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#33371 - 12/30/09 01:10 AM The Legitimacy of Greater Magic
MatthewJ1
Unregistered



The goal of this new post: an attempt to build a language around the black magical process; or at the very least, an opportunity to define a framework, for the black magical process within conventional terms.

My focus here is on the Greater Magical process and on the “logic” which makes it function.

The source material for the following claims: a close reading of the Book of Belial from T.S.B.

But first three quotes from the Book of Belial:

“What good is a study of falsehoods, unless everyone believes in falsehoods? Many, of course, do believe in falsehoods, but still ACT according to natural law. It is upon this premise that Satanic magic is based.”
T.S.B. P.109

“Magic is never totally scientifically explainable…”
T.S.B. P.110

“If only people were aware of the thoughts injected into their minds while they slept!”
T.S.B. P.123

There appears to me to be a form of logic behind the black magical process. The magician engages in ritual, in order to actualise his or her will, in the real world.

The magician may attempt to gain influence over and alter the so called substance, or appearance, or place of inanimate matter. Or, the magician may attempt to gain influence over and alter the actions and beliefs of individual human beings in the world.

Dr. LaVey, in my opinion, makes it clear that the latter option is of more value to the magician than the former. Dark magic is far more useful when it is aimed at human beings.

What is the logic which underpins the black magical process at this level?

A message is formulated by an emotionally fuelled actor and a laser focused will. The completed magical package is thrown outwards and is received by a passive and receptive recipient, ideally during dream sleep.

The package is received and absorbed by the recipient at an unconscious/sub conscious level and then acts through the recipient, by controlling or manipulating, the speech or actions of the recipient at critical moments, and/or in a more general way day to day.

The speech and actions of the recipient of the magical package are therefore more conducive to the wishes and desires of the magician, who designed and sent the package.

Two questions arise at this stage:
1. What is the internal nature or “logic” of the magical package itself?
2. How is it possible for a magician to send the magical package to an intended recipient? How is successful magic possible?

I would like to outline my own views (with a lot of assistance from Dr. LaVey) in relation to the first question, and then pose two options for the second question.

Dr. LaVey, in my opinion, mentions a number of times that the content of the magical package is a specific desire or wish translated into force.

The product of the greater magical act is force conditioned by purpose, by design, within the context of the balance factor.

The power and appropriateness of the imagery employed; the intense emotional need; the fact that the package deeply conforms to our shared carnal nature, but is yet realistically framed by who we as individuals are, by what we are and by what we can actually obtain in the world more or less guarantees that the “nature” of the force of the magical product will be appropriate for, be accepted by, and will successfully act on the recipient of the product, in accordance with the will of the sender.

The matter of the magical product is the form of the magical product.

At this stage I cannot confirm or describe a so called substance or materiality of the black magical product. It would seem to me that in the old battle between Plato and Aristotle I think I must fall among the Platonist’s in this regard.

Now things get a touch tricky.

How is it possible for the magician to actually send his or her magical product to the recipient, and for the recipient to receive this product and then act or think in conformity to it?

There seems to me to be two options, which I will try and sketch out. The following is speculative at this stage:

1. A form of shared language exists, possibly beyond the mechanics of the Saussurian sign, which human beings can access and address each other in. This language would actually function at the level of the unconscious or subconscious of the sender and the receiver of messages and would be capable of being transmitted over distance, without any additional mediation or assistance. A carnal content would underpin the successful message, but it would be necessarily tempered by the clarity of the balance factor. Generating a successful message in this language would be determined by Dr. LaVey’s directions in the Book of Belial. Using this language to successfully manipulate a recipient would be possible only on the basis that the recipient is unaware of the language and the way it functions and the messages he or she has received through the language. The language silently addresses itself to the subconscious or unconscious of the recipient of the message as a command or irresistible invitation etc. and is sent by the sender’s unconscious or subconscious, via the generation of a message, constructed on the basis of desire and emotion, focused will and the well articulated imagery of the sender.
2. The magician generates his or her magical package as a form of appeal to a third party, who then accepts it (provided the sender and the message are worthy) and implants the package in the recipients mind on behalf of the generator of the message. If the magician is working independently of others and is maintaining his or her own secrecy than the third party must be somehow non-human or non-material in nature. The assumption here is that this third party is conscious and intelligent, in some sense, and is capable of understanding the message and implanting it in the recipient’s mind at the very least. If we drop all representational iconography of all culturally created religious systems, than what are we left with as a legitimate third party? One could be tempted to adopt the Theory of Forms and state that the very core of an individual and particular consciousness or subconsciousness or unconsciousness, has been somehow stamped on a particular and individual organic life form by a higher universal, which in itself is consciousness in some deep and comprehensive sense and can be appealed to, and which will act as a mediator between the sender and the recipient of the magical package. If we adopt the representational iconography of established religious systems than we must necessarily operate within the worldview or metaphysical framework of such a system, which may be problematic?

