God) could be pure, raw, undisciplined energy, perhaps even calling back to my earlier definitions of Chaos (which might not have been so skewed after all). And as long as chaos is pure energy, perhaps light and darkness are forms of that energy, with Chaos being between them as the purest state of energy. Who knows? There could be a lot that is based on the energy of Chaos, like emotion, ecstasy, bliss, what we feel in the senses, righteous feeling and fervor, our very instincts themselves.
Now I finally get to say something about what Satan is. If light and darkness are phases of the same energy, then Satan surely must be the symbol of the dark side of that force, the carnal side. And for the light side of that energy, I would pick either Shiva or Lucifer to represent it (the latter inspired by a conversation with Tadashi), or even Amun Ra. If Shiva isn’t the light side, then he could still represent a certain aspect of that energy, like the male to the female of Shakti. Gods in general can be symbolic of states of energy, in addition to my own being. Despite my identity as a Satanist, I am concerned about having Satan refer to everything in the universe because I feel it doesn’t fully make sense. It’d be hardly different from making Jehovah (or should that be El) the god of everything, and we all know about that story. Personally I think the Baphomet, while it’s not actually a symbol of Satan, could refer to all phases of the energy of Chaos, and it probably still wouldn’t be the symbol of all. God? The Aum. Chaos? Energy is its own symbol, and it’s usually better to feel energy.
This is the closest I’ve gotten to being sure about this whole thing, enough at least to write a blog post, and I still feel I am not so sure. I personally lament not being fully conclusive on this, having all the answers I need. It would be best to just do what works for me, but I ain’t sure yet what works for me. Frankly, what if there’s not just one energy?
Maybe my problem is dealing with what relates to reality too much but what if it’s just my spiritual reality, my truth?
My brother and I were talking about overpopulation and the environment, and eventually I led on to the subject of religious belief, and then I thought of something regarding that and God. We discussed that the problem of overpopulation might be reduced if the religious teachings regarding contraception that lots of us were milked on had less influence on mankind. Even as they grow less influential in the Western world, I am certain there are many parts of the world were those teachings are still pretty much the norm. And as I continued discussing that, I thought of something regarding God.
Just run with me on this one: let’s assume you believe it is God’s word (or more or less the word of your god) that contraception (such as the use of condoms to prevent unwanted pregnancy) is forbidden, and you also believe that your God is a being that sees everything that happens and has happened and thus knows everything there is to know or soon to be known. On that basis, let’s say your God has been watching mankind, seeing them make too many babies because they can’t use contraception or abort, even in the case of rape, and drain the planet of its resources to feed the onslaught of the newly born, or worse yet just dump and neglect the newly born because they didn’t want them. Now in that case, let me get something straight.: you’re telling me your God has seen mankind fill the planet with orchards of its own offspring at wanton and at the expense of the planet’s resources and he still thinks it’s a good idea to tell mankind they can’t procreate?
Personally, I don’t think people who follow these stupid rules regarding contraception are doing it for God, because I believe that, if there is a God, then God certainly would not care whether or not men prevent their genitalia from fertilizing their partners. I think people only do it for the sake of the traditions they have been raised to believe but believe falsely, they do what they’re told but they don’t honestly believe. People are raised to believe what they believe by people who’ve had the wrong idea of what God is all along, and boy do we know the damage that causes.
Over a month ago I have been writing about my alter ego character in a notebook. Apparently I’ve given him a lot of rich symbolism pertaining to his character and his purpose in the world he is a part of. I write about my character on this blog for the pleasure of it, and because I feel the stuff I have written has been insightful enough that it merits mention. I have been working on this character for a long time, and through this time I have also found things about myself and my beliefs, so this character is very important to me. And I apologize in advance if it’s too long for you to read.
