How has your idea of Satan changed over time?

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Nefastos
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How has your idea of Satan changed over time?

Postby Nefastos » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:55 am

I am not so young as I used to be, and that has either happened or will sooner or later happen to most of us. That makes me think about this subject about the meaning of Satan. How has it changed? Why it is still so relevant in our lives?

Personally I continue to be surprised how durably & deeply meaningful Satan has proven to be in my life in the most vivid, non-abstract way. When I was in my early teens, I would never have guessed that Satanism would be my lot in life. And yet after some twenty years of daily struggle and adoration, my relationship with the veiled and dark master grows stronger, the mystery more terrible and more beautiful while remaining essentially the same.

But before pondering here how my own views have changed - if they actually are, of which I am not sure - I would like to hear your thoughts about the same, my brethren & dear guests. All the thoughts about the drastic or slow changes in meaning, representation, role or other ideas of Devil or Satan are very welcome.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Re: How has your idea of Satan changed over time?

Postby Kenazis » Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:33 pm

Nefastos wrote:
Personally I continue to be surprised how durably & deeply meaningful Satan has proven to be in my life in the most vivid, non-abstract way.... my relationship with the veiled and dark master grows stronger, the mystery more terrible and more beautiful while remaining essentially the same.
Couple of things left aside from your quote and it's exactly fitting to me also.

I see that the feeling of (dark) mystery and awe that been with(in) me whole my life has been unveiling whole the time while the years pass by. First it was just some unnamed and total mystery, then it was named Satan (because it seem most accurate), then the understanding of this mystery called Satan has deepened and get more wide. Now Satan can be seen everywhere. His touch can be sensed in very (seemingly) profane things and in every transcendent area I reach. Satan's hierophant aspect seems now closer to my heart than the antinomian adversary aspect that was his only (or at least the main) role when I started my Satanic path.
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Re: How has your idea of Satan changed over time?

Postby Yinlong » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:44 pm

I guess always a relevant topic for us, I remember having a conversation on this with few brotherhood members during summer.

My path may be a bit different, if you look from the point of view of devotion to Satan or satanism. I talking mostly from this point of view, I would then form three phases in my life.

First, the pre-puberty until teenage years. I was probably pretty much the common "teenage satan worshipper" or just a kid with tendency to lean towards more mysterious and choose more often the dark side in Knights of the Old Republic than embracing some boring Yoda lovers. So, around the same time as discovering black metal and other dangerous topics like role-playing somewhere around age of 11 or 12, I was deeply interested in anything that would be described as dark, whether it dealt with music, vampire literature etc. Perhaps Satan was more a focal point to place one's hatred and unsolved dissonance with inner and outer worlds. It definitely gave strength to grow up individually, but perhaps this direction, which overly emphasized individuality over everything else (probably heavily influenced with whatever Marilyn Manson or LaVey or the like had said), was why I kind of parted ways with many of my friends. This happened around the time I entered upper secondary school.

Second phase would be the kind of "I embracing the world" or perhaps I just had to see how the world works. I did go to two times to exhange, from the opposite sides of the world and travelled a lot in any case. Latin America perhaps taught me communal and social context, but I also learned about poverty, corruption etc. I did eventually graduate from university, perhaps the most inspiring book I read was Yamamoto Tsunetomo's Hagakure in its overly devotional Samurai philosophy. I had tried to - occasionally - to get more in touch with the more spiritual side of me, but my attempts had failed to satisfy me. However, the time spent in Asia had made me realize that sort of animistic world-view is possible to combine with more modern world (had seen this in practice) and also how necessarily combining things from many religions, like what Hongkongers seemed to do very well, was not actually a bad thing. Perhaps this helped me to get rid of purism or trying to find the "one and true" way. Taoist thought also became important, even though I must admit that I haven't dwelled very deeply that part. The love for metal and darker things of course never left me, but I hadn't guessed that I would actually go back to my roots in the sense.