Maybe somebody can find a way out of this quagmire. It would seem to me that a fairly large part of Dr. LaVey’s thinking and practice depends on it.

How is Greater Magic justified?

To Dr. A – Were you letting the cat out of the bag with Quo Vadis? Something’s up, but I can’t sniff out the full story yet?

I shall find out the secret secrets, I shall.

Goodness, I’m probably so daft and the facts are staring me right in the face. In which case, oops.

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#33375 - 12/30/09 02:42 AM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: ]
Doomsage680 Offline
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Registered: 10/01/09
Posts: 111
Loc: NJ, USA
Actually, Greater Magic is psychology and revolves around influencing the self. It is Lesser Magic that usually operates on the edge of what one might call paranormal, or at least, scientifically unexplainable as of yet. I particularly put no stock in lesser magic except as another form of greater magic; convincing one's self that they can "make" or "influence" another person through sheer force of will rather than acting in the world seems quite unplausable. Of course, LaVey advocates taking action rather than allowing any "beings" to do something for you without you working towards it, and ritual is simply a way of focusing your will to aid you in that goal, though Lesser Magic does seem to be "pushing it".
I might come under fire by others here, but since my own conversion to Atheism (syntax?) I have denounced all things spiritual, magickal, or anything other than that which is completely scientific. I once believed that the mind could quite possibly have the ability to influence others, but now I only hold that it controls the self. Sure, things like confidence and body language can subtly influence others, but there is nothing "magical" about it.
If LaVey means to say that there is some other force involved in lesser magic, which I believe he does albeit vaguely, it would be the force of nature he calls Satan. I surely believe in the law of entropy but do not believe this force is anything that one can manipulate- it is not magic, and there is no way to influence the universe outside of the direct interactions one has with it.
He certainly leaves it up to interpretation, which has allowed quite a few theistic satanists (formerly myself) to go around using the book to support calling upon otherworldly forces to conduct some mystical power to influence the universe. Wouldn't be the first time that happened. Again, many colleages here are likely to disagree, but I have read TSB quite closely and believe that I am right in my conclusions. Best of luck to you.
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#33377 - 12/30/09 02:54 AM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: Doomsage680]
6Satan6Archist6 Offline
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Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 2509
 Quote:
It is Lesser Magic that usually operates on the edge of what one might call paranormal, or at least, scientifically unexplainable as of yet.


Wrong. There is nothing paranormal about Lesser Magic. It is nothing more than another form of applied psychology given a fancy name to make it more marketable.
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#33378 - 12/30/09 03:08 AM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: ]
Morgan Offline
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Registered: 08/29/07
Posts: 2956
Loc: New York City
To an actual Magician, there is no black or white. It's all the same shit. You do what needs to be done. When you pick a color you limit your actions, mental focus, and abilities.

There is no set logic in magic, there is just theory in practice. Until you are able to do things on command in front of an audience, what you do or accomplish is your own theory or personal way/force of action. You may get better results over time, but no one has claimed that million dollar prize yet.

Successful magic is possible when through whatever rite or ritual you choose you create a psychodrama in which you change your own headspace so you can affect change outside yourself.

As for shared language/dream time, why don't you do an experiment.
Speak to someone, and agree to send them a strong image while they are sleeping. Don't tell them what it is, and pick something bizarre. A purple eggplant, a tray of brownies. Focus on them, focus on the image, and see if you can do it. If not well you have your answer.

There is no third party, unless now you are talking about appealing to demons, gods, and etc to do work for you. Similar action to pray.

Why does Greater Magic need to be justified?
It is something that has been around a long time, some people do get results, some do not. You don't have to follow or believe in Greater Magic in order to be a Satanist in my opinion.

Lots of various sects, and groups use forms of Greater Magic not just LaVey.

The only secret is that it may or may not work for you.
On that note, you are the only one who can do the work to find out for yourself.

There is no real formula to get results other than busting your ass and doing something.

Morgan
_________________________
Courage Conquering Fear
Fuck em if they can't take a joke
Don't Like What I Say, Kiss My Ass



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#33381 - 12/30/09 09:25 AM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: Morgan]
Fabiano Offline
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Registered: 09/06/08
Posts: 374
I agree with you Morgan, it's good advises you give them.

However, just for the pleasure of playing the Devil's advocate, teasing you a little bit and perhaps confusing some minds for my own enjoyment, I'll add some few comments. \:D

For the shared language, the experiment is perhaps not repeatable, but some testimony raises questions...

About appealing to demons,... this should give some material to the brain cells of some.

As for the similarity with praying. I think the prayer uses his love or compassion for praying his god. If the prayer's request is "pure" only motivated by love or compassion, then the loving god can't say no.
The magician uses his will for calling the demon and it's by the strength of his will that the demon will obey.
Can we on that basis make a distinction between white and black magic? It's a question of labels. One could say praying is white magic and all magic is all black. Is praying on the RHP and magic on the LHP?

I distinguish Lesser and Greater magic as follows:
- Lesser magic is the art of manipulating others
- Greater magic is the art of auto-manipulation

Take the attraction spell for instance. You can buy a book like "the Mystery method" where you get all the lesser magic explained in a non esoterical way. But at the end of the book the author says all this will not work if you're not able to forge a strong and original self-identity and for this the explanantions become, let's say, more esotéric \:\)

But I cannot stop repeating to all (especially rookers ;\) ) that you get nothing for nothing. You can dream about magical power, for instance being able to move objects by thougths. But be sure it will require an effort of concentrating your mind. It will also requires years of exercises. So probably the simplest way to get the object is to move your ass and get it with your body!

Magic is everywhere, even sometimes in the Talmud:
You don't see reality as it is. You see it as you are.

on top of what I'll add:
You are what you think and you can choose what you think about.


These were the keys of my magic.
Now go and forge your own keys.

Good work !

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#33384 - 12/30/09 10:31 AM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: Fabiano]
Dimitri Offline
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Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3119
Just for the sake of argument I like to use the word "drama" as a synonym for the term magic.

Thus lesser magic becomes "lesser drama" which becomes a very nice description you gave for lesser magic being it: «the art of manipulating others».
The use of "practical psychology" to manipulate involves drama ,which can know be used as an indication "to act".
Therefor lesser magic is the way people act in order to achieve a certain result personally.

Greater magic then becomes by these terms as "greater drama". It indicates a broader and/or more important "audience" is being acted for. This audience might vary from 1 person to multiple which undergo the drama ( or are being bewitched to say it in other terms). The effects of the greater drama differs itself from lesser drama in the way of acting.
Whereas greater drama (or greater magic) might involve fantasy ideas and much more drama (in the sense of acting very intense and with much show) to delude oneself, others or for other purposes , lesser drama is just acting without any extra's or fabulous show to achieve a result.


Anton LaVey, Boyd Rice and David Myatt/Anton Long (whatever) (and maybe others) are the best examples of people who successfully understood what real magic is about: DRAMA. All three persons successfully "bewitched" people and had an influence on them by the use of a certain degree of acting skills. The best example of this is Anton LaVey being called "world most famous devil-worshipper" (correction needed?).

The real greater magic didn't took place behind closed curtains, it was there for all to see. Showbizz is just greater magic everyone enjoys and has the privilege to witness.


Edited by Dimitri (12/30/09 10:39 AM)
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#33393 - 12/30/09 01:18 PM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: Dimitri]
Dan_Dread Offline
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Registered: 10/08/08
Posts: 3812
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Magic can mean a lot of things. I think the context of Satanism is being largely overlooked here.

