The Balancing Act

The fourth Core Value, “The use of logic, reason, and empirical evidence to shape our morality,” is derived from the Aspect of Baphomet. Those who are familiar with Eliphas Levi’s famous illustration of Baphomet will recognize the creature as a symbol of balance–human and animal, male and female, dark and light, to name a few things that Baphomet represents. Baphomet is also a symbol of reason, a representation of the weighing (or balancing) of evidence in order to perceive one’s circumstances correctly and therefore make choices in accordance with right thinking.

For the theist who acts in accordance with “God’s will,” right action is not determined by reason but by blindly following the dictates of deity. We as Satanists cannot afford to make this mistake, nor do we act in a contrarian manner towards what ideas are presented in holy books simply for the sake of being contrarian. There are some who identify as Satanists who think and behave in this manner, but they are simply being contrarian. Satanists do not choose to do the reverse of theists in an effort to be “evil,” they decide to act based on reason and not the marching orders of God.

When a supernatural deity is out of the picture, the Satanist is then accountable to himself or herself. He or she must not only take personal responsibility for his or her actions, but he or she must also act in a way that is true to himself or herself. Knowing oneself is key to determining right action. One must behave honestly and consistently with his or her values. He or she must possess the self-disciple necessary to constantly re-evaluate his or her actions through introspection.

If a wrong is committed against the self, he or she should resolve to amend his or her actions. If a wrong is committed against another, he or she should reach out to the other person and try to correct the wrong. Being accountable to oneself means taking responsibility for one’s actions, not blaming one’s faults on external factors, especially not a supernatural source.

To the Christian, forgiveness is given freely and immediately, for even the most egregious of offenses. To the Satanist, forgiveness, even the forgiving of oneself, is something that usually has to be earned. What is earned holds value, and we value right action that is balanced by reason and self-knowledge.

Hail Baphomet! Hail Satan!

John Buer

John Buer is the first ordained priest of the United Aspects of Satan and the community organizer for Atheistic Satanists of the Bible Belt.