First, some background: He is a warrior, adventurer, treasure hunter, and protector of the world he lives in from the has the power of fire; both the fire that brings light and the fire of demons. He also has the ability to stay underwater as long as he wants so that he can swim like a free spirit beneath the waters, can eat a lot without getting fat, he has red eyes glowing in the dark, can open up a third eye for discovering hidden presences and pathways, and is abundant in spiritual energy. He can also access a kind of demonic super form. His birthmark is the Aum symbol written as a Siddham letter. He uses the powers associated with Satan and Chaos for the sake of righteous and heroic cause, and he always tries to do what’s right but also what he pleases. He’s a passionate, confident, and energetic young man who manages to never lose his youth, but he has a soft side if brought out by the right people, and lives in both indulgence and honor. Although he is also an intense and emotional character, he never seems to brood. He fights not out of any sense of duty or obedience, but out of his own instincts and because he wants to do it and believes in his actions. He’s basically a lot like me, or the kind of life I want to live. He’s one with that force of passion and chaos, and the primal fires, and he lives as a warrior with heat and light in his heart and the fabric of his being. He also shares my own ideas and beliefs, naturally, and looks like me except his look is perfectly executed. Aside from fighting and adventuring, he likes to eat, swim, love, treasure hunt, and rock, and he seems to get along well with wild animals.
Now that that’s over with, the symbolism and meaning that has become attached to the character.
Exhibit 1 – The birthmark
As I just mentioned, his birthmark is the Aum written in Siddham script. According to Hindu belief, the Aum represents infinite energy, God, and the divine. It also representsthe cycle of life, death, and rebirth from Hindu belief, as representing by each phoneme A, U, and M respectively, though there is also A for life and Um (or Un) for death. The latter is represented by two varieties of Japanese temple guardians: the komainu (lion-dogs), and the Kongorikishi (wrath-filled muscular guardians of the Buddha). In both cases, one has its mouth open and the other has its mouth closed. The open mouth is A, and the closed mouth is Un or Um, which together mean life and death.
It’s meant to connect to the characters abundant personal energy, a trait which was also inspired by Ichigo Kurosaki from the anime Bleach. May also represent a connect with timeless energy and force. It’s also meant to denote my alter ego’s role as the protector of his own world. Take from that what you will…
Exhibit 2 – The colors red and black
Alex’s two colors are red and black, which naturally are also my favorite colors. To many, they mean either evil or anarchism, but those connotations are not present here. It started with Shin Megami Tensei, where they were the colors of the Chaos faction, which I aligned with, and they were also colors of another favorite video game character, Shadow the Hedgehog (who I freely confess made machine guns look cool). But since then more symbolism got attached to it.
In Balinese folklore, red, black, and white are the colors associated with a powerful witch demon Rangda, who was believed to be the queen of demons. Rangda’s colors are also attached to Kali, the Hindu goddess of time, change, destruction, and power, and Rangda is also believed to have been linked with Kali and Durga, the latter of which was the warrior mother goddess of victory over evil. Funny enough, while Rangda is seen in Balinese folklore as an evil demon, she was also seen as a protector in some parts of Bali, similar to Kali’s occasional representation as a protective goddess.
Speaking of demons, in Buddhist lore, the asuras (borrowed from Hindu lore) are depicted as red-skinned and the rakshasas (also Hindu in origin) are depicted with black skin, and both are vicious demons who, in Japan, were also tasked with protecting the Buddhist law. In Christian-influenced Western belief, Satan and his demons are commonly represented by the colors red and black, presumably because of their connection with sin, evil, lust, aggression, mystery, and darkness. It’s probably because of this that red and black have become so attached with Satanism (after all, it wouldn’t be Satanism without any conception of Satan now would it?). But there is still so much more to red and black here than just demons and Satan. In fact, the chief symbolism here is actually from Taoism.
