Who or What is Satan?

by Paul Young on June 16, 2014

Lucifer3Many people in our religious culture are afraid to death of a being that the Bible and the Koran call “Satan the Devil.” Throughout the Bible, this being has wreaked havoc in the lives of the saints of God. This evil spirit wants to sift the Apostle Peter as wheat. This spirit takes everything Job has from him, including his sons and daughters, and then inflicts him with unfathomable physical pain and suffering throughout his body, all of which cause him great grief. This being is called a “roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” We are told to “resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” What does all of this mean?

Because of our reliance on the literal interpretation of the scriptures, we see Satan as a literal being looking to destroy the “children of God.” But as I redundantly state in my videos and articles, the Bible is not a book that is to be taken literally, but the whole of the book is incredible allegory (Gal. 4:24).

Jesus says “the words that I speak, they are spirit and they are life” (John 6:63). Scripture says “the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14). To read the Bible literally is to read it naturally, and to read it naturally is death and not life, for scripture also says, “the letter kills, but the spirit gives life” (2 Cor. 3:6).

God, Jesus and Satan are personifications of something. I showed you in previous videos that God is the personification of love, while Christ personifies the power and wisdom of God, or love. But what does Satan personify?

Let’s go back to 2 Tim. 1:7, because the essence of what each of God, Jesus and Satan personify is in this one verse. And then we will expand on this scripture, and by the end of this video, I expect to weld into your mind that Satan is the personification of fear.

For God has not given us the SPIRIT of fear; but of POWER, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind. (2 Tim 1:7 KJV)

Spirit, then, represents attributes or aspects of being – a methodology, if you will – for how you live your life in the flesh.  Spirit is something that is IN YOU, and that either assists or hinders your functionality as a human being while on this physical plane.

Fear is a spirit, as are love and power. The spirit of fear in you causes you to act in certain ways.  But God has NOT given us the spirit of FEAR. Actually, God casts out fear.

Now it is important to understand that the “fear” spoken of in 2 Tim. 1:7 is different than what the scriptures define as the “fear of the Lord.” The King James Version, as usual, throws us for a loop in lumping these concepts together under one word. The respective Hebrew and Greek words for “fear of the Lord” are different than the fear referenced in this scripture, and I will explain the difference in a future video.

The fear described in 2 Timothy is the opposite of faith. Let’s look at a few of scriptures that bear this out:

And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. (Matt. 8:26)

Well; because of unbelief ((which is also a Biblical synonym for fear)) they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear. (Rom. 11:20)

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast you into prison, that you may be tried; and you shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life. (Rev. 2:10)

Now these scriptures show a pair of opposites – fear versus faith. But there is another pair of opposites – fear versus love. And this fear does not mean the fear of God, for to fear God is to love God. And we can see this pair in the following scriptures:

Again, in 2 Timothy: For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Tim. 1:7)

Honour all. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. (1 Pet. 2:17)

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)

So the pairs of opposites are fear and faith, along with fear and love. So now, with this backdrop, let’s seal the deal here.

God, or love, has not given us the spirit of fear, or Satan, but of power (which is Christ, which I showed you in video #4), and of love (and God IS love), and of wisdom (which also is Christ). Christ is the “gift of God” spoken of in John 3:16. It is by this “gift of God” (which is the power of love) that fear, or Satan, is cast out. The following two scriptures will show conclusively and beyond all doubt that Satan is the personification of fear. I will annotate these scriptures in bold and double brackets so that it will be very easy to see the connection.

(26) And if Satan ((fear)) cast out Satan ((fear)), he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? (27) And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast [them] out? therefore they shall be your judges. (28) But if I ((Christ, the power of God)) cast out devils by the Spirit of God ((love)), then the kingdom of God is come unto you. (Matt. 12:26-28)

In other words, fear cannot cast out fear. It takes love to cast out fear. Thus, Christ, which is the power of love, casts out Satan. This is exactly what the next scripture says, almost verbatim:

There is no fear ((Satan)) in love ((God)); but perfect love ((God/Christ)) casteth out fear ((Satan)): because fear ((Satan)) hath torment. He that feareth ((Satan)) is not made perfect in love ((God)). (1 John 4:18)

And so Christ casts out Satan by the spirit of God, even as perfect love, which IS the spirit of God, casts out fear. These two scriptures are saying the exact same thing.

And so there you have it. Satan is the personification of fear, and fear can only be overcome by Divine, or Perfect, Love – called the “Love of God,” which is personified in the scriptures by God and Christ. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Resist fear, and fear will flee from you. There is nothing to fear but fear itself.

So you see, Satan is not a literal being in the invisible realms tormenting and torturing innocent souls who cannot see him. No, Satan is merely the attribute of fear IN YOU that the power of love, or the power of God, IN YOU, is able to cast out of you. Love never fails!

The video version of this article is now available at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JH88BA-NTQ&feature=youtu.be.

Also, please feel free to email me with your questions at decodingthescriptures@gmail.com.

Once again, this is Paul Young saying, flee from the crowd and dwell with the Christ within you.  Christ IN YOU, your hope of glory.

Joshua Tilghman June 16, 2014 at 9:11 pm

Thank you, Paul. Satan is fear and the ego. Your exegesis of the scriptures show this quite well!

Robert June 17, 2014 at 9:15 am

Josh is love and love is Paul and we are all together again.

Love,
Anny

anny June 18, 2014 at 3:45 am

Hi Robert,

Obviously you are far ahead of us on the way to unity and thus able to assume all identities. Congratulations.

Love,

Anny

Robert June 18, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Paul,

Your ‘re welcome.

Brian

Paul June 18, 2014 at 4:15 am

Robert, thanks for the catch. Joshua didn’t realize that he initially wrote the article under his name, while the article itself revealed that it was I who wrote. it. It was changed yesterday afternoon. I suppose there were some who probably didn’t see the unedited post, and so didn’t have a reference point for your comment. I laughed hard when saw it.

anny June 18, 2014 at 5:25 am

Hi Paul,

I did not catch that one either. I just saw Robert put my name under his comment, but now I see why he did that. Yes, we are all one anyway, so let us just read the (any) article and guess who wrote it.

Love,

Anny

Justin June 17, 2014 at 9:41 am

Well said Paul!

Fear is indeed our enemy, it drives us away from Love and takes all that we are. I have found it to be useful you find a fear to examine it and determine its cause. When doing this I find that most of my fears do not have a good reason to exist, or are easily faced and conquered.

The bible repeats one lesson again and again: stop being afraid, stop letting your physical evolutionary traits control you!! Fear is no longer needed in human society, it has not been needed for tens of thousands of years. Logic, Love, and Curiosity are all that man needs to continue into the future.

Justin

Vernon McVety June 17, 2014 at 11:49 pm

I read your script, but I did NOT watch the video. Satan MEANS Adversary. I’m surprised to see that this simple description (adversary) was never used in your script (post). Perhaps it MAY have been in the video, which I never watched, yet, (I will later). Adversarial conflict is part & parcel of human nature, as well as human divinity. The book of Revelation shows us a little about the “adversary.” I’ll leave that to find for yourselves. In Blessings, – Brother Vern

Justin June 18, 2014 at 8:13 am

Vernon,

You are most definitely correct Satan means adversary. But is fear not our adversary? We speak of love in nearly every post, and yet Jesus said that he brought war. These are not contradictory but rather ways of saying that Fear is our enemy (adversary) and we will go to battle with it every day! With Love (God), and Love’s Power (Christ), we can defeat fear in ourselves and bring “heaven to earth”.

