On January 29, 2014, I wrote the following words:
I clench my bitterness like a drunkard clenches his last drink—it’s all I have for now. Deeply, I descend into my minds inner recesses and, once there, I like my wounds incessantly. Those wounds, should I be wise enough to let them be, would heal much faster, but my prodding and poking makes them resurface. And once surfaced, I use them to build scars; to erect a more fortified exterior. Such is the life of one who has grown older. Only the person who has lived through the worst that life has to offer and look to the future with dismal uncertainty is able to experience proper bitterness.
To begin, I must briefly turn to the famous anecdotal quotation from Nietzsche: “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” Herein, I wish to change a single word and replace ‘stronger’ with ‘bitter.’ You see, the idea of becoming stronger as a result of a failure—or any event, for that matter—is ridiculous! Take for instance a person severely injured in an automobile collision who is rendered paralyzed for the rest of his life; is that person stronger as a result of being in that state? Of course not! The only thing he can and should feel now is bitterness and resentment towards everyone around him who still has full ambulatory function.
Yes, “that which does not kill us makes us bitter!” has much improved logic, by my measure. By being bitter, we can view the world for what it truly is. We can look past the gospels preaching love and equality to see them for what they truly are: the words of the fundamentally weak and unevolved cowards!
Wrote McCall in 1898: “Bitterness is the only thing which can tear the bandage of idealism from our eyes and enable us to see life as the old unseduced Greeks and Romans saw it.”
Instead of using the phrase to be applied arbitrarily to any unknown event, let us quantify the ‘event’ to a form that has meaning: “Adversity makes us stronger!” Adversity is the key element that can enable us to increase momentum and charge forward with increased focus and determination. Adversity provides a mechanism that allows us to grow beyond the ‘event’ by becoming bitter.
Adversity creates a stronger, bitter, and more focused individual. Take for instance the perpetual victim. While focusing on the mantra of “why me?” he could be saying, “no more!” A victim is only able to become and remain so if the state of victimhood is allowed by the individual. One must have the “will to power” through a temporary state to rise above it and use it to become the adversary to the core of what is negatively affecting him.
Becoming adversarial as a character trait is extremely beneficial. That’s not say that one should simply act as an adversary for the sake of being adversarial, but rather being adversarial in the face of adversity. This can include standing up for what you believe in, holding your own ground and stance within a debate, and slaying the neigh sayer’s who would rather hold you back from accomplishing your goals and realizing your dreams.
In the context of historical mythology, we can find an example of the ultimate adversary: Satan! For those who have read the mythological books of the Christian bible, you may be aware that in Ezekiel, Satan is described as being so beautiful and intelligent that god himself calls him the perfection of created wisdom and beauty. Next to god himself, this being was the best of the created order. There were none more wise or beautiful. In Ezekiel 28:11b-17a:
“You were the perfection of wisdom and beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God. Your clothing was adorned with every precious stone-red carnelian, chrysolite, white moonstone, beryl, onyx, jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald-all beautifully crafted for you and set in the finest gold. They were given to you on the day you were created. I ordained and anointed you as the mighty angelic guardian. You had access to the holy mountain of God and walked among the stones of fire. You were blameless in all you did from the day you were created until the day evil was found in you. Your great wealth filled you with violence, and you sinned. So I banish you from the mountain of God. I expelled you, O mighty guardian, from your place among the stones of fire. Your heart was filled with pride because of all your beauty. You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor.”
Satan (also known as “Lucifer”—son of the morning; the bright and shining one; the bringer of light) became the adversary to god. He chose to live for himself, not to serve a god. He was powerful, possessed great wisdom, and created his own path in life rather than having a path written for him. Inasmuch, he became the symbol of rebellion, the pursuit of individual perfection, and living life while not being stifled by self-denial and abstinence. Rebellion can be good. It can allow us to break free from the chains that hold us back and allow us to experience and taste the true essence of life.
Here I dare say: to be more adversarial, one must learn to become The Satan in their existence! We could spend much more time exploring pre-Christian religion and learn about Sat and Tan and other etymology to further perpetuate the various man made ideologies, but it’s ontological application of using the symbol and character of Satan as reflection of our true selves—or as Nietzsche might say, our “higher man.” Remember that, as Satanists, we do not hold a fundamental belief in an anthropomorphic manifestation of Satan as a being. There is no worship, no kneeling down before anyone or anything, but rather the application of a philosophy. We could even dive into quantifying “nature” and expanding discussions on energy, frequencies, and, what I call the Satanic Current, but that would take us off to an even longer essay.
To summarize: adversity makes us stronger and what doesn’t kill us makes us bitter. We are adverse to what does not lead towards our goals and happiness. We hold firm our beliefs and stand up for our rights and freedoms. We become our own gods. We become our own Satan. We become the ultimate adversary to what has the potential to restrict and carve out our own path in this world—for we realize that nobody else can carve it out for us.