The wise have one foot in insanity, and the sane have one foot in the grave.
Satanism is a descriptor some people have applied to other beliefs versus a belief itself? It has evolved, and some have accepted the related ideas. Basic teachings of Satanism are:
- Ecstatic practices.
- Self acceptance.
- Embracing both the darkness and the light in life.
The most public Satanic church is, in fact, almost atheistic. It acknowledges human need for religion and embraces a doctrine of accepting human nature. They adopted the symbol of Satan for it’s connection to what was reviled by orthodox faiths and showing their embracing of it. Their philosophy is not amoral. It is a more naturalistic morality.
In the Greek system, where we get the word demon (daemon which meant spirit of any kind), there were two classes of daemon;
- Calodaemons, the guides and supporters of humanity.
- Cacodaemons, the bringers of plague and hardship and the fomenters of civil unrest.
In the Bible, the plague bringers are often “holy angels” bringing God’s just wrath. Seems sort of quirky doesn’t it? That the image of Satan as currently shown wants to give man things and support their actions, and the God wants to punish and finds everything evil? Didn’t God at first say it was good? Isn’t God supposed to be infallible? All the ‘wisdom’ is trying to show us balance, and we take it all to an extreme.
Other modern branches of Satanism are either of Gnostic origin, pagan, in that Pan was satanized and thus they still embrace the symbol of the goat; or moralized or demoralized social clubs with very little concern for spirituality. Pan was a fertility God, a Calodaemon, and is why goats got associated with demons. So was Eros a Calodaemon originally depicted in the way we now depict angels. There is a story in the Bible of angels desiring human women for lovers (Eros) and the children born were giants.
Is there any real basis at all for the idea that ‘Satan’ is evil and out to do us harm? There have always been different urges in people, different spirits. At one point, it was believed that literal spirits were the source of all inspiration. They didn’t understand the mind very well. It was very mysterious, but the symbol of Satan is still present as is the symbol of God. The angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other, but choice is always there. The concept of Satan as having power equal to God and being in opposition to God came from the forceful conversion of the magi who had a God called Lord Wisdom and a dark God called the Father of Lies. To this date, the left hand and right hand paths still exist. The evil comes from the concept of exclusivity, that there is war or opposition.
It’s interesting that our justice system is basically a similar model, defender and prosecutor. Many don’t villanize the system there but they have in religion. However, Christians often do villianize even that justice system. It seems at times they would have vigilantly justice. The old community stonings. So if anything the adversary is preserving peace and freedom. Isn’t that strange?
We take the images that are ‘pretty’ as good? Well, there is an observation there. Those who embrace the Eros and fertility traditions were seen as powerful and wise and corrupt. I guess from wealth? So the noble war making desert dwellers were holy? Hence we’ve linked aestheticism to good. Perhaps they believed it empowered the psyche/soul. Myself it seems that what doesn’t kill you, makes you stranger.
All of this conflict for what? To feel holy, to feel just and justified. Sodom and Gomorrah were real places but their destruction as cities likely didn’t come about from licentious behaviour. Had they stuck with living their life of liberty, they likely would have survived, maybe even grown, but the left hand path can be distorted as much as the right. Embracing the nature of self tends to make people believe that their reason should be abandoned. Reason is as much a part of human nature as are the impulses, instincts and appetites.
People give Satanism a bad name by sensationalizing. There is a group. It’s a civil group but it exists to advocate for freedom of religion basically. The Church of Satan founded by Anton LaVey is a part of it. Its members are law abiding people as was their founder. LaVey was a crime scene photographer and the local police knew and trusted him. It could be that career inspired his founding of the church. But while he still lead it and even now, the local police patrol near there not because they suspect crime from the church goers, but because they suspect hate crime from those not of that church.
But yes, there are groups like the Brotherhood of the Ram, or the Hells Angels, that do give the belief a bad rap. They can be asked if they even believe it at all.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.