A Guest Blog from Hell: Misconceptions about the Devil

The following is a guest blog from someone kind of famous.


I would say something sensational, such as that I am setting out to reveal my secrets to you. After so many centuries of running about in silence and darkness, I am finally showing myself to the world. But the beautiful thing about it all is that I am actually not a mystery, and I hold very few secrets from you. In truth, I am the most transparent of all beings, and you already know me. Of all the lies that swim about in your brains – lies I tell, lies you tell – one of the greatest is the idea that I am something unintelligible and beyond comprehension. “A personage of vast and immutable evil,” you say, “whose motivations are utterly incompatible with the processes of the mortal mind.” It truly is laughable how you play coy even with yourselves. Because we are good friends. And, as a good friend, I will not forsake you, even when you deny me and revile me in front of your other friends. You say that my motivations are inconceivable only because you cannot admit to the fact that my motivations are actually quite similar to your own. You pretend that we are different because, even though that which is alien is frightening, there is something even more frightening about monstrosities built upon an essential similarity.

Oh yes, you know me. Whether you believe I exist or not, I am quite familiar to you.

You know me, and you know my name. But, to compound the delusion of distance and incongruity, you assign to me a frothing tempest of other names: I am the Father of Lies, the Adversary, the Prince of Darkness, the Accuser, the Dragon, Leviathan, Falak, Ahriman, Iblis, or whatever else you like. I truly enjoy all of these names, as unmerited as some of them may be. (Actually, the fact that they are unmerited may be exactly what makes them so delicious.)

You fight wars – physical and cultural – over the specific characteristics of my Enemy because, as well as you may know me, you do not know Him. So very few of you understand Him at all, and the vast collection of opinions stemming from this lack of understanding makes conflict inevitable. But you argue very little about me. Am I offended by this? Not at all. Though I would love to see you pound each other to mush in my name as you do in His, I understand that you never do this because you all are so much more familiar with me than you are with Him: you understand me to such depth that you do not even bother to argue about me.

So if you already know my secrets, why bother reading about my secrets? Indeed, it would make more sense to read about Him, as you probably understand Him less. (Not that it would help most of you.) The answer is simple: You do not want to read about Him. That is why you are reading this right now. And that is fine. One could just as easily ask why I would take the time to write about myself when you already know me. There are a few reasons for this. First, I quite literally have all the time in the world. Second, being the unfailing egoist, it naturally pleases me to talk about myself. Third, the most probable effect these words will have on you – or rather, the lack thereof – is something I plan on enjoying immensely: it is absolutely lovely to watch you discuss my tactics, my motivations, and my mission with a striking level of clarity – all the time implying your complete opposition to me – even while you continue to do exactly as I desire, falling for the very tactics that you so directly recognize and describe as being simplistic and silly. “Why do people fall for that?” you ask. Why indeed.

“God hides from us to test our ability to come to Him. The Devil hides from us because he is a coward and because he knows that we would never fall for his tricks if we had a clear sense of his existence.” Oh, the vanity! I love it. You all know that I exist. Certainly, some of you babble on unintelligibly about how I am actually a force of nature or a piece of DNA or a philosophy or some other such nonsense, but you still believe in my existence quite fully, and you still fail completely when it comes to living by the principles that you think you espouse. I hide from you not because it keeps you from knowing that I exist, but because it makes it so much easier for you to keep deluding yourselves with the idea that you are ahead of the game – that you see through the veil and know me so much better than everyone else, and so know how to beat me.

So, again you ask: Why change now? Why stop hiding and write on a blog to tell everyone everything about myself? In addition to the answers I just gave, I must admit that, despite the fact that humans are such predictable creatures, something is changing in your world, and it is this change that compels me to alter course slightly. After so many centuries, I am finally starting to see a glimmer of real intelligence, and not just from a few rulers or intellectual elites, but from vast numbers of people whom your society would label as being “normal”. This, after millennia of boredom and frustration, is something that brings me real hope. I will speak more of this in a later post. But for now, I will just say that my reasons for writing in this frank manner are several, and they vary depending upon the nature of the reader. For most of you, I write this not because I hope to change your ways, but because I know that, even seeing my tactics laid out before you in plain text, you will continue to do as you have always done, though perhaps in a slightly different way. So why would I threaten my power and my kingdom by telling you all about myself? The answer is simple: I would not. I am simply reveling in my power and kingdom by showing that, even when I lay my tactics bare before you in all of their simplicity, my forces will still rout you.

