Witchcraft Growing Faster Than Religion's Big Three

Bill Mattocks

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And knowledge was what it was all about in the Genesis story, eh?

Knowledge and obedience. I know, I know. I kind of trip over that one myself. Hard to reconcile with a loving God sometimes. But fortunately, I can hold several diametrically opposed things in my head at the same time without blowing the noggin completely up. The Red Queen taught me that.
 

tellner

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Bill, I'm reasonably familiar with LaVeyite Satanism - Satanic Bible, The Satanic Rituals, et al. Had some interesting discussions with people who are Magisters in the CoS. What seems strange is how to get its fundamentally atheistic bent "I acknowledge no God except myself" to work with some of the more theistic strains. And the centrality of the self, the ego, would seem at first and even fourth glance to be at odds with the self-negating themes in Buddhist - and some Hindu - theory and methods. The approaches seem at odds with one another.
 

Bill Mattocks

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The approaches seem at odds with one another.

You got me there. I don't know anyone into Satanism myself. Years ago, I brushed up against quite a few Pagans of various sorts, but didn't get too much into the heavy theosophical discussions (get it? yuk yuk). I'm sure your point is valid, it fits with what I've read of LaVey, etc. Theistic Satanism draws more heavily on older OTO and Astrum Argentum stuff, although both sides draw on Crowley. LaVey, as I understood it, was more into the symbolism of the term 'Satan' as opposed to seeing Satan as a deity.

I was at that time hanging out with the Wiccans, a much more meadow-muffin type thing, although I was making quite the personal tour of proto religions and historical mystery cults, looking for answers or at least learning some meta-programming techniques, ala Gurdjieff by way of Robert Anton Wilson and Antero Alli. Energized meditation was my thing, along with guided dreaming ancestral trip stuff (seems like a million years ago now). Did my vision quest in 1988 in the Colorado Uncompahgre Plateau, found my guide. Never put the demon to rest, though.

What a long, strange trip it's been.
 

jarrod

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Bill, I'm reasonably familiar with LaVeyite Satanism - Satanic Bible, The Satanic Rituals, et al. Had some interesting discussions with people who are Magisters in the CoS. What seems strange is how to get its fundamentally atheistic bent "I acknowledge no God except myself" to work with some of the more theistic strains. And the centrality of the self, the ego, would seem at first and even fourth glance to be at odds with the self-negating themes in Buddhist - and some Hindu - theory and methods. The approaches seem at odds with one another.

buddhism is fundamentally atheistic too, at certain levels. hinduism in particular makes mention of the divine spark (atman) that lives in us all. it's possible to interpret this divine spark as part of or the entire Self. i'm not saying it's a common blend but it can be done without a spiritual implosion.

jf
 

thardey

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So, it's Satan playing the role that Prometheus played in ancient Olympian religious beliefdefying the all-powerful sky god to bring the benefits of knowledge (the technology of fire, in poor old Prometheus's case) to shivering humanity. And savagely punished for it as well. The difference was that Prometheus was eventually freed from his torment by Heracles; no such eventual liberation shows up in Christian theology for Lucifer, so far as I'm aware... but the other parallels are very suggestive. The later versions of the Prometheus myth, for example, explicitly identify a broad range of knowledge as the distinctive contribution made by Prometheus to human development, and the essence of his transgression against Zeus (who comes off as a kind of angry, overbearing tyrant, compared to the Titan). And knowledge was what it was all about in the Genesis story, eh?

For me (and it's really not a common view), the temptation that Satan offered amounted to the idea of trading the "Image of God" for the "Power of God." That is, power is more important that the character to use it properly. I see the same temptation in American sports stars -- it's more worthy of praise to be able to score a bunch of points in a game, and have a bunch of money, than it is to handle that ability, influence and money in the right way.
 

Dao

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For myself, the only religion that has any personal value is probably Buddhism. All others are seeking to draw on the unprovable existence of a great, if hypothetical, external power to enforce compliance and exert their 'will' on the 'unbeliever'.
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Actually in Buddhism they believe in heaven. They even talk about levels of heaven. So you can't see heaven then you don't believe in Buddhism?
Heaven. In Buddhism there are 37 different levels of heaven where beings experience peace and long lasting happiness without suffering in the heavenly environment.
source: http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma5/viewdeath.html
 

jarrod

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it completely depends on which type of buddhism we're talking about. at the popular level, yes; people pray to buddha, ask for things they want, give thanks for what they have, there is some sort of afterlife, rules about how to function in life...so while this is the most common type of buddhism worldwide, it is also hardly every imported to the west, probably because it really isn't all that different from how popular western religion is practiced. so i think usually when westerners refer to "buddhism" they are often talking about the zen variety, or one of the other more mystical-seeming types, which often don't include heaven. so you're both right.

isn't that nice! :D

jf
 
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