Olives;The Left Hand Perspective


I have written specifically about the Left Hand Path here, and I have made reference to it in several other posts; but what does it actually mean to live life from a Left Hand Path perspective?

Well it can mean many things and my personal answer certainly can’t be seen as the definitive one, but to me above all else the Left Hand Path means honesty.

The Left Hand Path means acknowledging and working with those aspects of ourselves that are often considered to be dark or bad. It does not mean rejecting those aspects of ourselves which are generally thought to be good and wholesome. I am kind, I am generous, I am patient and empathic, I try to help people when I can.  I am gentle and tolerant. I like Bambi and Disney movies. I like diplomacy and refined language. I like romance and flowers and  tender moments of intimacy with my lover. I like ice cream and lollypops. However; I also like olives…

I can be cruel. I can be mean. I can be short tempered and harsh. I generally take care of myself before I think about others. I can be sarcastic and judgmental. I like porn and horror movies.  I sometimes curse and swear like a trooper. I sometimes like to fuck like an animal on heat. I’ve done drugs and enjoyed them. I like alcohol and cigarettes. And all these things are equally as true of me as the nicer, more socially acceptable things are. That’s the truth about me.

And it may well be the truth about most people. However most religions and philosophies start off from the position that the good and wholesome things are the only parts of ourselves that should be cultivated, and the other side is either bad, avoided or ignored. Moreover they are often blind to the fact that the so called good things can be just as negative if taken to extremes or if not balanced by wisdom.

Left Hand spiritual paths look at the things the Christionized world labels as bad in a different way. I have an innate ability to be cruel. Appalling? Maybe, but also possibly useful. Being harsh may be more effective in some circumstances than being patient. Being judgmental can also mean being true to your feelings and not sitting on the fence.

Left Hand traditions also take things like horror, violence and other taboos and reexamine them. In the pain, the loss, the separation that all those things we fear threaten, we see how fragile life is and appreciate it with new relish. We explore societies dark corners and the sewers of our own mind with the intention above all things of not being consumed, but rising above the depravity we find. But we don’t pretend it isn’t there.

Over time I have come to appreciate that as much as I like sweetness and light (and I do) I also like bitterness and dark. I still like sucking children’s sweets or licking an ice cream, but I have come to enjoy the saltiness of olives and the kick of nicotine much more. I like the way my heart flutters with the first pangs of love or the first tender kiss but I also want and need to be bound and whipped and fucked until I am wailing like a banshee.

Overall, my tastes, my dreams, my priorities, my essence, my soul are more dark than light. In the more traditional Right Hand Paths there would be too much of myself to deny. There would be too many aspects of my being that I would be told to repress or be ashamed of. And I believe there are millions of people like me who are desperately trying to fit into “acceptable” traditions who must feel very uncomfortable because they just don’t really fit there.

But here is the point; everyone who has a spiritual dimension to their lives is looking for personal gnosis and progression. It doesn’t matter if you are left hand or right hand oriented; the fact that you seek out spiritual books or web-sites, investigate philosophy, try to meet with like minded people in Churches, Synagogues, Temples or Covens means that you are motivated towards personal development and spiritual growth. That being the case you have to start with an honest appraisal of who and what you are. Different vehicles will suit different people. In reality I think a lot more genuine searchers would consider left hand paths such as Satanism if it were not in itself such a taboo within Chrsitianized society

Christianity and most other right hand paths emphasize personal denial. They claim that you should put the good (by which they usually mean the rules) of your God, your guru or your community above your own. The Left Hand Path in contrast puts the self front and center. (That sentence alone will be an anathema to many people’s beliefs and values). However it seems to me that putting yourself at the center of your personal growth plan is logical and sensible. It does not mean that you cannot be kind and generous to the wider community; in fact you are likely to do so in a much more honest and effective way.

The Left Hand path does not mean being bad or elevating the more socially unacceptable parts of your persona. It simply means recognizing the truth of who you are and working with that. It means dealing with your shadow side and becoming a more whole person. Of course in theory that can also happen from a Right Hand Path perspective, but in my experience it often doesn’t.

Ideally both LHP and RHP should work to integrate the good and the bad, the light and the dark to help build more evolved and rounded spiritual people. My criticism of Right Hand Paths is that some of them have become too polarized to achieve that. Some Left Hand Paths may have the same fault, but to me they offer fertile ground to those of us who cannot fit into the Right Hand view of life.

Some of us will always prefer olives.