In Taoism, there are the two natural principles of yin and yang, yin being the dark, passive, and mysterious principle, and yang being the bright, assertive, and magnetic principle. Yin is black and yang is white, but yang has also been represented as red, presumably because red represents qualities attached to the yang principle. Anyways, for Taoist belief, yin and yang must exist in harmony and as complimentary forces and do not exist as opposites that must triumph over each other. With that in mind, the key meaning is formed. Red means heat, force, and dynamism, while black means mystery, darkness, and space. Together, they actually represent energy in its most primordial form, and in the twin forces of heat and darkness. It could also represent light and darkness in union too, since fire brings light as well as heat.
Black is generally associated with the occult, demons, the left hand, disaster, mystery, death, and chaos, but in some cultures it represents life. In Japan black means life, while white actually means death. In China, black is the color that represents the element of water for some reason. Black also points to Kali and the Buddhist Mahakala, who was a Buddhist incarnation of the Hindu god Shiva. Red means heat, fire, vitality, passion, but in Japan it is also the traditional color of the hero and the color for expelling demons and illness (a bit ironic considering all this talk of demons from before), as well as the sun and summer. For my alter ego, red and black are the simplest symbols of his dual affinity for the bright power of fire and the dark power of the demons, for righteousness and vice, for the union of moral integrity and animal instinct, and for the directing of dark power and heat towards the pursuit of a just cause.
The theory of his color scheme is also evocative of Baphomet, not to be confused with Satan (though Satan does have influence here). Baphomet is a symbol of the union of or harmony between forces that are either opposite or mutually distinct. Thus Baphomet brings together the forces that I have mentioned throughout this section.
Exhibit 3 – The power of demons and chaos as a sword of righteousness
While the idea may have started with playing video games like Devil May Cry and Shin Megami Tensei, there are actually links to mythology and religious belief.
In Egypt, there is the god Set, who was the god of the desert and storms, and later evil and chaos. Even before the people of Egypt turned Set into a god of evil, he was seen as a wild, tumultuous, and sometimes hostile deity, but it is Set who protects the sun god Ra in the daily battle against Apep, the serpent of entropy and annihilation. Funny enough he was also seen as the lord of the red sands and Horus was the lord of the black soil. Set was also linked with the Semitic god Baal (or Hadad). In fact, there was a time when people from Western Asia, referred to as the Hyksos, ruled Egypt. They worshiped the storm god Baal, who became linked with the Egyptian storm god Seth, and they were both worshipped as Seth-Baal, sometimes in an almost monotheistic fashion, until the Hyksos were driven out of Egypt. Also, a friend and personal spiritual teacher of mine (who I remember as The Desolate One) told me a theory that when Set defeated Apep, he took on the power once linked with Apep, and that this is how he become the god of darkness, reviled as the god of evil. I think we both followed with the idea that Baal did the same after defeating Yam.
As usual though, much of my inspiration comes from Asia, and there’s a lot of symbolism to be found in Buddhist lore. In Tibet, there are deities who seem vicious and demonic, to the point that those who first look upon them unaware of their role in the Buddhist faith would construe them as no different to demons. But in truth, they represent the violent reality of both the cosmos and the human mind, and they serve the purpose of protecting the Buddhist faith and practitioners, and helping the practitioner attain enlightenment by clearing away the obstacles to enlightenment (at least from the Buddhist point of view). These beings are referred to as wrathful deities. They are based on violence and power, they have a violent nature and a demonic appearance, but they are not necessarily evil at all. In fact, they also symbolize the tremendous amount of effort and force needed to vanquish evil. In Japan, a similar term is Kishin, which means “fierce god” or “demon god”, and they are guardian gods.
They are actually supposed to be benevolent, but their appearance is meant to instill terror into the forces of evil and drive them back, much like the appearance of gorgon heads on Greek temples or gargoyles on medieval Christian churches. It’s also interesting to note that some of these deities, according to tradition, were once the native gods or demons of the land prior to being defeated in magical combat with the guru Padmasambhava and converting to Buddhism. The only problem is this does mean these beings serve the Buddhist faith as a result of being defeated and subjugated by someone else, rather than by being convinced that it aligns with their own convictions.
