It is my contention, however, that they both lead to the same place.
Let me try and explain:
At the heart of all spiritual (as opposed to religious) traditions, is the experience of what is often called, ‘spiritual enlightenment’.
By engaging in spiritual practices, the practitioner becomes increasingly aware of the nature of reality until, finally, they ‘get it’.
This is clearly argued in Aldous Huxley’s book, The Perennial Philosophy.
But what, exactly, is it that enlightened people ‘get’?
In traditional spiritual discourse, this is often described as a loss of ego … literally the disappearance of mind.
Christ, Buddha, La Tzu and many other sages of Right Hand Path religions point to this basic truth.
From the point of view of the LaVey/Theistic debate, it amounts to this:
The ego, or put more simply, the mind, creates a division between inner and outer. At the point of enlightenment, the ego disappears, and so does the inner and outer.
Enlightened people often speak of their experience as ‘oneness’, which is another way of saying the inner and the outer disappear.
What are the metaphysical implications of this?
First, the psychological manifests the external reality.
Second, the external reality manifests the psychological.
They imply each other, and at the most profound level of explanation, they are each other.
If this seems unreasonable, bare in mind that this insight is at the heart of all systems that try and manifest reality, including ‘The Secret’, New Age approaches, and indeed magic of all kinds, including Satanic Black Magic.
So basically LaVey Satanism and theistic Satanism both end up at the same place. A place where the distinction becomes meaningless.
It matters little, therefore, which one you prefer. You can start with either!
If you are new to Satanism, start with what you feel is right.
My broader suggestion for all Satanists is simple, and very practical: