© fra Nefastos 2009
Q. – Why anyone would want to be a Satanist? If by the word you mean almost the same as Satan worshipper – as I’ve heard you do – the first thing coming to mind is a teenager hungry for attention.
A. – Maybe, if we stick only onto the sociological context. But when it comes to deeper feelings, to heart’s dedication, Satanism no longer means needs to shock or gain attention. It is particularly connected to the side of adoration, a deep spiritual experience.
Q. – I see. But why that spiritual experience is necessary to join to such an entity whose name means ”the Adversary”?
A. – This question has already been answered in the article Isn’t Satan Evil? To say it briefly, this ”adversity” presented by Satan is basically and potentially of developing kind.
Q. – And yet I have come to understand that your brotherhood’s relation to divinity is quite ambivalent, including the respect for ”opposing God”. What kind of development there is in this kind of opposition?
A. – The said kind of opposition or rebellion can rise only against limited and therefore erraneous concepts of God. As you may recall, we believe in Absolute God, meaning that there is nothing left outside that highest and most profound existence. The God against whom our Satanism rises is a false one, a picture of almighty and despotic creator made by monotheistic religions.
Q. – So you rebel against something that doesn’t exist?
A. – You can say it that way if you want, but we must understand in what context the opposition is manifested: in human mind and human world. Therefore that God which is nonexistent as a spiritual fact, yet exists as a man-made, illusory image of mind – and that kind of a delusion indeed could and should be rebelled against.
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Q. – So herefrom derives your dual view concerning the highest being, called God: As truly existent (as you see it) you do respect that God, but a form depicted in modern religions you do not acknowledge?
A. – Precisely. Because when speaking of God, only few people speak of a view that could endure philosophical examination, namely the Absolute God, we are “Satanists” quite definitely: doing the work of the principle of adversity towards that what people mean by God.
Q: – Hmm. From that basis I’d ask for a little game of thought. Let’s assume your ”philosophically valid” Absolute God would be commonly accepted as a fact. Wouldn’t this mean that you’d cease to be Satanists?
A: – No. But in the culturally enlightened phase you described the archetype nowadays called Satan would likely receive another name.
Q: – So you mean that your ideas wouldn’t change, but because society’s view on divinity would have changed from something to be opposed to something else, the character of Satan would come under new estimation? But wouldn’t it disappear altogether?
A: – It wouldn’t, for the opposition that seems to be a value in itself is just one of Satan’s many manifestations. Nowadays that aspect is accentuated because of our time’s own influences. In some nearer or more distant future, if Satan could ”remove his mask” and emphasize his brighter presentations, he would still be the same entity.
* * *
Q: – But if your opposition is aimed only against an image of god you see erraneous, wouldn’t it be easier to change the structures from the inside and avoid such a radical detachment that the name of Satanism brings with it?
A: – If that is how it seems, then perhaps our choice of words have been even a bit too diplomatic. We’re not talking philosophical cafeteria talk about trying to figure out attributes of divinity. There’s a difference on a basic level of understanding.
Q: – Basic level of understanding what exactly?
A: – God or spirit, in other words, the fundamental meaning of life.
Q: – Which of these premises are so erraneous, then, from the view-point of the Satanism you present?
A: – We could discuss several, but I only mention one here: a selfish approach towards the problem of evil.
Q: – Well, that sounds peculiar. How do you see this selfishness expressed?
A: – As a will to avoid this most fundamental of all problems, although it cannot be avoided. Here is the greatest divider between our Satanism and the traditional theism, and it is the problem of theodicy.
Q: – ”God can’t be all-powerful and all good at the same time?”
A: – Exactly.
Q: – And what do you propose?
A: – We must acknowledge the existence of evil in our everyday reality. Even while it becomes illusion when observed through philosophy, in reality of everyday life evil is a fact.
Q: – So?
A: – So we must hate God.
Q: – Why is this so important?
A: – Because only then the best of human attributes, empathy, and the sense of justice belonging to it can be prevented from growing twisted.
Q: – I can’t see how it wouldn’t be better just to say that the image of God needs revision.
