Sunday 29 September 2019


This is a post the premise of which some readers may think excessive. I hope not because there's a serious point to be made here. 

It has occurred to me recently that many people today are actually satanists. I put the word with a small 's' because these people are not actively practising, fully aware of what they are doing, Satanists but satanists by default in that they allow themselves to go along with the deviant madness of today's world. They don't find it important enough to stand up against and so they are part of it and will easily be drawn into the next stage because, as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, there will be a next stage. There always is.

If we are in a spiritual war, and we are, then there are sides. The sides are becoming more and more clearly delineated, and neutrality is increasingly not an option. There is no Switzerland in spiritual warfare. Jesus' words that " If you are not for me then you are against me" are taking on greater significance in our time and they apply to everyone. Perhaps especially they apply to church hierarchies, many of which seem to have an inverted scale of priorities with this world at the top and God somewhere below. But if God is not at the top then he's not anywhere.

Some people like to say that spirituality is a much broader term now than it was so anything that works for human progress is spirituality. The word covers all sorts of potential advancements. So climate change activism is spirituality, wanting countries to sink their differences into an over-arching unity is spirituality, promoting equality in all areas of life is spirituality, seeking to extend human life for as long as possible is spirituality, even computer technology is a sort of spirituality as it brings people together, overcomes barriers and spreads knowledge. All this is progress and that's spirituality.

This is nonsense. All this is 100% materialistic because it is all focussed on the earthly human being and seeks to advance him in his current state which it aims to expand or improve or change in some way for the supposed better. This has nothing to do with spirituality. Spirituality sees the earthly human being as fallen and separated from God. A sinner, however much you improve him. The only thing that is truly spiritual is the search for God and the attempt to transform the earthly self through repentance and self-purification with the idea of rendering the soul worthy, once stripped of ego, the ego that always wants progress, to receive grace from God.

A lot of things apparently leading to progress (in the worldly sense) may not seem evil in themselves but actually lay the groundwork for evil to build on. If we are rightly orientated to God we can perceive this, but if we ignore God we may well miss it.

The world is becoming ever more separated from truth and there will soon be only two options. God or the devil. Spiritual transformation or earthly progress. Previously there was a third which was the natural way, neither good nor evil but not spiritually unhealthy. Not positive, not negative, just ordinary. This option is being removed from us and we will have to make a choice. God or the devil. I know people who see themselves as good people, on the side of justice and what is right, but almost every moral decision they make (and they think themselves highly moral) is against God and for extension of the degree of separation between the world and God, between human beings and God. They are satanists but they have no idea of that and would scoff if told. You don't have to be actively evil to be on the side of evil.

In war you have to know what you are fighting for and who your enemies are. We have been told to love our enemies and we must never forget this, but that does not mean we don't recognise them for what they are.


JMSmith said...

When I have met people who describe themselves as spiritual, they seem to mean motivated by something other than avarice. They speak with contempt about "bean counters" who are preoccupied by the "bottom line" and will, in a wistful moment, describe themselves as "idealists." This isn't altogether bad, of course, but it these people without avarice often seem to covet the money of people who are, and their "idealism" often seems to be an excuse for heedless impracticality.

And, as you point out here, Satan is a perfectly spiritual being. In some tellings, the War in Heaven was triggered by Satan's disgust when he learned the Incarnation was planned. Satan makes use of carnality, but would seem, as it were, to hold the material world in forceps while wrinkling his nose in disgust.

I think there is much to learn by reflection on the properties that make Satan satanic. These would seem to be Pride, Questioning God's Authority, Rebellion, and Subversion. Perhaps I'm overly influenced by John Milton and the Screwtape Letters, but both impress me as sound authorities.

William Wildblood said...

Satan is clever and, in a way, it's clever people, who are most at risk from him; more susceptible to being led astray by pride, more liable to be seduced by abstractions and lost in theory which distract us from the simplicity of spiritual truth. That puts our modern highly educated population right in the firing line.

I read Paradise Lost in full for the first time only recently. What struck me most was that the famous quote 'The mind is its own place and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven' which I'd always assumed to be a positive statement is actually uttered by Satan and rather sums up his rebellion against God. So it means something quite different to what is normally assumed.

I agree with you about The Screwtape Letters which is a kind of perfect 'anti-scripture'and all the more instructive for that.

edwin said...

