A September 2017 announcement

A little late on my part, but with Haram Month over I’d like to get something out the way. I’ve been pretty inactive with the blog in general as of late, and I only bothered to write four posts for Haram Month. My activity on this blog has, in general, slowed down ever since I took that break in April and started writing again in May. Before you get the wrong idea, this blog is not dead yet. I’m just getting a bit busy, or distracted depending on the day, with other things and consequently I’ve spent less time writing for this blog.

As of now, I have pretty much a month or less before I return to university for one final year, in order to do the Masters degree on my course, which will be even harder than the last year so I’m told. I have increasingly less time to prepare before I return to university. That said I will probably still spend some time enjoying what I have left of the summer before the autumnal equinox arrives. I will still write for the blog on a whenever I feel like it. I hope to get some reading done and make for some rather interesting blog posts. For now, expect a slow period for the blog, though current events will probably end up eliciting a quick post or two, and the political situation in the West may merit a few rants.

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My place in the Satanic zeitgeist

And now, Part 4 of the big project I have about Satanism, this one concerning my own recent sense of tension about Satanism in recent months. This will not be too much like the last four posts as it’s more of a personal piece rather than an attempt on my part to unpack a subject intellectually. I will be elaborating on my tensions, dilemmas, issues and questions, or just general thoughts on the subject, through various subjects and dichotomies, so that I can get it out to my Satanic or Luciferian buddies for further discussion.

 

Egoism vs egotism vs altruism

If I’m being entirely honest, this has been influenced by high-profile events of last year, the reaction surrounding them, and how I feel they reflect on society as it is now. I remember when the Pulse nightclub massacre took place in Orlando, Flordia, wherein 50 people were murdered at said nightclub by a self-loathing Muslim who hated gay people and hated himself because he was gay. In the aftermath, I saw an interview with Guardian columnist Owen Jones which ended with him leaving the set and pouting like a child because they kept talking about any subject other than the fact that the victims happened to be gay and he “as a gay man” wanted to talk about it so badly. Basically, he took a 50 people getting murdered and made it all about himself and the fact that he himself is gay. That to me was inexcusable. Not only did he seem intent on obfuscating the true impetus behind the massacre, but he did it out of an identitarian sense of narcissism. For some reason I never got round to talking about that particular issue until today, but haven’t forgotten about it.

For all my egoism, at least within the context of my spiritual philosophy, I have grown tired of some individuals who care for nothing but themselves. Especially in the political sphere of things. There’s too many people who care only about themselves with regards to their vision of the country or the world, and they don’t care what anyone thinks because if they disagree with them they can ignore their concerns and impose their will on them anyway, even if they don’t like it and even if it’s only the people doing the imposing who believe it to be a good thing. Likewise, I have recently expressed sorrow over doing some things in my life solely for my own advancement, that is for the benefit of advancing to high position in a career and perhaps receiving a high enough salary from it.

And then there is something to be said of the issue of principle. Even though, as a Satanist, I might be expected to put any sense of principle to the side in favor of self-interest, and I have talked to other Satanists on this subject before over the years, but I find I am more likely to consider an outcome based on the success of a principle. For instance, I would rather be poor and free than live in a rich country in which we have no real liberty. I am sure that to some other Satanists, this is questionable. In a rich country I at least have the chance to pursue a better quality of life if I keep my mouth shut, so to speak, but in a poor country I might have less options and less money. But I would rather that if it meant I would live in a free country because I would prefer that the principle of liberty is alive. And not just for myself either: I don’t live in a free society unless the people in general share that liberty. Otherwise, there is only one person who has (or the few who have) license or permission to do what he/she wants (or they want), but there is not liberty for the all people. Is that truly freedom? Michael W. Ford, for instance, says that every deed is selfish, but I find myself questioning that at times. If I tend to put principle over other matters in certain instances, to what extent can that truly be called purely selfish? Or what about love? Emotional love I mean not simply sexual attraction. How much of love can truly be labelled a purely selfish thing?

