Starve the Monkey, Feed the Beast

Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence!

It says it quite clearly, number one, top of the list of the Nine Satanic Statements. Encouragement to indulge! To slake those carnal thirsts, throw off the stigmas and taboos that hold us back from physical, mental, and emotional gratification. No one I know revels in their carnality more than a Satanist, and this is because no one works harder to EARN it than a Satanist.

But why does that matter? Wouldn’t a truly indulgent person throw free the shackles of responsibility? Is not the most satanic thing you can do is say “Yes!” when everyone else is telling you to say “No!”? Why work at all when play is so much easier and so much more enticing?

The simple fact of the matter is that anything, indulgence included, taken to extremes often becomes unhealthy and unsustainable. By giving in pleasure without merit, it no longer becomes indulgence, it becomes a habit. A habit allowed to take root, becomes compulsory. It becomes an addiction.

And addiction is not freedom, in fact it is self-appointed slavery. It is a disease, both in makeup and behavior.

When we work hard to maintain our social contracts, enrich our family lives, and pursue our dreams, we are spending our vital essence on toils that can exact a great toll. Often times these toils bring us great joy, greater reward, and immense satisfaction, but the effort is draining and can leave its mark. Everyone has their indulgence at the end of a hard road. Be it a glass of scotch after a long day of work, a cigarette once the kids are in bed, a new book, movie, video game or other piece of pop culture entertainment when you collect your paycheck. Some prefer the long weekend with friends or lovers on great adventures or behind closed doors. They take many forms but these gifts to ourselves, these indulgences, serve a greater purpose than just entertaining us. They are positive reinforcement for our labors.

It is operant conditioning in motion. The same method trainers use to teach whales to take a fish from an outstretched hand, or teach a dog to sit and stay. We train ourselves to behave in the manner that rewards us in the manner we wish to be most rewarded in. This keeps us happy, fulfilled, and working towards our goals, because we know when we do great things, we allow ourselves to enact our vices without guilt, shame, or sacrifice. That is Satanic indulgence.

For some, however, this goes beyond a mere ritualistic sense of gratification. All sense of proportion goes out the window and the ratio of toil versus reward gets skewed.

Speaking from direct experience, I can say it is far easier, and often times more appealing to just play all the time. If I may allow a moment of candor, I was addicted to drugs, specifically Speed, though near anything was on the table, in my youth. The cycle became one of toiling just enough to sustain the habit I had formed, and then spiraled into a descent of working only at supporting that habit. My home life didn’t matter, work suffered (while I was working anyway), and the only thing that mattered was the next fix. In fact after a while it became more of a job than a party. The compulsion and obligation to the monkey on my back was far heavier and much more difficult than the job I had and the home life I was neglecting. I had moved long past indulgence and into addiction.

There comes a shift in every party when the guests have stayed too long, the music is too loud, the mess too enormous, and all you want to do is pull the plug and go to sleep.

I would like to say, that much like the movies there was some dramatic moment, or some cathartic experience that snapped me out of it and I went off into the sunset, older, wiser, and ready to start again. Alas, nothing so dramatic.

There was a moment I had to face my demons, I had a decent family life growing up, I was never abused or molested, there was never any violence in our home and I was raised wanting for nothing. It had started as simple boredom. Small town life, outcast mind set, easy access to a quick way above all of it, and I took it. Then I took it too far and couldn’t find my way out, so instead, I just went further in.

I am not so virtuous to say that I have left the monkey completely behind. Though I no longer indulge my former drug of choice, I still recreate in a most libertine fashion when the occasion strikes. How then do I keep perspective? How do I keep from falling down that rabbit hole again? Well there is no simple answer and there is no “one size fits all” attitude about it, everyone must decide for themselves. That said there are certain universal questions one should ask and answer honestly before settling on an act of indulgence:

 

Is my overhead taken care of? (Bills/rent paid? Fridge full? Toilet paper in the bathroom?)

Will anyone have to go without? (Kids have clothes? Pets have food? Wife or parents have all they need to live, prescription medications or gas in the car?)

Could I refuse or postpone this indulgence without making a fuss? (Begging, pleading, getting upset, or having to find some equivalent to crutch on?)

Am I making excuses to do this right now? (Blaming things like stress or other people as a reason for indulging?)

Am I breaking a promise by doing this? (A promise to yourself is just as important, if not moreso than a promise to a loved one)

Will I have to lie about this after the fact? (This ties into the ones above, but it is critical, self-deceit is, after all, one of our greatest sins, and indulgence that has to be concealed after the fact, cannot truly be reveled in now can it?)

Above all, are my goals and dreams being acualized? (Advancing in career, projects, or artistic pursuits? Or am I satisfied with being high and mediocre in areas in want to excel? )

 

Bear in mind, this is not some “pre-party checklist” or a reflection of some authority from me telling you all the things you need in order to have a good time. I am not your parent, nor do I really care at the end of the day how you live your life. As long as it does not harm me, my family, or inhibit my ability to lead the life I wish, go nuts. Your life is your own.

Just know that responsibility to the responsible is our creed. That means to yourself, as well as those around you; and if you cannot take care of yourself, you are bleeding vital existence. The black flame within you can only be smothered by you. There is always help, and there is no road so dark you cannot find your way back into the light. Do not let counterproductive pride seal what compulsion has wrought. Seek help if you need.

Cast that monkey off your back! Raise high the horns of that beast within and climb forth from the grave you have dug for yourself! Only then can you truly know the joys of indulgence!

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