One of the more interesting ‘religions’, which is largely ignored as a serious spiritual concept is Satanism. Like all faiths, it has different strands but for the purpose of this post I will concentrate on “The Satanic Bible” by Anton Szandor LaVey . LaVey was an American who became famous , or infamous, depending on your point of view when he formed The Church of Satan in the 1960s .
LaVey, was not enamoured of Christianity and found its teachings hypocritical and repressive . He was particuarly not keen on “Thou shalt not” and came to believe repression of our desires was counter productive and kept the human spirit trapped . Many have walked the same path and most people enter therapy to deal with these issues but LaVey decided the best thing to do was start “The Church Of Satan” . So, on Walpurgisnacht, 30th April 1966 he announced the foundation of The Church of Satan, shaved his head and pronounced 1966 as Year One, Anno Satanas, the first year of the Age of Satan .
In 1968, Anton LaVey published “The Satanic Bible” which attempted to give Satanism a structure and advice how Satanists should live . In some ways, it is just a rehash of the philosophy of Aleister Crowley of ‘Do what thou wilt’ but also shows how to perform Satanic rituals . LaVey does not advocate the sacrifice of animals or children and only goes so far as advising how to place a curse on an enemy . I get the impression LaVey did not believe in an actual Devil or Satan, but was worshipping our Shadow which he thought was repressed by modern society and religion .
He was especially keen on indulging the flesh and advocated lots of sex . From the prologue of The Satanic Bible :
A glow of new light is borne out of the night and Lucifer is risen once more to proclaim “This is the age of Satan ! Satan rules the Earth !” The gods of the unjust are dead . This is the morning of magic, and undefiled wisdom . The FLESH prevaileth and a great Church shall be builded, consecrated in its name . No longer shall man’s salvation be dependent on his self denial . And it will be known that the world of the flesh and the living shall be the greatest preparation for any and all eternal delights!
REGIE SATANAS !
AVE SATANAS !
HAIL SATAN !
I would agree with the underlying message – Do what you want, as long as it doesn’t frighten the horses – but Satanism, in my opinion, makes the same erroneous assumptions that the montheistic religions believe .
Firstly, it assumes the world is real and by indulging the flesh we will reach enlightenment . I have done some ‘indulging’ in my time and know it never brings lasting happiness, precisely because the FLESH, as LaVey calls it, is unreal . The second assumption is that God has opinions what we should or not do, and therefore in LaVey’s mind is ‘the enemy’ . I believe that as the ‘God of Freedom’, God allows us free rein and it is only our self inflicted guilt which represses us, not God .
Having said that, I would recommend any serious spiritual ‘seeker’ to read The Satanic Bible and not be frightened by the aura which surrounds Satanism . It is a considered belief system, and even though I do not agree with it because of the above reasons, some may find it helpful on their ‘journey’ but like all spiritual faiths, beware the conmen who demand your money and those with hidden agendas .