Friday, May 11, 2012

Please, not Satanism!

A no doubt well-meaning young man has started a FB group called "Sinister Sahajiyaism". In his introduction, he states that though Sahajiyaism follows many of the teachings of the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, "we use them in our own way. Sahajayana is to Gaudiya Vaishnavism the same that Satanism is to Christianity."

I just wanted to make it perfectly clear that I am not in favor of this statement. No doubt I will be told that I don't "understand" Satanism, but I think I understand it well enough.

A frequently cited statement by the founder of Satanism, Anton LaVey, is that his doctrine was "just Ayn Rand's philosophy, with ceremony and ritual added." In particular, the nine edicts with which his book begins are felt by many to have been taken from Rand’s Atlas Shrugged:
  1. Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence!
  2. Satan represents vital existence, instead of spiritual pipe dreams!
  3. Satan represents undefiled wisdom, instead of hypocritical self-deceit!
  4. Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it, instead of love wasted on ingrates!
  5. Satan represents vengeance, instead of turning the other cheek!
  6. Satan represents responsibility to the responsible, instead of concern for psychic vampires!
  7. Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all-fours, who, because of his "divine spiritual and intellectual development," has become the most vicious animal of all!
  8. Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification!
  9. Satan has been the best friend the church has ever had, as he has kept it in business all these years!
I don’t really think I need to comment too much on these statements or on Ayn Rand herself, what to speak of “Satanism” itself. These philosophies, like that of Nietzsche, are often appealing to young people with an inflated idea of their own capacities, or a rebellious spirit and desire to shock, or with a privileged background, or some combination thereof. These adolescent shock-jocks also find elements in the so-called left-hand Tantra that appeal to this same sensibility, and so they indiscriminately toss Sahaja into the same basket with Anton Lavey, Aleister Crowley, Marquis de Sade and the rest of this confused tribe of embracers of the dark side.

I personally find the egocentric, individualistic and hedonistic ethos that stands at the center of all these philosophies to be antisocial and destructive. No philosophy is entirely without merit, because it must have some logical basis to be persuasive, but the sum total of these efforts to repackage childish indulgence in the name of enlightened self-interest is a collosal “fail” when it comes to real spirituality, which culminates in prema.

“Enlightened self interest” is generally a cover for the real psychology, which is to think it's an expression of purity and strength to have "contempt for the less powerful, to think that being a predator is a majestic expression of freedom."

Because Sahajiyaism tries to engage sexuality does not mean that it is a part of this constellation of philosophies of indulgence.

That being said, as intimated above, all philosophies should be evaluated for their legitimate criticisms. The power of evil is that it infiltrates even the highest-minded and altruistic doctrines. This is especially the case when spirituality is institutionalized and the high ideals of a founder are compromised for the sake of bureaucratic efficiency.

No institution exists without politics. Most political environments promote the seekers of power, prestige and profit. Such persons tend to evaluate the doctrinal teachings in terms of political expediency and the attainment of their personal goals. Only a highly evolved society can be sufficiently on guard against such people, who are usually masters of deception, to prevent their rise to positions of influence.

But it is precisely the presence of those with the internalized attitude of the Social Dominator who consciously or unconsciously adhere to the Randian world view of Social Darwinism, who play this role.

It is not that a philosophy is not important. Indeed, it is very important; one's guiding philosophy must be both idealistic and realistic, with a definite bias to the former. We believe in the power of love over the power of ego. And we hold ourselves to the ideal, stubbornly. And so we treat institutions with a great deal of ambivalence.

Those following the Prema-dharma should be careful about the company they keep.

Jai Shri Radhe!

1 comment:

108 Holistic Healing said...

i fully agree, jay shree radheee,

it is a test for any individual how much they are in tune with their inner harmony guidance...that may lead them to lovely choices...