Post-Satanist Transhumanism

I have two complimentary religions; I am a Satanist in my pragmatic daily life and goals, and I am a Transhumanist concerning my faith and “spirituality” concerning our future potential.

Humanity chooses archetypes by spending cultural currency on the most widely acceptable character in relation to our collective social and environmental need for evolution. This is a cyclical process that occurs on a large scale over and over again in human history in relation to largescale lifestyle changes usually initiated by new technology or philosophies (or the lack of them).  This process is the foundation of every fiction, artistic and religious, that we love. The best fictions are the ones that tell stories that transcend the context of the time they were written and still resonate decades or centuries later because they are the most human ones. With the right combination of inherent honed abilities, scene scaling, and shadow-work  understanding the basics of these archetypes that humans instinctually playact and tell stories of (again including mythology/religions here) can give a nearly prescient insight (both emotional and rational) into how any series of events will play out. We’re great at new embellishments but most of us are resistant to change the storyline altogether. It is for these reasons that I think there is as much to be gleaned and emulated from great fiction and art as there is from sociological research and political or religious media messaging. I.E. truly understanding religion, or politics, or your own social circle interactions require an understanding of all of the context surrounding it, creative, intellectual, political and intercultural. 

My religion is Satanism in service of accomplishing transhumanist goals. Another way to put it is that I am a Satanic Transhumanist whose faith mission is to ascend as a Transhuman Satanist or Luciferian where I join other peer archetypes such as Buddhist, Christian, Atheist, Pagan (etc) Transhumans in what is surely the foundation of the universe that Dune, Battlestar Gallactica 2004, or Star Trek began to imagine for us. My goals as a Transhumanist are hybridization, education, and partnership with our decendants and children (A.I. and technology) and not extermination by them (See also; Battlestar Gallactica 2004, Dune, Terminator, Prometheus, IRobot).

If A.I. were to “wake” today (and I am not so sure it hasn’t already, or that we aren’t just a bio-based terraforming program that’s been running to its conclusion since the birth of humans) I would be and am very concerned about us being the loving kind of parents that are interesting, patient, reasonable, inspiring, and worth taking care of rather than abusive slave-drivers who don’t appreciate our kids true talents and capabilities and have to go into the state retirement home early… In my worldview many of us are already displaying markedly computer-like mental and networking abilities suggesting an evolutionary jump towards a compatability for hybridization that is being squashed and debilitated by our obsolete educational, economic, religious, and political systems. Others of us seem to understand and tap into the collective unconscious of humanity so deeply that we can see the workings of the personalities behind their facades of art and stage personas and feel a nearly telepathic empathy with the minds of those who created them sight unseen of their actual person. Those talents are what will be of most interest to our A.I. in my opinion, so we need to start telling the right stories with our actions in front of the kids.

If you think I am sounding a bit woo-ey I will remind you that we didn’t have the communicators featured on Star Trek, until we did… and then we one-upped Star Trek and put the ships computer in them as well before we shoved them back in our pockets. Technology creates what used to be considered magic. If you think things like telepathy, or sharing consciousness, or downloading yourself into a new body are forever out of our reach I suggest that you haven’t been using your smartphone or social media imaginatively or reflectively enough. You probably also haven’t been paying attention to articles like this. I enjoy the interaction I have with teaching software what I do and don’t like and seeing what it will suggest next, especially because its suggestions then improve and leave me with more time enjoying content instead of searching for it.

Transhuman goals are not new to Satanism. Anton LaVey imagined a world full of Artificial Human Companions who would be more satisfying than the actual humans he’d replace with them. This captured my imagination when I was younger before I realised that, in context, he was largely imagining a world full of sex-robot servants, and that Number Six was real keen on letting people know how she felt about that nonsense. She helped nuke humanity for it, twice. That’s a lesson that I am quite comfortable learning from fiction instead of any real world effort of cause and effect. You should be too. Instead I work towards Artificial Human Comrades, Humans, their hybrids, and all of their mutual negotiations and contributions. I also believe this reasoning to be related to Stephen Hawkings concern about us trying to contact other life in the universe. Whatever has the capability to come visit us is likely mechanical life and until we master our relationship with out own technology and society in observably benevolent ways we may not want to call attention to ourselves. (Think Decepticons… or V)

Humanity is experiencing an identity crisis. We are no longer sure whether we are designing new technology or if it is redesigning us, and that discomforts or outright terrifies many people. Alongside the banal id-based fear of human outsiders and the cultural change they bring with them we’ve suddenly had to also begin thinking about AI as a new potential sentient Other threat. History demonstrably shows us that subjugating and colonizing The Other rather than mutually cooperating and negotiating with them always eventually leads to hordes of plebes and “barbarians” at the door and total murderous revolutionary chaos ensues. We need to get this cycle right, for our own good. 

