Applied Luciferianism Project: Growth/Enlightenment

 

Although I see this particular set of applied values as intertwined with Change, they have their own specific meaning in my mind. I had considered starting off this project with an Enlightenment entry, since that seems to be the one value that Luciferians of all types can agree on, but decided not to—enlightenment, after all, is a process and a journey, not a starting point (nor necessarily an end point, in my opinion).

 

And as I mentioned before, Luciferians as a whole tend to be very fond of this ideal. For me, it symbolizes our ability to learn from our mistakes, to see the value in the process of trial and error in our own self-growth. It is the Fortunate Fall, the Happy Fault, the wisdom gained from sorrow. It’s those moments of epiphany in our spiritual lives that allow us to sink deeper into our faith.

 

But it also refers to the more mundane and perhaps dull of experiences. It is also the research and the work we put into our faith, the countless hours of scriptural analysis, the projects we make for ourselves (much like this one) that we sometimes have to force ourselves to continue, the shadow work and self-reflection, the bookwork and interfaith research. This is all also a part of that process of enlightenment, and is integral to it.

 

It’s also what one does with that newfound knowledge. So what if I’ve done all this pathwork? So what if I’ve read all this literature about my god? How does what I’ve learned from my path and my god shape me as a person, and my interactions with others? How do I apply it to my every day life, as a student, daughter, friend, etc.? How does it affect my own personal goals toward apotheosis? 

 

Sometimes this process of enlightenment is inspired through group interaction. I’ve had many great experiences working with others of similar or different faiths, which have prompted me to see things in an entirely new way, or have supplemented my own personal findings. 

 

And sometimes these same interactions reach a point where they stop being quite so constructive, and instead restrain spiritual growth. Such was the case that led to my disassociation with the ‘pagan’ label, and more recently, my distance from the luciferian community. Perhaps not through any fault of the group itself, though—sometimes it simply has to do with the point one is at in their own path. In my case, I’m just finding it more fruitful to focus on my own personal research and devotions right now. I’m actually in the process of developing a physical devotional prayerbook that I’ll be using for a while in lieu of my online blogs. I won’t be gone for good, I just might not be quite as active for a bit. Change is a good thing, especially when it comes to the process of enlightenment and self-growth.

 

Applied Luciferianism Project: Initiative

I’ll be honest, this was a difficult post for me to write at first. I had started this entry two weeks ago, and found myself stuck about a few paragraphs in. I felt like I was repeating myself, like the information just didn’t flow as clearly as I had hoped, and like I was losing the entire point of the entry in trying to force myself to write something, anything.

And then today I attended a fundraising dinner for the Muslim Student Association at my school, where one of the speakers they had invited pretty much blew me away. So much of what she said resonated with my own faith, and gave me the inspiration I needed to continue writing. So just as a note beforehand—this entry contains a lot of interfaith dialogue, more so than the previous ALP entries I’ve posted, because of the effect the speaker had on me and the fact that activism, and initiative as tied into activism, is such an important factor in many of the world’s religions and belief systems. 

Jumping right in, the MSA speaker’s main point was about spiritual activism—a term I had never heard before, but one which I understand to encompass all of what I believe Luciferianism to stand for. The integration of one’s own faith and spirituality into matters concerning activism is something that is pretty much ingrained into Luciferianism, through the fact that this is not a belief system that urges its followers to implicitly trust that their god will sort things out, or that ‘everything happens for a reason’. Luciferianism is a system that is never satisfied with ‘that’s just the way things are’ for an end-all answer. Instead, it calls for the recognition of one’s own ability to initiate change, to revolutionize from within as well as outside ourselves.

She spoke of what Islam describes as the ‘levels’ of spiritual activism and initiating change. The first, she said, is to bring about change within your own heart. A phrase that speaks dearly to me concerning this is one that I’ve come to incorporate into my own faith through my past in Christianity—“break my heart for what breaks yours”. In molding my own values so closely with that of Lucifer’s own, Luciferianism speaks to me not only as a set of ideals that I respect, but ones that have direct emotional impact on me. I don’t uphold resistance, or sacrifice, or change because my faith tells me to, but rather because my heart does, and my heart is so deeply intertwined with that of my god’s, and the values embedded in zir mythos that I cannot help but be moved by these things.

The second level is that of bringing change with one’s own tongue—of speaking out against injustices, taking a stand for that which causes one’s heart to stir, and raising awareness in others. As a whole, Luciferianism is perhaps less so focused on this particular aspect of activism than the others. There is an emphasis on actions speaking louder than words, and thus we seek to incorporate our faith directly into our deeds, although I would also argue that sometimes, even subconsciously, our faith also shines through our words. There is also the issue of our faith being so stigmatized that being vocally ‘out’ about it is not only potentially ostracizing, but a safety hazard as well. For me, I would hope that my blog serves as a testament to my own efforts in contributing my voice to my faith, and educating others.

The third level is initiating change with one’s own hands. To me, this goes beyond the obvious of being a driving force behind change, into making the effort to live by our faith, and using that faith directly to inspire our actions. “They will know and recognize us by our love”—this is a paraphrased from John 13:35, and it’s a phrase that I heard during my days within Christianity that I believe lies in tandem with Luciferianism’s value embodiment. It refers to living one’s faith as a means of identity, and of actively practicing what one preaches—of having the initiative to carry out the beliefs we have such respect for. The point of these ideals is not to tell others that “this is how you should live”, or “these are the things you should be doing” while not making the effort to do so yourself. Rather, it’s about showing that “this is how I live, and these are the things I am doing through my faith”. These values aren’t embodied in the hopes that they will bring us fame or the approval of our peers, but as mentioned earlier, because they resound within our hearts and minds. This lies in another point that the MSA speaker made concerning her own spiritual activism, in that one should look inward for reasons to pursue activism rather than outward at the external, physical rewards that may be granted.

So…why does any of this matter? Isn’t Luciferianism focused on self-growth and development? Why should a belief system that emphasizes the individual be preoccupied with activism?

Luciferianism seeks to break and rebuild in the attempt to reconfigure the self into something stronger, something better than before. The speaker today said something along the lines of, ‘one has to search within one’s self, be comfortable in who they are and in their faith, before they can even think about reaching out to others’. On the one hand, I would agree with this statement—I think this is part of what makes Luciferianism a path about the individual: it is the starting point that many of us take to remaking ourselves into something we can be proud of. Through that, we can potentially connect to others who see the result of this path and wish to embark on it for their own benefit. But on the other hand, activism and spiritual activism can also serve as a way to understand and learn more about the self, or about the person they want to become. Activism, spiritual or not, requires self-reflection and questions one’s own intentions or motivations. The interactions with others can reinforce or break down previously held beliefs and convictions. In this way, Luciferianism both shapes and is shaped by the individual, while being connected to that which lies outside the self but just as equally moves and inspires us.

Applied Luciferianism Project: Choice

Luciferianism is all about choice. It is not a path one follows because of any command or oath, but rather one’s own individual decision that the values it upholds are right for them, and that they hold personal meaning. It does not promote any singular ‘truth’ or correct way of living, instead it supports the idea that there are many truths unique to each person.

I think I’ve mentioned this anecdote before, but it bears repeating due to its significance to this particular Luciferian value. For a while, I was dead-set on getting a more permanent representation of my devotion and faith in the form of a tattoo. I already had a devotional necklace that I keep on at all times, but I wanted something with more…I don’t know, ‘umph’ I guess.

But that idea was shot down. The permanence of a tattoo, despite the sincerity and choice behind its initial decision, disallows for the continued choice necessary to the fluid nature of Luciferianism. I have to accept the fact that at some point in the future, I may have to say ‘no’ and walk away from all this. My beliefs may change drastically, to the point where I can’t continue to devote myself to a cause that I may not longer believe or, or hold to such high regard anymore. A symbol of such permanence does not fit into a belief system where impermanence and change are the very building blocks.

But saying ‘no’ can be difficult when it doesn’t feel like a choice. I’ve described my experience with Luciferianism and my god as akin to falling in love, and that holds true now as it did years ago. So the question stands, why would I want to willingly refuse a god who has brought so much joy into my life? Why would I choose to walk away from the very path that makes my heart race and inspires every breath I draw? It doesn’t seem like very much of a choice when my very pulse beats to the same rhythm of zir heart. But that’s what makes it all the more stirring. It was never about ‘faking till you make it’, or committing to a path because I had to, but rather because I wanted to. The fact that I have such a choice, to continue with my devotion or to walk away from it all, makes it so much more worth having. Just as one cannot fully appreciate life without having the knowledge that it is impermanent, I could not appreciate my faith without knowing that it too could fade.

