Sacrilegious and Sexy AF

Bruce Alderman Free, Lifestyle, Perspectives, Video 4 Comments

 

In this special Devil’s Night interview, our good friends Bruce Alderman and Layman Pascal talk to Hofman and Daemon, former members of The Satanic Temple in New York, and founding members of the Satanic organization LORE: The Satanic Collective of NYC, about the history of Satanism and the new Integral and Metamodern-ish forms that are currently emerging.

T

hese ain’t the baby-sacrificing satanists your mother was afraid of in the 1980s. They’re the sort of satanists who build statues of Baphomet outside of government courthouses in order to protect free speech and the separation of church and state from religious fundamentalists who are determined to legislate their own mythic morality. They are not anti-Christian, anti-spiritual, or even anti-religious — in fact they want to help integrate the apparent polarities between spirituality and sensuality, between masculine and feminine, and between light and shadow, pulling all of these together into a sort of “transcendent hedonism” that fully honors the dignity of the separate self even while plunging it into a far more expansive space of selfless awareness. Their approach is something we might call a “social tonglen” — becoming the darkness, playing the scapegoat, and consciously taking the hits, all in service of achieving greater social good.

In other words, it’s an “integral satanism” if ever there was one.

“Everybody kind of knows the Socratic ‘daemon’ — that there’s some kind of higher indwelling spirit that may have been unnecessarily excluded throughout history, and to which we might turn for real guidance in ourselves or as the essence of ourselves. But we also know what it means for a drug addict to go to a self-help program and says ‘he’s got a demon inside him’. So there’s a way for the darkness to draw you down, or to draw you up, and there’s an archetype or a figure that can represent either of those. And for most people they’re very conflated. People who are hyper-reactive against something like ‘satanism’ — even very sophisticated people can be weird about it — and one of the reasons is their own non-integrated shadow, but another reason is they’re aware that there’s a tangle between the evil they don’t want, and the evil they do want.” —Layman Pascal

So join us as we take a short walk on the dark side, where demons and daemons alike dance to the throbbing rhythm of a living, breathing, ever-evolving universe.

Text by Bruce Alderman and Corey deVos
Artwork by Sick Mick and Billelis, used with permission.
Intro music by Grails. Outro music by Seth from LORE NYC.

Reflections
As you listen to this conversation, you can use the Notes app in the bottom-left corner of your screen to record any reflections that may come up for you.

ABOUT THE INTEGRAL STAGE

The Integral Stage (TIS) is a new media platform for hosting grassroots Integral content, featuring public debates, dialogues, panel discussions, presentations, interviews, musical or dramatic performances, and artwork. Bruce Alderman initially launched TIS as a Facebook group in April 2019, with the intent to host mediated debates on hot topics, to explore the edges and cracks of current integral thinking, and to highlight important work being done on the ground by individuals in the integral, and “integral diasporic,” communities. TIS has since morphed into a YouTube channel, with a small but growing number of self-produced episodes.

Currently, TIS is experimenting with several featured video formats: Polarity Dialogues, in which the debaters must each argue both for and against a position before coming together in generative dialogue around the issue; Wheel of Perspectives panel discussions, in which participants give brief formal presentations on a topic and then join together in one or more rounds of dialogue towards critical enfoldment of perspectives; Integral Stage Mindwalks, which feature intimate, deep-diving dialogues between typically two or three individuals; and loosely structured group dialogues, for more open-ended exploration among four or more participants. Not all content will follow these formats, and TIS intends to continue to experiment with forms until the most generative ones are identified.

Past highlights from The Integral Stage include the Polarity Dialogue, “What Good is God-Talk?”; a Wheel of Perspectives panel discussion on “The Status of States”; and the Integral Stage Mindwalk, “The Poetry of Growth,” featuring StAGES researcher Tom Murray in dialogue with Layman Pascal. Layman Pascal is a frequent guest and co-moderator on TIS, including on all three of these episodes.

Related Links

League Of Rebel Eve – The Satanic Collective Of NYC

FAUST Federation

History – Satanism

The History Of Satanic Panic In The Us — And Why It’s Not Over Yet

Alan Watts – Satan

The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans, And Heretics
Elaine Pagels

The Devil and the Jews: The Medieval Conception of the Jew and Its Relation to Modern Anti-Semitism
Joshua Trachtenberg

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
William Blake

Little Lucifers Of The Satanic School: Part 1 Of 2: Byron

The Miltonic In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, On The Novel’s Bicentenary

The Sorceress (La Sorcière)
Jules Michelet

The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England
Carol F. Karlsen

Satanic Feminism: Lucifer as the Liberator of Woman in Nineteenth-Century Culture
Per Faxneld

