Author Topic: Is image important to satanism?  (Read 735 times)

Kapalika

Is image important to satanism?
« on: October 30, 2017, 08:30:45 am »
disclaimer; It's 4:30 AM here, I'm a little sluggish but wanted to get this out. Forgive any grammar, inconsistencies or faulty logic :p Part of the reason I wanted to share this, was to share and refine ideas. Not just my own that's been only in my head until now, but also for you guys to share your ideas and refine them as well. So take from this what you will and in return let me take back from your responses.

Having practiced Satanism for about 7 years now, I can't help but feel that this is a truth for much of Satanism. It seems all major fights in the Satanist "community" or "scene" is usually over what is "true Satanism" and honestly when it comes down to it a lot of the philosophies surrounding it, just seem like mostly ordinary "acceptable" ideas in our culture just focused on more than usual and then dressed up diabolically. It often seems to me that the focus on being more carnal, more intune with self, rejecting ideas of sin and pursuing individualistic fulfillment is only taboo in the context of religiously conservative areas.

A lot of Satanism, in general, it seems to not really fall that much out of the mainstream. But, now hear me here, the necessity of it to fall out of there, also seems to be a thing of image. I feel like something this polarizing has to be about at least some type of internal image since for many it does come down to symbolism no matter how literal you take it. I guess what I'm saying is, when you strip away Satan, all the language and put it in neutral terms, what are we left with?

And how will one Satanist differ from another? Just as two random extremes, A group like the ONA will go for that fit, tough, sinister image and a LaVeyan will go for that clever, powerful and "spooky?" image. Beyond that, they are just people like anyone else. In reality ONA groups has usually (de?)evoled into not much more than hedonistic groups, and LaVeyans are basically just Rand style liberterians. I don't see much serious debate on the ONA sacrificing people since they've never actually done it or if they have, the number is stupidly low (counted on one hand). And LaVeyans have their pentagonal revision which is pretty unrealistic and seemed to just be there to style how the group thinks.

I guess we could even throw the Satanic Temple into the mix. They are kinda weird, in that they do fit the mainstream the most I feel, at least among what I'd consider respectable society. Actually they argue that their beliefs and goals are not so far off from the mainstream as a selling point. Image, I guess, is kind of how I described in the original but having heard what the spokespersons for the group have had to say about Satanism, it seems to be more of a "I don't care what you think" kind of vibe at the same time which seems legit to me since it's never acknowledged or directly implied. I think it's clear the higher ups were clearly Satanists before starting the group from the interviews I've saw and are acting on their beliefs more so than most Satanists ever would. Satanism is important to them in how they see America, it's history of rebels and individualism and have said as such. I feel they are a case where image and action are not dissonant and so the image is backed up by action. It's funny to me that many have said they are not real Satanists when I feel they are the least poser of any of the groups I just mentioned.

I could mention a lot of other groups. There have been countless theist groups and a lot of modern communities but really when I think about all the Satanists I've known in my life part of groups or not most are never *too* radical with their life. Many not even going to the level of other counter cultures such as punk or whatever. Some even dress conservatively and use Satanism as a self image, while having a facade on the outside of respectability.

What I'd really like to see more of, is people aligning their ideas of Satanism [(edit)with their practice] in radical ways. The Satanic Temple is an example of this, and I think it's hilariously awesome. But that's one example. Perhaps the more self-centered types could do more feats like survivalism or huge changes in lifestyle.

I myself, am looking at a realistic possibility I might be able to radically change my lifestyle in such a way, and in the process I've had to consider what is really of substance, what am I really when I strip away the Satanic symbolism? Am I still "Satanic"? I'm not sure how to answer that question but I think, for me, image hasn't been as important, well beyond not being suspected of being criminal that is or any of that SRA moral panic type of thing. That said maybe I'm a little bit hypocritical as I hide the fact I'm a Satanist and hide behind the "Hindu" image rather than just keep it to myself. But I consider that more of a practicality of where I live since being out in the open as a Satanist hasn't worked out the best for me always. Hopefully though I'll be able to change that soon with my radical change of lifestyle in accordance with my values.

