A Satanic Conspiracy
by Dave Prinsloo
Jesus knocked your door down
– you had to let him in.
But Satan has been there from the start!
Jesus brought a priest inside
– made you fear the wage of sin.
But Satan won’t be evicted from your heart.
– Psychopompus’ Colonic Treasures
Satan Comes Home: A Satanic Inquisition
Part 1: The Search for the Real Satanic Church
Growing up in a Christian society, I was made to believe that “Satanism” was a very real thing that was to be feared, avoided and reported to the authorities. In the old South Africa, laws were passed prohibiting “Devil worship”. Today, it is only the criminal acts Satanists are allegedly compelled to perform, that are illegal.
After I quit the Dutch Reformed Church at the age of 17, I was called a Satanist by a lot of people. I was called into the principal’s office to explain my beliefs, probably to gage the level of demonic presence in my person. This started me on a search for the Devil, and whenever I heard stories of Satanism and Satanic practices, I was more interested than before. But the more I heard, the more I knew I wasn’t a Satanist, because I didn’t kill cats, nor babies, never drank blood, never fornicated with a whole group of people to glorify the name of Satan or anything fun like that. I was a way too boring guy to be called a Satanist.
But as my search for the Devil reached the shores of Academia, I started realizing that the South African brand of “Satanism” is not really representative of the energies the Devil contributes to the dance of Life. I actually became convinced that it doesn’t really exist, since most of the media reports of “Satanic activity”, are totally hilarious – peace signs and Yin Yang’s spray painted under bridges by candle light – or hoaxes, or obvious incidents of abusive emotional behaviour.
Interesting, and telling (as we shall soon see), is that the most conservative Christian cities in the country – Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth – have traditionally been known as the “Satanic capitals” of South Africa. It would seem the more fervently the existence of horrendous “Satanic” rituals is claimed and feared by the Christian Church, the more supposed evidence they find. When killing a cat and painting an upside down pentagram next to it is advertised by the Church as one of the worst acts of protest against Christianity, a lot of repressed teen-agers will buy into it.
It seems that South African “Satanism” is more a form of ‘anti-Christianism’, dependent on the existence of the Christian Church. A lot of their supposed symbols speak of this – upside-down crosses, chained Bibles etc. The connection is so strong that this brand of Satanism can almost be seen as a branch of the repressive Calvinist Christian tradition, who has been selling Devil worship alongside and with more conviction than the loving message of Christ.
Inversely, it can be said that South African “Satanists” are actually Christians, since their main focus of intent is on Christ. Albeit hating and not loving Christ, worship is about focusing intent on something or somebody. Adding emotion to intent, especially a strong emotion such as hate, makes it powerful. Therefore this form of Devil worship is actually glorifying the name of Christ and not Lucifer.
For this reason, I do not consider South African Satanism an autonomous religion, and when looking for the real representatives of Satan on Earth, these guys shouldn’t even feature on the radar.
So we cast the net wider, to the width of the Internet, and immediately we come closer to our target. Several groups claim to be true Satanists, focused on and inspired by the energies of the Devil, Satan, Lucifer etc. Most of these groups have their roots in the wave of interest in “demonology” and magick that swept through Europe at the end of the 19th century that gave us personalities like Eliphas Lévi and Aleister Crowley, who took it upon themselves to go where the Church didn’t want us to go, not out of protest, but out of burning passion for knowledge about the occult dimensions of reality and the search for divinity.
“The Official Church of Satan”
Not necessarily “the official choice of Satan”, this group came into existence in the USA during the Hippie-era and can be seen as the thorny underbrush of Flower Power. After a South African introduction to Satanism, one word I would not use to describe this group is “evil”. Take a look at the main tenets they observe:
The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth
by Anton Szandor LaVey ©1967
1. Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked.
2. Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they want to hear them.
3. When in another’s lair, show him respect or else do not go there.
4. If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy.
5. Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal.
6. Do not take that which does not belong to you unless it is a burden to the other person and he cries out to be relieved.
7. Acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained.
8. Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself.
9. Do not harm little children.
10. Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food.
11. When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him.
Jesus paraphrased the archaic ‘Ten Commandments’ with something in the vein of “Love God and love your neighbour as you love yourself”. Allow me to paraphrase “The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth” with “Respect others and command respect from others as you respect your Self”. When the Christians say, “turn the other cheek”, these Satanists say “Ask them to stop, if they don’t, destroy them.”
It would seem from this that this group is also anti-Christian, but this is not their focus. Some of the “Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth” even confirm some of Jesus’ message – the prohibition of the hurting of animals, and especially of children. And although this brand of Satanism calls for vengeance, as opposed to the Christian call for forgiveness, “The Official Church of Satan” is not focused on being everything the Christian Church is not, but has a message of its own, independent of the continued existence of the Christian faith. The perceived diametrical opposition between these Satanists and the Christians comes from a wider classification of religions and philosophies – namely “The Left Hand Path”, and “The Right Hand Path”.
“The Left Hand Path”
It is not certain where this classification comes from, but two possibilities are worth discussing – the first being of biblical origin, from a passage in which people are advised to separate their sheep from their goats – the goats on the left, and the sheep on the right. In relation to the Satanist-Christian debate, Christians are seen as sheep, even by themselves, displaying a “herd-mentality”, and relinquishing personal power and responsibility to a herdsman (protector or saviour). The Left Hand Path is more about taking back your personal power, accepting responsibility for your life and becoming a divine being.
Also, and maybe because of the biblical symbolism, Satanists often use the goat as a symbol for the Devil (although an investigation into other symbolic connections with the goat (Capricorn, Pan and Baphomet) is invaluable to the discussion and will be dealt with in Part 2 of this article).
The second supposed origin for the classification comes from India and is quite enlightening. To quote Wikipedia: “Tantra, a set of esoteric Indian traditions with roots in both Hinduism and Buddhism, is often divided by its practitioners into two different paths: dakshinachara and vamachara, translated as Right-Hand Path and Left-Hand Path respectively. Dakshinachara consists of traditional Hindu practices such as asceticism and meditation, while vamachara also includes ritual practices that go against the grain of mainstream Hinduism, including sexual rituals, consumption of alcohol and other intoxicants, animal sacrifice, and flesh-eating. The two paths are viewed as equally valid approaches to enlightenment; vamchara, however, is considered to be the faster and more dangerous of the two, not suitable for all practitioners. This usage of the terms is still current in modern Tantra.”
Yet another explanation comes from the Kabbalah, which speaks of the Left Hand Pillar of Severity, the Middle Pillar of Balance, and the Right Hand Pillar of Mercy, but this will be discussed in Part 2. First I need to address the absence of any real evil in this discussion, when the term “Devil worship” usually conjures up whatever we think is evil, be it Black Magic or Vampirish murders or, in everyday terms, the presidency of George W. Bush, or some of “Uncle Bob” Mugabe’s policies. If Satan is “the Lord of Darkness”, “the Creator of Hell”, “the Consumer of Souls” and “the Dispenser of Eternal Death and Suffering”, what is all this talk about attaining divinity and enlightenment? Will the real representatives of that cunningly deceptive, oh, so seductive, scaly serpent we know so well as Satan, please rear your head?!
Let us regroup. The search is for an institution that takes upon itself the task of claiming souls for Satan by seducing people into giving up their power, relinquishing not only their money, but their capacity to make decisions for themselves. The Satanic way would be to deceive them into believing that there is substantial reward for doing so. I’m not talking money or property, I’m talking about Eternal Life. To seal the handover of power, Satan would expect his representatives to deceive people into believing that there is, in fact, no choice, for refusing the offer would end in Eternal Death and Suffering.