8 Comments on “Olives;The Left Hand Perspective”

  1. CatLane says:

    Wow – we have had such vastly different experiences of what Left vs RIght means! I am far more inclined t olives than Disney movies – not that it would have occured to me to categorize personal aesthetic like that.I would say I am RHP not at all because I favour fluffy bunnies and repressing my darksides, in fact that idea makes me cringe, that it would be seen that way. In years of grueling analysis I worked with my own – capacity for pettiness, anger, vengefulness and so on. In many ore years of initiatic training I learned to master and utilize those same traits as well as to recognize their role in human development. Nowhere in my work was I ever encouraged to repress, to be dishonest, or to dumb down my (if I say so myself) sophisticated tastes in such things as food and music. 🙂
    At this point i my life I really dislike the whole divisive paradigm of left vs right – never more than when I hear it reduced to ice cream vs carpaccio. I am RHP for one reason alone; because I am offering my life in service of the gods. That means fitting myself to be a vessel for their work. That means understanding the paradox; that my Will is both primary and inisgnificant; and it means a deep, masterful, neverending acknowledgement of my own, and my species, so-called darkness.

    Fit into the “RHP way of life?” You should spend a week, or a month, with me sometime. I rather suspect your expressed notions about repression, piety, and Disney movies might be given a badly needed overhaul.

    • Cassie says:

      Funnily enough Cat I always agree with you far more than I think you think I do. (Does that even make sense?) LOL.
      I have deep respect for your views and your lifestyle. I guess I just express myself differently. Perhaps (almost certainly) what I have written above is vastly over simplified but it sums up what otherwise I would have to write a book about.
      On one thing though our views are quite different. You truly are RHP in the sense that you are offering your life in the service of the Gods and indeed in the service of the animals and people who depend on you. You have my utmost respect for that. I can make no such claim. While (as I think you know) I try to be kind and helpful whenever possible, I am resolutely LHP insofar as everything I do is motivated by what is best for myself. For me to claim otherwise would be a lie.

  2. tfaswift says:

    Hi Cassie, well after re-inserting my eyeballs which fell out somewhere during paragraph four, LOL, I’m really curious to ask what you mean exactly by “cruel”. I mean, I’m assuming (desperately hoping) that you’re not referring to torturing animals or anything (and if you are then please don’t answer me!), but assuming that’s not it, how would you feel about writing a post on that subject? I’m curious to know what your definition of cruelty is and what exactly you do that is “cruel”. If I’m being too nosy, just say so. I already know that I ask too many questions!

    • Cassie says:

      Sorry for causing your eyeballs to pop out; I hope they are safely re-inserted! I do get a bit fruity sometimes! You don’t ask too many questions, indeed I find your curiosity charming and very welcome. I will take up your prompt to write something about cruelty. The short answer is I abhor cruelty of all types even though I know that (in theory) I could be capable of it. I have to admit that judging by some of the responses to this post, I did not express myself very well this time, perhaps I tried to over simplify too much. Perhaps the Scarlet Fever is effecting my brain! I’ll try and do better next time.

      • tfaswift says:

        I hope that people don’t give you a hard time (that’s certainly not my intention!). It is your blog, after all, and you should be free to express your views without people giving you a hard time. If they don’t like it, they can write the opposite point of view on their own blog. That’s my policy anyway. I only like to leave positive feedback, or at most to ask for more info, like I did up there. Nothing wrong with being fruity! LOL.

  3. ladyimbrium says:

    I have two hands. I need both hands to fight, to play a flute, to weed a garden, to caress a lover, to ride a horse, to cook or clean. Why should I be any different because I begin to speak of things less physical? In my mind and in my daily practice the physical and the spiritual are one and the same- by which I mean that *being* overlaps into both the physical and spiritual worlds.

    I know that my preference is to care for others. I know that I have the ability and desire to defend that which I believe to be of value. I also know that if I do not take care of myself- make sure that I am healthy and at least marginally happy and safe- then I will never be able to take up the duties of my work. I must use both hands here as well. I must be at my best, and sometimes that requires taking time off to indulge my desires. This is neither right nor left handed.

    To expand on your metaphor, I prefer very dark chocolate 😉

  4. […] Yes, I like to challenge my readers and I know you guys are all up for it or you wouldn’t be here on my blog. This isn’t exactly the easy, breezy, (queasy), Cover Girl (whatever it is) thing. Mind you, LOL, my blog feels like Barbie’s doll house compared to Cassie’s. […]

  5. Ravemore says:

    Well said Sister…

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