As some of you may be aware, before TST came on the scene, the main argument between the different satanic groups was the Atheists vs the Theists rather than the more recent arguments between the atheistic groups.
I see how theses seemingly opposing views can clash. They seem to be essentially at different ends of the spectrum. The fundamental question here, for me, is: can these two different types of Satanist co-exist in the same organisation? And even more interestingly can they work within the same system?
If we look at the history surrounding the Church of Satan, one of the main issues at the beginning of their split and the birth of the Temple of Set is linked to one group being theistic and the other being atheistic or I-theist.
For me however the answer to the above questions is Yes – and that’s yes to both questions.
The 90% 10% thinking concept, that CoRS Rational Satanists use, allows the individual to determine what percentage fraction works for them, as long as it is more dominated by the rational side, which can allow the fraction to slide all the way to a 51% to 49%.
It should also be noted that this percentage can fluctuate depending on the day or for set purposes. This will allow for the theist to obtain a greater connection to their deity for set rituals and then to shift the fraction back to a higher rationality percentage for their more day-to-day workings.
I think it’s also an interesting idea here to look at the archetypal figure and their connection to the individual within a rational satanic mindset. The atheistic Satanist sees the archetype as a metaphysical interpretation of the self that they can work towards. Essentially a theist does exactly the same in that respect with their deity of choice. However, what they require or look for, is a more personal connection with this part of their path. Therefore, an external entity is something that the individual can relate to in a stronger and more personal level in order in invoke change within the self.
The ideas and concepts that surround these internal and external characters both come from the subjective minds of the individual that is working with them and how the individual works their percentage fraction to suit their own model dependant reality.
I think for the atheists, they consider the need for an external deity to be something too close to the religious ideas that they have rejected. However the fantasy element can be a good thing to some extent – usually in a ritualistic setting or on an aesthetic level. This is especially useful if the individual is able to shift this fraction to a more rational and logical one in their day to day interactions and understanding of the world. This even allows for the agnostics to switch between the two sides when they acquire more knowledge to support one idea over the other.
One thing, I feel, is misinterpreted by many is the fact that even though an atheist, theist and agnostic can all work using the same system and coexist within the same organisation, it doesn’t mean that they have to agree. This is a key element within CoRS in general, we all have different ways of doing things and we don’t have to agree on the same idea. As an I-theistic Satanist I can appreciate why someone else on their path may choose to require a more personal connection with a part of themselves they wish to externalise and deify. I however do not see the need for this personally but then, as it is not my path to walk, it shouldn’t affect me unless they start telling me my way is wrong.
Ben Dean, Chairman