Finding the Self on the Left-Hand Path
By Thomas LeRoy, Founder of The Sect of the Horned God
What is the self? You feel as though you are a thing with an intellectual sense, physical, but with an awareness. But try to capture that self. Go ahead. Sit in the dark, close your eyes and try to capture that essence that is you. You can’t. You are the whole of your parts, but not your parts. You are a process, fluid, changing, always in flux; an ever-shifting bundle of thoughts, feelings and memories.
We tend to think the self is as an integrated individual inhabiting a body. But according to neuroscientists, there is no single place in the brain that generates a self. On the flip-side, though, if we are a body inhabited by an undying soul — ghost in the machine — would we be the sum of those past lives? The answer is no. We would not be identical to that man that battled with the Irish forces against the Vikings at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. Nor would we be that stable boy who had relations with the lady of the manor in 18th century England. We would be very different from those individuals. We would still have our independent identity.
While searching for the self, one cannot simultaneously be the hunter and the hunted. It would be like trying to grasp that image in the mirror with your hands; or having the image try to grasp you. It is you. So since we can’t capture the self, can we then guide it? The answer is yes, but what do we Satanists do with the self so that it progresses in a fashion that is beneficial?
The first question to ask is — are you on the left-hand path? You may call yourself a Satanist, but that does not mean you’re on the path. A Satanist is who you are. It is your identity. Just as some people are introverts and others extroverts, you may have certain traits that fall in line with that label called Satanist. The left-hand path, though, is something you have to choose to take. So, I’ll ask again — are you on it, or are you one stuck in a circle of conformity? A leaf in a stream, going with the flow?
The idea of the LHP is to create your own hero’s journey, to go counter-clockwise while reveling in your personal emancipation. It is taking that which you know as the self and carving your own path. Since you are ever-changing, always in flux, you have the choice to counter that natural flow and defy what may seem to be a scripted order. That scripted order is an illusion. It is you lying to the self. And there is no director guiding that script. If you follow it, though, you will find you have put up walls around the self, restricted it, preventing you from reaching that goal of self-deification. Outside influences may try to re-enforce those walls. It may be your parents, your community, society in general. Vanquish that illusion and instead follow the heterodox path, the LHP, toward the exaltation of the self.