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#60715 - 10/31/11 06:06 PM Re: Isn't Satanism what people do anyway? [Re: Diavolo]
Octavian Offline
pledge


Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 81
To be fair, I think the Temple of Set does accept these other divinities. I believe they are the Neteru, or principles or Platonic type forms of the Objective Universe.

Set is regarded as the form/principle which is distinguished against the Neter's of the objective universe, since "he" is the neter of isolate consciousness and hence can only be apprehended subjectively.

I am a rationalist/Darwinist and require evidence to support assertions. In this case none can be provided, however, with regards to Set as it has to be something happening in your own head which you perceive/apprehend. It is therefore Frustrating to me at times.

I certainly take your point on the opposer of a real Satan being a real God/Jeebus. That is one reason why I cannot accept Satan as real in the Christian sense.

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#60718 - 10/31/11 06:28 PM Re: Isn't Satanism what people do anyway? [Re: Octavian]
Diavolo Offline
RIP
stalker


Registered: 09/02/07
Posts: 4997
 Originally Posted By: Octavian
To be fair, I think the Temple of Set does accept these other divinities. I believe they are the Neteru, or principles or Platonic type forms of the Objective Universe.

Set is regarded as the form/principle which is distinguished against the Neter's of the objective universe, since "he" is the neter of isolate consciousness and hence can only be apprehended subjectively.


That's all good but we run into some problems through the linkage. Let's assume Set is the smart cookie but since he is the predecessor of Satan, how does he end up not only created but also serving some higher force; god? As Satan he had to rebel and didn't really turn out to be the strongest. So when Satan isn't the smartest cookie, Set isn't either. God is. And when we have to accept that god as real, he was there too when the Egyptians ruled.

Of course it's all myth and we could start to toy with it, but either we call it all bullshit and accept the origins of all those stories were probably much more humane than divine or we call it all true because you can't say one is false without all being false.

D.


Edited by Diavolo (10/31/11 06:31 PM)

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#60719 - 10/31/11 07:16 PM Re: Isn't Satanism what people do anyway? [Re: Diavolo]
felixgarnet Offline
active member


Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 688
Loc: UK
For a look at the historical and cultural to Satan over time, tonight's documentary looks interesting:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b016ptr6es

I don't know if this is accessible to international users of BBC on line but I'll be catching it and will report back. \:\)

Sorry, seems the link is broken.. Google "Hamilton BBC in search of Satan".


Edited by felixgarnet (10/31/11 07:17 PM)
Edit Reason: link
_________________________
"Here's to Artifice!" - Anton Szandor LaVey.

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#60721 - 10/31/11 08:10 PM Re: Isn't Satanism what people do anyway? [Re: Diavolo]
Octavian Offline
pledge


Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 81
I may have misunderstood Setian metaphysics, but I believe that the Neter's of the objective universe are non-conscious principles. They are mechanistic, non-conscious principles which in a sense regulate the functioning of the OU.

Set is so weird and distinct and out of place precisely because "he" is the universal of consciousness, which is non-natural and distinct/against the OU.

I don't think there is a God which Set reports to or rebels against. That thinking is a part of the J/C metaphysics which the Setian's have stepped out of I think.

I don't think Set was created, nor were any of the Neteru created as they are timeless universals.

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#60722 - 10/31/11 08:23 PM Re: Isn't Satanism what people do anyway? [Re: Octavian]
Dan_Dread Offline
stalker


Registered: 10/08/08
Posts: 3886
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
You are correct, The thing about creative writing is you can use plot devices to recant it how you like, and a grounding in any sort of reality is not really important.

The fact is that is a very creative story, but it is an article of faith to draw a distinction between (human)consciousness and everything else.

A leap of faith no different than accepting a nazarene redeemer or the will of lord xenu and really bares little in common with historical examples of heterodox tradition. That the ToS is a tax exempt religion makes it defacto an orthodoxy, which leaves any claim ol mikey here makes to the philosophical high ground
quite tenuous.

The mans boner for being self conscious does not tie into the devils providence in any meaningful way that I can tell.
_________________________
ADM
ideological vandal

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#60723 - 10/31/11 08:31 PM Re: Isn't Satanism what people do anyway? [Re: Octavian]
Diavolo Offline
RIP
stalker


Registered: 09/02/07
Posts: 4997
 Originally Posted By: Octavian
I may have misunderstood Setian metaphysics, but I believe that the Neter's of the objective universe are non-conscious principles. They are mechanistic, non-conscious principles which in a sense regulate the functioning of the OU.

