It started with 'The Chatto book of the Devil' and continues with 'Papal sin'. I've been dipping my toes in matters diabolic and focusing my Semi-Buddhist eyes on the nature of Evil. Anyway, all this thought on the diabolic and on Evil has lead me to a thought that could get me sent to Hell's less pleasant suburbs. Maybe it's just the Buddhist bifocals, but I'm slowly stepping further and further off the RC path and onto a very agnostic one. I guess I have two questions that are connected in some way. Does Satan/Lucifer/the Devil exist; Does Evil exist? The Devil is, according to what I have been reading lately, a rebellious prince of angels who lead a group of angels against God's general Michael and his angelic army.
As you might expect, Michael and the 'good guys' win and Lucifer and his army are cast down to rule in Hell's persecuting domain. Since then, the Devil has been tempting humanity and then enslaving them in Hell if they go along with his dark designs. This temptation doesn't seem to work on the most pious of self-mortificating and self-denying saints, who end up trouncing the imps, demons, or Satan himself every time. It started with J.C. and has been happening ever since. Those who end up selling their souls and falling for Satan's lures get their treasures in this life, but punishment in the next one.
I've been getting heavily into Buddhism, and the view there is that good/bad happens based on the choices we make. Can you see the parallels already? Of course, there are just as many differences as there are similarities, but let's keep focusing on Evil. The major evil here is Ignorance. Remain willfully ignorant and bad things are going to keep happening. It's how we act and react. There are devils and demons, but no chiefs or princes among them. They live in severe ignorance, expiating their bad karma and causing continued suffering to both themselves and to everyone around them. Unlike Xianity, this stay in Hell isn't permanent, and another chance is always on the horizon. Also, the stay in Heaven isn't permanent, but this isn't about the good choices, is it?
Here's another question, summoned up by those pesky Semi-Buddhist eyes: Is the Devil working for God by tempting and punishing those who don't make the right choices? Hundreds of thousands of years worth of community service? Hmmm. It is worth at least wasting a few synapses thinking about this. Anyway, I'll get back to reading 'Papal sin' and get back to you soon enough. BYE.