Thy Inner Light

For this third installment of the series of Sunday Messages concerning the Core Values of the United Aspects of Satan, I am going to first give you all a little insight into what I intend to convey with each Sunday Message. As I have stated before, my intention is to offer a perspective that might not be immediately obvious upon reading the plain text of the Core Values. I also want to present information in a way that demonstrates how the religious philosophy can be applied for personal growth. Unless our philosophy can be applied, it is useless.

Today I want to expand upon the thoughts I shared in the first Sunday Message, where I stated that not all forms of arbitrary authority are external, and in fact, throughout our lives we develop a caucus of internal voices that can shape our beliefs and actions. As I stated before, when those inner voices become limiting, they should be rebelled against in the same way that one would rebel against a tyrannical government.

Our third Core Value, “Scientific and philosophical skepticism,” which comes from the Aspect of Lucifer, can be applied in these circumstances to disrupt the limiting beliefs that we mistakenly view as certainties. There are times when we accept false data and then use that data to reinforce limiting beliefs about ourselves. The data is accepted as “proof” of our supposed limitations. By shining the Light of Lucifer upon ourselves, we can break free from these mistaken beliefs.

For example, when I was a child in junior high and high school, I became convinced that I was “dumb at math.” Every bad grade I received only reinforced this idea, by serving as “proof” that I was at best a C or D-level student. It didn’t matter that, in the sixth grade, I received a Presidential Academic Fitness award signed by then-President George Bush, Sr. No, once junior high came around, math just got too complex, and previous accomplishments had no bearing on the fact that I just knew that I sucked at math.

My aversion to math caused me to avoid taking more challenging levels of subjects that now, at the age of 36, I find fascinating: physics, computer science, robotics and aerospace engineering, and chemistry. I chose to study theater and creative writing in college, for which I am pleased, but my educational route was definitely light on math and science requirements.

Only once I was honorably discharged from the US Army did I realize a significant change in my ability to do math. I took a number of job placement tests that required an assessment of mathematical ability, and I scored very well. When I went to college again to pursue a second degree, I performed very well in my accounting and business statistics classes, and while these subjects my not be as challenging as trigonometry and calculus, I at least never experienced the same level of anxiety as when I was a child, and I did not automatically assume that I would do poorly. In fact, I received Bachelor of Science degree in Management and Organizational Development with honors.

So what happened? How did I go from being convinced of my mathematical stupidity to finding the challenge of math to be enjoyable and surmountable? The answer had a lot to do with the way that I was psychologically broken down and built back up as a young soldier.

The challenges that I faced in the military psychologically broke me down and built me up. I learned to trust myself and trust how formidable I could be in the face of a challenge. I also adopted a new way of thinking that was more practical and skeptical (by often entering situations in which it became necessary to doubt my circumstances), so I was developing the kind of thinking that was suitable for the subjects of math and science.

I’m not saying that anyone would need to do anything as extreme as enlist in the military to develop a healthy skepticism of one’s perceived limitations, but that with attention and discipline, one can learn to change his or her way of thinking. The US Army change my attitude about myself, and my attitude changed what I had assumed were my limitations.

Attitude affects one’s limitations. A negative attitude often gets mistaken for reality. What one receives as “proof” of his or her limitations is often the effect of one’s attitude upon his or her efforts. I’m not saying that anyone need enlist in the military to break down these self-limitations, but through disciplined self-assessment and skepticism, one can begin to see a clearer picture of his or her true abilities. This is how you find Lucifer’s light.

There is a method that will improve this process dramatically: Challenge yourself, with persistent effort, against what you believe to be your limitations. You just might surprise yourself with the new “proof” that you obtain.

Hail Satan! Hail skepticism!

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.

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