An organizing idea for myself

Going forward, I have thought that I should construct an organizing idea for myself as a Luciferian going forward: one that will govern and underpin my practice, my spirituality and my personal framework for Luciferianism in the long run and thus define the ideal I seek to aspire to.

This organizing idea stems from some contemplations and conversations about the balance of the “light” and “dark” aspects of the self, akin to the superego and the id, or rather the struggle of Man’s rational and instinctual impulses, as well as of the concept of the Morning Star, a name for the planet Venus as the day star, and how it is title that has been not just the King of Babylon but also Jesus Christ himself.

On the first topic, I believe I’ve covered the subject of balance many times before on this very blog, though not so much through the lens of the rational versus the instinctual. So will just say this: whoever said that humans are primarily rational creatures was either wrong or lying. Which isn’t to say that humans are just chimps a few extra sparks of consciousness. Look, in the wild, nearly every animal other than homo sapiens operates primarly on instinct and animalistic pragmatism. You think almost exclusively through the lens of eat, drink, court a mate, procreate, and try to avoid getting killed. This isn’t necessarily rational on its own. Or if it is, it’s in a limited sense because you aren’t necessarily calculating your actions all that much. You’re just making do or die actions all the time, and you can’t ignore the moment or avoid acting out of desperation or else you’re going to die. This is because in the pure state of nature, there is only one primary goal: survival. And that basic desire to survive is not necessarily a rational one, but an instinctual one – perhaps the seat of our instincts. Now bear in mind that I’m not making a moral judgement here. Without following our basic instinctual desire to survive during the time before civilization, perhaps we might not have arrived at the point in our evolution in which we conceivably could build civilizations and rise to the top of the food chain. To have lived in that state was a necessary step in our evolution before we could arrive at civilization. But it can’t be confused as rational, not in the purest sense anyway.

Rational thinking, by contrast, requires objectivity. Even if we can’t achieve perfect objectivity, the rational person must approximate the level of real objectivity as much as possible. This involves the ability to step back from the moment and think long term, guided by logic rather than the immediate senses. Man achieves this in the pursuit of power and civilization, for civilization is ultimately the pursuit of a system in which humans can not only survive but also thrive for many generations to come, long after the architects of such systems are dead and buried. It also requires being able to step back from instinctual habits that, while they were likely useful in the wild, serve to hinder us during the civilization phase and, if left uncontrolled and unchecked, would also potentially lead to destruction. Our tribalism, our proclivity towards force or emotion over reason, our ability to be misguided by fear, and many other flaws of the human condition also derive from millions of years of evolution. This is why few out of our species achieve greatness, because most are ultimately limited by their own condition, while those who achieve greatness do so because they overcome those limitations by, among other things, their ability to step outside of the moment, and make the undertakings that few dare to. But in a way, it can perhaps be said that people achieve greatness by the ability to transform themselves. Again, where most are limited and, whether by choice or otherwise, fail to undertake the necessary transformation, great men and women have the capability to transform themselves, becoming almost akin to gods in the process. The truly great are not limited by the rational, superegoic drive or the instinctual. Often times rational thinking has its limits: after all, it’s not possible to survive as a purely rational being, it’s not healthy to be driven solely by the superego. But equally, we cannot afford to be driven solely by instinctual drives or the id. Hence the need for balance.

On a slight tangent before my next point, this is why I appreciate the philosophy of the Luciferian occultist Michael W Ford so much, because he stresses the ideal of balance. Yet when reading his books, it strikes me how often he focuses on the archetype of the Shadow, via the adversarial or Satanic archetypes (often via Ahriman; I notice the Zoroastrian lore, specifically Ahrimanic sorcery, is a big theme in his writings). He also focuses on Cain quite a bit. Given that Cain was most famous (or should that be infamous?) for that story in the Book of Genesis in which he murdered his brother Abel because Yahweh liked his meat sacrifice more than Cain’s vegetable sacrifice, at the very least it suggests more of a focus on the darker side, a bit ironic considering the emphasis on the balance in his own philosophy. For there to be a hard balance, we must have not just the Shadow, but the light.

