Buddhism, Taoism and Satanism

Almost certainly Satanism is most often compared and contrasted with Christianity and the other Abrahamic faiths. My own path owes relatively little to these beliefs but        my girlfriend is a Buddhist and it is a religion I have always respected. Also I have always been impressed with Taoism and in many ways I still regard myself as a Taoist as well as a Satanist. I apologize in advance to any Buddhists or Taoists that are reading this post as my brief summaries of those religions are surely vast over-simplifications. Buddhism and Taoism are major and complicated religions with long histories and I certainly couldn’t do justice to explaining them in this short post. What I would like to do however is show some areas in which, while they might be very different, they are at least “compatible” with Satanism.

One area of similarity is that in principle all three religions are atheistic while in practice they are sometimes not. Some Satanists like myself are theistic but LaVeyan Satanism certainly isn’t. Buddhism generally does not accept the idea of a personal God but some Buddhists incorporate various deities into their beliefs and rituals. Taoism allows for deities but these are seen as emanating from The Tao itself and so are not Gods in the Abrahamic sense but may be more similar to Pagan Gods. But something that is perhaps the most similar theme in Buddhism, Taoism and Satanism is that the key and core of the religions are all about personal development and evolution rather than veneration or worship of a king-like God.

(Some of the following key facts are taken from the BBC Religions website.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions )

Buddhism is a tradition that focuses on personal spiritual development and the attainment of a deep insight into the true nature of life. Buddhists seek to reach a state of nirvana, following the path of the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, who went on a quest for Enlightenment around the sixth century BC.

Well Satanism also focuses on personal development and the attainment of deep insights into the true nature of life, perhaps starting with the true nature of one’s self. We do not however confine ourselves to following the path of any particular individual although of course we can choose to learn lessons from whomever we wish.

There is no belief in a personal god. Buddhists believe that nothing is fixed or permanent and that change is always possible.

Well a minority of Satanists do believe Satan is a God, however what they actually mean by “God” is likely to vary considerably from person to person. Overall, I doubt that many Satanists would find much to argue with in the above statement.

The path to Enlightenment is through the practice and development of morality, meditation and wisdom.

Satanists might add the practice and study of magic to the above statement and our view of morality may be more personal and subjective than what Buddhists believe in. Meditation is not such a priority for us (although I might argue that magic doesn’t really work without it) but Satanists can certainly choose to practice meditation.

Buddhists believe that life is both endless and subject to impermanence, suffering and uncertainty. These states are called the tilakhana, or the three signs of existence. Existence is endless because individuals are reincarnated over and over again, experiencing suffering throughout many lives.

It is impermanent because no state, good or bad, lasts forever. Our mistaken belief that things can last is a chief cause of suffering.

I would guess that most Satanists would regard the above statements as an interesting area for debate and some may find the assertions to be true.

Overall, while there may be big differences between Buddhism and Satanism, their common ground is that they are both very personal and very practical and their objectives (personal and spiritual development without reliance on an outside deity) are quite similar. Taoism also shares these commonalities.

I have thought of myself as Taoist in essence since my early twenties, so I can say from personal experience that Taoism is both very simple and very complicated. It is easy to understand if you just go with it; and almost impossible if you don’t! I have to say that even as a fully fledged Satanist there is almost nothing in Taoism that I disagree with, hence the bulk of the following description is taken directly from the BBC site mentioned previously with only a few notes and comments from me.

Taoism is an ancient tradition of philosophy and religious belief that is deeply rooted in Chinese customs and worldview.

Taoism is about the Tao. This is usually translated as the Way. But it’s hard to say exactly what this means. The Tao is the ultimate creative principle of the universe. All things are unified and connected in the Tao.

(I think there is a deep resonance between the nature of The Tao and the way in which magic works.)

  • Taoism originated in China 2000 years ago
  • It is a religion of unity and opposites; Yin and Yang. 

Yin Yang is the principle of natural and complementary forces, patterns and things that depend on one another and do not make sense on their own.

