In times past that accounted for successive generations over the period, there relatively has been a connection between the 'way to life' and 'characteristic of group persons' who constitute or make up every society. This however is predicated off the generality of interest usually attributed toward an end. Two possible terminologies which come to mind's bearing from such tendencies typical of the present age should we resort for a comparison is that of a 'philosophy' and 'psychology', which no doubt took and derived their source from the association of such interpreted modes.

An accurate definitive account might help substantiate the value of such claim, as I shall try to expostulate its truth by a further reference to dictionary definitions of the terminology "philosophy".

The Oxford dictionary defines philosophy in two ways:

1a. "The search for knowledge and understanding of the nature and meaning of the universe and of human life." This strikes an advanced description of my choice definition and unfortunately lacks the intended grip to grasp the claim, and sadly leaves me the option of descending the stairs of my already embarked diction inquiry.

1b. "A particular set or system of beliefs resulting from the search for knowledge." Still, this lacks my intended quotient from definition.

2. "A set of beliefs or an attitude to life (which best fits my description of way to life) that is a guiding principle for behaviour."

In attempting to grasp what Satanism represents, we shall have to look at what Contemporary Satanism is from the definition of Sir Magus Peter. H. Gilmore, offered in his well-detailed essay; Satanism: The feared Religion. It is given as “a brutal religion of Eliticism and social Darwinism which seeks to re-instate the able over idiotic, of swift Justice over injustice and for a wholesale rejection of egalitarianism as a myth that has crippled the advancement of the human species over the last two thousand years.” I shall concentrate on elucidating constructively, the psychological note and intent on the concept of social Darwinism in the religious play of Satanism, as it may be a predominant question which comes to mind's bearing when yielded to a questioning.

Charles Darwin, the famous English proponent of the 'Evolutionary theory', identifies this theory with an evolutionary principle, a principle of 'Natural selection' that accounts for congruence amongst species from its concept and mode of 'Adaptation', and likewise of the transmutation of species, specifically designed a foundation for the life sciences, and subsequently becoming a source of knowledge in particular for human psychology, guided with its implications for human life. This view when aligned with the construct of social civilization from a comparison is obviously the case, and is no doubt evidently secure within its firm postulations of successive transitions, and unceasing in its upward continuation along such lines as equally confirmed by the Emersonian spiral of majestic growth.

In same breadth, every aspiring and striving being can become the better for the individual that be, without any limitation associated with the course of its continual quest. This is similar to the atmosphere created and endorsed by Satanism when it implies the concept of social Darwinism; a society constantly motivated by its contemporal nature and challenging desire for growth, which acknowledges while it affirms of dispersion and extinction, both as evolutionary formulae to eliminating static and unproductive trends. Invariably, the question precipitating around its elitist status assumingly becomes answerable thus, on such psychological interpretation given social Darwinism in a simple construct of common sense. On the other hand, the mythical assumption of egalitarianism not only becomes an erroneous doctrine with no place in its scheme, but one to be shunned and left out altogether owing to the culture of individual diversity in its variance, and also one to be restricted and banned within all strata of society.

Satanism as a religion I think features the thriving of pragmatism in its entire ramification and likewise advocates its adoption as a tool within its philosophy, and to understand this as to why it does, we must pry into the meaning of the word “pragmatism.”

In philosophy, it is a method and theory of truth. As a method, it resolves metaphysical disputes by requesting practical consequences of any suggested idea. As a theory of truth, it holds or maintains that ideas are true, so long as they are satisfactory; they are satisfactory so long as they are consistent with other ideas, can conform to facts, and can be subjected to the test of practice and experience. To students of philosophy, such origin of pragmatism is attributed to Charles Sanders Pierce, who conceived this idea after an exposure to the philosophical writings and works of Immanuel Kant – a German philosopher – particularly in his 'Metaphysics of morals'. Pierce held that “the whole meaning of an idea is determined by its conceivable practical bearings and possible sense effects.” William James when emphasizing the reality of particular sensible experience made a further elaboration on Pierce's philosophy.

John Dewey accounted an addition to this school of thought by postulating that the proper use of intelligence is to liberate and liberalize action for the satisfaction of needs. Schiller, emphasized that “philosophy as a theory of life is practical, and not a speculative affair, and that the philosophical method should be scientific and based on experience.” (History of philosophy eastern and western, vol.II, p.336-353. George Allen and Unwin. London.1953. See frank Magill, masterpieces of world philosophy in summary form, p. 779-787. George Allen and Unwin. London.1953).

In further expounding his ideas of pragmatism, Dewey identified concepts and theories as instruments, which he identified as “mental modes of adaptation to reality.” How then does Satanism adapt to such reality?

