Dogma, does it have a place in Satanism?

Dogma0

This is a sample chapter taken from the upcoming overhauled edition of Rational Satanism, Rational Satanism Revelation released January 2018.

Dogma, does it have a place in Satanism?

Satanism is a philosophy that takes great focus on the individual, to be the best individual you can be in a conforming society. One of the main arguments I see within Satanism is “Satanism is a religion as it has dogma, and LaVey knew of man’s need for it”, I have always struggled with the idea of dogma in Satanism when it’s an individualistic philosophy, it always appeared as a major philosophical contradiction to me, can dogma be applied to the philosophical core of the system? I think not, although it can have a place if it’s the individual’s preference of viewing the system.

To go back to basics with the meaning of the word dogma, its as follows

A: something held as an established opinion; especially: a definite authoritative tenet

B: a code of such tenets pedagogical dogma

C: a point of view or tenet put forth as authoritative without adequate grounds

I see major flaws in each of those descriptions in a system that promotes individuality. (A) Is flawed due to its implying of conformity, a clearly decided tenet by some authority that’s an established opinion of its followers, that sort of thinking is set to develop a zealot mind-set due to the conforming opinions of the flock. (B) Is flawed as it would be a conforming stance to have pedagogical methods in an individualistic paradigm, if the tenets imply moral codes, set ways of behaviour or how to apply the system then that again is going to cause nothing but an echo chamber losing individual values. (C) Is flawed due to its lack of fact, if a meaning of dogma is to have tenets that are produced without satisfactory grounds and lacking in quality and facts, then why on earth would they even be implemented in a system that thrives on facts and evidence based around adequate findings.

This takes us back to the philosophy or religion question, the answer to that I believe belongs entirely with the individual, which is a question I cover in more detail further in to the collection, but it’s clear to see how Satanism and dogma really create a systematic conflict as they are both complete opposite ends of the spectrum, one says don’t conform and be individual, the other says conform to these authoritative tenets or texts, so you can’t put the two together to make up the core of a belief system for individuals. The core foundations of a Satanic system based on individuality needs to be adaptable, providing guidelines for personal interpretation, This is what the Rational Satanic paradigm provides, we have an adaptable foundation created with our unique concepts that you will learn as you progress through the collection, these are coupled with the neoteric guidelines and averments which are both open for personal interpretation by the individual to implement them to their paradigm to fit with their personal way of thinking. Now this brings me to where dogma could have a place in Satanism for the individual.

The Neoteric guidelines and averments in the Rational Satanism paradigm do not classify as dogma as they have no set meaning, they can be interpreted in many ways as they are introduced in to the individuals system, but once they have been interpreted by the individual to complement their way of thinking then they will have a set meaning, thus becoming dogma but only on an individual level, this strips out any systematic conformity in the Rational Satanic system as the dogma that applies to each person’s system will in some way be inherently different, but still using the framework of the Rational Satanic system to grow on a personal level. This way of producing dogma if it’s a viewpoint the individual wants to take removes the contradiction of having dogma in the core of the system leading to non-conformity by individuals utilizing the paradigm. This also allows individuals to call the system a religion if that’s the way they personally want to view it due to them creating their own dogmatic views, and it certainly won’t create an echo chamber as no two individual system or dogma interpretations will be the same, so opinions can flourish and personal paradigm’s can continue to grow due to the freedom or not having dogma in the foundations of the system.

So does dogma belong with Satanism in the foundations of the core system? I personally think no, it’s restricting, conforming and certainly contradicting, but use a system that has adaptable foundations the interpretations you pull in to your paradigm to create your personal dogma can only serve to help you grow as an individual as its you that’s important and it’s only you it will ultimately apply to.

Lee Banks

 

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CoRS 2017 Summary

 

2017

2017 has been another eventful and productive year for the church of Rational Satanism. We have continued to move at a pace greater than what was envisioned all those years ago. 2017 was certainly a year full of many ups and opportunities to strengthen not only the philosophy, but the organisation. This essay is the year in summary, those of you who have been with us all year will have seen these events unfold, for those of you new to the organisation, or are simply checking in you can see how we have progressed over the last 12 months.

