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Satan


PaulS
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I would like to ask PCs here what they think of the person/identity/force called Satan or the Devil in the bible.

 

It seems to me that the persona of Satan evolved along with the bible from being an agent of God who 'tests' people, through to being the enemy of God who is trying to take everybody down with him.

 

Does anybody have any views on how they think the enitity called Satan developed, and/or if they think this person/being/force exists?

 

Cheers

Paul

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Paul,

 

Satan came rather late to Biblical Judaism. Moses and the prophets would be shocked at the notion of Satan. As I recall, his first appearance was in Job, a post-exilic book. And there, he was not a sinister creature with horns.

 

It is my impression that Satan is slowly departing from mainline Christianity, at least in any literal sense.

 

George

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Paul,

 

I think the persona of satan is none other than what is referred to in the NT as the old creature within each individual that is driven by the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life (perhaps ego)..I don't believe God has any real enemies but it is spoken of in the NT that the carnal mind is enmity against God (Romans 8-7) which essentially says the mind that minds the things of the flesh is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. There is a sort of mystery here as 2 Thes reveals in metaphor that the desires of the flesh (the old creature so to speak or persona of satan) continues to rule us until that nature is revealed in each of us (as ruling God's temple which temple ye are ) and then the wicked one (satan nature is revealed) and destroyed by the brightness of Christ's coming which is revealed in each of us. Kind of an internal battle within each of us (Armegiddon) between the fleshly nature and the spiritual nature that is revealed in Christ (in Christianity, being smeared together with God as in anointed)

 

Anyway, that is my take in short. Satan as taught being a mythical metaphor concerning the tenets of good and evil in each of us. In this reality i no longer identify with any such creature nor do i acknowledge any such person as satan but only those things that are of the nature of flesh and those that are of the the spirit.which in a sense, from a reality perspective, are really one.

 

Joseph

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What could be called the "mystical" view, is that there is an ultimate unity. One. Which for various reasons, according to various faiths, has "created" and bought into being the appearance of "two" - duality.

 

It seems to me that "satan" - under various guises - can have a purpose within such a duality, so long as the ultimate unity is not lost sight of.

 

Unfortunately, such is the case. "Satan" becomes one side of an imagined eternal duality. "Lost" and "saved", "heaven" and "hell"................."us" and "them". "Me" and all others.

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Widely differing views? At any rate, there aren’t many answers likely to be accepted as genuinely “authoritative” on this board, are there? (No sarcasm intended friends, just a non-judgmental observation of mine…) So, what would self-described epochal revelators have written about Satan?

 

Portraying an “out-of-the-little-box” cosmology consisting of well-nigh countless inhabited worlds (both “architectural” and “evolutionary” types) consisting in a universe of universes, they wrote that the native beings of our “local” universe can trace their origins to our Creator Son and Creative Daughter.

 

We could imagine that the loving administration of 10 million inhabited worlds might entail a multitude of specialized beings, angels, etc., tasked with furthering a far-reaching plan of spiritualizing ascension primarily directed toward evolutionary will-creatures – material mortals like ourselves.

 

As the story goes, Lucifer was a quite brilliant administrator assigned to the position of System Sovereign (somewhat like a Governor) over the local system (eventually comprised of 1000 evolutionary worlds) to which our Earth (Urantia) belongs. His second in command (Lt. Gov., if you will) was Satan.

 

The revealed history takes on further complexity with the role of Caligastia (the “devil”, you might say), who officially served as Planetary Prince of Urantia until he was deposed by our Creator Son on his bestowal mission as Jesus of Nazareth.

 

Since I'm probably not imagining the expressions of disbelief and/or yawning disinterest, I’ll close here with a link to UPaper 53: THE LUCIFER REBELLION and 54: THE PROBLEMS OF THE LUCIFER REBELLION for those who might be open to such a view of history. To read about how these affairs more directly affected our world, some might go further with UPaper 67: THE PLANETERY REBELLION and how these circumstances impinged upon THE DEFAULT OF ADAM AND EVE, as related in UPaper 75.

 

In your service,

A Dios (hasta luego, amigos!),

Brent

Edited by Brent
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Widely differing views? At any rate, there aren’t many answers likely to be accepted as genuinely “authoritative” on this board, are there? (No sarcasm intended friends, just a non-judgmental observation of mine…)

 

Hi Brent, just to say that the "non-authoritative" approach is what makes this Forum exactly what it is, at least to my eyes. Certainly, I never seek to be "authoritative". As I see it, each on here seeks to speak from their own life experience - and to a certain extent I would surmise that many are attempting to break away from "authority" in all its forms, from those who would seek to claim they "know" over and against those who are deemed to "need to know".