The concept of demonic beings enlisted to protect the Buddhist faith is further expressed in Japanese Buddhism, though often it is after the demons are defeated or captured (such as with Fujin and Raijin). But that is not always the case. There is a story of a goddess named Hariti, who used to be a yaksha demon from Pakistan who killed human children in order to feed her hundreds of children. Siddhartha Gautama wanted to stop this so he hid one of her sons under a bowl, then he told Hariti that her suffering from losing one of her children cannot be compared to the suffering of all the mothers whose few children became her victims. Realizing the depth of her actions and feeling remorse for them, she converted to Buddhism and pledged to be the protector of children and childbirth, and promised to eat pomegranates instead of human children. Another story is the story of Atavaka, or Daigensui Myo-O as he is known in Japan. Similar to Hariti, Atavaka was once a child-eating yaksha demon, but after encountering Siddartha Gautama, he converted to Buddhism and become a yaksha king, protector of the southwest direction, and a vassal to the warrior deity Bishamonten. Atavaka was also considered the chief of all the spirits and demons protecting the land.
Japanese esoteric Buddhism also has a deity named Rastetsuten, who is considered one of the twelve devas who protect the four directions, the four semi-directions, the sun, the moon, up, and down. Rasetsuten protected the southwest direction of the heavens and was master of the rakshasa demons. In Hindu lore rakshasas were cannibalistic demons who practiced black magic, desecrated gravesites, disrupted sacrifices, and had venomous fingernails, but in Mahayana Buddhist texts they converted to Buddhism and served to protect the dharma. Another Hindu demon who takes on a protective role in Japanese Buddhism is the asura, who in Hinduism were previously considered demonic spirits who fought against the gods. In Buddhist lore they are merely semi-divine beings addicted to various passions, but most especially strife and conflict, though they are also capable of being virtuous and pious. In Vedic lore, the term asura was an epithet meaning “mighty” and referred to power and strength, and was attributed to various Vedic gods.
Come to think of it, it seems demons have been a force of protection from evil and fighting evil, as well as promoting evil, destruction, and chaos, for a long time in many beliefs outside of Christianity, general Western culture, and Islam.
In some cultures, while snakes were associated with healing, wisdom, and fertility, even before Christianity they were also associated with danger and darker and more chthonic forces. This was the case in ancient Greece, where serpents are most classically associated with the chthonic monster known as the gorgon (among whom was the famous Medusa). But in Greece, the oldest oracles were said to be protected by serpents (including the monster Python who guarded the oracle at Delphi), and the heads of gorgons appeared on temples to protect against malign forces. Gorgon masks were also carved to protect from the evil eye. Medusa herself appears in a temple to Artemis in Corfu, where she is a guardian of the temple. In Babylon and Assyria, there is the demon Pazuzu (who some may recognize as the spirit that possessed Linda Blair in The Exorcist). He was an evil spirit of wind who brought plague, disease, famine, and locusts, but he was also invoked to protect humans from plague, disease, and misfortune, particularly the kind brought by a demonic goddess named Lamashtu. Mesopotamian folklore also describes storm demons known as Ugallu, who were also considered beneficial protective demons and were depicted and invoked in charms. In India, the yakshas are sometimes treated as demons, but they are also seen as benign earthly protector spirits. Demons and ghouls are also found as the hosts of the Hindu god Shiva, and those hosts are said to frighten even the gods Brahma and Vishnu. Even today there are believers in the paranormal and the occult who consider demons to be guardian spirits in the same sense that angels are, only that demons come from the darker side of the spirit world.
There is inspiration that follows a similar principle: Tantra. In Tantric Hindusim, things that are considered dark, taboo, even unspiritual can be considered sacred and/or valid pathways to the divine. Most recognized among their belief is the belief that material pleasures can be dedicated to God and that seemingly negative forces can be transformed into positive forces and religious bliss.