Live Blessed;
Justin

Vernon McVety June 18, 2014 at 11:28 am

Very good points, Justin. And we should remember that words in the bible can throw us off if we rely only on the literal meaning. It is the inner war of conflict. Fear is a word that, I believe, cannot be ultimately defined by human effort. It is intricately bound up with reverence and respect for God. God and Satan are at war within the human heart. I am of the personal conviction, that, most of the time it isn’t really fear. But it is certainly something which we all must cope with, like our egos, rather than being opposed to, or hated. But, however, that remains a matter of individual reality for everyone. I am no final word or authority on this. Best Wishes, – Brother Vern

anny June 18, 2014 at 3:41 am

As you know already, I agree with Vernon here, Paul. I can agree to your interpretation as far as fear is concerned but Satan means adversary or opponent. I see that more as a force that enables us to test and improve our strength. As sort of a gym. In that respect I see a resemblance between the promises God made to Solomon before he started his reign and the temptations of Satan that Jesus had to face in the wilderness before he really entered his ministry. Both got the offer of things that would profit them personally where Jesus rejected the temptations and Solomon rejected God’s offers but asked for, literally, a hearing heart so he could serve his people in the best way.

However, I do agree that when we let this adversary have his way with us, and in that sense I think of the ego, then eventually it will turn into fear, which will be much more difficult to overcome than when we react to our chanllenges in the right way from the beginning. It obviously is part of our descent into the world of matter that in this fase we are not yet able to do that as we want to get to know everything. Only after overcoming this fear by Love, as you write, we can start to rise upwards again, engaging with this adversary/ego in a loving way and thus conquering it.

Anny

Paul June 18, 2014 at 4:09 am

Indeed Satan means “adversary,” but adversary is also a synonym for “enemy.” I see no contradiction here with the article. Fear is indeed our greatest adversary. It is the opposite of faith, and what we set our minds on is usually what comes to us. Sow seeds of fear and you reap the consequences thereof. Sow faith and you reap all of its corresponding benefits. Everything is a function of mind. “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” There is nothing to fear but fear itself, as the saying goes.

I actually don’t see ego in the same manner. We are born with ego, and although it must be transmuted, it is part of our existence. However, as scripture says, “God has NOT given us the SPIRIT of fear.” Fear is not part of our “make-up.” It is a mental state that we encounter and unknowingly accept along our life’s journey, and it must be “overcome.” We must “prevail” in our battle with fear, even as the church (that’s us, individually) shall “prevail” against the gates of hell through faith. Fear has torment, and therefore fear is hell, which is spiritual death, which scripture says is “the last enemy to be defeated.” Through faith and love, hell (fear) will eventually be cast into the lake of fire.

Many of these points I did not make in the article/video simply because of time constraints. My intention going forward is to make my writings/videos of much shorter length than previously produced. Of course an article of this length is going to be missing some key elements.

Thanks to all, and blessings to all.

anny June 18, 2014 at 5:37 am

God gave us an ego, in order to be able to live in this material world, and we let it deteriorate into fear. That is how I see it. I think we went further than was originally intended.

Robert June 18, 2014 at 8:54 am

Anny,

And then there are those who believe our excesses are somehow part of the plan to induce Gnosis, to be bumped out of languishing in the comfort zone by becoming aware of our deterioration. The Yin/Yang thing. Negativity is a teacher, like the “ouch” from an infant touching a hot stove.

In the same sense, fear is the adversarial component of love. We can not fully know and appreciate one without the other.

anny June 19, 2014 at 5:35 am

Hi Robert,

I agree with your conclusion. I just wanted to point out that according to me Satan is more than just fear.

Robert June 18, 2014 at 9:02 am

Paul,

You brought up a theme that is on my mind lately… that the bible is so much about conquest, instead of harmony. We have to conquer fear, face our fear, overcome our fear, kick fear in the butt. Rocky IV.

Meditation is the process that teaches harmony instead of conquest. It opens up a new existence. In some sense, it makes the bible obsolete.

Paul June 18, 2014 at 5:19 pm

Robert, the Bible is all about harmony. The problem is not the Bible, but our perception/perspective of it (along with English mistranslation, of course). It is meant to be read spiritually, but we read it naturally/literally, and thus the problem. The letter (literal interpretation) kills, but the spirit[ual interpretation] gives life. The Bible could never be obsolete. It is our contemporary perspective of it that should be obsolete, and one day it will be, as we move more toward common sense and away from superstition. The Bible does teach meditation, but as with all spiritual gems in the Bible, it is hidden in code.

Robert June 24, 2014 at 7:28 pm

Paul,

I would like to believe what you say is true, that the bible is about harmony. I am more inclined to believe that we are conditioned to believe that, when in fact, it was written to a slave and warlike society that has been overridden again and again by its enemies. It is about conquests and failures, about Israel’s leaders making up doctrines and history to condition their people into a politically resilient and cohesive monotheistic theocracy. I believe most of what Jesus taught was along a different line and was lost and then replaced by what we have recorded now, and that he was such an incredible teacher that even the corrupted version reflects more light than we can find anywhere else…. until we are awakened and find the true Jesus.

Codes….. ? Maybe. Also maybe we are going to great lengths to syncretize the bible with esoteric beliefs we want to read into it, and the beliefs that are more in harmony with the True Jesus and the True Way we are discovering. It is not really intended to be there, but we interpreted them in, because we know the truth, and we have a difficult time bearing the fact that the bible is invariably far, far short of that. In fact it is not the bible that is good or bad, warlike or harmonious, but the spirit in us that interprets it. We could take any book off the shelf and do the same thing to it we have done with the bible.

My most recent awakening experience is that the greatest truth cannot be expressed even though it can be known. The bible does not even come under the radar of that kind of understanding.

We find in the bible what we want and need to find. But what we want and need to find is more true and more important than any book of words.

Without the esoteric guides and models, we would be lost. We could make no sense of the bible. But with these guides and models, we can make more sense in what we read into the bible, and could make the same sense reading into other literature or even nature itself.

In that sense the bible is obsolete. Why go through the corruption if we can bypass it and still discover the truth directly? Why get hung up in respecting the literature for more than what it is, when it is the truth we are after?

That is some of my thinking of recent.

Justin June 19, 2014 at 9:49 am

Robert,

I agree with Paul that the Bible is teaching harmony. I believe that harmony cannot be reached while fear has a hold on a person. Look to Job to see where fear comes into play, “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.” – Job 3:25. Fear, Satan, includes negative thoughts; these thoughts, when allowed to grow, become our reality. Conquering fear is about having faith that you can succeed in all things, its about removing the burden of doubt and letting your light shine for the world to see.

When fear is allowed to exist in our lives we start to lose harmony, more fear more lose of harmony. Love becomes overshadowed by the survival instinct, logic is replaced by paranoia, justice becomes revenge, mercy is seen as a weakness. This is why the Bible teaches us, that Perfect Love cast out fear, and that he who has fear has not been perfected in Love.

As a side note, I often wonder if there are beings who have the polar opposite view of this. Ones who work to live a life in fear, and reject love at every opportunity? A place where Hell was desired and Heaven was repulsive…

Live Blessed;
Justin

Tommy June 19, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Always enjoy reading your articles, Paul. Elaine Pagels’ “The Origin of Satan” is a very good read on this subject as well. On your theme of Satan as ‘fear’, interestingly this is what the Roman church used to coerce people into submission – fear of Satan and eternal torment. The church claimed itself to be the only refuge.