Lectures – After our lecture at Hull university at the end of 2016, many more lecture requests were coming in for 2017, the first of which were in February at Durham and Newcastle university, Myself and Ben dean were well accepted at both venues, and it was obvious from the responses at these lectures that Rational Satanism sparks thoughts and interest in individuals who attend these societies. This was followed up by Ben doing a lecture at Bristol university in May, John, Ben and Malcomb at Exeter in September, Then Ben going over the border to give a lecture at Edinburgh university with Stuart. These all provided great experiences, and showed that we are just as active in an offline capacity than we are online, as well as dispelling the myths regarding Satanism and providing great information about CoRS and its philosophies. 2018 is already filling up with lecture requests, with the first confirmed one being at Nottingham university in February 2018, and the potential of one in quite a prestigious London venue, so watch this space.

Books & Philosophy – 2017 saw some great books added to the collection, Firstly Ben’s book Uncover Satan Recover thyself in April, released to co-inside with our attendance at the Satanic flea market in London. That book is a great addition to the collection, which Ben worked on over a long period of time to bring a pragmatic recovery system to the table built from personal experience and utilising the CoRS concepts. June Saw the release of a new book bringing another concept in to the paradigm, Rational Satanism S.A.T.A.N. This book housing the S.A.T.A.N. concept was a way to make Satan an even more personal part of self and was a great philosophical injection in to the system, as well as providing another aspect of S-Theory and introducing Satan’s Razor it was the next step of personal pragmatic evolution for the Rational Satanist. November saw the release of our short information book, Rational Satanism the prologue, designed to bring important aspects of our philosophy under one cover providing referencing for members already versed in our philosophy and giving a good insight for new members or those who are curious. December has also seen the end of the first book in the collection, Rational Satanism, this book has been pulled as many of the essays don’t really reflect the CoRS philosophy or organisation, this book is being majorly overhauled, although most original content will remain in a 2009 section of the book, much more new content is being added so it complements the collection, it will return on January 1st, 2018 with the new title, Rational Satanism revelation.

Meets – For 2017 we decided to not arrange as many meets as we did the previous year as we thought it better to concentrate on the lectures for the organisations progression over 12 months and see where we were at the end of the year. But, we did still have our yearly large meet at the Hellfire caves in high Wycombe. This was a fantastic night of laughs, scares and conversation with some fantastic people. It will be happening again in 2018, so if you want to come along keep your eyes open for dates.

Online & Social Media – our activity online this year has been better than ever, with a great growth on the Facebook page and amazing conversations and threads on the affiliated side of the organisation showing how people adapt our concepts in to their paradigm. Our twitter account has gained many followers, helped along by its constant updating and hard work by Kizzy. Instagram is also thriving with Claire working hard to keep uploading content. We now also have a CoRS dedicated forum on proboards, created and maintained by the American rep Shannon Williams, these forums house some great information and topics, and all are welcome to join. Our main website in growing with information, and holds all the information anyone potentially interested in the organisation would need, with many positive comments along the lines of “very informative” and “good philosophy” from viewers. Hits this year are quite good to with the analytics coming in at 67,337 which averages 5,611 Visits a month.

Media – The first half of 2017, due to the lectures we put many media projects on the back burner as we were making the lectures priority, but the later half of this year has seen John do a piece for Reprobate, teenink magazine and an interview on the voice of Islam DAB/podcast show, although that may sound like a strange show to take part in, they had valid questions and we were more than willing to answer, further dispelling the myths surrounding Satanism. Ben and John also did a piece for the Bristol magazine Helicon, as well as aiding students on projects they are doing with a focus on Satanism. Sean Twomey recently did a short piece for Shortist.com, and John is about to do one with the Daily Star online.

The Team – 2017 saw the introduction of an American representative, Shannon Williams, her hard work and enthusiasm made her the ideal individual to take charge of all things American, she thoroughly understands all aspects of our philosophy and is responsible for all American members, and the opening of other USA local chapters when suitable individuals arise and request one. Again, well done 😊

So, there you have it, a very brief summary of 2017, its been a great year and 2018 is already lining up to be even better with many projects already in the planning, ranging from more lectures, meets and potentially our own podcast. We hope you all continue to ride the pragmatic wave with us, keep those horns high, be proud and hail thyself