In corroboration of such philosophical worldview on pragmatism, the ontological perspective of anthropomorphism is nullified and subsequently deemed a fallacy given its inconsistency and non-conforming mode to reality bothering around its principle and system of validation. On the other hand, Satanism identifies with the concept of non-anthropomorphism as a mental mode and instrument that adapts and conforms to practical reality, when it implies and interprets Satan as being “an exteriorized and amplified identity of the dark potential permeated by the individual Satanist.” This, indeed, a fact intended specifically to be conveyed in clarification of the 'Satanic Statement', “Satan represents vital existence instead of spiritual pipe dreams”, and to be found in the 'Nine Satanic Statements' as codified by Sir Dr. A. Szandor Lavey. (See the nine Satanic Statements).

In essence, every religious view within its scope of deification that ascribes and advocates a metaphysical explanation for whatsoever entity it bears as its symbol of worship unfortunately tours the contingent, introspective and speculative path of anthropomorphism. It is at this point very necessary to indicate a differentiation between 'Satanism' and 'Devil worship', which integrates and incorporates the idea of Satan as “an entity” within its practices, and absolutely not a system aligned with Satanism granted such contrasting and diverse overview of dogma. The Satanist can thus be said a symbol of practical existence marked with the ultimate significance bestowed deification on individuality.

Without wasting time, I shall then now proceed to expound on Satanism's philosophical foundations duly engraved in its 'basic tenets', for most of its doctrinal explanations and dogmatic assertions derive grounds principally from the secure and sure strength of its firm foothold.

The philosophy of Individualism in Satanism I think is one that shares a basic and acquiescent psychological perspective accounted for in our deduction on 'psychologism', 'methodological individualism', and 'transindividualism'. Where in the difference comes is but for the subsequent acquaintance of its interpretation to accommodate a religious philosophy whose implication reduces all aspect of action and responsibility to its individual members. Here, the notion 'action' is linked in way with 'responsibility'. In cases with references to action, it is in direction of accounting for behaviour in terms of man's desires, intentions and purposes, to which only he is held liable. While synchronically, such behavioural trends are equally traceable and channeled in line to the generality of interests which derive its source from a composition of individual responsibilities, since it is deemed a dangerous fallacy to attribute to a group a purpose or responsibility of its own which is not that of its individual members.

With emphasis duly shed in this respect, a further probe of such philosophy as individualism for Satanism reveals a great deal of variance between its members and indicates a diversity which is reflective of a 'dissonance than 'harmony' as most would rather think. Unfortunately, the reverse I think is the case. But then again, how can its truth be illustrated?

A recap of principles employed by philosophers of the pre-Socratic era upon which past and present civilizations take their toll show this in fragments which are translations from Diels and Kranz, Die Fragmente der vorsokratiker.

Heraclitus: the flowing philosophy
8. “What is in opposition is useful, and from different things is the fairest harmony” (and all things arise from strife.) (Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics viii.1.1155a4.)

51. They do not grasp how what is at variance with itself is in accord: harmony is stretched tension, like that of the bow and lyre. (Hippolytus of Rome, Refutatio omnium Haeresium ix.9.1.)

111. Disease makes health pleasant and good, hunger satiety, weariness rest (lbid.iii.1.177.)

Heraclitus found no fixed unchanging character for being, as opposed to the Ecleatics who sought the principle in unity, but held that all things are in a flux in which opposites are united – “strife is the father of all things” – and unity is constituted by conflict and contradiction. Also, the Pythagoreans of the time who found the principle of things in numbers, held that the principle of nature are numbers, which they conceived as sensible entities rather than abstractions, whose elements and therefore of all things are basic contraries like odd and mean, limited and unlimited, one and many. Another was Anaxagoras who reverted from both finite and infinite sensible principles and a single intelligible principle to seek infinite sensible principles. Democritus also sought the infinite principles in the atoms, which move and congregate into larger composites, and collide with each other in the void. The Sophists on the other hand placed thought in the phenomenal framework of the experience of man subsequently conditioned by his perspective and emotion, which lead them to express scepticism concerning changeless being, eternal truths, and in general what is figured to transcend experience. (See western psychology. G & L. Murphy.)

From such adequate account, it therefore can be proffered and concluded thus that 'harmony' is simply a blend or composition of Opposites or variances. This is in tone with that reflected of a system manned by a philosophical trend as individualism, bringing to attention a pertinent issue as 'proselytizing' which Satanism disapproves, and subsequently a standpoint which derives its footings from within such conclusive and inseparable role of harmony, duly emphasized in the ninth Satanic Statement “Satan has been the best friend of the church for it has kept it in business over the years.” This stands a fact that needs no changing whatsoever given such frontier views and conventions. Now, is it thus not vivid as to why the aspect of “group hugs” not being a part of the repertoire or the refutation of the “Evil” status a question which interferes with the swift backstage act of Satanism?