Furthermore, knowing the powerful and liberating influence of the words of Jesus, Satan would compel his representatives to usurp and poison the message and image of Christ, downplaying his humanity and holding him up as an unattainable ideal instead, to remind people of their imperfection, insignificance and their inability to face life alone. To prevent the true spirit of Christ from freeing the souls of the masses, the scriptures containing his Life-giving message should be hidden and encrypted, so that only initiates in the service of Satan could understand it. A powerful, hierarchic system should be set up to maintain allegiance to the Evil One on all levels. Material resources should first be used to enforce the authority of the institution and what is left can be spent on the credibility of the Con.
Since Satan can’t rely on people believing his Con, since belief is flawed with doubt which leads to disillusionment and the reclaiming of personal power, Satan’s representatives would be trained to instill fear as a means of ensuring continued allegiance to The Forces of Evil. Eliciting belief in the Con is only necessary to get candidates to sign away their Souls.
The con is, of course, duping people into believing that the only salvation from Eternal Damnation is through Jesus, and the only access to Jesus is through the Church.
The deviously ironical conclusion to Satan’s master-plan for the onslaught on the souls of Humanity, the final touch to provide The Master of Bondage with that evil grin would be to make people believe they are actually serving God, doing Good, and being freed from the weight of their sins, and that signing on will somehow get them closer to God.
It would seem then, that when Satan realized its time to bring in the big guns in the fight for Souls, he hired the Roman Catholic Church to mount a Total Onslaught on Humanity, to enroll every human being, and to destroy those who refused enrollment. I think we have a winner!
So much for Satanism. In Part 2, the Satanic Inquisition turns its attention to The Beast himself, what he represents and has to offer the ordinary person, as well as “Things to keep in mind when negotiating with the Devil”.
The Beauty of the Beast
Pan and Aphrodite
O goat-foot God of Arcady!
This modern world is grey and old,
And what remains to us of thee?
Then blow some trumpet loud and free,
And give thine oaten pipe away,
Ah, leave the hills of Arcady!
This modern world hath need of thee!
-Oscar Wilde, “Pan”
In part 1 of this Satanic Inquisition I explored the phenomenon known as “Satanism”, more commonly known as “Catholicism”. Put less controversially, I explained that what is commonly known as “Satan” and “Satanism”, was merely ‘work product’ emanating from the Roman Catholic Church’s self-styled and decidedly unchristian Quest for Global Domination.
The best way for any powerful institution to acquire or maintain the mandate to exercise complete authority is to create an adversary (“Satan” comes from the Hebrew word meaning adversary). The more powerful the adversary, the more power should be given to the institution charged with eliminating, or pacifying the adversary. This method of ‘executive power grabbing’ is unfortunately not dying with the emaciated Roman Catholic Church, but is alive and well, for example in George W. Bush’s creation of the mythical “Axis of Evil”, which afforded him virtual executive power over the armies of not only the USA, but also those of Britain, Germany, Italy and several other Western Nations. The Adversary’s name and character just changes. What remains the same is that it does not exist.
Fear is a murky nebula empowering ambitious men to create things far more horrible than originally feared. Without fear, there is no adversary. Even the oldest and most basic adversary – death – becomes just another facet of life, when confronted without fear. This is why Christians are required to live in fear. Even if you’re safe from Satan because of the intervention of Jesus Christ, you still need to fear God. Without fear, Christianity implodes. The problem facing the church, though, is that real fear of God and Hell requires a religious inclination, faith.
To get the less religious minded people, the less fearful, to submit, all young Catholics have to be ‘entrained’ through education and social assimilation to fear himself – his thoughts, his instincts, his feelings, his impulses and his failures. To the Church, anything glorifying, enriching or satisfying the Self and not God (and therefore the Church) is glorifying, enriching or satisfying Satan. To the Roman Catholic Church the Self is the Adversary, Satan. It is for this reason Osho says “They have taught you a slow kind of suicide”. The killing of the Self, piously masked in honourable sounding phrases such as “laying down your life” and “self-sacrifice”.