Outside mythology, the spirit of the righteous application of demonic power lives on in modern culture. In Japanese video games and anime, demons aren’t always a strictly negative force. And sometimes, in those settings, individuals associated with demons fight demons and protect the world and humans from evil with the help of their power. The anime Blue Exorcist is about a young man named Rin Okumura who is the son of Satan, but he fights demons and wants to defeat Satan (the Christian Satan). In the anime YuYu Hakusho, the main character Yusuku Urameshi is the main protagonist who protects the human world from various supernatural threats and he apparently has demon blood. In fact, he can access a demon form with some wicked long hair! In video games, Shin Megami Tensei lets you use demons and their power to potentially do good depending on your point of view. Demons are categorized by alignments based on the two axes of Light-Neutral-Dark and Light-Neutral-Chaos. For example, Kishin refers to warrior deities, and they are attached Light-Chaos, my personal favorite alignment for demons. Perhaps Light-Chaos can refer to the righteous manifestation of the power of the demons. And who could forget the Devil May Cry games, which feature humans with demonic blood who fight demons with the help of the power of demons. Most famous among them of course is Dante, who has become a true hack and slash icon and a personal inspiration for me and my alter ego.
Exhibit 4 – Heavy metal culture
Probably because of my own interest in heavy metal music, the character I talk about here inherits influence from heavy metal music in his design and background. He has long hair that’s basically a mixture of Nikki Sixx’s hair from Motley Crue and a Japanese hairstyle I found one time.
I often draw him making the sign of the horns with his hands. It’s a sign that was officially introduced to heavy metal by Ronnie James Dio, after he joined Black Sabbath. He claimed he based it on the sign that his grandmother made with his hands: the malocchio. It was apparently used to ward off curses such as the evil eye. Since Dio, the sign of the horns has become a universal element of heavy metal culture, despite musicians of other genre and cultures copying it randomly.
My alter ego has by and large copied my fashion sense, which has absorbed other insignias of heavy metal culture. Among them, the sleeveless denim jacket and the bullet belt, both of them associated with traditional heavy metal, thrash metal, and speed metal, though the bullet belt can be found worn be fans of more extreme metal sub-genres, such as black metal and death metal, and members of such bands. Both fashion items were chosen as nods to heavy metal subculture.
My character’s black jacket was initially based on a black long-sleeved jacket I usually wore, which I believe was made of cotton. But this jacket has become replaced by a black jacket made of leather, which is pretty much based on the denim and leather done by many old school heavy metal bands (except that I prefer black denim to blue denim). Denim and leather back then was such a recognized element of heavy metal fashion that it was the title of an album by one such band: Saxon.
But it’s not just the fashion of heavy metal that’s important. In fact, it only makes sense that my character, and I myself for that matter, would associate with heavy metal music. Heavy metal is the only music that represents what I feel I come from. Metal was the music of power and aggression, it’s the only music that has a lot of the kind of lyrical subject matter I like (demons, war, myth, lust, and warriors, among other lyrics) and to such an awesome sound, and it has a subculture that embraces what are in my mind the values of the warrior, the rebel, and the devil. It is aggressive music, raw energy, and the instrumentation channels said aggression to create a sublime sound, and many of my favorite metal bands channel aggressive music to make what is ultimately a positive sound. And the energy and passion I feel from the music is certainly a positive influence. So however you stretch it, metal deserves the influence it has. Because of the tendency of heavy metal to feature lyrics about demons, Satan, and the occult, it can be a good example of channeling inspiration from darkness to create something righteous, strong, and true.
Exhibit 5 – The action hero
The action genre is very influential not just from anime and video games, but of course action films. Early on I and one of my art teachers likened my alter ego to characters such as Dirty Harry, who upheld the law and busted criminals by flunking regulations and breaking the rules, thus exemplifying a classic example of the trope of the renegade cop, better known as the cowboy cop. Other well-known examples of the trope include Die Hard, Cobra, Lethal Weapon, Beverly Hills Cop, Last Action Hero, and Demolition Man.