Lee Banks

Crowley & S-Theory

Aleister Crowley doesn’t need an introduction or long-winded paragraph on who he is or what he does, his reputation and legacy explains it all and anyone looking in to the occult will know at least something about him. What I want to talk about is the slogan on the cover of the Equinox which stated “The method of Science the art of religion”. What exactly did he mean by that? What was he trying to accomplish? It seems like he wanted to develop a system that used scientific values to give objectivity to the religion. I believe he wanted to take this approach for the practice of magic to survive as times were changing, science was starting to explain a lot, and this seemed to shift the balance from a strong belief in subjectivity to individuals searching for objective evidence. This era would have caused a lack of belief in magical workings so for this method to survive it would have needed to add rational and logical elements injected in to a subjective venture to provide a more stable system. To follow an old practice when faced with modern evidence would cause a certain bout of cognitive dissonance to the individual, maybe blowing holes in the system and causing the individual to doubt what it is they are doing, this is the situation I believed Crowley wanted to avoid.

The psychologisation of the techniques used in these religions coupled with certain ontological views created the efficiency of the magical workings on a psychological level, but didn’t exist on a different level of reality that was one of the main thoughts behind the process. Can this be proven by a scientific method to a whole religion? I strongly believe that is where the mistake has been made while attempting to produce a scientific method in to religion, it can’t be applied to the whole, only the individual where subjectivity is concerned.

Now this brings me to S-Theory, has this achieved what Crowley wanted? Has it given substance to the metaphysical so it can survive in modern times? For those of you who understand the S-theory concept you are probably already nodding your head, but for those of you who don’t, the answer is yes, and I will explain why.

S-theory is individual dependent, if these orders/religions used it by partaking and researching different elements from science and the metaphysical, through the overlapping theory system they are creating a personal model dependent reality using a scientific method of evaluation that applies only to them. Through using S-Theory they are retaining the original principles provided by the religion but strengthening the psychological aspect as the layered web system S-theory places over the MDR would stop any bouts of cognitive dissonance as holes would be less likely to appear in the system when confronted with evidence that goes against what their ideological aims are. To add more strength through this method, S-theory provides a way to quantify subjectivity, which is a vital aspect of any system that uses the scientific method. Obviously quantification of subjective ventures will only pertain to the individual, but again it’s only serving to strengthen the system by being able to objectively test the working. Even the invocation of entities through the religion/order make up a part of S-Theory as each overlap could represent a different part of the psyche through an archetype.

This is where i believe the answer is to the original quote “The method of Science the art of religion” not to apply the scientific method to the religion, but apply it to the individual paradigm and retain the ideological views of the religion, science and religion will always be inherently incompatible, but the method of science to quantify and strengthen a paradigm inside a religion is easily accomplished with the application of S-Theory.

Now the question remains to would these religions/orders accept S-Theory as a part of their system? Would Thelemites, OTO, individuals using hermetic orders accept a part of Satanic philosophy in to their paradigm? That choice belongs with the individual but I strongly believe the same way the concept has grown us as Rational Satanists, it could take their systems to new heights by bringing in the aspect that Crowley wanted.

(A detailed working of all aspects of S-Theory can be found in the Rational Satanism S-Theory and Rational Satanism S.A.T.A.N. )

Lee Banks, Founder

Sorry, who are you thankful to?

 

5 Weeks ago I went into hospital for an operation to have my gallbladder out. I was in terrible pain and would have signed my life away to feel better. The operation didn’t go so well and after losing 6 pints of blood and being on the operation table for 5 and half hours, I woke up with tubes sticking out of me and with blood being pumped into my arm.

When the surgeon came round to see me he said that I should thank god that I came out the operation as it was the most complicated gallbladder op he had ever done. Ermmmmm why?

5 weeks on there are a lot of people I am thankful too but an imaginary thing in the sky is not one of them. I am thankful to the surgeon, anesthetist and nurses who were in the theatre that day. I am thankful to the person who donated the blood which saved my life. I am thankful to the nurses in the ward who helped me wash when I could barely move and who cleaned and dressed my wounds so that I didn’t get an infection, I am thankful to the scientists who created the medication that stopped the infection in my chest for killing me and the medication that eased my pain. I am thankful for my children who gently cuddled me when I was sad to be stuck in hospital and to my friends and family for their kind messages.

