The Devil: God’s Adversary?

A mystic’s journey requires that we study not just the aspects of the divine but also the aspects of what has come to be known in the western world as The Devil. So, like the good student I studied the history of this evil menace. The further I went back into history, I found that many ancient cultures portrayed evil in two very different ways. There was the goddess of wrath that represented an uncontrollable destructive force. Then there was the arrogant god who through egotism and cunning, usurped power for his own gains. So, where do such ideas come from? And how did they come up with such an unappealing vision of women?

When I dug deeper into the cultural beliefs, it seems that there were two entities that the ancients worshiped. The first was Mother Earth. She was responsible for bringing forth the harvests from her womb. Grain, and the bread that was made from that grain, was celebrated as the sustenance of life. The second was Father Sky. He was responsible for the beneficial showers that fell from the sky. It was due to his blessing, which came in the form of rain, that the crops would grow. It was a yin yang style of belief where balance is the key to a prosperous life.

Mother Earth and Father Sky were indelibly linked. It was impossible to have a prosperous life without both. You couldn’t have the bread without the rain and rain had no value without a fertile earth that brings forth grain that could be made into bread. Where did this wrathful goddess, who is part of just about every culture, come from? She is the symbol of imbalance in this binary system of belief. When the blessings of Father Sky were withheld, the power of Mother Earth moved from being a loving mother and became destructive. It was believed that the heat of her anger was the cause of destructive earthquakes and volcanoes that flow with red-hot lava.

The ancients were magnificent observers of nature’s rhythms. It can be assumed that the ancients observed lava as it flowed into the sea. The water instantly cools the molten lava and hardens it into rock when these two elements come into contact. So, the essence of the male deity, in the form of water, cools the lava and turns it back into docile earth.

Only when a divine essence is unbalanced does it cause negative results. The feminine essence is known for bringing compassion and caring. It softens the perspective and allows you to see the many possibilities within each situation. Banning this force allows the masculine essence to run rampant. The result is egoism, greed, and selfishness. We need both essences and we need them to be in balance, not at war.

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