 

Morality/ethics

Morality is a funny thing. I’ve always had it at the back of my mind at least, never totally gone without concern for it. In fact, I will probably write a post eventually on the subject of a conception of personal morality that I deliberate on and will plan to apply to myself consistently for the foreseeable future. But in general, the idea of any sense of moral understanding is never something I have had no interest in. In my day I have been shown examples of behavior that, by my own standards, I can’t describe as anything other than ethically or morally wrong. But then, the notion of objective morality is tricky. I don’t think I can argue that my moral principles are the absolute. For me I have had a question on my mind? What if we understood morals and ethics as something that we can base on the world around us, but that changes with our understanding of that world, and therefore it is possible consider perceiving morality similar to understanding the laws of nature, our understanding of which changes over time as we gain knowledge of the universe? Does it still make for subjective morality, or does it make for the possibility of at least barely objective morality? What I assume, though, is that it is clearly not valueless solely because it isn’t a physical thing. At which point, in any case, the real question then is the value of morality.

That said, I hate the label moralist often because it is always attached to people who wish to turn their moral compass into a code of law for all men and women to follow regardless of their own personal compass. Not to mention, the attachment to such stifling moral principles as the kind of religious values of Christianity, or at least the kind of Christianity provided conservatively religious Christians. If all moralist meant was someone who placed value on moral or ethical principles, who knows maybe I would be called that. But it’s got more baggage than that. I hate the progressive view of morality too. They think it’s either utterly malleable to the whims of some grand, immaculate, millenarian conception of social progress – that is, something is morally correct because “IT’S THE CURRENT YEAR GUYS!!” – or it’s based on almost the same religiosity and sensitivity as the kind provided by the Mary Whitehouses of both yore and modernity.

 

Self-preservation vs self-transformation

This is a fairly recent question, but it touches upon a key difference between Satanism and Luciferianism. Satanism is the philosophy that places emphasis on self-preservation, while Luciferianism talks about self-transformation. I have thought about it at some point, and I don’t think I have fully answered it, but there is still the question: what is ultimately more important to me? As much I have often felt that there is probably something core and essential to my personal being, and as insistent as I often tended to be only a few years ago, how much of me is really the same throughout the entirety of my life? Perhaps I haven’t discarded what is essential to me, at least as I see it, but there can be no denying that I have evolved throughout my life. I value self-preservation in the sense of preserving the characteristics that I consider integral to my personal sense of identity, but at the same time, is it not true that the self is a thing that grows and grows, constantly, ideally towards a better form? At which point, isn’t the better ideal to pursue the growth, evolution and transformation of the self into the best form that it could possibly attain?

Another main difference between Satanism and Luciferianism is that Luciferianism advocates the pursuit of a higher self. Michael W. Ford’s literature on the subject speaks of the Daemon, which is equated with the concept of the higher self. I’ve often associated the term ego with self because of the fact that the word ego literally means self. But is that all to the self though? Perhaps Lilith Aquino of the Temple of Set I think illustrates this point adequately in The Pagan Library (if that is really Lilith Aquino):

Glorification of the ego is not enough; it is the COMPLETE psyche, the entire Self or soul, which must be recognized, appreciated, and actualized.

 

God, and the gods

Although I am an apathetic agnostic and I don’t have much investment in the God vs No God debate, I do sometimes think about the concept of God, or the possible lack of one, from time to time. I still have yet to answer the question of deities vs deific masks and need to read more. That said, I think deific masks may be the likely view I take on rather than literal theism due to my issues with the idea of literal theism. In the end, I would value myself and my fellow Man above the rule of a literal God. Most literal deities probably want your worship more than anything else anyway. And with God, like I said some time before, I don’t care if God is real because I will probably not worship a literal God.

Although the Left Hand Path tends to be all about self-deification, I’m often at a point where I don’t like to take godhood too literally. I think I’ve often said that when LHP traditions say you ought be your own God it simply means you ought to be the master of your own life. Is a way of interpreting this, then, not self-mastery, spiritual autonomy? I suppose demi-godhood is simply the metaphor.

