I believe that one of the great lessons I have learned is that it is just as important to know your weaknesses, as it is to know your strengths. In that, I have always felt writing was something that others have done far better than I, but putting their words into print is something I can do better than most. So I am a small publisher. It is my own form of necromancy. Since my passion is for forgotten, neglected, and sometimes intentionally buried and forgotten iconoclasts, I raise their spirits from the grave of forgotten.
When asked to contribute something to celebrate Religious Freedom Day I pounded upon my keyboard and could not satisfy myself with the many outcomes. My black magic was necessary. To that end, I have raised the dead to speak upon the theme.
As a Satanist, I am comfortable with using language typically reserved for the pious for secular or even perverse ends. Though in serious conversation I tend to eschew words that evoke a theological way of thinking, there are a few people who are able to take those words and frame them in a way that I can appreciate them. In 2013 I published a collection of poetry by a forgotten American iconoclast (and de facto Satanist) Benjamin DeCasseres. It ends with a poem published in Cosmopolitan Magazine in October, 1907 titled “Prayer”.
All rational pleasure is prayer; all sincere work and effort are prayers; all exaltation in the presence of beauty is prayer; all aspiration is prayer.
Prayer is an uplifting, a rising of the soul toward the object of its desire, an elevation of instinct.
All sincere thought is prayer. The doubts of skeptics are prayers, though they themselves would repudiate the term.
All strength that tends to elevate and glorify man is a prayer.
There are other modes of praying than with the lips. Galileo prayed with a telescope. Columbus prayed with a ship. Franklin prayed with a lightning-rod.
Knee praying seems a puny thing when once we feel that the forests are the eternal fanes of nature; or when we stand on a mountain top, that everlasting natural altar; or when we bathe in sunlight, that incalculably aged censer.
Amid these natural objects awe, admiration, a sense of infinite force, of infinite life, of a duration that is eternal sweep through us in waves, leaving its humiliated with the sense of our own nothingness at the same time that it brings something of intellectual pride that we are part of that Hidden God.
All sublime emotion is prayer. A poem, a painting, a great essay, a beautiful face, the wreathing of a vine around a window, all exalt, generating a wonder, amazement, and thankfulness.
Meanness, lying, cowardice, double-dealing, these are all blasphemies; they offend the dignity of the soul, and debase you in your own eyes. The blasphemies of the mouth are laughed away in the winds. They mean nothing. But the blasphemies of vile actions set in motion forces that must be combated through all time.
Man prays when he least knows it. The normal evolution of prayer is from the lip to the deed, from bare utterance to strong action.
You can see what other demons and spectres I have conjured at Underworld Amusements.