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#375784 - 03/24/09 11:36 PM Schopenhauer
Azathoth Offline


Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 152
Looking over the threads on this board, I've noticed there's an abundance of threads discussing the relationship between Nietzsche and Satanism.

This has inspired me to bring up a slightly different topic: What are your thoughts on Arthur Schopenhauer and how he relates to Satanism?

At first glance, his denial of the Will to Live would clearly put him in opposition to Satanism but some of his other ideas seem compatible with Satanism to me. For one example, his misanthropy and some of his advice steming from it.

I'd also be interested in particular to hear thoughts on his concept of pleasure being negative. I have to admit, it seems true from my experiences. I think he exaggerates the degree to which pain is prevalent but pleasure does seem hard to obtain consistently.


Edited by Azathoth (03/24/09 11:43 PM)
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#375786 - 03/25/09 12:27 AM Re: Schopenhauer [Re: Azathoth]
CodeEschew Offline


Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 107
Loc: USA
I would like to quote the first of the nine Satanic statements:

"Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence!"

Anton Szandor Lavey


Arthur Schopenhauer spoke of abstinence as a way to avoid pain and suffering. Furthermore that the base desires of a human being were futile. I have to disagree.

If it weren't for desire no one would accomplish anything. If living alone all of his life suited his needs, then good for him.

Personally the only relation I see between Schopenhauer and Satanism is that Schopenhauer influenced Neitsche who in turn influenced Anton Szandor Lavey.

As far as pain and pleasure, well, some people take pleasure in pain. It all boils down to the needs of the individual. In my experience fulfilling those needs bring one constant thing above possible pain and negativity...satisfaction.

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#375788 - 03/25/09 12:36 AM Re: Schopenhauer [Re: CodeEschew]
Azathoth Offline


Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 152
Originally Posted By: inky
In my experience fulfilling those needs bring one constant thing above possible pain and negativity...satisfaction.


Mmm... not necessarily. What happens when your needs are satisfied and you reach a state of neutral? That state may or may not be satisfying depending on the moment.

Certainly the indulging of needs is pleasurable. Eating feels good, for example. But a great deal of the pleasure that comes from doing those things is more the removal of pain than necessarily a new positive sensation.

And that's what Schopenhauer meant when he said pleasure is negative- he means that it is the exception to the rule and obtained to a large degree by the removal of pain. It does not mean bad as is used in everyday conversation.


Edited by Azathoth (03/25/09 12:43 AM)
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#375790 - 03/25/09 12:48 AM Re: Schopenhauer [Re: Azathoth]
Azathoth Offline


Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 152
I'd also add that pleasure being negative (in and of itself and not as a part of Schopenhauer's system) isn't necessarily in opposition to the idea of indulgence instead of abstinence- it just means that one has to work a bit harder to obtain optimal experience.


Edited by Azathoth (03/25/09 12:49 AM)
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#375792 - 03/25/09 01:09 AM Re: Schopenhauer [Re: Azathoth]
CodeEschew Offline


Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 107
Loc: USA
If by state of neutral you mean "to feel nothing" then we've crossed the boundaries of indulgence into addiction.

Eating can also be seen as a form of survival. You must eat to live, that's indicative of any animal, but the point was wether or not you enjoy the things you have in life, be it a sustaining meal or an obscene pleasure you've never experienced before.

Schopenhauer's suggestion that pleasure is a means to remove pain is almost ironic. The man lived alone all his life, was rejected by the women he was noted to have interest in, and was under constant fire from his peers. It's a classic case of "if I can't have it, no one can."

I don't live my life just to bounce between two definitive states of being. According to Schopenhauer if your not indulging in your desires, than your in constant pain, but no matter what, the desires that drive you to erase that pain are ultimately futile.

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#375796 - 03/25/09 01:30 AM Re: Schopenhauer [Re: CodeEschew]
Azathoth Offline


Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 152
Originally Posted By: inky
If by state of neutral you mean "to feel nothing" then we've crossed the boundaries of indulgence into addiction.


What I had in mind was this: when you eat a meal you experience pleasure in the form of the removal of the pain of being hungry. Whether the food actually brings you pleasure beyond that though can be a rather hit or miss affair. Sometimes I eat my favorite thing in the world and it brings me absolutely no pleasure beyond a full stomach-even though perhaps 9 times out of 10 it would. Why this is is hard to say.

By neutral, I meant just that: your stomach is full, you're well rested, your mind is calm, you're not hurting but you don't necessarily experience pleasure either. In other words, you've indulged, you've encountered pleasure and now you're not necessarily experiencing either pain or pleasure.

I guess ultimately it's a moot point. Whether certain indulgences mostly remove pain or create pleasure is an armchair debate. It feels good to do them either way and that's what matters.


