I had a great interest in religious matters from a very early age. The teaching of the christian religion is obligatory in the whole period of mandatory education in greece, so every kid is subjected to the 'truths' and 'superior' values of it from the age of 6 or 7 until 17. If I remember correct I was probably 12 years old when I started to question the thinks I was being taught. Some time later I started studying religious books other than the christian ones, starting with the coran and expanding to others the following years.
Anyhow, the result of those early, fairly immature attempts to explore religion resulted to a complete anti-religious stance that was obviously helped by the strict orthodox theocratic state greece is and the way it oppresses the ones that think in a different way. This anti-religious thing lasted for several years, although throughout these years I continued studying religious texts of any kind (including magical texts) especially focusing to the dark corners that passed unnoticed at first reading.
Things started changing maybe when I was 30 years old or something. It was the period of my life when Ι couldn't characterize myself as anti-anything. It just seemed a sterile and shallow way of dealing with serious matters. I also realized at some point that I couldn't view at religious matters cutting them out of the spiritual aspect. Most people tend to view religion under the aspect of the organized, distorted form that is prevalent today. Most people also view such matters being influenced by the way the herd face religiousness. Blind faith, fear, total submission, destruction of any sign of self confidence and so on. All these can only lead a thinking person to an anti-religion stance.
Anyhow, the way I see things is different. The fact that the herd sees religious matters in the superficial way it does, does not mean that those matters are really that shallow. Note that where I use the word 'religious' I could as well use the word 'spiritual'. For me spirituality is the very core of religiousness, yet it is usually absent by human belief. I have yet to confront a christian devout or not, that really is a spiritual person. Perhaps this is natural when talking about religions that are made and organized in a certain way, with the goal of attracting the more followers possible. It is also natural since religion is used as a tool to control massive groups of people. But is this religion's true nature? In my opinion the very essence of religion is that of a tool in the service of the individual. It is to be used for his enlightenment and spiritual ascension.
All of the above things considered I now consider myself to be a religious individual. The path on which I walk is obvious by a brief browsing of this little lair. So, sterile anti-christian or anti-religion views does not interest me. Such rhetoric is fitting for imbecile viking wannabees but I am always unpleasantly surprised when I see such reactions coming from smart and thinking people. How can such people ignore the spiritual factor? Does the rejection of religion also mean they reject spirituality?
Some are skeptical about such matters believing in science as the answer to almost everything. But why should spirituality be seen as an answer to anything? I myself am a scientist studying and practicing my science for more than 20 years overall, yet I fail to see where science is against spirituality. The needs those two fulfill are quite different. In that sense does the rejection of religion/spirituality could possibly mean a rejection of ,say, philosophical thinking that is not always grounded on apt scientific proof?
All in all spirituality for me is the tool for soul searching, self improvement and ascension, mind conquering over matter and flesh, establishing balance and communication with the multiverse. Linguistic difficulties force me to stop my rambling here.
To connect all these with my favorite subject of extreme and violent music, it comes as no surprise that bands like Deathspell Omega, Watain and others are often being judged in the most negative manner because of views they have expressed in interviews. I still remember people being pissed off with DsO after this interview. I can understand that a plain metalhead is not the best example of a bright individual, so such things are beyond him. Lines like 'rape the anus of the virgin' and so on are more within such a person's mental ability, while DsO's lyrics are confusing but that doesn't mean that black metal should stay in a condition that suits people of the lower common denominator. Yet, deep inside I am satisfied when I see such bands being criticized for their philosophy even if this comes a result of malicious judgment, as it is a sign that black metal is much more than plain music made for instant consumption or entertainment. On the other hand bands like the aforementioned and some other (Funeral Mist comes first to mind) have made a poor choice of tool for their cause (that tool being metal). The odd mass we use to call metal community has not shown signs of liking intelligent individuals. The surprising thing is when otherwise smart persons choose to reduce a band's spiritual or theological or religious beliefs to a bunch of mumbo jumbo nonsense. This is surprising because I don't expect from a clever man to choose the easy path of mocking the other instead of confronting him.
At the end of the day maybe it is not wise to connect spiritual matters with genres of metal music. The world of metal loves oversimplifications. Blastbeats and tremolo picking make black metal, a simple acoustic passage is folk, a drum machine is industrial, slow pace is doom and so on. Just like that. Just like fucking that. Alas, real music is a living organism much more complex than that. It needs soul, it needs to breath, it demands emotion. Either way it doesn't deserve to be defined in such a shallow manner. It doesn't deserve to be viewed as mere notes in a row.
Hate and suffering for y'all.
This text was written under the company and influence of Esoteric's The Maniacal Vale.