Set is so weird and distinct and out of place precisely because "he" is the universal of consciousness, which is non-natural and distinct/against the OU.

I don't think there is a God which Set reports to or rebels against. That thinking is a part of the J/C metaphysics which the Setian's have stepped out of I think.

I don't think Set was created, nor were any of the Neteru created as they are timeless universals.



But that's not the point. This is all well if Set had nothing to do with Satan but because of that claim, one runs into a load of inconsistencies, especially when upholding Satan as a reality.

The argumentation for a real Satan is identical to the argumentation for a real god so either you take them both, or you take none. And Satan is defined in those myths, even when fragmented. If you take the key-elements of Set, like the gift and his ethical framework, the distinction of man from all other animals and look for those in the Biblical myths, the entity most fitting is actually Yahweh. Because Satan is nothing Set is; he's not a nice guy and humanity isn't his favorite toy. It's the other guy that provided all.

Of course, this would attract a whole different crowd.

D.

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#60725 - 10/31/11 09:57 PM Re: Jake vs. Aquino, round ?? [Re: Goliath]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
stalker


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2573
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
 Originally Posted By: Goliath
.. It seems to me that Dr. Aquino is arguing that philosophical Satanism is (at best) essentially the mirror-image of the Moderate Enlightenment's Christianity-without-Christ. And that, just as it makes no sense to talk of Christianity without Christ, it makes no sense to talk of Satanism without the Devil.

Well put; and as noted we live in a time of widespread sloppy & convenient redefinition of a great many terms. Traditionalists or purists are frequently shrugged off as dinosaurs if anyone bothers with them at all.

Take "terrorism". When I went through Special Forces & PSYOP training in the 60s/70s, this had a very specific meaning: acts of violence against a civilian populace by a guerrilla organization to intimidate them into silence and cooperation. Today "terrorism" is just a label slapped on anyone inconvenient or annoying to any established government. [Ask your friends what "a terrorist/terrorism" is and note the vacant stares.]

A generation ago the knee-jerk term was "Communism" (with a capital-C), and before that "Fascism" & "Naziism", all of which were played to evoke hysterical public salivation.

"Satanism" itself went through a seriously-dangerous spasm of this sort in the 80s-90s with the infamous "Satanic Panic", during which it was popularly, if dimly understood to be an international cannibalistic baby-sacrificing, child-raping generational conspiracy. It took those of us who had credentials in the modern Satanic religion years of effort to refute this, often at considerable personal danger [as in the attack against Lilith & myself].

Any term, any concept, must first be clearly defined, then judged whether it is worth standing up for. In this process each person must necessarily decide whether it applies to him, and if so how. In short, you will have to live with the result, so if you are going to take up a cause, take the time to understand it first - which doesn't mean just waving the Sign of the Horns at an Ozzy concert.

The 600C gets good marks for coming to grips with this problem. Where Satanism is concerned, I may be an anachronistic fundamentalist from the 1960s, but I do see a great deal of serious thought here, including from some of the jerks. All this is good; it shows that whatever else may be said about it ["Favorite porn sites"!?], the 600C is certainly not a Pavlov dog kennel.
_________________________
Michael A. Aquino

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#60735 - 10/31/11 11:26 PM Re: Isn't Satanism what people do anyway? [Re: Diavolo]
Octavian Offline
pledge


Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 81
Obviously Dr. Aquino and Jake can speak about this better than I can, but I believe that the CoS pre and post 1975 regarded Yahweh/Jehovah/God etc. as merely a balancing principle or a non-conscious non-caring balancing principle.

I am not going to get into the whole pre 1975 thing about the meaning of Satan that the CoS as a whole held. I leave that to Jake and Dr. Aquino to present. Aquino states that what the Church said publicly is different from what they came to experience over time regarding the nature of Satan.

From the point of view of Dr. Aquino, going from my understanding of his writings, it appears that the division between the SU and OU and the division of Satan as the God/principle/form of consciousness, against the non - conscious Yahweh as the God/form/principle of the OU was there right from the CoS days. It was clothed in the imagery of J/C tradition and more or less its metaphysics.

I won't talk about LaVey, Jake can do this better than me. But as Jake pointed out there is plenty of stuff out there where LaVey made himself very clear regarding his views on Satan.

Sorry, this probably comes across as waffling, but the tradition of a real conscious Satan against a real conscious God appears to have been transcended right from the very start of the CoS. And by that I mean there was no belief in God because God was just a non-conscious balancing principle.


