Your Own Personal Satan

We’ve all experienced those moments.

During a business meeting, someone – perhaps even your boss, or your client – says something disrespectful or downright vile. You feel the tip of your tongue starts to burn and your whole face becomes hot. Words struggle to make their way through your lips, but what will happen if you dare speak up? Do you give everyone a piece of your mind, or do you bite your tongue to the point of bleeding and say/do nothing?

You’re in a position in which you can break ‘the rules’ without harming anyone, no witnesses, totally safe. The spark of disobedience and naughtiness burns bright within you. Do you go ahead and disrespect the rules, or do you force yourself to tow the line because it would cause you grief or anxiety if you did something you knew was ‘not allowed’?

How about this: there’s that one friend or neighbour of yours who always needs something from you, whether that’s time, money, a sympathetic ear, a cup of sugar, whatever. Or perhaps they don’t ask you for anything but all they do is gossip about everyone they/you know or complain about absolutely everything. You feel sorry for them and you don’t want to come across as rude, so you have humoured them for as long as you can remember; however, deep down, there is nothing you would love more than to tell them how you really feel about their psychic vampirism, only to never see them again.

With Her Demon
“With Her Demon” (Artist: YoonJi Lee)

The pattern is rather obvious: there is always a soft – or loud! – voice within us, encouraging us to break the social conventions, to act outside the rules, and to behave in a way beyond what is accepted within the herd. This is the voice that hints the way in which we should act that is most beneficial for ourselves: the one that points in the direction of self-fulfillment, shameless pleasure, self-care, and personal gratification. I call this voice ‘our personal Satan’.

In today’s society, so determined by the judeo-christian tradition and philosophy, doing what is best for ourselves, or acting in our best interest, is still vilified and mislabeled as ‘selfish’ behavior. This is, of course, a rampant contradiction: why is it that, in a religion that claims to be constructed around the principles of love and harmony, the act of self-love is dismissed as if it were a mere manifestation of selfishness or vanity? Is it not for the greater benefit of all human kind to take actions so that each one of us can make sure that we have a pleasurable, congruent existence, ruled by love and self-respect?

Our personal Satan is the force that drives every choice we ever make that gets labeled as ‘antisocial’, ‘anarchist’, ‘rebelious’, or even ‘childish’. Doing that which is best for ourselves is considered ‘bad’ because we are not supposed to pursue or much less attain happiness: society demands sacrifice and suffering if you wish to ‘belong’. They conveniently overlook an essential fact: anyone who denies himself the right to a happier, more pleasurable existence for the sake of others is bound to snap sooner or later – which ends up destroying any opportunity we have to accomplish greater harmony. This, of course, creates pain and fear, which drive people to the ‘thoughts and prayers’ attitude time and time again.

Oh My SatanOur personal Satan is the voice of our true Self, rightfully demanding to be heard and calling us to follow its lead. It is our instinct, which has been stifled for centuries. Now, some will wonder if the urge to give into vice is also our inner Satan, trying to ‘lead us astray’. In a word: NO, it is not. The motivation provided by our personal Satan is completely separated from our addictions or compulsions. If someone is an alcoholic, for example, the compulsion to drink is the main symptom of a long history of repression and guilt which can sometimes reach even further into the past that the alcoholic person’s physical existence: these sufferings are the last links in a chain that begun decades ago, extending into the person’s parents, grandparents, etc. Pain suffered and inflicted, unacknowledged desires, and the supression of his true nature, have all fueled the person’s alcoholism. The same goes with other addictions such as drugs, prescription meds, gambling, toxic relationships, food, shopping, etc.

Contrary to popular (i.e. judeo-christian) belief, our personal Satan doesn’t ever intend to harm us or to cause pain to those around us. It is an indicator of that which we’re tolerating that shouldn’t be tolerated; and it’s a clear sign that we’re not where we’re supposed to be, or that we’re pretending to be something we are not. What happens then, when we silence or ignore our personal Satan for too long? You can be sure that it will find a way and a moment to make itself heard – and yes, this is usually when we can expect huge disruption and chaos, causing havoc in our lives. Trust me: we all want to avoid such consequences.

What is, then, the sanest and most effective way to benefit from the guidance of our personal Satan before it’s too  late? My experience is that if you have a permanently open, rational, healthy, and honest conversation with this sacred inner voice, the advantages can be enormous. Here are my three suggestions so you can begin this conversation:

  • Journaling: This is more than a recent social media trend. People of the most amazing intellectual, artistic, and spiritual stature have been journaling for centuries. You don’t have to spend on an expensive, trendy notebook and exotic pens (although if you can and if you wish to, by all means go ahead!): anything will do. The approach here is slightly different, though…You have to write as if you were addressing an old intimate friend (or lover). Ask for their opinion, advice, and perspective. The next time you write, answer as if you were that friend – your personal Satan will come through in those ‘responses’. You want to do this in a place where you won’t be disturbed; you can choose to play music if you want. I recommend having an amethyst with you when you write. You can ‘ask’ the questions or narrate the situation every night before going to bed; and ‘answer’ them right after you wake up in the morning, first thing.
  • Bibliomancy: If possible for you, carry with you at all times a ‘disruptive’ text/book which is dear to your heart. Whenever you find yourself in a situation similar to the ones I first described in this post, take a private time out and bring your text/book. Concentrate on the matter at hand, close your eyes, and open the book at a random page. The first sentence or word your eyes land on will tell you something important about your experience at hand. Pay attention to patterns in the ‘responses’ over time. Some of the texts or books I l ike for this purpose: Salvador Dalí’s “Diary of a Genius”, Anton LaVey’s “The Satanic Bible”, Anaïs Nin’s journals, Aleister Crowley’s “Book of the Law”, Patti Smith’s “Just Kids”. Which one(s) would you use? There are many!
  • ‘Reverse’ Meditation: Get yourself an image of Satan which you like – it can be digital, or a postcard, or a statue – you decide. Devote a few minutes every day to meditate with it, and instead of silencing  your mind, notice the thoughts that appear. Among all this noise, you will discover some thoughts that are always present in a persistent, prescient way: meet your personal Satan and get yourself acquainted with it. What is it whispering to you? These are precious, sacred clues that will tell you if there’s anything in your life you need to change, or if there are elements that you need to incorporate into it. If the thoughts are negative or violent this doesn’t mean you have to make them real: they are just a signal of your frustration, of your regrets – how then, can you address those in a way that is healthy for you?

The rational pursuit of happiness and pleasure in a healthy and responsible way that is non-judgmental is possible as long as we become active participants in the choices that affect our lives. And of course, since those choices will definitely affect the lives of those who are in contact with us,  it is only through a careful, thoughtful approach to what our personal Satan is telling us that we can be sure to attain harmony and satisfaction in a way that not only will benefit us, but also others in the short or long term.

Harmony and personal fulfillment through Satan – what is not to like about that?

I've missed you Satan

If you have other methods to get in touch with your personal Satan or if you try any of my suggested methods in this post, please voice them in the comments. I would love to read from you. HAIL SATAN XXX 

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