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Author Topic: your perspective on the Devil  (Read 4367 times)

Queen of Wands

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your perspective on the Devil
« on: September 03, 2012, 12:50:40 am »
Quite simply, what it says on the tin. What's your take on the horny red guy (if that's what he even is)? What myths or other literature do you like that pertain to him? Does he fulfill the trickster archetype in Christian mythology or is he something else altogether? What do the names Lucifer, Mephistopheles, Faust or Satan mean to you? What about the Devil in pop culture (tv shows, books, movies, music, even the tarot cards)? What do you know of the history?



Mind you, I'm mostly interested in getting a good discussion going and also hearing a new perspective while I start thinking about a new creative project. Not so much on devil worship or Satanists and how the pagans will see him in Hell stories but what about the purpose and character of the Devil figure?

Shine

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Re: your perspective on the Devil
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2012, 01:09:44 am »
Quote from: RoselynLibera;72063
Quite simply, what it says on the tin. What's your take on the horny red guy (if that's what he even is)? What myths or other literature do you like that pertain to him? Does he fulfill the trickster archetype in Christian mythology or is he something else altogether? What do the names Lucifer, Mephistopheles, Faust or Satan mean to you? What about the Devil in pop culture (tv shows, books, movies, music, even the tarot cards)? What do you know of the history?

Mind you, I'm mostly interested in getting a good discussion going and also hearing a new perspective while I start thinking about a new creative project. Not so much on devil worship or Satanists and how the pagans will see him in Hell stories but what about the purpose and character of the Devil figure?


 
Y'know, even when I was a Baptist-flavored Christian (back about a decade ago), I saw Satan/the Devil as more of a force, not a figure. I saw him as that force that tainted the human soul from post-Eden to now. The only way to save the human soul was through Jesus.

Nowadays, I have a Miltonian (I think it's Milton--been awhile) view of Satan as kind of a tragic figure who showed maybe a little too much hubris. I don't know where he might fit in, if at all, as a force or figure of evil from this perspective. My idea of evil has been so changed by Kemeticism and various other religions that he no longer fits the framework in which I live. I literally cannot fit him in any conception of evil that I currently hold.

The rest of the names you listed got conflated when I was a Christian, so they're all but the same thing to me. As for the pop culture Devil, I know almost nothing about him, except that some people seem to see him as a symbol of rebellion and freedom. Rebellion, I see. Freedom, I don't, but to each his own.

In my mind, when you have a non-cyclical dualistic view of "good versus evil", you have to have someone who stands for absolute good (God) and another for absolute evil (the Devil). So in a way, Satan serves a very important purpose in the traditions in which he is involved.

My (admittedly goofy) two cents.
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Re: your perspective on the Devil
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2012, 01:17:12 am »
Quote from: RoselynLibera;72063
Quite simply, what it says on the tin. What's your take on the horny red guy (if that's what he even is)?

 
Spiritually? Pointless mumbo-jumbo. A red-herring. A scape-goat invented by the followers of Yahweh. Irrelevant to my life in general.

Intellectually? Originally a demonic(?) chaotic spirit adopted by Abrahamic religions and turned into a villain as religions in the area became more dualistic. Later conflated with some Indo-European concepts and given horns and hooves.

Faemon

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Re: your perspective on the Devil
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2012, 02:16:42 am »
Quote from: RoselynLibera;72063
Mind you, I'm mostly interested in getting a good discussion going and also hearing a new perspective while I start thinking about a new creative project. Not so much on devil worship or Satanists and how the pagans will see him in Hell stories but what about the purpose and character of the Devil figure?

