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Comments on Satanism versus satanism

Preamble: this article is about Satanism as the religionists view it, and how I use the term.

My use is to point to the truth of the possibility that Christians, Jews and Muslims might be "worshipping" Satan when their doctrines lead to hate crimes committed against gays and people "living in sin".

E.g. It is satanic for Jews to cheat Gentiles. Likewise it is satanic for Salafis to kill Coptic Christians while excusing their violence as "will of God".

A religionist who kills is only exercising the will of man. That in itself is not satanic. It is when a person who errs hides behind a deity who is apart from man most of the time.

Let's first turn to Wikipedia's definition of Satanism.

May 15, 2005 1403H: Satanism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Satanism is a religious and philosophical movement whose adherents recognize Satan as an archetype who all humans have some characteristics of, and Satanists celebrate aspects of human nature represented by the Satan archetype. Many Satanists do not worship a deity called Satan, or one by any other name. Unlike many religions and philosophies, Satanism generally focuses upon the spiritual advancement of the self, rather than upon submission to a deity or a set of moral codes.

Many contemporary Satanists eschew traditional religious beliefs, attitudes and worship in favor of more egoistic worldviews and practices such as magick. Groups or individuals described in some sense or another as Satanic can largely, though incomprehensively, be described as belonging to one of two unofficial sub-groupings: Philosophical Satanism or Religious Satanism.

Commentary: Satanism is more harmless than most Christian sects.

...To the Satanist, One is One's own God, and He disdains rationalist, secular humanistic beliefs which abhor the existence of the supernatural, only to promote a sterile life grounded in the 'real world' alone and in working towards the altruistic advancement of His fellow man while neglecting His own gratification and amusement. Obviously, philosophically Satanic thought has had a long history before LaVey's Church (indeed, self-centered egotism is probably as old as civilization itself), though it was the notion of Satan as the idealistic, self-seeking black sheep which inspired the title in spite of contemporary Christianity (which views him as evil because of these qualities).

Comment: Think of Satanism as magico-religious rationalization called by Ayn Rand, "selfishness".

...the Serpent in Genesis [encouraged] mankind to partake of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, saying "Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."*, with the clear implication, coinciding with the beliefs of all Satanists, that mankind should know what is better for itself than any God which would forbid knowledge and self-government. Because of the common position that their faiths are in fact very old, or the oldest, Religious Satanists sometimes refer to themselves as "Traditional Satanists" and Philosophical Satanists as "Contemporary Satanists".

Comment: This is symbolic of Truth.

...The existence of large networks of organized Satanists involved in illegal activities, murder, and child abuse is occasionally claimed, often by fundamentalist religious movements. Those claims have never been substantiated and are widely believed to be false. See conspiracy theories.

Comment: ritual sexual abuse however may occur within the institution of the healthcare system, along with ritual physical abuse not only by doctors and nurses, but also by people in authority. Thus, the conspiracy theory by fundamental Christians of ritual Satanic abuse is actually a repressed memory of abuse within their own denominations and within the Establishment itself.

Thus, Satanism is about the ego, rather than about rising above selfishness to try to get to know Truth in the form of Oneness with God.

The truth that Satan represents is God = Man, rather than the eternal truth that God = Man + "Life, the Universe and Everything."

While both Truths are valid, each in their own way, the Superior man will let his head be his guide on any matters of the heart arising from the synthesis of each of them.

Thesis = Truth of Oneness
Anti-thesis = Truth of Selfishness
Synthesis = Oneness and Selfishness are light and dark aspects of Truth

In various Gnostic sects, the Serpent was praised as the giver of knowledge. Sometimes Satan was also referred to, under the names Lucifer or "the light-bringer". Some Gnostics claimed that the being declared God by Christians and Jews was in fact Satan, known as the Demiurge.

Comment: this gives a less sinister view of Satan than Christians are wont to do.

The Confusion about "Satanic"

There are many groups which are commonly misconceived as Satanic. There are two common definitions of a Satanic religion:

* Any religion that does not follow the Christian religion or recognize Jesus Christ as explained in Christian dogma.
* Any religion that consciously recognizes and worships "Satan," usually referring either to a "dark" deity (similar to the Christian Satan, though usually lacking the evil or unnaturalness associated with it) or a conceptual Satan, often referring to a so-called "true" nature of Mankind.