In modern times, preachers have used “fire and brimstone” sermons to strike fear into the minds of the congregation, ostensibly so that a person might repent and be “saved.” Escaping the influence of Satan and avoiding eternal torment are implied in the most common religious notion of salvation.

If then, fear is synonymous with Satan on an esoteric level as you argue well, organized religion has colluded with Satan personified to increase its ranks and hold power. The irony of this is inescapable.

As you so eloquently opine, where is the Love in this? Where is Christ in this? When Christ is awakened within us, it is not the result of an emotional response to fear and the need to escape eternal damnation. As God’s gift freely given without the heavy baggage of guilt and fear, it’s much more beautiful than that.

Thank you for your original perspective and insight.

Paul June 19, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Interesting comment, Tommy. I think, though, that you are confusing fear OF Satan with Fear IS Satan. Big difference. The church, in general, uses the deity of Satan (as a literal being) to instill fear into people. I am finding that the word “is” is not truly resonating with readers.

For example, what I have come to understand about God is that “he” is not a literal being inhabiting a literal heaven somewhere in outer space. The meaning of God is love. The scripture is just personifying love, as all of scripture is metaphor/allegory. God is the metaphor for love. In other words, love is the Almighty, love is Omnipotent, love is Omniscient, love is Omnipresent.

In like manner, fear is personified in the scripture as Satan. In other words, there is no such thing as a literal devil walking around in invisible space tormenting people. The meaning of Satan is fear. So what the scriptures are doing is giving you mythological stories to show you the great power of love and fear (quite literally, adversaries), both of which are IN YOU, and how the power of one trumps the power of the other. The spirit of Satan IS the spirit of fear, even as the spirit of God IS the spirit of love.

By the way, for those who believe that Satan is ego, I contend that ego is not a spirit, and so I really don’t believe it qualifies as Satan. For sure, that belief goes completely contrary to virtually the entire Eastern spiritual culture and concept, and all that I’ve read, but that is my personal belief.

As to the literal and external church, scripture says: “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death.” (Pro 16:25) One of the dual meanings of “the Pharisees” is the representation of organized religion, and of which Jesus says, “you brood of vipers” (serpents/devils/adversaries). Virtually the whole of organized religion puts the people in fear of punishment for not doing as THEY (religion) instruct. All such teaching represents the spirit of Satan, or fear. There is no fear in love, thus no reason to fear “God” (at least not in the sense that the church instructs), contrary to popular religious teachings.

I hope that this makes sense.

Tommy June 19, 2014 at 4:37 pm

Thanks Paul. I’d be interested in your insights as to the dual nature of fear as spirit in the objective and subjective sense.

Paul June 22, 2014 at 7:16 am

Tommy, I believe all of Biblical interpretation is subjective, witness the existence of literally thousands of denominations under the Christian umbrella (the predominant religion that uses this book). As each of us, individually, represents the “temple of God,” God dwells in each one of us. It is, then, the mission of each of us (should we choose to accept it) to find God within ourselves. “Seek and ye shall find,” say the scriptures. This scripture is speaking of seeking God, for as the scriptures propose:

And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever. (1 Chr. 28:9).

God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were [any] that did understand, that did seek God. (Psa. 53:2)

The revelation of all knowledge is actually concealed within each one of us. We must search it out. (Prov. 25:2)

The Biblical language is a language all to itself, and we cannot understand it going outside the Bible. The Bible explains all of its symbols. We simply have to understand how it does so. For example, the dictionary definition of love propounds it as a feel-good word that evokes certain kinds of emotion in us. However, from a Biblical perspective, love, the Biblical definition of which can be found in 1 Cor. 13, is an action word denoting longsuffering, patience, kindness, non-envy, etc., non-boasting, etc. The ending statement in 1 Cor. 13:8 that “love never fails,” indicates that love is something that you “do,” much more than it is something that you “feel.”

Stay tuned, because I am about to something with this comment section that I hope will invite an intense and thought-provoking discussion on this subject of “Satan”; something that I’m not sure has been done on the Web, at least as it relates to this subject.

anny June 20, 2014 at 5:07 am

Hi Paul,

I just re-read your article again and I completely agree with your conclusions as far as fear versus love is concerned. However, I still cannot equate Satan with fear.

Nowhere in all these texts that you quote is the word Satan mentioned. You are the one who link the two and of course you are free to do so but it is not necessarily a proof that you are right.

You pose God versus Satan and that I also agree with but do not forget we are talking about duality here, which means:

• God = Love (in Hebrew: ahava [13]) = (echad [13], One, oneness).
• God is Love and God is One.

• Satan is not One but is a process that is comprised of different phases and can as such not be described by the same word all the time.
• Satan (Satan, 300-9-50) is the force that reigns in the world of duality.
• Satan is the opponent or adversary in order to enable man to experience contrast. It also teaches them eventually to test and improve their strength.

As the numbers show Satan is the divine process of involution – stay in the world of matter with all its influences – evolution/ascension (300), finally resulting in the birth (9) of higher awareness (50).

The tool for this process is the ego which contains the realm of emotions which man first has to get acquainted with (the descending phase of the cycle), then gets addicted to and enslaved by (and here we can speak of fear) and finally the phase of mastering all emotions, which is the ascending phase and the birth of higher awareness and Christ consciousness.

The same we see when we use the image of the serpent (nachash, 358). By its connection with the metal bronze, nechosjet, (the sixth metal in the system of metals) it is associated with the number six and entices man to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil on the sixth day. This also personifies the ego. On the seventh day, in the world of matter, it turns into pharaoh and totally enslaves man. That however is the turning point and the downward drive of the ego drowns in the sea of man’s emotions. By processing emotions and crucifying the ego the oil (shemen, 8) is produced to anoint it to messiah (mashiach, 358). This messiah will lead the process upwards again to ascension, the rising of the Kundalini (the serpent, lying coiled at the base of the spine) and the birth of Christ consciousness.

Satan is also called Lucifer, which means Light bearer. And that is indeed what it becomes when this force, this process, has passed through all its phases.

Of course what I write is no more proof of anything than what you write, Paul, but this is the way I see it and I wanted to explain once more why I see it this way.

Love,

Anny

Justin June 20, 2014 at 9:16 am

Anny,

I think one of issues we may be running into here is the definition of Ego. Is the Ego mearly the mask that’s worn,formed from the experiences of (and lessons learned in) this life, by the soul during a single lifetime? If so, then the Ego is cannot be shed while in this life as it is the link between the Soul and the physical world. Or is the Ego all of our self-satisfying thoughts and baser urges (reference Freud’s Id)? If so then it could be resisted, and while it would never disappear we could find the strength to deny it a foot hold in our lives.

I think the Freud, for all his problems, was on the right path with the ideas of the Id(Satan), Ego(current life mask), and Super Ego(spirit). The Id is our baser urges, those that fear, hurt, and care only for self. The Super Ego is the spirit. It strives to over come the baser urges, to experience life by choice instead of out of instinct. The Ego is our conscious mind, when under the control of Id it follows base urges: Lust, need for retribution, survival at all cost, etc. When under the control of the Super Ego, it follows “higher” purposes: caring for another, experiencing real love (not the crazy jealous self absorbed “love” of the Id), and condemnation when the Ego follows the Id. I know that the last one there does not sound very much like the comforting spirit that we talk about, but condemnation of self is just another form of suffering (which is a way that the spirit teaches us about God, Love), and it ends when we learn to follow the straight path through the narrow gate that is Love.