From this I segue into the second point, on the morning star and its myth, and its identification with Jesus. The morning star, which is in fact the planet Venus, is the brightest object in the sky other than the Sun and the Moon. It may have been for this reason that its radiance as the morning star was used as a signifier of divinity approximate to a god, or the God. It was probably why Jesus is referred to in the Bible and elsewhere as the morning star, due to his radiance as an incarnation of God, indeed his son. Perhaps it is also why Jesus’ mother, the Virgin Mary, is herself referred to as the morning star by the Catholic Church. Or John the Baptist? Perhaps they brought about the light or day through their teachings? When the term was used to refer to the king of Babylon in the Book of Isaiah, there was a rather different context attached to it. The king was referred to as the morning star, perhaps in a derogatory fashion, because of his perceived ambition to make himself “Most High”, akin to the level of a god or God himself, during his condemnation. Perhaps his comes from Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of the Israelites. In Ezekiel, a similar fate is alluded to for a king of Tyre, who was compared to an unnamed cherub who was once considered “the seal of perfection” before his pride led him to being condemned by God. It’s these associations that lead the morning star to become synonymous with Satan through the myth of his war with, and subsequent fall from, the heavenly host. In Christianity, it seems, the morning star has both positive and negative connotations. On the one hand it is the light of the day, perhaps symbolic of the light of God. On the other it is the symbol of arrogance and rebellious, “satanic” pride.

For better or worse, thanks to Christianity Jesus is the representation of what can be described as the principle of goodness within Western culture. This is not limited to simply Christians. Many secular cultural artifacts in the West treat Jesus in that basic light, just for cultural reasons rather than necessarily religious ones. In a society that has been influenced by Christian thought for well over a thousand years, Jesus represented the archetypal good, at least according to Christian thought. When you think about it, regardless of whether Jesus was a historical person, which I personally doubt, Christ is an archetype. While the Christ myth is not wholly ripped off from pagan stories as people like Peter Joseph and Bill Maher liked to claim back in the day, the story of a divine being who sacrifices himself only to resurrect, and then whose resurrection signifies a greater rebirth or salvation was doubtless adapted from, or at least influenced by, other stories in the pre-Christian world. Some have taken this to mean transformation into a greater self. Some classical myths have this theme as representing the loss and restoration of the earth’s fertility. I have to admit, on its own this doctrine is pretty benign. Perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad were it not for the doctrine of Christianity, or the personality of Jesus? Who knows.

So where precisely am I going with this? Well I thought about this idea, and I thought about the morning and evening star as phases of Venus when it changes position in the sky, and the myth of Ishtar’s descent into and return from the netherworld, and from there I thought, what if through a myth of the morning star Lucifer would not simply be a dual representation of the light and the shadow via his connection to Venus, and by extension its day and night faces (Vesper the evening star, after all, is but the shadow of Lucifer the morning star), but, in a way, an alternate representation of The Good. Or, perhaps, the Highest Good (if I’m paraphrasing the likes of Jordan Peterson correctly).

Remember what I said earlier about how in Western, or at least Christian, culture Jesus represented the ideal of the good to which to aspire to. Remember also the general archetype of the dying and rising deity surrounding the Christ archetype. Now consider the myth of Ishtar, one of the earliest deific images of the planet Venus, who journeyed into the underworld to meet the goddess Ereshkigal and rescue her husband Tammuz, only to find him alive and well in the surface, acting as though nothing happened, and sent him to the underworld for 6 months each year in retribution. This is thought to mirror the cycle of the morning star and evening star phases of Venus and how Venus “descends” below  the Sun only to reappear on another side. The morning/evening star cycle has been observed as follows: Venus appears as the morning star on the east side of the Sun for a period of time, then descends below the horizon, reappears on the other side of the Sun as the evening star, descends below the horizon again and returns to the east side, thus perpetuating a cycle. This is somewhat alluded to in Aztec mythological lore surrounding the deity Quetzalcoatl, the god of wind, wisdom and the planet Venus, as well as two deities who represent the morning and evening star aspects of the planet – Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli, the lord of the dawn, and Xolotl, a dog-faced deity who guarded the Sun on its journey through the underworld (much like who Set or Horus guarded the Egyptian sun deity during its own journey through the underworld) and guided the soul to the netherworld. Indeed, aside from the astronomical journey of Venus, Quetzalcoatl at one point does indeed go on his own journey through the netherworld, to gather the bones of the dead so that he could use them to rebuild the human race (based on the belief that human bones would give birth to new humans as though they were seeds) in order to populate a new world after the previous one was destroyed (in this case the fifth world after the fourth world, which is also this world after the last one).