The Invention of Satanism
Asbjorn Dyrendal, James R. Lewis, and Jesper Aa. Petersen

The Devil’s Party: Satanism in Modernity
Per Faxneld and Jesper Aa. Petersen

Children of Lucifer – The Origins of Modern Religious Satanism
Ruben van Luijk

Abridged Timeline of Literary, Political, and Romantic Satanism

1667: Paradise Lost – John Milton

c. 1790s to 1850s: Romanticism

1792: A Vindication of the Rights of Woman – Mary Wollstonecraft (Godwin)

1793: The Marriage of Heaven and Hell – William Blake

1793: An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice – William Godwin

1808: Faust – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

1820: Prometheus Unbound – Percy Bysshe Shelley

1821: Cain – Lord Byron

1821: A Vision of Judgement – Robert Southey

1823: Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

c. 1850s to 1910s: Decadent movement

1857: The Flowers of Evil – Charles Baudelaire

1862: Satanism and Witchcraft (La Sorcière) – Jules Michelet

1873: A Season in Hell – Arthur Rimbaud

1882: God and the State – Mikhail Bakunin

1891: Là-Bas – Joris-Karl Huysmans

1893: Woman, Church and State – Matilda Joslyn Gage

Additional Notes

The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth #8: Do not harm little children.

The Satanic Temple Is Helping Protect Children From Abuse

Bruce Alderman

About Bruce Alderman

Bruce Alderman, MA, is an affiliate faculty at John F. Kennedy University in the Consciousness and Transformative Studies and Holistic Counseling Psychology departments. After years of moderating several integral discussion forums of his own, including Integral Postmetaphysical Spirituality and Integral Scholarship and Practice, he is venturing into production of integral video content himself.

Layman Pascal

About Layman Pascal

Layman Pascal was incarnated on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest. He used to be a meditation teacher, yoga instructor & public speaker — but he's feeling much better now.

Notable Replies

  1. A question for Integral Christians (or anyone really, but Christians in particular) — did you watch the “Sacrilegious and Sexy AF” interview? What did you think of the discussion? Are there any perspectives or contexts uncovered in that interview that you found interesting or important, or perhaps even informs your own thinking and/or faith?

    One of the things I noticed while publishing it was a strange and oddly strong magenta/amber (but mostly magenta) feeling of taboo. Which is funny, because if this was a discussion of an “archetype of evil” from a different culture or tradition — say, an integral enactment of Kali (who I personally find more intimidating than Satan!) — then no one would have batted an eye. But there is something about “satan” that really gets under our skin, in ways that I don’t think are always conscious to us.

    Which made it a good subject for us to explore, I think — especially for Halloween, when we have a bit more permission to carry our freak flag into the dark. But still, I noticed that I definitely had my own weird child-like superstitions bubbling up for me while publishing the piece, and it was a nice opportunity to look at and work with some of that undigested material.

    So I am curious what your experience was, in terms of both your initial reaction, as well as your response to the actual substance of the discussion.

  2. I’ll venture a response here. The title was provocative and a little jolting and aroused my curiosity, and I must say, I found it hard to take my eyes off Daemon’s horned headdress and mask, and particularly the square eyes behind the glasses, riveting! My experience is that Integral Life usually handles edgy material in a classy sort of way, so I was interested to see what this was.

    I did not have any discomfiting feelings; in fact I laughed a lot. More on that later, but I do want to say something about why no one might bat an eye if the conversation had been on Kali rather than Satan. Christianity and its motifs, including the Prince of Darkness, is of course pervasive in Western culture and penetrates the psyche, I think, of even some non-Christians. Kali, coming from the Eastern traditions, is more “removed,” and with that distance, is easier to dismiss. Plus, Kali’s dark and fierce side has been sanitized to a large degree in and by and for Western culture.
    Also, while one of the three main goddesses in Hinduism, she is still just one of many goddesses and gods, and people associated with Hinduism often are in relationship with more than one god or goddess as they each offer different lessons, and have different “pulls.” And importantly, unlike Satan in Christianity, she is not posited as a sole antithesis to “good.” And in fact, people who relate to/with her as a subtle archetype or actual high-subtle being often do discover Kali’s multi-dimensionality, one side of her being love, which is acknowledged in Hinduism, but there is no similar consideration in mainstream Christianity; Satan is pretty one-dimensional particularly in fundamentalist Christianity.