 

Hedonism vs eudaimonism

Hedonism is the doctrine that the primary value in life regarding happiness is the pursuit of pleasure, and the goal of life to maximize pleasure and the avoidance of pain. This can involve emphasis on the avoidance of negative or unpleasant experiences. Eudaimonism, by contrast, views the cultivation of happiness as dependent on self-realization and the practicing and cultivation of virtue. This can involve the development of personal strengths or emphasizing meaning and purpose as valuable to life. Both of them put the happiness and well-being of the individual at the core of their set of priorities, but differ in their conception of what happiness means for the individual.

The reason I mention this is because I have been doing some thinking on them. I feel I have seen a problem with at least certain aspects of hedonism regarding today’s social justice types. If hedonism at its root is the maximization of pleasure and the avoidance of pain and negative experiences, then what else do we call this attitude wherein the primary desire of life is to live in a world where they need not hear of anything bad? Where no inkling of negativity may penetrate the minds of today’s youth? Where the desire not to be divested of a comfortable life outweighs all other values? At the very least it could certainly be described as hedonism gone mad. I worry that such an attitude my result in my generation remaining as a generation of lotophagi – those who eat of the lotus of blissful ignorance, rather than the apple of the knowledge of good and evil that would otherwise spawn true freedom and virtue. Not only that, but I have been thinking that it is the desire for self-development and meaning that, for me, outweighs temporal pleasure, just that I think the enjoyment of temporal pleasure can be a positive thing. Perhaps that’s the issue of balance, that can answered by eudaimonism and epicurianism. Still, part of me thinks that a sense of value creates happiness in people that pleasure in the hedonistic sense can’t provide.

 

Revenge

An eye for an eye, lex talionis, if a man hits you on the cheek smash him on the other. For a while, this has been a troubling thing for me. It’s based on the idea of “do unto others as they have done onto you”. But I have been running into a constant theme when discussing arguments: is it right to do something to others that you think they have done to yourself or others, when you are opposed to the very idea of that thing being done to you as a principle. Like doxing. The argument against doxing is based on the premise that individuals should have the right to privacy, and not have to worry about being harassed or threatened by people who gain their information. If you are doxed or someone you care about doxed, isn’t it then wrong to dox them? If you think it’s wrong to bully people as a general rule, is it right to bully someone who bullied you? If you got raped, and you are obviously against rape, what then?

 

Those are all the dilemmas I have for now that are pressing and relevant at the moment. Hope I can get some comments from my LHP buddies. Peace out.

Prelude to project plans

I believe I have done enough political content for a while, along with some more spontaneous posts about my academic life, and the spirit of the spring holidays is decidedly beginning to take its hold on me after the VIVA presentation I had last week. So I’ve decided to seize that spirit and take something of a break from the blog and wind down, spending more time playing video games (compared to making video games), playing on my guitar, catching a gig or two and generally having fun. But I also plan to use at least some of that time continuing to read about the occult as I always meant to do, and particularly to research for the Satanic philosophy project that I have for this blog.

When I return to the blog, I am going to divide this project into multiple separate posts, all of which will probably be quite long.