Individualism, I think, further, is the first response assumed in direction of the pronunciatum “I am, I exist” or if you like it plainly the Descartes' way, 'Cogito ergo sum', translated as “I think I am, therefore I think I exist.” Meaning if we must adequately apprehend the philosophy of nature and its reality, we then must accommodate a psychology whose constructs are structured after principles upon which confident assertions are given based on one's own existence. This desire to further devise such confident assertions reside basically on sound observations and reasonable deductions of the reality of itself, figuratively assumed to be the “I”, a denotation of the first individual (person) singular – a path way to “GREATER MAGIC.” Such thoughts as they exist possess an endearing conscious process which in turn yields and proves the existence of enduring substances as the Ego, Self, the first individual (person) singular that subsequently remains unchanged. In a hair's breadth, while “Individualism” has going for it a Self-reliant psychology, the philosophy of Satanism bestows it the confidence of vital existence.

To further proceed, philosophers and scientists – Stoics and Epicureans – of the Hellenistic age, a period after the death of Alexander the great, devoted much attention to seeking foundations for inquiries in preliminary determination of standards by which truth and probability are ascertained and thus certified. Such philosophic inquiry whose problems are reflected along new lines, such as the problems of moral and ethics, led to a reorientation and expansion of inquiries into the nature of the passions and emotions. Conception for the Stoic on the function of the mind labeled the passions “perturbations” and the study of these a necessary subordinate of a moral system in which the influence of the perturbations of the mind is controlled or eliminated by reason and duty. The seventeenth century saw Descartes in his 'treatise on the passions' apply the scientific method to the passions. Though distinct the procedures were of coming to such fulfillment, it must not be ignored that such inspirations are derived from elaboration of Stoic schematisms for the classification and enumeration of the passions. In retrospect, the Epicureans on the other hand bore the conviction of virtue being in accordance with man's own nature. This objective can be obtained if fear and ignorance – particularly fear of the gods and ignorance of the nature of the world – were reduced or eliminated, since man would then act in response to natural forces rather than to the suppressive and inhibitive whims of anxiety and superstition. For them, the object of such achievement and criterion of success was indulgence. (See THE STOICS AND THE EPICUREANS: THE WAY TO LIVE. R.P. Mckeon.)

With thus such an account lingering, it is observed to this day that many still bear cuffs of ignorance and fear whose influence extends to acts and responses which go way beyond individual apprehension – in most cases into oblivion of inexistence and unreality – monitored by the enslaving grip of abstinence.

Indulgence as a Satanic virtue I think, is a standard patterned after the Phantasia kataleptike of the individual whose lustful cravings are aimed at physical, mental upliftment or emotional gratification duly extolled by a submission of will in distinctions marked of a subtle mind. Its process is simply an apprehension of natural presentations – an aspect aligned with “LESSER MAGIC”, that reflect “fancy” coined from impressions which are cast subsequently by the spontaneity of imagination.

At this point, if we are to recall properly the principle of social Darwinism which aligns with the principle of societal transition taking it source of explanation from the scientific and evolutionary principle of the transmutation of species, implies an agreement with the maxim (though some might want to pass it for paradoxical which is not so the case) of “man being just another animal on all fours.” This in concordance with the seventh Satanic Statement sees man, who to this effect possesses the animal propensity from attachment to, and cravings that duly need to be exercised to fulfill its carnal desires, and none that Satanism denies or interferes with when codifying the Satanic Statement “Satan represents indulgence not abstinence!”

If we agree to, and accept the explanations and constructs of social Darwinism, then we may as well play along and see man just as another animal. If man is then another animal, this endows him with instinctual propensities and innate cravings and desires that must be satisfied practically by indulgence as the sole response. If we are to accept the premises, then must we embrace the conclusion!

It is unmistakable to notice that all references from emphasis made subsequently in the course of discussion are arrowed toward the nine Satanic Statements. Why this, many is may want to ask, with some on the other hand demanding reasons to know if and why the satanic statement assumes precedence with regard to importance over “the Satanic sins” and “the Satanic rules of the earth.” To answer this series of questions intelligibly and in a row would be to re-define Satanism from a personal perspective as to unveil certain knowledge distorted by impressions cast in previous and regularized conventions of traditional religions. I think if I were to define Satanism, due regard and priority would be accorded its principles, which can equally be passed for its tenets. To my knowledge, 'Individualism' as the first philosophy of Satanism strikingly stands a basis which reflects a predominant status within its philosophical recordings, since it apprehends the issue of organization from a narrow perspective of what I would want to see as the individual's ideology which I see as giving first hand credence to personal principles and philosophies as it stands to be.