    That taken care of…the vibe that came through for me in this discussion was, appropriately enough given it was the eve of Halloween when I watched it, trickery! Or more specifically, I sensed the Trickster energies at play in culture around satanism. In this particular discussion, there was the surprise jolt of the Unexpected, there was the underlying theme of chaotic creative power and emphasis on reconciliation and integration of “contraries” (which is a name for the Trickster archetype in certain cultures–‘contrary’; this reconciliation and integration of opposites is also of course about shadow). One of the LORE guys spoke of the play between absurdity and seriousness, and that is definitely Trickster energy. Re-reading Blake’s “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell,” I wonder that Blake himself might have been in Trickster mode writing that; he even has a line in there: “Without contraries is no progression. Attraction and Repulsion. Reason and Energy. Love and Hate are necessary to human existence.” Passion, desire, sensuality, lust–these are all incorporated in the Trickster archetype in many cultures. I wrote about Trickster at length in another topic on this site (under the “Uncategorized” category, the topic “Trump as Dark Shaman” introduced by Layman), so I am not going to repeat all of that here, but that was definitely the sense I was having of Satan as presented by this discussion, as an instrument for Trickster, and it was the sense I was having of the conversation itself, for ultimately, the Trickster energy is a “wake-up call” as I see it, an opportunity to wake up to the possibility of greater Freedom and Truth and Wholeness, and also laugh a little along the way…

    I have also viewed certain satanic groups as channeling Trickster energy; for example, the Satanic Temple group challenged the Phoenix, AZ City Council three or four years ago, and actually were instrumental in change. The Council routinely allowed leaders from different religions to offer an invocation before the start of a Council meeting. Someone from the Satanic Temple group signed up to do so, which caused quite a stir, and resulted eventually in the Council voting to do away with the invocations, and instead have a minute of silence or silent prayer before the meeting, rather than allowing the Temple group to do its invocation.

    All of that said, I think this topic does have to be handled carefully, with due regard for the beliefs of certain religious groups, and individuals. I have worked in healing settings in the past with people who have been simultaneously undergoing exorcism rites or de-possession procedures through their churches (and it’s not just the Catholic church that has such procedures.) I have also worked with several people involved in satanism, one of them a member of Lavey’s Church. When psychological disturbance and/or substance abuse combines with religious beliefs in the powers of darkness and magick practices, it can get pretty gritty. While the LORE guys and this discussion differentiated themselves from the “baby-sacrificing” brand of satanists or anything remotely akin to that, most people have never heard of or considered a kind of satanism that isn’t “evil to the core,” so it all tends to get grouped together, and as Corey says, “gets under our skin.”

    Finally, a message to Bruce if you’re reading this. How about a Polarity Dialogue on TIS on the topic of hierarchy? In looking at LORE’s website, I noticed remarks about the group being anti-hierarchy, which seemed to be referring to dominator hierarchies, so I understand the anti stance, particularly given LORE’s feminism. But there is a lot of that floating around in the Integral community, so a debate that goes into hierarchy in depth, argues both sides of it, would be pretty useful, I think. Thanks.

  3. Balder says:

    LaWanna, thank you for your wonderful, thoughtful response to the video. I agree: there’s a trickster energy about their project, with the mixture of the absurd, sacred, and profane that that usually involves. (Daemon read, and was really moved by, your post, and says he will post a response to you once his membership to IL is approved).

    I appreciate the general caution or reservation a lot of peole have around this topic. There really are toxic, destructively negative or “evil” forces or energies in this world, that shouldn’t simply be laughed off or winked away. I have a very good friend who became enamored of the “dark side” back in high school and attempted a ritual suicide. I’ve encountered “heavy, dark, evil” energy in people or places several times – in night-terror-like “demonic” visitations when I was young (I put up a mighty fight), in the eyes of a child I caught torturing an animal, in the deep woods where I encountered evidence of serial rapes or murders, in some sadhus or aghoris who seemed to be mad or to have immersed themselves in darker modalities, etc.

    But my general attitude about this particular LORE / FAUST project is informed by my experience of practicing tantra, especially when I lived in Indonesia and India. I saw how deeply it was feared and reviled by many common (even well-educated) people, and I knew the reality of what we were learning and studying. There certainly were some tantrikas who practiced black magic and seemed to be indulging lower energies, harming sentient beings, etc. But the tantric schools I practiced in used the darker and more fearsome aspects of being to work with shadow, to challenge self-fixation, and ultimately to cultivate altruistic regard for all beings. These groups were still distrusted by mainstream “outsiders” but much of that was from ignorance, and from an inability to differentiate the great diversity within tantra.

    On the topic of hierarchy that you mentioned at the end of your letter … yes, that’s important to explore. I’ve discussed it with Layman and we may do a video on that at some point, so thank you for the suggestion.

Continue the discussion at community.integrallife.com

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