A: – Because no single image of God, even when improved, can’t solve the riddle of evil on its own. Atheistic, agnostic, theological or even occult philosophy known so far can’t in itself lead to the right direction that most important feeling, the sense of justice belonging to empathy.
Q: – But from this ground it seems like you first had an agenda and the name afterwards.
A: – And yet that is not the whole truth. As has been said, for a Satanist Satan is real object of adoration and not just a philosophical deduction. First is the experience, after that comes dedication, and from the dedication follows agenda.
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Q: – I see that it is necessary to understand what you mean by God in order to understand what you mean by Satan.
A: – That is undoubtedly correct. So is there some obscure points in our view of God that I could try to elucidate?
Q: – First of all its state as a separate entity. The name of God, if I’m not wrong, implies something that is a being and entity in itself. Yet ”Absolute God” seems to be something else than a creature or a conscious being.
A: – Of course it can’t be a creature, but instead it can and must very well be conscious. ”Creature” is something with boundaries, but ”consciousness” does not presume boundaries when we remember that both the object and the subject of consciousness are necessarily at one in the one and the same space.
Q: – What do you mean?
A: – As a comparison, the image that eye acquires from outside must be replicated on its retina to be perceived. Consciousness must include its object, in other words these two are basically one. This is why Plato described knowledge as a process of anamnesis or recollection: every creature is latently omniscient, and the Abolute (the sum total of all existence) while not being creature is omniscient in fact.
Q: – The Absolute God thinks of me too, in every moment?
A: – You and me, for it is you and me; our conscious sides and unconscious sides – among everything else.
Q: – So I too am God?
A: – Certainly there can’t be anything other but God. If there would, then something would exist outside God, and therefore God would not be God – the perfect Being.
Q: – And because of this the Absolute God, your God, ultimately can’t be opposed? Satanism can’t reach it?
A: – Yes. It is all.
Q: – Isn’t this kind of an absolute just a deduction of thought, just a logical sum total? In what relation can any separate consciousness be to it?
A: – In perpetual relation. All that we do and that reaches for even wider awareness, ever deeper recognition of life, is from this ground ”imitatio Dei” and highest kind of service. Whatever the sector of life – be it art, science, philosophy, magic or everyday life – it can become gradual meeting of Absolute God when we are striving towards wider understanding and unity of life.
Q: – That’s an interesting thought. So the striving for evolution is service to God and the process whose apex is apotheosis? But isn’t it bound to eternal dissatisfaction? Surely it’s impossible that the limited consciousness could ever become unlimited?
A: – It can become, or, to say it better, it can attain living and conscious connection to unity. This is the first and most important idea of the universal esoteric doctrine, actually. That living experience of all-unity we can call nirvâna, liberation or deification. Maybe in a most exact way its processes have been recorded in Yoga philosophy, which by using psychological and even physical training aims for the opening of the consciousness to the Absolute – the transcendence of the limits of subjectivity. This is just an example, however; I don’t imply that Yoga had greater meaning than any other method of exercise. The same aspiration can be seen in all mysticism and spiritual training.
Q: – That idea surely isn’t the first to come to mind from word ”Satanism.”
A: – Maybe not, but Satanism is nowadays unavoidable factor for us to carry the human process of thought towards that lost ideal of unity. Precisely because these thoughts have become so distant to both everyday and religious thought, the idealism of opposition – Satanism – is of great importance when we are dealing with those everyday and religious views.
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Q: – I’d like to return to the dealing with the problem of evil.
A: – That is indeed the most essential of all the problems, and should be pondered with as deep and serious approach as possible.
Q: – Who creates evil? God or Satan?
A: – God and Satan are beings above the limitations following from ignorance, including time, and in the state of unity there is no evil. Practically, evil is always made by man.
Q: – How so? Isn’t evil a part of the absolute?
A: – Of course, as neutral events – but not as an experience. Evil is not evil in its contact with unity: evil is born from the limitations of consciousness. Concerning the whole, where time and separation of being are not real, there is no suffering. Suffering follows a state where some side of consciousness is concealed and another overstimulated. ”Evil is exaggerated goodness.”