It really annoys me when people say we should pray to god to make someone better. That a pray will save that poor little child who is suffering from cancer, a pray will make that father of three wake up from his coma, a pray will help that family who have lost everything in a fire. And then when things work out that we have to be thankful to god that everything is ok and if it doesn’t that we should find comfort in the fact that our loved ones are now with god in heaven. WTF. If there was a god why would he inflict such pain on people in the first place. If there was a god he would be worse than any kind of evil that has ever been on this earth. He would be a mass murderer. If a pray can save these people then he would have the power to eradicate all the illness’s. That 6 month old baby that has just been diagnosed with a terminal illness doesn’t deserve that. They have not had a chance at life and why would you inflict that type of pain on it’s parents.

So the next time you are thanking anyone for saving you loved ones PLEASE make sure you are thanking the right people.

Claire Holbrook

Promotions manager CoRS

Political action or solitude, there must be a third option?

 

From my observations of people walking the left hand path it’s that it is a very lonely road, if you let it be. The image it brings up for me is one of the solitary Alchemist locked away in his laboratory striving for perfection in the pursuit of the philosophers stone.

With our constant strive for self improvement and fulfilment of seeking out that which excites and entertains us, as a Satanist we can go in many directions. From my observations I have noted a few stereotypes over the years which are as follows:

The solitary wizard or hermit type that is solely focused on themselves. These people will have great lengthy discussions when a subject takes their fancy but will generally only lurk in the shadows.

The bat shit crazy type that are totally not of this world and speak only of all things mystical.

The sofa bound internet Satanist that has a copy of the satanic bible at hand at all times to tell everyone how they are not a ‘true Satanist’ because of X,Y,Z in a vain attempt to inflate their own ego and self importance. These can generally be found sporting an ‘I heart LaVey’ stamp on their foreheads!

The teen angst Satanist that either posts ‘evil’ pictures or quotes from ‘trusted’ Satanists in an attempt to appear like they know what they are talking about and are too afraid to share their own thoughts due to the previously mentioned sofa Satanist constant ridicule.

What you do miss out seeing online is the day to day workings of individuals’ philosophies and the action part of what they do. So from this media platforms other than hearing about or seeing people’s results from studying, interaction is very minimal and it looks as though TST offer the only active form of Satanism in these modern satanic communities. However they do this by accepting anyone and everyone into their groups and by having no real philosophy other than 7 statements, and you do not even need to agree with all of those!

I can understand the need for separation from church and state in the US but in the UK we are openly a Christian country and still leaps and bounds ahead of the US in our religious openness. However as one member stated recently ‘Satanic Lives Matter!’ which to me highlighted the laughable victimisation attitude that TST seem to play on while masquerading as wanting to inject change. So far they haven’t managed to change a single thing other than people’s options of the satanic community for the worse.

This can’t be our only options as Satanist though surely? Complete solitude or becoming politically active to be more social? There must be a middle ground?

This is where I see the uniqueness of The Church of Rational Satanism (CoRS) coming into play as we have our own philosophy that allows the individual to take charge of things. We offer a chat functions to members so that we can interact, discuss ideas and question each other in a real time function. We offer social meets in various locations around the globe and if there is not one in your area then it should not be met with “oh there are no Satanist like me where I live” it should be met with excitement by the fact that you can be the one to start something historic where you live.

CoRS can offer the chance to be social and studious at the same time. To have your solitude and be part of a group when it’d needed, but it’s you to make that happen. If you wait for others to guide you along your path and follow the crowd you will soon end up dressed as a baby having milk poured over yourself protesting something you know nothing about!

 

Ben Dean – The Church of Rational Satanism August 2016

Don’t lose the beauty

What we have as Satanists at our disposal are ways of seeing things by using our minds in different ways. Sometimes knowing about something removes the beauty, and as Satanists we spend our lives acquiring knowledge on all different things to get an understanding, so how do we get the beauty back? “- Lee Banks- RATIONAL SATANISM, S-THEORY.

Well, sir, let’s look at the definition of beauty:

 

“The quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit”- Merriam-Webster.

 

The tricky thing about beauty is that it comes in two varieties, natural and created. In the above chapter, Lee Banks was referring to natural beauty, specifically sunsets and gemstones. In my current day job, I see the sunrise at least 5 days a week. Every day it looks the same, especially the deep crimson glow upon the bottom of the clouds hovering lowly over the downtown core of this struggling urban center. Sometimes it looks ominous. Sometimes it doesn’t register any notice at all because I’m wandering this parking lot brooding/pontificating/deliberating/simply trying to stay awake. Other times it simply looks captivating. I rationally know that the sunrise always looks the same and I’ve absorbed its beauty on countless occasions, but beauty can only present itself, what it cannot do is dominate us.

