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Who is Satan?

[from ]

Subject: Who is Satan?
                         Don David Scott, the Raven
			    [reformatted by tn]

 "I was not content to believe in a personal devil and serve him, in 
  the ordinary sense of the word. I wanted to get hold of him 
  personally and become his chief of staff."
	 Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), British occultist. 
	 The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, ch. 5 
	 (1929; rev. 1970).
Perhaps the dictionary definition of Satan will shed some 
light on this subject: (perhaps not):

	"Satan ... noun
	 The profoundly evil adversary of God and humanity, 
	 often identified with the leader of the fallen
	 angels; the Devil.
	 [Middle English, from Old English, from Late Latin 
	 Sat'n, from Greek Satanas, Satan, from Hebrew
	 satan, devil, adversary, from satan, to accuse.]"
	The American Heritage Dictionary of the English 
	Language, Third Edition.
The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia says:

	 "Satan [Heb., = adversary], in Judaism, Christianity, 
	  and Islam, the principle of evil conceived as a
	  person; also called the Devil. In Christian tradition 
	  Satan was the leader of the angels who rebelled
	  against God and who were cast out of heaven. He and 
	  his followers are seen as tempters of humanity and 
	  the source of evil in the world. He has numerous 
	  other names, such as Lucifer, Beelzebub, Evil One, 
	  and Prince of Darkness."

Dictionaries attempt to provide us with basic definitions, 
defining words in their broadest sense. One purpose of a 
dictionary is to supply the speakers of a language with 
meanings common to all, thereby allowing us to understand 
each other. Encyclopedias also define terms of common usage,
but they go a step farther by providing essays on subjects 
which words invoke. The philosophies from which Satan arose 
sprang from the distant past, and from a clash of cultures. 
We will need to descend (as from the Gate to Hell) deeper in 
to the chasm of history.

	"Those who consider the Devil to be a partisan of 
	 Evil and angels to be warriors for Good accept
         the demagogy of the angels. Things are clearly 
	 more complicated."
	 Milan Kundera (b. 1929), Czech author, critic. 
	 The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, pt. 2, ch. 4
         (1978; tr. 1980). 

Philosophies in general and this subject in particular require 
diligence to comprehend. Dedication to truth, not an acceptance 
of the teachings of others but rather a scientific study of 
reality, is required.

Logic should be your tool of choice in any study. Many Scholarly 
works have covered this subject and I do not claim to do more 
than scratch the surface of Satan's origin.

My intent is to stimulate the need for knowledge. I hope that my 
casual essay will arouse the desire in others to study this 
subject in more depth. In the future, I will expand my essay in 
greater detail. Now, let's get our hands dirty...

In the beginning, the Hebrew god was without form and void. His 
people, the Hebrew tribes, were primarily hunter-gatherers; if 
you had it, they hunted you down and killed you for it. They 
took from others and then made it their own. When the "walls of 
Jericho" came tumbling down, as you can see in the Torah, the 
Hebrews killed every man, woman and child. Then, by direction of 
their "god," they severed the heads of the fallen and pounded 
them to the tops of stakes for display. This was to serve as a 
warning. It also provided the Hebrews with an income.

The idea that only "our tribe" is human and everyone else is 
"not human" is not unique. Actually, it is common among tribes 
even today in "primitive," for lack of a better word, societies. 
Yet their violent adherence to their god was noted by other 
tribes. Noted, and dealt with.  Civilization after civilization
used them as slaves after winning the war against them and thus 
saving their own heads from the stake.

Hebrew philosophy has, throughout recorded history, been eclectic. 
They often absorbed the ideas of their "oppressors" into their 
religion. "We are being punished by god" the holy men would say,
"why are we being punished?" The answers to these questions 
usually took the form of "god is teaching us..." During the years 
586-538 BCE the Hebrews entered a period historians call the
BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY, where the Persians used them as slaves. The 
Persians believed in two basic gods, the god of night and the god 
of day, a god of light and a god of darkness. Since you could pull 
off unscrupulous behavior at night, the god of darkness seemed 
less-than perfect to the Hebrew captives. They reasoned that the 
god of light must be JHVH, their god, and that the god of darkness 
must be his adversary. "Satan" in Hebrew means "adversary," and 
thus, Satan was born.