  1. The substance of authentic Satanic philosophy: This in my opinion should be the “main attraction” sort of post, if you will. It’s basically my attempt to define the core idea of Satanism in categorical fashion as an attempt to properly illustrate my issue with the way that groups like The Satanic Temple see Satanism and the direction in which they see fit to take that philosophy in as a response to events such as their involvement in things like The Women’s March, where an organization supposedly championing such an individualistic philosophy decided to ally itself with a discordant rally with one of its few defining ideas represented by a gender and race based collectivist ideology (read: third wave feminism). In other words, it’s an attempt to answer to the question of “what exactly is authentic Satanic philosophy?”.
  2. The split between the Church of Satan and The Satanic Temple: This is a subject matter that I had been wanting to cover since around the time Satanicviews wrote about The Satanic Temple’s surge in members after the 2016 US elections, and how this seemed to illustrate a divide between the views of both The Satanic Temple and the much older Church of Satan, but for whatever reason hadn’t gotten around to doing. I think it’s an important topic to cover when addressing the modern Satanic zeitgeist, as the two organizations, being the two most recognizable organizations in the movement, seem to act as massive signposts for the most familiar aspects of the zeitgeist and the worldview prevalent therein.
  3. Satan vs Lucifer: Yeah yeah I know this is an old horse, but the fact remains these two are not the same entity, and this is in spite of anything I may have said to the contrary just in case I have said anything to the contrary. I don’t believe it is a coincidence that Satanism and Luciferianism have a somewhat different character whilst they center around the idea of the two respective entities. For the purpose of this post, I aim to demonstrate why in a very detailed and categorical fashion.
  4. My place in the Satanic zeitgeist: Gonna level with you here folks, I need to get something out right away: I am personally feel that I am experiencing something of an internal conflict regarding my own personal beliefs, or at least I feel I am pretty close to one. As much I chastise other Satanists, like The Satanic Temple, for abandoning authentic Satanic philosophy in favor of politically correct liberal ideology, I have experienced doubts regarding certain ideals associated with Satanism, to the point that I think in the future I may actually see myself as having shed some conventions within that very philosophical framework. This has been due to two key factors: the first being my awakening to the whole political correctness culture war that had been going on some time but until some time in 2016 I hadn’t been completely aware of and the personal exploration of political and philosophical ideas that followed, and several compounding events that happened in the world, coupled with a few personal issues as well. As a result I spent some of my time thinking about morality and ethics quite a bit (who knows, maybe that will be another lengthy post entirely) and questioning certain topics like revenge, religion, spirituality, selfishness, the relation between the individual and society, rationality and many other things in private, all of which I think have either resurrected old influences or invited new ones to my worldview. I never fully settled the Satanism vs Luciferianism divide, which I had meant to do. I just sort of let the two systems co-exist in me. In the mean time, ideas from other spiritual systems as well as secular atheistic humanism had become influential – sometimes in the sense that it reminds me of the spirit of my personal outlook as it is or classically was, and other times in the sense that these are new ideas that I hadn’t processed yet but look set to enhance and update my own worldview because they make sense to me or in some cases even represent pure factual truth. At some point I think I am going to have to process all of that in a way that I can put out a post on this blog just stating the bare bones of the matter and how I’ve gotten to that point.

Anyway, consider this the marking point for a hiatus for the blog, until my plans are completed. Until then, I won’t even return to post about current events. This may be contrary to statements I may have made earlier on the subject, and I’m mentioning that for the purposes of honesty alone. Will of course respond to comments.

Time for an update

So here’s an update for the blog that I kind of feel like putting out on a number of subjects.

First, and foremost, of all, I have less than a month before the end of my second term for this year at university. That means I have quite a lot to do and increasingly less time to do it in. The deadline for my major project is March 27th, right before my birthday, and both of the reports that I have to write are due on March 31st. So I might be busy. Maybe not busy enough that it’ll stop me from slacking off during weekends, but busy enough that it might make the rest of my schedule pretty stringent, to the point that I will likely put things off in order to emphasize my coursework, because that has to come first. I may, however, plan for some posts to be written in the meantime, because there are still things I’d like write about.

Second, I plan to talk about current events and politics significantly less than I do now, so that I can detach myself from those things. There’s going to some rants that I have waiting in the wings to be released pretty soon, and obviously there are soon-to-be-current events that I think ought to be covered (for instance, given that it is now March, we’re waiting on the Netherlands and later France to cast their votes in general elections), but other than that I want to begin to distance myself from such subject matter beyond the rants I have coming up this month unless a really pressing or important development catches my attention. The reason why I want to do this is because I am sensing that there is the danger that I’m going to become entirely too focused on such subject matter. And I know that we’re living in some wild times right now, so there’s probably a lot of developments that might show up ripe for analysis, deconstruction or just plain savagery or mockery on my part. But I am beginning to think I’m getting caught up, and that’s bad.

Third, once I have enough free time after the end of my current term, or ideally before that, I’d like very much to revisit the drawing board, and return with a post or two about some reflections on Satanism and other philosophies, as well as what probably be a long post about what I consider to authentic Satanic philosophy (particularly on account of the fact that I’ve criticized The Satanic Temple for not observing). Part of me is thinking that I’ve got my eyes off the ball. I mean I’ve got my eye on the ball regarding my coursework, I believe, but sort of away from the ball in other areas. Maybe it’s laziness in some respects if I think about it, but then that’s surely the sign of another malady in itself. I hope I correct it sooner or later if that’s the case.