The Unreasonable Nature of “Reason”
“In loss of self we would find not love or God but primeval squalor.” – Camille Paglia
Only idealists have adversaries. It is only when we are in a state of insecurity, when we perceive that the way we believe things should be is under threat that enemies and obstacles appear, and we perceive opposition. The obvious way for Western strategists to deal with obstacles and enemies that can’t be accepted in an ideal reality is to destroy them, or at least render them harmless. This is not a methodology invented by the Roman Catholic Church; it is the unfortunate practical implementation of analytical thought, a methodology designed by the Greeks to give us clarity, certainty and an intellectual understanding of the fundamentally mysterious world we live in. Analysis is a methodology based on the premise that all things are separate and can therefore be completely and adequately described and defined in isolation, as a thing of its own.
Analysis was designed for the sciences, and is indeed what modern science is based on, but when it entered the domain of spirituality, the strategies a group of individuals employ to get the most out of Human existence, the reductionist quality of analytical methodology plunged us into a world of Morality, where the Logic of Domination rules. A world where good and bad are not intertwined in a fluid Yin Yang-like dance, but definite separate things, opposed to each other, one good and one bad. Good things are to be accepted, nurtured and valued, bad things are to be banished if indestructible, oppressed if unbanishable, and otherwise deprived, neglected or at the very least hidden. The rotten apples should be removed from the pile. The goats should be removed from the sheep. Good and Bad should be removed from each other “as far as the east is from the west” in the words of Jesus.
There is no reason to believe Jesus or his disciples knew the world was round. Had they known, it might be argued that he would have realized ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are every bit as relative as ‘east’ and ‘west’. He would have realized the ‘physical’ is as important as the ‘spiritual’. When Jesus taught through example, his message was to ignore the desires of the body, in other words, the needs and messages of the body, ‘body-wisdom’ and to ultimately sacrifice the body, in service of the Soul. His words echoed this one-sided approach to well-being, largely neglecting practical instruction in healthy living. To Jesus, existence was divided in two spheres, not Heaven and Hell, but Earth and Heaven. The Earth, the physical, was to him imperfect, temporal, and it seems that beyond the smile-inducing innocence of children he could only perceive a strange wilderness of suffering and oppression. Granted he was living amidst extreme oppression and suffering, but this obviously impacted on his assessment of the ‘human condition’. Heaven was, in analytical contrast, perfect, eternally pleasant, without loss, bondage or suffering. It was home. Without a Heaven to return to, Jesus’ task on Earth would have been too much for him. He would have escaped his fate, as he well could have (by ordinary earthly means), had he not valued the permanent over the temporal, the spiritual over the physical, the ideal over the real.
Jesus was a motivational speaker though, and not a Greek philosopher with an explicit philosophy, which leaves the philosopher in us to extract through deduction the world-view Jesus entertained. This was the task of the founders of the Christian faith – the apostles. In particular, Paul was a student of Philosophy with a short and direct line of tutelage between Plato and himself. Plato being the pioneer of the perfect “world of Ideas”, and the perception that not only are we imperfect beings in an imperfect world, but that we can indeed move closer to perfection by studying and aspiring towards ‘The Ideal’. This aspiration towards the perfect, the Ideal, had already become the underlying force that drove the advanced cultures of Athens and Rome and other educated communities through Europe, by the time Paul was spreading the message of Jesus. To me, it is obvious that the Platonic intellectual atmosphere of the time – the belief in the “perfectibility” of everything – influenced the extraction of Jesus’ philosophy by Christians such as Paul. Specifically, Jesus’ Heaven stopped being something to be inspired by and became something to aspire to. This aspiration toward Heaven then became the purpose of being alive. Jesus’ methodology of letting go of the things that stand between Heaven and us became a methodology of removing, prosecuting and destroying that, which does not assist the establishment of the Church of Christ on Earth. Jesus’ instruction to celebrate and share our God-given freedom by spreading his message to all people, became a direct order from the highest authority possible, to invade the world and incarcerate, oppress and destroy all those who are non-receptive, sceptic or not in need of the message of Christ. For, analytically speaking, if you are not for the establishment of Heaven on Earth, you are against it. You are siding with the Adversary, the Serpent, whose head should be crushed preemptively, lest it bite you in the heel.
