Health and the SatanistPosted: January 8, 2016
We have been planning to write something about Satanism and health for a while and New Year seems like a good time to discourage bad habits and foster more healthy choices. But we don’t really believe in New Year resolutions and in some ways we may not be the best examples of healthy living. In fact in a reply to our last post we were chastised because we allow our teenage daughter to smoke. We’ll return briefly to that issue later in this post. But we will start by saying that despite our own bad habits, Satanists in general tend to value healthy living and place emphasis on making sensible choices in matters of health and wellbeing.
Personal responsibility is at the heart of Satanic belief and philosophy and is a concept which most of us who identify as Satanists take very seriously. We are indeed self centred which is something which is often perceived negatively, but self responsibility is an aspect of that. As far as it is possible we look after ourselves and our own and that means we take full responsibility for the consequences of our actions. This starts with ourselves and our own bodies. In order to get the most out of life we are obliged to keep our bodies in good working order to the best of our ability. We don’t believe that prayers or God are going to save us when we get ill; science and medicine maybe, our own black magic (or psychological programming) perhaps, but mostly it is down to us to keep safe and keep our bodies in good, strong, working order.
From this it follows that we should do all that we can to stay healthy and avoid unhealthy things as much as possible. We should get plenty of exercise and work out regularly. We should inform ourselves about the food we are eating and maintain a balanced diet, high on nutrition and low on unhealthy fats and sugars. We should try to keep our body mass and weight within healthy limits and take pride in our appearance and physical condition. We should not take recreational drugs if they can do us harm, or allow ourselves to become addicted to anything. We shouldn’t smoke and we shouldn’t drink beyond healthy limits. We should have a healthy sex life but we should do all we can to avoid all risks of injury, infection or disease.
However, while all this is true, as Satanists many of us also live according to a more hedonistic imperative as well…
1. Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence!
2. Satan represents vital existence, instead of spiritual pipe-dreams!
8. Satan represents all the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification!
Not all Satanists follow LaVey’s statements, and nobody is obliged to. However some, including ourselves, do roughly adhere to these sentiments. We are unashamed hedonists. Therefore there is a balance to be found; a sensible path which admits a certain amount of indulgence while staying as healthy as possible. Yet no matter how much indulgence and “sin” we allow ourselves to partake in, we can never escape the fact that we are responsible for the consequences of our choices and actions.
Hedonism has a bad rep, and can easily be portrayed as shallow and mindless. We think there is a deeper side to hedonistic values within the Left Hand Path but perhaps that is a theme for a future post. For now we will simply say that there is indeed a hedonistic side to our personal beliefs and lifestyle and to put it as simply as possible we acknowledge that there are health risks attached to some of the things we enjoy.
Sophie and I have been smoking regularly since we were younger than our daughter is now. We both drink regularly and by some people’s standards, quite a lot. We use weed. We love good food, not always of the healthiest varieties. We have both dabbled with various drugs in the past. We have a rich and varied sex life. In short we very much enjoy all kinds of sensual pleasures, many of which “could” have negative impacts on our health. On the other hand we believe the shear pleasure we get from many of these things can have a positive, calming and healthy effect. Moreover, we do keep ourselves fit and active. We exercise, we run, we walk, we swim, we meditate, we do yoga, we take in clean country air whenever possible. In fact we try to keep our minds and bodies in as good a condition as possible. In general we ARE healthy. We have regular check ups and seem to be in good shape. Many people think we look younger than we actually are. A little bit of witchery might help with that as well…
It is a trade off. We don’t deny that our health may indeed suffer because of some of our lifestyle choices. Perhaps if we only did the healthy things mentioned above and gave up smoking and all our other unhealthy vices and pleasures we could live to be over a hundred. As it is we don’t expect more than an average lifespan and we accept it may even be less. And indeed if we didn’t do any of the healthy things we would run a great risk of dying at a much younger age. But we mean to enjoy every taste, flavour, experience and sensation that comes our way until we die. Those are our priorities and our choices. This is the balance that works for us.
Well okay, those are choices we can make as adults, but what about Tina who may be growing up fast but is still only in her mid teens? We feel she is at a stage in her life where she will have to begin making adult choices and we have to respect that. We hope she will always feel she can come to us for advice and guidance. We are probably quite permissive but hopefully that means that if we ever have to say “no” she will understand we have our reasons. She is a well behaved girl who is never late with her homework and takes study seriously. She is intelligent and kind and a great deal more polite and better behaved than many people her age. So she smokes… Sophie and I were both smoking when we were her age. To make an issue out of it would be hypocritical and would create a barrier where now we have a bond. She is aware of the health risks and possible consequences and we feel this is a decision she is old enough to make for herself. Moreover she shares our satanic values and outlook and as parents we respect that as a fact and not just a phase.
In conclusion all Satanists should look after their bodies and should be prepared to take responsibility for the health and lifestyle choices they make. One option would be to avoid all potentially unhealthy substances and activities and concentrate on sport and fitness to the exclusion of almost everything else. However for the majority of us good health and meaningful existence means finding an intelligent balance between health and pleasure. We will each do so in our own individual way.
The satanist is self centred and self aware and keeping that self healthy and happy is an essential priority.