Where to begin? Allow me to organize my thoughts in some sort of reasonable manner so you can follow.
I discovered the philosophical thought of true Satanism about 3 months ago mostly by my curiousity. I learned much from the CoS website as well as Satanism101, Religious Tolerance, and Vexen's website (if you know of it). I got around to ordering The Satanic Bible about a month ago and I have finished it recently. So I am well informed of what Satanism is and its philosophical thoughts as well as its members' life actions.
I have found that this word, Satanism, describes the way I think, feel, act and aspire toward my goals.
Therefore, you could say that I am a Satanists in all aspects, save one. This aspect is Greater Magic. I am aware that this subject has appeared before, but I feel that that I need a personally specific answer or array of opinions. I have absolutely no occult background, and 4 months ago I would have scoffed at magic for being something of an old superstition that was useless and a waste of time. This is sort of ironic now that I have found a way of life which suits my personality but also includes ritual magic (not to mention that it is a religion). I was never really a Christian, but I completely rejected it when I was 16 or so, and since then I have always held distain for religion--too bad I didn't know a religion of the flesh existed.
Perhaps I am going on a tangent now, and it already seems that my post is fairly long.
My problem is Greater Magic. I know that many Satanists disagree on what a magical ritual actually does. For it to be just a drama of the imagination which clears the mind and exercises emotions in a positive manner, then I would try it to see if it works for me. But I am extremely skeptical of the concept that mental energy actually affecting anyone mentally or anything physically.
Living in a dorm, I cannot actually attempt any Greater Magic for myself to find any results. But speaking hypothetically, if I were to perform say a compassion ritual and it succeeded, then I would probably just label it as something that would have happened even if I had not done a ritual. This situation would violate one of the Satanic Rulesof The Earth, so I am not sure what to think.
I suppose one can call this a dilemma.
I am asking for your opinions, and I thank you in advance for them. If you were once new to the occult and very skeptical of it then please, try to remember your feelings at that time.
Sorry if the post was too long for your taste, but I wanted to give you an image of the whole picture. I hope I didn't leave out anything important.
My greatest appreciation,