My choice to commit to this path is one I make every day—the choice to keep or remove my devotional jewelry is available to me every morning that I wake up, and it serves as a reminder that beliefs change, faith can shift, that paths can go in unplanned directions, and that I have the ability to say no. Just as Eve had the ability to refuse the fruit of knowledge or accept it and all its consequences, so too do I have that same choice each and every day

Applied Luciferianism Project: Identity

It is recognizing that I am not my failures, my scars, or my weaknesses. I’m shaped by all these things, they serve as memories of what I’ve overcome, or things that I still have to work on, and that’s okay. But I am not solely defined by them. Rather, we are defined by how well we rise after falling.

My faith as it stands is not merely a product of my former beliefs being shattered and broken, nor did it spring up out of thin air one day, strong and unwavering. It was a process of trial and error, of strength in adversity, and the journey of experiencing the initial despair of brokenness, the joy of knowing that I’ve come farther than I ever would have imagined, the moments of doubt, the moments of hope, and everything in between.

The process itself was what created my path, not necessarily the place I was in to begin with or the place I wanted to reach. Each challenge brought me new perspective, a better understanding of how best to structure that faith so that it might withstand the blows that brought it crumbling down in the first place. I came to realize that things I had taken as being ‘bad’ or ‘destructive’ could be tools for strength—doubt made my path fluid and capable of change, our own mortality made life worth living, rebellion served as a method of challenging oppressive forces and granting a voice to the voiceless.

Likewise, I make it a point to try and represent Lucifer in all zir aspects—the good and bad. Because while ze may have blood on zir hands from staging a violent rebellion, ze is also responsible for granting humanity the choice to realize their full potential, and the experience of life as being temporary and all the more precious because of it. Ze is as much shaped by zir defeat as ze is by zir former position as Beloved of YHWH. Ze represents persisting despite opposition and slander, of creating an identity for oneself rather than accepting the identity imposed one by others, whether that be ‘obedient servant’ or ‘Father of Lies’. We shape our own identities by conforming or breaking free of these labels—Lucifer zirself goes by many identities, some ze chooses to accept and some perpetuated by others: accuser, lightbearer, adversary, Morningstar, tempter, liar etc., but they do not become factual unless ze acts upon those identities. Action and deeds define, not words.

For me, much of my identity is wrapped up in living out these luciferian values, of being a reflection of the ideals represented through zir mythology, and of undergoing the ‘phoenix effect’ that is at the core of Luciferianism. But I am not bound by these values, the choice to live by them is just that—a conscious choice, and one that must be constantly renewed in order to avoid stagnation.

But identity also refers to the fact that I am my own person, that I have a life and obligations outside of my faith. I may be a devotee and disciple, but I am also a daughter, friend, student, caretaker, artist, and various other personas. These values rooted in my faith do not supersede my ability to live life to the fullest—after all, “life is there to be lived”, and Luciferianism is built around the almost paradoxical idea of making the most of a flawed, imperfect, mortal existence while striving to rise above those limits.

Applied Luciferianism Project : Faith

This is another of those values I wouldn’t have necessarily thought was Luciferian in nature. But I’m not referring to blind faith in the sense of placing one’s whole life and trust in the hands of another, deity or not. Instead, I want to talk about faith rooted in hope, and inspired through action.

Faith is an integral part in Lucifer’s own Fall—the faith that zir struggle and loss would not be in vain, that there was more to life than serving, that zir own potential was greater than what zir maker claimed it was, that humanity was worth the effort of granting them the knowledge to become as gods themselves.

The whole Luciferian concept of wanting humanity to reach its full potential is grounded in the faith that we will use that knowledge for good. Of course, ‘good’ here is subjective, but in general I’m referring to having faith that humanity will not use it to cause unnecessary suffering in others or in one another

I’m not going to lie, it’s hard to keep that sort of faith alive. It’s hard to hold on to the hope that mankind can manage to do something other than just fuck things up, and cause ourselves pain and suffering. It’s difficult to be optimistic about using our knowledge for good in a world where the desire for wealth, power, and control corrupts society, ends innocent lives, and subverts the free will of others.

