Follow Yourself

By K.  Tooke

  The demands and distractions of the modern world can be deafening. We are bombarded with more information than ever: a constant stream of endorsements to consume, produce, and perform. Beneath the
fast-paced, attention-demanding currents of the internet age, the repressive mores of societies that have
long since faded quietly persist, like ancient waste that can’t be dissolved but only endured as it cycles
through its half-life. In Thus Spake Zarathustra, Nietzsche’s imagined prophet of the future calls on his
followers to “follow themselves.” This is harder than it sounds. When we are steeped in the fallacies of
our traditions and pressured to keep up with the expectations of society, how are we to hear and trust our
own voices?

I didn’t miss religion when I left it. I’ve spent most of my life a satisfied skeptic, restlessly chasing the
elusive feeling of contentment that sometimes comes fleetingly with success, but never stays. For a long
time, I thought happiness was contingent on fixing myself; instead of changing into a better person, I
started to disappear. I returned to philosophy because the de facto system of thought I had unconsciously
shaped my life around was failing me. It has been a rude awakening to find, at the root of seasons of
depression and discontent, that my most tyrannical beliefs followed me into godlessness after all.

The truths we can’t acknowledge have great power over us. As explained by Carl Jung, the Shadow is the
part of us that so threatens our sense of self that we can’t bear to see it clearly, and so subconsciously
relegate it to the edges of our inner peripheral vision where it reinforces the forbidden and deepens the
schisms within us. The process of reconciling these fragments must be destabilizing and unnerving – if it
threatens us, it’s because we cannot come out the same person on the other side. In The Hero With a
Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell describes the journey of the hero, one in which uncovering the most
penetrating truths of existence requires confronting symbolic monsters who represent the “unsolved
enigmas” of our humanity. Confronting the things we can’t accept is an intrinsic part of becoming the
hero of our own lives, and discovering a true inner voice we can trust.

In The Satanic Bible, Anton LaVey embraced the Devil as the great emancipator of our thoughts. The
symbols and rituals in Satanism offer a way to strengthen the will to fight the beliefs that would stand
between us and self-becoming. For all its theatricality and shock factor, Satanism at its core is a profound
and sincere call to love life. This isn’t a passive act. Life can’t tell us how to love it; it can’t credit us for
going through the motions. We are the only ones who can design our destinies and fulfill them. And if we
can manage to separate the important from the superficial, the signal from the noise, perhaps we can
experience the true magic that comes with an open mind: a state of being without judgment, pretense, or
fear.

The Orders of The Sect of the Horned God

The Order of Pan
The Order of Cernunnos
The Order of Prometheus
The Order of Dionysis
The Order of Shiva

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