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#496892 - 08/23/14 07:39 PM SB Direction Question
Equinox Offline


Registered: 04/19/14
Posts: 13
Loc: Minnesota
Good morning/afternoon/evening,

As the title of this post indicates, my question pertains to the "Direction" section of the Satanic Bible (specifically on page 126).

Dr. LaVey describes in the paragraphs on this page about how one should refrain from a build-up of anticipation or expectation after the performance of a ritual. My question pertains to the following quoted paragraph:

"Altogether too many would-be witches and warlocks will perform a ritual, then go about with tremendous anxiety waiting for the first sign of a successful working. For all intent and purpose, they might as well get down on their knees and pray, for their very anxiety in waiting for the desired results only nullifies any real chance of success."

My question is thus:

Let's say you perform any kind of ritual. If investigating or contemplating over whether your ritual had any kind of effect results in the destruction of your efforts, how is it possible to know that your efforts had any influence at all? What's the difference between what Dr. LaVey has described, and taking something "on faith" that it worked?

Obviously, taking things on faith is not what is being communicated in the Satanic Bible, but the description I've read seems to be (in my mind) akin to that.

I have never performed any of the rituals, so I admit that my understanding of what's written above is layman level, at best. Is there something that I have missed or overlooked?

Thank you for your time, patience, and responses.

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#496893 - 08/23/14 09:56 PM Re: SB Direction Question [Re: Equinox]
Nemo Offline
CoS Magister

Registered: 10/06/02
Posts: 12536
Loc: Point Nemo s48:52:31:748, w123...
I did address this issue in some depth in my Undercroft blog here if you have access to that network.

I also discussed this issue in my 9-Sense Halloween interview with Adam Cambell (link in my signature here).

I should also mention that there is an entire members-only forum here that is devoted to Greater Magic as well.

Here I will offer a shorter overview of the issue.

Expecting you to not even think about the desired outcome after the ritual is not what the Doktor was discussing. That would not work any better than the success you would find if told "Don't think of green monkeys!" grin

Clearly what the instructions are conveying is to exert the mental discipline to suppress the "anxiety" of expecting FAILURE.

This intent of not undercutting your ritual efforts is also found embodied in the 7th Satanic Rule of the Earth as listed here:

Originally Posted By: The 11 Satanic Rules of the Earth
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.


There are psychological principles that are in operation here and these are critical. "Faith" is not one of them. Anxiously expecting failure is.

Satanism is very pragmatic. Faith is not involved. However tried and true methods are.

It is similar to starting a car. It is a matter of following the instructions to insert the key in the ignition and turning it. It is not an issue of "faith". It is entirely an issue of following the instructions. wink

Also, the Doktor was quite clear in The Satanic Bible that this was a "primer" in basic magic, not a graduate course of study.

In the beginning it is necessary to suppress the fear of failure. With successful experiences you gain confidence and can dispense with such concerns.

Start the car enough times and you will have confidence it will start. This is not "faith". This is the result of successful car-starting. grin

In the end Greater Magic is exactly like swimming. The only way to understand it is to get into the water.

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#496894 - 08/23/14 10:12 PM Re: SB Direction Question [Re: Equinox]
Bill_M Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 07/28/01
Posts: 11547
Loc: New England, USA
Originally Posted By: Equinox
Let's say you perform any kind of ritual. If investigating or contemplating over whether your ritual had any kind of effect results in the destruction of your efforts, how is it possible to know that your efforts had any influence at all?

The short answer is you don't, but you shouldn't really have that mindset after the ritual anyway. Remember that rituals end with the words "So it is done"; you're leaving with the mindset that you've set in motion what needed to be set into motion.

LaVey elaborates on this topic in his essay "Ravings from Tartarus", in The Devil's Notebook. To quote: "Once a ritual has been properly performed, it should not matter much whether or not you see results, for you have supposedly attained -- through surrogate means -- your original intent. Having "gotten it out of your system" should free you from further concern. This can be likened to an ambivalent feeling towards sex immediately following an exhausting and rewarding sexual experience."

Quote:
What's the difference between what Dr. LaVey has described, and taking something "on faith" that it worked?


The most glaring difference I'd say is that prayer is built on a sort of apprehensive attitude. Psychologically speaking, when a person prays, he or she is essentially saying "I'm not capable of doing this, but you [the deity] are, do please do it if you could. Thanks." If you compare that to the Invocation to Satan, you'll see that even with the deity stuff aside, it's coming from a very different perspective.
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#496899 - 08/24/14 01:05 PM Re: SB Direction Question [Re: Bill_M]
Equinox Offline


Registered: 04/19/14
Posts: 13
Loc: Minnesota
Thank you both, Magister Nemo and Reverend Bill, for your succinct explanations. The picture is much clearer now, and I appreciate it!

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