Be Blessed;
Justin

Paul June 22, 2014 at 9:25 am

Anny and all:

I believe this issue is going to lead to a great discussion on this topic of Satan/fear/ego, which I both encourage and invite. You’ve read my article and the various comments herein. I have set out my preliminary thoughts on the topic, and Anny’s and Joshua’s positions have been well documented. It is time for you readers to chime in. What are your views on Satan/fear/ego? What do you believe and why? How do you interpret the information you find in this comment thread? In the next comment I am going to lay out in greater detail the reasons why I don’t believe Satan represents ego. I would like for both Joshua and Anny to chime in here in this discussion (although Anny is currently on vacation and will not be responding to this thread until she returns next weekend).

Here are ground rules for the discussion. All ideas must be laid out without any animosity or antagonism, neither of which are necessary, as we are just putting forth our respective thoughts on the subject. If our minds are open, we may all (myself included) hear something that may cause us to reconsider our positions on the subject. What makes sense? What does not? This is what I am seeking from the expression of all ideas. Any comments that do not reflect the love with which this board represents will be removed from the thread. We must remember to do all things in love and without condemnation.

Fair enough? I will set out in greater detail in my next comment the reasons why I do not believe ego represents Satan. Looking forward to everyone’s participation.

Brian June 20, 2014 at 6:12 pm

Just because I am being paranoid, it does not mean someone or something is not out to get me.

Surely it is as big a mistake to assume all is well when it is not, as it is to assume that the situation is dangerous when in reality it is quite safe. These are known as Type I and Type II errors of judgement or prediction (too conservative versus too gung-ho).

Strategic thinking, as in “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.”, are dependent on the situation. Roosevelt said it during the height of the Depression, when people were scared for their survival.

Maybe things would have been better if in 2007 (just prior to the Global Financial Crisis), President Bush could have warned that our collective optimism was not really justified by the facts.

Pray about these things all you like, but don’t forget to use that magnificent forebrain that we have each inherited to make rational judgements about your situation.

Paul June 22, 2014 at 11:11 am

Brian:

You said: Just because I am being paranoid, it does not mean someone or something is not out to get me.

This is a very interesting statement, and begs the question, “is there some legitimate reason that exists sufficient to prove that I should be concerned that someone/something is out to get me?” If so, perhaps it is not fear. For example, if I am about to cross the street and a bus is bearing down on me at high speed, is it fear that prevents me from crossing at that time. The bus coming at me is a known commodity, and I know what will happen to me if I cross while it is rapidly approaching. Because I don’t want to get hit by the bus, I’m not going to step out in front of it. I don’t see that as fear. I don’t want to get hit by the bus, and if I step out in front of it, I will, so I don’t.

On the other hand, if there is no valid reason for my fear, but is simply based on “paranoia,” perhaps I need to reassess the basis for my fear. I think this is the essence of how fear can and does control us. There is no shortage of historical accounts of people who have achieved the seemingly impossible while the majority of people on the sidelines are very busy exclaiming how it absolutely cannot be done. It has been through courage that many of our modern inventions, for example, came into being. Faith! Quite the converse of fear.

Our way of life today would have been considered sensational science fiction in prior centuries, but today they constitute our normal everyday existence.

Of course, the phrase “there is nothing to fear but fear itself,” is cliche, and I wouldn’t take it literally in the absolute. However, there is a great truth inherent in that saying, as much of our fear is not truly based on anything rational. I think that’s the point. Fear is our greatest adversary and keeps us in the prison of our minds.

moses June 20, 2014 at 9:25 pm

I have learnt so much for the short period of time I stumbled on this website than I have ever learnt during my entire life in religion.So I think this knowledge is God sent.Having said this I would like you to kindly enlighten me further on the personification of Satan and more particularly the connection to supernatural happenings.One time while growing up in my native country a certain family came attack from invisible forces where stones were hurled at them day and night.No one was able to identify who was responsible for this, however after prayers fron the local pastors this came to a stop.The paranormal event was attributed to the work of Satan.What is your comment on this? Don’t you think such are the things that give credence to the literal interpration of a literal Satan out lurking out there waiting to cause us harm.Sorry in case I sound naive.I am on my spiritual journey.

Joshua Tilghman June 23, 2014 at 9:58 am

Moses,

Satan cannot be a literal being, unless you want to say that darkness and ignorance is sometimes manifested through literal beings. Satan is a force, not a person. As far as the experience of throwing rocks is concerned, I can’t say what this was. It could have been a million things. Thanks for your comment.

Robert June 24, 2014 at 5:10 pm

Moses,

I very much appreciate your comment. I think in my past I have come across three people who were imitations of people I know. They have approached me when I was alone, told me things, and influenced me for good or bad. I’ve discussed the matter with the people they were imitating those people have no recollection of the matter. I’ve looked into this and some people think spirits can manifest as people we know to give guidance or lead us astray. It happens very rarely and usually if there are some big stakes. I believe this can never happen to me again because of my faith and discernment.

If you believe that spirits or Satan cannot hurt you, then they will not bother you again. If you are obsessed with them hurting you, then some people believe you give them access through your fear to torment you. There was a famous church in Texas that had lbeen taught by a visiting apostle Derick Prince to cast out demons from people and once they started doing it, the demons played along and kept coming and coming and coming. Nothing else in the church service could get accomplished. They finally got so worn out, Pastor John Hagee told them to stop casting them out, and then they stopped coming. True story told by John Hagee.

What I believe can hurt you more than demons are church doctrines that are so rigid and compulsory that they hinder you from awakening to the true Jesus.

If I were you, I would collect the rocks and use them in a rock garden with flowers growing in between them. You can be sure no evil force will continue to throw you rocks that you put into a beautiful rock garden.

Robert June 24, 2014 at 5:15 pm

Moses,

Many, many blessings on your path of awakening to the true Jesus.

Robert

Paul June 22, 2014 at 10:45 am

Anny says the following:

Nowhere in all these texts that you quote is the word Satan mentioned. You are the one who link the two and of course you are free to do so but it is not necessarily a proof that you are right.

Of course, she is correct here. However, consider the fact that although there is no link between the words “Satan” and “fear” in the Bible (although I set out in my article how I interpret that connection), you will not find the word “ego” in ANY of the contemporary English Bible translations, whether connected to fear, Satan or any other entity.

HOWEVER ….

The etymology of the word “ego” is Latin in origin, and means “I,” or “me.” Turning my attention to the Latin Vulgate version of the Bible (“LV”), I found that the word “ego” appears a whopping 1,639 times in 1,513 verses.

Very interesting.

In looking at the usage of the word in the English translations of the Bible, it is actually the same as is used in the dictionary. Merely “I.” The word is used in virtually every instance in which we use the word generally. In the Bible, it is used by every Bible spokesperson, including God. An instance of this is Gen. 15:1, 7. I will lay out the Latin text (copied directly from the LV) and follow up with the English translation:

(1) his itaque transactis factus est sermo Domini ad Abram per visionem dicens noli timere Abram ego protector tuus sum et merces tua magna nimis … (7) dixitque ad eum ego Dominus qui eduxi te de Ur Chaldeorum ut darem tibi terram istam et possideres eam (Gen. 15:1, 7 VUL)

And in English:

(1) After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I [am] thy shield, [and] thy exceeding great reward. … (7) And he said unto him, I [am] the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. (Gen 15:1, 7)

The word “I” in these two verses is translated from the Latin word “ego,” and in these verses is spoken by God. But in the Bible, with regard to Satan/devil, we have phrases like:

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. (1 Pet. 5:8-9)

I don’t personally see how we can equate Satan to ego as something we need to “resist.” As I mentioned in a previous comment, perhaps ego needs to be transformed, but not “resisted.” But again, the ego is merely “I,” or “me,” in its numerous applications.