Edited by Octavian (10/31/11 11:39 PM)
Edit Reason: Marked again

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#60736 - 10/31/11 11:36 PM Re: Isn't Satanism what people do anyway? [Re: Diavolo]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
stalker


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2573
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
 Originally Posted By: Diavolo
... That's all good but we both know that ancient Egypt was polytheistic, except that short interlude. So if we assume Set to be an "entity", why would it be different for all those other gods? Why not accept them all?

As previously discussed, yes indeed; the distinction being that they are forces/principles/Forms of nature (the OU), while Set is the neter distinct from the OU.

 Quote:
The same goes for Satan. One can hardly consider Satan as real and not acknowledge the one he is opposing.

This was one of, if not the central metaphysical problem within the original Church of Satan. Obviously it was not started as the consequence of some exhaustive theological symposium, but rather because Anton and his pre-1966 "Magic Circle" friends were becoming more focused on & fascinated with humanity as the Joker in the deck of nature. That totality-of-nature was the nonconscious, deistic "God" of the "Book of Lucifer", while Satan was whoever or whatever, within or without individual humans, enabled their separate perspective and discretionary will.

This was a very simple "initial equation", and after the Church was formally started, no one felt any compelling need to complicate or refine it. Most of what we did was to simply have fun with it, and to tweak the noses of those who weren't.

The slave religions, after all, are profoundly fucked up in both concept and application. Very few Satanists - just those who had had bad religious indoctrination experiences, etc. - wanted to bother with them beyond an occasional Black Mass or whoopie cushion (essentially the same thing). Rather we wanted to explore everything about Satan, who/which quickly assumed dimensions far beyond the classical J/C Devil-cartoon. This quest, along with continuing to have fun, sums up the 1966-75 Church.

Black Magic was thus an applied aspect of this. We discovered the reality and effectiveness of both LBM & GBM, so used them. Over time we also sought to understand what they actually were and why they worked, but in the meantime we were perfectly happy just doing them.

Understand: None of us had the slightest expectation that the Church was going to terminate in 1975. We all assumed that we had plenty of time to zero in on the physics and metaphysics of what we were doing.

What characterized and distinguished the Satanic Priesthood III° in this was a sense of awareness and conviction that what we were, and what we were doing, had an authentic metaphysical consecration to it: that it was not just an interesting and entertaining quest, but a sacred one as well. In this sense, "sacred" meant that it had an excellence and a virtue beyond its various incidental and apparent manifestations. If this applied to and ultimately motivated you, you were its Priest or Priestess. If you didn't experience it, and were simply satisfied to use and explore Black Magical tools, you were a Satanist I° or Witch/Warlock II°.

This is much the same distinction between the I°/II° and III° in the Temple of Set, incidentally, though the toolbox is now much bigger and the experience of Priesthood significantly more explicit.
_________________________
Michael A. Aquino

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#60737 - 11/01/11 12:15 AM Re: Isn't Satanism what people do anyway? [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
Diavolo Offline
RIP
stalker


Registered: 09/02/07
Posts: 4997
 Originally Posted By: Michael A.Aquino
This was one of, if not the central metaphysical problem within the original Church of Satan. Obviously it was not started as the consequence of some exhaustive theological symposium, but rather because Anton and his pre-1966 "Magic Circle" friends were becoming more focused on & fascinated with humanity as the Joker in the deck of nature. That totality-of-nature was the nonconscious, deistic "God" of the "Book of Lucifer", while Satan was whoever or whatever, within or without individual humans, enabled their separate perspective and discretionary will.


The metaphysical problem remains. One can interpret Satan as a conscious agent in a non-conscious all-encompassing “God” but there is very little mythological evidence supporting this unless one accepts Satan as Ha-Satan, “The Satan”, he who represents a specific type of human. Which has more evidence pointing into that direction. But such would imply that Satan is only real when being manifested by humans; only when becoming the Satan, there is a Satan. Of course such would exclude Satan as an entity, and god for that matter.

D.

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#60738 - 11/01/11 01:19 AM Re: Isn't Satanism what people do anyway? [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
William Wright Offline
active member


Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 862
Loc: Nashville
Dr. Aquino, do you consider members of your organization who do not believe in a literal Set, who think of Set only in symbolic terms, to be authentic Setians? If so, why do you consider Satanists with a similar take on Satan not to be authentic Satanists?
_________________________
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#60739 - 11/01/11 01:54 AM Re: Isn't Satanism what people do anyway? [Re: William Wright]
Aznebtra Offline
lurker


Registered: 05/03/11
Posts: 1
This may not be the appropriate thread for this topic, but since many have already resorted to name calling that should not matter too much.

