Standing as a Child Among Giants

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.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Standing as a Child Among Giants

  1. The trouble with operating as a mutual admiration society is that it discourages constructive criticism that would not only help other members to develop on their paths, but contributes to an organizational culture which stifles criticism of organizational policies and attitudes. In this way, thoroughly un-Satanic attitudes (such as racism) get a free pass because members aren’t supposed to criticize each other – instead, only praise each other’s successes. If you can’t see the flaws in such a system, then you’re not looking very closely.

    Like

    1. I disagree. The mutual admiration society is not a requirement so much as a natural result of the fact that there there is something there to admire. The Church of Satan is a meritocracy, meaning things that are not so great are addressed. I have seen instances of “that’s not cool” in interraction between members. If unsatanic things are presented I have more often than not seen it addressed rather than just ignored. There are flaws in every system and yes you’re going to get a jackass here and there, but in my personal experience it is addressed and I have never heard a “no negativity” rule among Satanists and don’t expect to hear of one any time in the future, as we aren’t really a safe space friendly bunch. Thank you for your feedback!

      Like

      1. Your reply is actually a perfect example of what I’m talking about: I provide criticism of what you wrote, and in response you said that I need a safe-space because you apparently think I was triggered by what you wrote. You should take your own advice about “we aren’t a safe space friendly bunch” and apply it yourself.

        Like

      2. Actually, that was not my intent in using the terminology. I used that as a means of saying “we are open to criticisms and disagreements, and I see no rule of about what can and can’t be said being formed in the future,” as those rules are one of the markers of a safe space. I didn’t feel you were triggered or angered in the slightest, and was very happy to see people thinking critically about my writing and providing feedback.It tells me people read what I write and think about it, which i like. I encourage you to do so in the future. However, if you had read what I said in my previous comment, it was more a refutation of the claim that we can’t talk bad about one another or disagree. I merely tried to illustrate that the fact that the CoS is a meritocracy and there is so much TO admire on merit that such a society is produced as a result of that real merit rather than some rule against disagreement. This is a perfect illustration of that. We can indeed and it is certainly Satanic to question eachother. However, I pointed out that in cases of disagreement and unsatanic postings, these things are called out and concerns are voiced. A good example of this is on the episode of the Devil You Know Podcast where Robert Mosley and Robert Luthold publicly voiced their concerns about eachothers behavior. I hope you remain vocal on things you see as pertinent to my blog. If I didn’t want the criticism I would turn the reply function off!

        Like

      3. Speaking as a registered, active CoS member – not that it counts for anything except to qualify what I’m saying – you must not have seen what I’ve seen. I’m not interested in starting drama so I won’t name names, but as long as we’re talking about podcasts and other media syndicated by the CoS I remember hearing two registered, active CoS members who hold rank in the hierarchy talking about how “anti-racists are the real racists.” That’s like saying that peaceniks are the real warmongers. Doesn’t make sense, does it? For a religion and philosophy that holds logic and rational discourse in such high regard – and which explicitly condemns racism in the canon literature – you’d think such a fallacy wouldn’t get traction. That’s only one example of what I’m talking about. According to the logic of a mutual appreciation society, it’s considered more appropriate to praise what they do well than to point out the broken logic which informed that discussion. I’m proud to be a member of the CoS, but nothing and nobody are exempt from criticism and questioning.

        Like

      4. Certainly possible that I have not seen what you have. That specufic instance is one that I have not seen. And I agree nothing and nobody are immune from questioning, that is certainly part of it, which is why I genuinely am glad you raised concerns to me.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s