Satanism & Left-Hand Tantra Addendum: Lucifer and Dark Gnosis

Anointed am I
Exalted on a course to man averse
Cloven-hooved my footsteps be
The self withdrawn
Expanding as the rays of death illuminate
The bridge and the path to the waters of Ain

~ “Waters of Ain” by Watain

It must be said that there are indeed those who use satanic imagery and terminology to point to something far deeper and, it may be said, far higher. It is fairly well known at this point that “Lucifer” means “Light-bringer”, a symbolic title which has been applied to nearly every savior-figure, at one time or another. There are even “Christian Luciferians” who apply the title to Jesus. This is done, of course, not in a sense of irony, but from a Gnostic standpoint; if the Prince of Darkness holds sway in this world — functioning as the “god of this world” — the being of Light who came within the cosmic system to show us the way out is surely the Lucifer, by whatever other name we choose to call him. The satanists who take this tack rarely use such Christian imagery, however, but instead draw from Kabbalah, Tantra, Voudou, Quimbanda, and other non-Christian modes.

These satanists may more accurately be called Chaoists — not in the sense of the popular “chaos magic”, but in that they hold Chaos to be higher or more essential than Cosmos. Very often, this is an overly literal understanding of the aforementioned systems of inspiration. In Kabbalah, our cosmic system does indeed emanate from Chaos, but Chaos is not therefore anti-cosmic. Tantra equates Chaos with Nature, the primordial matter and energy of which all universes derive their substance. In both cases, Chaos is not “supreme”. It is a material from which something may be shaped in order that it might perform a function. The “consciousness of Chaos”, whom in Tantra we call Sakti, Kali, Durga, in general ” the Goddess”, is co-eternal with the One Being, Siva, and exists in non-dual relation with Him.

When we speak of Sakti destroying the universe, or else of Siva dissolving the universe, this is not because we find the universe to be of zero value. This is where overly literal thinking causes trouble. There is certainly an inherent tension between Cosmos and Chaos, but only for so long as they remain conceptually separated. This tension is a dynamic one; it is what allows for anything to exist at all. But that existence is contingent. Kabbalists and Tantrikas do not pretend that it is essential rather than apparent.

To say that the act of creation was a mistake may be a helpful metaphor, but it is not (and cannot be) literally true. It only points to the deeper truth that our entrapment within that creation is the result of an error which clings to us. In Saivism, we call this error anavamala, or “the bondage of atomism”. It is the error which arises by the soul’s assumption that it is distinct from other souls and from the Primal Soul whom we call God. It is true, in a sense, that the soul has its own identity, but it has its identity only and ultimately in relation to God. So, the creation of a world in which we are forced into relationships with other souls and “inanimate” matter is hardly a mistake, but it is made necessary by a mistake. The universe is the grit-filled tumbler which polishes us clean of the patina of “separateness”.

The use of satanic imagery may be a useful tool for shocking oneself awake, but only if that person is already on the verge of waking up. Otherwise, it tends only to bolster a sense of division by making the individual feel justified in combativeness, or else plunged into depression over a sense of “entrapment”. These images are not native to Tantra, and the methods which often accompany them are generally not compatible with it. That said, such adaptations have been made, but they are, for the reasons explored in Satanism & Left-Hand Tantra, very rarely useful in the actual process of becoming free.


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