Beware the Devil
Either you give it space, or it may ambush you
The Devil. In the Old Testament, Yahweh was a complete God, embracing good and evil. In fact, as he was not living in the duality, we could say that Yahweh was above good and evil. How else could we explain the fact that Yahweh, after sending each plague to the Egyptians, “hardened Pharaoh´s heart, and he would not let them go.” (King James Bible – Exodus 10:27). The culmination of all the plagues was the killing of the firstborn: “And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts.” (Exodus 11:5).
The Bible also mentions Yahweh orders to Joshua to eliminate all the enemies of his chosen people – men, women and children. (Joshua 6:17).
Being more explicitly about the completeness of Yahweh, the Bible says: “I form the light and create darkness; I make peace and create evil; I the Lord do all these things”. (Isaiah 45:7 – King James Bible). Also: “Shall there be evil in the city and the Lord hath not done it?” (Amos 3:6 – King James Bible). Not to forget the history of Job, already dealt in this blog.
All these facts support the idea of the completeness of Yahweh. Because Yahweh contained good and evil, the participation of Satan in the Old Testament was limited. It appeared only four times. In the Old Testament. With the coming of Christ, the Good God, Satan appears sixty six times in the New Testament. Human beings live in the duality – there is no good without evil.
Clement of Rome, one of the first Bishops of the Church is quoted to have said that God governs the world with Christ on his right hand and Satan on the left.
Goethe wrote on his masterpiece: Faust. When he asks Mephistopheles whom he is, he receives the answer that he is the one that comes do evil but turns out doing good.
Joseph Campbell, the renowned mythologist and a friend of Jung gave us as a fundamental psychological explanation of the devil. He said: “My definition of a demon is an angel that we did not recognize. It is a power that you denied expression, and that you repressed. Like all repressed energy, it starts to grow and can become extremely dangerous.”
This definition of Campbell sums it all. The devil is inside our psyche, and we better talk to him to avoid being overwhelmed by it. If not, you may project it at others on the outside world. The Inquisition is a prime example of such projections. The Jewish hating another. That is the figure of the scapegoat.
An excellent illustration of the workings of the unrecognized devil is the well-known novella by Robert Louis Stevenson “The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” that depicts a case of split personality – defined in psychiatry as dissociative identity disorder. Mr Hyde personifies the devil that was not recognized by the ego of Dr. Jekyll and caused havoc in his life.
How can you relate to your internal devil, avoiding the bypass your ego that causes problems in your life? Everyone has many archetypes in the unconscious, one of them being the devil. But there are many others, the main ones being the anima or animus, the shadow, and the self. We can talk to them using the method of Active Imagination developed by Jung.
Beware the Devil