Five Rules to Keep Social Media From Ruining Your Life

At this point, we all know that social media is making us unwell. We know it is jeopardizing mental health, democracy, social progress, and our collective ability to focus. I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time discussing these trends, but not as much time discussing solutions. So, what can we do about it?

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Sacred Tension: What is Free Speech? With Adam Goldstein of FIRE

In this episode of Sacred Tension, I speak with attorney Adam Goldstein of The Foundation For Individual Rights in Education. We have a wide ranging conversation about free speech law, free speech culture, tech platforms, how free speech interacts with the right vs. the left, and much more. 

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Satanism, Meditation, and the Tyranny of the Self

Several days ago, I was meditating with Sam Harris’s Waking Up app. During the meditation Harris instructed me, quite simply, to find the “I” who is doing the meditating and to look for the self within consciousness. I did as instructed and, just like that, my sense of self was obliterated. As simply as a candle being blown out, my feeling of being a self within my head was extinguished, and all that remained was the vast sky of consciousness.

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Arc Burn: How Social Media is Breaking Us

There is one particular section in Jaron Lanier’s book Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now that keeps me up at night. He describes the trajectory of online social justice movements. First, they experience a honeymoon phase of progress, but because of the invisible business model of social media, these social movements are algorithmically catalogued, manipulated, and studied for profit in a way that leads to greater social unrest, bigotry, and inequality. Lanier calls this process “Arc Burn,” in reference to MLK Jr’s moral ark quote.

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On Solitary Satanism

I’m intensely social in the Satanic community, mostly online. I have an active Discord server, I regularly interview members of the Satanic Temple community, and I serve on Ordination Council for Satanic Ministry. I do a lot of very social Sataning.

As someone who’s been burned again and again by religious community, this does cause some anxiety. There is trepidation in giving my heart over to fellow fallible, neurotic, and disorganized human beings. It’s inevitable that someone within the Satanic community will leave me feeling deeply wounded, and I will have to confront the difficult emotional challenge of navigating how much of that hurt has to do with Satanism itself or just specific individuals within Satanism.

As I’ve reflected on this dynamic I’ve come to realize that a paradox lies at the heart of my Satanism: I’m able to engage publicly in Satanism because, at its most fundamental root, my Satanism is solitary.

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LGBT Antifragility and Calling In: Best Comments of February 2021

I am resurrecting my Best Comments Series from the grave, because I have some incredibly smart readers who write incredibly intelligent and thought provoking things. So far this year we have had discussions about antifragility, calling in vs. calling out, and much more.

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Guest Post: Reinforcing Evangelical Fear

This is a guest post by Warden Sif. Warden Sif has been interested in religion his whole life, and obtained a degree in history and theology. He has identified as a Christian, Deist, Agnostic, Atheist, Apistevist and, at this point, a Satanist. He began following TST’s efforts in 2015 and officially joined a few years later. His Twitter can be found here. He can also be found on BaphoNet Antisocial Network, its associated Discord server and the Sacred Tension Discord server.

After reading Mr. Morehead’s guest post titled “Why Are Evangelicals So Afraid of Halloween?” I was inspired to write further on something he touched on at the end of his article. I’ve tried in the past to emphasize his final point, but I consistently get push back from a fair number of other Satanists:

But understanding the psychological underpinnings of Evangelical prejudices and stances in popular culture toward others is helpful in formulating appropriate responses. Responding in-kind with fear, prejudice and alienation will only exacerbate our tensions in an extremely polarized environment. If you’re angry with Evangelicals over any number of things, including their stereotypes of Satanists, I get it. But I think we need to try to understand their fears rather than reinforce them.

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