 

I recently read a very good book by the Buddhist Steven Batchelor, a man who has come under fire from "orthodox" Buddhists for his agnostic approach to many Buddhist teachings. It was pertinent to this thread, and was called "Living With the Devil". In it he argues for a non-dogmatic approach to all things, which - as he sees it (i.e the dogmatic approach) - is often linked to the belief, and allegiance to, rigid definitions - of "self", and the world around us. He claims that such definitions can be diabolical at times, constricting us by imposing authoritarian patterns of behaviour, and a response to the world and others that derives from habit rather than genuine purpose, freedom and compassion. Anyway, whatever, Batchelor at no time sought to speak with authority, and his book was all the better for it. He spoke from his own experience of living.

Edited by tariki
clarification (as per the i.e. in brackets)
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Hi Brent, just to say that the "non-authoritative" approach is what makes this Forum exactly what it is, at least to my eyes.

 

I don’t want to sidetrack Paul’s thread, but agree with tariki; and, I would add that this approach is probably key to enabling laissez faire ambiguity without sacrificing personal respectfulness.

 

Back to the subject of Lucifer/Satan/& the Devil – The UP writers have conjectured about Lucifer’s state of mind being influenced by self-pride:

 

There must have been a pride of self that nourished itself to the point of self-deception, so that Lucifer for a time really persuaded himself that his contemplation of rebellion was actually for the good of the system, if not of the universe. By the time his plans had developed to the point of disillusionment, no doubt he had gone too far for his original and mischief-making pride to permit him to stop. At some point in this experience he became insincere, and evil evolved into deliberate and willful sin.

 

They also list three points as the basis of the rebellion which took form as the Lucifer Declaration of Liberty:

1.The reality of the Universal Father. Lucifer charged that the Universal Father did not really exist, that physical gravity and space-energy were inherent in the universe, and that the Father was a myth invented by the Paradise Sons to enable them to maintain the rule of the universes in the Father's name. He denied that personality was a gift of the Universal Father. He even intimated that the finaliters were in collusion with the Paradise Sons to foist fraud upon all creation since they never brought back a very clear-cut idea of the Father's actual personality as it is discernible on Paradise.

 

2. The universe government of the Creator Son—Michael. Lucifer contended that the local systems should be autonomous. He protested against the right of Michael, the Creator Son, to assume sovereignty of Nebadon in the name of a hypothetical Paradise Father and require all personalities to acknowledge allegiance to this unseen Father. He asserted that the whole plan of worship was a clever scheme to aggrandize the Paradise Sons. He was willing to acknowledge Michael as his Creator-father but not as his God and rightful ruler.

 

3. The attack upon the universal plan of ascendant mortal training. Lucifer maintained that far too much time and energy were expended upon the scheme of so thoroughly training ascending mortals in the principles of universe administration, principles which he alleged were unethical and unsound … He challenged and condemned the entire plan of mortal ascension as sponsored by the Paradise Sons of God and supported by the Infinite Spirit. ...

 

 

And it was with such a Declaration of Liberty that Lucifer launched his orgy of darkness and death...

 

The Lucifer manifesto was issued at the annual conclave of (the local system) on the sea of glass, in the presence of the assembled hosts of Jerusem (system headquarters world), on the last day of the year, about two hundred thousand years ago, Urantia time. Satan proclaimed that worship could be accorded the universal forces—physical, intellectual, and spiritual—but that allegiance could be acknowledged only to the actual and present ruler, Lucifer, the " friend of men and angels " and the "God of liberty."

 

Well, just from these short snips, maybe the authors began a presentation just a wee bit more thought provoking than anything you’ve ever read on this subject before? These tidbits only prologue the detailed exposition of the far-reaching effects of those events. If anyone has a comprehensive theory or explanation that makes more sense, I would sure like to hear about it!

 

A Dios (hasta luego!),

Brent

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If anyone has a comprehensive theory or explanation that makes more sense, I would sure like to hear about it!

Nothing, nothing more than desire, a desire born in the pain of vulnerability (they call it the big bang but Jakob Boehme would call it the big rage), a desire for relationship, a desire that would hold atoms and solar systems together, a desire to be connected side by side and heart to heart, externally and internally, the desire of bacteria to recognize family, the desire for slime mold to know self-sacrifice, a desire dancing for possibilities in a fertile universe, a desire 13.7 billion years deep - that was all there was before this, us, the universe began.

 

Out of this desire to be related has evolved ever increasing complexities and possibilities of complexities. Of all the possibilities available at any moment we may or may not realize the best one or we may surprise ourselves, God and you and me, with something new.

 

That's one way I would explain it.

 

I don't think I would ever write a narrative of origins which included a Babylonian souvenir, Satan.

 

Dutch

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Check out history of Zoroasterianism in Babylon. The emergence of an 'anti-god' in competition for human souls seems to have been articulated quite closely to later Jewish/Christian concepts of Satan. What I've read in that suggests it was an idea that entered Jewish thinking and relgious culture perhaps during the period of Babylonian captivity.

Jenell

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From the Topic "Inspiration" here is an excerpt from Myron's post. I hope this captures the main points.

 

"I write about Adam and Eve and Satan because these are the kinds of images that speak to deeply held cultural values. What these images evoke—for example—about sexuality and evil—speaks not only to religious people, but may have powerful resonances even for many people who are not 'religious."

 

Of her books, I am most familiar with The Origin of Satan. Pagels contends that satan is a social construction, invented for the purpose of demonizing and silencing the discordant voice(s) of 'the other'. I tend to agree along with Maslow who is known for the maxim "To dichotomize is to pathologize". As for Gnosticism, I am divided. On the one hand, I agree with Jung that Gnosticism did (does) more to address the problem of evil than early Christianity. On the other hand, I disagree with Gnosticism where it holds that the material world is utterly corrupt (read 'total depravity'.)

 

Dutch

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Check out history of Zoroasterianism in Babylon. The emergence of an 'anti-god' in competition for human souls seems to have been articulated quite closely to later Jewish/Christian concepts of Satan. What I've read in that suggests it was an idea that entered Jewish thinking and relgious culture perhaps during the period of Babylonian captivity.

 

That is my understanding as well.

 

George

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Thank you to all for your response. I appreciate that you took the time.

 

Thanks to those that provided references to other posts and papers, and thanks to those that provided a view from their heart too.

 

Brent, call me cynical but I struggle with 'authoritative documents' which provide such great detail about things that I can't begin to imagine. Undoubtedly my cynicism comes from being already once sold a dud - i.e. the inerrant, God-breathed, actual words of God. That said, that's no reason to write off the UPs and I appreciate your effort is providing the information. I am trying to read it, but it takes time.

 

Interestingly, this week's (and last week's) Spong newsletters touch on this subject in his discussion on how much theology came from interpretation of the Genesis stories of creation (both of them) and how much St Augustine played a part in today's understanding of Satan and good vs evil (synchcronicity, Jennel).

 

Cheers

Paul

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PaulS, what do you think of the concept of Satan in LaVeyan Satanism where Satan is seen not as a supernatural evil spirit but more of a symbol representing individualism and independence? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LaVeyan_Satanism#Fundamental_individualism

Central is the idea that an individual must enforce their own meaning on life and rise above the perceived conformity of the masses. The Satanist is seen as equivalent to Friedrich Nietzsche's Übermensch; LaVey claimed "Satanists are born, not made" and that "[satanists] have a disease called independence that needs to be recognized just like alcoholism." There are progressive and libertarian elements here; diversity is encouraged, everyone is expected to discover his/her own sexuality, chart his own personality, and decide their own ambitions in life. In this stress on individuality, Satanism is considered a "Left-Hand Path" religion.
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PaulS, what do you think of the concept of Satan in LaVeyan Satanism where Satan is seen not as a supernatural evil spirit but more of a symbol representing individualism and independence? http://en.wikipedia....l_individualism

 

Neon,

 

I'm not really sure what I think, to be frank. I've never looked into it. Since you asked I have had a quick delve into the world of the internet and read more on the Church of Satan website. My first thought is why all the need for the spooky devil type stuff that we typically associate with Hollywood style Satanism? If Satan is not a being or enitity, I'm not sure why there needed to be so many devil props seemingly associated with worshiping oneself!

 

To be honest, I still get a little bothered by Satan stuff because of my fundamental Christian upbringing. It does spook me a little to research the CoS, but obviously not enough to not look

 

Apart from that, the first paragraph of the Church's welcome page says:

 

Welcome to the official website of the Church of Satan. Founded on April 30, 1966 c.e. by Anton Szandor LaVey, we are the first above-ground organization in history openly dedicated to the acceptance of Man’s true nature—that of a carnal beast, living in a cosmos that is indifferent to our existence. To us, Satan is the symbol that best suits the nature of we who are carnal by birth—people who feel no battles raging between our thoughts and feelings, we who do not embrace the concept of a soul imprisoned in a body. He represents pride, liberty, and individualism—qualities often defined as Evil by those who worship external deities, who feel there is a war between their minds and emotions. As Anton LaVey explained in his classic work The Satanic Bible, Man—using his brain—invented all the Gods, doing so because many of our species cannot accept or control their personal egos, feeling compelled to conjure up one or a multiplicity of characters who can act without hindrance or guilt upon whims and desires. All Gods are thus externalized forms, magnified projections of the true nature of their creators, personifying aspects of the universe or personal temperaments which many of their followers find to be troubling. Worshipping any God is thus worshipping by proxy those who invented that God. Since the Satanist understands that all Gods are fiction, instead of bending a knee in worship to—or seeking friendship or unity with—such mythical entities, he places himself at the center of his own subjective universe as his own highest value. We Satanists are thus our own “Gods,” and as beneficent “deities” we can offer love to those who deserve it and deliver our wrath (within reasonable limits) upon those who seek to cause us—or that which we cherish—harm. Magus Gilmore’s essay What, The Devil?” from The Satanic Scriptures discusses this in greater detail.

