exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity
There is no focal point, no embodiment of
Evil in the world; no external, central
figure to whom we might point as scapegoat,
absolving ourselves with, "He is the cause
of all trouble." We ourselves provide
locus of danger and threat in the world.
Unenlightened Man himself is the origin
of all calamitous events befalling us.
Editor's Note: This article is part of a series; see the 8 link-icons below - each is best reviewed within a wide corpus of knowledge. My research, for 50 years, attempts to get at what's real and true. Concerning priority of the topics, there's a song-lyric, "love changes everything" - so it is with the scientific evidence of the afterlife; its reality changes everything.
a parable of an old artist
As a young man, I belonged to a Bible-believing church. An elderly man, an artist, had created a wall-chart depicting the flow of events in the book of Revelation - quite a production, actually, representing no small effort. Banner-like, this graphic pageantry, fully unfurled, commanded 20 linear feet of wall space. Impressive.
The chronology of the story line presented itself as I methodically made my inspection along the wall - all the way to scenes from Revelation 20, the "lake of fire" and Satan being cast into it.
But what's this? I noticed something out of joint - an error in the transmission of information, contrary to textual support. I approached the artist, naively thinking that he would want to make his labor of love more perfect. Our short meeting did not go well. From his point of view, he'd spent so many hours, many months and years, creating this work, to the applause of all - "and now you tell me it's not right!"
the meaning of the parable
It's not easy to disown your baby; not easy to admit that one’s ideas, invested with much time and effort, might be arrant; especially, after it’s all been laminated in plastic and blessed by the Bishop!
why do people believe in Satan
The old artist did not want to know about errors in his wall-chart because he'd identified with, had linked his self worth to, his artistic production. We meet this neurosis often in life. People believe all sorts of things, some of them logically indefensible, but will, nevertheless, vigorously maintain all.
The subject of "Satan," arguably, among hot topics, might be most vehemently defended, yet could win a prize for least affirmed and substantiated. People's cherished views here are often "laminated in plastic, blessed by the Bishop;" even, "to the applause of all."
However, if you are one of the few who might like to rationally investigate, I present to you more than 20 sub-articles of discussion.
bite-sized packets of information
Providing a certain sequence of thought, the following sub-article writings, it is suggested, are best reviewed in the order presented.
please click on each link-icon
The reason behind the reason for what most people believe.
Why only the virtuous find the truth.
The general problem outlined.
The unspiritual mind is more impressed with Evil than with Good; as such, more impressed with Satan than with God.
No cosmic war exists between Evil and Good. Satan is not dualistic counterpart to God. There is but one eternal, pervasive reality, Universal Goodness. God is all and in all. There is nothing else.
The unspiritual mind misconstrues the nature of Evil, which has no substance, is not real, but only an inverted reflection of the Good. The apostle John teaches that Evil is weak and impotent, a beggarly element, an icon of insubstantial darkness which must flee before the smallest encroachment of Light.
There is no focal point, no embodiment of Evil in the world; no external, central figure to whom we might point as scapegoat, absolving ourselves with, "He is the cause of all our trouble." Unenlightened Man himself is the locus of danger, the origin of all calamitous events befalling us.
The scripture itself indicates that Satan is an abstraction, a mythic figure and symbol of Evil, not a real person.
Dr. Elaine Pagels and the biblical development of the concept of Satan.
After a dramatic healing, Jesus was accused by Big Religion of using Satan's power. His stern answer, famously termed the "unpardonable sin" teaching, becomes warning to all who readily hurl the shallow indictment, "It's Satan! Satan did it!"
During the "unpardonable sin" teaching, to those accusing him of using Satan's power, Jesus provided one primary test to discern Good from Evil.
More "fruit of the tree" test: The strange devils that go about the land doing good.
Father Robert Benson speaks out against the fable of Satan: "The Church has led people widely astray." No devil could “masquerade as an angel of light! There is no such masquerading here, I do assure you. Nowhere in the spirit world is it possible for any person to assume one scintilla of light which is not completely and absolutely his own.”
Charles Drayton Thomas: The "Devil Impersonation" Hypothesis
William Stainton Moses: The "Counterfeiting of God’s Work" Hypothesis
The "Tiniest Candle Principle" Restated: How the unspiritual mind, servile, impressed, and dazzled, misconstrues the nature of Evil.
Big Religion commands, "Don't rely on your own judgment. Don't do your own thinking. That's pride and vanity; that's how Satan gets to you. Listen to God's representatives, instead." But the truth is just the opposite. If we engage in forms of self-loathing, self-disrespect, we will attract to ourselves low-level, mischievous and malicious spirits intent upon influencing our thoughts to cause us harm.
Dr. Victor Frankl: "Dr. J., a Mephistophelean being, a Satanic figure, the the mass-murderer of Steinhof”
An advanced Spirit Guide, on the other side for 3500 years, comments on the question: Is there such a thing as a highly-evolved, evil spirit-entity, one whose might and power could rival the forces of Good and even threaten an invasion of Summerland?
The Sacred Feminine was violently suppressed by ego-dominated male religious hierarchies in order to gain full control of the planet via the male form. Women who loved nature - artists and thinkers - those who liked the solitude of a field or woods, were branded as witches by the Church, in league with Satan, hunted down, tortured and burned at the stake.
"Potatoes are of Satan," and other modest proposals. Throughout history, unbalanced minds have attributed virtually every new invention or concept to the power of Evil.
The Great Psychologists Speak: In Freud's "transference" we see the needy inner-child of a grown person, distorting the world to relieve helplessness and fears, seeing things as he wishes them to be for his own safety.
The Great Psychologists Speak: Ferenczi perceived that hypnotism reflects no domineering outside force but an inner slavishness, a hidden tendency toward blind belief and uncritical obedience.
Group-think: Going mad in herds.