Autodidact: self-taught


The Full Spectrum

by V. L. Craven

The Harry Potter books didn’t make me a Satanist. I’ve always viewed the world differently than my peers. Not better or worse, just different. There is some use in viewing the world as others do, but it’s also nice not to. Always a bit darker than others. Those things (Chas Addams,Tim Burton, E.A. Poe, etc) didn’t make me what I am, they appealed to me because I already was who I was. Not any more than a veterinarian becomes an animal lover because he’s a vet. He’s a vet because he loves animals.

The claims of Christian nutjobs that the HP phenomenon introduces vulnerable children to the dark side did arouse my curiosity about what ‘real’ Satanists believe. So I looked into it and discovered that, actually, I’d been a Satanist my entire life. Real Satanists would never harm a child or animal. They believe in the attempt at perfection of humanity–in being responsible for one’s own decisions. It has a great deal in common with Existentialism, a philosophy that optimists (the most frequently disappointed people in history) find depressing.

Satanists are quite straightforward people. We accept the darker side of human nature as being just that–natural to humans, we also appreciate the lighter side of humans–the ability to help one another. You cannot have one without the other. Ignoring either side deprives the observer of true appreciating the full capacity of the human spirit.

Those who fear the darker side of humanity fear the darkness within themselves. Rather than acknowledging it and choosing to be better than their baser urges simply because they are able to do so, they say they are doing so because a supernatural being says they should. Because a supernatural being threatens them with eternal punishment if they don’t strive for perfection.

Which is more desirable, choosing to be the person you want to be of your own volition, under your own personal belief in the human capacity for goodness, with the acknowledgement of the bad alongside the good, or being threatened into compliance?

Some people don’t see it as a threat, but as love. I always wonder about those peoples’ relationships with their parents. ‘I wouldn’t punish you so severely if I didn’t love you. If I didn’t know you were capable of being better than you are. Without me you’re nothing–I gave you the rules to live by, without which you’d have no more sense than an animal.’

Yes, humans are animals, but animals that have evolved by using common sense. The ones most likely to survive are the ones most willing to help their fellow animals, and, thereby, be helped by them in return. This is an amazing thing–the evolution of manners. Everything being created within one second–people being fully-formed instantaneously–is simplistic. Surely, a complex being would create complex creatures. But many seem to believe that a simplistic being, who sets black and white rules, created simplistic beings, that are purely good or purely evil.

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