What A Fool Believes
by Jake Block
“What a fool believes, he sees.
No wise man has the power to reason away;
What seems to be
Is always better than nothing.”
— What A Fool Believes (The Doobie Brothers)
We’re “the children of the third side option,” as Satanists. We know (or should) that there are at least three sides to every question and at least three solutions to every problem. Seldom is our answer given in the heads or tails decision of the coin flip because we know that there is always that chance, slim though it might be, that the coin will land on its edge, than that edgewise option is where the magic in all things lies. We ask, “Is going with my gut feeling the right thing to do?” The coin lands on heads, and we are fate-certain that that is what we must do. The coin lands on tails, and the certainty of fate automatically changes to be against us, and we are then forced to come up with an other way to solve our dilemma… or go for two out of three tosses of the coin.
But then with all of the drama of a Stephen King novel, the coin lands on its edge, and things begin to get a little weird. It is at this time when we realize that the answer doesn’t always need to be yes or no. It could be BOTH.. and it could be NEITHER. It’s the realm of the mind when the bizarre and unpredictable begin to make sense, like having eleven simultaneous dimensions, all functioning at this exact same moment, and we have the ability to scan them all in our mind and see the possible outcomes of any question and then choose the one that is most satisfying to us, rather than leaving it all to chance.
Now, in my mind’s eye, I can see any number of people reading this to be shaking their heads “yes,” in response to this scenario, so this question must be asked. If the third side option is valid and we claim to be open to it in our daily lives, then why is it that some of us are so damned dogmatic and cock-sure that we are right on everything? Our very existence is but one option and one its set of options to be considered in our own lives, but we feel that we have the right (and in some cases the mandate,) to press our opinion as the only option to others. If they refuse our wise counsel, even if they never asked for it in the first place, we think them a fool, knowing they’ll make foolish choices and thereby fail, which we are certain will make them see our wisdom. In our third-side world, we are always the arbiter of everything.
My question is, “Why should we bother?” What a fool believes really isn’t our business, and while it might feel good on a personal basis to show a fool the fallacy of his train of thought, the chances of actually affecting change is slim. People, as a rule, only change when it is in his best interests on a bottom-line level to change one’s mind or modify one’s behavior. This change is most often possible in the realm of the physical, but when it comes to things believed on “blind faith,” not so much. While changing one’s attitude or convincing one to do something physically to better one’s life, there’s a tangible aspect that they can see or feel in terms of physical comforts or financial enrichment. But even as it costs them nothing to “believe,” abandoning a long held belief can produce a sense of loss and/or violation of one’s personal sovereignty, especially when it is done at the behest of another.
As an outside entity, those who do manage to get someone to change their mind and believe as they do get nothing, other than the fleeting feeling of self-accomplishment… at what? Making a fool realize he was foolish? Well, you know, that and four bucks will get your a Cafe Latte Venti at Starbucks. And the reality usually is, that after paying lip service to your lucid, well-thought-out rebuttals to their personal beliefs, they’re going to simply move back to their original stance, or move on to something equally foolish, as soon as you walk out the door. You could have better used your time reading a good book, taking a nap, or realizing that it’s not your responsibility to be the leader of the thought police.
In the five decades that I have been a Satanist, I can’t remember a single instance in which I have seriously sought to dissuade another of their personal beliefs, nor have I told anyone that they should be a Satanist or, to present, that they should become a member of The Sect of the Horned God. The truth is that I am simply not that invested in their lives. What they do or what they believe is simply something that I really don’t care about on a more than base level. If asked, I MIGHT toss the coin for them, but in the end, my interpretation of the coin toss, is no more valid than theirs, even if they understand the third side option that that toss could present. Most people aren’t prepared to see that coin standing on edge, and would see the anomaly more than they would see the opportunity it presented.
My bottom line is to let the fool believe whatever it is that the fool will believe. If someone asks for my opinion, and I have a couple of minutes to waste, I might voice it, or just as likely, I could just shrug my shoulders and walk away.