As far as the body is concerned, Jesus’ example of simple living, fasting to attain altered states, and enduring extreme torture and execution to promote a political cause was extrapolated and synthesized over time into a psycho-pathological philosophy of self-abuse – self-accusation, self-flagellation and self-denial on the physical, emotional and spiritual levels. A philosophy that removes God from the world (Deus ex machina), removes humanity from Nature, and since a person cannot be removed from his Nature, which is his very body, he should remove his Nature, even his very body, if this is the only way to escape the desires of the physical, the seductive call of the Adversary, and have the soul survive.
Such was the effect of Platonic obsession on the course of history in Europe, on the legacy that Jesus left, that he is probably looking down right now saying once more “Forgive them, they know not what they do”. In the quest for clarity and certainty and with the aid of the newly forged Sword of Reason, the dualist perception of creation, which is shared by most metaphysical belief structures the world over, became carved into a world of polarities – opposites that are mutually exclusive (they cannot, or should not exist together). When the reductionist, analytical and frenetic approach became the methodology of an institution founded on compassion and inclusion, the sharp edge of the intellectual Sword of Reason became a dangerous liability, manifesting eventually in the very physical swords of the Spanish Inquisition, as well as Nazi-eugenics.
But this is old news. Everybody knows about the vast social atrocities – cultures erased from the face of the earth – in the name of Jesus Christ. The more personal aspect of the havoc the spiritually and morally corrupt Roman Catholic Church wreaked is becoming evident only now. It starts with the molestation of young boys by priests, and the fate of the children of nuns who were supposed to be virgins. The sexual nature of the abuse is the obvious consequence of the repression of sexuality and is indicative of a theme of repression and neglect of personal needs and happiness that is central to Christian doctrine.
At the same time Jesus was spreading his vision of a Heaven that waits after this life of grief and suffering, a rumour started going around that the very popular Arcadian god, Pan, had died. Among Christians, the rumour was that he had died in Caesarea Philippi when he dived into the abyss below the rock on which a temple to his honour had stood. The Christian rumour was that he had dived into the abyss to conquer Death, but that he had failed. It is this same rock at Caesarea Philippi Jesus was looking at when he said to Peter (a name meaning “rock”, given to him by Jesus) “It is on this rock that I will build my church.”
The death of Pan seemed appropriate to the early Christians. More than that, through the first couple of centuries of the Church’s existence, it became clear that it was necessary. Having survived the persecution by Roman emperors, the only thing that stood in the way of real power and authority was Paganism, and among all the Pagan gods Pan was one of the favourites throughout the world of the early Christians. He occupied a place in the lives of their target audience, the poor and simple rural folk, which prevented them from being receptive to the message of Christ as preached by the founders of the Roman Catholic Church. To sell Jesus as “The Good Shepherd”, they needed to eliminate the Pagan shepherd god. Not just because he was so popular, but also because he represented an archetypal energy that could not be assimilated into Christian dogma. Pan’s job was always to remind us of the playful, spontaneous, passionate, unrestricted, light-hearted aspect of Nature and Human Beingness, as well as the smelly, uncontrolled, disrespectful and dirty aspects of Life. Pan was our undeniable link with Nature, the god of our animal nature, our bestial beings, our basic instincts, and as long as Pan was worshipped in popular culture, unchristian bestial behaviour would always be acceptable among the people the Christians hoped to “save”. So they ran with the rumour.
There was a flaw in their plan, though, for much like Jesus, Pan is known to have power over Death, since every year, with the spring equinox, Pagan worshippers celebrated Pan’s conquering of Death in a spring time regeneration festival common the world over. In the experience of ordinary people, especially in Arcadia, Pan was very much alive long after Christianity became a state religion, surprising herders and overwhelming young girls who wandered off alone into the forest. Even in towns and cities, the bestial and sexual vulgarity continued, evidence of the presence of Pan.