At this point, and as Justin sets out in his comment above, I am curious as to what definition of “ego” we are using in describing Satan as such? I am definitely in the dark here.

I’ve set out in the article the reasons for my belief in Satan as fear, and if anyone needs any clarity, please go ahead and re-read this relatively short article. I am up for any questions you may have.

Looking forward to reader input.

Robert June 22, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Paul,

I had a very difficult testing of my maturity last night, which two years ago would have sent me into a emotional all night mini-hell. It wamulas to rebuke the devil ans personal so I can’t go into details. It was the equivalent to Indiana Jones being trapped in a pit of snakes for 14 hours. But when it started, I remembered the new esoteric paradigm I have for everything and my inner voice told me to quiet myself and find peace and unspoken wisdom in silence. It was much easier than I thought to do this. And I was amazed at my own stability. The thing that I remember most is that fear was absent. I don’t know where fear went. So I understand what you mean about fear. Two years ago I would have thought the devil was attacking me, and would have been wrought with my worst fears, desperately invoking formulas to rebuke the devil and calling prayer partners and prayer lines depending on them to help me breakthrough, while hating every minute of the trial, like getting an endless enema. Actually, that is exactly what happened two years ago. And my conclusion from that then was that I survived by the grit of my teeth to live another day. But this present experience, I actually enjoyed. I used the threats surrounding me as a focal point to embark in meditation, and it was very powerful. I was eager to learn what this experience was to teach me. At times I would get weaker and start to question “why is this having to happen to me” but the inner voice would encourage me to keep doing what I was doing, and I knew that was right. Everything worked out at the end, plus I knew that nothing could ever hurt me again, not memories, not present, not future. I am still wondering how I have become this different person. I did not “conquer” fear; I transcended it. It takes a little discipline to learn how; but then it is like pushing the EZ button. Also I was able to get some insight into why the situation occurred in the first place… and it brought to light a blind spot I have in acting out of my intellect instead of a deep intuitive love that I am not yet exactly sure how to make happen, but sad that I could not, but now have a kind of stinging motivation to discover.

Paul June 23, 2014 at 6:34 am

Robert, I find this story pretty amazing. Metaphorically, there are seven days of creation, and we cannot circumvent any of them. We must go through all seven days, from the first day, in which our trials destroy us (pictured by the flooded Earth in the story of Noah), to the seventh, or Sabbath, day of rest, when the work of creation (WE are the creation) is finished, and “God rests.”

I am having similar experiences during my own hour of the blazing fiery inferno. The “peace that passes all understanding” means the ability to maintain faith and banish doubt, even when all hell appears to be breaking loose around us. If we can maintain our faith during these intense times, we soon find, as you did in your current dilemma, that there truly was nothing to fear. Whether “conquered,” or “transcended” (mere semantics, in my opinion), I guess the point is that fear no longer had dominion over you. You “resisted” the devil (fear) and “he” departed from you. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

This was very powerful! Thanks so much for sharing.

Robert June 23, 2014 at 1:23 pm

Paul,

Oh good. Glad my sharing helped you. Interesting serendipitous situations, you and me,

We usually do what we have done before when in an emergency, rather than try something new and better…. unless we are guided or nudged in to it.

I know for me the robotized way the church taught me to deal with stress was to do the worst thing anyone could do …. create more stress to try to “conquer” the original stress, and to do this by setting an impossible standard to use an act of egotistical will to “pass” the “test” of faith. This is a test where at the end, you are dripping blood and chock full of spear holes, and the sergeant comes over and gives you a medal. This is the “war scenario” which requires squeezing more adrenaline out of your poor adrenals which are already overtaxed by the original stress. Like a ride through the house of horrors at the circus, blood pressure off the Richter scale, biting your tongue and tensing your abs, and chattering your teeth, waiting in panic and with all body parts at depcon 4. waiting for the ride to end. This is what I mean by conquering. The versions of the bible handed down to us were written by warlock or warjocks. Jesus never, never, never, ever even hinted at doing anything like that. He slept in the back of the fishing boat during the Galilee typhoon. He pressed the EZ button and walked on water. This is transcendence. Conquering via bible 101 war games and the subtle process of transcendence are total opposites. Its not just another name for the same thing. War brings more war, and a war mentality. Transcendence takes you out of the blood and battle and into a tranquil field with spring s of running water, gardens, and sweet chirping birds, where you become invisible to the attackers as they charge right past you, even right through you, because you are safe and sound in another dimension they cannot touch. Jesus taught transcendence, even if he did use the word. He did not teach war games, as the written and corrupted scriptures and church have.

If you ever, ever find yourself in a war, then there are two things you can do. First, remember it is an illusion, like the latest video game, and what you think you are experiencing is simply what is being played out artificially upon your character in the game. You are not the character, although you may have over-identified with it. You are outside the video screen looking in. You have the controller in your hands. You can switch to better game if you like. Or you can grab some popcorn and continue having fun controlling the game your character (not you) are in. There are new techniques to apply and learn when you are not afraid and your adrenals aren’t mush. They are the secret ninja ones. Flowing with the universe. Living in the her and now moment by moment, listening for the subtle guidance, one step at a time, and every step of time, watching the butterfly flutter past the tanks and mortars.

Joshua Tilghman June 23, 2014 at 8:18 am

To all:

I believe part of the issue here is that sometimes we want to say one particular symbol in the Bible has only one limited meaning. This is not always the case. For example, the forces of nature are dualistic. Everything has it’s opposite in duality. We have a spiritual ego and a lower ego. The lower ego encompasses the desire-mind that the spiritual ego struggles with.

When we are trying to interpret a symbol, it has to be taken in context. The serpent who was more subtle than any beast of the field represents the desire-mind itself, and the beasts of the field represent those particular desires. The field is the arena of the lower mind, or lower ego. However, the serpent who tempts Eve also has a much larger symbolic role. The serpent, as a whole, represents the forces of both the higher and lower nature, because it is the serpent that drives the entire process. Both the lower and higher self play a part. Both are necessary to evolve the soul.

Satan is incorporated in the meaning of the serpent, but in a much more limited aspect. Satan represents darkness and ignorance, another aspect of the lower ego. The force of love enables us to transcend the lower mind, and unite it with the higher, whereby we no longer operate from the lower desire-mind and instead the light of the soul overwhelms to the lower mind thereby elevating the entire being. The love of God is trust in the fact that all works together for Good. Divine Love is the complete unity of the higher and lower nature, where one always acts towards others in accordance with the highest ideals – wisdom, patience, kindness, forgiveness, non-judgment, etc.

Fear is the epitome of the lower ego, and love is the epitome of the spiritual ego.

This is the way I see it.

Brian June 23, 2014 at 3:52 pm

I agree with Joshua and Robert. “Epitome” is a rather helpful word, with a lot of potential to move us forward in this inherently speculative domain, at the perimeter of our empirically based understanding of the Universe.

I like the word because it seems to get us past the binary stumbling block of any given assertion, such as the existence of God, by giving us a third alternative to the agree/disagree dichotomy; the “I am not sure, either way” alternative.

As I understand it, “epitome” is artfully vague in its precise meaning. It certainly has the flavour of symbolism, in which a single member of a set is chosen to represent all the other members of that set. Presumably Satan represents all those experiences when life turns against us, for a variety of rather ambiguous (baffling, even) causes; often our own stupidity or ignorance.