Anyways, any thoughts? Opinions? How much do you agree or disagree? I'm not saying that Satanism is all about image, but it seems rather important to many, and the source of much conflict. I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 04:59:31 am by Kapalika »
https://kapalika.com

My religion is Satanism & Trika via Vāmācāra

"God and the individual are one. To realize this is the essence of Shaivism." - Swami Lakshmanjoo

pi_rameses

Re: Is image important to satanism?
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2017, 09:19:31 am »
As with any sort of -ism, I agree that there is some posturing involved with keeping up an image. I wouldn't go as far as to call it Virtue signal when it comes to Satanism as with traditional orthodox groups. I do find it inauthentic when they claim their brand of Satanism as legitimate without it being possible for it to be others. In all seriousness, I would say that I encountered Satanism first while reading Lord Byron and Milton in high school. And I very much admire Lord Byron's work and ideation on the aristocratic rebel.
Pro omnis dominos viae sinistra, sic itur ad astra

Mindmaster

Re: Is image important to satanism?
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2017, 01:35:13 pm »
As with any sort of -ism, I agree that there is some posturing involved with keeping up an image. I wouldn't go as far as to call it Virtue signal when it comes to Satanism as with traditional orthodox groups. I do find it inauthentic when they claim their brand of Satanism as legitimate without it being possible for it to be others. In all seriousness, I would say that I encountered Satanism first while reading Lord Byron and Milton in high school. And I very much admire Lord Byron's work and ideation on the aristocratic rebel.

The only thing that makes all of these groups un-Satanic in my eye is dogma. As soon as you place a system of rules of what is valid and then you've marched right the hell out of what Satanism is at its core. Satanism for me represents a spiritual insurrection of sorts, in that you must have the freedom to practice and think in the way that leads to your ultimate development. What "development" means to you is, of course, highly subjective. Without that though, I feel you aren't doing any Satanism in the proper sense at all no matter what you are calling it. That's why I think many of the organizations mentioned in the OP are dead - dead as in the corpses of failed experiments. They didn't learn from their mistakes and evolve, so they've become dogmatic in approach and turned into a group of wannabes. Surest sign of the wannabeism is that there become certain conversations that be inapproachable, or looking like something becomes more important than doing anything. It becomes an identity rather than a path, so that's why I feel they are not real Satanists.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 01:36:47 pm by Mindmaster »

Liu

Re: Is image important to satanism?
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2017, 11:20:36 am »
The only thing that makes all of these groups un-Satanic in my eye is dogma. As soon as you place a system of rules of what is valid and then you've marched right the hell out of what Satanism is at its core. Satanism for me represents a spiritual insurrection of sorts, in that you must have the freedom to practice and think in the way that leads to your ultimate development. What "development" means to you is, of course, highly subjective. Without that though, I feel you aren't doing any Satanism in the proper sense at all no matter what you are calling it. That's why I think many of the organizations mentioned in the OP are dead - dead as in the corpses of failed experiments. They didn't learn from their mistakes and evolve, so they've become dogmatic in approach and turned into a group of wannabes. Surest sign of the wannabeism is that there become certain conversations that be inapproachable, or looking like something becomes more important than doing anything. It becomes an identity rather than a path, so that's why I feel they are not real Satanists.
On the one hand, I fullheartedly agree with this - Satanism is about following one's own will, and so basically pure adogmatism.
On the other hand however, such a definition makes it extremely difficult to determine whether anyone is a Satanist or not. Only oneself could really tell, and even then one might be mistaken due to self-delusions.
Also, in what way would Satanism then differ from the LHP in general? I mean, personally I use these two terms interchangably anyway, at least when referring to myself. Well, there are "Satanists" that are too dogmatic to be LHPers, and LHPers whom to call Satanists would be strange as they work with completely different cultural references and not with anything they would refer to as Satan ever.

And then, there is the question of how far one is on one's path, and how easy or difficult to attain one's individual will is.

Maybe someone first needs to learn how to adult before accomplishing anything that would look to others like LHP-work - but nevertheless that person could identify as a Satanist and even consider their current self-development to be part of the Path.
Maybe someone will never do something that would look to others like LHP-work as that person's individual will is something entirely different.

A curious thing I recently stumbled upon and which I found utterly fascinating is that there are people who of their own volition wear diapers 24/7 and who consider this to have much more advantages than disadvantages (e.g. much rarer use of the restroom, improved digestion, better sleep, ...). It doesn't seem to work for everyone but in several cases it actually increased their independance, they gained more self-confidence due to taboo-breaking, and for many it even meant living out a sexual fantasy.
That's LHP as fuck :mrgreen: but far from anything that would typically come to our minds, and 99% of those people probably haven't even heard of the LHP or anything related.