This is how I envision a Luciferian archetype of Lucifer: Lucifer, the brightest star in the sky, descends to the underworld to gain its wisdom, or perform some quest where this is the outcome, returns from the underworld as the master of the kingdom of shadows, perhaps reemerging to the other side to bring fourth the light – hence the name Lucifer, as in light-bringer. To bring the rays of liberty and liberation, to achieve enlightenment, to expose the secrets of the realm of darkness, to make darkness conscious, to enact the greatest good, to make the quest for wisdom, to overcome one’s limits, and perhaps many other meanings. Traditionally, through his association with Satan by Christians, Lucifer is seen as a principally rebellious figure. Through this Luciferian lens, Lucifer becomes more than that. He becomes a heroic archetype, just a heroic archetype that is perhaps willing to be rebellious (at least, according to the Christian rules). His journey is an embodiment of both the embrace of the shadow side and the pursuit of the highest good. It would be a quest comparable to the other underworld journey quests of the mythical world: Ishtar’s descent, Quetzalcoatl’s bone quest, Ra’s quest to defeat Apep, Orpheus’ journey into Hades (and those of various Greek gods), even Jesus’s Harrowing of Hell to some extent. These are heroic quests. And here, the quest is a link between Lucifer, and the Luciferian, and the quest for meaning and the good. And where in Satanism the spiritual system centers around the archetype of the shadow, in Luciferianism, the shadow is simply part of the totality of the spiritual path, to be part of a hard balance struck between it and the light side of the self.

That is the organizing ideal I intend to pursue, meaning that I will lean more towards Luciferianism going forward. I intend to meditate on this much further, and then go on to as much practice as I kind within my limited schedule.

Phosphor & Hesper Circling Their Double Star by Harriet Hosmer

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My problem with the Star Wars movies

It’s been implied yesterday that I may be encouraged to watch one of the Star Wars films next year (I presume it’s the original Star Wars) as part of a narrative assignment. Because of this, I felt like writing about my personal problems with the story of the Star Wars films. Specifically, the narrative centering around the concept of the Force.

Oh look, one side’s going left and the other’s going right. Just like…

The Force, in the Star Wars universe, refers to a field of energy that binds all life and the galaxy together. Obi Wan Kenobi also described such energy being created by all beings, and surrounding and penetrating all beings. In the Star Wars films, there is the light side of the Force and the dark side of the Force. The dark side of the Force as used by the Sith is universally depicted as the evil source of power. The Force as used by the Jedi, meanwhile, is seen as the good or proper source of power. Supposedly, the light side of the force is aligned with enlightenment, selflessness, compassion, healing, and benevolence, while the dark side of the force is aligned with hatred, aggression, jealousy, fear, and malevolence. And therein lies my personal problem with this narrative.

The narrative surrounding the Force in these movies seems designed to teach us that goodness is based on harmony, peace, and an idealized light side, while evil is based on passion, personal power, and the “dark” side. This is not only a regurgitation of Christian and Zoroastrian cosmology but it also reflects the Buddhist view on suffering and desire. The Buddhists view suffering as being caused by desires, passions, craving, and attachment, and consequently desire and passion are viewed negatively. It also reminds me of the distinction between “white” magic and “black” magic as espoused by popular culture, New Age types, and so many flawed magicians. It tries to teach that the force of harmony is good, the force of passion is evil, and you can’t use passion for good or harmony for evil because one is exclusively good and the other is bad. I find it be a warped logic.

As I understand it, the light side of the force espoused by the Jedi seems to be focused on peace and harmony while the dark side of the force espoused by the Sith seems to be based on passion and desire. And outside the films, the nature of the light and dark sides of the force are expanded upon, and the nature of the philosophies behind them are revealed. I’m sure the Sith are still basically the villains, but the philosophy behind them can’t be dismissed as evil entirely, nor can the Jedi philosophy be exalted as purely good. I feel that the “dark” and “light” sides of the force are things that can be used for any purpose, that can be used for good or bad depending on the motives of the individual. Much like magic, it’s not necessarily about attributes, but how you relate to them and what your intention is. The problem with the Star Wars conception of the Force is that it takes something so broad, but limits it significantly as to how people can use it.

A much needed addendum to Bright Darkness

Two years ago I wrote a very short post about the concept of “bright darkness”. Looking back on it, it sucked. It was barely a paragraph long, and didn’t do anything to elaborate on the concept. Back then, I had very little concept of what bright darkness could be other than it having something to do with the carnal self, particularly in its enjoyable form. But now, I think I may have gained a different perspective on it.

