Tuesday, May 13, 2014

God, satan, & selfhood

This was inspired by this very good article: http://spectator.org/articles/59147/satan-and-man-harvard

Modern 'satanism' is not worship of some supernatural external entity embodying evil, but is actually worship of the atomized, individuated self that I have argued many times is an illusion. In many ways, genuine satanism is more evil than ancient devil worship. At least those who worshiped the devil recognized some force upon which they had to rely to gain the power they wanted. That they worshiped in order to receive power, and that power was the real object of worship, is a terrible evil indeed. Yet at least there was some recognition of some external source of the power they sought.

Genuine satanism is worse because it exalts idolatry AS idolatry. There is nothing hidden here. The devil does not hide within the ego and then within some external object. The devil's true form is worshiped as inherently good. I once said that satan is nothingness pretending to be everything, whereas God is Everything hidden as nothing. Here that pretense is totally laid bare.

There is no individual atomized self. That construct is mere illusion. The worship of it is the worship of nothingness, bare nothingness, it is the celebration of a lie as the truth. Yet understanding satanism helps us clarify what we, as Christians, truly do worship. The center of our world is not coercive power but persuasive power. It is not the power to control and self-assure, but the power to inspire and invite into vulnerability. A consistent satanist cannot truly exalt vulnerability and so knows nothing of love. They seek to expand the ego and end up merely walking into pure negation. The Christian makes of himself nothing before God, and so God expands what they are to the infinite. Not by propping up an illusion, but by giving them a doorway to their true self: as a part of God, as a servant of God. These satanists climb the ladder to the highest, and there is nothing there but they themselves. We seek the bottom, we crawl on our hands and knees and find God waiting for us.

Is coercive power god or is Persuasive Power God? To we empty ourselves to find what is truly Ultimate, or is it only by puffing myself up that I find I myself am ultimate? Is the daily struggle to make myself the center what I truly am or do I only find my life by losing it? These are the basic questions we ask every day, whether we know it or not. In that sense, at least satanism is honest. Most of us engage in some kind of self-worship some of the time. That this should be called satanism is a good thing, in that it makes us aware of the depth of our own sin. Yet I am disgusted that some people would exalt this process as good, and right, and true.

No comments:

Post a Comment