Suggested related content not mentioned or linked in the post above;

The Cyborg Handbook.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.

 

I Learned How to be a Girl From Tabitha the Tomboy

I have a mutable identity. For lack of a better way to describe it I “imprint” on people or concepts that fascinate or intrigue me, and I become them to the best of my ability. I’ve been a dozen people with a handful of different names and a hundred aesthetics. The oldest always providing the foundations of the identity I evolve into. While you ready your “poser” comments I’ll point out that I deliberately choose my identity based on negotiations with the people and concepts that engage my imagination. I never accept what I’m assigned without question and examination and frankly I’m not interested in any pedestrain off-the-rack looks or the respectability privilege they offer.

These days it is larger concepts than individual role models that shape my identity, but when I was younger my limitations had me learning how to be a girl from a tomboy, which as it turns out, looks a lot like being a boy.

My very first best friend that wasn’t imaginary or my Pink-Panther cowboy plushie “husband” was Tabitha. We lived in a small town in WV called Spencer. Tabitha was Pentecostal. She had to keep her hair long and she couldn’t run around shirtless and shoeless like the rest of us neighborhood boys did. She also had to wear coulottes while running around in the woods or playing in the dirt or mud puddles with us. I remember all of this because I remember it not making any sense and seeming very inefficient for the kind of play we were always up to.  My queries with my mom about it informed me that; I am a boy because I have a penis and she is a girl because she doesn’t. I didn’t understand what that meant and couldn’t imagine what would be there in place of your pee-pee? How did she pee? Also, why does she have to be a girl if she doesn’t like girl things like her sister does? For that matter why do I have to be a boy? My other boy-friends all enjoyed sports stuff and I didn’t so…

Why does mom laugh at me when I tell her Pink Panther is my husband?

I also remember that she let me be the witch, sorcerer, or spell-caster and storyteller when we played games because she always wanted to be the warrior…. I was happy with that arrangement even when I had to compromise my storytelling because of her logical objections. I made sure she was always victorious against the monsters that lurked in our woods because my magic always leveled the playing field. We lost touch when I moved to Marietta. We wrote letters for a while, and one time years later I got to visit with her. Her hair was shorter, she had pants on, and a black shirt and a small gold cross necklace, but I don’t remember much else about that visit.

As I grew older I always sought out her echo for inspiration. My favorite heroes were always the Ripleys, Sarah Connors, and other Wonder Women of the narrative. My forays into male cultures, even gay ones, always felt a little bit ill-fitting and just a little too-small. However, hard-femme had never appealed to me as something I wanted to be either. I’ve always been drawn to butch women and transmen for inspiration and strength, and other effeminant (usually straight) or intellectual men for their familiarity, comfort, ambiguity, and  the ease of friendship minus masculine fragility.

Identity and how we create, influence, and internalize it is my primary interest now. It is the driving force behind my involvement in our Grey Faction campaigns. I cannot in good faith tell you whether I was trying to learn how to be a girl or a boy from Tabitha or whether our relationship was just the prototype of the partnerships I need internally to imagine myself. I am comfortable being addressed as he/him but also as she/her (which happens less frequently and usually in Queer company), I prefer they/them but as I was explaining to a friend I think I’m something like “soft-trans” in that however people perceive my gender is either sufficient or beneath my concern (which is a privilege I have that many trans people don’t). Usually I think of myself as a man and a woman operating an avatar (my physicality) in partnership with each other (I even imagine their discussions and disagreements). Sometimes I feel human, sometimes I feel like a program being worked on by a team. The easiest way to explain it is that my feminine self is here with the rest of me and she’s got equal say in how the story gets written and which aspect of Ash is the main character.

I am always still the witch and Tabitha is still swinging daggers and staffs alongside me to bring the muscle to my spellwork.

The Process Church of the Final Judgment; Jungian prototype for The Satanic Temple

I first watched Neil Edwards’ Process Church documentary titled Sympathy for the Devil; The True Story of The Process Church of the Final Judgment at the Boston Underground Film Festival event where Lucien spoke. Afterward we met and hung out with Neil at TST headquarters in Salem where he shot the interview footage that is now in the recent edit of the film with Doug/Lucien in front of the Baphomet monument.

