The Seventh Satanic Statement – Das Tierdrama

I have previously expressed some thoughts on Die Elektrischen Vorspiele in the occult section of the 600C.

I now want to make some comments regarding Das Tierdrama – another classic ritual of the CoS and the subject of another chapter in The Satanic Rituals.

Many members have, probably, noted the rather wonderful photo of Dr. LaVey wearing a horned cowl, brandishing a sword and flanked on both sides by Das Tierdrama ritual participants wearing animal masks. Please refer to opening photo on the CoS website and also photo plate 19 of Dr Aquino’s CoS ebook if you haven’t had a chance to see this photo yet.

Some Quotes from The Satanic Rituals[/i]

“The substance of the Tierdrama is the admission of one’s quadraped heritage. The purpose of the ceremony is for the participants to regress willingly to an animal level, assuming animal attributes of honesty, purity and increased sensory perception. The priest who pronounces the Law maintains the cadence and order needed to remind each participant that though he is an animal, he is still a man. It is this that gives the Tierdrama its profound effect.” P. 78.

“Works most notable for their reflections of the Tierdrama are H. G. Wells’s most Satanic work, [i]The Island of Dr. Moreau
, which employs portions of the litany in a masterful sequence.” P. 78.

“The message of Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, that advises an identification with the beast as a prerequisite to the role of God-man, is eloquently ritualized in the Tierdrama’s Law of the Jungle. It is a lesson too often neglected by “civilized” man.” P. 79.

Moreau

I recently re – read my copy of The Island of Dr. Moreau by Wells and noted yet again its strange nature and its philosophical implications.

Moreau is a vivisector, who retreats to an island, in order to play god and give vent to his sadistic urges, by creating his own ultimately flawed breed of humanised animals.

His creatures are the result of a horrible and painful medical process where already perfect animals are subjected to the knife and cut – up so that they can be humanised; that is, made to stand and walk in an upright position, speak and think to some degree, act reasonably, follow the law, and be men.

They leave their purely animal origins behind and they bind their animal natures in order to enter into the human culture of language, community and norm, as a result of pain and the threat of further pain under Moreau’s knife. They leave nature behind and enter into culture and are fixed there due to the threat of past, present and future pain. Moreau hands down The Law to his humanised animals and he is regarded as an omnipotent god or master.

After the humanised animals have tasted blood, and after Moreau’s death and his compound (The House of Pain, or Hell) has been destroyed by fire, his beast folk slowly, but surely revert back to their primal animal ways. They no longer obey the law, they lose their human language and their ability to think, act and walk like men.

The Tierdrama – First Interpretation. (Thesis)

The Tierdrama is one of the most interesting and profound rituals I have come across. Its depth, darkness and complexity are astounding in my view.

A logic underpinning the Tierdrama ritual: the playing out of a dialectic between the thesis of the primal nature of our carnal animal core; the antithesis of The Law that controls and condemns; and the synthesis, wherein the animal is transformed into man by the combined power of the animal who adopted The Law in order to transcend and acquire humanity.

Translated into basic Freudian terms: At the level of the mental apparatus the individual is an outcome of the more or less successful reconciliation of a rampaging and raging id plugged straight into the instincts; a cold, harsh and judgemental ego ideal or superego committed to punishing, controlling and imposing The Law; and an ego trying sometimes desperately to reconcile these two conflicting forces and guaranteeing the smooth functioning of the system, according to the reality principle, in a harsh and fundamentally indifferent world.

Again, the participants in the Tierdrama are wearing masks to celebrate and revel in their basic animal nature, but they listen to and mimic the Sayer of The Law (Priest). They confirm their own human nature as the reconciliation of opposites.

The Tierdrama – Second Interpretation (Antithesis)

“Not to go on all fours: that is the law. Are we not men?”

What use is this most basic and central law? Humans may rule the world as a result of the binding and taming of this animal, but was it worth it? Something pristine is gone?

The parallel between Moreau and his activities and those of faith based religions which “civilise” or cut up the wonderful and authentic carnal man-animal and turn him into something distinctly un – natural occurs to me here.

I can see Das Tierdrama as a celebration of that animal in humankind, which should be reclaimed and celebrated, and a repudiation of Dr. Moreau and those like him.

But how can this animal be celebrated if he is already so drenched in Judeo-Christian culture, in language, in community and norms? Even his use of reason can be construed as a compromise – as an effect of an imposed culture. Why is it so much better to walk on two legs instead of four? Is it only physical evolution which has made it more advantageous to do so? Do you fucking hate The Law as much as I do at times?

How much human should an animal have? How much does he/she need, and what sort of human does he/she want/need?

The Tierdrama – Third Interpretation (Synthesis)

Questions which interest me: Who or what is this Nietzschean Superman? What’s going on inside his/her head and what is his/her character or personality like?

Can this humanised animal, dwelt upon in the Tierdrama be a blueprint for the Superman? I mean how are the animal and the man reconciled and than illustrated in the person and actions of the Superman?

I tend to see this Superman in two broad ways – via the teleological and also as divine in some sense.

The Teleological: he has actualised or is continually striving to actualise his innate potential. He is also the result of some form of evolution at a physical and inter-subjective level – (he stands on the shoulders of those who have come before him.)

The Divine: he has become the centre of his own universe and is generating his own values as a result of his own convictions and sense of what is right and wrong for him. Life denying systems have no meaning for him. He is immersed in his own reality.

Fundamentally this superman is condemned to be the culmination of all which has come before. He cannot step outside of culture and history. He cannot dream of a pure past and somehow regress back to it, except to some extent in the ritual chamber. He is forward looking and pragmatic.

He can generate his world and be the author of its meaning on the basis of a fundamental process which has taken place generations before and which is acknowledged in the ritual chamber.

The Tierdrama, I feel, is a ritual wherein this candidate for the title of the Superman can celebrate the fundamental diversity of his nature and culture and the truly Satanic synthesis of nature and culture, or the third side, which one arrives at by self-understanding. It is also at heart an opportunity to live his ancient animal, to move like the animal within the intellectual decompression of the ritual chamber. A chamber closed off and sealed from the world.