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

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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. 

Guys, I must have made a deal with the wrong devil

Everyone is so caught up on the idea of Faustian bargains being a tool of the devil’s trade, but it doesn’t work that way with the Lu I know.

Well, actually, if someone was offering me something like their firstborn in return for power I would fuck up their lives in order to teach them a lesson too, but that’s not what I’m talking about.

You want fame? Go learn a trade and earn it yourself. Wealth? He’s not going to kill your long-lost aunt who named you sole inheritor of her fortune, but he’ll probably flood your mailbox with job applications. Immortality? Uh, closest thing to it is a long life—he’d sooner give you a ban on junk food than mess with your genetics.

Seriously, remember how I said he was practical? I wasn’t kidding. Now, I’m not saying asking for divine help is a bad thing. It’s certainly understandable when the situation is entirely out of one’s own control. But if you want a deity who will coddle you and give you your heart’s desire in return for your devotion—Lu is definitely not the one to go to.

So I can’t help but laugh whenever I come across the idea of Lucifer leading people astray with his ‘false promises’. I don’t know about his interactions with anyone else, but he’s never ‘promised’ me anything. As a devotee of his who has been taught to forego attachments to material things, who has restrictions in place when it comes to ‘worldly’ pleasures, I can’t see what he could possibly have to offer others that is materialistically tempting, considering the fact that they would have to work for it themselves. The only false promises I see here are the ones that have been invented by others and imposed onto him.

From my experience, he seems to favor the idea of everything in moderation.

Shocker, right? Isn’t Lucifer supposed to encourage and glorify indulging in luxury and sin? There’s that reverse-Christianity mentality again. Do those who follow a Rokkatru path have to reject the nine noble virtues of Asatru and do the exact opposite? Of course not. Why should Luciferianism embrace sins as virtues? Maybe we don’t see them as being bad exactly, but it doesn’t mean we have to automatically believe overindulgence in them is ‘good’.

Especially if we consider the idea that Lucifer was once the highest ranked angel, second only to God himself. A role like that requires trust, it is something that is earned through one’s actions and deeds—so, he must have believed that they were doing something right, otherwise why not rebel from the moment of his creation? Why does his rebellion have to mean that he rejects everything and anything that Christianity deems good and virtuous?

Let’s say I have a job in a company I am very content with. I agree with a lot of their policies, and I believe in what the company stands for. I love my work, but I can’t stand my boss. Maybe I thought he was a cool guy in the beginning, but later on realized that I don’t agree with how he’s running things—the company I loved is slowly being corrupted into something else entirely, and the employees are not being treated as they should. I’m not the only one who thinks this way, either. So I go and tell my boss exactly what I think, and he fires me.

Well, screw that, maybe I’ll just go start my own company.

It doesn’t mean I hate the previous company. It doesn’t mean I hated my old job. It doesn’t mean I’m going to run my company on ideals that are completely opposite that of the previous one. But my ex-boss and his loyal employees might see things that way, especially if they feel threatened.

Their business has over a thousand employees, with a solid reputation amongst their customers and clients, while my own newly founded company has only a handful of employees and no reputation to speak of just yet.

So when the mudslinging begins as a consequence of feeling threatened, guess who people are going to flock to and believe?

And thus we get all these skewed concepts like the Faustian bargain, and vices as virtues, and double standards—oh goodness, the double standards are the worst, I think. Selfishness and pride are okay when it’s YHVH we’re talking about, but not Lucifer? Well fuck.

Here’s an idea–how about we focus on our own faiths instead of trying to demonize someone else’s?

Free Will

An interesting question was brought to light after my post regarding the fusion of Lu’s emotions within my own. If I am doing his work and acting as his disciple as a direct effect of the strength of these emotions, how does free will come into play?

It’s an important inquiry, considering how central the issue of free will is to Lu’s ambitions.

Free will is a difficult concept, because it’s rarely as simple as (as the name implies) doing something of one’s own free will. Just because someone else isn’t directly putting your finger on the trigger doesn’t mean they can’t have had an influence on your decision to do so. So how am I able to say that my devotion to Lu and my furtherance of his Work is entirely my own decision, when I am so swayed by the force behind these emotions?

Because they are my emotions, albeit enhanced by my god. No one, not even a god, could have stirred such passions within me that didn’t already exist. All that could be done was coax an ember into a flame.