These may be masculine and feminine, but they could be darkness and light (which is closer to the original meaning of the dark and light sides of a hill), wet and dry or action and inaction.

These are opposites that fit together seamlessly and work in perfect harmony. You can see this by looking at the yin yang symbol.

The yin yang concept is not the same as Western dualism, because the two opposites are not at war, but in harmony.

This point is very important to me as a practitioner of a Left Hand Path because in my view it implies that whatever perspective you come from, harmony is the key. From a Satanic point of view it means that only by embracing and integrating the darker side of ourselves can we become whole.

  • The Tao is not God and is not worshipped. Taoism includes many deities, that are worshipped in Taoist temples, they are part of the universe and depend, like everything, on the Tao
  • Taoism promotes:
    • achieving harmony or union with nature
    • the pursuit of spiritual immortality
    • being ‘virtuous’ (but not ostentatiously so)
    • self-development

Personally I find nothing to dispute in the above statements (although some other Satanists might disagree).Once again, self development is key. I would equate Satan and his demons, all magical entities and perhaps all the pagan pantheons with the deities worshiped in Taoism; as being part of and emanating from the ultimate creative force of the universe. I also see this view as something that can coexist perfectly with a rational and scientific explanation of the universe.
The Taoist concept of virtue is also interesting and I believe fully compatible with satanic ideas and morality.

Te is usually translated as virtue, but this translation uses some Confucian ideas and can be confusing.

Another way of looking at Te is an awareness of the Tao together with the capabilities that enable a person to follow the Tao.

According to the BBC, Professor Victor Mair suggests that a better translation is integrity. He writes:

There is something fundamentally honest and psychologically healthy in being oneself and striding forward with one’s vision facing directly ahead, instead of trying at every turn to satisfy abstract standards of goodness established by a reigning orthodoxy. This is what Te  is all about.

And it seems to me that the above sentiment is also what Satanism is all about. Of course Te will not call all of us to become Satanists because we all have a unique and different set of experiences and characteristics to harmonize and balance. However I think that most Satanists, indeed most people, would profit from learning to be receptive to the Tao; the art of going with the flow of life rather than constantly struggling against it.

In conclusion I think there are many areas of overlap between Buddhism, Taoism and Satanism. And while I don’t mean to underplay the differences, I do think it means there are things our traditions can learn from each other; or things which we as individuals can learn from each other’s religions in our personal quest for gnosis and progression.

Satan Is To Me


15 Comments on “Buddhism, Taoism and Satanism”

  1. […] Buddhism, Taoism and Satanism […]

    • cuthwulf says:

      Hi Cassie
      I always like reading your blog. It is always thought provoking.
      I have been a Satanist for about 5 years. At one time I was interested in Buddhism.
      Re your comments about Buddhism and Satanism although there are similarities they do in my opinion differ radically.
      The main one is control.
      All Buddhist whether lay or monks should keep the precepts. Being to abstain from:-
      Harming living beings
      Taking thing not freely given
      Sexual misconduct
      False speech
      Intoxicating drinks and drugs.
      All people who call themselves Buddhist should take these precepts or be moving towards them.

      Then there are the Four Noble Truths
      Suffering does exist
      Suffering arises from attachment to desires
      Suffering ceases when attachment to desire ceases
      Freedom from suffering is possible by practicing the eightfold path

      These are the main fundamentals of Buddhist thought
      Although I think they can be quite a good method to live by for some people
      I don’t see that they would fit in with what I have experienced as the Satanist view point.
      By my understanding as a Satanist you are free to do pretty well what ever you want. You have though to take responsibility for the outcome. (Although you may be “sinless”) Which can if one wants be likened to the Buddhist concept of “cause and affect”
      Chris

      • Cassie says:

        Hi Chris.Thanks for your comments. You make very good points. Clearly there are big differences between Buddhism and Satanism which I didn’t go into detail about in this post. Were that not the case I might be more inclined to Buddhism myself rather than being a Satanist. However, anecdotally at least most of the Buddhists I have actually met tend to focus more on the practical side of Buddhism (meditation, chanting etc) with a view to personal development rather than on the legalistic precepts or the four noble truths. Hence I think there is an overlap where we can learn from each other.
        I wonder how you feel about Taoism and Satanism? I have to admit I have only recently discovered your blog, but it seems very Taoist influenced.