Third phase kind of culminated in me eventually joining SoA. Somehow, probably a sum of many things, I started searching the more mystical aspects of religion and decided to look for answers from I Ching. This somehow totally reopened the mystical paths, which did go pretty well hand in hand with my dwellings to mythological and historical past. To study perhaps my previous relationship, especially the teenage satanism, I decided to order fra Nefasto's Argarizim: The Fall of Lucifer in Finnish, which was so impactful that I decided to look for information on SoA and found that there is a reading group at the local library of the book. This is probably the point where some of you came to know me. If I think my relationship now, I'd say that there must be something unchanged on the core level, perhaps not easily put into words. Maybe this is a sort of related thing: I remember in an interview of fra Nefastos and the interviewer playing with the wording did one choose Satan or did Satan choose them. In my case, perhaps, did Satan or satanism ever leave. Trying to sum everything here up, I'd say that the idea of Satan has geared towards more to be the god or archetype of friction on more spiritual plane, or on the path of deeper self-development, if you will - in contrast to the god of friction of my teenage years, which probably was more the garbage dump of difficult thoughts. What surprises me the most, that the very same (or at least what I think is the same) archetype, which lead some people I know towards more apocalyptic and suicidal tendencies, has actually lately helped me to get rid of my own nihilism and lack of faith. If I had to say one word that was missing (or at least in short supply) previously was empathy (or perhaps love, a difficult word for me as Finnish speaker), which has entered to the scheme of things over time and especially lately.
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Re: How has your idea of Satan changed over time?

Postby Nefastos » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:36 am

While I can, to some point, relate to that "feeling attracted to something that was later called Satan", I have also in my youth experienced the opposite: consciously denying the said name and archetype. Since I received quite tolerant upbringinging, which was not religiously conservative even though it was Christian at least in part, I did not give much thought to Satan until I started studying occultism & more intense forms of religion. Since the Right Hand Path theosophical & rosicrucian &c. esotericism mostly condemns Satan, at least superficially (His mask-side), I put much effort in trying to keep myself away from that darkness. Now I'd say that those RHP paths have failed to realize the meaning of the new holistic psychology, which seems like a watershed... However that is, after I had gone through my crisis and knew there is no other honest way for me but the so-called Left Hand Path, there has been no possibility of turning back. Of course, "turning back" is seldom even fantasized by an occultist. Rather, let's say that the path has enriched rather than lessened His meaning. Made Satan more personal and deep, even though my old rational self would have most likely thought the contrary.

It has been in many ways surprising, how seamlessly Satan is working with the "central lodge" inspiration (of empathy, holistic meaning, absolute demand of humane approach, &c.). The obstacles in this Work - which became the dharma of the Star of Azazel - have proven to be in human psyche's unrefined associations, while the need is very real & actual. In that fusion - or rather, unveiling - Satan has at every point both illumined and deepened, while His form yet remains also essentially joined to the the dark & challenging. At the same time, the different aspects of Satan have been found to be also interdependent, semi-separate and ultimately connected to the same enduring archetype.

The brotherhood has also faced many times the question about its Satanistic identity and focus. Is it really essential, & cetera. Every time, at different points of its cycle, the very real answer has found to be Yes. Not only individually but collectively, Satan has proven to be absolutely essential for esoterical working as I see it. He remains in the center even at the times when the spotlight is, because of any reasons, somewhere else. All semiesoterical working that seem to be able to avoid the subject, secretly leans upon His presence in or nearest to the secret center.

I notice that even when I am trying to be purely practical, my words starts to take this adorating tone all by itself. Satan truly is so expansive, so great a mystery, a majestic figure looming over everything; like God but approachable, undeniable, ever-present, solid challenger, hierophant, mentor, tester and jester. We can doubt the orderliness of cosmos, of love or meaningfulness by human standards; but we can never doubt the deep darkness, the primal energy, the challenge, the thought, the depth of universe based of power, unyielding question, paradoxical and ultimately more real and deeper than man and his petty egotism. Maybe we are cared for and maybe we aren't, but what is absolutely certain is that there is this power greater than us, and It/He is also behind things that seem to us like completely, utterly black and devastating. And because of our own connection to the World at large, also our own core is of those things, and at least theoretically - in a very long cycles of spiritual evolution - this human thought will be able to merge, to understand, to hold that mystery of mysteries, Satan the God; so much more intense than any cathedral or temple or pyramid has been able to chamber in its massivity...
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Re: How has your idea of Satan changed over time?