First I should probably describe how exactly my emotional link to Lu works. I’m hesitant to call it an ‘empathic’ link, because while it does share some characteristics of what other empaths have experienced, I am not an empath in the typical sense. I can’t ‘pick up’ on others’ feelings, I have a hard time understanding or imagining what someone might be going through during a particular emotional event that I myself have never experienced, nor do I feel everything Lu feels 24/7. There’s an area of resonance, so to speak.

For example, I don’t know what it feels like to have a brother become your ‘enemy’. I’m an only child, I’ve never had any sort of sibling relationship, much less a falling-out with a sibling. I can’t even imagine what Lu must have gone through, at war with his own family.

But I do know what it feels like to be wronged. I know the agony of defeat, of having everything important to you ripped away. It is shared sentiments like these that are fused together, my own amplified by Lu’s. It is then difficult for me to be ‘coerced’ into doing his Work, when I would still feel the same way (though perhaps not quite as strongly) in the absence of our link.

I can always refuse to do something he asks of me. I have before. I refused even though it pained me to do so, even though my heart said otherwise. I am not ruled by these emotions, much less denied my free will.

Free will is the ability to choose for ourselves. I have chosen this path, I have chosen this god, and I have chosen the consequences that come along with it, taking both my own feelings and Lu’s into consideration while not letting them be the deciding factors.

Satanism vs. Devil Worship vs. Luciferianism

After responding to a question on my last post, I realize that I’ve yet to formally make a post talking about the differences between Satanism, devil-worship, and Luciferianism. Its an issue that pops up a lot, I’m surprised it took me this long to mention it.

[Keep in mind that this is not by any means a definitive separation of the three faiths, but merely one take on the nuances between them]

The differences between those three terms (luciferianism, devil worship, and satanism) are complicated. Some will use all three synonymously, others like me do not consider them to be the same thing. Lets start with the broadest of the three–Satanism.

Satanists are mostly atheistic. They see Satan as a symbol, and their faith is heavily focused on the here and now–the materialistic, the pleasurable, the self-serving. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing–its really just self worship. Then there are the theistic Satanists who see Satan as a real being.

This is where it starts to get fuzzy. Theistic Satanists may or may not differentiate between Lucifer and Satan, but I and many Luciferians do. We see Satan as the figurehead of carnality and of the more…worldly issues, so to speak. He represents embracing what life has to offer, and living for the self. The more fervent theistic satanists may call themselves devil worshippers. Just as with any faith, there are extremists and radicals who will present their faith in a less-than-pleasant way, which has been the case for ‘devil-worshippers’. Just because the ones you hear about on the news are insane and psychopathic doesn’t mean they all are.

Luciferians can also be either theistic or atheistic. Whether we consider him a symbol or an actual god, he represents knowledge in all it’s forms. The majority of us strive for apotheosis–to become like gods, knowing good and evil. We hold ourselves accountable for our actions, and even theistic luciferians like myself rely largely on our own potential and effort. Lucifer is a guide and mentor, but ultimately my faith is what I make of it.

While I have seen a few theistic Luciferians claim to worship Lu, I myself do not use the term ‘worship’ to describe my devotion to him. Worship has connotations of submission and hierarchy and Lu has beaten it into my head enough times that we are equals in potential. There’s also the issue of blind faith in regards to worship. You have to earn praise and respect through your actions—being a god doesn’t automatically make you worthy of admiration.

While I may differentiate between all these terms, I am aware that the majority see them as interchangeable. When they speak of satan or the devil I can usually safely assume that they are also referring to Lucifer. When they refer to my practices as worship, however, I do make the effort to try to inform them on why that is not an acceptable term for my devotion.

If you’re going to call it ‘spiritual warfare’, don’t romanticize it

I’ve been talking with a few devout Christians lately, and have had a few start following my blogs. I was pleased to note that we could get along, and even have calm and rational discussions regarding our faiths. I find myself finding more similarities between us than differences, as a matter of fact.

 But one thing I noticed they seem to mention a lot when referring to Lu, or the antagonistic relationship that their god and my own has, is that the ‘war has already been won’. They place a lot of emphasis on the biblical prophecy that says my patron will be defeated (again). Although they may not say it directly, they imply that they are on the side that will claim victory, while Lu and his devotees will be defeated (and cast to Hell, one would presume). Now, clearly not all Christians have this sort of mindset, but it does seem to be prevalent even amongst the mild of the faith.

