Satanic altruism

I’ve never been one for conforming to type. As a Pagan I didn’t really fit the whole “green grow the merry o” rural image. As an effective homosexual I cannot embrace the term “gay”, or the whole mainstream sexual identity demarcation project (just put me down as human please). As a Satanist, aside from my tattoos and the odd pentagram, I don’t fit the common image of a Satanist. I’d put love and decency very high on my list of valued things, contrary to the idea of Satanism as somewhat social Darwinist and overwhelmingly self-centred. But for me this is entirely natural, as Satanism is about determining your own values and ethics (without imposing them on others judgmentally), rather than having them determined by Satanism or anything else.

The “burn it all down” aspect of Satanism is important as a tool to free you from false moral restriction, but it is no replacement for determining your authentic values. This is why Satanism is inherently individualistic: in practice it doesn’t come ready made. You have to do your own work.

While I have reservations about some of The Satanic Temple’s identity politics style activism, I appreciate their pointing out the place of things like empathy and compassion in human life, as things with a purpose beyond moral superstition. This is how life actually is. It shouldn’t be dogma. It should be intelligent and reflective. But empathy and compassion are powerful components of human life. Love that entails enduring suffering or personal sacrifice for a loved one is deeply meaningful to people when it is genuine (rather than  manipulated or expected). Similarly, something like faith has a bad rap due to the associations with behaviour manipulation and repression in various Churches. But faith is an inescapable, and at times crucial part of human relationship. When we have to go beyond what we have previously experienced, sometimes against what we have previously experienced, on the basis of intuition, love and positive intention, then we need faith, even if we don’t call it that. Needless to say, a person should be open to learning, attentive and responsive, but these things are givens in life, and are compatible with faith. It is not a life style, it is a deeply important human capacity.

Similarly again, when we talk about the well-being of society. If it is where we live, and it affects us, there are sound Satanic reasons for wanting to encourage the kind of society you want to live in. Be discriminating. Don’t waste your time, attention, work or money. Don’t give up your independence beyond what is reasonable for you. But it is entirely reasonable to care about something you can influence positively in some small way, without illusions or grand missions. Be honest and practical with yourself.

And lastly, while Satanism focuses on the carnal, and that is a very fine thing, we are animals with complex needs that extend into many areas of our experience and relationship. Areas that people term “spiritual” are part of our life too. And I am with the Buddhists on the subject of attachment having its own complications. I don’t view attachment as bad, but as needing a wise approach if it becomes intense or overly fixed. We want pleasure after all, and to alleviate unnecessary suffering in our lives. Wisdom comes from experience and learning. We all try to live according to the wisdom that we gather.

When something is Satanic, we often in practice mean that it is individual, free and authentic. That is my kind of altruism.

Gay Couple from back hand holding on CSD 2006 Berlin – Make Love Not War by Till Krech (extranoise on flickr.com) (www.flickr.com) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

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8 Comments

  1. At times, this reminds me of me in some respects, only I kind of feel as though I try to remain more strongly Satanic, at least in reaction to Satanic organizations that I feel have eschewed the ideals upon which Anton LaVey began modern Satanism as we know it. Especially The Satanic Temple (though I will admit, there are a few ideological reasons not strictly pertaining to Satanism that factor into my opposition to them as well) and especially after, as of last week, I finally saw The Witch – you know, that movie Jex Blackmore thinks is a “transformative Satanic experience”. I do actually have posts about them which I saved for next month due to this month presently being occupied by Haram Month. But regardless, there are possibly some differences between me and other Satanists I have encountered which probably lead me into the Luciferian pathway – which, to be fair, I currently still consider to be something of a Satanic pathway to begin with. Their emphasis on altruism is a curious one, and I’m sure other Satanists have critiqued it as well – who knows, I might just do the same at some point. I think what is considered an awkward position for Satanists is that altruism is such a high value for an organization claiming to be Satanic, which is at heart an egoistic philosophy. To be honest, it bugs me that Lucian Greaves thinks of quite a few of the original roots of Satanism (like Ragnar Redbeard and Ayn Rand) as things to be shed. I read the Greg Stevens article on Breitbart that was shared on The Devil’s Due, and according to the article the first thing Greaves said about Might Is Right is that Redbeard was a racist. If that’s the first thing you say about someone’s work, that’s kind of a red flag in the age of SJWs who weaponize the term racism, and just imagine how he feels about Ayn Rand. Not to mention, I have seen a statement from them where they claim their goal is encouraging benevolence. And man, it just made me think of Dynasty Warriors where the Shu kingdom bandies it around as a slogan:

    I’m the kind of person who hesitates to use the term altruism for the behaviors we consider altruistic, considering I feel there is a selfish root to pretty much all of them, but yes that doesn’t mean there’s no value to them. I simply view “altruism” rather differently. Or rather, I view things like love, friendship, the bonds that keep a community together and all of that stuff as something other than altruism. But hey, I guess you could say I’m a purist to some degree.

    I’m curious: have you read any of Craig Biddle’s articles on The Objective Standard? I’ve read a few of them lately and he talks of the spiritual and he refers to the spirit not in terms of anything considered supernatural, but in fact worldly. I do confess that I don’t have a clear idea of how he personally defines spirit – I’m there’s a book of his I have to read in order to do so, or he hasn’t written a book about it yet and I am eager to see him write it – but I get the sense he thinks of it as relating to what we call consciousness, and that it is something that can be observed and determined rationally. My only qualm with that is that I am not sure how he thinks this is the case or what the implications of his notion of what spirit is might be, but again, I guess this is something I have to read about. I have read some excerpts of Ayn Rand on the matter and her view can be summed up as “a body without a soul is a corpse and a soul without a body is a ghost” and she despises that the two are pitted against each other. Both Rand and Biddle oppose spiritualism/idealism and materialism equally, and this is a view that I am interested in at least partly because it reminds me of the Luciferian perspective, and possibly a perspective I may have espoused and perhaps still hold to some degree. I’ll leave a few links here:
    https://www.theobjectivestandard.com/2016/07/reclaiming-spirituality-for-lovers-of-life/
    http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/soul-body_dichotomy.html

    For now though, I think that until I progress further in the realm of magick and what not (which these days I am starting to think I may need to actually join an organization in order to make the process easier) I may be doomed to be in a rather uncertain place. Not to mention, I have only about six weeks right now before I have to start my third year of university, which will perhaps undoubtedly consume the majority of my time for the rest of this year and much of 2017.

    • Thanks Aleph. I think in using the term “altruism” I was consciously playing “Devil’s advocate” to Satanic orthodoxy, and there might be a better term to really use (“holistic values” or “integral values” sound too much like buzz term, but you get what I mean). I’m also writing this for people who know something about modern Satanism, and what the context is, otherwise you could assume there is actual self-denial involved, whereas that isn’t the case. These things have to be authentically determined individually. I have quite a few reservations about The Satanic Temple, but I do like their recognition of empathy. I don’t think any Satanist can hold up a definitive list for other Satanists to follow on this subject, but I would imagine that actual practising Satanists are all exploring these areas one way or another, as they are part of the fullness of life.

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    • there are a number of different versions of Satanism, the biggest modern division seems to be between theistic and atheistic, though even within these categories there is a lot of variation. There is (deliberately) a limited amount you can say about Satanism in general, as it is so individualistic in basis. Thanks for your comment

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