In Satanism as codified by ASL, magic is defined as ""The change in situations or events in accordance with one's will, which would, using normally accepted methods, be unchangeable".

Now if we are indeed operating on that definition, there is no need to invoke the supernatural. Reality is a very large place, and as a species we really understand quite little of it. Magic, in both its forms, exists on the outskirts of human knowledge. Those things that work but are not always fully dissected to the level of examining the nuts and bolts.

In the case of greater magic, one is invoking the carnal subconscious which is little understood, but still understood enough that we, as a race, know much if not most of what constitutes "human behavior" is rooted there. Greater magic is an appeal through the use of concentrated emotional experience to affect change in the subconscious consciously, which is something, as per the definition of magic, that would be unchangeable though normally accepted means.

Lesser magic in the same vein uses techniques that affect change to the subconscious minds of others, which although many of those techniques fall in the realm of basic psychology many do not, or at least appeal to aspects of the human psyche not fully understood by science.

Is Greater Magic 'legitimate'? Legitimacy is defined by the perceiver. Greater magic is a lot more than costumes and candles. Its mental discipline and extreme focus and willpower. Can you will something in a ritual setting and make yourself believe it? Really believe? Can you work yourself into such a frenzy of emotion that you are left breathless, heart racing, and focus that on one singular goal? Is greater magic legitimate? You tell me.
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#33400 - 12/30/09 06:45 PM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: Morgan]
MatthewJ1
Unregistered



Thanks very much for all of your posts.

I would like to take some time to study what you have written, before I give any sort of longwinded and possibly embarrassing response.

I, however, wanted to acknowledge some points made by Morgan and Dan in their posts. These are my own readings of course.

This attempt of mine to somehow employ a logic to somehow objectively describe Greater magic and its “process” appears to be a flawed attempt, or rather an attempt which imposes limitations on what works or what can be and what may be.

This attempt of mine to somehow “legitimate” Greater magic, may just be the particular way in which I legitimate Greater magic.

I am working on my self, in some sense, when I engage in GM ritual. I may be consciously working on my subconscious or my unconscious in order to change or alter it. I may be attempting to strengthen, focus and/or articulate my will in preparation for focused and successful actions in the outside world.

Psychodrama to change your own headspace – agreed.

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#33413 - 12/30/09 11:32 PM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: ]
MatthewJ1
Unregistered



I wanted to continue this discussion firstly by an attempt to define terms and processes and then sum up my current position.

I thought it would be useful to draw on Dr. Aquino’s book on the CoS and in particular Chapter 22: ‘The Satanic Rituals,’ Pages 237 – 238.

There are a number of definitions drawn here. A distinction is made between Satanic magic and Satanic ritual.

Satanic magic is defined as operative. “…it is the formalized, precise working of the will of the magician upon his external environment.”

Rituals are one of the devices which may be used for magical purposes, “…but rituals themselves possess no independent power.”

Rituals are used as a type of mind mirror. “They enable the magician to see his will articulated and displayed before him, so that he may adjust and refine it.” This is described as an illustrative ritual.

Ritual can take on one other form, but it must include an additional element:

“Other rituals contain an additional step: Having first served to define and refine the magician’s will, they serve to strengthen and magnify the power of that will and to launch it forth into the material universe. These are operative rituals.” P.237

What is Greater Magic as opposed to Lesser Magic? “…Greater Magic makes use of the ritual “mind mirror” while Lesser Magic does not.”

The basic lust, compassion and destruction rituals in TSB are “…examples of basic operative rituals, i.e. Greater Magic.”

The critical point here is the following in my opinion: operative rituals establish some form of relationship between the magician and another. They have an effect on a second party.

I just wanted to follow this up further by again drawing on Dr. LaVey’s work in the TSB.

In relation to ritual: “Its main function is to isolate the otherwise dissipated adrenal and other emotionally induced energy, and convert it into a dynamically transmittable force.”

In relation to an ideal time to transmit: “The best time to cast your spell or charm, hex or curse, is when your target is at his most receptive state. Receptivity to the will of the magician is assured when the recipient is as passive as possible. No matter how strong-willed one is, he is naturally passive while he is asleep; therefore, the best time to throw your magical energy towards your target is when he or she sleeps.”