    • cuthwulf says:

      Hi Cassie
      Thanks for the reply.
      Firstly in respect of Buddhism I think there is a major problem in the West being that
      it is taught in the wrong way. From the Chinese Monk who taught me the precepts etc came first –adhere to the rules first then the meditation. They feel the meditation must come last. Otherwise you go down the wrong path and can mentally go all over the place.
      Taoism is something I really have not looked into much. Have read Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching and also Charles Luk’s book Taoist Yoga. He was both a Buddhist and a Taoist. Looked into Feng Shue and the I Ching. I would 100% agree with your comments that “it is both very simple and very complicated”, and “deep resonance between the nature of the Tao and the way in which magic works” The Chinese philosophy of the Tao is very very subtle and very very difficult to grasp-a bit like persons who within Buddhism try to become enlightened It can happen if you suddenly grasp it. Our indoctrination from a young age blocks it. I would also agree that to reach harmony from a Satanic view point we must embrace and integrate the darker side of ourselves.
      I feel and I could be wrong, that the Tao is in some way going with the flow of nature and the universe. Whereas Satanism seems to deal with ones innermost desires, temptations, alchemy and if you like “black” magic. To in some way make you control the forces of nature and the flow around you. Very much for YOUR use. Whereas the Tao makes one accept the natural outcome of events within the framework of the universe. Maybe both lead in the end to the same point but just handle it from different positions. I feel the Tao is softer and a much calmer process. Tao methodology can include Tai Chi or Karate etc. Satanism seems harsher in some ways, more erotic and goals can be reached much faster but I think it can be much more dangerous. Satanism seems to expound the seven deadly sins. I don’t think Taoism does.
      Satanism to me came from and was influenced by ideas in Babylon, Syria, Egypt etc whereas Taoism comes I feel from a much deeper philosophical background of Chinese thought.
      I have found that one has to be careful when reading or getting information on other religions. From experience western interpreters can be misleading. As their western training viewpoint must corrupt the teachings. But source material is in the original language.
      I think you are saying that being a Taoist you have found that accepting Satan within that framework is all part of the process of moving forward with the flow.
      In yoga they say once on the path you never stop. It’s like climbing a mountain. Only as you try to reach the top do you find other paths to use which you did not or could not have seen at the bottom.
      Like you although a Satanist I still may use my original grounding in other religions that I have looked into. And if necessary integrate them where necessary.
      Interested you think I expound thoughts influenced by Taoism. Perhaps its where I’m going and was not aware of it.
      Chaos Magic of course expounds you can use anything for your ends.
      Chris

      • Cassie says:

        Chris I have to apologize firstly because I don’t have time right now to give a longer reply and secondly because I mistook you for another commenter (hence thinking you had leanings to Taoism). I understand your point but I think Taoism is in fact more than just going with the flow of nature, it is more about recognizing that flow and working with it so it can in fact be more active and manipulative than some might suppose.

  2. […] for interesting discussion. Too long (not that long though!) to post here, so here's the link: Buddhism, Taoism and Satanism | Devil's Advocate Any […]

  3. I found your post very interesting. I found it while exploring my ever-persistent fascination with the idea of bringing Buddhism and Satanism together, which in turn springs my desire to do so and my love of Buddhist artwork alongside Satanic ideology. This has been mindbogglingly hard to do to the point that I have given up for the most part (albeit maintaining my respect for Buddhist artwork and mythology). The reason for this was because I felt that Buddhism, in its ultimate form, was about abandoning desire and self or ego, which I never believed in and always despised (this is at the root of why I started identifying as a Satanist), thus it was incompatible with my personal philosophy, and then I accepted Satanism later on. I wonder if you’re aware of these aspects of Buddhism I mentioned.