The first definition is most commonly used by fundamentalist Christians, and is the source of much disagreement about whether a religion should be considered Satanic or not. The most common targets of these claims are Neo-Pagan religions, such as Wicca and Ásatrú.

It is also common to see Christian denominations or even Judaism and Islam referred to as Satanic based on interpretations of the first definition. Among these Christian groups are usually the less traditional ones, such as the Mormons and other smaller sects. Also, it is not unheard of for Catholics to refer to Protestants as Satanic, and vice versa, though this is more uncommon.

Comment: Ignorance is used as a tool to misuse a term out of fear. In the case of Christians using the term "satanic", this has led to a lot of really stupid things like witch hunts.

Within the limited Christian definition, I practice a New Age Satanism by calling my religious beliefs, "Shinto-Buddhist-Hindu-Christian New Age philosophy".

Update March 12, 2013 0716H

What I actually practice is a layer of traditions, none of which are Christian, Jewish or Muslim.

Update December 23, 2013 2120H

Comment: I define satanism as behavior which leads to evil karma e.g. people expressing anti-gay sentiments are behaving like homophobes. This leads to a backlash where pro-gay activists, both gay and heteronormative criticize monotheists who are conservative about sexual mores.

However, my use of the term "satanism" is actually the closest Christian term for evil karma, which arises when confusion and conflict result from actions we do.

My use of the term "satanism" is inaccurate since Buddhists do not believe in satan or God.

Indeed the closest Buddhists get to the archetypes of good and evil is with respect to karma. A person is not inherently evil to a Buddhist. Rather, what we create determines whether the karma is evil or good. Ultimately this is not a judgement call that determines one's path in the afterlife.

Evil karma does not doom a Buddhist to the Hell Realms, nor does good karma lead to the Pure Land. Why? Because one would also have to include the karmic seeds stored in the Alaya Consciousness.

According to Buddhist folklore, a tally of good and evil karma is made by Yama or a representative he chooses to determine the destination of a person after death. However, because each of us does not know the amount of good and evil karma which came with each of us at birth, it would be impossible to determine what awaits us at death.

Speculation about one's destination in the afterlife is moot. It might even keep us from attaining rebirth in a Pure Land, if we cling to the idleness of such speculations.

Hence the term "satanism" refers not to satan or God but to the evil resulting from actions which harm oneself and/or other people. Karma is not such a big deal, be it evil or good. It is more satisfying to meditate on karma than to worry about one's destiny in the afterlife.

This is why for me as a Jodo Shinshu Buddhist, my destination in the Pure Land of Bliss is guaranteed when I confirm that destination through Nembutsu practice.

Thus the use of "satanism" and "satanic" is to make it easier to understand that evil karma is not sin but the potential confusion and conflict due to the actions a Buddhist creates that harm self and/or others, such as lying, theft, hating someone, and other acts which range from childish to downright vile.

In contrast, good karma is not due to luck but rather, to the potential understanding and "good vibes" arising from moral act such as helpfulness and giving charity.

Thus it is possible for monotheists to act in a satanic manner when their proselyting against homosexuality and common-law marriage leads LGBTIQ people of the rainbow to abandon their religion of birth for a more humanistic lifestyle free of the hangups of religion i.e. conservatism.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Originally I wrote:
Within the limited Christian definition, I practise a New Age Satanism by calling my religious beliefs, "Shinto-Buddhist-Hinduist-Christian New Age philosophy".

In actual fact, I feel that an emotion-laden judgment has limited that definition by excluding the historical evidence.

For just as the Gnostic path leads to oneness with God, the similarities and differences between Shinto, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity lead me to strive for oneness with God.

As well, the stories of the Sufi mystics also have helped me, especially Rabi`a al `Adawiyya.

In describing their similarities, I see compassion, love, purity, and wisdom have inspired great men and women of countless faiths and walks of life.

By noting their differences I see how much this has both confounded and comforted me.