“To Thine Own Self Be True” is the Essence of Satanism

The spirit of the Age- or the spirit of the World- can in many ways be summed up by the oft-repeated quote “To Thine Own Self Be True”, taken from Shakespeare’s Hamlet (Act 1, Scene 3). What exactly Shakespeare’s character Polonius actually meant by that is open for debate. According to the authors at enotes.com,

Polonius has in mind something much more Elizabethan than the New Age self-knowledge that the phrase now suggests. As Polonius sees it, borrowing money, loaning money, carousing with women of dubious character, and other intemperate pursuits are “false” to the self. By “false” Polonius seems to mean “disadvantageous” or “detrimental to your image”; by “true” he means “loyal to your own best interests.” Take care of yourself first, he counsels, and that way you’ll be in a position to take care of others.

This may or may not be what was in Shakespeare’s mind when he devised that phrase. Nonetheless, my concern is not really so much with what Shakespeare meant, but what the modern culture means when it constantly repeats this phrase, putting it on everything from T-Shirts…


… to tattoos.

What people mean by this today seems to boil down more or less to, “Do what you really want, not what others tell you,” and, “Believe what seems right to you, not what others tell you to believe,” and such things as this. There are many other pop-culture phrases which pretty much have the same thrust:

“Be true to yourself” (Same, just modernized language)

“Follow your heart”

“Believe in yourself”

Does the spirit of these phrases square with solid Biblical teaching? Absolutely not! The Bible tells us not to put faith and trust in ourselves, but rather in God.

Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. (2 Corinthians 1:9 ESV)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5 ESV)

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” (Jeremiah 17:9-10 ESV)

Notice that Shakespeare’s quote, “This above all, to thine own self be true,” is nearly an exact inversion of “The heart is deceitful above all things…” Yet I fear most Christians are unaware of this danger. Be very wary about the kinds of motivational phrases you hear repeated in our modern culture. They may superficially sound good, but at their base often they are a rejection of the truth of the Bible. This idea is essentially no different from “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law,” which is the “Law of Thelema” developed by who is most certainly one of the most evil men of recent history, Alistair Crowley, the famous “Beast 666” satanist. It is the utter rejection of the Truth and subservience to the hedonistic doctrine of the Beast. Don’t “do what thou wilt,” but rather do what God wills. Pray that God will guide you and give you a new heart that desires the things of God, not the things of this world. God bless.


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