    I also like your assessment of Taoism (though I recognize it is taken from the BBC), and from it I find Taoism to be very agreeable to me and interesting (particularly the part about the gods emanating from a force known as the Tao, which I find remains of a perspective or set of instincts of my own), save for the fact that in Taoism you’re taught to go with the flow, and I never liked that idea (though something tells me I’m reacting to it in far too ideological a fashion to the point of missing the point), but then where does spiritual immortality fit in the picture?

    Once again, excellent post and interesting perspective. I wonder if you may have actually come closer to a way of reconciling Satanic and Asian ideas than me. 🙂 I must ask though, do you have anything on Hinduism?

    • Cassie & Sophie says:

      Thank you for your comments. About Hinduism, it is a long time since I studied it in any detail. My feeling however is that there are many overlaps with some Satanic ideas. Moreover I think many of the Hindu deities display two sides (for example destructive and creative) which can seem opposites but are in fact complimentary. The notion of the Left Hand Path itself has tantric origins which derive from certain schools of Hindu thinking. Thus even destructive deities and their followers are not seen as evil but as an important aspect of a whole. Forgive me for this terrible over simplification, but I’m a little short of time right now! Sophie may be more knowledgeable on this and might come back to you on it later.
      As for your misgivings about the Tao, perhaps you are feeling that we are required to submit our will to the Tao which could be one interpretation. I see it more as recognising things as they really are rather than how we perceive or want them to be and using that clarity as a starting point. I will say though that working with the Tao is a kind of experiential thing which often defies explanation but kind of makes sense when you get into the habit of doing it. To put it in a more personal way, to me Satanism is not the stance or philosophy I particularly expected or wanted to be mine, it simply is so.
      Best Wishes, Cassie.

      • I appreciate your comment, and I believe that from this, and reading your other post “Deity and Satanism”, I may be closer to embracing Eastern ideas from an experiential point of view, rather than view them as ideological. However, I still can’t ignore the doctrines present in both Hinduism and Buddhism that I do oppose (like the self-denial, renunciation of desire related doctrines). Either way, I look forward to hearing from Sophie.

  4. Reblogged this on Aleph's House of Chaos and commented:
    I found this post while searching yet again for clues on how to bring Satanic and Asian ideas together, written by a very interesting Satanic thinker named Cassie. Enjoy.

  5. gothicscrybe says:

    Cassie…I’ve just discovered your blog…and would like to thank you for your open-minded wisdom in seeing the correlations (no matter how tenuous some might argue) between Taoism and Satanism.

    While I support and live the Laws of Nine and the Earth Laws of Eleven to the best of my ability, I also try to live as Taoist a life as possible.

    No one is perfect, but it is in imperfection we can grow…if we allow ourselves to do so.

    Many people do not…WILL not…make the connection, whether by staunch stubbornness or blissful ignorance, but I commend you for such a wonderfully genuine post.

  6. John Sherman III says:

    Wow!! Here I’ve been, thinking I may be the only Theistic Satanist who is so fully immersed in Taoism; and then I find this beautiful, magnificently composed article, that says literally everything I’ve been telling people for years (I’ve been a Theistic Satanist for 25 years, and began to study and incorporate Taoism into my Path about 12 years ago)! You even got the part about light and dark referring to the light and dark (north and south) slopes of a mountain. In fact, for a couple of years now, I have been tossing around the idea of writing a book on the correlations between Satanism and Taoism, and what this can mean for the interested Satanist. I am just thoroughly pleased and impressed to know there is at least one other of Satan’s children that He has inspired to study Taoism!! Satan be praised!!

  7. guitkunedo says:

    If you take Satanism as your spine- your motivation- to do good, as helping others is truly the only source of happiness, I believe Satanism and Buddhism together can help a person greatly.

    Satanism is also a great tool to annex oneself from the miseries and unbelievable pressures of conformity, and a way to convict yourself and challenge yourself.

    Many people can talk the talk, but there is a left hand path and right hand path- and most Buddhism advocates a middle path, as we cannot attain enlightenment so long as it is an ideal. We should think first to make ourselves strong and educate ourselves, so our hand to help others will be a strong enough hand to make impact.


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