I worship truth. I worship reality. The best symbol of reality is Satan. In order to be true to my beliefs, I must seek out the truth, to know. In Satanism, the self is God. Out of the self comes one's own experience of life. This experience of life is sacred. A Satanist does not pollute this life with skewed perceptions of reality. To have a skewed perspective on reality is, for a Satanist, to worship a falsehood. Satanism is the worshipping of truth and reality, and the abolishing of falsehood, deceit and lies. There is no 'good and evil', just subjective Human judgements. The Third Satanic Statement does not lack clarity:
Satanists seek to abolish foolish things and things that cloud the mind or will. The worship of truth is a compelling journey that invigorates life and gives meaning. The destruction of lies is an unholy mission that we have dedicated our lives to. The preservation of lies is the abode of religious dogma. In dogma lies an absence of thought and a failure to search for truth.
These things have been reiterated by Peter Gilmore, High Priest of the Church of Satan from 2001:
“Satanists are pragmatists, who do their best to see the world around them in as unclouded manner as possible; we call that "undefiled wisdom." Then we use this understanding to make the best from life for ourselves as well as those whom we cherish.”
Earthly success and happiness are foiled by lies: The more you worship truth, the more it is that truth itself makes you happy. The rosary beads of a Satanist are the gems of truth that shine through the dark glass through which we try to understand the world. The only black light to illuminate our way is the path of Enlightenment, of Lucifer, Crown Prince of Hell.
“He that is slow to believe anything and everything is of great understanding, for belief in one false principle is the beginning of all unwisdom.”
To be easily convinced is to be weak. To be strong is to take truth seriously: If you doubt everything you are told, then you are compelled to search for truth rather than condemned to accept misinformation and confusion. To avoid confusion, you must question everything!
I take my beliefs seriously. As a result, I am stubborn about what I believe. I require reasons for things, I want deep understanding of how something can be true. Without those, I am reluctant. The more intellectually slack a person is, the easier it is to convince them of something.
I have devoted considerable time to studying the common ways in which falsehoods enter our belief systems and infuse our daily thinking. I have a growing collection of essays on the subject here: "Science and Truth Versus Mass Confusion" by Vexen Crabtree.
“We all suffer from systematic cognitive dysfunctions; they infuse the very way we notice and analyse data, and distort our forming of conclusions. Emotional and societal factors influence our thinking much more than we like to admit. Our expectations and recent experiences change the way we recall memories. Even our very perceptions are effected by pre-conscious cognitive factors; what we see, feel, taste and hear are all subject to interpretation before we are even aware of them. Our brains were never meant to be the cool, rational, mathematical-logical computers that we like to sometimes pretend them to be.
- People easily misperceive random events as evidence that backs up their beliefs.
- We attribute causes to events based on our beliefs even when we don't know we're doing it.
- Physiological causes can lay behind even profound supernatural experiences.
- Our perception of reality is distorted by our expectations and beliefs.
- Our experiences are not objective, but are informed by our mindset and culture.
We can take preventative steps. Learning to think skeptically and carefully and to recognize that our very experiences and perceptions can be coloured by societal and subconscious factors should help us to maintain our cool. Beliefs should not be taken lightly, and evidence should be cross-checked. This especially applies to "common-sense" facts that we learn from others by word of mouth and traditional knowledge. Above all, however, our most important tool is knowing what types of cognitive errors we, as a species, are prone to making.”
“Human thought and religion is confounded by our susceptibility to cognitive thinking errors, and traditional world religions have employed every method possible to suppress free thought. It has always been the figure of Satan that has stood up and questioned god, revealed truth, and challenged religious dogma and Human wishful thinking. Satan represents doubt, the questioning of all things. [...]
Satan represents Doubt. God did not want Adam and Eve to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Allah did not want his creation to doubt his word. In both theologies, it was Satan, the most intelligent created being, who stood up against this enforced ignorance. Satan tells mankind: Search for knowledge, even in taboo places. Shaitan told the Djinn: Let us test God's word, let us not mindlessly believe all that God says. Although these myths are irrelevant to the modern world, the role of Satan is very much relevant to our lives and our search for knowledge. Enlightenment is the ability to look past stated truth and dogma, and Lucifer is the Crown Prince of Satan that represents our search for enlightenment.”
