Real Transformative Experience

The sixth Core Value of the United Aspects of Satan is derived from the Aspect of Belial: “Individualism and individual accomplishment.” By individualism, we mean the rights of individuals to have freedom of expression, freedom over their own bodies, and freedom to, within reason and respect to the freedoms of others, live life on their own terms. By individual accomplishment, we mean that people should strive to fulfill their personal goals and enjoy the rewards, both tangible and intangible, of mastering themselves and their abilities.

Today’s message will focus on individual accomplishment and the transformative experience of fulfilling one’s goals.

Transformative experience is something that I believe is sought after by the practitioners of almost every religion. However, my variation of Satanism places no value on experiences that do not yield practical, measurable results. You will not find me locked away in a ritual chamber, muttering ooga-booga nonsense over weirdly-drawn symbols by flickering candlelight. Unfortunately, I have no magical advice to offer, because magic is not real. Period.

In the place of magic, I practice something I call “persistent effort towards a well-defined goal.” I know that sounds a little wordy, and it doesn’t bring to mind any kind of hip, occult clothing and accessories, but what persistent effort towards a well-defined goal lacks in style, it certainly makes up for in substance.

The first part of the transformative process, then, is to have a well-defined goal. Now, I have discovered a trick to creating goals that I want to share, because most of you, myself included, would not write out a REAL well-defined goal if asked to do so. You’d write down something that would satisfy your ego for the moment. Then you would follow through with all of the effort that you put into the New Year’s resolutions that you’ve already broken.

So here’s the trick: Before you try to write down a well-defined goal, make a comprehensive list of all of your interests. Put down everything that you like, no matter how silly, just get it all on a piece of paper.

Once you’ve done that, you are ready to figure out what your real goals are, and by “real goals” I mean things that you will actually have the passion to pursue. Look at your list and rank the items in order of level of interest. Now you are ready to set goals that you actually care about.

I think it is important to take the time to explore your true interests before writing down your goals. For one thing, it prevents the writer’s block you might encounter from not knowing where to start. For another, the goals that you create from a list of your own interests will be reflective of what you truly desire, not what you think is expected of you. Aspect of Belial, remember?

Now create a goal around one of your interests by deciding on something that you would like to accomplish with regards to that interest. Decide on a reasonable time frame to accomplish the goal, and then divide the time frame into manageable segments. Decide where you expect to be by the end of each time segment.

Then get started, and keep going until you’re finished.

Note: This process is simple. It isn’t always easy.

Goal-setting and goal-striving are the closest things to magic that I practice, and I assure you, accomplishing your goals will yield the same kind of transformative experiences that you could seek from more esoteric pursuits, but with the added benefit of actually accomplishing something. Plus, it spares you the embarrassment of doing a bunch of ooga-booga.

Hail accomplishment! 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.