Having practiced Satanism for about 7 years now, I can't help but feel that this is a truth for much of Satanism. It seems all major fights in the Satanist "community" or "scene" is usually over what is "true Satanism" and honestly when it comes down to it a lot of the philosophies surrounding it, just seem like mostly ordinary "acceptable" ideas in our culture just focused on more than usual and then dressed up diabolically. It often seems to me that the focus on being more carnal, more intune with self, rejecting ideas of sin and pursuing individualistic fulfillment is only taboo in the context of religiously conservative areas.

A lot of Satanism, in general, it seems to not really fall that much out of the mainstream. But, now hear me here, the necessity of it to fall out of there, also seems to be a thing of image. I feel like something this polarizing has to be about at least some type of internal image since for many it does come down to symbolism no matter how literal you take it. I guess what I'm saying is, when you strip away Satan, all the language and put it in neutral terms, what are we left with?
That's a really good question.
Concluding from what I wrote above, I would say that what we are left with is a philosophy of self-improvement that differs from your typical self-help-books by including concepts and methods from religious and occult contexts, by very often being based on amorality and by encouraging one to take "do what you truly want" to an extreme.


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I could mention a lot of other groups. There have been countless theist groups and a lot of modern communities but really when I think about all the Satanists I've known in my life part of groups or not most are never *too* radical with their life. Many not even going to the level of other counter cultures such as punk or whatever. Some even dress conservatively and use Satanism as a self image, while having a facade on the outside of respectability.
It's difficult to judge from the outside, and many of these people might actually be mere posers. But those that are not, who's to tell that it's not their true will to live such a conservative lifestyle?

Also, honestly, even figuring out one's true will is a lot of work. And then you have finally got a clue about what you truly want, and hell, it turns out to be not even physically possible :o
So, unless you believe in literal self-deification, you have to aim for lesser goals anyway.
And even if your will is physically possible, it still might be so against the nomos that you better think twice whether you really wanna risk all that.

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What I'd really like to see more of, is people aligning their ideas of Satanism in radical ways. The Satanic Temple is an example of this, and I think it's hilariously awesome. But that's one example. Perhaps the more self-centered types could do more feats like survivalism or huge changes in lifestyle.
Full agreement - but, well, we are only humans. Taking myself as an example, there's a lot of stuff I'd love to try and do, but first I need to take care of the basics. My health is poor as it is, and my social skills are lacking due to social anxiety, so I first gotta work on seemingly mundane stuff like that before you can expect me to do more difficult things that seem more impressive.
Of course I can also try to work on more extreme stuff right now, too, but even then I gotta take one step after another, and much of it will not be visible to outsiders.

In other words, Satanism is more worthwhile if it's not (or at least not only) about image, but not everyone who gives an image to Satanism also follows through with it, any many who don't mind their image might be doing much more "satanic" stuff in their actual life.

Mindmaster

Re: Is image important to satanism?
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2017, 02:53:27 am »
On the one hand, I fullheartedly agree with this - Satanism is about following one's own will, and so basically pure adogmatism.
On the other hand however, such a definition makes it extremely difficult to determine whether anyone is a Satanist or not. Only oneself could really tell, and even then one might be mistaken due to self-delusions.
Also, in what way would Satanism then differ from the LHP in general? I mean, personally I use these two terms interchangably anyway, at least when referring to myself. Well, there are "Satanists" that are too dogmatic to be LHPers, and LHPers whom to call Satanists would be strange as they work with completely different cultural references and not with anything they would refer to as Satan ever.

And then, there is the question of how far one is on one's path, and how easy or difficult to attain one's individual will is.

I think what qualifies someone is a Satanist opposed to the general LHP is simple. Are you involved in spiritually with Satan? I mean that's simply it, and while there are certainly a lot of atheistic Satanists that would disagree because they feel "symbolic" Satanism is enough one could question whether they need to have any Satan in their speak at all. That's why most modern people seem confused on the matter, and it's understandable why. I personally don't see the reasons to involve Satan in your scope of LHP if he's merely a prop. IF these things are seen as props why bother with any of them anyway? :D When I feel snarky I generally refer to these folks as pseudo-Satanists because I don't really see what the point of it is. You can be a Nietzsche-ian objectivist who admires the concept of Lex Talonis, Epicureanism, and dabbles in the occult, for example. Sure, it's easier to say Satanist than all that, but let's be honest in that Satan doesn't really bring value to you other than for shock in this case. Ultimately, I feel that is why "LaVey Satanism" grows more unpopular in that the shock value of Satan is virtually nil outside of the bible belt.