“Epitome” also has the flavour of a summary, in which the major ideas are highlighted, by filtering out the minor details. This is the essence of Korzybski’s map of reality which we all construct by way of abstraction, so that we can indeed see the wood for the trees. This occurs when a cartoonist is able to communicate a politician to us, by concentrating on just a few features of the victim’s physique. We get the idea or the essence, without all the detail.

Overall, the word seems well adapted to the fuzzy world of speculation and journeying into the unknown. Because, of course, the edge of the “known world” is not a clear cut boundary; instead it is essentially fuzzy, with lots of “uncertain sightings”. When someone reports a single conversation with God are we justified in saying, “yes”, “no” or “maybe”? The answer is very contextual and processional; my belief/skepticism will often change over time (process) and even bounce about depending on the context in which I am considering the matter.

So, I guess the word “epitome” allows us to summarise where we are in a mapping process and report our findings in an artfully vague way. So, love as an epitome allows us to say something without any real binary definition (what it is or is not). People know what we mean without any of us (speaker or listener) really knowing what we mean. That is fuzziness, isn’t it?

And in my journey into mathematics, I am meeting some analogous ideas. Infinity seems to be a great tool for dealing with an uncertain boundary of our knowing. It seems that infinity is 1(one) more than the number I just thought of. So, n becomes n+1, which is then ready to have another 1 added to it.

“If big fleas have little fleas,
upon their backs to bite ’em;
then little fleas have littler fleas,
ad infinitum.”

The other helpful mathematical concept is the fuzzy set, in which membership of the set is loosely defined by a probability, ranging from zero (definitely not) to 1 (definitely true). Both conditions (zero and 1) are also limits at infinity, which means that any sense of certainty is always tainted by the possibility that a new “contrary data point” will destroy our certainty either way(at zero or one).

So, love may indeed be as good as it gets, but we can never be absolutely certain. In the meantime, the concept of epitome allows us to use a symbol of our feelings of certainty, whilst intellectually retaining the possibility that something much better may turn up tomorrow.

And of course, our ability to detect signals or patterns within all this fuzziness, is being greatly enhanced by the computer’s ability to do all the calculations so much faster. Try Googling SETI.

My take home message is that if you are intrigued by this stuff, or just plain curious, there are lots of other places to search, besides the holy books and the ancient myths.

Stay curious.

Robert June 24, 2014 at 5:23 pm

Brian,

Very stimulating. I like exploring about what we know about things based on word symbols, which may sometimes give us misleading answers, as if the word take over the logic. This eventually leads to formulating the hypothesis that words are never fully accurate and that “The Tao that can be spoken, is not the true Tao”. But there sure is a true Tao. In fact, two people can embrace the same Tao, even though their words make them believe the opposite.

I just decided to not speak for the next week. Let you know how that goes.

Robert June 23, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Josh,

It was really good the way you explained the dual functionality of the serpent. This is always a stumbling block of confusion unless it is explained that clearly. Also your clarification of epitomes. Brilliant.

Vernon McVety June 24, 2014 at 1:36 am

I’m glad to say I’ve learned a good deal from these varied perspectives of Light about Satan, fear and the ego. They all throw light on me not only because of what I may or may not believe in but primarily because they show that the meaning of Truth or higher understanding itself is a multi-dimensional force of angles all radiating from the same center. When we get to the highest (and deepest) mysteries of God no one claims to be expert. This is where the human endeavor merges with the intuitive and mystical. And where we’re given the opportunity to see through the agree/disagree doors on the open portals of our hearts. Doors and locks disappear. Like those who say that the entire Bible is not the Word of God, but rather the Word of God is CONTAINED in the Bible. And each and every person is free to choose what they SEE as THE WORD of GOD; not only believing but realizing (making it real) within one’s self. Therefore new qualities of The Word throw away our stubborn beliefs. I believe this is a way of overcoming the ego. Opening for a greater self image. Our self image has so much to do with our salvation. Salvation means healing. In my opinion, the greatest way of overcoming the ignorance, arrogance and blind spots of our self image is forgiving others. An enormous biblical value which I think has been conveniently, and perhaps accidently overlooked in this post. Forgiving others is a (giving) unto ourselves.

Did God (Love) create His own opposite which is capable of destroying His self? This is a question no one can answer. But WE create our own opposite. In this light it can be said that we are co-creators with God, made in His image, not only in the positive sense but in the negative as well. But we are capable of overcoming it, and therefore casting off the image, or spirit, of fear, disillusion, inhibition and what ever opposite we allow into our selves that is capable of deteriorating our faith power and potential love into hatred and ill-will.

For Alice Bailey’s doctrine of the descent and fall of Lucifer I find pearls of wisdom within it, the same way I find pearls in the Holy Bible. The fall of Lucifer and his solar followers was not a fall into sin or damnation but an act of sublime sacrifice. Can we equate the fall of man, which is a fall from consciousness, with the fall of Lucifer? I will comment on this no further, and accept what ever negatives come my way. But remember, as a co-creator with God, if you consider yourself one, you are capable of taking that picture and turning it into a positive. – Love & Light to all, – Brother Vernon

Tommy June 24, 2014 at 4:19 pm

Hi everyone,

This is a great discussion. Thank you, Paul, for inviting other perspectives. Gnosticism doesn’t agree with the predominate depiction of Satan, particularly the one originating in the Roman Church. Elaine Pagels makes a convincing argument in her book “The Origin of Satan” that an evil Satan determined to see us spend an eternity in hell is an invention of said Church. I won’t summarize this here, since you can read it for yourselves.

The Gnostic perspective is radically different from much of what has already been discussed. For example, the serpent in the Garden of Eden is neither Satan nor evil. The serpent gives saving knowledge, or Gnosis, to Adam and Eve, symbolized by their eating of fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Lucifer is the Light Bearer who removes blindness to our Divine origin for those who can receive the light. Lucifer is not Satan nor is he evil.

There is no Satan as such in Gnosticism. Instead the source of our troubles began with an ignorant and arrogant god, called the demiurge, who said “I am a jealous god and there is no other god before me.” The demiurge does not know of the highest God, called Father, so he thinks he’s in complete control. He caused the flawed material world to come into being outside the Father’s will. It’s the imperfection of this material world that produces sickness, tragedies and natural disasters. The demiurge’s flawed human creations, made in his image, are responsible for wars, murders and so on, but there are no supernatural evil forces at play.

What of evil? Evil is not a concept in Gnosticism. The Gnostic view of the material world as evil is a common mischaracterization. Matter is the polar opposite of spirit and something we must transcend, but it isn’t completely bad. It’s kind of a training ground for humans born with the spark or seed of Divinity. Those who are destined to ascend above this material entrapment see the light – we might say awaken to the Christ within.

It would be perfectly natural for a Gnostic to agree that we have nothing to fear but fear itself, but fear is simply a human emotion overcome by Gnosis.
Tommy

Paul June 25, 2014 at 9:13 am

Hi All.

Just wanted to let all of you know that I am currently out of town and unable to respond to your comments. My weekend will be incredibly busy, but I will try to begin responding at some point over the weekend. I am eagerly looking forward to it.

My apologies for the delay. I hope all is well with everyone.

Vernon McVety June 25, 2014 at 10:39 am

Hello Tommy, I’ve always been fascinated with Gnosticism. That sounds a lot like the Gnosticism of Valentinus since you say “Those who are destined.” I take it that means the “Pnuematic” instead of the psychic and the hylic, those who are lucky enough to have the spark generated from Sophia and the special aeon Christ. But when we think in terms of conscious evolution are we not all really destined to transcend this worldly entrapment? – Brother Vern

Tommy June 25, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Hi Brother Vern,
Yes. A source for this is Valentinian Gosticism. I hope to write a blog post about it in the future.