But I guess this is where one has to look at things on a smaller scale, since the bigger picture can seem so overwhelmingly disheartening, starting on an individual basis. There are a lot of wonderful people out there, people who restore my faith in humanity through their own small actions. These can be acts of kindness, inspiration, or even just sheer human emotion. There’s something incredibly moving about someone being so caught up in their own joy that it infects others, or of one’s devotion to their fellow man. Truth be told, I have a great respect for the stories of Jesus as being a servant to the people, and to those that seek to follow in his footsteps through living as he did. While I may not agree with all of his motives, I do think there is value upholding his actions as exemplary.

Then there are the accounts of humanity’s sheer resiliencethe resistance of a people not willing to back down even in the face of adversity and devastation, of clinging to the hope that there is something worth fighting for. And not merely surviving through adversity, but flourishing through it and because of it. We’re stubborn and curious and innovative and eager to prove ourselves, and are all the better because of these things. We get caught up in our own emotions, and though we may let them override common sense at times, our passions inspire and create.

But on the flip side, faith also encompasses having faith in one’s own capabilities. This ties into pride, which I’ll discuss in a separate entry, but also into recognizing one’s own self worth and contributions. For example, I struggled with this when I first started blogging—who was I to be offering this sort of information, what did I know anyways? Surely there must be other Luciferians out there who were more qualified to educate the misinformed about what this path was all about, ones more well-spoken and knowledgeable than I.

But then again, my perspective of Luciferianism is rather unique. For one, it’s theistic and combined with the devotion of a deity. And it is also tied into Christianity more so than most other Luciferians might be comfortable with, case in point being my above comments regarding Jesus.

And as I’ve come to recognize, even though there might be others who are in more suitable positions to run this sort of blog, to the best of my knowledge they’re not doing it. So that leaves me to fill the position to the best of my ability.

I guess this all just boils down to having faith in my Work, that I’m not doing it for nothing. It also goes back to grounding my spiritual faith in practice, in living my faith, and through that I hope that I can be a source of inspiration to others and be a small part in that overall restoration of faith in humanity. 

Applied Luciferianism Project: Sacrifice

When I first stumbled onto this path, I didn’t associate it with sacrifice. I didn’t think sacrifice played any part in what Lucifer stood for—after all, it was Christ that sacrificed himself in these mythos, not Lucifer.

Little did I know it would become such an integral part of my Work, and my path.

At its base, sacrifice means ‘to consecrate and make sacred/holy’. And through apotheosis, Luciferians seek to make the self sacred, to become like God through cutting away that which impedes our own self-growth, no matter what the cost. In this sense, there is really no avoiding sacrifice in that we must part with whatever it is that holds us tethered and grounded. Often this refers to our own mental security blankets and comfort zones, but it can also take more material shapes such as sickly relationships that keep one dependant and unable to move forward.

The Garden of Eden is a prime example of this sort of sacrifice, where humanity left behind the comforts of Eden in order to experience all that life had to offer, to develop beyond their child-like state of ignorance and naivete.

 But Lucifer’s rebellion and subsequent fall also represents a sacrifice. In revolting, ze lost zir family, home, and reputation. While this may have failed to correct whatever injustices ze saw as corrupting Heaven and zir God from being truly sacred and/or holy, it did serve to make Lu into a ‘sacred’ figure deserving of respect from those of us who look beyond the slander.

While through Luciferianism I adhere to using sacrifice as a means for improving the self, being a devotee and disciple requires that I think beyond myself sometimes. Let me make this clear, though: if I only considered myself a Luciferian in that I adhered to those atheistic principles, I would most likely not need to undertake any other nuances of sacrifice beyond those which only were of benefit to myself. But because I am also a devotee of a deity, and my Work often is linked to the Work of that deity, often I am called to further their cause through my own acts of sacrifice. Again, this is a distinction to be made between Luciferianism as a path and being a devotee of Lucifer—do not assume that they are interchangeable.