Some musings on my life, and a little bit on spirituality

Part 2 of Progress will be posted soon, but first there’s something I want to get out there onto the blog.

While walking past the castle in my town and through a local nature reserve, I’ve processed some thoughts in my head. I mentioned on my 4th anniversary post on Tuesday that being self-critical may have often been a source of woes in my life, and I think it’s probably true. I know it sounds weird coming from a Satanist, given that one of the primary tenets of modern Satanism is to basically believe in yourself, but I think that a lot of times I put myself down. The weird thing is, I remember there are times when I think I do feel pretty prideful, even arrogant from time to time, but in my academic life and sometimes personal or social life I actually have a bizarre tendency to feel the opposite. I often think I’m not as good as I ought to be at most things I do, I’m often cautious do a lot in the world of social interactions, it doesn’t help that I procrastinate fairly often, and I think there is still some self-doubt in my life, too much in fact.  If anything, it’s a sure sign that I’m not doing enough in my path. The fact that I have a university course and I’m in my third year probably doesn’t help things. But I also fear I may actually be deluding myself in this regard, especially because I remember, in the context of my academic work, that my lecturers are mostly or at least somewhat satisfied with my work, my fellow students think I’m doing fine and the people who support me via student services think I’m growing quite well. I think it may be one of those things were I have to, somehow, affect my perception of what I’m doing, the value of what I’m doing, perhaps even my personality, and then my behavior will likely change through it.

I talked with this a bit before with support mentors I work with. One of them talked to me about why I don’t like the idea of going out at night and then just staying with my brother, who is staying at the dorms. I wouldn’t do it anyway because I know he wouldn’t let me do it because he insists we keep our academic/social lives separate (he’s worried I might either “steal” some of his friends or make them feel uncomfortable, somehow), and he noticed that I was pretty good at coming up with reasons not to go out. And then I thought, “you know, you might be right”. And I think I still tend to protect myself quite a bit, and maybe it is because of certain fears or worries, which may give rise to delusions about social life, coupled with the fact that I’ve been introverted for the longest time and pretty insular for by and large my entire teenage life. I wanted more than most things to end this, but didn’t bother taking a lot of initiatives or giving myself much in the way of a competent road map for this. I think a lot of it has to do with the fear of a loss of control, and a general distrust of too much personal change that I can’t control. It’s also one of the big reasons why I never drank alcohol, especially in the past – I always suspected that something would go wrong if I started drinking and saw alcohol as both unhealthy and a surefire way to lose oneself.

I remember that in personal interactions with people I know reasonably well enough and get along with well enough, a more exuberant and confident self emerges. When I feel confident enough to do or say something, I can do it, and my personality, or rather that part of it that becomes unguarded by personal protectionism, shines forth. My brother knows this, my support mentors know this, I’m sure my lecturers and some of my friends have an inkling of knowing this and perhaps some of you might know it. In fact, I remember talking about this with The Desolate One, a Luciferian occultist who consider to be something of a spiritual mentor and even a bro of mine – and I mean that in the positive sense. Social media, in cases where I’m anonymously, tends to allow me to escape this, and in my past this hasn’t always been a good thing for a lot of reasons. Nowadays I think not much is accomplished in the end by this escape other than temporarily coping with the fact that I don’t have the life or lifestyle that I truly desire, similar to how pornography can be used by single men (or women) to cope with the either the fact that they have no sexual/romantic partner and are struggling to find one or, increasingly, that they are rejected by the other gender because of the “evils” the other gender has tied to their gender (incidentally, there’ll be more of me talking about that on the next Progress post).

