Hello dear readers, I’d like to take a moment to talk about Satanism. Someone asked me, quite recently, about my views of it and if I am, or not, one of the Black Brotherhood. Do you have some time? Would you like some Coffee or Tea? Please, take the green chair over by the fireplace, it’s quite comfortable…
Modern Satanism is, in the West, essentially what one certain form of Tantrism is in the East, i.e. the primary form of anti-nomian religious and moral dissent from mainstream herd practice. This is characterized in BOTH by a preference for the physical and material over the purely spiritual; physical pleasures over physical denial, and the fully acceptable use of magic for selfish worldly purposes. This pretty much describes those elements common to the “Left Hand Path” in both Western (LaVeyan, Setian, Theistic, Gnostic, Zen-Baptist..Ok, I made the last one up, but if they don’t exist, they do now. ) and Eastern (Tantric) usage of that term today. So clearly the Left-hand Path encompasses both Modern Satanism and one (or even a few if we bring the Red Hat Taoists in to the mix) of the forms of Tantrism.
“LEFT-HAND PATH” IN THE EAST
Tantrism can be found in Hindu, Buddhist and Taoist varieties. Hindu Tantric practice is generally divided amoung two paths; The Vamamarga (or vamacara or vamachara) or “Left Hand Path” or red tantra and the Dakshinachara or “RightHand Path” or white tantra. The most obvious but not the only distinction between these two is that LHP Tantra involves actual sexual practice as part of its rituals while RHP tantra uses non-sexual yoga practices instead. It is interesting to note that in common usage in India today, the term “Tantra” has come to mean “black magic” while in the West that term has come to refer to hippie-like “sacred sex” yoga classes. Experts say both interpretations cloud the full picture of what Tantra is fully about, and I agree .Here are just two of the many credible references that note this same primary distinction between the two paths of Tantra:
There is little question that Tantra (both Buddhist and Hindu) arose in part as an anti-nomian revolt against restrictive mainstream Vedic, Buddhist and even Muslim morality. So those who would say it has nothing to do with taboo-breaking are quite obviously wrong. Taoist forms of Tantra are much more sexual and dare I say pragmatical then the Buddhist and Hindu forms, as the primary purpose behind Taoist Tantra is the transformation of sexual energy into healing energy and vitality, resulting in better health and potential immortality. The primary Taoist technique to achieve these healing effects is called the inward orgasm (in-jaculation), whereby the orgasmic energy rises up the spine, stimulating the endocrine glands, energy systems, nervous system, and organs. Taoists teach that an inner orgasm (in-jaculation) stimulates life and vitality, while the outer orgasm (e-jaculation) brings death or loss of health and vitality. An in-jaculation is the most effective tool for transforming a physical orgasm into an energetic orgasm. Of course, there are even higher levels of orgasm as well, including a soul-level, total-being orgasm.Hindu Tantra and Taoist Tantra are each an ancient form of sacred sexuality. Also, in both traditions, sexuality is practiced in a spiritual context.Nevertheless, the differences are very distinct. For example, Hindu Tantra uses more ceremony and ritual, while Taoism is more scientific and focuses on the body, its meridians, and energy systems. Hindu Tantra is an art, while Taoist Tantra is a science (and when you strip away the Jade Rabbits and Red Cocks, Very Left Hand Path).
“LEFT-HAND PATH” IN THE WEST
Prior to LaVey, not many occultists running around in funny hats and applying the term “Left-Hand Path” to their work or to anyone else in a positive way in the West. As far as I can find, the term first appears as a perjorative in Western literature in Helena Blavatsky’s “The Secret Doctrines” of 1888 in which she uses it as a blanket term for bad-guy, I dress-in-black-and-eat-babies, selfish, materialistic, evil black magicians.Blavatsky postulated that from the days of Atlantis there have been evil adepts of the Left-Hand Path who used their Black Magic for self-serving,materialistic and destructive purposes as contrasted with their opponents, the adepts of the Right-Hand Path who only pursue alturistic magic for the betterment of others (much like the Democrats and Republicans see themselves today). She obviously picked up (and partly misunderstood) the term “Left-hand Path” during her long study in India because the term does not appear in her earlier work, “Isis Unveiled” at all. In subsequent writings, Blavatsky’s disciples have specifically made this moralitistic judgemental error in understanding of the basis of Vamacara or Left-hand Path segment of Tantrism.
And so, not-so-genital reader, it is pretty safe to assume that LaVey read Blavatsky and rejected almost all of her philosophy even to the point of recognizing himself and his outlook as the villain of her cosmology. When she shuddered about selfish Black Magician of the Left-hand Path, LaVey probably smiled, stroked his goatee, and recognized himself in that role. This was apparently the extent of Tantrism’s influence on the Satanic Bible and LaVey’s other works, since LaVey never mentioned it ( He was much to busy wearing Fedoras and fucking movie stars, so who could blame him?). But even badly filtered through Blavatsky’s misinterpretation, the essential truth of what the Left Hand Path is all about was recognizable to Lavey: indulgence instead of abstinence, pleasure instead of pain, selfishness instead of altruism, flesh instead of spirit.But, while Vamachara Tantra and Modern Satanism are both Left Hand Path, there is an essential difference between the two that keeps Tantra from being strictly speaking, “Satanic.” Modern Satanism expects its adherents to be their own gods without any need for personal instruction or permission from any guru to be a “Satanist.” Vamachara Tantra however is not so individualistic and, in fact, strictly requires its initiates to study under the tutelage of a Tantrik guru. Tantra teaches that performance of the rites of Vamachara without the oversight of a guru will not only be ineffectual but warns that it might even be dangerous. So while both Vamachara Tantra and Modern Satanism are both LHP, Tantra cannot truly be said to be “Satanic” per se in the sense that Satanists use the term.
So the roots of the idea in the West are Eastern.Doubtless in every age and culture the antinomian urge has arisen. We can talk of the native South Africans (Nguni peoples) refer to Sangomas and witches´ as two distinct entities, the one benign, the other supposedly malign? And then we have the poor, oppressed, and infamous Yezidi of the Middle East? While they hold that there might be some great universal being that created the universe, it is Melek Taus, the peacock angel, that arouse their worship and devotion because it is he that has authority upon this earth. Although humanity has often struggled with sexuality and similarly related issues, there have always been arts and sciences devoted to honoring the sacred, sexual self, and let’s face facts, in the west, the Devil and sex are inseparable to our mob mentality.I’ve found that is just as it should be, and perfectly fine with this Taoist….so if it pleases you, go out and have mind blowing sex and walk with the Dark Lord, or not. Now finish your Coffee, you rapscallion, it has gotten cold……
That’s all I have for you today my friends, Stay Gold…
Sources:In Praise of the Left Hand Path Feb 10, 2011 by Anthony Greyling, Tantrism and the Left Hand Path Oct 16, 2013 by ashishpuri, http://www.swamij.com/tantra.htm