Take your pleasures seriously.
― Charles Eames
I recently received the following query via e-mail:
“[…]I have been a spiritual seeker for a long time and have explored many paths. I have made a lot of progress in my personal development, but I still feel like my life could be so much more and that I still haven’t even scratched the surface of how good things could be. So I’m at a point now where I think Satan/the LHP might be the key I’ve been missing this whole time. While I’ve been reading and watching videos I don’t really know where to take it next. I understand that this topic/lifestyle is very much individual and that much of it I have to figure out on my own, but I was wondering if you could offer any insight or direction.[…]”
If you’re reading this you will probably relate to this person. I understand the LHP to be as much intellectual as it is spiritual, as cerebral as it is visceral. The brand of witchcraft I practice mirrors this approach: I gather information, do my research, and then use my instinct and let my magick determine the rest of the process.
Satan encourages us to question everything, to venture into the unknown, and to test the waters even if we are not competent swimmers. Knowledge in itself is not ‘dangerous’: its applications are the ones that may yield unpredictable or negative results when we don’t take the time to do our research and when we’re not honest with ourselves as to our own shortcomings or our lack of talent in certain areas.
Before fully diving into any vertient of the LHP/Satanism/Luciferianism, I strongly encourage to follow your pleasures in a rational way. Does this sound contradictory? No wonder: we have been taught to the point of brainwashing that to indulge in pleasure is to lose sight of ourselves. The search for pleasure has been maligned for so long, that most people in western society equate pleasure with vice or – of course – with ‘sin’. We do not acknowledge the existence of ‘sin’ on this blog because ‘sin’ is a judeochristian notion. Let’s compare vice with pleasure:
VICE – Drains you out PLEASURE – Fills you up
– High-> Depressing low – High-> Comfortable platitude
– Byproduct: guilt – Byproduct: satisfaction
– Takes time from what you love – Is a welcome break from obligations
– Damages your physical and/or mental health – Doesn’t harm your health
– Is compulsive – Is voluntary/consensual
There are few quests clearer or purer than the quest for personal pleasure. Experiencing pleasure puts us in a frame of mind and mood that leaves little room for lying to ourselves. It is a form of field research that provides a very clear insight of what drives you and feeds you. You can figuratively, or literally, undress yourself in front of the mirror. What do you see? Write it down or record it. Use any tracking tools or technologies available to you. Write, talk, photograph, draw.
Ever read Sei Shonagon’s The Pillow Book? Why not model your research on it? You can tackle one of the following cues – one at a time is always best – daily, weekly, or even monthly:
- Lovely things
- My favorite fantasies (not just sexual: there are many areas in life that can bring as much pleasure)
- People/Experiences/Things that make my heart beat faster
- What makes me feel clean
- What makes time stop
- Exquisite smells
- Delicious flavors
Make it a point to prioritize pleasure. Schedule it if you must – nobody has to know but you. Do not attach demeaning adjectives to your pleasures such as ‘guilty’, ‘simple’, ‘small’, ’embarrassing’, etc. Our pleasures are ours and ours alone, and as such they cannot and should not be judged by petty common standards. What is only ours is not for others to judge.
Our pleasures will show us a very obvious and factual portrait of our true selves: if you are not prone to indulging in pleasure, be prepared to be shocked by your findings. Pleasure is the path that will lead you to delve deeper into the aspects of the LHP you feel most attracted to. For example: let’s say cooking is one of the greatest acts of pleasure you can perform. At first instance you might not see a direct connection between gastronomy and the LHP – and yet there are: you can track down old kitchen grimoires and begin recreating their recipes, making adjustments according to current times. Learn everything you can about the chemical reactions between different types of food. Educate yourself on the properties of every seed, fruit, grain, and meat. Become a kitchen alchemist and see how you can enhance your and others’ magickal, mental, psychic, or spiritual abilities through food…You get the idea.
The same approach detailed above can be exercised for other types of pleasures: if you take great pleasure in playing an instrument, learn about tritone a.k.a. ‘the devil’s interval’, and start composing. Do you really love porn? Research and start practicing sex magick. The options are endless. Adopt the pursuit of a particular pleasure as your life mission, and let it become the way in which you apply and learn more about your personal LHP.
Pleasures have a much more substantial meaning for us once we focus on them. The sensations and state of mind we achieve through their enactment is not their ultimate result – we decide how much time and attention we give our pleasures. Modern life and society have taught us that the more time we devote to pleasure, the less we can achieve. The myth of productivity is one of the most toxic pieces of information that pass as wisdom in this day and age. By devoting more and more time to pleasure, we achieve deeper knowledge of ourselves and we can engage in one of the most fulfilling and enlightening relationships we will ever have: that which we have with ourselves. It is only through this type of knowledge that we can really tap into the aspect of the LHP that most appeals to us, and this is how we can live in a true satanic way.
Hedonism is, after all, not a dirty word. Isn’t that liberating?