Postby Yinlong » Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:51 pm

Nefastos wrote:While I can, to some point, relate to that "feeling attracted to something that was later called Satan", I have also in my youth experienced the opposite: consciously denying the said name and archetype.
I surely cut corners and left things out from that short description. However, it is very relevant point that you make: there was not only some attraction but definitely also repulsion. Perhaps being myself also contrarian or sometimes even grudging, I would probably add a bit similar thoughts that you mention. At younger age I wouldn't have wanted to others or myself describing me as somebody who would just draw dark and mystical energy into himself. I remember also avoiding the term "satan worshiper" and preferred the term "satanist", the latter I found more philosophical and somebody who wouldn't act necessarily unethically. And there definitely wasn't worship. Anyhow, this leads a bit to the case of hereticism or being a heretic in the sense of opposing things before you accept or embrace them. I think this is at least distantly related to the work of purifying concepts before using them. I have recently read Henry Corbin's books about esoteric Islam and one of the things that connects all of the central figures of medieval poets, philosophers and students of islam in Sufism / esoteric movements of Islam of that time is being heretic, sometimes to the degree that eventually lead you to be killed. Of course the same could be said from European medieval philosophers like Giordano Bruno etc. Anyways, the question I've been asking myself is to what degree one needs to be heretic as a truth seeker (to go confront the truths).
Nefastos wrote: Satan truly is so expansive, so great a mystery, a majestic figure looming over everything; like God but approachable, undeniable, ever-present, solid challenger, hierophant, mentor, tester and jester. We can doubt the orderliness of cosmos, of love or meaningfulness by human standards; but we can never doubt the deep darkness, the primal energy, the challenge, the thought, the depth of universe based of power, unyielding question, paradoxical and ultimately more real and deeper than man and his petty egotism.
I guess something that was inspired by Yezidi religion in my personal path, the approach that I place something in front of the (true) unknown (God) seems natural for me. Not a unique thought, but later I've been thinking this is definitely an aspect that I at least did not get properly in or rather from Christian / Lutheran cosmology. So, a leading figure, the angel of the angels or however one likes to put it, which has these aspects you mention, is somehow how I feel also personally that my more spiritual side requires. So, maybe there are still that focal point to some degree I mentioned in previous message. For the rest your message, I can just say that I truly respect and admire the depths you have gone through to understand and open paths for the rest of us to approach this and related mysteries. However, like fra Obnoxion has often mentioned, it is probably better to be on the safe side when talking about Yezidi and their religion, since we can know very little and it's perhaps the best that I won't compare it too much to satanism for the fear of insulting their views and all the trouble they've had this far.

Then again, this similar trinity can be seen in Shaivism / Indian religions that is often discussed on these forums. Just was recently finishing reading few parts from Ervast's Kalevalan avain (=Key of Kalevala) and he seems to suggest that at least similar trinity based approach was intertwined to our national epic and the world view of some distant age. There is also this "morning star" aspect at least for me.

When talking about relevancy of Satan, I tend to agree that at least the god /archetype and the mystery feels more relevant than ever - or maybe just it's just that it is always / eternally relevant for humans. And one might say that my point of view is just confused by my own short period of time spend on Earth. "Just now" seems the most relevant time to live not surprisingly for many people alive, since we're currently here. :)
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Re: How has your idea of Satan changed over time?

Postby Nefastos » Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:44 pm

I listed for myself the ideas I have had of Satan in my life, starting from childhood & continuing to youth & adult age, and came up with this:

1) Not thought at all
2) A fairytale
3) A fairytale with fascinating aesthetical possibilities
4) A symbol
5) A manifold symbol with tremendous possibilities
6) An archetype (non-anthropomorphic deity)
7) An archetype of particularly immense depth
8) Perhaps the best possible depictation of the One God: the simulacrum (likeness) of God in creation

By "creation" I mean the whole universe, "outside" of which there could be only the Absolute, i.e. Everything, which therefore would transcend time, matter, and individual thought. (The philosophy that there would be a "Nothing" apart from this Absolute I deny, as presented in the beginning of Fosforos.)

