This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

NOTICE:
This Dark Age is now available in paperback on Amazon. The print version is MUCH cleaner than this online version, which is largely unedited and has fallen by the wayside as the project has grown. If you’ve appreciated my writing, please consider leaving a review on the relevant paperback volumes. The print edition also includes new sections (Military History, War Psychology, Dogmatic Theology).

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The meaning and identity of Satan

It is said often enough that ‘man is his own worst enemy,’ and most of us would readily admit that this is true, and we are right. We just do not know how right we are. The Hebrew term for ‘Satan’ means simply ‘opponent.’ It is not a personal name. Likewise in the Scripture and in the Fathers Satan is always the ‘adversary,’ ‘tempter,’ ‘enemy,’ ‘accuser,’ and so on. Is it difficult then to see that this ‘personality’ is none other than our own? We generally admit that the spiritual battleground is within us, and that conversion and regeneration takes place there, and where Christ works, so also Satan. And if it is Satan who usurps the proper station of Christ in the temple that is our body—if the command is that we die so that Christ may live in us, and if this is generally understood to be the sanctification of man, then it is not difficult to identify the soul that must be put to death with ‘the enemy’ who must be vanquished.

Here we will cite William Law:

You are under the power of no other enemy, are held in no other captivity, and want no other deliverance but from the power of your own earthly self. This is the one murderer of the divine life within you. It is your own Cain that murders your own Abel.[1] Self is the Root, the Tree, and the Branches of all the Evils of our fallen State…Satan, or which is the same thing, self-exaltation…This is that full-born natural self that must be pulled out of the heart and totally denied, or there can be no disciple of Christ.[2]

It is written in the Theologia Germanica (ch. 3, 22, 49) that it was the Devil’s “ ‘I, Me, and Mine’ that were the cause of his fall… For the self, the I, the me and the like, all belong to the Evil Spirit, and therefore it is that he is an Evil Spirit. Behold one or two words can utter all that has been said by these many words: ‘Be simply and wholly bereft of self.’ ”

For “there is nothing else in hell, but self-will; and if there were no self-will, there would be no devil and no hell.”

Jacob Boehme agrees that “this vile self-hood possesses the world and worldly things; and dwells also in itself, which is dwelling in hell.”[3]

We should remember Boehme’s warning that “the most evil beast we carry in our bosom.”[4]

Returning once more the Scriptures, both in Christianity and Hinduism:

We know that the Law is of the Spirit… but I see another law in my members, warring against the Law of the Intellect, and bringing me into captivity… With the Intellect I myself serve the Law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin…From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Submit yourselves therefore to God: resist the devil.[5]

“Lift up the self by the Self, let not self sit back. For, verily, the Self is both the friend and the foe of the self; the friend of one whose self has been conquered by the Self, but to one whose self hath not (been overcome), the Self at war, forsooth, acts as an enemy”[6]

[1] The Spirit of Love.

[2] An Humble and Affectionate Address to the Clergy.

[3] The Signature of All Things, “Of the Supersensual Life.”

[4] Threefold Life of Man.

[5] Romans 8, James 4.

[6] Bhagavad Gita, VI. 5-6.

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