I think that, maybe, part of what spirituality is in this case is to access a state of consciousness that is unfettered by any kind of fears, doubts or delusions for the largest part, even of those things aren’t eliminated from the self (not least without “killing the ego” as is the case in RHP traditions). Perhaps they need not even be eliminated per se, but rather conquered, or mastered. A divine consciousness, in the LHP tradition, would probably be such a spiritual consciousness that stands triumphant over these defeated things, whilst also being aware of a spiritual side of reality whatever that may be. If that’s what a lot spiritual systems, occult or otherwise, intend to do, then I think that’s great.

Four years

In a way, it’s hard for a sane person, and even me in rather lucid moments, to imagine that I’ve been writing for this website for this long. Particularly when, as my friend Satanicviews assured me once, most blogs don’t last much longer than three years. At least that’s what I think anyway. I’m not entirely sure how much longer my blog will last before the time when I stop losing interest in writing for the blog – I know that sounds bleak to some, but don’t act like it would never happen, it just won’t happen now – but there is a part of me that thinks I will keep going for a long time.

In that time, I sometimes reflect back on my older posts and how the blog has developed. I’ve gone through website name changes and design changes for the blog as well. If you’ve followed me for a long time you’ll know that this blog wasn’t always filled to the brim with red and looking classy. And I haven’t been proud of all of my posts. Truth be known I’m often embarrassed by a few of my earlier posts. I think many of them are alright, but some stick out as, from my perspective, exceptionally misguided and lame to the point that I’m sick to death of being reminded of some of them. I’ve even deleted a few of the ones that really got to me. I often wonder why, as my blog grew and my posts became more intelligent (again, at least from my perspective anyway), the newer blog posts don’t get as much appreciation. It’s the unfortunate side of having gone through the process of personally progressing from the mind of a freaking art student – not the worst of my kind, mind you.

Perhaps I am being too self-critical, and maybe that is still a significant source of many of my woes in my personal life, but it’s hard for me to escape the memory of my mistakes, and I have wanted to express that on this blog for some time in fact. Still, I am of the impression that there are some things that haven’t really changed. There is a principle I hold dearly that hasn’t shifted, though aspects of my own worldview have.

As is par for the course for blog anniversary posts, I assume, I want to thank those who have stuck with me for the entire time. I hope you appreciated what I have had to say, and will continue to say, as I do like the opportunity to get my opinions out there even to what I know is a small audience.

Oh and as a final notice, just because on rare occasion I still get the odd comment about this, I will not be changing the “Top 10 gods and goddesses” post, and to be honest I may not produce a follow-up either. It’s a dead horse of a post at this point.

That’s about all I have to say about the fourth anniversary of this blog, being a busy young man and all. For know, my dissertation (if my current assignment can be called as such) beckons.

I hope you enjoy the next year of this blog, my dear infidels.

My agenda

This week, I will return to university to start my third year of academic study. I am told that I don’t actually return to university until Thursday, where there will be a brief induction period getting started into the third year and on October 3rd things get real. Either way, at a certain point in the coming week I will be pursuing academic study once again. Naturally, this means I will probably be posting less often, though I might publish a new post every now and then if I can. But for the foreseeable future I am likely to be very busy with my coursework. My third year of study is going to be much harder than before, because I have to do more work within a shorter space of time.

Meanwhile, my twin brother has moved into the halls before tomorrow he begins his own course at, by coincidence, the same university that I am studying in. That for me has been pretty weird so far considering we’ve lived in the same house for so long. I’ve often argued with him, sometimes well into the night, and I don’t think I’ll miss that part. But it’s not as though I  never liked him as a companion, and we got along very well. I might miss having him around, if only because I think being alone make drive me mad for a while.

More importantly, there is something I have dwelt on recently. I was walking home, and I was thinking about what I have been doing with myself a lot. I felt like I have spent a lot of my life dreaming and thinking about how I want things to be, talking about ambitions and some such. I feel now like I am at a point in my life where a redirection is necessary. I want my agenda to be out becoming, transforming and manifesting, and to do less dreaming and thinking about what I want and how much I want. Action needs to be prioritized in my life path more than it is now, and I need to go in the direction of taking my desires and ideas and actualizing them as much as possible. As I go into an actual career upon completion of my degree, I think I will have to take this direction anyway. There will come a time where I need to get shit done more and think about it less.