I joined the Temple of Set two months ago, curious to find out the truth for myself after having heard such mixed reviews. I was very surprised to discover this thread, with Dr. Aquino having posted only 15 minutes before I clicked. I have not seen maquino active on any forums or temple communications, (that I have access to as a first degree) since I’ve joined the Temple. Even more surprising is that this seems to be a mutual act of trolling, by the disagreeing parties. (The two particularly bitter ones around the same age perhaps? I try to imagine my dad of this age doing this and it is completely absurd, and these people are supposed to embody a better state of being that the path of Satanism says you can achieve?) My main concern is, what is someone who is supposed to be as enlightened as the temple claims, doing trolling the internet during their evenings?

I don’t remember where I read this, as I’ve read a lot lately from different sources, but to paraphrase, you can judge the worth of a (magical/philosophical) system by the quality of its students/practitioners. I’m still in the state of “mutual evaluation” with ToS and this discovery seems a bit silly.

Perhaps it’s an example of students surpassing their teachers? He can provide a jumping off point, a different point of view at times, things obtained after lots of thought and work, and people have only to gain from that and move farther and hopefully beyond what he was able to achieve, especially if that resulted in trolling the internet for dissenters to his philosophy when he’s in his sixties.

Another note is that ToS has rules against simple bashing, so perhaps this is the more interesting forum to participate in? But still, really? Petty internet fights? What is this Ipssissimus if it’s not gotten past engaging in this behavior?

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#60744 - 11/01/11 03:16 AM Re: Isn't Satanism what people do anyway? [Re: Aznebtra]
SkaffenAmtiskaw Moderator Offline
veteran member


Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 1318
I understand the expression of concern for the direction this thread is taking, but for anyone new to this thread, bear in mind that this disagreement is more than four years old on this forum. This is not to say the disagreement isn't older per se, but the way it stands, Dr. Aquino persists in plugging his personal interpretation of the physical and metaphysical nature of Set, contrasting it with what he considers a less-evolved perception of Satan, ca. golden-era Church of Satan. To Jake, this debacle represents a four-year-stint of cruisin' for a bruisin' in that its only supporting evidence lies in the Book of Coming Forth by Night, a book that was produced by Dr. Aquino in a trance-like state, and in that it is a blatant attempt at revisionism.

This is not to say the debate hasn't been heated before, but since the tactics involved include elaborate straw man arguments and elaborate reinterpretations of the 1975 schism, I really don't see the need to warn anyone about their general naughtiness. In fact, sometimes the only way to describe a manual, one-man entrenching tool is by calling it a spade.

As for the above concerns of the probationary member of the ToS, the Temple encourages personal experience above adherence to established dogma. You do not need to agree with Dr. Aquino, in other words. However, in order to ascend to the higher degrees (III and up) you must apprehend Set. I hope this clarifies things.

On the whole of it, the debate on the theological implications of Satanism can be interesting, but it all depends on your personal take on the issue to begin with. Personally my take on the nature of Satan has never harmonized more with Jake's than it does now, but by now the argument has played out in all manner of variations, invariably with Dr. Aquino concluding that his revelation from the neteru was vouchsafed him by the Egyptian deity Set. This is, in essence, the whole crux of the disagreement. Dr. Aquino, while valued for his many and interesting contributions, was also central to the 1975 schism with the CoS/ToS, and as such, is hardly an objective source of information. In fact, to those observant of the "ancien regime", he appears to revise historical events.

Jake's bone of contention here is that Dr. Aquino seems to smear and denounce the original CoS and LaVey in ways that are cheap, made-up and self-aggrandizing on a whole different level. It is unequivocally offensive and dismissive to present matters in such a fashion, so he responds in kind.
_________________________
"I'd rather be right than consistent" - Winston Churchill

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#60747 - 11/01/11 11:20 AM Re: Jake vs. Aquino, round ?? [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
Goliath Offline
pledge


Registered: 09/26/10
Posts: 93
 Originally Posted By: Michael A.Aquino
Well put; and as noted we live in a time of widespread sloppy & convenient redefinition of a great many terms. Traditionalists or purists are frequently shrugged off as dinosaurs if anyone bothers with them at all.


That's because questions like these are ultimately decided by power, and power alone. People shrug off traditionalists and purists because they can: that is to say, because traditionalists and purists lack the authority to demand other people's attention, or the influence to persuade them to pay attention, or the force to compel them to pay attention.

As a university professor, for example, I have the power to compel my students to write and speak in my sociolect instead of their own. But if I went around demanding that people speak and write in formal English outside of the classroom, they'd laugh at me, or call me a grammar Nazi, or just tell me to fuck off--and rightly so. Unless you have some kind of power over people, there's really no reason why they should pay any attention to you at all.