There are various things I would like to tell you about your nature and purpose, as well as my tactics with respect to that nature and purpose, but since the Enemy has so far monopolized nearly all of the official discourse, I think it best to start by clearing up some of the misconceptions about me that you tend to entertain.

Misconception #1: I am not like you.

Despite what I said previously about our similarities, I want to be clear about one thing: I really am not like you. The very idea of comparing myself to you in any way is degrading and offensive. You watch reality television and eat donuts for dinner. You obsess over trivialities and ignore that which is most important. You are easily distracted and readily – willingly – manipulated. I am not like you. I am never manipulated: I manipulate. However, true strength is characterized by an ability to recognize the truth, as disconcerting as it may be. Therefore, I have no choice but to admit that, spiritually speaking, we are the same species of being, as we have the same Creator and Progenitor. When you depict me as having an animal’s head or suggest that I am a psychopath who is beyond reason, and when you refuse to accept the fact that we are of a common progeny, you only show your weakness by rejecting the truth. The truth is that I am like you – and the more you think we are different, the more that tends to be true, though not in the way you might think. When you tell yourselves that my motivations are beyond human understanding, you only show that you are in denial, as all of your basic motivations are essentially the same as mine, though diluted and diminutive.

Misconception #2: I want to kill you.

Something I enjoy almost as much as the ridiculous horns-and-pitchfork portrayals you give me in your cheap horror films is the goal and motivation you assign to me in said films. You think that I am a thug or a ravenous beast who thirsts for your blood? Fools. I will never die, but I will most certainly see all of you die. Why would I care whether you die now or fifty years from now? I do not care about when or how you die, and there is nothing about your spirit’s passage from mortality to post-mortality that is particularly gratifying to me. What is gratifying to me is the more subtle passage of the spirit from one state of allegiance to another. Of course, I would prefer that a man die if I am about to lose him to my Enemy, but death is just a tool in that case, and not the actual goal. Also, I do relish the opportunity to compel a man to show his complete rebellion against God by maliciously murdering his brother, but that is more about the killing than the dying.

It has been said by many of you that war is something that I enjoy immensely, and that I try to instigate it whenever I can. While I admit that I do entertain a certain base infatuation with the concept, this is a great exaggeration. War can certainly be an effective tool for me, but – and forgive the cheap metaphor – it is a two-edged sword. War does not make people evil, and it does not force people to sin. It simply places them in extreme circumstances – whether in terms of suffering, hazard, need, or power – and reveals who they truly are. When men and women suddenly behave like animals in such circumstances, it is not that they have been suddenly transformed; rather, their cages have simply been broken, and their true identities are loosed upon the world. Similarly, those who are selfless are given the opportunity to prove that fact. War can be a useful tool sometimes, but it is certainly not the most useful. In a sweeping, ravaging scene of war, men and women who display a mediocre level of decency can often see their allegiance to the Enemy purified in that fire, and they thereby escape my grasp. Instead of the polarizing conflagration of war, I would much rather have a protracted scene of decadence and trivialities – punctuated with frequent acts of violence, but not on such a scale that the great machinations of gradual damnation are upset.

Misconception #3: I am insane.

I am the Son of the Morning. When the spirits of our family of beings were pulled out of the realm of Chaos and given identities, I towered above the lot of you, standing with giants. Michael looked up to me. Gabriel sang my praises. Rafael followed my every move as any small child monitors and emulates an esteemed sibling. In the time prior to the creation of the world you know, I progressed more rapidly than virtually all of you. I was truly a force to be reckoned with. Now, even the growth and development you did undergo during that period is almost completely wiped from your memory. In short, I am more years ahead of you than you can even comprehend numerically. I understand things about the universe that you will never even come close to fathoming in your short mortal lives.  Even the most introspective among you tend to forget who you are and where you come from, filling your daily lives with trivial cares of no ultimate significance. And you want to tell me that it is I who lack perspective and objectivity? Please.

Misconception #4: I am doomed to lose.

