Ideas for posts often pop into my head when I am out walking which is the closest I usually come to meditation these days. The other day this phrase did. I knew it was a traditional thought but wasn't sure where it came from. A brief glance at the internet indicates either Tertullian or St Augustine so I will just attribute it to the Church Fathers.
What it means is that the devil, not being creative, can only imitate God but he can only do so in a corrupt, even degenerate, way because of his own corruption. It also means that, the better to effect his deceptions, he does not usually tell outright lies but mixes lies in with truth or else presents part-truths as complete truth or, again, paints what is true on a higher spiritual level as equally true on a lower material or worldly level where it is not true at all. He does this all the time and never more so than in our day when he has promoted the doctrines of leftism, equality, unity and so on, as fundamental truths. They are certainly not so in this world even if they may be considered so in absolute terms. But in fact even in heaven there is no equality though all have as much as they can hold, and unity is always mixed with difference which clearly means inequality.
Leftism is the ape of spirituality. To those who cannot see life in proper spiritual terms it might seem reasonable, though I would contend that even ordinary people not interested in spirituality should be able to discern its destructive qualities and rootedness in envy and resentment. But it presents itself as the only viable humanistic political doctrine and is convinced of its own righteousness. It is, however, based on denial. First and foremost, the denial of transcendent reality. It purports to love science but the science it loves is only that which confirms its prejudices which are materialistic, repressive to the human spirit and put ideology above truth. Any science which goes against it is ruthlessly pilloried, suppressed and condemned in the way leftism always does with whatever comes into conflict with its dogmas. Just now, in this time of coronavirus, it is interesting to see how the left fully supports the lockdown with its implication of increased power of the state and augmentation of control. Science which supports this is called science. Science which does not is caricatured as pseudo-science and conspiracy theory.
An ape is a degraded human being. It is a human form degenerated, both physically and mentally. This is why most people instinctively recoil from the idea that we are descended from monkeys. Now, I am fully aware that evolutionary theory does not say that. It says modern apes and man have a common ancestor. I am not a creationist and I have no problem at all with the idea that the human form has been built up over time, though I would add the important proviso that when the human soul was joined to the physical body that event had a massive impact on the body and started to change it radically. Man is a mixture of the physical and the spiritual, part angel, part animal as the medieval philosophers used to say, and he partakes of the nature of both. So I am not saying that our bodies are not animal bodies in terms of their origins. However, there is a belief in occultism that the modern apes are the result of an illicit interbreeding between early man and animals at a time when we had not fully separated out from the animal kingdom. I have no idea as to the truth of that but it does chime in with an instinctive feeling that the apes might be more like degenerate men than evolved animals. They are regressive and debased forms of the real. It is in this sense that Satan parodies God. He takes what is good and true and fouls it.
Satan is the ape of God. He can only copy and when he does he spoils and inverts turning beauty into ugliness and noble into base. C. S. Lewis seems to be thinking along these lines in The Last Battle. Although it is the donkey Puzzle who unwittingly pretends to be Aslan, it is Shift the ape who is the instigating mastermind behind the operation of presenting a donkey with a decaying lion skin as the incarnate God. (Ass-lion?). Tolkien points in the same direction with the orcs who are not created by Morgoth but are corrupted versions of elves.
The devil cannot create because he has severed himself from the source of creativity. He can only copy and what he copies, he corrupts. Knowing this should help you see his activity in the contemporary world.