Balance, Integrity and the Left Hand PathPosted: May 26, 2014
Balance and integrity are concepts which are important to both Sophie and myself. They are two of the most important factors in our choice to take the particular spiritual path that we follow and yet many people seem to think that these concepts are incompatible with Satanism. Clearly we disagree and here we would like to explain why.
Balance by Cassie.
I used to be shocked or disturbed when people claimed that the very fact that I identified as a left hand pather was proof in itself that I could not be balanced. I was disturbed because in fact the idea of balance and harmony are very important to me, so much so that I had to seriously consider the arguments that were put to me. These days I am less disturbed but more frustrated by the fact that most people who take such a view and particularly those who attack me most often and aggressively seem to be blind the the gaping holes in their own position.
The first gaping hole is a simplistic one. If it were not possible to be balanced on path described as “Left” then it would be equally impossible to be balanced on a path described as “Right”, yet most of my accusers would indeed identify in that way.
A more sophisticated argument is that the terms left hand and right hand are fairly arbitrary descriptors and a more enlightened approach would be to disregard both such terms and try to find some sort of less divisive middle or neutral ground on which to build a spiritual path. That sounds reasonable and to a large degree many of us effectively take that stance anyway. However people who hold such a view tend to make a lot of false assumptions. The first false assumption is that anything as complex as spiritual development can fit on a sliding scale between left and right and that the best, most honest and worthy place on that scale is always for all people in the middle ground. That is rubbish. Take politics for example; is the liberal centre always the best either for the individual or society? Socialism and Capitalism (left and right) are only opposites in the abstract way they are generally positioned on the left right scale. Are those with socialist leanings 100% right and conservatives 100 % wrong? Should everybody aim for the centre? What about greens and environmental politics; are their views null and void if they are not also liberal?
I would agree that the term left hand path could be misleading and restricting if it were regarded only as a counter balance to whatever is deemed to be right hand path. In fact however the term has a much more esoteric and even physical origin. The term originally signified people who were actually left handed, different and feared by other people. Linguistically that is where the term sinister comes from. Yes indeed some people were regarded as being sinister or evil just by virtue of being left handed and so historically those of us who identify with the devil and forbidden knowledge have been branded as left handlers and now reclaim that title in a positive way.
It is clear to our enlightened minds that being left or right handed doesn’t actually make you a good or a bad person, BUT being left or right handed is a physical reality. It is an actual difference in the way people are made. Society has learned through painful experimentation that it is not good to try and force left handed people to be right handed. Similarly esoterically, spiritually and morally some of us are just more inclined to a certain way of being and seeing things that modern usage describes as left hand path. That fact alone does not make us good, bad right or wrong in itself. It is a perspective; a starting point, that is all.
In modern spiritual usage the term left hand path simply denotes people who start with a particular world view and perspective. We are people who value personal progression and feel that must begin with ourselves. Characteristically we are unafraid to challenge norms, break taboos and work with occult energies and entities that others scorn. But within that framework we of course find our own sense of balance just as right hand path practitioners do within their frames of reference. Within our own paths there is of course also a place for light, for happiness, for kindness and generosity.
Rather than try to fool ourselves or others, our point of balance begins with a realistic appraisal of who and what we are…
Over to Sophie…
Integrity by Sophie
Integrity means being honest, especially about who you are. It is closely related to the German word Konsequence which I have written about before. To us integrity means being honest about who we are and what we believe and living by those standards. It means that those who understand and respect us can also rely on us.
To say one thing and do another thing is the virtual opposite of integrity. But sometimes it can be tempting. How many people claim to always put others first but actually don’t? How many people say they care about the environment but do nothing at all to protect it and in fact abuse it as much or more than others? How many people genuinely believe they are all goodness, sweetness and light but are in fact unkind and hurtful to many of the people around them? How many people promise they will do anything to help their friends but never seem to be available when those friends have a problem? How many people start off saying they will never take a bribe but then later say exchanging gifts is just the way business is done? How many people condemn those who take drugs while stocking up their wine cellar? How many people despise the people who pose for porn although their computers are full of it? How many fine upstanding members of society talk about the sanctity of marriage while cheating on their wives or husbands? And how many people claim to take the moral and spiritual high ground, or to be looking for nirvana or enlightenment when actually they are lost and confused and not making any spiritual progress at all?
Cassie and I value integrity but we know it isn’t always easy. We try to keep things real but that means first being honest about yourself. We are not and never want to be the good, clean living, virtuous type of people that most religious people want or aspire to be. We like the grit and the dirt. We like many of the darker things in life. Our bodies are not temples of purity but vessels in which to explore all the things we like or are interested in. Many of the things we believe and do are said by many to be wrong or even immoral. But that is who we are.
And that is where we start. To us, starting from ourselves and looking outwards from there is the only honest way to be. We could pretend we always care more about others, that we are always motivated by the greater good of the world, but that would be a lie. And how can you be balanced if your starting point is a lie? We do of course care about these wider issues and in a practical sense we might even do more to help the wider world than some who claim to be only interested in love and light. But we are trying to be honest about where we begin.
We start with ourselves and we are spiritually and philosophically on the side of Satan because that is what seems right and what makes sense to us. We believe that if more people were honest with themselves and the people around them there would probably be a lot more people claiming to take a left hand path. And we think that would make the world more balanced.