I personally reach the following conclusion from my reading in regards to successful Operative Greater Magic:

1. The magician creates a message
2. The magician transmits the message to another
3. The other, who has received the message, acts or thinks in accordance with it

The question’s, which interest me and which I may not be able to adequately answer: how is such a thing possible?

Whether our language, logic or science is capable of describing this phenomenon in greater detail is up for debate.

Or, whether our language, logic and science can describe the nature of the message transmitted and how the message is transmitted is up for debate.

Both Dr. LaVey and Dr. Aquino have stated that operative ritual is real and genuine. This is enough for me at this point. I agree with them both. I have a very high regard for their expertise and experience.

I also believe, based on their statements, that further truth claims can be made.

I come back to the two options already established in my first post – unconscious language or third party influence of some sort, for lack of a further alternative.

Since I cannot establish the validity of an unconscious language empirically, I will provisionally state that I support the second option, but I cannot confirm that our culturally created symbols, such as Satan or Set etc. can actually signify a third party at this stage.

I am provisionally rejecting other options because they are either unknown or unintelligible.

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#33429 - 12/31/09 01:13 PM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: ]
Dan_Dread Offline
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Registered: 10/08/08
Posts: 3812
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
 Quote:

Both Dr. LaVey and Dr. Aquino have stated that operative ritual is real and genuine. This is enough for me at this point. I agree with them both. I have a very high regard for their expertise and experience.

I also believe, based on their statements, that further truth claims can be made.



I don't think you really get it at all.If you will accept extraordinary claims of this nature based on faith I do believe you have missed the boat entirely. I am fairly sure Anton would roll over in his grave if he read this.

You sound more like a follower of Satanism than a Satanist at this point.

“It is only doubt which will bring mental emancipation. Without the wonderful element of doubt, the doorway through which truth passes would be tightly shut, impervious to the most strenuous poundings of a thousand Lucifers.”

-Anton Szandor LaVey
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#33441 - 01/01/10 10:14 AM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: Dan_Dread]
William Wright Offline
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Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 860
Loc: Nashville
Dan, I agree with you (and LaVey) that doubt is critically important in life, that one should challenge assumptions and not take things at face value. However, I think it’s also fair to point out that faith is not necessarily a dirty word. That is, faith is not limited to monotheism.

When LaVey founded the CoS, he did not know that it would become a world-wide phenomenon and spawn a movement that would last long after his death. He believed – or had faith – that his little group would grow into something special. As it turned out, his belief turned out to be correct. This was due largely to the tireless efforts of him and those who worked with him. It was also due to things beyond his control, such as the fact that he didn’t drop dead in May 1966.

Belief is a necessary starting point for achievement. It is forming a theory – that one will graduate from college, become a scientist, etc. The best and brightest among us will then rigorously test our theories against reality and learn from the experiences. The problem is when belief is seen as an end in itself.

Certainly Matthew shouldn’t simply accept the claims of LaVey and Aquino and leave it at that. However, Matthew’s writing suggests that he isn’t content to rest on his laurels. Time will tell.
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#33529 - 01/03/10 05:32 PM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: Dan_Dread]
MatthewJ1
Unregistered



My apologies for not responding sooner. I haven’t had access to a computer for the last couple of days.

I did put this time to good use, however, by hitting the books and thinking through.

I am now more inclined to reject the notion of a third party influence in GM operative ritual.

This is based on two conclusions, which I have reached.

1. A third party model does too much violence to The Book of Lucifer and the Darwinian/Materialist ontology which underpins the Book of Satan.
2. I have re-read a copy of the original manifesto of the CoS, which I located in Dr. Aquino’s book. This is ‘The Satanism Monograph’ of 1968-1969, in which Dr. LaVey states his belief in a communication model based around telepathy.

I am now of the opinion that personal experience and personal revelation or inspiration are the only ways one can reach an understanding of a possible third party in GM.

I have experienced a type of presence during ritual, and even had a feeling that someone was looking over my shoulder, but I don’t know if this is a psychological manifestation or not.

I will now look more closely at telepathy and see how this may work in terms of a legitimate model.