Secondly, “Indulgence” as a Satanic philosophy revolves basically about individual conduct and constructively gains its alignment from virtue of practice, while “Stratification”, a third, categorically centers about organizational aim or objective. We thus then can create a serial note to interpret the basic tenets as:

1. Individualism – organization
2. Indulgence – practice
3. Stratification – objective

If we then are to define Satanism, it implies defining a religion based on its organization, whose philosophy as it is, centers about individualism, with indulgence a practice, and stratification a major objective, or defining it in terms of organization, practice and objective. This apparently features a distinct mark in the brilliant definition by Sir Magus P.H. Gilmore, High priest of the Church of Satan.

I shall then proceed to define Satanism with attention to the “Satanic Statements”.

If we are to define Satanism, this implies defining the individual Satanist from a lucid interpretation and representation of Satan in a truly non-anthropomorphic sense, which I think the “nine Satanic Statements” sufficiently does in the codified works of Sir Dr. A. Lavey, founder of the Church of Satan. I should however lay careful emphasis here, that while the Statements defines Satanism in its entirety, I think the “Satanic rules of the earth” structurally configures its organization while its puts every single aspect of it in place, and the “Satanic sins” serving as guidelines to identifying contrary obstacles of its objectives. With these then apparent, it therefore means “The Satanic Statements”, “The Satanic Sins”, and “The Rules of the Earth” are all key players in the act of Satanism.

I would at this level want us to analyze briefly the aspect of behaviour, an aspect that I hope to relate of its importance to Satanism in time.

It is a matter of fact that the instinctual attitude of self-preservation in man is out rightly determined by an intrinsic spur that owes its origin to the impulsive quest for survival, an end which reflects in its entirety the all natural opiate of self-love. For man, such impulsive quest for survival when implied from a non-teleological note can be similar to a 'mechanistic drive' that accounts for the arousal of behaviour, which is prevalent in connection of such stimuli resultant from the existence of 'need'. This, when applied and related with the Darwinian perspective of 'Natural Selection' effects a necessary and essential conditioning of 'Adaptation' in its mode of congruence for species, a tendency aroused in non-teleological laws or a given set of internal conditions to determining the direction of behaviour. While there might be the absence of claim to the discovery of conditions which determine the direction of behaviour, S – R theories (stimuli – response) have been able to ascribe non-teleological explanation of directed behaviour to “the capacities of stimulus cues that could be innate or acquired to elicit reactions, and not attributed to drives and motives” since these are typical cases of undirected behaviour. If we were to, at this point, adopt the concept of “survival,” a tendency exhibited by the human species, the non-teleological explanation of S – R theorists on stimulus cues to effect a reaction then, reflects a good measure of plausibility considering its associated reaction attributed to an instinctive stimulus cue; this reveals the possibility for human behaviour to be directed. The big question however at this point becomes how and to what extent this can be done.

On how this can be done, all assumptions surrounding the definition of behaviour in its direction towards a certain aim, purpose or goal are first to be eliminated, while arousing conditions in form of impending circumstances be duly regarded as determining conditions. This way, there could be an attempt to account for the vital key elements of 'releasing and directing' stimuli, an important and necessary aspect of conditioning, given Timbergen's theory specifically fashioned to account for behaviour.

To what extent the direction of behaviour can be achieved is, I think, dependent absolutely on its determining condition or circumstance, since such can alternatively by tact be made to assume a process which engages the release and direction of stimuli that accounts subsequently for a given set of internal conditions prompting the arousal and direction of behaviour in its determining path. If however we are to recap on survival as a “drive” that accounts for the arousal of behaviour in connection with stimuli propelled by need,” then we must compensate equally such account to the existence of associated stimuli by method of successive repetition.

First, if we must proceed, then an acknowledgement of 'need' N as a conditioning for 'stimuli arousal' S effects a 'drive' X that subsequently accounts for behaviour B, must be our intended course. With this a case, B becomes undirected in that X yields from the existence of N in a goal. If we then eliminate the goal from N, it spontaneously implies a deprivation and extinction of X in B, and a retarded and subsequently diminished response to S from N, while an introduction or release of S precipitating about the same origins of N would equally yield an exact response in B directed not in terms of N. We may thus attribute to this process an orientation that wheels the subsequent formulation of B from a re-introduction of S. In a similar way, if we are to accommodate the Empiricist theory on idea of learning by frequent repetition of associated stimuli, then we can obviously assume same goes for the direction of behaviour in this regard without necessarily paving way for unjust prejudices in totally eroding the concept of fair judgment.

In ceteris paribus, the next question in queue from such deduction on behaviour, is most apparently in view of its concept in relation to the philosophy of Satanism, which unfortunately is a discuss whose range is somewhat extensive to be accommodated in a material not intended specifically for the purpose.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."