In regard to theistic Satanism, I feel that it's simply easier to figure out who the Satanist is and who isn't and that's because we can draw from whatever inspirations we'd like and still at the end of the day be a Satanist. Whereas I usually get the impression that most LaVey Satanists would eat their own if they didn't represent EXACTLY what TSB and other mouthpieces proclaim. I think one expression is simply a healthier expression of Satanism, as a whole.

Liu

Re: Is image important to satanism?
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2017, 01:05:56 pm »
I think what qualifies someone is a Satanist opposed to the general LHP is simple. Are you involved in spiritually with Satan?
Fair enough. Just, define "spiritually" and define "Satan" ;)

I mean, more-or-less pantheists like @Kapalika and me have a pretty different concept of what we mean by Satan than you as a polytheist seem to have. It might be that our deities nevertheless are one and the same entity, or that two polytheistic Satanists' deities are actually two different entities, who can tell?

Mindmaster

Re: Is image important to satanism?
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2017, 02:40:40 pm »
I think what qualifies someone is a Satanist opposed to the general LHP is simple. Are you involved in spiritually with Satan?
Fair enough. Just, define "spiritually" and define "Satan" ;)

I mean, more-or-less pantheists like @Kapalika and me have a pretty different concept of what we mean by Satan than you as a polytheist seem to have. It might be that our deities nevertheless are one and the same entity, or that two polytheistic Satanists' deities are actually two different entities, who can tell?

I don't view it particularly different as I feel these differences are more of a product of what you can grok. As far as spiritually, I just mean that you know Satan exists in your mind. Whether you feel that in a more syncretic sense or not your execution (the actual practice of your beliefs) is probably no different than mine. Mostly when you get into the contrasts of poly/pantheism it is a lot of arguing for nothing - these views are the product of your exploration more than anything. Ultimately, nothing is stopping us from succumbing to a reduction to the absurd - that my Satan is not your Satan, or because you see things pantheistically or syncretically you are less spiritual about things - nothing could be further from the truth in my view. I simply don't jive with a pantheistic view because I have a more onion like view of existence, in that many layers exist and there certainly walls between them yet they are connected. My impression doesn't mean that I feel others are invalid, but someone may be spiritually drawn to that which is in front of their face. :D

Onyx

Re: Is image important to satanism?
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2017, 03:04:57 pm »
Concerning the term "Satanist", it's like five bands with the same name playing totally different music. I recently saw a page on a "historical local band" website that had our names correct, but the photo was wrong! We were thrash metal and the photo showed a rock band from the late 70's/early 80's. Labels don't mean much and I quit using them for now in public, who would care but me anyway?

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I think what qualifies someone is a Satanist opposed to the general LHP is simple. Are you involved in spiritually with Satan?

I tend to agree with this, if "Satan" represents a deity and words have appropriate meanings. If someone uses common terms they should be prepared to deal with the aformentioned problem of labels not amounting to much these days. Eh, it probably gets more complicated than this but just saying.

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What I'd really like to see more of, is people aligning their ideas of Satanism in radical ways.

This can only happen when patience and mutual respect are employed. You work apart and together as it makes sense to do so, instead of battling over who is the biggest fish in a rather small pond. Holy hell, what a waste of time that has proven to be.

Image is nothing. Xeper is everything.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2017, 03:06:31 pm by Onyx »

Kapalika

Re: Is image important to satanism?
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2017, 04:58:38 am »
I'm thinking about my thoughts on the replies, but I wanted to clarify that here:

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What I'd really like to see more of, is people aligning their ideas of Satanism in radical ways.

I should of said: What I'd really like to see more of, is people aligning their ideas of Satanism with their practice in radical ways.

Sorry for any confusion.

