Compassion in Satanism Reader Q&A

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This was a letter sent to me the other day, from a woman who wants to know about the role of compassion in Satanism. I thought about this answer all week long before I finally replied to her. Here is her letter, and below, my reply:

“”I was raised as a fundamental Christian, though I have never been baptized, fortunately. It took me a lot of trouble and soul searching to get rid of all the propaganda and baggage that was forced on me as a child. I say forced on me, but I must admit that there have been quite a few years I actually believed the bible to be true. I have always had a fascination for the occult, probably because it was forbidden. After all, that is the devils territory, according to Christianity.

After a mental and emotional battle to let go of Christianity and all that comes with it, I have been studying other religions, including Wicca. Also, I have learned a lot about new age and it’s principals, but to me there is also a lot of denial to be found there, as is in Christianity. There seems to be only room for happy happy thoughts, and our darker side should be ignored, denied. After all, everything is about love and light.

I feel that good and evil resides in all of us and that developing and growing on a spiritual level is really about acknowledging that we are really dualistic by nature and integrating and accepting these two sides. Taking responsibility rather than playing the helpless victim, or the ever positive light worker.

These thoughts raised the question if there was any kind of religion or philosophy that would stimulate this kind of awareness.

That is how I came in touch with satanism. I looked into the LaVeyan satanism, but the idea that Satan would be no more than a symbol of our carnal nature, wasn’t very appealing to me. When I found your website about Theistic satanism, that was very interesting.

There are however, still a lot of questions I haven’t found answers for, so far. I’m now 38. A lot of information on the Internet about satanism is LaVeyan. For example, I wondered about charity. I have always had a soft spot for the weak, human or animal.

Now, according to modern satanism, the survival of the fittest is an satanic principle and we shouldn’t attempt to help those who perish, but rather help them on their way. It may be obvious that I myself see it very differently, but I have no idea how theistic Satanism’s views on things like this are.

I am very interested in your opinion on that matter. Since it seems Satan wants us to be independent thinkers, it occurs to me that he would leave it to us whether or not we decide it is good for us to help others, but I don’t know.

Lydia from the Netherlands“”

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Greetings, Lydia.
This is a very complicated issue with no easy answers. I can’t speak for all of Satanism, of course but I can give you my knowledge on this subject.

The beliefs of LaVeyan Satanists are as such : ‘Do unto others before they do unto you’, it is their modified golden rule. This is a very defensive attitude. A defensive person is not a strong person, in my view. They need something to hide their vulnerability and they do this by being selfish and hard-hearted, and acting hateful towards anyone that does not benefit their own selfish cause.

However, ‘survival of the fittest’ is not one of their rules, but it is easy to see why you would get that from reading their material. They have a selfish attitude that is meant to be in opposition to the golden rule(s) of Christianity. In many ways, any form of Satanism is about the self – including self-worship, and fulfillment of personal desires. In fulfilling personal desires, I see no conflict with your desire to help other people or animals with charity. In fact, I think that would be great.

But in the LaVeyan view, compassion comes at a price. Compassion to the LaVeyan is a selfish attribute. Compassion comes to those that deserve it, instead of ‘love wasted on ingrates’. This is selfish, it is not true compassion because true compassion would help others regardless of whether they deserved it or not. Compassion comes from an open heart and an open heart is not selective and does not exclude others that are in need. The LaVeyans take this attitude to an extreme, in opposition to the Christian attitudes of forgiveness and kindness. It does not have to be like this, there can be a reasonable balance between compassion and personal strength.

And, who or what is deserving of compassion? As a Satanist, I have a strong belief that animals need our compassion. I take care of 3 cats that lived at my husband’s house, who were abandoned by their former owner.