 

Let’s talk about created beauty. We typically call this phenomenon art but that’s not the only place where created beauty exists, unless you consider a particular sports car a work of art. Some people consider certain feats of engineering to be things of beauty. There’s a particular Rolex watch that I think is beautiful and even the interconnectedness (is that even a fucking word?), of the inner gears is rather enthralling. Whatever “exalts the mind or spirit” in the moment is beautiful. Goethe said something about how the best way to kill something beautiful is to analyze it. I think that’s what Lee Banks was getting at is how education plus deconstructionism is bad for the spirit. But is it?

 

There are two interconnected elements that make beautiful items beautiful. The first is surprise and the second is rarity. Beauty has to spring itself upon you. You hear people who are (ahem) not us saying, “There’s beauty everywhere if you’re just willing to look for it.” Unless you’re willing to do a lot of acid you can’t really force yourself to see the beauty in everything. (And even then you better have a solidly positive sense of self or else that acid trip is going to get real ugly, especially when you have to see yourself bereft of all of your illusions). Beauty is rare for a reason. If it wasn’t rare you wouldn’t find it enthralling. Sounds sensible but there are people out there in the world who insist that the very concept of beauty itself is merely a social construct and we can embrace anything as beautiful providing we change our inculcated prejudices. After all Winston Smith learned to love Big Brother but it took a number of intense interrogation sessions climaxed by an iron mask fastened to his face and a big greasy London sewer rat with his ass on fire threatening to eat through his fucking face to get the job done. That sounds like an extreme way to get the average guy to decide that maybe evil isn’t such an ugly thing after all.

 

Now let’s suppose we took up the cause of trying to find beauty everywhere. To start with that would require a strong element of desire. The funny thing about desire is that left in the hands of the irrational it easily becomes obsession. If you develop an obsession in finding beauty everywhere you have to force yourself to intellectualize why that blade of grass, that fresh steaming pile of dog shit, that cheap plaster statue of the mythical figure on the cross, that fat bone-white Canadian guy in the tiny black Speedos wearing black socks and thongs, or the bloody tampon in the tea cup is indeed a thing of beauty. At that point you’re no longer experiencing beauty, you’re wasting whatever limited brain power you have trying to deny the existence of ugliness.

 

The simple answer to your question, sir is this, beauty hasn’t gone anywhere. Sometimes it’s just out of sight but it is indeed there. It’s in a painting that you’ve seen 100 times but on this occasion you feel the thunderbolt of realization. It’s a woman sitting on the tube trying to convince herself that 50 Shades of Grey is indeed literature with her countenance scrunched up into an amusing expression of disbelief that she thinks no one else can see. It’s watching the 50-1 longshot explode in the homestretch and upset the favourite at the track. It’s an idea that neatly summarizes why the universe is the way it is. One just needs to be prepared to be surprised, or at least receptive to the idea of being surprised. Beauty cannot dominate our lives, nor can we become obsessed with finding it everywhere. That futile pursuit merely cheapens the idea of beauty altogether. The Rational Satanist simply needs to conclude that beauty does indeed exist but it tends to exist best bereft of expectations.

 

 

Marshall Delaware

YOUR HIGHER SELF

Hello, once again my fellow CoRS colleagues around the world. I promised Ben I’d try to craft one of these a week and I think I have a good topic here for all us to explore. Does your Higher Self have a name? I’m not referring to an imaginary friend, I’m talking about that part of you that’s “you” when you’re at your most rational/intelligent and your instincts are perfectly lined up. It would sound kind of silly to sit in your ritual chamber and begin a conversation with your HS and constantly refer to it as your “pre-frontal cortex in perfect alignment with the right hemisphere of your brain”. Now you could just use your first name but the only problem with that is that when we address ourselves in this manner we have to take into account that there are things about ourselves that are well……..not of HS caliber. I’m referring to those character defects that we’re constantly confronting and grappling with. No, there are parts of Marshall that must never be allowed beyond the red velvet rope and granted access into Club Contemplation. That’s why I explored all of the symbolic archetypes that are available and I find that Lucifer is a pretty sweet dude to speak with when I have to get down to the thorny business of advancing and evolving the best aspects of my total self. Now you’re not obligated to go along with this. If you’re into the writings of Ford you can find plenty of “deific masks” that you can adorn when you want to access various elements of your “self” for the purpose of fulfilling some sort of ritualistic mission. It comes down to resonance. Lucifer resonates with me.