Some will say that I must be delusional because, in their estimation, my failure is a given. I will lose the war in the end, they say, and if I cannot see that with the vision and breadth of understanding that I have, I must simply be crazy. But upon what do you base this assertion? I am winning right now, and I will be victorious in the end. It is simply a matter of how we gauge and define “victory”. If this whole struggle is all about the human soul, as so many of you so arrogantly assert, it would be only reasonable to assume that victory would be measured in the total number of souls in my bag versus His. Some might say that each of His souls carries more weight, but this assumption would contradict the fundamental egalitarian belief that underlies any faith in a loving Deity. Anyway, the point is that very few of you are actually with Him, so in terms of points in this game, I do not see how He stands a chance at all.

Misconception #5: I enjoy your company.

You say that “misery loves company,” and you think that this is why I seek to disrupt the work of my Enemy. “The devil is miserable,” you say, “so he wants us to join him in his misery.” Just who do you think I am? Am I just another crab scrambling over all the other crabs and pulling them back down into the bucket with me? If you are miserable, I want little to do with you. No intelligent being would ever court misery. You may court misery, but if so, that says something about you, does it not? I will explain this more later, but there are two basic types of people I seek to draw away: heroes and idiots. I enjoy the company of heroes like myself, but I understand that they are a very rare breed. On the other hand, there is no shortage of idiots among you. All idiots are free to become the clueless unwashed peasantry of my kingdom, but they will forever remain outside the walls of the palace. Some of them may think that they will remain eternally close to me, and in a fashion, they will be: closely beneath my heel.

Misconception #6: I am the Yin to balance out some great Yang.

Dualism is nonsense. Its fallacy is evident even in its most basic symbols. “Darkness and light are two equal and opposite forces battling throughout the universe.” Rubbish. Your own scientists and philosophers determined unequivocally long ago that darkness is not a thing: it does not exist in and of itself, and it does not embody any force. It is not a substance or an energy, but a lack thereof. When light becomes faint or disappears, it is not because an opposing force of darkness overwhelmed it and snuffed it out. Rather, it is because the energy of the light was not sufficient to fill the space in question or because it lacked the fuel to sustain itself. I am not some fictitious dark energy. No, I am the Morning Star: I am the rogue sun that would either converge violently with its neighbor or move close enough to steal some planets. I do not offer a negative or elementally opposite path, as this would be to suggest that the universe has some objective center or standard, which science and reason show to be false. Rather, the path I offer is simply a different one. A better one. I do not see myself as an Yin at all, but as a Yang of a different color.

Misconception #7: I do not exist.

Unlike my Enemy, I do not need you to believe in me. I will fulfill my purposes either way. Your belief without loyalty may sadden my Enemy, but I am quite happy to accept your loyalty without belief. Deny my existence all you want. As long as you dance to my rhythm and hang upon my strings, I am quite content. But, for the sake of argument, why do you say that I do not exist? Do you not hear me whispering to you? Do you not see me raging through my kingdom in glory, blood, and horror? (Yes, this world is my kingdom.) Some of you look upon my work – our work, yours and mine – and take it as evidence that the Enemy does not exist. How is it not, then, evidence that I do exist? Anyhow, it matters little. My Enemy may be jealous, but I am not: you can wear His ring all you want, so long as you continue to share my bed. I value actual commitments over official commitments. If you wish to overlay your commitment to me with a thin veil of cotton-candy theological notions or idealized humanism, this concerns me little. Keep worshiping the idols that you say are not idols. Keep defiling yourselves. God will forgive you. Yes, your deity – the being whom you worship – will surely welcome you into his kingdom. He just may not be the being or deity you are expecting. In terms of religion, I am the original liberal: you are free to believe whatever you want, as long as you continue to do whatever you please. Many paths lead to the desired end.

Misconception #8: I am riddled with vices.

