[personal profile] flexibeast
i call myself a "Judeo-Satanist witch".

Overall i'm a panentheist, which means that i believe that the Divine both permeates the universe (multiverse?) and also exists outside of it. i've also recently become aware of process theism, which "feels right" to me; in process theism, our actions can change the Divine itself, which stands in contrast to much traditional Western theism, in which 'God' is seen as unchanging in such a way that our actions don't change any aspect of God's nature.

i don't believe in 'magick' in the Harry-Potter-like sense of being able to create e.g. fireballs out of thin air, turning people into an physiological animal etc. To me, 'magick' - which many people spell thus in order to distinguish it from stage magic, which is the art of illusion - is about believing that we influence, and are influenced by, the world in much more subtle ways than we commonly consider; and that our psychologies, our "mind maps" of the universe, play a role in this. An example of "working magick" in this sense is sports psychology, which seeks to maximise athletes' performance by trying to reduce mental blocks that affect performance negatively.

So 'magick' can thus be performed by trying to work with psychological associations, our subconscious and/or subconscious to focus our energies on certain things, block other things etc., with the idea that this will flow through to our more subtle behaviours and interactions with the world. 'Magick' in this sense doesn't require one to be anything other than an atheist materialist - 'materialist' not in the lay sense of "being overly concerned with possessions", but in the philosophical sense: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Materialism.

However, i personally believe - but would make no claim at all that this is in any way scientific, just that it doesn't contradict current scientific knowledge - that there probably are energies in the universe that we currently have no direct way to access and measure. (Unlike, for example, the way we can directly access, measure and control electricity.) To me, these energies form a sort of 'field' in which certain types of energies are clustered together in greater or lesser amounts; and these clusters form the basis of various notions of 'Divinity'.

In particular, i believe there's an energy cluster associated with the idea of independent thought, resistance to the idea of automatic obedience to authority, and enjoying sensual pleasures; and this energy cluster gives us concepts like 'Pan', 'Satan', 'Lilith', 'Lucifer', and 'Baphomet', who to a first approximation i regard somewhat like my personal 'angel' (to use that word).

Which finally brings me to the 'Judeo-Satanist' aspect of my spirituality. In Judaism, 'HaSatan' - literally, "the adversary" - is not an angel who has been cast of out of heaven, and who is pure evil and the source of all evil. Instead, HaSatan is like "God's Chief Prosecutor"; someone who challenges us to look at ourselves and examine whether we're living a good life. And although i'm not technically Jewish myself - i was raised in a nominally Anglican but basically secular household - Jewish spiritual thought strongly resonates with me, and i do a lot of reading regularly of Jewish spiritual sources. (Including about Jewish Kabbalah, which is a whole 'nother topic in itself!)

One of the central tenets of Judaism is 'Shema Yisrael', from Deuteronomy 6:4; the verse can roughly be translated as "Hear, O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord is one". For me, the "energy field" i wrote of above, together with our universe, "is one" - it has different aspects, in the form of various "energy clusters", but they're all part of the same thing.

So my Satanism isn't, of course, the Satanism of either the mass media, or of what theistic Satanist Diane Vera calls "brat brigades" ("I'm such a rebel, I'm a Satanist!"), which usually don't involve much beyond a sort of "Fuck you I won't do what you tell me!" It's about finding my own path; constantly challenging myself to confront my issues and grow from them; not simply accepting "common knowledge", "received wisdom", "what everyone knows"; and not automatically genuflecting before authority figures / celebrities / etc., instead expecting them to have to earn any respect i give them beyond the basic respect i give to all people.

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