The Devil, Satan

Satan and the Angel

Blog, The Great Work

Satan and the Angel

“Whenever I want you, all I have to do is dream, dream, dream, dream” … We all know that classic Everly Brothers song, a nice wee song about dreaming about someone you want to have sex with. Here’s a fact about the Everlys, they had a 10 year falling out once because one of them showed up at a gig hammered and couldn’t remember song lyrics. Some fisticuffs broke out and the band broke up for about 10 years. We know history bounds in cycles, so y’know Oasis fans we might well see them getting back together. Actually, there’s little doubt Oasis will reform for huge money in the future. If you can get the Eagles to reform (those lads had cocaine-fueled arguments involving chainsaws) you can get two mouthy Manchester brothers back together.

The Devil, SatanBack to dreaming though, today’s article is thanks to a breakthrough I had after watching some recent Bernardo (Brendan) Kastrup videos concerning Carl Jung’s idea of synchronicity concerning a dream I had involving Lucifer and some dallying with an angel called Yahahel (Iahhel in some guides).

At the time of the dream I had been going through a period of a few weeks of mini-awakenings. I’ve not had any ground-breaking massive awakening experiences in a while; I’m not too confident of them every happening again I can’t shake a feeling that the big ones are done now and it’ll just continue to be smaller ones as I continue on up that  Rudolf Steiner idea of an upward spiral. I’m not too convinced on full realisation either; I’m lucky enough to be able to tap into non-daulity now just by calling it up but I don’t believe that it will always there. It is always there but only when called upon, it’s not always always there. I don’t think it is always always there for anybody. How in the name of God would you be able to drive a car if you were always in a state of non-duality? Badly, badly is the answer.

Mini-Awakenings

So there I was and these mini-awakenings were happening. But let’s examine them, or at least give examples of what I mean. Basically, they are becoming aware of a shadow that has lingered for a long time concerning some prior issue and the awakening involves realising why a situation unfolded in the way that it did. Nine times out of 10 it’s because you’ve reacted in the way you did at the time because of some false bias that clouded your thoughts on it and you acted out in an archetypal manner rather than in a more moral or ‘truer’ manner.

It’s like for years you’ve felt you were wronged by someone and now finally you come to the conclusion that you felt that way because at the time the event happened your mind was clouded by anger, or fear, for example, because you were carrying baggage from something earlier or because of some preconceived, at the time, projection you were putting on to the other person involved in the event. It’s a lovely little feeling that something can just be chalked off and you can say to yourself, ah that’s why that happened in that way. And then you can spend a moment on it because you’ve learnt something new and hopefully can take this new information onboard and continue to become a more moral, just and overall sounder person.

I was going through a few of these events anyway and then one night I had a very, what can I saw, epic dream. I use that word with trepidation because it’s been ruined by gamers and content creators and the like but it was epic in the true sense of the word, at least the true sense when it’s taken as an adjective; heroic.Wieliczka Salt Mine, Poland

I found myself in a cave, a massively, deep chasm within a cave very, very far down beneath the earth. I felt puny, absolutely tiny but I also felt ready for a fight. This was going to be a boss battle and it had to be won. But who and where was the boss? It was dark as hell but there was something in the cave walls that caused it to glitter, it was salt. Just like the famous Wieliczka Salt Mine just outside Krakow where you can literally lick the walls and taste salt. And yes, of course I did that when the tour guide suggested it, as usual the only idiot who would and then he asked me to think about how many 1000s of people had done the same thing. Not to worry he said, the salt will have killed the germs. Thanks Pawel. Wieliczka is awesome though, if you’ve ever around Krakow do visit it. So here I was in a dark, cavernous scary cave with walls that sparkled. I was waiting. Waiting and waiting and waiting but knowing something threatening was going to show up.

Big, Scary Satan

From my right side the cave began to shake and boulders began to break away from what would be the ceiling and just like that scene in the first Hellboy film, shockingly enough called Hellboy, where his horns are growing back and he’s devilish and scary as Hell… it was something like that and this huge, gigantic beingemerged from the ground as the ground grew higher and higher and I was just standing them, mouth agape and feeling terrified. When the cave finally stopped shaking there he was, the hideous Dark Lord himself, Satan was staring at me.

