It has been suggested by both maid (buxom and otherwise) and madman that I am in fact the devil. Clearly this is insanity (likely brought on by their insatiable lust for my naughty parts). However it serves as a suitable enough introduction from which to segue into a thought exercise which I’ve been idly kicking around in the old noggin for a while now. So without further ado or folderol we humbly present our main event, enjoy. (In the interest of full disclosure this does meander a bit so you may want to simply skip down to the revised checklist and go on from there).
Naming the Beast
Before one can become something its best to know what one is becoming. As such I’m going to lay out exactly what were talking about as well as some loose parameters for the piece in general.
When we speak of the Devil most people have a general idea of what were talking about and for the most part these ideas are homogenous, if often somewhat hazy. Hardly surprising given the culturally homogenous religious background of most of the western world. For most people their idea of the Devil is formed from a mixture of religious teaching, folklore and modern pop culture. Given the general religious decline in the western world its probably fair enough to say that for most people their image of the Devil is constructed almost entirely from information gleaned from the modern media machine. While the devil is primarily a Christian construction (or revelation if you prefer), the idea of a supernatural force of evil, of some great adversary, is an almost global archetype. A fact which feeds back into the above mentioned media machine and further occludes just what we mean when we talk about the devil.
However I’ve no urge to assume the mantle of some half-defined bugaboo, draped in cheap Hollywood and Hammer glitter. As such I think its best to outline what we mean when we say “The Devil”, or Satan (ho, ho four less characters to type). Unfortunately there’s no ultimate authority on the nature of Satan, no “The Adversary or Dummies” and tragically I fear 976-EVIL may not in fact have been factually accurate. As such were going to have to resort to compiling a composite from a variety of other sources. In order to maintain our self-respect as occultists that means we need to start with one of “the big three” as our source of secret knowledge. As Egyptians and Druids have practically nothing to do with the Devil that leaves us with Christianity. Ah well its my personal favourite of the three and where all the best occultists start with their bulls..ahem..revelations (I’m sure Regardie would recommend Judaism, but fuck him, the Christian Devil is much more rock and roll).
Ok then, lets get started. As the key source of Christian teaching our primary source for this exercise will be the Bible. Which actually doesn’t have a huge amount to say about Satan until we hit the New Testament, though its not until Revelations that he gets a decent amount of page time. However there should be enough there for us to construct a broad outline for what Satan is.
So starting from the beginning we first see a possible sign of Satan in the serpent that tempted Eve to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Personally I’m not too taken with this. But as we’ll be relying pretty heavily on the Roman Catholic church I think its best to follow their canon, which implicitly identifies the serpent as Satan. Evidently Satan was pretty satisfied with this little escapade as he keeps a fairly low profile for the majority of the Old Testament. Certainly never busting out any sauciness that would serve as a decent indicator of what he’s about. However with the birth of Jesus Satan evidently got all riled up as he pops up all over the New Testament, tempting Jesus here, possessing some poor fucker over there and ultimately (and personally I find the implications behind this amazing) possessing Judas Iscariot1
However, whatever the frequency of his appearance what has become obvious is that this approach is going to a) take forever and (more importantly) b) be boring as fuck to read. Especially as we move on from the Bible to church dogma and from there to Christian demonology and so on. Therefore in the name of brevity and expediency I am simply going to list the salient facts about Satan (with a brief mention of supporting references).
- Satan is not in hell: Yes, Yes I hear your cries of consternation and the howls of ardent Milton fans about adamtite chains and penal fire. But I’m afraid that there’s basically no decent supporting evidence that Satan is in hell and plenty to the contrary. An excellent example of the latter can be seen in Job 1:72, this passage shows how Satan is both abroad in the world and accepted in Heaven.
- Satan is the adversary, not the enemy: Satan means “the accuser” or “the adversary” and in the Hebrew tradition he acted as something of a “heavenly prosecutor”, pointing out humanities flaws to God and testing them as God saw fit. We see this tradition carried over into Christian tradition with the Book of Job (and arguably Satan’s temptation of Christ).
Hmm already we’ve run into some problems. While there is certainly mileage to be had in the idea of working as some kind of ruthless divine version of Miles Edgeworth I’m afraid its not really what I was going for when I started this (ah the pitfalls of spontaneous composition). As such I’m going to abandon any attempts at establishing a proper “demonic canon” and simply outline traits and goals for the Devil that I feel will prove the most interesting.
The Prince of Darkness
- Satan is not in hell: Because “From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.”3 and “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”4 sounds cooler than “Hurld headlong flaming from th’ Ethereal Skie, With hideous ruine and combustion down, To bottomless perdition, there to dwell, In Adamantine Chains and penal Fire,”5
- Satan can lead men to sin, but cannot force them to it: Satans traditional biblical role is that of tester and tempter. While later writings (and other media) have given Satan more direct means of damning mankind it feels like its somewhat missing the point (and is extremely shaky in terms of internal consistency). So Satan can lead people into sin as forcefully as he wishes but for it to be an actual sin the person has to commit it of their own free will (in this case free will generally be regarded as anything outside of direct physical or mental coercion).
- Satan commands legions of fallen angels, aka. demons: Don’t think this really requires much explanation
- s4TaN 0wNZ0rZ u!1!: Only God is more generally powerful than Satan (though in a direct confrontation the archangel Michael can kick his hole). However Satan’s powers are proscribed as detailed above.
- Satan generally doesn’t look like the offspring of a trans-sexual goat: If you have the power to look like whatever you want then we’re talking this or this or even this. But not fucking this.
- Satan wants to damn humanity: Whether its because he’s pissed that God loves them more or simply because he’s fucking sick of his job and wants to be done with it (I’m feeling you there Big D) Satan wants to damn or destroy all of humanity (sucks to be you Satanists) so he’s finally free.
- Satan wants to avoid the day of Revelation: Satan wants to delay or avoid the second coming as if that happens he gets to be bound for an age in a lake of fire6. Which is unlikely to be awesome craic
Once upon a midnight dreary, as Mick strokes it weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume on full figured whores,
While he pounded, frantically fapping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at his chamber door.
`’Tis some visitor,’ he muttered, `tapping at my chamber door –
Only this, and nothing more.’
Well perhaps not.
Anyhow, for reasons incomprehensible to both man and beast the Devil himself appears before our humble author and proposes that the Devil and our author should exchange places. Not just physically, but metaphysically. The Devil will retain his consciousness and become entirely human (or at least as human as our author) while our author will retain his own personality but become in all other ways Satan, bound by the same constraints and responsibilities, heir to the same powers and rights. Obviously as our semi-employed author doesn’t have a lot going on right now he agrees to this offer and its from there that our tale begins.
What will Mick do now that he’s the Lord of Darkness? Find out in our next thrilling installment!
RETURN TO POST1http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2022:3;&version=NIV;
RETURN TO POST2http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=job%201:7&version=KJV
RETURN TO POST3http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=job%201:7&version=KJV
RETURN TO POST4http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+peter%205:8-5:8&version=KJV
RETURN TO POST5http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/pl/book_1/index.shtml
RETURN TO POST6http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=revelation%2020:2-20:2&version=KJV
Listening to: The Rolling Stones - Sympathy for the Devil