spacer
The Vacuum - Issue 16 - Satan spacer The Vacuum - Issue 16 - Satan
Polite Fictions
by om lehka
spacer
Vehicles for enquiry are useful insofar as they are not leaden and singular, but mould to one's desire, wit and intelligence. So it is with our worshipful master the peacock, whose beautiful icy penis ejaculates the intoxicating liquor of knowledge.
spacer
The unholy one is of course a compound idea that can be constructed three ways - etymologically, syncretically and pragmatically.
spacer
Etymology, the archaeology of language, is similarly part science and part art. So in the web of association that unfolds when exhuming/divining the origins of meaning we find our own parameters of thought reflected as aspects of Behemoth. Thus it is: Lucifer (patron of Marxists), whose light from the East is congruent with the end of time, Satan (patron of Feminists), the adversary resplendent in implacable furies, Belial (patron of psychoanalysts), a tapeworm in the gut of the ultimate, Leviathan (patron of postmodern deconstructionists), whose intake of breath precedes Earth's comminution in vertiginous tentacles.
spacer
Opponents of poesy may trace his ophidian majesty as a syncretic signifie, mutating in the currents of the madcap farce that is history, hamstrung perhaps by the suggestion that the biggest lie the devil ever told was that he doesn't exist. So, although dualistic thinking was employed in the schemas of the East, such as in Taoism and Hinduism, a fully-blown dualistic ethical theology emerged in the (still practiced) Persian religion Zorastrianism, where the negative principle, Ahriman, is evil in the recognisable current sense. The development of evil as a trans-temporal spiritual genius within Abrahamic monotheism occurred mainly within Christianity (essential to this was its evangelism - unlike Judaism it aggressively sought converts), but it is likely to have its roots in the Jewish sects burgeoning before Christ's birth, particularly the hard-nut Essenes, who have been linked to the apocalyptic material within the Dead Sea Scrolls. The awareness of the disparity between the political realities of the Jewish struggle to survive both domination by Imperial Rome and potential extinction by any number of enemies, and the ideal self-projection as a chosen people of one god, may have led to the rationalising of this disparity in the agency of an evil force, a scapegoat.
spacer
Notwithstanding the above, Jewish folklore and mystical thought had always abounded with both angels and demons, but it was Mediaeval Christianity that fashioned the voracious obsession with the demonic within monotheism that recast any and every foreign, aboriginal, and nascent spiritual principle as infernal. So we have the perennial image of the devil transplanted directly as the Greek fertility god and trickster Pan, consistent also with the horned god figure of western European nature religions and contemporary Wicca.
spacer
That the extremity of Mediaeval patriarchal logocentrism would have made it difficult to go to a fancy-dress party and cop off (or even just go home and have a wank afterwards), without becoming some kind of heretic is unsurprising, given the concerted attempt to establish a one-world Stalinist media empire that could colonise the human imagination everywhere and at all times. The crazed mojo of centralised monotheism inevitably fostered a devil both fuelled by and personifying sexual energy; therefore it is an infinitely replenishable and adaptable idea, neatly dovetailing with the mainstays of common wisdom: the role of the sensual in apprehending mystery (observed in links between the ingestion of natural substances, the effects of elemental conditions and the universally sublime tonic of eroticism and the transformation of human body and awareness), and the relationship of these transformations with the cycles of fertility in the agricultural year, overarched by the unfathomable, impersonal cosmos which in turn echoes in the unfathomability of desire and the annihilation of sexual consummation.
spacer
If Yeats's The Second Coming marks the hitherto hidden rough beast's birthing, and the disappearance of humanity's soul from the observable world, its gestation was in Blake's dark satanic mills of industry, rather than the renaissance court or enlightenment chamber. One of the many seers of this cataclysm, Aleister Crowley, the self-styled Great Beast 666 of Revelation, consciously performed the new role of the diabolic in a world where the greater good involves the atomisation and isolation of the human in mechanistic processes - an avatar of romanticism, a template for those who choose to reign rather than serve; how well the incomparable Crowley performed it is a matter of some debate. Latterly Anton LaVey's Church of Satan, founded in 1966 (that is, year 0 Anno Satanas), focused even more clearly the relationship between the principle of evil and the actual state of things, positing the satanic individual as possessor of the natural wisdom and panache that accompanies the wit to rebut neurotic and venal theism. LaVey's writings remain the best introduction to contemporary satanism, and are an excellent primer on high and low magic in general.
spacer
For the legion of industrial and information age sorcerers, mavericks and general perverts, evil in all its aliases operates as an archetype of the individuated self, in the spectrum of possibilities that is the left-hand path, although one suspects that the bulk of existentialist dopers who plumb the occult would find it hard to conjure the frisson that the average bible-thumper with latent schizoid tendencies can when the devil comes creeping about.
spacer
As LaVey has said: 'Satan has been the best friend the Church has ever had, as he has kept it in business all these years'. So the mad monks, and their dumb patsies in present times, are dutifully returning the compliment with their butchery and crass intrigues. What they lack for these accumulating passions, however, is direction, which is easily provided through a few choice actions by the discerning.
spacer
Children are to be brought to the usual locations for offering.
spacer
REGE MOLOCH!
spacer
spacer
home | information | issues | artists & writers | columns | reviews
spacer