I lost the plot. Like an angry terrier barking at a pitbull even though there’s a gate between them, I wasn’t going to show this son-of-a-bitch I was scared even though I very much was. So I just tore into it, giving him a ton of abuse, I want nothing to do with you ya cunt, fuck off ta fuck and get the fuck away from me. I don’t want anything to do with you ya prick, fuck off and leave me alone. Suck my fucking dick. Ya get the picture, I’m not 100% sure of what I said in my dream but it was along those lines. And then he was gone.

Fast forward then a few months and the mini-awakenings were still happening but not so often and I was getting, well, a little bored of meditating and nothing much happening, no major breakthroughs no bliss events or the like so I wanted to speed things up a bit. I was ready and waiting for my next big one, even though I’d said to myself there wouldn’t be anymore big ones but sure why not try and give it a push anyway.

The Angel

Shem Talisman from the 72 Angels of Magick by Damon BrandEnter Yahahel. Yahahel, or Iahhel in some books/guides has the talent of ‘to Obtain Wisdom and Knowledge’ and that’s what I was after. The wisdom and knowledge that comes with awakening experiences. He’s one of the 72 angels of the Shem HaMephorash. So I followed a daily ritual to ‘work with him’. It was pretty easy, say a prayer, look at a sigil, more prayers, another sigil, ask for what you want and then meditate. Easy-peasy. I’ve done these things before and they work. I don’t know why or how but in my experience they do and in the first few days you will feel the presence and receive the answer. Oh boy did I receive an answer.

I was mentally slaughtered. I went through one of the most intense times of mental turmoil I’ve ever experienced. And I’ve been depressed and suicidal before, quite a few times but this was different. This time it wasn’t physically, I wasn’t lethargic or grumpy or sad or miserable, this time my head was just wrecked with thoughts of how fucking terrible a person I am. Just a worthless, useless, loveless, unlovable, horrible piece of shit of a waste of human life. This went on for days and days and days and then a few more days. It was pure, mental anguish. And what was so weird about it was that everything outside of my mindspace was cushty. Love life and marriage was fine, kids; fine, work; fine, family relationships; fine, money; fine, physical health; fine. It was just my mind was awash with these thoughts of self-loathing and that’s where the issue was. I felt physically ready and grounded enough to try to fast forward a ‘big’ awakening event but Yahahel put me in my place and said, hey-ho boyo, your mind isn’t ready yet and there’s work to be done. I needed to learn to love myself and accept myself and while I’d thought I’d done most of that years ago in therapy they were right, I wasn’t there.

Bernardo Kastrup’s Awesomeness

This was all a few months ago now and recently we tackled the issue of what synchronicity is on a recent episode of TaSTA. For my research into it I dug into what I thought would be the best book on it; Bernardo Kastrup’s Decoding Carl Jung’s Metaphysics. My thoughts being that sometimes it’s better to read the book about the person’s thoughts rather than the person’s own thoughts. It’s a great book and it’s all explained very well. I’m a huge fan of Mr Kastrup and really enjoy listening to/watching his interviews on YouTube.

Why God needed Satan

In one of those interviews he talks about the idea of why Satan came into being and why God needed him to be a thing so that Adam and Eve would fall from the grace. Let me try to summarise it quickly knowing that this article is quite long already. Carl Jung believed (knew?) that God isn’t conscious, i.e. he has no self-reflection. We, his tools on this plane of existence, are the ones with self-reflection and by self-reflection He learns more about Himself. Now these are Christian terms of course but I’d rather think of it as the universal consciousness learning about itself rather than a beardy dude in the clouds. So by us being good, moral, just and wise it learns from us but we also have to play our part by actually self-reflecting and trying to better ourselves.

Satan’s role was he was the instigator in this, he was the one that gave us the choice of self-reflection and God created him so that this would happen. God couldn’t just make us self-reflective, He isn’t so he needed something else to give us that choice. Adam and Eve had always been naked in the Garden of Eden but after eating the fruit from the Tree of Life, and sinning, the now knew they’d sinned meaning they had the ability of self-reflection so now they knew they were naked and they felt shame.

