Animum nodis exsolvere: Unknotting the Mind and Freeing the Self from Self-Imposed Bonds, Part III or How Religiones limit personal experience

My choice to end the previous installment in this interminable series of posts about Satanism and religion with a discussion of how my personal religio of veganism limits my experience of exocentricity forms the perfect segue to this new post, which is all about how religiones limit individual experience in negative and detrimental ways.   [...]

Immediate-Returnism and Delayed-Returnism as Exocentricity and Endocentricity, Respectively

In a missive addressed to John Adams on August 15, 1820, a seventy-seven-year-old Thomas Jefferson responds to a “puzzling letter” he had received from the elder Adams the previous May dealing with weighty philosophical and spiritual topics like “matter, spirit, motion etc.”  In answer to his correspondent’s complex “croud of scepticisms [sic]” which proved so [...]

Neophilia & Neophobia, Fear v. Wonder: Differential Effects of the Sublime on Closed and Opened Minds

When I was younger and entertained more grandiose pretensions of becoming a literary light than I do now, I wrote the following would-be aphorism about the difference between “intellectuals” and true-believing “fanatics”: An intellectual submits the narrowness of his mind to the breadth of experience; a fanatic submits the depth and breadth of experience to [...]

Animum nodis exsolvere: Unknotting the Mind and Freeing the Self from Self-Imposed Bonds, Part II, On Novelty, Fear, Death, & Wonder

In his 2014 book Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic that I wrote about last time, author Matthew Stewart is keen to trace a latter-day Epicureanism that he argues provided “heretical origins” to our own nation’s struggle for independence. He follows this tenuous thread as it weaves in and out of European [...]

Animum nodis exsolvere: Unknotting the Mind and Freeing the Self from Self-Imposed Bonds, Part I

I ended the previous installment of this blog series on Satanism as religion with seventeenth-century English poet Robert Herrick’s memorable phrase “wild civility.” So let me pick right back up and open this belated fourth post on that same note. Wild Men in an Eastern Wilderness As an undergraduate at the University of Georgia, I [...]

Satanism, Epicureanism, and the Unbinding of Religio

The philosophical school founded in the late fourth century BCE by the iconoclastic empiricist Epicurus was quite unlike its other major Hellenistic rival, Stoicism, despite the fact that the two shared a commitment to a physical or materialist view of the world, even up to and including the human soul. The Stoics, however, argued that [...]

Entremets: Where are all the good men dead? In the heart or in the head?

When actress Minnie Driver’s character Debi Newberry utters the words that form the title of this essay in the 1997 movie Grosse Pointe Blank, her concern is entirely personal. She wonders where the good men are out in the world and why the ones she feels attracted to, like “the man who vanished” Martin Blank [...]

The Questionable Merit of Tying Knots: How Religio has Us All Bound Up in Them

In order to begin attempting the Gordian knot of how my conception of Satanism, so keen on unknotting many of the ties that bind our delayed-return societies together in impersonal and abusive dependencies, might nonetheless comprise a kind of religiosity, we must first visit the issue of how religion came conceptually to involve the tying [...]

Fiction, Reality, and Minimal Counterintuitiveness: The Truth of Festivus

In my recent piece on Santa, belief, and the violation of “slow epistemology” in traditional religion, I briefly discussed how, in his work De Carne Christi or On the Flesh of Christ, third-century CE Christian Church Father Tertullian sought to defend the Bible against claims mounted by Greek philosophers of his day that it propagated [...]

The politics of pee on the 4th of July

This fourth of July, 2017, found my little nuclear family back for the third consecutive year in Arlington, Texas, for what is billed as the largest fourth of July parade in the state and one of the largest in the nation. As luck and a morning spent at home sipping on more than three large [...]