 

The concept of Satan simply representing elements of ourselves is one I have considered before. I think it's quite possible the 'entity' Satan simply morphed into a being as religion evolved, as a way to explain evil. I think that involves dualistic thinking though and I think the CoS would say that there is no dualism, only Satan (i.e. our carnal self).

 

I certainly think there is merit in some of what the CoS says in relation to the non-existence of any deity and that we live in a cosmos indifferent to our existence, but perhaps that indifference is actually God allowing us to experience what we will. Perhaps others from here may agree? - there is no good and there is no evil - there only is.

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It's my understanding from what little research I've done about Laveyan Satanism that the ritual devil stuff is there mostly for symbolism and shock value rather than they literally believe they're worshiping a real devil. What little I understand of it is that Satanism seems like an atheistic form of neopaganism mixed in with elements of Ayn Rand's Objectivist philosophy but this is what little I've known from reading their site and listening to an interview Robert Price had with a Satanist on the Point of Inquiry podcast a few months ago.

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Reading further, yes, it is symbolism designed to shock people. The CoS don't believe in a being Satan (other than Him being our carnal self). There's an intro on their webpage from their High Priestess that says:

 

"We challenge, we rage and outrage. We unsettle people. As a Satanist, it’s your responsibility to toy with people’s expectations of you. Just when they think they’ve got you properly pigeon-holed, you reveal an aspect of yourself both more frightening and more intriguing. Contrasts, surprises, real horrors hidden behind the spooky papier-mâché scenery—discover these and use them to your advantage."

 

They seem like a nasty mob in general!

 

Thanks for the tip on Robert Price. I have listened to his Bible Geek podcast but not Point of Inquiry. I will see if I can track down that interview you mention.

 

Cheers

Paul

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Words of wisdom from a bunch of poor lads from the slums of London:

 

Please allow me to introduce myself

I'm a man of wealth and taste

I've been around for a long, long year

Stole many a man's soul and fate

 

I was 'round when Jesus Christ

Had his moments of doubt and pain

Made damn sure that Pilate

Washed his hands and sealed his fate

 

Pleased to meet you

Hope you guess my name, oh yeah

But what's puzzling you

Is the nature of my game

 

I stuck around St. Petersburg

When I saw it was a time for a change

Killed the Czar and his ministers

Anastasia screamed in vain

 

I rode a tank

Held a General's rank

When the Blitzkrieg raged

And the bodies stank

 

Pleased to meet you

Hope you guess my name, oh yeah

What's puzzling you

Is the nature of my game, oh yeah

 

I watched the glee

While your kings and queens

Fought for ten decades

For the Gods they made

 

I shouted out

"Who killed the Kennedys?"

Well after all

It was you and me

 

Let me please introduce myself

I'm a man of wealth and taste

And I laid traps for troubadours

Who get killed before they reached Bombay

 

Pleased to meet you

Hope you guess my name, oh yeah

But what's puzzling you

Is the nature of my game, oh yeah

 

Pleased to meet you

Hope you guess my name, oh yeah

But what's confusing you

Is just the nature of my game, ooh yeah

 

Just as every cop is a criminal

And all the sinners saints

As heads is tails just call me Lucifer

I'm in need of some restraint

 

So if you meet me, have some courtesy

Have some sympathy and some taste

Use all your well learned politics

Or I'll lay your soul to waste, mmm yeah

 

Pleased to meet you

Hope you guess my name, mmm yeah

But what's puzzling you

Is the nature of my game, get down

Woo hoo, ah yeah, get on down, oh yeah

 

Tell me, baby, what's my name?

Tell me, honey, baby guess my name

Tell me, baby, what's my name?

I'll ya one time you're to blame

 

What's my name?

Tell me, baby, what's my name?

Tell me, sweetie, what's my name?

 

WE are Satan, made in our own image.

 

Why is it that uneducated, rock and roll musicians have more insight than a month of Sunday sermons?

 

NORM

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