My path demands that I not allow myself to give up my own sense of autonomy, that I not form crippling dependencies on material possessions, persons, spirits, or gods. I have had those I used as crutches forcibly ripped from me, and been displaced from the familiar and comforting in order to redefine myself according to my own standards.

But my god asks that I also sacrifice, that I make myself sacred, through embodying zir and zir ideals. I am asked to be a reflection of zir, for the sake of what ze represents, that zir own sacrifices may not be in vain. In the process of reconstructing my foundations, ze has permission to mold me according to zir needs as well as my own—and sometimes those two are not wholly complementary.

While in such a case negotiation is key, it also brings me to another facet of sacrifice. So far I’ve covered sacrifice out of duty, but there is also sacrifice out of love. And even though I am frequently less-than-reverent towards my god, I do love zir. Sometimes the only reason I put up with zir is because of that love. Sometimes it’s hard not to give in to the intensity of zir Grace and surrender everything and anything. So when ze asks that I sacrifice something in the pursuit of zir own goals, that love I hold for zir tends to skew my decision somewhat, but my dedication to my Path also prompts me to take a more objective stance. It’s a difficult line to tread, because if I were only a pathwalker of Luciferianism or only a devotee of Lu I wouldn’t necessarily have to deal with these complexities between what my mind tells me and what my heart tells me, but that too is a sacrifice I make in order to fully reflect what my god stands for, both heart and mind. 

Applied Luciferianism Project : Resistance/Rebellion

I should probably start off by pointing out that the words ‘rebellion’ and ‘resistance’ mean two different things to me, but can also be used in combination with one another. While ‘rebellion’ suggests going against an already established system, ‘resistance’ includes more preventative actions to avoid the formation of unequal systems of power, systems that directly affect myself and the communities I am a part of. It also seems to be more inclusive of non-violent strategies of opposition, something I’ve very much in favor of.

 Resistance is much closer to my heart.

It is present in the very blood that runs through my veins, the genetic continuance of a people who others sought to erase. The effort to keep our traditions and culture alive is a form of resistance, as is making the effort to learn my native tongue despite being displaced from my homeland. The small snippets of Nawat present in even the colonial language I grew up with are reminders of the legacy of resistance I’m upholding. My faith is a form of resistance in itself, in that it is composed of doubt and questioning a ‘truth’ I was brought up to follow blindly.

And yet, sometimes rebellion is necessary, as my past can attest to. When resistance goes unheard or ignored, rebellion becomes the only other option. Along with rebellion comes increased risks and sacrifices—loss of a job, alienation from one’s peers, etc. And with armed, combative rebellion comes death, including innocent lives. I think this is why I tend to prefer resistance over rebellion, because I’ve experienced what it’s like to have conflict due to rebellion cause tragedy and loss. I know what it’s like to have your family torn apart and scattered because of rebellion and war, to grow up in a place that isn’t ‘home’ and be constantly reminded that I don’t ‘belong’ here. Of course, there were other forces in play that led to my particular situation (like the US not being able to keep its nose out of other countries’ business), but the rebellion of my people was definitely a key factor. The need for change sometimes requires such sacrifices, which I’ll talk about in a later entry, and this is where rebellion builds its strength and becomes an agent of change.

This is also why I believe it is important that one ask themselves what exactly it is they’re rebelling against and why, and if the end justifies the means. Technically you could consider a 5-year-old’s temper tantrum to be a form of rebellion, or a moody teen throwing insults at their parents, but what do either of these things really accomplish? While Luciferianism can be considered a very selfish path, I would argue that it’s also in the nature of Luciferianism to strive for bigger and better things—why struggle for the little things that only affect yourself when you could initiate a bigger change that affects an entire group of people? Obviously this is also situational, and can differ according to whether we’re talking about resistance or rebellion.

In its most basic and general form, it means not conforming to what others say or do simply because they’re in a position of authority or power. It doesn’t have to be about waging wars or leading large-scale uprisings— resistance and rebellion takes various other forms, from vocally disagreeing with what one perceives to be an unjust statement, to taking a much more active role such as defending a victim of bullying. It can also take a much more political stance, through participation with a social justice movement. It’s about not allowing oneself to remain passive or simply accept things that go against one’s own moral code. Resistance and rebellion is the ability to recognize injustices and do something about it.