Hi heathens, welcome back to Satanic Sunday. This week I’m getting intellectual and discussing something that is a major part of my lifestyle, equanimity, and how it helps in managing relationships with psychic vampires.
To start we need definitions. If you’ve never heard the word equanimity, I’m sure you’re not alone, I only heard of it myself within the last 5-6 years.
Oxford English Dictionary defines equanimity as “calmness and composure, especially in a difficult situation.” Merriam Webster similarly defines it as “evenness of mind especially under stress” and “right disposition; balance.” But in true millennial fasion, the definition I most prefer comes from Wikipedia – “a state of psychological stability and composure which is undisturbed by experience of or exposure to emotions, pain, or other phenomena that may cause others to lose the balance of their mind.”
Important to note, equanimity is a concept that has been adopted into a lot of religions who may claim it as their own ideal or concept. It is inherently not a religious concept, and applies in a secular sense.
I first learned about equanimity from a mental health practitioner. She introduced the concept to me in a practical way – to bring about equanimity, look at every situation without judgement or assumptions. Things are not inherently good or bad, they just are. The judgement that you put on a situation creates what eventually becomes your natural reaction. If you want to remain composed and have no reaction, then you need to retrain yourself to have no judgement.
To illustrate this concept, consider a common trait – clumsiness. It’s safe to say that most people would prefer not to be clumsy, but some are, for whatever reasons. Imagine a situation where a clumsy person drops their fork while eating in a restaurant, causing a loud noise as the fork hits the plate.
Someone with little awareness or concept of equanimity may immediately feel embarrassed and apologize to the companions at their table. They may even acknowledge the noise they made and apologize to others around them.
But is it necessary to feel embarrassed and apologize for dropping a fork, or any other clumsy behavior that doesn’t have a negative impact on someone else? Consider this situation through the lens of equanimity – you dropped your fork, it made a noise. That’s it. It’s not inherently a bad or embarrassing act, until you bring judgment and assumptions to it. By reacting and apologizing, you are assuming that those around you were disturbed by your falling fork. But why would you make that unnecessary assumption? Certainly the act is not so disturbing that an apology is needed. No one will remember you dropping your fork. But they will remember a grand acknowledgement and apology for something so trivial.
When you don’t bring judgment to a situation, it’s easy to stay calm and composed, even when things may be startling. And while I find myself weaving equanimity into every part of my life, I find it really works so well (and is very personally satisfying) when dealing with psychic vampires.
So here we arrive at a second definition. The term psychic vampire was coined by Anton LaVey; it’s first mentioned in The Satanic Bible in the Nine Satanic Statements, and is later fully defined in The Book of Lucifer’s “Not All Vampires Suck Blood!” There are many lengthy descriptions that define the essence of a psychic vampire, I will quote some that paraphrase the definition well:
- “Many people who walk the earth practice the fine art of making others feel responsible and even indebted to them, without cause…Psychic vampires are individuals who drain others of their vital energy.” (p. 75)
- “Is there a person you often call or visit, even though you really don’t want to, because you know you will feel guilty if you don’t? Or, do you find yourself constantly doing favors for one who doesn’t come forward and ask, but hints?” (p. 75)
- “They are much too crafty to make overt demands upon you, because they know you would resent it, and would have a tangible and legitimate reason for denying them.” (p. 76)
- “Therefore, be wary of anyone who seems to have no real friends…He will usually tell you he is very selective in his choice of friends, or doesn’t make friends easily because of the high standards he sets for his companions…But he will hasten to add that you fulfill every requirement and are truly an outstanding exception among men – you are one of the very few worthy of his friendship.” (p. 78)
As you’re reading these statements, I’m sure you’re scanning your mind to think of someone in your life who’s like this. And if you have no one, congratulations! You have set really appropriate boundaries!
LaVey points out that we may be quick to deem someone a psychic vampire based on the information above, however we must consider the net benefit that we get from our relationship with them. “…if a friend is in the habit of calling upon you for help at inopportune moments, but you similarly depend upon them to give your immediate needs priority, you must regard it as a fair exchange” (p. 78). Relationships are complicated – people may exhibit psychic vampiric tendencies sometimes, but at other times they are your perfect counterpart or companion. If it works for you, that’s fine, but be prepared to deal with their vampiric tendencies and preserve your vital energy.
LaVey illustrates the best and most Satanic way to deal with these types of people. Consider this situation – a psychic vampire (PV) in your life is up to their old tricks again, and has given you something unexpectedly – perhaps a gift out of the blue, or maybe they did something for you without your asking. Don’t be a fool! The intention of this PV’s gift is to make you indebted to them in the future, but of course they would never say so outright, it’s all part of their weird game.
What’s the best course of action? Approach the situation with EQUANIMITY of course. LaVey refers to it as playing dumb, and recommends one to “…act as though [the psychic vampire is] genuinely altruistic and really [expects] nothing in return. Teach them a lesson by graciously taking what they give you, thanking them loudly enough for all to hear, and walking away!” (p. 79) This illustrates equanimity in such a fine way that it makes me smile. In this situation, approaching the PV’s gift with equanimity means that you view the gift as just that, a gift. There is no assumption that something needs to be given in return. There’s no assumption that a debt has been created. You view the gift as just that – a gift – and say thank you!
This is a powerful act! Not only are you protecting your vital energy by discontinuing the PV’s weird cycle of gifts and debt, but you are also dictating your expectations and terms for the relationship. This is like a little bit of lesser magic – by bringing equanimity, you are creating exactly the relationship that you want. Once the PV realizes that you are a Satanist, the highest embodiment of human life, who will not fall victim to their manipulations, they will either change their behavior or move on to another victim. Either way, you win – you have the exact relationship you want with the PV (sometimes, in the instance of family or coworkers, this is the best outcome), or they leave you alone.
And if you are a psychic vampire – take heed! Beware of the Satanist – he is ready and willing to geelfully drive the proverbial stake through your heart!p. 80
All quoted material comes directly from The Satanic Bible by Anton Szandor LaVey, unless otherwise linked or noted.
Interpretations are my own; I am not a spokesperson for, nor endorsed by, the Church of Satan or any other entity.