Speaking of Demolition Man, the main character John Spartan and not to mention the film itself have both been very inspirational. Before being cryogenically frozen, Spartan was the baddest cowboy cop in Los Angeles, busting exceptionally bad criminals without regard for proper protocol or concern for collateral damage. After being frozen, he wakes up to find that LA has become San Angeles, a crapsaccharine state without passion and no freedom to do anything other than following the plans Dr. Raymond Cocteau has for your life, and eventually Simon Fenix, the worst criminal Spartan has ever faced, also arrives after being cryogenically frozen. He eventually defeats and kills Fenix, but also challenges and topples the pristine order of San Angeles through the destruction of the cryo prison (though Fenix kills Cocteau before all this happens). Spartan then challenges the people of San Angeles to try and live in a world of both order and wild freedom, thus echoing the idea of a character who fights for freedom and to preserve justice.
My favorite anime characters are pretty much always action character with weapons (albeit swords instead of guns), such as Ichigo from Bleach. Of all of them, Ichigo always had a lot of appeal. He was hot-headed, and hot-bleaded, but he never gave up, never backed down, and always tried to fight for what he thought was right because he wanted to.
Exhibit 6 – The demonic super form
The alter ego’s demonic super form is ostensibly a combination of Super Sonic from the Sonic the Hedgehog series, which itself was based on the Super Saiyan state from Dragon Ball, and Dante’s Devil Trigger state from the Devil May Cry games. Similar tropes also appear in various other video games, as well as anime. My character’s particular super form also derives from not just Satan with his horns, but also the flaming aura that surrounds the Buddhist wrathful deities of Tibet and Japan.
The super form also has a third eye, which is ostensibly derived from Shiva. In fact, the flaming aura itself is also a manifestation of the flaming aura of both Shiva and the goddess Kali
Exhibit 7 – Other mythological/religious elements
My character frequently uses weapons that have some link to Asian religious themes, often as bonus weapons, including the vajra and the trishula, which are attached many Buddhist deities, along with the Hindu gods Indra and Shiva respectively.
My alter ego’s jacket is set to have a flaming ram’s head on the back of it, which is an allusion to the Hindu god Agni, the zodiac sign Aries, and the Egyptian symbolism of the ram as the soul of the sun god. In this light, the ram is a symbol of the spirit of the sun, fire, heat, light, energy, and enthusiasm.
Like myself, my alter ego wears a Satanic pentagram, which represents not just Satanism, but the powers of darkness and demons, and in this case the principle of using the powers of darkness to pursue a just cause and righteous ideals.
When my alter ego belt buckle is a monstrous demon head, based on the Kirtimukha and Rahu. Kirtimukha is a demon-like image that sometimes adorns temples to Shiva and halos that surround the Shiva and his family. It represents the hunger that pervades the universe and drives all life as attested to in Hindu belief and mythology. Rahu was a demon in Hindu myth who tried to devour the sun. There is also Tao Tie, a fiend from Chinese mythology who represents hunger. I have also considered using a lion’s head for his belt buckler (possibly with a demonic twist). It was inspired by Isamu Nitta’s belt buckle from Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne (which is based on Azazel from Soul Hackers), but it can also be a nod to the lion as a symbol of the Zoroastiran spirit of destruction, Ahriman, based on the Mithraic depiction of Ahriman or Arimanius.
I must also mention the fan-made Grey Jedi Code associated with Star Wars, which I have already described in full here.
As I mentioned before, my alter ego’s abilities are often based on my own traits. Such as his ability to swim being based on my like of water and personal desire to swim more, and the food thing being related to liking to eat like an animal, and eating a lot without getting fat as a kid. And the animals thing is not just related to Shiva or the Horned One, but the fact that I like to talk about animals as a kid.
