I finally got around to reading the third issue of Black magazine (a good read if you like dark culture, horror movies, etc).  I was flicking through it and came to a page with the following list:

1. Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence
2. Satan represents vital existence, instead of spiritual pipe dreams
3. Satan represents undefiled wisdom, instead of hypocritical self-deceit
4. Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it, instead of love wasted on ingrates
5. Satan represents vengeance, instead of turning the other cheek
6. Satan represents responsibility to the responsible, instead of concern for psychic vampires
7. Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all-fours, who, because of his “divine spiritual and intellectual development”, has become the most vicious animal of all
8. Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification
9. Satan has been the best friend the church has ever had, as he has kept it in business all these years

I was, to understate, surprised.  I have been searching for a religious aspect to life as I have felt for some time that this important aspect of life has been missing for me.  Indoctrinated in traditional societal rules, I initially dismissed the article, but after giving it an open minded view, I quickly learned that “Satanism” is not at all what the popular media and religions have portrayed.

I have always leaned towards mysticism, the supernatural, and other darker aspects of life, but have been told by the hypocrites that this is bad.  So, I wandered around aimlessly in the spiritual landscape, adrift because I have not found a faith that represents my experiences and understanding of the way the world works.

Out of desperation I read the full article, only to learn that the naysayers have completely misrepresented the views of Satanism.  In fact, they need Satanism in order to justify their own existence (see #9 above).  To me, this seems to be the other side of the same coin.  Both necessary for existence and balance, but one side represents abstinence, piety, control, and faith without evidence.  The other seems to represent hedonism, vital existence, realism, freedom to feel and experience without guilt, and a way of explaining the rocky road of life.  For me, it seems to fit, more accurately than many others would have me believe.

So, I found a copy of The Satanic Bible by Anton LaVey.  I have started to read it (and for those worried about my immortal soul, I have also started to read The Quran, and The Christian Bible), and so far I have found some interesting outlooks on life that seem to fit in with today’s society.

It is not an easy religion to adopt in a society ruled so long by Puritan ethics. There is no false altruism or mandatory love-thy-neighbor concept in this religion. Satanism is a blatantly selfish, brutal philosophy. It is based on the belief that human beings are inherently selfish, violent creatures, that life is a Darwinian struggle for survival of the fittest, that only the strong survive and the earth will be ruled by those who fight to win the ceaseless competition that exists in all jungles – including those of urbanized society. Abhor this brutal outlook if you will; it is based, as it has been for centuries, on real conditions that exist in the world we inhabit rather than the mystical lands of milk and honey depicted in the Christian Bible.

That quote is by Burton H. Wolfe (from the prologue of The Satanic Bible) stands out to me.  I have found myself drawing the same conclusion about life and people, on my own, by my own experiences.  I have always felt that religion should be self evident, the rules spoken clearly by interactions with people and the world in general.  So far, I am quite surprised to say that The Satanic Bible so far has represented the most pragmatic and realistic viewpoint of how to view and deal with life.

I will read on, take on the lessons that I need to learn, and maybe I have found something that I can hang my hat on and fill the void in my life?