Kastrup says in the interview that Satan ‘calls you on your bullshit’. He’s the one who tempts us because he makes us self-reflect, he makes us weigh up options and tempts us to go with either what best suits our animal instincts or our moral ones. With this archetypal Satan appearing in my dream surely this is what was going on. I, the hero, waiting for battle (a massive projection that I see now) and this thing looking at me calling out my bullshit (my desire to take on something evil and scare it even though it has the power of all the evil in the world while all I could do was swear at it). But hey, at least I didn’t back down.

So, Satan was calling me on my bullshit, giving me a choice between going with the option that’s best for me on my animal instinct level and a ‘higher’ more moral choice; to be a better person or to give in to fear. In my dream I obviously gave in to fear. I didn’t see it at the time obviously, I only see it now, all these months later. Yahahel did the same, basically letting me know that there’s still an a wounded child in there and indeed, in writing this article it’s just come to me that that archetype of the wounded, inner child has been appearing for quite a while now so my next mission is to help him work it out.

Divine providence

Providence

Blog, Mysticism

Providence is given to those who take it.

I’ve spoken before about this on a recent podcast but a little reminder wouldn’t go astray.  In her book Mysticism, A Study in the Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness, Evelyn Underhill labels auditory experience as ‘auditions’. It’s been a fantastic read so far, I’m about halfway through and while it’s a far slower read that I’d want it to be, the fact is that it’s so full of stories and facts regarding mystics and their experiences that the going is slow.

Divine providenceBack to the quote though, I have used a method that’s been very successful for having such auditions. Basically when I wake up, I try to fall back asleep for a few minutes when I can.  Being in that liminal space weird, exciting, inspiring things happen. How many artists have you heard of who would speak about getting their ideas from that moment at where they’re just about to fall asleep or when they’re waking up. Having two small kids means this doesn’t happen as much as I’d like it to but it is what it is. 

I woke up one morning and it was, if I remember correctly, a weekend, so the wee Murfs didn’t need rushing off to playschool so I was able to put my head back on the pillow, closed my eyes and tried to drift off again. What I’ll do is I’ll meditate, just try to keep my mind clear, count 1-2, 1-2, 1-2 for my breaths and if something comes it does, if not then it doesn’t.  As has been the case in all of these audition experiences I heard the voice of a woman, almost a whisper and she said ‘Providence is given to those who take it.’

What is Devine Providence?

What’s that mean? Providence is something to do with god’s will, isn’t it? God’s good will, i.e., God’s Grace? Or is it a spiritual troll and it’s something to do with that place in Road Island as well, no Rhode Island, of course it’s not spelt Road Island ya muppet. Rhode Island isn’t an island, I didn’t know that until today and Martha’s Vineyard, which is an island is close by. The more ya know eh? Back to the game at hand. What are you supposed to do when you hear a whisper in your ear when you’re in one of those liminal places? First of all is it real? Can I trust it? If I can trust it, is the information trustworthy? Who said it? The Big Cheese, the HGA, Mary or has the wife left a walkie talkie behead the headboard and she’s twisting my melon…man?

I’ve pretty much left this experience alone for a while, although I’ve mentioned it on the podcast,Devine Providence which doesn’t feel like it’s public at all, pretty much the conversations between Tommie and I are what a ‘normal’ conversation would more than likely sound like between us, albeit we’d probably swear a lot more. Only two other people know about it, both of which said more or less the same thing when I asked wtf does that mean; a shrug of the shoulders and a heavy exhalation meaning ‘damned if I know Spud man’.  But, I’ve wanted to leave it alone, I felt like I needed it to percolate in the background for a while. Last week’s article brought it back to me and I’ve delved into some possible meanings since then. Hopefully it hasn’t gone rank like coffee that’s been there for too long but then again, I’m not one of those weirdos (I am a weirdo, hands up there lads) who doesn’t drinks coffee for the taste, it’s for the thing that tricks my brain into thinking I’m not tired so we should be fine here. And I actually like cold coffee. Freak, I know.

Providence Definition

Let’s look at some definitions first. The Oxford dictionary defines Providence as: God, or a force that some people believe controls our lives and the things that happen to us, usually in a way that protects us. The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as : an influence that is not human in origin and is thought to control people’s lives and Merriam-Webster defines it as: divine guidance or care. All pretty similar definitions there, the first and last ones especially, the care or protection of a supernatural something for our benefit.  The whole idea though of Providence has had people far, far smarter than me scratching their heads and stroking their beards for a long, long time.