In general, his preference of weapons (katanas and machine guns) is inspired by video games, particularly Shin Megami Tensei, Final Fantasy, and Shadow the Hedgehog, as well as my interest in Japanese martial arts and American action films.
And that’s pretty much it. I took way too damn long writing this because I needed to get everything down that needed to be gotten down. Either way I hope this long post can be appreciated as an assessment of my own alter ego and the ideas that shape it, and thus the ideas that actually have shaped me as a person and relate to me as a person to the core of my self.
I saw a saying recently that “God is another name for the Eternal”, though I could not find anyone that saying is attributed to. Either way, if this saying applies, then there are many ways that can be taken in many ways. It could potentially mean that you don’t have to merge your self, individuality, or consciousness with some higher consciousness in order to do anything involving God. Naturally it also means that God isn’t a man in the sky or an outside consciousness, but a force or a presence dwelling within pretty much everything.
If God is just another name for the eternal, then that can be experienced in many ways that does not necessarily require the individual hand him/herself over to some father on high or some cosmic consciousness. One can even find what can be called God in him/herself. Unfortunately I am not familiar with the ways this is explored save for extensive meditation. It is an interesting mystery to be sure…
Pretty much every religion that believes in a God seems to tell the same story: God creates the universe, God creates life, God creates mankind, and God creates self, individuality, and soul and endows it mankind (you could say God gives it to other animals but let’s not start that debate), but then God, according to the religions who believe in God, wants mankind to give up the self and individuality to be “one” with God. Every time, it begs the question: why would God create the self and create individuality only so that it may be surrendered to God?
If God is the source and progenitor of the self, shouldn’t God support the self, or reward the individual for nourishing and defending his/her genuine identity and self (and not that thing many religions tout as “the true self”), instead of asking for submission and acquiescence, or even assimilation, of the individuality of the soul? If that were true, then God also cannot judge anybody for who they are because God made them that way. But no, in every religion that believes in a God, he apparently creates the self and individuality only so it can be surrendered by the individual. Same with desire. Why create it if all you want is for mankind to give it up? And I don’t mean control or restrain, I mean surrendering it to God. What is God thinking?
There is the possibility that all the religions that believe in God have all this time have only had ideas of what God wants with the self and just invented all that crap about surrendering the self to suit their ambitions of control, but there’s only one problem with that: if what all religions describe is not the true will of God, what is? And if you believe in God, but reject all religions and all holy texts, how can you ever know or be sure of what God’s will truly is, especially regarding the individual self?
Lately I have been meditating on the concept of God, and my concept of God, though not really in the sense of sitting on your ass cross-legged, since I have managed to gather thoughts in a different manner. Now some of you may be thinking that a concept of God has no place in Satanism, but that actually depends on what God is to you. There is certainly no place for an overarching ruler of the cosmos or a judging sky father, such as the Judeo-Christian God, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s no place for another kind of God, or even deities (then again, you can easily be a pagan if you’re interested in deities without the layer of Satanism, except if the layer covers spiritual ideology).
What if I were to tell you that God is a force that lies inside you? After much meditation, my idea of God has become much clearer than it was before. I was tempted to think of a higher force, even almost drawing towards a Hindu spin on theistic Satanism with Setian and pagan undertones. My belief regarding God is that God is not an entity, it is force that lies within you. God is potential which we can unlock, potential by which we can become our own god, by which we can create the world for ourselves and achieve spiritual immortality.
As a Satanist, the God within me is the only God I worship, the divine potential in me, and my goal regarding God is to manifest that potential, perhaps connect with it, in order to truly be as my own God, achieve spiritual immortality, and create the world for myself, all on a spiritual level.