As I understand it, conscious evolution is occurring on a cosmic scale. It’s collective and encompasses everything. The cosmos has one destiny and that is unity and the transformation of matter into spirit. This process involves sorting out the imperfect from the perfect.

Human beings are caught up in this. We do not all share the same destiny, nor do we all have the same nature. There are three kinds of human nature. We all have varying degrees of these three natures. The dominate nature in a person determines their identity.

The ‘pneumatic’ is spiritual by nature and sometimes referred to as the ‘perfect’. These are destined to transcend the world of matter and join the fullness of deity called the ‘Pleroma’.

The ‘psychic’ is rational by nature. By faith and good works these may receive spiritual gifts with the opportunity to ascend to perfection over an undetermined number of lifetimes.

The ‘hylic’ is demonic by nature and indifferent or antagonistic to spiritual things and absorbed by materialism. These are destined to destruction.

Being compassionate this is a hard thing to accept. Yet it has been ordained and we are not privileged to know why at present. Please bear in mind this is a Gnostic view and I don’t want to impose it on anyone.

Blessings,
Tommy

Homer June 25, 2014 at 12:12 pm

One of the things I have learned during the past 9-10 years in my personal study of the Bible is that tradition plays a much larger part of our understanding of the Bible than we may realize. There are many transliterations we accept as translations because, by tradition, we were told they are valid. Several years before beginning my personal study, I remember being told, ‘transliteration clarifies the meanings of words’. That explanation was far from being accurate. Transliteration gives the letters and sound of a word in an unknown language to the letters and approximate sound of a word in a known language without regard to meaning or definition of the word in question. This leaves open the possibility of assigning meanings which are not accurate. Whereas; translation gives meaning and/or definition of a word in an unknown language to that understanding in a known language.

A few such transliterations are as follows:
From Greek; Angel, Heresy, Philosophy, Synagogue
From Hebrew; Adam, Halleujah, Mazzaroth, Messiah, Satan

Notice the last on the list is Satan, the topic of this discussion. According to Strong’s the Hebrew word is שׂטן śâṭân saw-tawn’ and in Hebrew means “opponent”, and as previously mentioned can mean “adversary” and is only understood as an “evil being” by tradition. According to several sources there was no concept of an evil being named Satan in the understanding of the ancient Hebrews. It appears Satan became a control mechanism of “the church” (any church) by instilling fear into the people. In this way “the church” (any church) is able to conquer and control the masses. [An interesting study may be why the word “church” is used in the KJV. It is neither transliteration nor translation.] During the “dark ages” the common folk, i.e., laity, were not allowed to read, understand or know of any choice other than what “the church” taught. Unfortunately, many still live in the “dark ages” when it comes to understanding the meanings of words and why we believe and/or understand the things we do. For example, if we use the Greek language to describe the conquerors (G3534 νῖκος nikos nee’-kos) of the people (G2992 λαός laos lah-os’) (or laity), we may understand a transliterated word in Rev 2:6. i.e., Nicolaitans.

FYI, G3534, nikos is the root word for a well know athletic shoe and sportswear company. Supposedly if you use their product you will be able to conquer and be victorious over any competition.

Joshua Tilghman June 25, 2014 at 1:04 pm

Homer, I love this comment! It brings a lot of clarity to our topic of discussion. Just because we can transliterate a word correctly still doesn’t mean we will be able to understand it’s intended contextual meaning according to the tradition, culture, and experiences of the times in which the Biblical writer lived in.

Satan does mean opponent or adversary, but according to the contextual translation, I have had no problem agreeing with the esoteric giants before us which teach that the lower ego is the adversary of the spiritual ego. This doesn’t mean that one is better than the other, only that both play their role in the ultimate development of man’s soul. We tend to judge things as evil or good, but without light and dark neither would be relevant when compared to each other.

Thanks for you comment.

Brian June 25, 2014 at 3:37 pm

What a wonderful step forward is to be found within these two comments. As Joshua is implying, we need to examine religions (or hopefully an underlying unifying religious principle) by looking for the “intended contextual meaning according to the tradition, culture, and experiences of the times in which the writers of the Bible (or all holy books) lived.”

Perhaps we could call such a study, “What Happened to the Children of Abraham?”

At first glance, we have at least three religious streams of Nation States or Empires, with a lot more sub-groups and Empires which waxed and waned over several millenia of history and pre-history.

Sadly, at the moment, the various children of Abraham, (Islam, Judaism and Chistendom), do not seem to be getting on too well together. And given the nasty toys they now have with which to wage their wars, we can only hope they find some harmony before they blow the planet to bits. Is that really what Abraham intended?

I think a central unifying theme of religion is the question of how do we predict the future, especially in terms of our security as well as it being a guide to where we should invest our energies for a better future. Many Priests and Kings seem to have built their reputations on how well they could predict the future, on the basis of some aracane scientific processes. And when science failed (such as what happens when we die?), they could always turn to the self appointed powers of the mystic.

And from my researching, we seem to be blessed with some very interesting popular material, in books and TV documentaries, covering the history of the three Abramic religion. Hopefully this will help us to realise that we have one history, rather than three. History is of course in the eye of the beholder and there are powerful vested interests maintaining the myths that Abraham fathered three separate tribes that by the will of God, should forever remain separate.

People of goodwill must resist this war mongering.

A good step forward would be some sort of an integrating historical commentary that recognises the interaction of all three religious tribes, perhaps with the backdrop of the evolution of human consciousness and the human forebrain.

For starters, I would included Mesopotamia, the Australian Aboriginal Dreamtime Traditions, the Babylonian Tribal Wars, the emerging Fossil Record, the various Mediterranian Empires and their different ways and means of organising things, the histories of mathematics, medicine, engineering, etc; the Greek’s geometry, the Muslim’s algebra, the Council of Niceae, the various Empires of the Dark Ages, the Enlightenment, Post Modernism, 19th Century search for Jesus, the Jewish traditions of commentary…..and lots, lots more.

What a sad indictment that all that historical intellectual activity now comes down to a bunch of fanatical bigots waving their holy books at each other, while murdering anyone who dares to read or quote any other book.

Surely, Satan must lie somewhere in the midst of these mistaken ways in which we choose to perceive this great history and its implications for the future.

Maintain thy curiosity and beware of those who falsely claim a power over your thoughts, based upon some mystical ability to predict the future.

Homer June 25, 2014 at 5:16 pm

With the remarks and/or comments which follow, please do not interpret them as being contentious. During any journey to better understanding one may find that the study of religion or any resemblance of religion will generally lead right back to where we have been. No matter which religion or practice of any sect of religion is studied, the end result will most likely require a set of physical practices to perform; a literal list of “do this and don’t do that” so to speak. A few years ago I was at a round table discussion with some good friends at the “church” I attended and the discussion of religion was the topic. After about 5-10 minutes the comment was made, “All religion is man made.” Immediately one person said,”Except ours.” Therein lies the potential problem, especially with some groups.

Joshua states at the beginning of the article, which started this discussion, a point which may need exploring more deeply. That statement is this, “….the Bible is not a book that is to be taken literally, but the whole of the book is incredible allegory (Gal. 4:24).” It may be very beneficial in a study of the various religious writings, to look at the potential allegory of what is written rather than a literal interpretation. The scriptural reference made covers the example of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar. With more than a superficial reading of the context of what is written, one may see/understand the story is one of the difference between literal/physical as compared to the allegorical/spiritual interpretation. Let’s look at Gal 4:22 – 26 with some inset remarks..