In an article on Britannica.com, The Dutch poet, professor and historian of religion Theodorus P.Theodorus P. van Baaren van Baaren writes that there are two basic beliefs when it comes to Providence. The first being: belief in more or less divine beings that are responsible for the world generally and for the welfare of humans specifically. Although omnipotence as an attribute of gods is rare, it is true that, as a rule, gods and other divine beings have considerable power not only over human destiny but also over nature. The gods take care of the world and of humankind, and their intentions toward humans are normally positive.

He writes that the second form is: belief in a cosmic order in which human welfare has its appointed place. This order is usually conceived as a divine order that is well intentioned toward human beings and is working for their well-being as long as they are willing to insert themselves into it, to follow it willingly, and not to upset it by perversion or rebellion. 

Where do you stand on those? I’d have to swing with the first one because the second one seems to be more like (potentially angry) sky god will be upset with you if you’re not a good boy 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And especially with what I heard being “Providence is given to those who take it” then god’s grace is given to you if you want it, there are no retributions, if you want it, it is there, if you don’t want it, it’s still going to be there if you should ever change your mind. 

Monkey in the BrainOf course there’s a mighty fat proverbial elephant between the four walls here. What does all this mean for free will. If I have free will to choose to go along with the flow of the world then god’s got my back, right? But, well, where do I start on this one? Is free will a real thing? I’m not so convinced it is, even though I said on a podcast I do believe it, I’ve since changed my mind somewhat and since today have changed it again. Bear with me here…If I seem to make a particular decision, we know now that what I call ‘I’ didn’t really make that decision, it was internal parts of my brain that aren’t what we’d call ‘I’ that make the decisions before I told myself that I made the decisions. In the 1980s, an American scientist thought he’d proven that free will is nonsense. He had an experiment that recorded how the brain told participants’ arms to move before they consciously made a decision to move their arms, and significantly so. This truly was the death of the whole notion of free will for me. Or so I thought until today when I went looking for the scientist’s name, Benjamin Libet, and found that his theory has been debunked. 

Is Free Will Real?

Now, this is important. Seriously, this is really important. So much of new age spirituality and new thought uses Libet’s experiment as a pivot for their arguments for things like surrender, god’s grace, law of attraction etc. In 2012, Aaron Schurger and two colleagues, Jacobo Sitt and Stanislas Dehaene, gave a possible explanation that no, we don’t make decisions before movement, the decision to move and doing the actual morement occur at the same time.  Some Standford researchers couldn’t resist the bait and along with Schurger redid Libet’s experiement with a control this time and found that Schurger was in the rightpeople’s subjective experience of a decision—what Libet’s study seemed to suggest was just an illusion—appeared to match the actual moment their brains showed them making a decision.

Until I read that linked article and a few other this morning I had been convincing myself that free will wasn’t real but now I’m not too sure. I prefer the idea that Bernardo Kastrup has on the subject, we tell ourselves stories about our decisions even though who we call ‘I’ isn’t really in charge of them, as really the decisions are made by different parts of the brain and they can be working with or against other parts and when we do something our inner monologue tells us that the identifiable ‘I’ did it and thus we give ourselves these myths. We play the hero, the victim, the warrior, the sage, the wounded within our little stories. He posits that that’s the reason why myths have been so important in the development of cultures since the year dot. 

So then, let’s solve what Providence is given to those who take it means to me. For now anyway. If you know me at all dear reader you know I am wont to change my mind when I so feel like it. To me then it means that there’s a whole load of good in the world if you’re willing to see it and if you want more of it in your life, make more of it. Basically; be sound lads, just be sound.

Please indulge me the ending of this article with two quotes. The first from William Ames: The efficiency of God may be understood as either creation or providence. And another from St Ignatius: Above all, remember that God looks for solid virtues in us, such as patience, humility, obedience, abnegation of your own will – that is, the good will to serve Him and our neighbor in Him. His providence allows us other devotions only insofar as He sees that they are useful to us.