Our understanding of evil is a thing unto each of us, in most cases. The Euro-American interpretation is unique, though it has some simularities in faiths that are not Judeo-Christian. The Islamic faith borrows from numerous older faiths, some pagan, and the Hebrew and Christian faiths, but due to the overbearing lunatic fringe of the Moslems we will avoid discussing Islam at the present time. We find that a great deal on the devil comes through Zoroastrian influence. In the roots of the Judeo Christian traditions there is no devil per se, it is a later construct added to the pseudo-christian rubric by Augustine, called by the roman pagans, 'saint', the saints being a continuation of the roman pagan customs of deifying men.
Modern psychology sees religion as a construct, a fiction; animism, totemism, fetishism and fear of the dark, as well as a method for the manipulation of the masses (Marx's opiate of the masses). Religion has been all these things to many, but in its essence it is the direct communication between man, and God. Religion is designed to bring an ecstatic experience to its devotee's. For the intelligent it provides a means to sort all things into a useful set of correspondences for the furthering of culture, both scientific and artistic, and as a means for gathering with others culturally and for mystical experiences.
Yet to the wise, religion is a means to further his intellectual capacity, by disciplining every faculty towards the contemplation and direct experience of the mind of God. The wise will then learn to work with the forces of God to shape the reality he lives within. This is the true definition of the occultist, one who seeks to control and make use of the hidden and secret forces of the universe, and does not imply the embracing of the forces of darkness.
|The first devil, Lileth|
Somehow, in the twentieth century, most probably due to the catholic propaganda machine, the word occult took on a darker meaning, to where in most minds in the west, it is representative of devil worship. As stated above, it is not the sum and total designation, as occultism is to explore the hidden and secret forces of the universe. Therefore, all the sciences were occultist before their great discoveries, and after in their pursuit of new studies. It is also the exploration of the hidden forces of God, and the way to master the physical plane. This is the yoga of the west, of the Alchemist and Qabalist; that is, the mastery of the physical plane.
By seeking Divine wisdom and guidance, we attempt to contemplate and then master (or at least understand) the unknown. We might choose to learn about evil, but the sage knows of the destructive nature of evil. It is against life, it is against evolution, and its corrupting nature leads to destruction and even insanity.
This then calls for an explanation of evil and what men have called the devil.
The first mention of the devil, comes in the Zoharic commentaries on the story of Adam and Eve, and his first wife, who was Lileth. Lileth refused to be submissive to Adam, and did not want to have to bear children. God cast her out for not accepting her place, so in response she vowed to kill all children, and the creation of God itself. She is considered to be the temptress of Eve in an effort to destroy the order that God had created and the first feminist . She vampirizes men in their sleep, takes the life from children in their sleep, and is the patron saint of whores and prostitutes, in her constant attempt to cause people to rebel against God. Her perversions leave one empty and aloof to all the joys of life, so that only death is sought (hence the demoness of suicide). Her goal to bring an end to Gods creation, but there are many forms of evil. The first is that of seductress and murderess.
The devil is blind perverse force, uncontrolled rage; Christ defines it as legion because it lacks unity. Lacking unity it lacks direction, though it can influence men to act out uncontrolled behaviors. Even an evil man has some unity of thought and direction. Evil pointlessly despoils, it corrupts through any of the passions, whether physical or mental. Giving complete unity to one evil entity is too generous, as legion has little direction. Evil gains direction from its intercourse with men. Evil of and in itself must form some bond with a soul in order to be effective. As Soloviev described the anti-christ as a funny little man with a funny little mustache, who can have easily placed the prediction with Hitler. Evil possessed the fuehrer, and together they carved out their little world of hate, until evil destroyed him, by using his own creativity and intelligence and forward looking tendencies against himself and the German people. In the end, evil leaves a pile of rubble, stinking corpses, and skulls littering the countryside. Evil makes deserts. As the old adage goes; Rome makes a desert and calls it peace.