The reason why he resonates with me is because if you look at his story from a different perspective (as opposed to the one put forth by his enemies), Lucifer decided one day that his creator was a batshit crazy fucking sadist and he convinced a third of the other angels present to walk off the job site.  He chose the hard road and in the process, according to legend, he brought the light of wisdom and reason to us lowly humans so that we in turn could begin to question everything until we came up with science, philosophy, and art. To me that’s badass, and highly symbolic.

CoRS isn’t made for the slack and the complacent. Nor is it made for the ones who are addicted to perpetual drama and shock value. CoRS was made for the ones who have walked off of the job site of mundanity and have at least re-established a new kingdom within their own consciousness. We “reign” within the “Hell” of constantly pushing ourselves to evolve via questioning/deconstructing everything that the RHP in its entirety shoves at us. Serving within the “Heaven” of the RHP would entail a life of mindless consumption. To mildly paraphrase Bill Maher, serving in the Heaven of the RHP would mean becoming “machines that turn beer into piss”, (or in my case coffee).

The real Armageddon happens every day within your own head. It happens when everyone wants your vote, your endorsement, and your last fucking dollar. Having a symbolic version of your Higher Self helps in that constant battle between obedience and being free within your own self. If you don’t have an HS, look into getting one. It might make you look a little crazy to the mundanes you deal with every day but the sad fact is you will always look a little nuts to them regardless of how you conduct yourself. If you’re in CoRS then that’s a tacit admission that you’ve failed at the socially mandatory art of conformity.

So fuck it, give your HS a name and incorporate it into your 10% paradigm. Make/find a picture that accurately reflects what your HS looks like to you and stick it on the wall. Just remember that your HS is not so much the way you would like to see yourself. Your HS is a manifestation of how you want to become when you’ve utilized all of your best attributes into a tangible coherent form. That final process will take a significant amount of time. The manifestation of your Higher Self, however, you can do in short order. You’re already here and I’m assuming you have a functioning idea what it is you want out of your life. Give that desire a name and an image.

Then birth it.

From within.

Marshall Delaware

 

WHY RATIONALISM GOES BETTER WITH SATANISM

This is an intriguing question. The philosophy of rationalism itself has been around for a long time. A good 2,000 years ago the Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius wrote in his Meditations that, “One did not need to be happy in order to be rational”.  It’s indeed true that by simply having a rational approach to your daily life you will avoid a tremendous amount of grief and probably end up with a comfortable living situation. In a blog post on my site, www.Marshall-Delaware.com, I wrote the following two paragraphs:

“ The LHP isn’t for pussies. It demands that you constantly work on yourself, whether it be at the gym, or the library, or the wellness center. It demands that you accept that you are responsible for every decision/action that you do from one second to the next. The RHP, in the guise of churches, governments, political ideologies, corporations, and social movements demands that you don’t think or question your environment. The RHP demands your submission. It demands that you toil for the greater good of something outside of yourself without ever considering putting your own needs first. The LHP will take you off of that slave-like mindset but it demands that you pursue personal excellence in every way possible. It demands that you embrace a life of self-discipline and self-awareness.

Interestingly the LHP also encourages that you make friends with your inner carnal nature and have some fun on a regular basis. In fact, Luciferianism insists that you find the equilibrium between your inner carnal self, and your higher rational self. That way your life is as full and as complete as possible. “- (Marshall Delaware- WHY THE LADIES NEED MORE LHP IN THEIR LIVES)

This is where having a strictly rationalist approach to one’s daily life encounters some serious limitations. There are so many institutions out there that demand our slavering obedience, and yet these seemingly monolithic entities are riddled with contradictions, deceptions, and totally batshit fucking levels of thinking. The strict rationalist can end up snapping with frustration in their heroic efforts to navigate this world that assaults their powers of reason the moment they wake up. The LHP has also been around for thousands of years going all the way back to ancient India. This approach, however is rooted first and foremost in defiance, which is fine to a degree, but the traditional LHP route is driven by emotion. Emotion unchecked in an LHP construct will lead to a tremendous amount of misery for the practitioner. Sooner or later they will cross a moral boundary that will lead to them being exposed and punished by the laws of the land. Or, as in the case of Aleister Crowley, they will spend their final decades as a washed-up substance abuser, a source of mockery, or even worse completely forgotten and alone.

