A little to the left…

Autodiabolic Method is a left hand path praxis. But what is the left hand path anyway? Seldom has a term been so obfuscated and misused as this one. Many would Say ‘Satanism’, and by proxy those who practice it, and it’s variations are united under this banner of being Left Hand Path, and by this virtue we should ‘ stick together’ or show some sort of group solidarity. Most of these, if asked what the term actually means, will meet you with a blank stare, or worse yet, some obscure bullshit like “It’s a solitary path” or “It means being your own god” or some other arbitrary hubris.

They will, laughably, claim that by virtue of “being ones own god” they can reset the definition of LHP to be whatever it is they care to do. They are their own gods after all! When cornered on effectively defining the LHP into meaninglessness(after all, if a word can mean anything it is effectively useless to describe anything specific), they will generally prattle off some platitude about it being a path of ‘self improvement’, as if THAT narrows it down any. Everyone ‘self improves’, on a regular basis, whether it be through simple exercise or reading
something informative. Are we to believe everyone is LHP by this virtue? Again we are left with a term that is meaningless, other than to be an identity badge for those that need something to be part of, regardless if the shoe actually fits.

So lets examine this. Where does the term even come from? The term, ‘Left Hand Path’ was coined(in the west) in the late 19th century by a Russian mystic named Blavatsky, who began to use it to describe black magical practice in contrast to white magic, which fell under the header of ‘right hand path’. So the story goes, she apprehended this dichotomy during a trip to the far east, while in contact with some traditional Hindu tantrics.

You see, in traditional tantric practice, which is a specific set of esoteric practices falling under the banner of Hinduism, there are two overarching schools of thought; Vamachara and Dakshinachara. Dakshinachara consists of acceptable Hindu practices such as meditation and asceticism, while Vamachara also includes many things seen as ‘ taboo’ in that culture, such as animal sacrifice,drinking alcohol, sexual practice, and eating meat. In fact, the central practice of Vamachara, the ritual of the 5 Ms, consists of taboo breaking as a method of ‘opening the
mind.’ The practitioners of this tradition, known as nastia(which one etymological hypothesis places as the root word of ‘nasty’) would be known to smear themselves with grave ash, or build stools from 5 skulls, one generally being human, to overcome their fear of the dead and death itself. The practice of Dakshinachara is orthodox, or in line with the status quo, while the practice of Vamachara is heterodox in the context of traditional vedic religion and extreme in comparison, thus heavily frowned upon.

But why left? Vamachara is actually a sanskrit word, and it means ‘ the left course’, or ‘the left
path’ and can be translated thus:
vAmataH = to the left

cAra = course

The origin is simple. If you stand facing east, where the sun rises, the south is to your right. ‘Dakshina’ translates to ‘south’, and thus can be translated as right hand practice. Thus vamachara, or ‘left hand practice’ to describe what is blasphemous, what is heterodox, the path of taboo. Some would argue the name came about as a result of the rural Hindu tradition, lacking toilet paper, of eating with ones right hand and wiping with ones left. In this pejorative sense, it means ‘the path of shit’. Long has this way been feared and demonized, long have its practitioners been ostracized, for daring to cross traditional borders. Sound familiar?

Now, back to Blavatsky. The left was already (all spiritual paths lead back to India, probably causally related) associated with many things that were viewed in a less than flattering light in the west;Homosexuals were known as ‘ left handed’, Catholics were known as ‘ left footers’ in
many protestant circles, and of course there is a passage in the bible taken to mean the people of god were to the right, his enemies to the left:

And he shall separate them from one another,

As a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.

And he shall set the sheep on his right,

But the goats on his left.

-mathew 25: 32-33

So, when the term was introduced to mean “evil” or “black” magical practices, it was well accepted, and quickly associated with the devil, which was and is the ultimate symbol of antinomianism and heterodox tradition in the west. Fast forward 60 some years to the writing of LaVeys bible, where he correctly identifies what he is doing, as per describing a tradition that was both heterodox and antinomian as ‘Left Hand Path’, but offers, unfortunately, very little context as to why. I suppose he thought maybe people should do their own research, or maybe
it was just a commonplace fact within the circles he traveled, or maybe he used it because Blavatsky used it. Either way, he brought the term even more into the light, while oddly enough opening the door for future misapprehension, to the scale we have now where it is widely used but seldom understood.

The root of the mess, as it occurs to me, is that LaVey used a certain metaphor for autonomy that was taken out of context by many. ‘Being ones own god’ when contrasted with a worldview where one god rules everything, controls everything, sees everything, makes sense, but it was never meant to mean literally, or even figuratively, become a deity. Autonomy is important to the left hand path by way of contrast to submission to the status quo, the walk in
opposition to the beaten path requires a certain separation from it. To psychologically assume the role of deity, in the context provided, is in and of itself a statement of allegiance to the heterodox way.

Of course, many ran with this definition, the accepted definition of god being one who creates all, or sets the rules, and an equivocation of the term ‘ left hand path’ to the idea of setting your own rules became commonplace to those that did not understand the context in which it was used. With the inception of the internet, the idea of LHP meaning ‘do what you want’ spawned an entire generation of those that classified themselves as LHP yet in actuality lived and live quite orthodox existences, different in their own minds from those that played nice and followed all the rules, but quite indistinguishable in actual praxis.

What we are left with are gaggles of so called ‘Satanists’ espousing a philosophy that is far, far from anything resembling left hand path practice, yet claiming, often quite loudly, that since they are in fact their own gods nobody has the right to tell them what the term actually means! Some would even go so far as to describe themselves as egalitarian(the very essence of submission to a collective) while still claiming to be walking the left hand path. This is nothing less than stupidity based in a sort of willful ignorance and sense of entitlement that has become the hallmark of western society itself.

ADM is a willful manifestation as adversary, to ones own sacred cows as well as those presented, a sinister vector(sinister by way of contrast, of course, to the status quo) of Satanism that is a return to true antinomian and heterodox tradition,apprehending the world by way of opposition and hard scrutiny, to shattering predispositions by way of shattering taboos, breaking accepted traditions, and pushing beyond the limits as presented. This is the essence, in the context of modern western society, of the ‘Left Hand Path’

2 responses to “A little to the left…

  1. Pingback: Satanic Wedding Ceremony - Page 10 - Religious Education Forum

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