Q: – That sounds highly rhetorical and not so easy to grasp. Isn’t a cruel act, a rape or murder for instance, evil?
A: – It certainly is. We should not be afraid of terms used with consideration, although we have a good reason to be afraid of judging individuals.
Q: – So who is responsible for that evil?
A: – Only ”responsible” can be God ultimately, as long as we think God (in a way delusionally or because the process demands such a view) as a separate entity. For an individual who carries out the evil act is obscured by his own subconscious ignorance, and from his own traumatical ground can work only as good or bad ways as to whence his own psychology can lead him. But ”the God within man” carries responsibility.
Q: – Isn’t Satan guilty of this?
A: – Only ostensibly. Because Satan always presents the charge left to the shadow’s side, it seems like his expression would encourage person to act wrong. But this is just the side of the Mask, about whose great difference to Satan’s true essence we have spoken so much. If one refuses to act out a damaging suggestion, he can become able to reach the truth about Satan: for that innermost truth is in realising the whole in a way where even the subconscious charge left to the dark side becomes understood. Satan can be perceived in the reaching of consciousness towards the subconscious and vice versa. This is why we always meet Satan at the times of crises, suffering and problems, and this is why we have learn to accuse Satan of those crises, suffering and problems.
Q: – I don’t understand.
A: – We are indeed in the most difficult of all the difficult issues of our world here, the seeming justification of evil. Evil inarguably exists in the world; therefore it must be justified from the view-point of the absolute. In parentheses, to the extent that ”God the Absolute” becomes to us a verbal construction and loses its true living reality, this problem of evil becomes a reason to rise against the picture we have of that God the Absolute. But this is a sidetrack, and I return to the point. Evil exists because it is necessary for the higher development.
Q: – What ends does it serve?
A: – It teaches men empathy. Or to say it differently: it teaches one to place boundaries for his own action. In the cosmos wherein everything is theoretically possible it is important to learn what should not be done. A human soul, which in reality is much higher form of consciousness than his brain mind, yearns nothing more than to learn and thus become able to ”return to divinity”. For this it is ready to do sacrifices its formal representation within brain mind cannot grasp.
Q: – So the suffering person wants to suffer, subconsciously?
A: – That which in man forms our everyday humane whole is, like said, just a small part of the real man, ie. soul. What seems to be reality to us, little men bound to time and personalities, is just a tiny fragment of the whole truth. In the world of spirit there is no suffering, there’s only learning.
Q: – Suffering itself is therefore a lie?
A: – No, suffering is real, because the feeling of suffering is still real, even if it is born inside the consciousness delusionally identifying itself within too narrow a being. Experiencing something as suffering makes suffering real.
Q: – From that it still seems to follow that man can’t do evil, because that seeming evil act is actually a lesson another being needs for its soul to develop.
A: – A wrong conclusion, supported only by incomplete logic. If someone reasons like this, he in a way seems to agree with the philosophical basis of unity we use, but in practice shows gross disbelief of it in being able to reason for inflicting harm to others. For this kind of thinking shows clearly that one is unable to grasp the vivid application of unity and empathy, which is the foundation for the whole structure.
Q: – Isn’t it possible that a person might understand things in a right way and yet, in some circumstances, say, kill?
A: – Only as direct defence or self-defence, and even then it would be a tragedy. As long as we think that circumstances can lead our action we are not true idealists; and it is idealism, ie. faith in the ideas as more important than outside reality, that is the evidence of us being in touch with the soul inside.
Q: – Can’t there be the idealism of evil, then? And wouldn’t it truly deserve the name of Satanism, too?
A: – This question has been discussed in many of our works. But to try and shorten the multidimensional problem to a small space, answer is unavoidably negative for as long as we understand in a right way the unity of all. The ”idealism of evil”, as much as suffering, is possible only as a subjective fact: it has no foundation in the world of thoughts (soul), for it is structurally contradictory system of thought.
Q: – On the other hand you have often pressed the essentiality of paradox in the whole cosmic system. Doesn’t paradox mean exactly the structural contradiction?