 
First, I think of Pan, nature, wilderness, the etymology of "savage", something primal that many human beings seem to try to move away from (if not overrun.) The instinct becomes something to be de-programmed and removed, but at what cost? And to what gain, even? Then I think of the more tragic and beautiful Lucifer (lux "light" ferre "to bring"-- ferre makes me think of ferry) about how young the Latin language actually is, and how that might tie in with the idea of incompatibility versus an objective sense of wrong and right, at least in that region maybe, being a new idea. That is, I think of Lucifer as one with a quite holy role to play in the grand scheme of things, just that those who aren't omni-whatever will judge it accordingly on that non-omniscient level, as unholy or evil. Then I think of the word diabolos, a liar; to set an objective truth-with-a-capital-T means that incompatibility or variations on that Truth is a lie.

Satan, an enemy, something to resist or defeat. A resistance to taking the world just as is, attributing values such as pain to experiences that may not innately have it.

I read pretty much all of the above in the Devil tarot card, except for Lucifer. Interesting numerological trick: the Rider-Waite-Smith deck numbers the Devil as XV (fifteen). Turn that into Arabic numerals, you get 15. Add the digits of that number, 1+5=6. The sixth card of the tarot trumps is The Lovers. That's where I see Lucifer, in the Lovers.
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Annie Roonie

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Re: your perspective on the Devil
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2012, 02:47:50 am »
Quote from: RoselynLibera;72063
Quite simply, what it says on the tin.  

 

You may find this thread helpful or interesting.

Sophia C

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Re: your perspective on the Devil
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2012, 03:47:07 am »
Quote from: RoselynLibera;72063
Quite simply, what it says on the tin. What's your take on the horny red guy (if that's what he even is)? What myths or other literature do you like that pertain to him? Does he fulfill the trickster archetype in Christian mythology or is he something else altogether? What do the names Lucifer, Mephistopheles, Faust or Satan mean to you? What about the Devil in pop culture (tv shows, books, movies, music, even the tarot cards)? What do you know of the history?

 
Didn't believe in him as a spiritual entity even when I was a Christian, but as a mythological character he's fascinating. If you read the book of Job in the Old Testament, he seems to be a kind of trickster figure who is intent on catching Yahweh out and testing Yahweh's followers (thereby potentially strengthening them and their faith, in the struggle). The term 'satan' literally means 'the opposer' or 'the prosecutor'. You could also see this type of interaction in the way that the satan tests/temps Jesus in the desert - and, in the story, that time of testing leads directly into Jesus's active and powerful years, so the satan does him a favour by testing his faith and self-belief. I think Christians have made a mistake by turning this entity into the devil - he was never written that way :) I have every admiration for a character who holds an overly self-important deity to account. That's just the way I read the stories, of course - YMMV.
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HeartShadow

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Re: your perspective on the Devil
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2012, 06:09:45 am »
Quote from: RoselynLibera;72063
Quite simply, what it says on the tin. What's your take on the horny red guy (if that's what he even is)? What myths or other literature do you like that pertain to him? Does he fulfill the trickster archetype in Christian mythology or is he something else altogether? What do the names Lucifer, Mephistopheles, Faust or Satan mean to you? What about the Devil in pop culture (tv shows, books, movies, music, even the tarot cards)? What do you know of the history?



Mind you, I'm mostly interested in getting a good discussion going and also hearing a new perspective while I start thinking about a new creative project. Not so much on devil worship or Satanists and how the pagans will see him in Hell stories but what about the purpose and character of the Devil figure?

 
I've always felt the entire Satan/God thing where Satan was SO PISSED that he stormed off and created Hell and went to tempt people forever .. really sad and kinda pathetic.

I can't see Satan as a big powerful meanie in the closet.  Just .. that guy who's wife left him and he can't figure out what happened.  Bewildered and pissed.

As prosecuting attorney for God, he was powerful.  As the big meanie in the basement ... Just want to tell him to grow up and apologize already and get his head out of his ass. :p

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Re: your perspective on the Devil
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2012, 07:04:23 am »
Quote from: RoselynLibera;72063
What do the names Lucifer, Mephistopheles, Faust or Satan mean to you?

 
Well, to pick a literary nit, Faust isn't the devil, he's the guy who made a deal with the devil.

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Re: your perspective on the Devil
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2012, 07:05:37 am »
Quote from: HeartShadow;72093
... really sad and kinda pathetic.  