“There is something ticklish in "the truth" and in the search for the truth; and if a man goes about it too humanely, I wager he find nothing!”
The Satanic approach is captured wonderfully in the few words below about philosophers:
“Part of the excitement of the quest for the truth comes from the scent of freedom: What is wanted is what is new, different, original: A hitherto unknown fact, a novel distinction or an unconventional perspective ... to dislodge as much as possible of what had seemed fairly established... above all, we want to triumph over falsehood and deception.”
A Satanist seeks the truth in the opposite way to the religious adherent - through trial and error, inference and intelligence, rather than the theistic methods of heart-searching, Bible-reading or the trying to find truth in myths! The opposite to divinely inspired knowledge, we learn through empirical observation and hard work. The scientific method.
The Book of Satan is the first book in the Satanic Bible. It states:
“No hoary falsehood shall be a truth to me; no stifling dogma shall encramp my pen! I break away from all conventions that do not lead to my earthly success and happiness.”
And the Second Satanic Statement reads:
Spiritual pipe dreams are forms of hoary falsehood that feed on peoples' shallow emotional wants. Dogma stifles thought. Vital existence is the reality of life. Satan represents truth and the search for truth. It therefore also represents the abolition of religious dogma. The traditional churches and religions of mankind are the symptoms of mental disease. How many hundreds and thousands of times in history has scientific truth been oppressed by the murderous, holy rage of the Christian and mainstream churches? Their search for truth has ended; the only truth they are seeking is that which confirms what they already think. The search for truth is unholy, anti-establishment, irreligious and above all Satanic.
All of this talk of the worshipping of truth and the seeking out of lies highlights the Cardinal Sin of Satanism: Stupidity.
“Satan is an enemy of stupidity: Satan is our intellectual muse and holds high a banner of intelligence and success. Utmost important is placed on critical thinking, inner thought, reflection and deliberation. Although not all successful people or Satanists are highly intelligent, so such people should always know this, and work around it -- see the page on Satanic Power which concerns the adaptability and success that is achievable as long as you know your own shortcomings.
Satan represents freethought, thought without dogma, absolutes or herd conformity. That is why stupidity is the cardinal sin in Satanism; it is simply a show-stopper. No-one embarks on the Satanic path with a weak mind full of gullibility and daft ideas. There are popular, legalistic, and very feel-good religions to suit those types of people. Satanism is not for the stupid.”
This page drew on a lot of material from pages I've already written because I felt it pertinent to bring together various strands: Such as the 2nd and 3rd Satanic Statements and the Cardinal Sin, into reflection with each other. Satanism as the worship of truth highlights Satan as the enemy of religion and stupidity.
This devotion to hard reality and truth is hedonism-when-applied-to-the-head. Lucifer, the Crown Prince of the Eastern Cardinal, is the path of more philosophically minded Satanists. This page is therefore the path of Lucifer rather than the paths of the other types of Satanists. As I myself align strongly with the Lucifer Aspect of Satan this essay is biased: There are Satanists who would disagree with the very idea of spending so much time on intellectual endeavours. Many other Satanists have more practical-elitist skills and follow the paths of Belial or Leviathan.
The search for truth is not always the same as the search for mere happiness. Happiness can result from misdirection and ignorance; therefore the search for truth is nobler. Albert Einstein, one of the most prominent Human intellects, once concluded that there is no simple answer to the question of how far the search for truth should cast a shadow on happiness:
“Should truth, for instance, be sought unconditionally even where its attainment and its accessibility to all would entail heavy sacrifices in toil and happiness? There are many such questions which, from a rational vintage point, cannot easily be answered or cannot be answered at all.”
Albert Einstein (1948)4
Einstein, Albert. (1879-1955)
Ideas and Opinions (1954). Published in 1954 by Crown Publishers, New York, USA and in 1982 by Three Rivers Press. A collection of Einstein's writings and texts.
Buddhism (1995). Published as part of the TeachYourself Books series.
Gilmore, Peter. High Priest of the Church of Satan (as of 2001+).
The Satanic Scriptures (2007). Hardback. Compendium of texts. Published by Scapegoat Publishing, USA. Many essays are new editions of older texts by Gilmore.
Critique of Religion and Philosophy (1958). Hardback