The older I get, the more aware I am of myself in relation to the world, both presently and in retrospect. As that knowledge progresses, I am increasingly able to interact with the world in a way that will bring the most benefit and happiness to my life. At the risk of sounding overinflated, it seems to me that many of the non-Satanists that I interact with look at me a but like a strange and inviting island. I am not something they have encountered before, as I do not think as they do, yet it isn’t abrasive. I make an effort to be as polite, appreciative, and personable as I can be unless I am given a reason not to be. The older I get, the more I seek to use this to my advantage. I build metaphorical docks on my island, and seek to bring a varied group of people into my life, but as I move more into the adult world I have to remind myself to keep snipers in the trees.
It is often said by members that we must keep in mind that “We are not as they are,” and this seems to be one of the truest statements I have encountered. All Satanists worth their salt approach the world in a manner fundamentally different from the general populous. We move through the world joyfully critical of most every claim that comes our way, and are thus often the best informed person in the room on any number of things. We are highly logical, yet highly emotional creatures that accept both of these aspects of ourselves rather than choose one over the other. We make our own goals, and strive to accomplish them merely for our own sake. These are all qualities that lead to success in whatever we set our mind to, so long as sufficient effort is put in. It is very easy to be solipsistic in this, and have a lack of perspective on how others move through the world. It is easy to assume everyone has the same mindset you do. A simple glance through social media, the news, or various messaging platforms reveals this is a very unique set of qualities, and that these qualities manifest in ways unique to each Satanist. These qualities also are what generally makes us feel as if we are an island in our own lives.
Because I am not as they are, it has become increasingly clear to me that I am one of three things to others: a curiosity, a menace, or a person. When spending time with those that regard me as a curiosity, I quickly realize I am there to entertain them as if they possessed me. These people are generally those who invite me to parties and ask me to tell stories or explain my views on a matter of public discourse in a way that feels a bit like I am a neat toy one child is showing his or her friends. It is very draining, and unless I decide for myself I want to entertain and be the center of attention, I do my best to not have so many of these one sided interactions. Those who regard you a curiosity also believe they are your friend, and often your interactions contain elements of a friendship. Quickly you will realize that while they care for you, they are no more your friend than they are friends with their favorite Television character.
Those who regard me as a menace do so because they feel threatened by anyone who does not fit a convenient societal label. These people are often such conformists, it is painful to observe them. They label themselves, then take on the characteristics of that label rather than possess characteristics and subsequently take on the appropriate label. For example, such a person may say they are a “Country Boy/Girl” at some point in their lives because they like someone that fits that label. Over the next few years they will unconsciously change the way they dress, their political stances, what their hobbies are, and even the way they speak just to exude that archetype. These types are immeasurably easier to deal with, as they treat you with nothing but malice in order to thrive off of your attention. Once they realize you see them as inconsequential and irrelevant to anything in your life, they slink away hating you all the more for daring to not bow to societal whim.
These first two are by far the majority of people, hence the feeling of being regarded as a strange island. The world begins to feel as if it is a place you move through wholly separate from every other person you meet. That is a very lonely feeling and one I feel very often. As a member of the Alien Elite that is just beginning to establish himself in the world, I often feel much more “Alien” than “Elite.” For this reason, those rare people that regard me as a person are the most important people in my life. These are people that value my company not as entertainment, but as an exchange. They stimulate me intellectually, emotionally, and sometimes physically, and they are stimulated in turn. These people are not always Satanists, but they invariably are individuals, and often very different from myself. People who see me as a person are the only people I consider my friends, and when I am around them I feel less alienated from the world. Suddenly, I am invigorated, and the world isn’t a place I move through separated from every other person, but it isn’t a feeling of “us against the world” either. It is a feeling of being in the world, enjoying it, and not giving a damn about those people in the first two categories.
No matter how introverted and unique an individual is, the human animal is a social animal. We crave rewarding interactions with other animals, both human and non-human. We crave even one person that we can feel understood by and happy around. It is what makes those in that third category so valuable and worth cherishing. In this new stage of my life, many of my true friends are off pursuing their own goals and taking care of themselves. I cheer them on, taking delight in their successes while also becoming increasingly lonely as I spend less and less time with them. At the risk of making a hasty generalization, it seems to me that many Satanists in my time of life (just out of high school and starting college) experience this drifting apart. I’d like to take the opportunity to relieve others and remind myself that it isn’t that there is something wrong with the young Satanist as a person. Rather, it is a natural consequence of being a driven and unique person with driven and unique friends living in a world largely dictated by herd conformity. You will not be an island forever. As you age you will find your tribe through pursuing your own goals. You will find people with shared passions and shared interests as you push yourself to be your best self, fueled by the Black Flame within. The expression “life happens” is generally a dismissal of the unfortunate, but look to it as encouragement for the future. Take solace in the confidence that your Is To Be will be because Satanists are doers. In time, you will not be a curious island, but a family member to that family you choose. In the words of Milton Cruver, “Hail thyself my child, the rest will follow.”