For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid (Hagar – allegory for literal/physical understanding?), the other by a freewoman. (allegory for better/spritual understanding?) But he of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; (literal/physical thinking?) but he of the freewoman by promise. Which things are an allegory: (Could this mean the story of Abram, Sarai & Hagar are not history but allegory?) for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which brings on bondage, which is Hagar. For this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, (allegorical for literal/physical thought?) and answers to Jerusalem which now is (literal/physical Jerusalem/religion, or literal thinking?) and is in bondage with her children. (physical, literal thinking?) But Jerusalem which is above is free, (allegory for out of the box thinking?) which is the mother of us all. (Allegorical Sarah?)

It may very well be that the Abraham, Sarah, Hagar story is an allegory which has a much more meaningful purpose over and above the physical representation. Could it be that when we accept “men’s truth” because of tradition, our thoughts are the physical Mt Sinai, a place of desolation, which binds us to the physical Abram, Sarai and Hagar. Are we slaves of or bound to that traditional way of thinking which keeps us from thinking outside the box of tradition? Could it be that we “answer to Jerusalem which now is” that is, religion which promotes and demands literal thinking? Paul says the “Jerusalem which is above is free.” Could this be the naturally given freedom to reason and think on a higher plain within our own heads / brains to consider and seek better understanding without fear of being ridiculed or condemned by traditional thought?

Is it possible that this allegorical story is also evident in the story of Brahma and Saraisvati in the Hindu tradition? Notice the similarity of the names Abraham and Brahma as well as Sarai and Saraisvati. It is also interesting to note the names of Isaac and Ishmael are similar in Sanskrit:

(Hebrew) Ishaak = (Sanskrit) Ishakhu (Hebrew) Ishmael = (Sanskrit) Ish-Mahal

Vernon McVety June 25, 2014 at 10:03 pm

Hello again Tommy,
I can accept that there are 3 types of human nature among us. But these 3 are a process of growth and perfection, even the hylic, evolving also through an undetermined matter of lifetimes. Everyone is destined to achieve the power to overcome this world. If we are here to work out our own salvation, no one remains the same eternally. According to Christian theosophy we are all conceived in God as his idea before our natural births, and we will all eventually return to God as His own; yes kissing in the bridal chamber. Although I had to answer most of my own question I appreciate your insights. – Brother Vern

Tommy June 26, 2014 at 8:02 am

I love our conversation Brother Vern. I hope it will speak to others. Your’s is certainly a view shared by many Gnostic circles, and I cannot disagree. A fundamental philosophy of Gnosticism is that individual insight and personal experience are more important than tradition. This was so even in Valentinus’ day as he encouraged his students to find their own way, and they did, differing with him on certain points.

On this point Paul’s own insight that ‘Satan’ IS ‘fear’ cannot be disputed, as his esoteric understanding is meant for him and perhaps many others reading his post. I have posited another viewpoint but by no means imply that this is what everyone should accept.

Everyone finds their own Way. Gnosis is ever evolving over time. Wisdom increases. As a person with compasion and the Love of Christ, I like to think every created thing returns to God and all will work out their salvation.

Thank you for sharing your insights, which I have enjoyed very much.

Your Brother in Christ,

Tommy

Vernon McVety June 26, 2014 at 9:25 am

Thanks for your latest insight. Good idea to slide back into the groove point. I too can agree that Satan is fear. That’s because fear is one of our darkest negatives that holds us back in our life’s journey. To me as well as others Satan represents the darkest extreme of our spirit. Notice that Satan, and the devil (whose origin is in Persian thought) has always been depicted in a human form, although modified with cloven hoofs, horns and wings and sometimes a pitch fork by fire. It is so difficult to say this without being condemned by fundamentalists as ultra-heretic but Satan dwells within all of us. He is not a separate single unit being as so many think. Ultimately it doesn’t matter what we believe. What matters is how we live our lives accordingly. No one has ever been in complete possession of absolute spiritual truth and knowledge. Not even the gnostic revealer. This has been one of the best (if not THE best) subjects I’ve ever engaged in. Thanks again for your insights. – Brother Vern

Kim D. July 24, 2014 at 4:58 pm

My comment here is almost a month old, but I wanted to leave it anyway 🙂 I apologize if what I say has been brought out previously and I just missed it…

The issue of satan (not capitalized in the OT) was the springboard to my leaving religion. I came across two scenarios in the OT which my then pastor had not noticed together and could not explain to me. Thus, I had to start digging for myself. The stories are similar and are found in 2 Samuel 24:1 and 1 Chron. 21:1. The first indicates that the “Lord” moved on David to conduct a census of the people. The second states “satan” moved on David. I’ve read explanations that God allowed satan to enter into David, etc. etc. However, if you accept “satan” means adversary and then see how God is mentioned quite a few times in the OT of also being an adversary…seems to me God and satan are indeed the same and not adversaries of each other as is taught today. I also think when Jesus said to Peter, “Get thee behind me satan,” he wasn’t telling some goblin on Peter’s shoulder to go away, he was stating to Peter that by his (Peter’s) comments, Peter’s words were adversarial to what Jesus just said to him. Seems we can all be satans at one time or another! Anyway, just something I had thought about….

Vern McVety Jr. October 28, 2014 at 11:01 pm

That is very good reasoning, Kim. And I regret it took 3 months for me to finally see your comment posted here, as I was doing some back-viewing. It goes to show that almost every powerful idea or argument cannot escape its opposite force and is therefore worthy of dialectical synthesis, or some way of transcendence. And I think this is a problem that can quickly transcend the thinking rationale, if we allow it.

The way I am able to see through the “God and Satan are one” concept (if we can call it a concept) is viewing God in His EMANATION PRINCIPLE. In other words, understanding God within His different levels of being. For instance, when we view God as the Gnostic Demiurge it’s easy to see how this Spirit of God, whose dynamic dualism indwells within, contains the potential for both good and evil. But when we see God as the ineffable Father (from all beginning) and free from any process of individuation we must posit the possibility, or the assuredness, that God is beyond good and evil, in His singular personal principle. The ineffable Father (who I believe is the true Father of Jesus) exist in Eternity, outside of time, and therefore the apprehension of Him as such can’t be subjected to the nature of duality, or a pair of opposites. It is man, as co-creator who contains and creates good and evil, due to the adversarial conflict within himself. The child and helper of demiurgic forces.

I personally believe David, as it says so beautifully, was “a child after God’s own heart” was a servant of the ineffable Father of Jesus. But even this is not the final word or authority on this matter. This too, some how has a force of opposition. That’s the rule of reason that circumscribes the soul of man. Life is an ultimate mystery. We can’t tackle it in terms of reason. It eludes our grasp. I’m glad I had the opportunity to share this with you, Kim. Hoping you have wonderful year-end holidays. – In love & light, – Brother Vern

Vern McVety Jr. October 30, 2014 at 10:35 pm

Kim, this is a brief extension to my above comment due to a minor correction. I meant to include the word “negative” in the second paragraph; in context it should have read: “…. and free from any “NEGATIVE” process of individuation.” Forgive my hasty note editing, I sometimes overlook my notes too fast.

I’m borrowing the Jungian term “individuation” not to displace its meaning out of the human process but to give it further understanding of man being created in the image of God, reinforcing our divine identity.

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