As has been often said, the Church of Satan is a mutual admiration society. To the outsider, it is kind of hard to grasp just how true it that really is. The most common trait I see in all Satanists outside of their shared religion is that everyone seems to be proficient at or experts in something, and no two people seem to have that same something. Most interactions between members that I see follow a common thread. First, one member shares something wickedly awesome they did in their “something,” then other members express a genuine admiration and appreciation through sincere responses or jokes. The Church of Satan is a mutual admiration society because it has to be. There are just too many members that do admirable things that other members cannot do as well (if at all) for it not to be.
Being both new and young often brings a feeling that I am a child that just walked into a room full of giants and declared that I too am a giant. I now stand among a group of people my parents’ age, many of whom are people I learned from in the first year I identified myself as a Satanist. Most of these giants are such admirable people that do or make such cool things, it is certainly easy to feel like one does not stack up. This was a topic covered in an essay by Aden Ardennes in his book, Militant Eroticism. That is, if I remember correctly, it has been a bit since I read it. But the thing is, to someone of my age Aden is one of the giants. His book is fantastic and he has done a pretty high volume of cool shit. It becomes very easy to feel a bit like one may not be one of the alien elite because you can’t really measure up.
As Aden has pointed out, I really shouldn’t feel that way. These giants have had decades more time to work toward their personal Is To Be than I have. Aden himself proves that it may be a lack of perspective, or just that I haven’t had a chance to really build up whatever talent or skill may come to be my “thing.” It may be because I was raised with a sense that one is far removed from the people we see on TV or in movies, so being among people in the public eye that speak on topics that interest me is a bit strange. And I do mean strange, as “celebrity status” doesn’t much intimidate me or give me a sense that they are better in and of itself. But to interact with people you spent years reading essays from or listening to on podcasts is a bit like stepping into your TV set and giving a character you relate to a crisp high five.
But just because you shouldn’t feel a certain way does not mean you won’t. The cure? Well, it certainly isn’t complaining about it until I am comforted and told I’m special. This is a meritocracy and that is how I like it. Trust me, I will have a post on the whole “Snowflake” thing associated with the Millennial generation soon enough. No, the cure is simply to keep doing what I like doing, because in the end doing what you love and being happy is what life is all about. Time and work spent on me breeds happiness and goal accomplishment, and that is what makes someone a giant, Satanist or not.