I think bright darkness might be something that is both light and dark at the same time. Try to imagine light and darkness coming together, not fused and dissolved into a singular void essence, or rather like when you mix two paints together and they make a single color, but rather mixed together like when you put two Starbursts together into a ball (for lack of a better example). Put another way, it is much like a fusion of the brighter and the darker aspects of the human self. The righteous and morally concerned side of the human self, mixed with the carnal and indulgent side of the human self. I have always felt that the traditional representations of brightness and light and the representations for the dark and the demonic fit quite well together from an aesthetic point of view (except in cases where light is too clean and white and dark is too morbidly black). Maybe that’s part of perceiving bright darkness.

I think there could be other terms for it as well, like shining darkness (derived from the Shivatoshini), Black Light (borrowed from the teachings of Ayn al-Qozat Hamadani), or my own suggestions dark light, dark starlight, or black starlight. It could relate to the concept of the Black Flame itself. It could also be part of Baphomet’s symbolism, since Baphomet is a symbol that brings all opposites together without dissolving their essential characteristics at the same time. I’d also like to mention the ideas of Michael W. Ford once again (whom personally I seem to be a growing fan of) tend to present the perspective that while the infernal power of desire is the motivator of human existence, it can be lead in positive directions, or that bringing the “angelic” energies together with the infernal can lead to unlimited possibilities for the self. His works identify a spiritual focus as well as a material or carnal focus, and the spiritual focus is sometimes referred to as celestial or empyrean.

Now here’s the thing about the word empyrean. It refers to the concept of the highest heaven, which was thought to be associated with fire and thought to contain the pure element of fire. The word itself means “in the fire”. I am thinking: could the Black Flame basically be the heavenly flame fused with the power of darkness, and bright darkness the name of the quality of the Black Flame itself? This also translates well into the symbolism of my alter ego: black referring to the powers of darkness, and red being the flame. Of course white tends to work better for the heavenly element, and red tends to represent desire and passion. Who knows, maybe the fact that empyrean refers to fire is why I have some affinity towards some images of the bright and the divine across the religions of mankind (though a lot less of Christian and Islamic imagery) as well as images of the sun and its light, and its effect on the environment and how it makes everything brighter.

Fire, light, darkness, chaos, Satan, and God

In Hindu belief, the Aum is the symbol of divine energy and creative force, which is believed to be permeate the entire universe.

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?

Will manifest from heat and light

There’s something about the Indian deity Agni that inspired me and was not already talked about on the blog thus far. Apparently the Vedic Indians did not just see Agni as a fire deity. They also saw Agni as the power that is connected to the will and action and related powers. One of the Upanishads portrays Agni in a similar vein. In some interpretations, Agni is not just a singular deity, but a force of fire that motivates willpower.

In my opinion, this idea can be expanded outside the Hindu context. I believe I have mentioned the Fires of Chaos at some point. Well perhaps the Fires of Chaos can be taken as as a force behind the will. Or, you could apply a similar theory to Satan depending on how you choose to interpret Satan, or even God for that matter. Not to mention the concept of the chthonic flame I mentioned in the past. Invariably, it could be an extension of a greater fire.

Going back to Agni, it’s interesting to note how the Vedic Indians believed that the power associated with Agni could be strengthened by Rig Vedic chants to Agni. Given they believed willpower was a projection of Agni, would it make sense that chanting Vedic chants to Agni was meant to strengthen willpower? It’s certainly an interesting concept to adapt.

Chaos giving birth to a star

I’m sure many people are familiar with Friedrich Nietzsche’s saying, “you must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star”. I think I have a perspective of what that might mean to me. Only out of Chaos can the light of being emerge, and it is we that create order. Only out of Chaos can the harmony that we find in the universe arise. Only out of Chaos and life be born. And only out of Chaos, can a creation burst out and/or a God arise. Without Chaos, where is your order?

Out of chaos, gods are born

Also, when one thinks of a star, one immediately thinks of light in the cosmos, as well as beauty. Without Chaos then, there is no light and beauty. Neither is there the Sun also, neither is there the star that alights life.

There is no Jekyll, and no Hyde

I’m sure that ever since Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was published and entered our cultural memory, we’ve had this idea of a “dark side” that is separate and distinct from our personalities and yet lurking within us waiting to come out and strike. The problem with that concept, however, is that it is a faulty analysis of the human psyche and the self.

If we have a dark side, it is not at all separate from us. Such an idea is an arrogant denial, and is nonsense. There is no separate dark side, we are light and dark at once, and everything in between. They are all a part of our nature. We are not fundamentally evil, sinful monsters, but we are not fundamentally good or virtuous either, we are only capable of those things. And it’s very ethically chauvinistic to place the normal human as symbolic of light, when the human being is a union of light and darkness (ideally anyway). And it is of no use denying either the light or the dark side, for both are a part of each other.