It's also worth remembering that the question of "What is Christianity?" has always been settled (or left unsettled) by force. Much like Satanism today, the early Christian movement was deeply divided over basic questions of doctrine and practice. Early Christians couldn't even agree over who or what "Christ" was. Was he God? Was he a man? Both? Neither? And as Bart Ehrman has shown, each side went so far as to re-write their scriptures, and even fabricate new ones, to support their position in this many-sided dispute.

Where fraud failed, force succeeded. These Christological controversies were only resolved when one faction--what Ehrman calls the "proto-orthodox" faction--gained influence with the government of the late Roman Empire. It was then able to use the power of the world's first totalitarian state to stamp out its competitors: the Theodosian Revolution eradicated alternative Christianities along with paganism. And once this struggle was over, the victors wrote the history, as they always do. That's why, for example, we can still read Tertullian's polemic against the Marcionite heretics today, while Marcion's own writings have been consigned to oblivion. And why even the word "Christianity" means one thing, and not another.

When no one has the power to pass judgment and enforce their verdict, arguments like these are almost never resolved. Indeed, I can see the other side's point in this dispute just as well as your own. Unless someone has the power to stop them, there's really no reason why a philosophy can't or shouldn't adopt Satan as its symbol, and call itself Satanism. It's certainly unusual, but it's no different in principle than, for example, the ways in which republicans and libertarians have adopted and adapted the ancient Roman goddess Libertas for their own purposes. The Statue of Liberty is just the most famous example of this.

Or take, for example, the symbolic importance of Spartacus to the early communist movement in Europe. The German Communist Party adopted Spartacus as it symbol, and at first called itself the Spartacus League: its members became known as Spartacists, and gave their name to the Spartacist Uprising in Berlin in 1919. This left-wing fascination with Spartacus continued afterward, as can be seen in Arthur Koestler's novel The Gladiators, Howard Fast's novel Spartacus, and even in Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation of the latter, in which Spartacus dies on the cross, like some kind of secular proletarian Christ. (The man who wrote the script for Spartacus, Dalton Trumbo, had been blacklisted for his involvement with communism.) And all this despite the fact that, if you went back in time to discuss communism with the historical Spartacus, he wouldn't have understood what you were talking about.

I'm starting to ramble here, so I'll just make one final point. I think there's a pervasive confusion in this and similar discussions between what Satanism is and what Satanism should be. You, for example, say that Satanism is the worship of Satan as a metaphysical being. Diavolo says that Satanism is a praxis, with Satan as its symbol. I would say that both of these claims are true, in one important sense, and false in another.

They're both true, because Satanism really is both of those things--and many other things besides. Jesper Petersen has argued that there are three main tendencies in contemporary Satanism: Rationalist, Esoteric, and Reactive (by which he means "adolescent/rebellious"). I would go even further, and add:

--Criminal/Deviant (as practiced by the likes of General Butt Naked in Liberia);

--Artistic/Literary (ranging from Milton's Paradise Lost to Chuck Palahniuk's latest novel, Damned);

--and even Stereotypical--the "Satanism" that exists only in the febrile imaginations of Christian witch-hunters. That kind of Satanism exists only in their minds--but ideas in the mind are facts in the world.

Where both you and Diavolo err, I think, is in arguing that Satanism "is" one thing only. Perhaps it ought to be one thing, or another--but it isn't. And it never will be, until someone or some thing has the power to settle this question, the way the Emperor Theodosius and his successors settled the question of "what is Christianity". I will leave it up to you to decide if that is actually a desirable outcome.
_________________________
An illusion--with intelligence! A malignant vision, with a will of pure evil!

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#60748 - 11/01/11 11:41 AM Re: Jake vs. Aquino, round ?? [Re: Goliath]
Diavolo Offline
RIP
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Registered: 09/02/07
Posts: 4997
I'm not really arguing it is one thing only as it being one thing not. I just can't accept Satan as a metaphysical being because that would be quite ridiculous. Not alone because of it being a metaphysical being but because this sort of acceptance opens a “can of gods” who all should be accepted according the same sort of argumentation. We'd, in no time, end up with a rather enormous pantheon.

We could solve that problem by redefining everything, disregarding all myths, and as such, create a new myth but such is called fantasizing and again, if by such an argument Satan becomes true, the moment someone does the same with Voldemort, he is as true.

So what other rational option is there but to conclude there is certainly one thing he can NOT be?

D.

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