A: – Even as there is the absolute divinity that is real and immanent, and again a verbally formed picture of the said absolute divinity who supposedly agrees with evils acts, because it itself is present in them, there is two paradoxes: the real and realized unity of opposites, and again the confusion of words which uses these same terms but is unable to realise the world beyond them. If we would accept things as impossible to fathom and the profane definition of paradox, then all philosophy, all logic and language would have been made useless to start with. Anyone could say and do anything, however internally contradictory it would be. But that is only a confusion of reason and existence, a disease of mind, and does not base itself on spiritual laws and therefore isn’t true idealism, but psychological disturbance instead.
A: – These two approaches are without doubt the same than those you have spoken of as the paths of ”the Bright Face” and ”the Dark Face”?
Q: – Yes; and as ”the Path of Ascension” and ”the Path of Descension”.
* * *
Q: – It might take a long time to really distinguish these two interpretations of Satanism from each other.
A: – Indeed, but it is even more important to emphasise this kind of division. As long as all symbols of darkness are in men’s minds seen as justifications to cruelty and harming others, it is of prime importance to try and point the difference between these two: that there is beautiful darkness, beautiful death, beautiful opposition and beautiful suffering, but that these all have forms that should never be carried out, too.
Q: – What is the fundamental difference between the two?
A: – The first one prohibits violence.
Q: – But can’t all life as a whole be seen as violence…? Might not someone say that all the world is eating others and becoming eaten by others?
A: – One might, if he would prefer not to understand what is meant here. We are not fanatics, except from such a worldly point of view which in every idealist sees a fanatic. Every being must admit some grade of injury inflicted upon others in order to survive: even the Jainist monks who take the non-violence to its limits as sweeping the way they walk in order not to accidentally step on insects, still cause death to beings of plant life for to keep their own bodies alive. It is unnecessary to split hair about violence and non-violence, for it is enough for us to weed out radical evil.
Q: – What do you mean by distinguishing radical from ”normal” evil?
A: – All people do bad choices, or even if one would have attained the state of non-erring, he would have been erred before. It is not so important to attain the state of absolutely pure deeds than it is to leave behind gross errors. For example, it is undoubtedly a good indication of one’s empathical ability to keep oneself from eating meat in order to lessen suffering inflicted upon animals; but it is even more important to leave the above mentioned murders and ravishings undone. The distress of the world is so great that for starters we can leave details for less attention, if we just focus our whole vigor to solve the greater problems.
Q: – But what can a person do to solve those major problems? It is a small minority of mankind who are murderers and rapists who’d need to strive for leaving those things undone.
A: – True, but quite a many lives without giving much thought on ethics: and it is this society’s void of values and the stressing of hard judgemental ideologies which gives birth to aforementioned ”diseases of mind” – the possibility of radical evil. Every wrong deed gives a wrong impulse to its vicinity, and little by little possibilities for even most radical cruel actions are brought forth. So, even small deeds matter, but we must not put too much attention on them, which would only waste the resources of the mind. The more we can repair the society’s ill attitude towards spirituality, the safer will mankind be from actual cruelty. A person who commits murder or rape can’t be accused solely as an individual: the individual in question is a part of the whole, and society too carries responsibility for the monster it has helped to create. No sound creature does basely cruel deeds, only he who first have received damage and twisting impulse from outside, too. The line between individual and the whole is a blurry one, as anyone who has pondered on mind’s psychological workings knows.
Q: – So even a murderer, following the wrong suggestion, is a victim?
A: – Yes; and this can be seen more clearly if we look at it from a karmic view-point, and see how he murders himself while seemingly directing his violence upon another being. The error is always on the move; it is not just the problem of some individual, but the problem is common to us all. And as has been said by Dostoevsky: ”We all are guilty.” The distress of the world is a common one, and as long as we direct our attention outside and seek fault in other people or in circumstances, the vicious cycle will never cease to be. Every man must heal himself, and ethically and intellectually in particular.
Q: – These are strange words coming from a Satanist.
A: – It’s a strange time we are living in, brother.