It seems like such a fixed concept—like our Work is such a lost cause. So what’s the point of all this if it won’t make a difference in the end?

The point is that it’s not about winning, but standing up for what we believe in.

Maybe it’s because the end goal of Christianity revolves around salvation and redemption, which necessitates the defeat of ‘evil’, that they seem to focus so heavily on treating Lu as an enemy, and our Work as a battleground.

And I would be lying if I said that Lu isn’t interested in ‘winning’. He’s a leader of a rebellion, for goodness sake. But its also not just about winning for the sake of winning—its not about overthrowing some god as a show of power or force. And it’s definitely not about taking away others’ faith, unlike the majority claim.

I don’t want to think of this as warfare. I don’t want to see Christians or the Christian faith as my enemy. And no, this isn’t me just trying to seem ‘holier than thou’, or trying to project my faith as being more loving or peaceful—my faith isn’t built on the foundation of love that theirs is, I would never argue that. I just don’t think they realize what the implications of morphing this into a battleground would entail. I’m sure no matter what ‘side’ you’re on, you’d think that your cause was the right one, that your side was the ‘good’ side. But the reality of war is that there isn’t a good side and a bad side. If you want to call it a war, you have to be willing to admit that there will be atrocities committed by both sides. And I suppose in that respect, I already do see it as a war, despite my resistance towards it.

I grew up with stories of war. My parents and their siblings fled their homeland because of a civil war. I grew up hearing about heads being mounted on pikes, and bodies being dumped in front of doorsteps as messages and warnings from both sides of the war. My family didn’t shield me from the grim reality of what they had experienced, but encouraged that I learn the full truth—not the sugar coated stories that made it seem as though the guerillas were the ‘good guys’. I heard about the forced recruitment of civilians into both the government army and the guerrilla army, and the horrors committed by both sides.

Fighting battles, or ‘spiritual warfare’, seems to be a rather romanticized image. We always think we are fighting for what’s ‘right’, what’s ‘good’. But treating another god or faith as the enemy doesn’t mean they’re automatically evil. Insulting my god and laying blame on him doesn’t mean your own is innocent. 

Just because I believe in Lu’s cause doesn’t mean I refuse to acknowledge the negative aspects of what his work entails. Even if we only see this as ‘spiritual warfare’, it doesn’t mean that ­­there is no harm being done. Everything comes with a consequence, no matter what side you’re on.

They accuse Lu of making them doubt, of planting the seeds of mistrust and disbelief in their heads about their faith and their god. I don’t deny this. I don’t deny that he can and will make them question their beliefs, just as he has made his devotees do so. Do I think he does this with malicious intentions, or as an attempt to gain converts to his cause? No. It isn’t about converting or gaining followers, it’s only about getting them to think for themselves, rather than relying on what they have been told. It’s about acknowledging that we have a choice—and some may willingly choose to honor the very god he rebelled against.

But that doesn’t excuse the harmful results of such questions. I cannot count how many times I’ve heard it said that ‘the devil targets you when you’re at your weakest’. I will not argue with that statement. Speaking as someone who had their world turned upside down when I was at my lowest, who had my faith shatter when I was at my weakest and needed it the most, I know only too well how traumatizing such doubts and questions can be. My path now is only the result of how I managed to piece back the shards of my spirituality, but I know that it was a very real possibility that that experience could have broken me completely.

I do not defend those actions, or make excuses for Lu. For the most part, those he targets have not chosen the path that I have—they have not chosen to have their faith and beliefs tested and tried, they did not ask for Lu to make them question their spiritual foundation. But you know what? Neither did I, at first. And it might be biased of me to say this, because I managed to emerge from these trials as a stronger person, but I do think there is some good that can come of Lu’s interference.

But not everyone will be able to rebuild their mangled faith. Some may have nothing left to rebuild. And I can only imagine the hate and distrust that would arise from such a situation—if Lu had broken the very faith that kept me going, and I hadn’t been able to emerge from that experience a better person, if I had nothing else to live for, I would loathe him and his actions. I would be on the other side of this so-called ‘war’. And I know that this is exactly why some Christians show such hatred toward my patron—I understand how his actions could be damaging. I can see how they would come to think that my god has nothing to offer them except mental anguish, and how the ‘opposing’ faith would be more appealing. After all, it does present itself as an ideal faith, centered around love and forgiveness. But just like any belief system, my own included, it has its flaws. It just depends on what sorts of flaws and faults you’re willing to live with—which ones don’t conflict with your own ideas of morality?