The former owner didn’t feed them or give them water and they had to go to the neighbors house to beg for food. I was more than happy to open my heart to them when I moved in with my husband and I know that they love me for it. Their love in return is all that I need. My other cat was adopted from a shelter, and I most likely saved his life because shelter cats here do not live for very long, they are quickly euthanized because no one seems to really care about getting their animals fixed. The shelters here are always overflowing and are constantly low on funds. The shelter people couldn’t thank me enough for taking in my cat. I love animals, and I know that they need our help.

If Satan is god of this world then we should be concerned with what is in this world, and how to take care of it..how we can take care of our own. Recently, I made a lifestyle change that I know will help the environment – I began recycling about 4 months ago because I read many, many reports on how plastic garbage ends up in the ocean, killing wildlife and poisoning the soil in landfills.

I know that I am just one person but at least I can do what I can to help. Others are not as willing to help. You don’t hear other Satanists talking about taking care of the earth, they just want to use what is here and then dispose of it like it never even mattered.

It breaks my heart to know that more and more species of animals die every day. Where I live there are less than 100 panthers that live in the wild, due to hunting, roadkills, and the ever-increasing need for humans to build large houses in wild places where these animals live.

We live in a poisoned world, brought about in part by our modern (mostly Christian) civilization that could care less about taking care of the earth. Its not surprising to me that some of these people don’t care about the future because they are waiting for the ‘rapture’ or the destruction of the earth, and so they feel that the earth is doomed, and it’s too late to care. But I don’t think that is true. You mentioned responsibility. If each one of us took responsibility in our lives and stopped living wastefully, don’t you think that we could make an impact? I think so.

Some (LaVeyans) may say that compassion is a weakness, but it is not, its a strength that few are able to possess. They equate it with weakness because they think that Christians use compassion within their religion. Its very easy to be weak, to hate others, to not care – that is taking the easy way out, and it is not taking personal responsibility. Above all, personal responsibility should be important in satanism, and along with that comes the strength to be compassionate for issues that need our care.

So, have compassion for the earth, it is a living thing and like all living things, it needs help to live or it will die, and this is the only earth that we have. Volunteer your time at no-kill shelters or help them with funds, and know that you are helping to rescue animals that would not have had a chance to live.

If we all stop living wastefully we will see a difference. We all have an opportunity to be responsible for the lives that we live. As Satanists, as humans, shouldn’t it be our responsibility to help the earth? We have the intelligence, the capacity to have compassion and the means to carry it through. Let’s do it!

VenusSatanas

ps. last week, i posted a link to this site in my links section; maybe it will help to raise awareness of the needs of animals in our world:

The World Society for Protection of Animals

And: 10 Ways that you can Help Animals and the Environment we live in

And: How to Recycle Anything!!

And: 10 Ways to help your Local Shelter (ASPCA)

14 COMMENTS




  1. 0

    Hi, this post is 3 years old but I really liked it and wanted to say compassion is part of who we are. It's ok to feel compassion even for the people who spit in our face. Who is anyone to tell me what to feel? Everything I experience comes from my mind and is my responsibility. I have years of memories that filter my perception, I don't know where they all come from, but they're part of me. I think compassion for our 'enemies' shows maturity and strength.




  2. 0

    Hi, this post is 3 years old but I really liked it and wanted to say compassion is part of who we are. It's ok to feel compassion even for the people who spit in our face. Who is anyone to tell me what to feel? Everything I experience comes from my mind and is my responsibility. I have years of memories that filter my perception, I don't know where they all come from, but they're part of me. I think compassion for our 'enemies' shows maturity and strength.




  3. 0

    Lianna, I just now read your comment on wanting to meet me. I'd love to be in touch with you and communicate, but don't know if you'll be getting this. If you do, feel free to mail me at [mail withheld]!

    Lydia




  4. 0

    I must say Venus, that I was very please with your response. It was a subject that I have been at odds with and has been somewhat of a road block that has hinder my relation ship with Satan. Too often satanist have misqouted Lavey and many of his followers have run with this spouting that Compassion is weakness bullshit.I find it highly ironic that a religion that claims to be about excepting our human nature throws out compassion and treats it like it useless ,stupid and weak. For this reason it has effected my relationship with Satan because I had the experience where I felt His compassion toward me in a ritual but I was so possess with the comments of other that I could hardly feel comfortable with it. After a while I bucked this belief and Im glad I did.It was shown to me that compassion is just as useful as hate sometime and like every other thing in life need to be balanced with common sense.