In regards to the unconscious language model I posed in my first post.

This is utterly ridiculous in its current form and wording. It is not merely impossible, but rather unthinkable. To attempt to move beyond the Saussurian sign is to move beyond the form of thought itself, and of course, the nature and action of the unconscious or sub-conscious can only be interpreted consciously.

There is possibly a third side to all this and in the spirit of enquiry I will briefly outline it as I personally see it.

To Dan, no offence meant, but the fact that you have used a quote from Dr. LaVey to make your point, tends to suggest, that you too recognise his expertise and experience.

It would seem you too have relied on him as a source of legitimate information as well.

And why shouldn’t you use this resource. I mean without Dr. LaVey there wouldn’t be much knowledge about Satanism, in my opinion.

No, I have learnt a lot about this philosophy from Dr. LaVey and Dr. Aquino and I think its only fitting that I recognise that. And why shouldn’t I trust in their expertise and experience. Such trust does not blunt my critical skills. If anything that trust sharpens my critical skills.

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#33530 - 01/03/10 06:26 PM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: ]
Dan_Dread Offline
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Registered: 10/08/08
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Without Anton LaVey there would be no Satanism as we know it, as the cohesive 'thing' it is today, complete with boundaries and definition. Without his description of this pre-existing human phenotype, Satanism would not be what it is today. For that, I recognize his influence and expertise, and I tip my hat to the man.

This says nothing, however, of accepting his, or anyone's claims without evidence and due intellectual diligence. Claiming knowledge based on faith, be it in a book or another mans claims, is something a born Satanist knows in his heart to be a path to unwisdom and self deceit. Adopting beliefs that are not rooted in any way to Terra firma can in fact lead one to make further 'truth claims', each successive one leading further from the barebones 'thing' out there that is reality.

Faith of any sort is a cancer of the mind. A mental construct that allows one to justify the denial of, or abstaining from, reason.

If Satan represents knowledge through doubt and a rejection of stupidity, faith is certainly his unholy adversary.

With that said, once you have a '3rd party' you have completely veered off the left hand path and become what it stands against. Theism is theism is theism.
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#33533 - 01/03/10 08:35 PM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: Dan_Dread]
MatthewJ1
Unregistered



I agree with you when you state that one needs to make truth claims based on verifiable empirical evidence and reason.

My own method in relation to this particular line of thinking, regarding Greater operative ritual magic, is a fairly straightforward one in my opinion.

In this particular case I am studying the work of Dr. LaVey and Dr.Aquino, in order to understand the conclusions they have reached about a particular type of phenomenon in the world (Greater operative ritual magic).

I am then testing those conclusions against my own experience and reason in order to assist me in defining my own views.

I have certainly stated that I agree with both of them that Greater operative ritual magic is real and genuine.

This claim (regarding the reality of operative GM ritual) has been tested against my own experience and reason. I agree not only because they are both experts and experienced, but also because I have experienced the reality of this process as well.

I am of the opinion that one cannot acquire any sort of real expertise in a subject, or a philosophy, without studying the works of the acknowledged experts and than testing the experts conclusions against your own, and then making your own truth claims or accepting the truth claims of the experts you have studied.

This is a critical component in how knowledge is built in my view.

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#33557 - 01/04/10 04:28 PM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: SkaffenAmtiskaw]
MatthewJ1
Unregistered



Yes I agree with you and Dan.

No matter how I turn or where I turn or in what way I turn, I cannot successfully challenge my deepest core "belief" or view.

I cannot redecorate or reenchant my world, and if I did so than I would lose touch with the philosophy of Anton Szandor LaVey, in my view.

I am an Atheist right down to the bone marrow, and I have not reached this conclusion in some stupid manner, but as a result of years of systematic study and by lived experience and just plain ole gut feeling.

GM must be subject centered and this would include operative GM ritual as well.

My feeling of being watched or some presence in the ritual chamber? I am an admirer of Foucault. At this stage I am assuming that it is just a general effect of panopticism.

I like to be skeptical and open minded about all things, but I just can't justify a third party view. Just too much psychic dissonance.

Unfortunately, this may rule out the TOS as an organisation I can identify with. It is a great organisation, but I must be true to myself.

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