The most terrible moments with Satan I have lived where I already thought Him as an archetype, but had not made the whole journey of understanding regarding of what is the connection and dissimilitude of human & paratemporal morals.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Re: How has your idea of Satan changed over time?

Postby Yinlong » Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:04 am

I ran out of words, but I like frater Nefasto's numbering on the increase of the depth of one's relationship with Satan.

Weirdly, I have had lately quite an urge to draw things. I started with this Crow / Raven piece some of you might have seen. I really haven't drawn anything in 15 years or so. This weekend I drew this. It is perhaps not art, more like a drawn collage (and yeah, it owns much to certain Leo, and further loans from Hubble Space Telescope images. And I was heavily inspired by Tähtiportti's lyrics and music). However, it pretty much summarizes my thoughts lately. Some, which are related to the practices I've been doing, some just personal thought. Perhaps I'll draw more later. Wherof one cannot speak... ;) "The pillars of creation, the pillar of Lucifer"

Image
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Re: How has your idea of Satan changed over time?

Postby obnoxion » Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:46 am

One could look at this thing from many different angles. But at the moment, I am sort of amazed how deep these things can be. I especially have been reminescing the time when I was nine years old, and we had our first year of carpentery in school. Our task was to hone off the old paint from an old chair, and then repaint it in any way we wanted. I remember my friends painted cars or simple squares. I, however, first painted the chair black. Then I painted an eye in a triangle on the back rest, and a head of a blond female devil with red horns on the seat. Then I did a yellow and red linings on both the back rest and the seat.

Now, almost thirty years later, I am sort of stunned how early I have had a deep sympathy with these symbols, and a strong need to reproduce them. That was the only time I got to do something I very much enjoyd in carpentry, and I really did put my heart and soul into it. And now I think that it is very significant that this happened clearly before puberty, so in a way this sort of inclination is for me a more primal need than sexuality. And I sort of think that we should have the same kind of tolerance for these things that we have for sexual diversity, because it can run even deeper than that. And it is a beautiful thing, but just like sexuality, it can be twisted into something monstrous and banal by violent intolerance. And much of Western Satanism has begun to seem to me like a vast scene of ruined beauty. In the East these sort of things have been handled with much more enlightenmend and sophistication. One reason must be that they have a more sincere tradition of introspection, that seems to bring about a more coragious and sophistcated relationship to the human depths.
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Re: How has your idea of Satan changed over time?

Postby RPSTOVAL » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:30 am

As somebody that grew up a Christian as a kid, then turned to "Atheism", then to the major "eastern" religions before finding a home in Hermetic/Alchemical thought; my views or context has considerably changed.
Initially, as a Christian, "Satan" is perceived to be the great antagonist. Not near as powerful as Yahweh and who's fate is sealed, but the big baddy going around deceiving everybody from Yahweh's love/light and making people do terrible things. (which is probably the most common view, both to conservative and modern interpretations of the Bible).
But in my studies since over the years, I've heard so many different ideas. Certain forms of Christian esotericism would tell you that Jesus and Satan are the same, or that Satan works for Yahweh (which in the context of Christian mythology - as I call it, would be a logical assumption from reading the book).

As a Thelemite and skeptical mystic, I both don't believe in any existence of such a deity as Satan (but also don't assert any opinions either). In terms of my psychological leanings, I think it's very clearly obvious that Satan (as commonly interpreted) is a common archetype and possible representation of the other side of a duality within all of us.

But in other areas, more analytically from a literature point of view (with the Bible). From the continence of the Bible itself, Yahweh appears a much more "evil" character than Satan (compared to traditional depictions of Satan, it's quite amusing :lol: )
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Re: How has your idea of Satan changed over time?

Postby Frater Setesh » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:22 am

I would say it’s changed a lot from what it used to be. I grew in a “religious” but non practicing Catholic household. The only person I can say in my family that is really religious is my Grandmother & she’s a Jehovah’s Witness. Growing up I had an idea of Satan as the “bad guy” etc. But as I grew older and especially as I’ve studied occultism these past few years my views have changed. I now have a more positive view of Satan and what he represents to me which is:A liberator, an illuminator, a bringer of wisdom.

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