So call it a war if you will. Hate my god all you like. Plot his downfall, rally against my work, claim victory over a battle of your own making. 

Its admirable that anyone would believe so strongly in something, that they would devote themselves wholeheartedly to a cause.

But know that nothing is ever as simple as good vs. evil. If you want to call it a war, you should be willing to acknowledge that your own side has its own fair share of imperfections, of actions and principles that may be considered ‘unjust’ by others who do not share your ideals. If you aren’t willing to acknowledge the faults of your own belief system, of your own god, who are you to be criticizing anyone else’s? This doesn’t just apply to Christians—I’ve seen pagans just as guilty of ignorance, of launching smear campaigns against monotheistic faiths and against my own deity while pretending that their own belief system was the epitome of perfection. It may be perfect for you as an individual, but don’t go imposing your ideals of perfection on everyone else.

There He’s Standing with His Open Heart

I can’t recall how many times I’ve asked myself if I made the right choice, to integrate myself with matters of the divine while dealing with the issues of this life as well. Was it really the best decision to accept Lu as my patron? The combined pressure of both worlds can be overwhelming, and sometimes I end up avoiding one in favor of the other.

And I have to admit, often that means neglecting my duties as one of Lu’s own. It means choosing what seems more real, as the skeptic in me mocks my devotion and belittles his and my Work. In times such as these, it’s difficult for me to remember the importance of my faith, because in terms of tangibility our work is entirely spiritual, mental, and emotional—it’ll never support me financially, it’ll never have a firm foundation in the material world, and I can’t see proof of it’s worth beyond my own mind. My relationship with my god and my work as his student cannot be assessed as easily as other situations. It cannot be evaluated through its payoff, and it certainly cannot be appraised by anyone other than Lu or myself.

So why do we do it? Why do we put so much time and effort into cultivating divine relationships, into doing tasks that may be meaningless to anyone else, into learning things that aren’t always relevant to our lives?

I can only speak for myself, and my reasons may be difficult to comprehend. One of the problems with dealing with Lu through emotions and feelings is that often I can’t describe in words the extent of my devotion, or the meaning behind our work. It is one thing to say that I’m his devotee, and quite another to live it. I could say that my work involves blogging and living to his standards, of bearing some of his burden, and of having my actions and words reflect back on him as my patron and vice-versa– but it goes beyond that. It goes beyond the mere act of being his disciple, but rather the yearning to be of use to him—to be a force of change in this world as he has been a force of change in my own life.

He is often accused of being too proud, of wanting to outshine his creator—to be brighter than the source that breathed life into him. And how can I, as his disciple, aspire to be anything less? He made it clear at the start of our patronage that my help would not be accepted if all I hoped to accomplish was to please him, or to repay debts that don’t exist. I had to want this for ‘substantial’ reasons, to feel as strongly for these causes as He did.

I thought I did. But it wasn’t until he began projecting his own emotions onto me that I realized how mistaken I had been. How does one even begin to describe a god’s sorrow, or his joy? All I know is that my own human emotions could not compare to His. He kindled the glowing embers of my own sentiments, feeding them with his own fiery passions.

But something like this can’t be undone. His grief, joy, and rage remain as muted imprints, irrevocably intertwined with my own emotions. And this is one of those consequences of my patronage to Lu that I spoke of before. I can’t unfeel these things, I’m stuck with them whether I continue to work with him or not.

So while I may whine and complain about the stress levels that being his disciple inevitably raises, I know that deep down I wouldn’t have it any other way. I can’t help but do his work, not only because I admire what he represents, but because the sentiments he has stirred within me won’t let me forget. I cannot fathom living my life feeling what I do, knowing what I know, and not make the effort to be a reflection of his ideals in this world.

It is because of this that I can endure that nagging voice at the back of my mind that mocks my faith; it is why I endure the weariness of my role as His student. It goes beyond what appears true, because this feels real–the emotions, the devotion, and his presence in my life. In the end, that’s what keeps me faithful, despite the silence (or rather my inability to ‘hear’ him) and despite the frustration. I can’t say for sure if the choice I made was the best one, but the fact that I keep choosing this god and this path, each and every day, has to mean something.