This is where Rational Satanism bridges the gap quite brilliantly. It allows the rational-thinking person a construct that will let them defy the RHP assaults upon their consciousness with a logical template to work from. It allows the practitioner to defy these elements and inject a sense of meaning and purpose into your own existence. It allows the thoughtful LHP to DEFY without the inevitable outcome of self-destructiveness. For example, in Rational Satanism, Lee Banks talks about the decompression chamber. You can call it your ritual chamber, or your altar room, but it’s the place where you craft your own invocations and then incite them with as much passion as you can summon from within. (Sometimes in my ritual chamber I just eat a good meal, jerk off, and take a nap.) The primary goal is catharsis, the emotional release of whatever negative feelings that have been building up. If you choose to believe that you are in effect releasing some kind of directed energy into the world with a direct purpose, that’s fine, it’s your belief. The only recommendation that Lee Banks offers is that you leave that conception in the decompression chamber when you go out into the world and dodge all of the bullshit that the media, and most of the people you encounter foist upon you.

If Rationalism is the car, Satanism is the fuel, and You are always at the wheel. You are never a passenger.

As I mentioned above you can create your own LHP rituals with Rational Satanism. Or none. What some call “lesser magic”, or “manifesting”, or “summoning your personal Daemon”, you might simply call, “daydreaming”. Within this thought-provoking little tome there are no grimoires as such. There are no formulas that you are obligated to adhere to. There are some basic principles but those are really just to separate the poseurs from the genuine seekers. This is where the rationalism comes back into the story. If you hook up with another LHP crew, (no one specific), you will rationally notice a contradiction that’s difficult to ignore. These other organizations will assert that you can do your own thing, you can accept what works for you, and disregard what doesn’t. Then they throw a shitload of formalized rituals and formulas at you. Why? Because the authors of these particular works fucking said so apparently. Other LHP organizations don’t even pretend to give you options. They just tell you exactly what you’re going to do, no matter how dark and devious, and if you quail at the precipice then you’re just a pussified sheep that deserves to be skinned, roasted, and eaten. Preferably while you’re still alive.

Rational Satanism gives you options but you have to go into your own chamber and birth them for yourself. That is its genius but it’s a daunting challenge. Some people just prefer to follow orders whether its RHP or LHP. Some people even go so far as to rationalize their servitude. If you know on the rational plane that everything around you is corrupt and fucked, and you feel an undeniable desire to at least remain free inside your own mind, then Rational Satanism is the place for you. You may not always be happy but you will at least be imbued with self-respect and a sense of individual purpose. From there it’s easy to act/live like you are the Emperor of Your Own Life.

Marshall Delaware

What Does It Mean To Say “I am a Satanist”?

What does it mean to say that I am a Satanist, does it matter? The difference between Satanism and all other religions which I know of is that it is used to describe myself rather than define myself as being something, and similarly it’s a philosophy which instead of making a description first and then proceeding to define the world around us within those confines it instead describes the processes that the world operates by which our assumptions are then based off of.

When someone says they are a Christian, it means they subscribe to a particular model of beliefs and opinions, I have found this rule of thumb to be a defining factor in every religions philosophy, except one.

When I was 17 I discovered and read the Satanic bible, I was at a point in my life where I considered myself an Atheist but didn’t express that fact with anyone other than my family and a few very close friends. At that time and for the past several years I was pretty involved with the Nazarene church, I had stopped going to the Sunday services by that point but I still went to the youth group hang outs to use their exercise equipment and interact with friends.