Edited by Azathoth (03/25/09 01:33 AM)
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#375797 - 03/25/09 01:35 AM Re: Schopenhauer [Re: Azathoth]
CodeEschew Offline


Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 107
Loc: USA
>>> I guess ultimately it's a moot point. Whether certain indulgences mostly remove pain or create pleasure is an armchair debate. It feels good to do them either way and that's what matters. <<<


I couldn't agree more:)

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#375799 - 03/25/09 01:54 AM Re: Schopenhauer [Re: CodeEschew]
Hedonist Offline


Registered: 01/21/09
Posts: 108
Loc: Australia
He may have been a misanthropist and an athiest, but there all similarities to Satanism end. Everything else in his philosophies seems to me to be both life and pleasure denying, and as he admits himself, he was strongly influenced by both Buddhism and other Eastern philosophy...

Same bullshit, different name.

By the way, I'll admit to only having a passing knowledge of his philosophy because what little I have gleaned of it I find it both very unappealing and, like most philosophies, overly cerebral - so instinctively it warranted no further investigation to me. If you have found some actual misanthropic gems in there, please do share - but otherwise, I cannot see anything else that is even remotely compatible with Satanism...
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#375800 - 03/25/09 02:20 AM Re: Schopenhauer [Re: Hedonist]
Azathoth Offline


Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 152
Originally Posted By: Hedonist
He may have been a misanthropist and an athiest, but there all similarities to Satanism end. Everything else in his philosophies seems to me to be both life and pleasure denying, and as he admits himself, he was strongly influenced by both Buddhism and other Eastern philosophy...

Same bullshit, different name.

By the way, I'll admit to only having a passing knowledge of his philosophy because what little I have gleaned of it I find it both very unappealing and, like most philosophies, overly cerebral - so instinctively it warranted no further investigation to me. If you have found some actual misanthropic gems in there, please do share - but otherwise, I cannot see anything else that is even remotely compatible with Satanism...


I'm reading Counsels and Maxims and that seems more promising than many of his other works. From the couple of chapters I've read so far, I'd say it probably would be enjoyably readable for someone who generally disagrees with him. It makes some points I'd consider Satanic or more simply, generally sound.

The thing is I don't agree with large portions of Schopenhauer- but that is why he is useful. He questions my worldview and forces a refining of it. He points out some "pleasures" aren't really pleasurable for example- and often times I have to concede, "he's indeed correct in that case. Now what?" And then I experiment with a different direction.

I first encountered Schopenhauer through Boyd Rice's recommended reading list (http://www.boydrice.com/readinglist.html). At the time I was gung ho about Satanism, a "fresh convert" so to speak, and I wanted to read anything which was recommended by anyone associated with the Church of Satan. At the time, I was also spouting Satanic ideas like "life is the great indulgence" without meditation on what they really meant.

When I read Schopenhauer, I was offered the opposite proposition: perhaps life is a great Hell. Indeed, at that time, I was pretty miserable, so I had to face that perhaps that was a serious possibility. This forced me into a prolonged examination of the points raised by Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Dr. LaVey, both in agreement and disagreement towards each other. It is hard to describe but without Schopenhauer, I would be missing key pieces in understanding life and Satanism.

He proposes in some of his writings, for example, that the most reliable pleasure is gaining insight and watching life unfold rather than actively pursued pleasures (section 3 chapter 1 of Counsels and Maxims.) I would say this is true and realizing it helps avoid countless false pleasures pursued by the herd. It also provides one way life is the great indulgence- even if you were to say life was Hell, life would still be an indulgence in that way.

In short, Magister Rice's promise of gold and lead was certainly fufilled. Schopenhauer's ideas are both.

As far as things Schopenhauer said I found Satanic, they relate mostly to the herd, literature, and solitude. Examples can be found in his aphoristic collections but I don't have many off the top of my head. I remember "On Thinking For Yourself" from Essays and Aphorisms and the insights on books in that volume impressed me. I by no means claim he was a Satanist by any stretch of the imagination but merely that some aspects of his thought that are potentially useful are too often overlooked.


Edited by Azathoth (03/25/09 02:30 AM)
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#375803 - 03/25/09 02:50 AM Re: Schopenhauer [Re: Azathoth]
Hedonist Offline


Registered: 01/21/09
Posts: 108
Loc: Australia
To each his own...

As Boyd Rice himself says "When confronting ideas / beliefs, bring an open-mind and critical thinking. Extract that which is most beneficial to you, and ignore the rest. All these books contain an element of pure gold, and varying degrees of lead. I leave it to you to sort-out which is which."
- Boyd Rice

Seems to me that you may have got weighed down by some of the lead... But if my a process of alchemy you are able to turn some of that lead into gold - 'more power to you'! coopdevil

(It's not the way I would approach it myself, but whatever floats your boat).

HS!
_________________________
"Here and now is our day of joy! Here and now is our opportunity! Choose ye this day, this hour, for no redeemer liveth!"

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