That's been my view, even back in my evangelical days.  Satan is the one figure, in all of creation, for whom there is no redemption, no forgiveness, no grace.  He's billed as the temptor of Mankind, but since Man has free will this Devil is essentially powerless; or rather he has only the power that we cede.
I see the death and resurrection of Christ as a metaphor for the divinity that resides within each of us, emblematic of our 'godly' potential.  The kingdom of heaven is within you & all that.  I suppose the Devil is our lesser potential personfied, the 'darker' half of dualism.
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Laveth

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Re: your perspective on the Devil
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2012, 07:18:13 am »
Quote
First, I think of Pan, nature, wilderness, the etymology of "savage", something primal that many human beings seem to try to move away from (if not overrun.)


This mostly, except my deity is called Dabog. Masculine figure, horned, associated with base drives/desires, and master of the underworld. Just transmogged into the christian devil during their escapades.

Queen of Wands

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Re: your perspective on the Devil
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2012, 11:25:37 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;72098
Well, to pick a literary nit, Faust isn't the devil, he's the guy who made a deal with the devil.

Sunflower


As a literary nut, I'm well aware (it's the old "Frankenstein is the scientist, not the creation!") but he is part of the Devil mythology (after the Devil won his soul, do you think Faust might have become a devil--lower case d--sent to enact the same kind of bargain on more people? Interesting thought for myself!). Some would argue that Lucifer and all those other names are just lower demons who answer to the big guy and other say he just goes by a lot of names.


Thanks all! I'm very interested in your intellectually and mythical viewpoints. It's helping me on my little project. I won't say much for fear of jinxing myself and getting writer's block, but this is helpful :)

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Re: your perspective on the Devil
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2012, 01:07:25 pm »
Quote from: wadjet;72072
Intellectually? Originally a demonic(?) chaotic spirit adopted by Abrahamic religions

 
"Demonic" and "chaotic" are funny words to use for ha-Satan, who is, after all, the Jewish god's prosecuting attorney.  If we're playing D&D alignments, this is a job for a lawful angel.
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Darkhawk

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Re: your perspective on the Devil
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2012, 01:08:55 pm »
Quote from: RoselynLibera;72063
Quite simply, what it says on the tin.

 
Aside from that, I made a blog post once upon a time.

http://lettersfromgehenna.blogspot.com/2012/02/d-is-for-devil.html
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ferretowner96

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your perspective on the Devil
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2012, 01:25:27 pm »
Quote from: RoselynLibera;72063
Quite simply, what it says on the tin. What's your take on the horny red guy (if that's what he even is)? What myths or other literature do you like that pertain to him? Does he fulfill the trickster archetype in Christian mythology or is he something else altogether? What do the names Lucifer, Mephistopheles, Faust or Satan mean to you? What about the Devil in pop culture (tv shows, books, movies, music, even the tarot cards)? What do you know of the history?



Mind you, I'm mostly interested in getting a good discussion going and also hearing a new perspective while I start thinking about a new creative project. Not so much on devil worship or Satanists and how the pagans will see him in Hell stories but what about the purpose and character of the Devil figure?

I used to be a Christian. At the time, I believed that the devil was in fact an entity (I do not know if that is the correct term). Now I believe the devil is symbolic of the evil in man. Everyone has evil in them, and how the Christians make an excuse for that evil is by saying there is a devil/demon that is making them do it, when I believe that we, ourselves, make the evil, and we have control of how that evil affects us and others.
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Re: your perspective on the Devil
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2012, 06:53:33 pm »
Quote from: RoselynLibera;72141
As a literary nut, I'm well aware (it's the old "Frankenstein is the scientist, not the creation!") but he is part of the Devil mythology (after the Devil won his soul, do you think Faust might have become a devil--lower case d--sent to enact the same kind of bargain on more people? Interesting thought for myself!).

 
Nah. I prefer Goethe's version myself. Much better end. :whis:

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