There are two ways to kill a god. The first is to assign the functions of that god to another god (assimilation into another religion), as the functions of Zeus was assigned to the Christian God, thereby making the worship of Zeus obsolete. The other way is to render the function of the deity obsolete. By outlawing alcohol, for example the function of Bacchus in the lives of people would disappear, and probably the worship, even through mentioning his name, as well. This is how gods die – people stop thinking about them as gods, or they vanish completely out of our consciousness. When Christianity took over, the bulk of Greek and Roman gods suffered this fate. Most were assimilated, with their rites and festivals and even symbols, others were discarded with their functions, and a whole lot more died due to the advances of scientific deduction.
With Pan it was different though. The reason was that his function is a biological, more than spiritual or intellectual. In other words, Pan did not come into existence out of our need to understand the world around us, but is the externalization of subconscious needs governing the healthy functioning of the Human body, specifically the flow of Life Force (kundalini energy), the sexual instinct that is so central to all animals. Repressing these basic needs – sex, pleasure, intimacy, invigoration, peak experiences, some sense of personal freedom and fully appreciating and engaging the wonder of the Human body – is just not possible, even over the short term, for kundalini energy is not a psychological or intellectual construct, but a central force that will break through whatever barriers, like a young bird pecking through the shell of its egg because it will not be contained anymore. It cannot compromise. Kundalini energy has to manifest itself, and will eventually take control of the mind, the body, the very muscles of a person until it has spent itself to an extent where it can be controlled again by the repressor, and returned to our subconscious, where it lies curled up like a serpent, slowly growing hungry, restless, tensioning the coil through its body until next time it lunges, through whatever barrier or cage has been constructed and takes whatever suitable nourishment.
When the Church realized that Pan would never die, they used this very fact to mount the first and definitive campaign of ‘demonization’. When they realized that he could not be negated, they formed a strategy to contain him. So they pumped up his image, embellished and added to the supposed exploits, power and influence of Pan, to such an extent that he wasn’t Pan any more, but was fallaciously unmasked as the Adversary, the shape-shifting Serpent, Satan. What Hollywood did for sharks with the “Jaws” movies, the Catholic Church did for Pan when they created their terror-inducing anti-idol, Satan. If Christian ‘faith’ is just intensified hope that there is an afterlife called Heaven, and Christian ‘morality’ is just a value system based on the fear that there is an afterlife called Hell, then it might be good to remember the old adage goes “We create what we fear” and not: “…what we hope”.
The Rebirth of Pan
And what a Hell they created. By the time France was pregnant with the French Revolution, the Catholic Faith had plunged Europe into what became known as “The Dark Ages”, a not misleadingly sinister-sounding phrase. The fusion of Church and State in most European countries effectively gave the Catholic Church absolute power over all of Europe, and even in a world without absolutes, the corruption of the Church was more than absolute. The life-giving message of emancipation that Jesus hoped to spawn, became (much in “broken phone”-style) in the hands of the church, a means to oppress the masses, to strip the freedom from humanity, the identity from individuals, even the innocence from new-born babies. They had created a monster that abducted populations, drove them into camps (called towns), broke their spirits as children to ensure lifelong captivity, and made them forget that they belong to the forests, rivers and mountains, to Nature – to Pan.
But Pan was not dead. He had retreated to the densest Arcadian forests he could find, and it had been almost two thousand years since his last death-defying leap from that rock where now stands a cathedral. But now, from the depths of Hell – from pre-renaissance Paris – Pan was being called upon. Not for his services as protector of sheep, or cliff-diver, or (thank God) as a witness in an inquisition, but as the Invigorator of Spirits, the bringer of harmony, the almost forgotten big brother from back home, and more than anything, the political and cultural activist. So he went to France, via Greece where he managed to convince Uranus that matters had reached a stage where intervention was needed. Uranus, of course, because he had the ideal tools for the task at hand, being able to enthuse people with thoughts that are independent from cultural dogma, thoughts that are not only of practical nature, but will assist the spread of those thoughts (communication). Uranus would provide the technical requirements as well as the intellectual justification (the paperwork, the printing presses), for the massive dissemination of enlightening knowledge and Natural personal power Pan had in mind. Pan would complete the manifestation of these thoughts by rendering the hosts of these thoughts, people like Jean-Jacques Rousseau, unable to prevent themselves from expressing their personal truth. Uranus would create social havoc, and Pan would make sure that the vast majority enjoy every moment of it.
If the birth of Christ was the world event that signified the start of the Piscean age, the French Revolution (the rebirth of Pan) was the event that signified the coming of the Aquarian age, or at least the end of the Piscean age – the age that was supposed to see us develop our Neptunian abilities – compassion, intuition and experiential knowledge of divinity (gnosis). The Rebirth of Pan not only hails the coming of an age of Uranian personal truth, but also the reclamation of our Neptunian abilities that have been stunted and degraded to the level of faith, hope, illusion and self-denial. Pan’s message in this time is that to get to Heaven, one must merge with Nature (human nature included), and not divorce it, and since the Renaissance, Pan has fully become alive again, and people all over the world have started celebrating the carnal pleasures of life. Where once the emblem of Western civilization was a cross, today it is the Coca-Cola logo. Secularism, consumerism, democracy, the emancipation of women, the sexual revolution, the use of drugs to experience divinity, our growing appreciation and celebration of personal freedom – these are all the fruit of Pan’s labour over the last 250 years or so, most of it happening unnoticed under the noses of the keepers of morality, because their defences were set up to detect and destroy the monster goat-god Satan, not some playful sex-crazed flute-playing Greek shepherd god.
But Europeans would not be free from the tyranny of the Piscean age until the idealist toxins of Christianity had spent itself in the form of two world wars, the second of which was fought under the idealist banners of nationalism and Christianity. As a collective consciousness, we couldn’t break with idealism until we saw the fruits of it – the trenches of the first world war, the death camps built by Christians to execute Jews for the ‘deicide’ of two thousand years ago, the nuclear bombing of Japan. We had to become disgusted with ourselves as a species before we could start accepting ourselves as a species. The twentieth century will be remembered for the implosion of idealistic institutions like the Catholic Church caused by the erosion of the not so solid rocks of quasi-rational Platonic thought it was built on.
When humanity realized they could not rationally control the universe, or even society, they turned away from the idealism, nationalism and theism of their cultures and started focusing on themselves, their families, their possessions, their bodies. And with Satan, by now, being the rarely spotted ultra-evil force we know so well from “The Exorcist” and “The Omen” (I, II and III), even Christians have embraced ideas and practices that thousands of people were burned at the stake for. We see Oprah and Dr. Phil assisting Christians to get real, take their personal power and responsibility back and to create Heaven on Earth, to rejoice in the pleasures of the flesh, to celebrate or Human Beingness. Over tea after church, we hear Christians discussing the last episode of “Crossing over with John Edwards”, or how many Lotto numbers had been dreamed of.
If the popes of the Dark Ages could paint a picture of a world where Satan was King, where the Church of Christ, the Army of the Lord was dead, defeated, where people had to fend for their own souls, the 21st century Global Village would be it. A world where people celebrate their free will, where people’s actions are governed by their passions, by what feels good and not “right”, where institutions have power because people give them power and not because they stole it; a world where the validity of ideas are judged by their practicality and sensible sustainability and not their morality. A world where people make informed choices based on personal experiences and do not get told what to be, do, or believe.
Of course, it is a work in progress, and idealism and fundamentalism isn’t dead, but Pan and Uranus are hard at work bringing light into this world (Lucifer – “bringer of light”), this world so darkened by those serious men in their funny hats, and I’m sure even Jesus is looking down at us now saying “Thank God, Satan seems to be winning”.
|Hymn to Pan
Thrill with lissome lust of the light,
I, who wait and writhe and wrestle