  5. 0

    I don't have a problem with people drinking milk, I found that comment a bit funny really.

    I live near a real fucking farm, they milk their own cows, have their own business supplying their milk to local Organic grocery stores.

    You should try buying milk from a local organic place, like whole foods or such. The place i go to is called Happy Cow. nice people, they treat their cows nice, no antibiotics or any sort of "torture". I also buy their cheese and other goods like jams and vegetables.

    I'd recommend you growing your own garden as well, or buying local as much as possible. that's a bigger issue




  6. 0

    I will admit, the one thing I strongly disagree with Levayn Satanism is the social darwin aspect, you know "fuck the weak". But what do they mean 'weak'? Would people with physical and mental disabilities, are they considered "weak"? Anyway, I don't view compassion as a weakness. In fact, compassion is a part of human nature and we shouldn't deny our capacity for compassion. However I will not waste my compassion on people who treat me like shit, nor will I waste my energy holding a grudge forevery and every.

    By the way, you mentioned you don't drink milk




  7. 0

    Venus, Lydia's passionate letter patterns m own evolution and opening to Satan 18 years ago. I too experienced spiritual warfare that raged for years, and is now rather impotent. Satan unleashed inside me and I completed the Blood Covenant seven years ago, a total of 18 in His Service.

    I too concur with your perspective of a loving and compassionate Satan as our Majestic Horned Father, rebellious and fallen angel. I know personally His passionate love. protection and adoration.

    I very much felt Lydia in her sincere expression through words. I would love to get to know her and commune with her.

    In Blessed Infernality
    lianna




  8. 0

    Compassion in Satanism is a topic which has come up on my blog on a number of occasions.

    One lengthy post, which I won't quote here (but you can see it at: http://archive.opusdiaboli.info/2009/03/22/dont-care-was-made-to-care–compassion-compulsion-and-satanism.aspx) looks at the choices of a Satanist who works as a nurse and who experiences a lot of compassion for the people she works with, and examines why a Satanist might show compassion for what is essentially a stranger.

    Secondly, I have looked at how when the State intervenes in forced compassion, the results are rarely good – the recent release of the Lockerbie Bomber is a case in point, where the desire to be seen to be compassionate has played into the hands of the Libyan regime, and mightily upset our American allies.

    It comes down to this, when showing compassion is something that flows naturally and makes us feel good about ourselves, how can it be anything but a good thing for us.
    When compassion becomes a duty, and is forced on us by the state, by convention and by organised religion, then it has a corrosive and poisonous effect on the individual and society.




  9. 0

    Yes I completely agree that there are others who would take advantage of others kindness. This is a natural human trait. that's why i also suggested that there should be a balance; there should be a limit to helping others who don't want to help themselves. someone who is disadvantaged is not the same as someone who purposely takes advantage of others. This is where 'psychic vampirism' comes into play, and with LaVey I agree with this – it's just common sense.




  10. 0

    Belial9,

    I think that Christians and ignorant Satanists are the one's who started the one-sided belief that Satanism is all about hate and scorns love of any kind. For example, many anti-Satanic Christian writers have filled Christian bookstore shelves with inaccuracies about Satanism as defined by Anton Szandor LaVey for their own selfish reasons like parroting other anti-Satanic fanatics, or just plain poor research and stupidity on the subject.

    And one can read the chapter in The Satanic Bible called Love and Hate to see that "Satanism represents kindness to those who deserve it instead of love wasted on ingrates" in regards to blind indiscriminate love (egalitarianism) for everyone in one big happy hippy hug. And take notice that he said "Satanism represents kindness to those who deserve it" which means he never implied that to be a Satanist that you could never express compassion or love towards others; yet, actually suggests that Satanism advocates kindness but not indiscriminate kindness.

