For years, people have asked Church of Satan representatives, "Well, okay -- your philosophy is based on indulgence of human instincts but do have any sins like other religions?" Our answer has always been "No." But the time has come to amend that response. We have grown steadily over the past 21 years and find that it is appropriate to have some clearer guidelines on, not only what we strive for, but also what we work to avoid -- what we disapprove of. The difference is where other religions develop sins that people can't avoid, we consider a number of things "sinful" that people could avoid if they worked a little.
1) Stupidity--The top of the list for Satanic Sins. The Cardinal Sin of Satanism. It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful. Ignorance is one thing, but our society thrives increasingly on stupidity. It depends on people going along with whatever they are told. The media promotes a cultivated stupidity as a posture that is not only acceptable but laudable. Satanists must learn to see through the tricks and cannot afford to be stupid.
2) Pretentiousness--Empty posturing can be most irritating and isn't applying the cardinal rules of Lesser Magic. On equal footing with stupidity for what keeps the money in circulation these days. Everyone's made to feel like a big shot, whether they can come up with the goods or not.
3) Solipsism--can be very dangerous for Satanists. Projecting your reactions, responses, and sensibilities onto someone else who is probably far less attuned that you are. It is the mistake of expecting people to give you the same consideration, courtesy, and respect that you naturally give them. They won't. Instead Satanists must strive to apply the dictum of "Do unto others as they do onto you." It's work for most of us and requires constant vigilance lest you slip into a comfortable illusion of everyone being like you. As has been said, certain utopias would be ideal in a nation of philosophers, but unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, from a Machiavellian viewpoint) we are from that point.
4) Self-Deciet--It's in the Nine Satanic Statement but deserves to be repeated here. Another cardinal sin. We must not pay homage to any of the sacred cows presented to us, including the roles we are expected to play ourselves. The only time self-deceit should be entered is when it is fun, and with awareness. But then, it's not self-deciet!
5) Herd Conformity--That's obvious from a Satanic stance. It's all right to conform to a person's wishes, if it ultimately benefits you. But only fools follow along with the herd, letting an impersonal entity dictate to you. The key is to choose a master wisely instead of being enslaved by the whims of many.
6) Lack of Perspective--Again, this one can lead to alot of pain for a Satanist. You must never lose sight of who and what you are, and what a threat you can be, by your very existence. We are making history right now, everyday. Always keep the wider historical and social picture in mind. That is an important key to both Lesser and Greater Magic. See the patterns and fit the things together as you want the pieces to fall into place. So not be swayed herd constraints--know that you are working on another level entirely from the rest of the world.
7) Forgetfulness of Past Orthodoxies--Be aware that this one of the keys to brainwashing people into accepting something as "new" and "different", when in reality it's something that was once widely accepted but is now presented in a new package. We are expected to rave about the genius of the "creator" and forget the original. This makes for a disposable society.
8) Counterproductive Pride--The first word is important. Pride is great up to the point you begin to throw out the baby with the bathwater. The rule of Satanism is if it works for you, great. When it stops working for you, when you've painted yourself into a corner and the only way out is to say, "I'm sorry, I made a mistake, I wish we could compromise somehow," then do it
. 9) Lack of Aesthetics--This is the physical application of the Balance Factor. It is important in Lesser Magic and should be cultivated. It is obvious that no one can collect any money off it most of the tome so it si discouraged in a consumer society, but is an essential Satanic tool and must be applied for magical effectiveness. It's not what's supposed to be pleasing--it's what is. Aesthetics is a highly personal thing, reflective of one's own nature, but there are universally pleasing and harmonious configurations that should not be denied.