In a LHP forum that I participate in, a poster discussed Anton LaVey and some of his character. One of the more negative aspects that came up, was Anton LaVey’s antagonism of the Christian. The bull baiting, the antagonism and so on.
This got me thinking… but shouldn’t we confront the ignorant? Shouldn’t we bring to light their hypocrisy. In fact I wrote this question to this author…
Meanwhile, I was in a conversation with someone else, and we were talking about the use of ethics and magic. I was asked this question, “is ethics part of the study and practice of magic?”
In thinking out a proper response to that question, I came to reframe my initial ideas to the post about LaVey.
Magic or our great work here, is about Being and Becoming….. That is the understanding of the cosmic, expansive Self. The Real Self. All magic that leads to that expansion is, in a way, ethical behavior.(my words in a letter to a LHP author)
Without that notion of an expanded Self, just seeing the self as a human body only, then indulgence is the only option of expression. Now I see why the attacks of LaVey may have retreated him into the cave… while they confront, they also minimize the self. The self is fighting a battle at the level of the infinitesimal. It’s the jeering angst that goes nowhere.
If the magical goal is expansion of self… or as I heard James Kirby says in the opening of the trailer “Left Hand Path”, “All black magic is about changing the magician…” then I think the magician has to ask, “is this activity going to expand my sense of Self and bring in more Being, or is it going to hinder that?”
LaVey & The Self
For LaVey Satanism, the self is the body. It’s expression is therefore captivated with indulgence. As long as one believes the body to be all there is, or the true identity of the self, then there is little room for expansion of self.
Theistic LHP & Self
Conversely, a theistic approach from the Western Left Hand Path, is one that views the self as much more than the body. The body is part of the self. But the self is something greater. One might call it the soul, or consciousness, or expansion of Self.
The goal is often found in this identification and expansion of self.
Where LaVey attacked the Christian menace with his reactive attacks on their hypocrisy, did the reaction expand his self, or hold it back? From his vantage point, it didn’t matter. If you have no theistic approach, there’s nothing to really cultivate here.
From a Theistic approach, attacking without provocation causes one to fixate on the meat body situation, a detraction from the expansion of self.
I’m writing a small book on Christianity and its hypocrisy. But this has got me thinking… is the book valid? Am I doing the same thing as LaVey?
Reacting to something is often going to hold one to the body. Being proactive will expand one. So the question becomes, “does this activity [writing my book] cause me to expand the sense of self or hold me back?”
It’s a personal question that can only be answered by the individual. I can’t answer this for someone else… perhaps we can’t judge LaVey for his criticisms of others. But in my own life and my own work, what does my reaction or response say about my own spiritual path?
I think one needs to be willing to defend themselves. That’s why I’m writing the book. I’m not writing it to be a dick and piss off a bunch of people. Instead, I found that many people don’t know how to respond to Christians… so I wrote a text offering some advice. It is hostile to the Christian faith, but it also prepares one in how to properly address it.
I think my motivations are true, but I should always consider my motivations on any matter that may be the result of reactionary emotions.