Welcome to the next installment of #SatanicSunday. This week I’ll discussing parts of the second section in the Book of Lucifer, ‘The God You Save May Be Yourself.’
In this section, LaVey argues against the idea of externalizing the concept of God, and explores reasons why God has been externalized in many traditional religions.
All religions of a spiritual nature are inventions of man. He has created an entire system of gods with nothing more than his carnal brain. Just because he has an ego and cannot accept it, he has had to externalize it into some great spiritual device which he calls “God.”p. 44
In the Nine Satanic Statements, LaVey states that “Satan represents man as just another animal…” (p. 25). This is one of the main tenets of Satanism, that humans, as animals, have carnal needs and desires that should not be ignored or cast aside. “Satanism is not a white light religion; it is a religion of the flesh, the mundane, the carnal…” (p. 52). Part of this carnality is the powerful ego. When a human cannot accept their ego, they look for and latch onto an externalized version of it (an almighty, all powerful, omniscient God). And that “God can do all the things man is forbidden to do – such as kill people, perform miracles to gratify his will, [and] control without any responsibility…” (p.44).
Ego is complexly tied in with so many parts of ourselves, perhaps most significantly with our instinct of self-preservation. By OED’s definition, ego is a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance. LaVey says that humans cannot accept the ego, and it makes a lot of sense. Society has conditioned us that it’s bad to be selfish, or to act like we’re too full of ourselves. Everyone wants to be the most humble. A wealthy person may say that they are ‘blessed’ with good fortune; a beautiful person may receive a compliment, and respond with ‘that’s how God made me!’ As social beings, most humans want to fit in with those around them, and fall in line with society’s expectations of behavior.
Self-preservation is one of our strongest instincts as humans (animals), and is majorly tied to our sense of self-importance and self-esteem. In externalizing the ego into a godlike entity, a human is essentially going against its natural instincts in order to adhere to its social surroundings. It’s something so deeply ingrained that most never think twice about it.
But this is not good! In externalizing the ego, the natural instinct of self-preservation is impacted greatly and becomes convoluted. In my opinion, this is why so many religions endorse the idea of an afterlife, where you can have everything you never had as an earthly being. It’s like they’re promising you a second chance if you stick around, do what they say, and support them financially. It provides comfort for someone whose instinct of self-preservation may have waned; they’ll get another chance at life after they die!
As Satanists, we believe that man is like any other animal. So think of a tiger. A tiger doesn’t have God, a tiger just has its internalized ego and an intense sense of self-preservation. Tigers will do anything to preserve their lives as long as possible, because they know that this life is all they have. They fiercely defend their young and loved ones, and will do anything to survive. I think it’s safe to say that if tigers had God, they would absolutely be extinct.
In conclusion, be a tiger.
All quoted material comes directly from The Satanic Bible by Anton Szandor LaVey.
Interpretations and opinions are my own; I am not a spokesperson for, nor endorsed by, the Church of Satan.