In case you’re thinking “what about Satan?”, Satan is not an object of worship to me. Satan is a figure I admire, a symbol of individualism, freedom, and personal power, and even a metaphorcial force of life (like another way of seeing Gods like Shiva) or a great heathen power. To me, Satan is an entity that is emblematic of his own paradigm: the way of power, freedom, desire, and self-goodhood, the greatness that is denied by religion (particularly religions like Christianity). Satan can also represent the dark and carnal forces I just love to experience and are a vital part of existence and life as a whole.
Now, a Satanist who believes in God as potential within you isn’t very nonsensical, since Satanists believe that either they are their own God or that the goal of life is to become your own God, and belief in God as a potential inside you would logically tie into that. To me, this is a very Satanic, even Setian, view of God.
I would also like to point out that one person has interpreted my idea as the belief that God is trapped in his own creation. This interpretation is bogus, because in my belief God is not an outside entity and did not create all that we see and feel, but rather is divine, spiritual, and creative potential inside us, born with us. The Creator is not without, The Creator is within.
On the subject of deities from mythologies (and I prefer to use the term deity rather than god, except when convenience calls for otherwise), I feel they are as thoughtforms, human manifestations and reflections of our own minds, and in a way the God in ourselves. In a pagan sense, gods are our way of reflecting and representing Nature in a deific form, and revering Nature in a deific form. Gods are our way of representing forces, ideas, and concepts. I have a deep interest in deities, but I do not bow down and worship them. I often honor deities as representations of forces, ideas, and even forces of my own soul, even including deities that aren’t my Seven Deities which represent my own soul. It can be any deity in any mythology. For instance, I venerate Shiva and Shakti as representations of the raw primordial force of the cosmos that motivates the universe and life (the force that I refer to as Shakti, though I also revere Beelzebub when referring to it as the horned force).
As a pagan I revere deities, but also the Nature that they reflect, and I still revere Nature and the primordial force of the cosmos alongside the God within and Satan as a symbol of my spiritual paradigm (the latter two I revere as a Satanist and Left Hand Path thinker), and one of my goals is also to feel Nature, to feel the raw force of the cosmos that I revere as Shiva and Shakti, my favorite gods. In a way, this could mean I’m still something of a nature worshiper too, alongside the rest of my belief system, not that that’s a bad thing.
It’s important to note that deities are not physically real, so don’t expect physical gods, rather their existence is spiritual.
That sums up my position on God and deities, no sky daddies here and no need for atheism. Hail Thyself, and the True God that is within you!
(Note: the title of this post is derived from one of my early posts, “God and Deity”, and I titled it so because in a way this post, while it its own thing, is a new outlining on my position on both God and deities. If you would like to see the original, click here).
By the way, I’d like to thank Cassie and Sophie of Devil’s Advocate for their material having inspired me.
A friend of mine mentioned something about the right hand path that speaks of its prime nonsense.
Most RHP religions emphasize the idea of attaining union with “God” and dissolving the self and desire. But here’s the problem: if God wanted humans to be one with him and to have no self, why did he create humans to have self and desire in the first place? Doesn’t that contradict the whole point? This probably doesn’t apply in Abrahamism, where humans were supposedly created “perfect”, but then the devil introduced them to “sin” and the tree of knowledge, leading them to selfhood and moving away from “God”, thus justifying the idea of “salvation”. It’d still be nonsense either way though.
Has it ever bugged RHP folk about how God apparently wants humans to give up their self/ego and desire, while simultaneously creating humans to have those things?
Just for the sake of a random thought, I’d like to submit to you two conceptions of a god of chaos. And it’s to do with individual deities and not God
The embodiment of Chaos
A god who embodies the primal forces and energy of Chaos, and the things associated with. It could also be a deity who embodies the ideology of Chaos, which I have mentioned in two previous posts. Also a god with the power of Chaos.
A god who creates a world but does not rule it
Try to imagine it: a deity who creates a world, but does not necessarily rule over or control his creations. He does what he feels like within his own creation, and his creations essentially do what they want.