Anyways keep up the discussion guys, I'm loving it so far. One of the more insightful threads I've seen on Satanism in a long, long time.
https://kapalika.com

My religion is Satanism & Trika via Vāmācāra

"God and the individual are one. To realize this is the essence of Shaivism." - Swami Lakshmanjoo

Liu

Re: Is image important to satanism?
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2017, 05:06:00 pm »
I don't view it particularly different as I feel these differences are more of a product of what you can grok. As far as spiritually, I just mean that you know Satan exists in your mind.
Know? There's hardly anything that I consider myself to know.
I can "feel" Satan e.g. while praying, but I'm far from convinced that these feelings are caused by anything other than my subconscious.
I can "see" it in basically everything - but who's to tell that this is nothing but a fancy and completely subjective way of looking at reality?
I also now and then get some nice synchronicities/coincidences, but even then, psychological explanations are not unlikely for that either (confirmation bias, selective attention,...).

Don't get me wrong, I love my religion - and even if there turns out to be nothing true about my spiritual/metaphysical assumptions, they still help me.
And I am certain that as long as my perception of reality is not completely illusiory something that could be referred to as Satan does exist, but well, if I were to describe that something to an atheist they probably wouldn't call it a deity but simply an aspect (or combination of aspects) of existence.

Or is what you meant not "I just mean that you know in your mind that Satan exists." but "I just mean that you know that Satan exists in your mind."? Well, in my mind it certainly exists.

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Whether you feel that in a more syncretic sense or not your execution (the actual practice of your beliefs) is probably no different than mine.
I'd need to know how you practice to make any definite statement on this. But well, principally yes, I suppose - I guess we all do such things like talking to our deity, dedicating stuff/actions to it, taking inspiration from it (either directly by intuition or per proxies like myths), and living our lives in ways that we deem to be compatible to our religion, no matter our actual theology. But that could probably be said for any theistic-or-similar LHPers, if not about theists in general.

What I'd really like to see more of, is people aligning their ideas of Satanism in radical ways.

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I should of said: What I'd really like to see more of, is people aligning their ideas of Satanism with their practice in radical ways.
I think I took it that way, but thanks for clarifying!

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Anyways keep up the discussion guys, I'm loving it so far. One of the more insightful threads I've seen on Satanism in a long, long time.
  :thumbsup:

Mindmaster

Re: Is image important to satanism?
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2017, 06:41:39 pm »
Or is what you meant not "I just mean that you know in your mind that Satan exists." but "I just mean that you know that Satan exists in your mind."? Well, in my mind it certainly exists.

I think you're over-intellectualizing the thing here, as this as subjective of an experience as you can have. The question simply resolves to the fact that you have an impression of Satan in a favorable way, and he exists to you in any sense you are aware of. Logically, it is impossible to tell whether those impressions are in your head or are from the greater macrocosm, but functionally it is irrelevant. You would act in accordance with these perceptions either way.

Liu

Re: Is image important to satanism?
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2017, 06:55:36 pm »
Or is what you meant not "I just mean that you know in your mind that Satan exists." but "I just mean that you know that Satan exists in your mind."? Well, in my mind it certainly exists.

I think you're over-intellectualizing the thing here, as this as subjective of an experience as you can have. The question simply resolves to the fact that you have an impression of Satan in a favorable way, and he exists to you in any sense you are aware of. Logically, it is impossible to tell whether those impressions are in your head or are from the greater macrocosm, but functionally it is irrelevant. You would act in accordance with these perceptions either way.
You're right, I tend to overthink stuff.

But you were making a point that atheists would be no Satanists - so how does an atheistic Satanist differ from this? They also can "have an impression of Satan in a favorable way," and it's also possible that "he exists to [them] in any sense [they] are aware of" except for the fact that they decide to disbelieve he exists outside their own minds.

pi_rameses

Re: Is image important to satanism?
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2017, 07:11:33 pm »
It seems to me that for the atheist Satanist, Satan would exist in a Meinong's jungle of sorts since they would regard it as a symbol or religious iconography. But I would disagree from them by asserting that the archetype does exist as it is almost now a consensus motif or archetype not just singularly but collectively or subconsciously. It has a form and function. Not sure if anything that I said was intelligible whatsoever. But that's what I'm thinking.

Generally, ideas don't exist literally but are conceivable and may extend into reality. Aside from non-being, that is.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 07:16:41 pm by pi_ramesses »
Pro omnis dominos viae sinistra, sic itur ad astra