I first watched Neil Edwards’ Process Church documentary titled Sympathy for the Devil; The True Story of The Process Church of the Final Judgment at the Boston Underground Film Festival event where Lucien spoke. Afterward we met and hung out with Neil at TST headquarters in Salem where he shot the interview footage that is now in the recent edit of the film with Doug/Lucien in front of the Baphomet monument.
Doug/Lucien in 2007 in one of his articles on the Process;
…But the truth is more complex. Satan, it turned out, was only part of the story. In a sort of Western Taoist philosophy, The Process worshiped both Christ and Satan. A reconciliation of opposites. Seeing how easily the strictly polarized conventional Christian believers could be led on senseless, baseless witch-hunts, I began to believe that The Process Church represented a necessary evolution of religious thought in a changing world. It became my own belief that, in order for religion to survive, it must evolve and adapt a more nuanced view of reality and morality, or find itself crushed under by scientific progress. In many ways this crushing-under has already occurred as evidenced by an apparently growing gap between the scientifically literate and the tender-headed superstitious populations that quibble over the finer points (and even broad, basic points) of every theory or finding that seems to contradict the untenable idea of biblical inerrancy.
The Yezidi religion offers an example on how Gnostic traditions or the beliefs that inspired Gnosticism evolved outside of Europe after the early Christian Church labelled Gnostics and their texts and worship heretical. The angel they honor, Melek Taus, obviously resembles both Lucifer and the demiurge recognized by Gnostics. Artistic concepts featuring God as charlatan tyrannical demiurge, angels not being particularly pleasant or amicable to humans, and Lucifer/Satan being a misunderstood hero behind the scenes still fascinate us so reliably that no shortage of fiction exists exploring them. Aside from The Revolt of the Angels one can reference the His Dark Materials series by Phillip Pullman, the Lucifer character and spinoff comic series originally created by Neil Gaiman, the movie The Prophecy and songs such as Sympathy for the Devil by the Rolling Stones, which is their most covered song. Gnosticism represented what The Process Church or The Satanic Temple represent for modern religious evolution, with The Process Church easily filling the role of a new religious “hybrid” of Christianity and Satanism, a fully actualized concept of religious practice through archetypes and metaphor that incorporates our best current understanding of how the world works.
The Process Church of the Final Judgement revered four archetypes; Lucifer, Jehovah, Satan, and Christ.
The choice of the name “Satans Cavern” was not coincidental. For The Process Satan was not the only god but part of a “Quaternity” of gods… They had learned from Jung that recognizing the “satanic” element of one’s own life and spirituality is difficult, since we are normally resistant to exploring the “shadow”… Approaching Satan, however, did not mean embracing evil. On the contrary, evil is already a part of man. Through history, Satan transferred all of his evil to human beings, thus today “humanity is the Devil” and the Devil is simply an icon of the Separation.
-Satanism: A Social History
Each of these archetypes had a “high” and “low” cast. For instance; Jehovah could be an inspiring leader with a tendency to tyranny without the proper balance or council. I believe their focus on the character of Jehovah at all was irrelevant to anyone but them and their social environment. When Lucien speaks of a necessary evolution of religious thought that The Process practiced and that inspired The Satanic Temple he doesn’t mean that we have to become Satanists in order to efficiently become Christlike (though at a personal level this can feel like truth if you choose) but that all religion is just humanity’s collective selection process renegotiating for the coming era how our most relevant current archetypes present themselves aesthetically in our imaginations. Satan is a hybrid of the Jungian archetypes for The Trickster, The Lover, and The Everyman. Jehovah, to the Process Church, represented a combination of The Creator, The Ruler, and The Caregiver, there would be no reason for me, or any Satanist to use Jehovah for this role, perhaps for most of us Lilith is a more appropriate character. Lucifer is our Hero/ Magician/ Outlaw, and I personally think of The Crone (or The Hermit) as my Innocent (Empath)/ Sage/ Explorer spectrum (for which The Process Church chose Christ).
Once we start viewing the human world around us in the context of archetypes and also apply them to the characters we create for ourselves on social media, in politics, religions, and other entertainment we can start having more nuanced and meaningful discussions about the importance of religion and creativity to our lives and evolution without the static distraction of symbol worship. Instead of understanding and utilizing the purity of human expressions symbols are meant represent, symbol worship stops short of self realization or actualization and stalls mediocre people from true individuation.
All religions are truly banal in their most concise definitions. They are cyclical retellings of age old stories with new or reinvented characters. It is only the scenes and stories we tell with them about ourselves that have any worth to humanity outside of the individual.