Currents In Convergence
by Jake Block
• The general tendency or course of events or opinion.
“Don’t cross the streams… It would be bad… Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.”
— Egon Spengler, PhD (Ghostbusters )
Back in 1966, when The Church ofSatan was, for all intent and purpose, the only game in town, millions of people found the strongest voice in the room against religionists and traditional religious thought was Anton Szandor LaVey. To be sure, there were other non-mainstream groups in opposition to “right hand” domination, such as Aleister Crowley and the Ordo Templi Orientis, The Church if the Final Judgement in the UK, also known as “The Process,” headed by Robert de Grimston and his partner, Mary Ann MacLean (failed Scientologists), and Herbert Sloane, “spirit medium” and founder of Our Lady of Endor Coven, part of the Ophite Cultus Sathanus.
Time and tide (currents in their own right) wait fo no man, and before LaVey breathed his last in 1997, groups with a “satanic ethic and ethos” were emerging slowly around the world. One could find them, but it required time and effort to find mention of them in “occultic” magazines and newsletter of the time. There would be what occurred as a “Big Bang” of Left-Hand Path availability with the rise of affordable and higher speed internet access during the mid-to-late 1980s, and continuing to this day.
I sometimes compare the current status of “the Left-Hand Path” as not so much as a path, but as a super highway on which are millions of lanes, all heading more or less in the same direction, and during one’s travels, one might merge and cross lanes several times before they reach their final destination. And then, like any highway, there are offramp departures that many take, sending them off in many alternative directions, never to return to that great highway heading Left. One could imagine that by the time one reaches the end of the super highway, it will have shrunk to a meandering two lane road, far from the mainstream of traffic and, further still, to a single footpath, upon which one intrepid soul might eventually find that point of singularity, the end of the trail.
Sometimes, however, I tend to see the Left-Hand Path not so much as a highway, a road, or a path at all, but more like a “color line” buy which all are measured. Now, my “black and ethnic” readers will probably understand this point much more than those who are white. One might consider it like the “Fitzpatrick Skin Type Scale (*1),” which rates skin color from Type 1 (Light, Pale White) to Type 6 (Black, Very Dark Brown to Black), but much more detailed. In the days of post Civil War racism in the United States, the color line was a measurement of skin tone, by which the power elite (read as white majority) could determine if a person of color was light skinned enough to gain access to a greater degree of acceptance in the white culture.
This system, was still alive in 1964, and was referenced in Bruce Hornsby’s song, The Way It Is:
“Well, they passed a law in ’64
To give those who ain’t got a little more,
But it only goes so far,
Because the law don’t change another’s mind
When all it sees at the hiring time
Is the line on the color bar.”
This, to me is what The Left-Hand Path has become, for better or for worse, but it’s not based so much on color of one’s skin as the color of one’s philosophical ideation (or current), as regards the imagined gradients of a color bar between the BLACK, the most far left, to a pale mocha color on the far right, but barely changing in color from the hues denoting the Right-Hand Path, still further right on the bar. Whereas the postwar American society saw an inclusion or lighter-skinned Americans as a devaluing of white society, on today’s Left-Hand Path, one might consider the crossing of philosophic currents to be a dilution of the deeper left schools of thought.
On the “Left-Hand Path” continuum, we might consider the “most left-leaning” to be those who disavow the right hand path philosophies in entirety, having broken from the herd and seeing those on the right as “somehow less than.” In one of LaVey’s final video clips, prior to his death in 1997, he stated this concept quite clearly in what is known as the sovereignty ritual:
“Brother Satan, I call forth this night, all of your forces to attain the elevation of the superior human animal. We are superior, and we are not superior by ethnic means, but by the superior force of the Will, the imagination, the creativity, and the very essence of resourcefulness and survival that is the very heart and soul of the Satanist. Place us in a position of sovereignty that we might look down upon our inferiors, and cast their kin into the morass of mediocrity where they belong.”
Taking LaVey’s sentiments as The Blackest End of the color bar, the shades turn grayer and lighter with more and more inclusion of Right-Hand Path philosophies, such as an abundance of pity and empathy, a championing of social justice for all, and the use of Satanism as merely an inroad to political expressions. The more of these concepts that the Satanist tries to include in his personal pantheons of thought, the further he moves down the scale until, at last he might be seen as simply someone who calls himself a Satanist, but is virtually indistinguishable from any other citizen part of the herd.
It might be easier to imagine it like Malcolm X’s “coffee” analogy.
“It’s just like when you’ve got some coffee that’s too black, which means it’s too strong. What do you do? You integrate it with cream, you make it weak. But if you pour too much cream in it, you won’t even know you ever had coffee. It used to be hot, it becomes cool. It used to be strong, it becomes weak. It used to wake you up, now it puts you to sleep.”
While Malcolm X was specifically referring to integration of white and black citizens and the dilution of each culture that that would entail, in his mind, the same concept applies to the integration of Satanism and Abrabamic schools of thought. All animals segregate to some degree, for various reasons. Frank Zappa’s song “You Are What You Is,” comically stated it:
“Do you know what you are?
You are what you is.
You is what you am.
A cow don’t make ham.
You ain’t what you’re not,
So see what you got.
You are what you is,
An’ that’s all it is.”
So, we can see that individual currents of thought can be strong and powerful and are the way of the world, and while they might exist simultaneously, they are strongest when they remain separate. Crossing them to form some hybrid school of thought might seem to be a good idea, but in almost any case that I can think of, seldom last and, most often degrade the essence of both at best, and destroy them at worst.
Note *1 — The Fitzpatrick Skin Type Scale is used to determine a skin color’s tendency to sun damage. For example, Type 1 skin, listed as “Light Pale White” is notated as “Always Burns, never tans,” whereas Type 6 skin is listed as “Black, Very Dark Brown to Black,” with the annotation, “Never burns, tans very easily.