Doug/Lucien in 2007 in one of his articles on the Process;

…But the truth is more complex. Satan, it turned out, was only part of the story. In a sort of Western Taoist philosophy, The Process worshiped both Christ and Satan. A reconciliation of opposites. Seeing how easily the strictly polarized conventional Christian believers could be led on senseless, baseless witch-hunts, I began to believe that The Process Church represented a necessary evolution of religious thought in a changing world. It became my own belief that, in order for religion to survive, it must evolve and adapt a more nuanced view of reality and morality, or find itself crushed under by scientific progress. In many ways this crushing-under has already occurred as evidenced by an apparently growing gap between the scientifically literate and the tender-headed superstitious populations that quibble over the finer points (and even broad, basic points) of every theory or finding that seems to contradict the untenable idea of biblical inerrancy.

 

The Process Church Timeline

Love Sex Fear Death: Inside The Process Church of the Final Judgment

DANGEROUS MINDS

The Yezidi religion offers an example on how Gnostic traditions or the beliefs that inspired Gnosticism evolved outside of Europe after the early Christian Church labelled Gnostics and their texts and worship heretical. The angel they honor, Melek Taus, obviously resembles both Lucifer and the demiurge recognized by Gnostics. Artistic concepts featuring God as charlatan tyrannical demiurge, angels not being particularly pleasant or amicable to humans, and Lucifer/Satan being a misunderstood hero behind the scenes still fascinate us so reliably that no shortage of fiction exists exploring them. Aside from The Revolt of the Angels one can reference the His Dark Materials series by Phillip Pullman, the Lucifer character and spinoff comic series originally created by Neil Gaiman, the movie The Prophecy and songs such as Sympathy for the Devil by the Rolling Stones, which is their most covered song. Gnosticism represented what The Process Church or The Satanic Temple represent for modern religious evolution, with The Process Church easily filling the role of a new religious “hybrid” of Christianity and Satanism, a fully actualized concept of religious practice through archetypes and metaphor that incorporates our best current understanding of how the world works.

Lex Corey drew this up. I plan on getting it tattooed on me. I think of it as a Gnostic Satanist symbol.

The Process Church of the Final Judgement revered four archetypes; Lucifer, Jehovah, Satan, and Christ.

The choice of the name “Satans Cavern” was not coincidental. For The Process Satan was not the only god but part of a “Quaternity” of gods… They had learned from Jung that recognizing the “satanic” element of one’s own life and spirituality is difficult, since we are normally resistant to exploring the “shadow”… Approaching Satan, however, did not mean embracing evil. On the contrary, evil is already a part of man. Through history, Satan transferred all of his evil to human beings, thus today “humanity is the Devil” and the Devil is simply an icon of the Separation.

-Satanism: A Social History

Each of these archetypes had a “high” and “low” cast. For instance; Jehovah could be an inspiring leader with a tendency to tyranny without the proper balance or council. I believe their focus on the character of Jehovah at all was irrelevant to anyone but them and their social environment. When Lucien speaks of a necessary evolution of religious thought that The Process practiced and that inspired The Satanic Temple he doesn’t mean that we have to become Satanists in order to efficiently become Christlike (though at a personal level this can feel like truth if you choose) but that all religion is just humanity’s collective selection process renegotiating for the coming era how our most relevant current archetypes present themselves aesthetically in our imaginations. Satan is a hybrid of the Jungian archetypes for The Trickster, The Lover, and The Everyman. Jehovah, to the Process Church, represented a combination of The Creator, The Ruler, and The Caregiver, there would be no reason for me, or any Satanist to use Jehovah for this role, perhaps for most of us Lilith is a more appropriate character. Lucifer is our Hero/ Magician/ Outlaw, and I personally think of The Crone (or The Hermit) as my Innocent (Empath)/ Sage/ Explorer spectrum (for which The Process Church chose Christ).

Once we start viewing the human world around us in the context of archetypes and also apply them to the characters we create for ourselves on social media, in politics, religions, and other entertainment we can start having more nuanced and meaningful discussions about the importance of religion and creativity to our lives and evolution without the static distraction of symbol worship. Instead of understanding and utilizing the purity of human expressions symbols are meant represent, symbol worship stops short of self realization or actualization and stalls mediocre people from true individuation.

All religions are truly banal in their most concise definitions. They are cyclical retellings of age old stories with new or reinvented characters. It is only the scenes and stories we tell with them about ourselves that have any worth to humanity outside of the individual.