Shortly after Satan's "birth" the idea of Hell gained acceptance. 
Prior to this, the official doctrine was that all people (Hebrews) 
who died went to Sheol. Sheol was a place of shadows where the 
world still existed but remained forever out of your grasp, a 
phantom world that you walked for eternity.  You went to Sheol 
despite your blasphemy or holiness. Our idea of ghosts emerged 
from this belief.

The Persians also are responsible for the doctrines of a final 
judgment, the resurrection of the dead, a scheme of world 
history, new beliefs about the end of time, and a more involved 
and extensive set of beliefs concerning angels. Frankly, the 
Hebrews did not come up with much on their own. Their belief 
system reminds me of a well-organized pawn shop. 

	"We may not pay Satan reverence, for that would be 
	 indiscreet, but we can at least respect his talents. 
	 A person who has for untold centuries maintained the 
	 imposing position of spiritual head of four-fifths 
	 of the human race, and political head of the whole 
	 of it, must be granted the possession of executive 
	 abilities of the loftiest order."
	 Mark Twain (1835-1910), Concerning the Jews, in 
	 Harper (New York, Sept. 1899; repr. in Complete 
	 Essays, 1963). 

A survey of the Bible will yield no explanation of Satan's 
origin. Further, no explanation of gods' reason for allowing 
Satan to exist is given. The christians, who built their 
religion on a reinterpretation of Judiastic thought, further 
elaborated on the origin and nature of Satan. Most christian 
theology personifies Satan as god's real opponent, who is an 
entity, a real being.

This idea is nowhere to be found in the christian bible or 
Hebrew torah. In the bible, he is only a "principle" in a 
"created order," not a real being. The title "fallen angel" 
was also appended by christianity.  The belief in a master 
of the powers of darkness belonged to many ancient cultures, 
most notably the Chaldeans, the Persians, and the Babylonians. 
Zoroastrianism's Ahriman and the Egyptian God Set, all 
possessed similar characteristics to Satan.

Satan has been called many things, in the New Testament he is 
named "the tempter," "the slanderer," "the enemy," "the liar," 
terms which the Hebrews undoubtedly used for Jesus. A survey 
of the teachings of Jesus next to the doctrines of the Torah, 
would provide an excellent case for proving the Hebrews correct, 
at least with regards to Judiasm.

With the preceding in mind, we will return to the original 
meaning of "Satan," adversary. To me, as a Satanist, Satan 
represents the opposer to all judeo-christian ideals and 
ideology. Satan is the personification of Evil, where Evil 
means fleshly, unspiritual, and ungodly. Satan represents 
the fulfillment of the fleshly life, the enjoyment of the 
here and now, and the liberation of the psyche from the 
chains of judeo-christian guilt.

Who is Satan?

Oh hear the names He has been given:

	Archfiend, Prince of Darkness, Prince of this world, 
	serpent, Old Serpent, Tempter, Adversary, Antichrist, 
	Common Enemy, Enemy of mankind Diabolus, Father of 
	Lies, fallen angel, rebel angel, evil genie, Shaitan, 
	Eblis, spirit of evil, principle of evil, Angra 
	Mainyu or Ahriman, the Foul Fiend, the Devil, the 
	Evil One, Wicked One, Old Nick, Apollyon, Abaddon, 
	Satan, Lucifer, King of Hell, angel of the bottomless pit...

Who is Satan? He is the mighty adversary of the inhuman 
death-cult religions. He is the light springing from the 
darkness of history. He is the true friend of mankind.

But most of all....

	"The Prince of Darkness is a gentleman."
	(William Shakespeare in King Lear, act 3, sc. 4. 
	 Spoken by Edmund the Bastard.)

Hail Satan!
Don David Scott 

	[no copyright attached]

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