During the time that I read the Satanic bible I realized that I had come across an entirely different kind of philosophy unto itself, one that defied every philosophical system I knew about before in that instead of giving rules to live by, it gave guidelines. And furthermore it was these very guidelines which were different than anything I had experienced before in that they were not there as something to subscribe to, but instead as they were to be used and thought of as a tool system. It’s interesting and a bit disturbing that the Christian bible doesn’t just allow for, but commands that rape and murder be done if it stems from gods hand, while it is the Satanic bible that requests for individuals to not make unwanted sexual advances, yet it’s the Satanist which must be most cautious about their affiliation and social placement. It was when I read that book that I truly realized how disgusting and hypocritical todays religions are, in that on the surface they all seem to teach love and tolerance, but if you dig even half an inch under that surface then it seems that most of those who are part of these religions couldn’t even conceptualise what true tolerance and love even implies. When a Christian defines love generally part of that definition is “if person x follows god then it’s ok to care for person x, but if said person doesn’t worship god then they are to be thought of as a sad lost soul which needs saving. And the best way to save the person is to emotionally manipulate them into submission to the Christian religious beliefs” And yet in Satanism the definition for love seems to be “How do YOU, feel or view this particular person. And what does this persons behavior do to YOU? Do they add to your happiness, or take it away?” Now THAT makes sense, and it works. This is the difference between Satanism and all other religions which I know about, not only is it effective, but it only adds to life, and doesn’t take even the slightest away from what makes me happy or healthy, as my own vitality and well being is something to be worshiped.

Worship, a word which before the Satanic bible meant to me that you were putting one particular idea above all others, if you worshiped something than you took it as something more important than all else, including your own life. After reading the Satanic bible I had realized my own definition for worship, it now meant something which I defined. And the way I defined it was as having an active respect for an idea, or person to the point that your regular behavior is effected. Now when I see the habits of other people I see how their opinions effect the way they behave and treat themselves and others, and through that I see what ideas or persons they really worship.

Within the few years leading up to my realization of what Satanism truly is my entire model which I existed by had taken an extremely different form than anything I could have imagined. I had gradually moved from a model which by definition placed the Christian god and my doing of his will each and every day as the primary concept which all else fell under, to a model which by definition placed ME on top, and all else, including the things I now choose to worship. Now when I say I worship something, I simply mean that I take the concept as one of great value in how it effects the way I behave and one of the many things which define me as I am today, on the same note I am completely comfortable in allowing the things I worship to change as I learn more about my environment and as I myself change. When I first embraced myself as a Satanist one concept which was very important to me was individuality and the lack of care for what others think of me. In the 4 years between that time and now I place great importance on what others think of me, because I have learned that what other.

By Lunar Wolf

To ritual or not to ritual

Wikipedia describes a ritual as “a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, and objects, performed in a sequestered place, and performed according to set sequence.” Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions of a community, including a religious community.

“I pound my feet strongly on the ground several times, I take several deep breaths, and I “shake” my body to remove any negative energies. I do this often before going to work, going into meetings, and at the front door before entering my house after a long day.”

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-rituals-work/#

What is ritual and why do we do it? Not all of us do. I certainly don’t. Or so I thought.
It’s true I don’t do ritual magick; not because I don’t believe in it for others, it’s just not for me.

Ritual can be as simple as staring into a candle flame. You meditate; your breathing is slow and steady as you concentrate, sorting out the chaos in your mind. You rationalise your thoughts and emotions and discover new resolve to assist you in how you deal with those problems in day to day life. The ability to think clearly, which is often clouded by any number of things and for various reasons, makes a huge difference to one’s well-being.

But I do have my own rituals. The things I do on a daily basis are more ritual than routine. While routine can be a good mental balance it also has connotations of the mundane (commute, work, commute, bed), so I prefer not to think of these that way.

Getting my morning takeaway a coffee is a ritual. I enjoy it and it helps me metaphorically gird my loins for what may lie ahead, and believe me, there are days when they need girding. Sure, I can make coffee in the office but it’s not the same thing. It starts my day off right for me and on those odd days when I don’t have it I miss it.

Going to the gym is my evening ritual. It’s my way of alleviating any stress from the day, and as much as its bloody hard work I love that I’m doing something good for myself, and with that rush of endorphins I can think more clearly and it helps me sleep.

My evening pot of almond tea has become another ritual. I love the taste and smell of it, just on its own. Tea pot, loose leaf. I may have paperwork to do or I might just plonk myself in front of the telly but I like that pot in front of me.

Even tidying up (mugs in the dishwasher type thing) before I go to bed is a ritual. It’s really no big deal, I just prefer to wake up to a tidy flat.

So do what you need to do, magick or otherwise. As they say, if it feels good, do it. Do they really work? If they’re helping achieve what we set out to do, then I’d have to say yes.

By Andrea Marlowe