    I also think that some (not all) legalistic and narrow-minded Satanic types do lead others to believe that Anton LaVey's Satanism was purely about hate and about acting like an autcontrarian "rebel without a cause" which is not compatible with the philosophy of LaVey's Satanism.

    As a matter of fact, you can watch the uncensored version of Satanis: The Devil's Mass and here LaVey himself comment on this misconception about Satanism being only about hate. Anton LaVey actually says that saying Satanists can only hate and not love is about as absurd as someone saying that just because one drinks coffee that they can never drink tea.

    Satanism is about this carnal reality as it is and love and compassion is part of human nature as well as hate and to repress love is to repress a part of our human nature and not Satanic in my opinion.

    Furthermore, if one takes time to read Ragnar Redbeard's Might is Right he also suggests to "love strongly" those who have earned your love except I trust some who read this will ignore that part. 😉

    If it is one's desire to show acts of compassion towards others then I say induldge; however, one must realize that all acts of love are selfish acts! 😉 If doing something for someone else brings you pleasure then that is a selfish motive no matter how much you try to act otherwise.

    I think the reason that this belief about Satanism is so prevalent is because some are trying to mold LaVey's Satanism to their own dualistic Christian-like beliefs. There is no god-based good or evil in LaVey's philosophy except for good being what one likes and evil being what one doesn't like.

    I also read in an old interview with Anton LaVey that LaVey said that he hated using dualistic terms like "good" or "evil" because morality is all relative in LaVey's Satanism.

    And I don't criticize those who like to hate more than love because Satanism is about being your own God and about individuality.

    I agree that compassion is not a weakness and I feel after watching Anton LaVey in this video that he would agree too (except for some modern Satanists who don't get The Satanic Bible or can't read).

    Also, I would like to add that I know of many CoS members who are very concerned about animals and the environment. However, there are other Satanists who, unfortunately, view the earth as just a "ball of dirt" not worthy of care or consideration and that is stupid in my opinion.

    I also suggest the readers here to read a book entitled Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.

    uncensored SATANIS: THE DEVILS MASS link: http://www.archive.org/details/SATANIS




  11. 0

    I've been thinking about compassion within the context of Satanism myself recently.

    I agree with most of what you say, but also agree with LeVay about not pouring your own precious reserves into the bottomless pit of people who will do nothing to help themselves.

    I think there's a crucial difference between weak people who get in a mess because of their own stupidity and cowardice and vulnerable people who are in need of help due to circumstances beyond their control (the very young, the elderly, disabled people, animals, and even people who are imprisoned but show a real desire to make better choices when they are free).

    The thing you have to guard against is the psychic vampires. I'm untangling myself from a few right now – people who really made a good job of fooling me for a while until I realised that they weren't actually interested in helping themselves and just drained my energy to the point where I was really suffering. I'm also finding out the hard way how nasty these vampires can get once they realise you've stopped pandering to them.

    I have no problem helping people who are willing to make efforts to help themselves but you need to be really careful to make sure you know how to spot a vampire before committing your time and energy.




  12. 0

    Venus, I absolutely LOVE your response, and I totally agree with you. Compassion is not a weakness, it is a strength and it takes an independent, self aware person to show compassion. Selfishness is basically narrow-mindedness and has nothing to do with self development and awareness, two things I associate with Satanism. Satan is the deity of this world and the world as such should be protected and cared for. If not by us, then by whom??
    I think it is great how you gave up milk and started recycling products. An individual contribution may seem like a small one, but it is definitely not! We have to start somewhere and we should start with ourselves, and take some responsibility. I think you are setting a great example and you're not alone in this. Back here in the Netherlands I've started my own contribution to taking care of the earth and it's inhabitants.
    Thanks for taking the time to reply and I hope this post will make more people aware, and Satanists in particular.

    Lydia

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