Re: Satan Re: [Slate] American Religious fervor, by the numbers
Tue, 6 Jul 1999 06:34:53 EDT

In a message dated 7/5/99 11:37:17 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

<< Geege quoth:

> "We all make mistakes. When WE do it, it's called EVIL. When GOD
does it,
> it's called NATURE."
> Jack Nicholson, as the Devil (Darryl) in "The Witches of Eastwick"
> rant against women)

Observation: I kind of interpreted Darryl as *a* devil (i.e., a demon)
rather than "the Capital-D Devil." In fact, he was more of an
eastern-style demon than a western, Xian one: sort of a hedonistic
being, controlled by appetites, kind of crude and childlike in many
ways, but generally a good-time guy and only kind of lazily malificent.
Anybody else get that? Perhaps it came through in the book better...


I read the book. I saw Darryl Van Horne as The Head Honcho - else why
produce human offspring? (I'm an Updike fan. He contributes to my fav
magazine, the Atlantic, as did one of my other fav authors, Anthony Burgess.)

Ever since my sixth-grade stint with Sr. Joques, one of the "rare" openminded
religious folk I've had the privelege to encounter, I've viewed the Devil
metaphorically. At the point in evolution that austrolopithecine (either
one) was touched by God - the point at which his mind first knew ethical
choice - he became Man. He met the Devil.

So we have Eden, a veritable barnyard, albeit a really nice one. Then the
"development" - which I believe was put in motion eons earlier with the Big
Bang (which, thinking on the other meaning of "bang" pretty much fits,
because we all ARE) - the "development" allowing for a bigger primate
brainpan. With that first anti-God act - metaphor: eating of the Tree of
Knowledge - we became as God, acted as God. We got the big boot out of the

Interject the Seven Deadlies here. Sometimes we act like the Devil. Does
that mean that sometimes God acts like the Devil? Is he a two-headed diety?
Or do we have two gods, and chose whom we serve on a day-to-day
(minute-to-minute) basis. Do we die (the Christ metaphor; he set the
ultimate example) to self and become God (above human)-seeking? Or do we
serve self - self being the smart-alecky, self-gratifying "I am not LIKE God,
I AM God" Luciferesque personality? Do I cc that FoRK post to
Representative Begala, catapulting my friend into a national debate without
his knowledge, or do I NOT? So, that act was of impish proportions. I made
a choice - just this side of evil.

About demons - I don't know. It all seems so metaphorical. You make a good
point about appetites.

(I mention the judeo-christian religions because I've suffered silently the
slings of anti-religion slurs in this thread - wiping my monitor - which I
interpreted as being directed at said.)


PS The language in which the original Bible was written was aramaic - not
hebrew, not greek. Jesus, I believe, spoke aramaic. It was a metaphorical
language. I've been reading this thread throughout, liked when it veered
into the mathematical, because there is something at the root of our
judeo-christian heritage that is more than ritual we inherited from our pagan
ancestors - it is SMART, it produced the kaballah. Were I to study religion
academically, I suppose I'd start with Jewish mysticism