Those forces conceived under the general heading of "satanic" are divided by Steiner into Lucifer and Ahriman. The first wants to divorce spirit from matter; the second, matter from spirit. The temptation to dissolve our individuality into an amorphous "being" experienced as a vague and peaceful - even blissful - state of mind is luciferic. It tempts "spiritual" people, such as are drawn toward Vedanta and Buddhism. The temptation to make matter the all-encompassing and exclusive reality is ahrimanic. Our age tends largely toward the ahrimanic: materialism masquerades as spirituality and expresses itself in crusades for climate change and open borders and income redistribution. But both approaches make us forget that we are a human being in the image and likeness of God. The word usually translated as "truth" in the Gospels is "aletheia." The initial "a" is a negation and the root is "lethe" - forgetting. The truth is not forgetting. Not forgetting that we are neither pure spirit nor pure matter but a communion of both.

William Wildblood said...

I don't know how much truth there is in Steiner's division. It's an interesting way to look at how the forces ranged against God operate but I have to say the traditional approach makes more sense to me.

Adil said...


Nicely put. In the end, matter is spirit too of course, since Steiner is a monist. I think many people fall prey to the Luciferic trap nowadays. I used to be very drawn to Buddhism and philosophers like Eckhart Tolle, their negation of thinking and embracing the Present. While I believe they accurately diagnose the neurosis of the progressive western mind, I think they provide mindfulness at best, but no ultimate solution. It gave me a spiritual "safe space", but also alienated me from the material world and myself. Thus it contained the luciferic trap: divorcing spirit from matter, to "retire" in the present. It was a spiritual shortcut, and when I realised the attraction of a certain Crowd to this "vegetative" spirituality I realised I should pick up my cross and move on. I don't mean to sound rude but anytime something attracts the SJW-crowd - such as climate change, veganism and buddhism - it is time to pack your bags. Their hysterical crowdism is a threat to anyone seeking spiritual silence with God.

I think Jesus is the solution here because he gives meaning to your material body, and you become grounded in the world without being tainted by it. Thus, you are able to progress through matter for spiritual growth, instead of negating it. Matter is what actually builds your spiritual body in the end.

William Wildblood said...

That's nicely put too, Eric! I do agree that evil just wants to separate us from God and doesn't really mind whether that's through materialism or a kind of self-absorbed spirituality.

Adil said...

Exactly, William!

Adil said...

Based on edwins dichotomy, the devil on the one hand operates the world blindly, on the other hand operates spirit without substance.

Bruce Charlton said...

All this emphasises how impossible it is to escape the demonic influences of this world - all the 'normal' socially approved routes lead to the same evil in the end. The materialism of the New Atheists and the spiritualism of the New Age have the same destination - they are like the Right and Left hands (or Left and Right brains) of the same evil being.

William Wildblood said...

I think you're right, Bruce. I didn't see that at one time but I do now.

Chris said...

Of course, there is much profound truth is this post.
However, I'm concerned that there is a danger that we could be lapsing into a kind of modern day manicheanism. I realize that traditional Christianity insists that creation is good and evil is a privation; nevertheless the practical reality of duality - after all, are we not in "enemy occupied territory" (as CS Lewis would say).

" I form the light and create the darkness: I make peace and create evil: I , the Lord, do all these things."

Eric, I know what you mean about the Western Buddhism and the spirituality culture in general. But, what is often forgotten is that Buddhism is non-dual - the dictum that "samsara is nirvana" pays the phenomenal world no small compliment.

William Wildblood said...

edwin and Eric did say people drawn to Buddhism rather than Buddhism per se. Now, there may be something in Buddhism that attracts such people and feeds their weaknesses and the absence of a God would be high on the list so that can be laid at its door as a fault. But Mahayana Buddhism does not negate the world as you point out.

It's not manicheanism to see the devil as prince of this world. I don't think anybody here sees the world as a battleground of two equally real forces. Evil exists but the devil is a created being.

I wasn't familiar with your quote so I googled it and see it's from Isaiah. But it's clear from other translations that evil here does not mean evil as an existential force. It means bad times or disasters so not malice or the will to do evil for evil's sake but simply circumstances that may seem bad to us like an earthquake or a storm or whatever. God can destroy as well as create but that's not evil as the desire to cause spiritual harm.