By Vexen Crabtree 2001
In late 1995 I stole a copy of "The Secret Life of a Satanist" by Blanche Barton1 from a suspecting friend. I read through it and suddenly found myself in the unexpected position of realizing I was a Satanist. I didn't tell anyone about it for a few years, but used it as an internal source of inspiration. After that, I became a card carrying member of the COS and went through all LaVey's books.
Satan is not just for Christmas!
Satan is a personification for the driving force in life: it is darkness, the inevitability of death that encourages me to live life fully whilst I'm still alive! So... Satan *is* what I love in life... in particular at this time Satan is: Love, affection, music, large cities, computers and self empowerment.
Lord and Master. Someone to follow
Life is very much easier when you are doing what you are told. It's easier to follow than to lead. When you do what you are told, you feel less susceptible to blame, you don't have to think, you can go on automatic, your actions are analysed and you are given clear feedback so that you know if you are doing good or not.
As an individual I have always found it hard to do all of the above. My brain just doesn't let me. So I have gone through life struggling against every social convention and dogmatic principle; against organized religion and social taboo. It hasn't been a smooth ride!
I chose Satan, the personification of intelligence and rebellion; enlightenment, happiness and indulgence. This personification simplifies my direction. Although Satan is not real, he is still a figurehead under whom I work. It is someone to tell you to look after yourself, sort yourself out, make yourself something. God is not that figure, Satan is. Satan is not interested in people who can't get things done, unhealthy parasites or failures. Satan makes me want to make myself strong because Satan represents strength and fulfilment, success and attainment, and also represents my own primary muse and Patron Saint. Satan's instructions for me are to work hard, strategically, to spread rationality, to indulge in self help, to pursue happiness, stability, friends, intelligence... all those unheavenly Satanic traits that are just perfect for the real world!
Satan, if anything, represents vital existence independent of reliance on any God, Saviour or benevolent spirits. Depending on others is not conducive to happiness, especially when they don't even have the courtesy to appear in person or help you materially. Self help is the order of the day. There is no ultimate feel-good factor, it's not all going to be OK... you are going to die.
The second of the 9 Satanic Statements is "Satan represents vital existence, instead of spiritual pipe dreams". We live to make our lives happy now without any of the pretence that an omnipotent being is going to come and offer us eternal bliss. Satan is a good everyday reminder that fate does not give a shit about you. Make the most of life!
Satan also represents darkness, ultimate death, ultimate hopelessness, the existential void, loss, decay and entropy.
All of these things, hanging over your head, serve only to make life more urgent! I must live for as long as possible, because reality does definitely not give a shit about me! So Satan is muse for me to take long term plans, not to get myself killed, not to neglect my mental or physical health. Satan represents these things and forces me to make my life productive.
It is incredibly useful to us that the dumb, bigoted and ignorant will presume that a Satanist is an immature person who sneaks around graveyards at night time because it allows us to immediately filter out a whole set of people who are not ready (and may never be) to perceive us.
It allows me to rebel, and yet remain logical and factual. I enjoy dispelling illusions; and Satanism is one of the most instinctively misunderstood philosophies.
Satanism has at its core a solid atheist philosophy; for the reasons laid out on this page I call myself a Satanist. Thus a further advantage emerges; that I have a cause to fight for. Obviously it's not as important as, say, having a job and being happy. But a cause it is, something stand for something that you feel is good.
Ludicrous bad example of a religion
Before I became a Satanist I didn't know much about religion or religions.... I had no religious relatives, my schooling was completely secular, with the exception of a few lessons on world religions (which concentrated on dates, holidays, founders and terminology).
But when I discovered Satanism I realized that it had potential to attack all religions through its nature. By being viewed by many as completely ludicrous, yet also by being a valid religion, it could have the effect of making people reject religion and superstition more readily. People are fed up with religion... making Satanism higher profile will be another nail in the coffin of God(s) and religion!
My first experience of Christianity is the first year of college and the last two years of school before I went to college. During this time, our school used to go to a Church (I can't remember denomination or details) once every two weeks for a simple Sunday service.
It was the worst time: singing! The priest/person who led the services (for the first 2 years I went) used to disturb me. He seemed the most unstable and explosive person I've ever seen speak in public (made worst because he never raised his voice). The second priest was a friendly black guy, who was much better. He used to look at my brother funny because people told him he was a Satanist, but my brother seemed like a normal, friendly kid! The poor guy couldn't figure it out.
So I'd sit and hold hands with friends, play that game where you hold hands and try to catch the other person's thumb with you own, write notes to each other in the hymn books. And periodically stand up and sing... I knew that singing and the group-hug mentality were all thought control techniques, designed to generate euphoria, togetherness, feel good, whilst associating it with the priests' eternal ramblings and closed' minded stubborn preaching of his single belief system.
I knew I had found a philosophy that naturally suited me.
The Church of Satan is the only organisation I feel is stable, sane and worthwhile within the Satanic community - the only one that throughout its existence has stood up and got things done. It is with this Church that I wish to conspire with my most cherished, long term plans.
Satanic Unity: A unity movement always appears once a school of thought has had time to develop factions. Although I am all for the benefits of unity, I am not sure I wish to be associated with some of the lunatics that Satanism attracts from time to time. Which means I have to (A) choose a banner under which to unite and (B) choose how to deal with those groups in the Satanic community with whom I do not agree.
A. The Church of Satan is the most well-established and certainly the largest Satanic organisation - so it is under this original Satanic Church that we should unite.
B. No two people will ever agree on issue of belief beyond mere linguistics, but there are probably some quite major ideological differences between those who feel the Devil exists as a discrete being, and the Church of Satan who find the image of rebellion, human potential and self gratification in Satan as a symbolic concept. An answer is just to ignore these differences and concentrate on the more practical, useful things in your life.
Current edition: 2001 Jul 29
Last Modified: 2016 Nov 13
Parent page: The Description, Philosophies and Justification of Satanism
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