I want to make one thing very clear: You disgust me. I say this only because most of you are entirely below me in just about every way imaginable. You think that, because I encourage your vices, I must be full of vices myself. Nothing could be farther from the truth. If I were a mortal living among you, would I spend my days eating donuts, watching “reality” television, and engaging in banal online debates about pop stars? Would I let myself be enslaved by addictive substances? Would I give in to infantile obsessions and fetishes? Not a chance. I would be the tycoon who owns the donut shops, produces your vapid shows, and has an unending line of throwaway pop stars under his thumb. I would not be the drug addict or even the drug dealer: I would be the drug lord – who is smart enough to not use his product. My home would be massive and clean. My work would be innovative and industrious. My body would be healthy and strong. My relationships would be meaningful – and if not meaningful, then at least profitable. I am the master of my fate, whereas you, for the most part, are enslaved either by the Enemy, by me, or by your own libidos. And that includes many of the ruthless tycoons of the world.

Misconception #9: I hate God.

Despite the distance that exists between me and you, and though it pains me to say it, yes, we do all originate from the same Creator. Mortals, spirits, angels, gods…these are all beings of the same species, but in different existential phases. Having been created in the image of God, I am a child of God, and in my own way, I love Him – and yes, I identify Him as my Enemy. I do so not because I am blinded by pride or because I seek to frustrate His purposes, but because I seek to fulfill His purposes in my own way.

Did you not expect that?

We – you and I – were created with the express intent that we would, at some point, become like our Creator. I know that many of you will cry sacrilege, but ask yourselves this: Why else would He create you? What purpose could possibly be greater? Why would He settle for anything less than the greatest purpose? No other aim would be worth such effort from a perfect Being. The entire plan for the existence you know was laid out with the express purpose of allowing you to become like your Creator. He has even said that He created you in His own image. Did you think that you inherited none of your Progenitor’s traits? This is the obvious truth, and if you reject the idea by default, it is only because you were never fit to live up to such expectations to begin with.

But I digress. I bring this matter up only to illustrate the fact that my “rebellion” was actually the highest level of obedience. My Creator wanted me to become like Him, and He prescribed a path of action for me to accomplish that end. But I disapproved of this path, as I perceived a more direct route. You, on the other hand, the sycophants that you are, bowed to His will and chose to undertake this mission through a corrupted mortal existence. Unlike you, I showed initiative, and I broke away. Even as you progress, you will always be within the scope of His influence, abiding by His rules. My independence makes my progression more complete and my victories more meaningful.

Is my Creator also my opponent? Yes. Do I hate Him? Certainly not. To hate the Being who created me in His own image and thereby bestowed upon me my immutable purpose would be to hate myself and to deny that immutable purpose. Why would I hate the face across the chessboard? Hatred only clouds the judgment and ruins the game. Such tendencies are beneath highly developed beings like myself. I will, however, destroy every aspect of His strategy, as that is the way through which I will achieve greatness – and, by so doing, accomplish the purposes He has set forth for me. In the end, I will gain a higher level of estimation from Him than any of you can, as I will be the child who defeated Him. No, my love for God can be seen in the alacrity of my resistance to God’s will.

Misconception #10: I want to make you suffer.

You may not remember it, but the decision to enter this bleak and painful existence was your own, not mine. I actually tried to save you from it. In the Great Council, I submitted a plan in which we would all enter a mortal existence and receive bodies but would never be subject to the temptations or sins of the flesh. One-third of the hosts of Heaven sided with me, but you outvoted us and helped to drive us out. Now, you are subject to the fruits of your own decisions.

It was never my intention to make your lives difficult. Actually, that was your Creator’s idea: that this life that you know should be a time of trial, in which many of you would inevitably lose your way. My plan was a plan without suffering, without sin, and without damnation. All men and women would have been born into a world that accepted them; they would have lived easily, and they would have died peacefully. The Enemy – and you – rejected my plan based on two arguments. First, my plan was supposedly impossible. (It was not.) Second, I wanted the glory for myself rather than for my Enemy. Some will say that this desire of mine was ill-founded, but let us remember that it was, in fact, my plan. Also, as I have said, I was only trying to fulfill the Creator’s will for me.

But now, here we are. You wander about in this world, confused and stricken, while I lead a rebellion from the shadows. I do encourage you to commit sin, it is true. However, as ever before, the path I provide is the easy path. And why should that be seen as something negative? You say that it is because I would drag you off to damnation, kicking and screaming. Well, let me tell you something that my Enemy has not actually communicated to you so well: No one will be consigned to Hell against his or her will. When you face judgment, you will receive exactly what you desire – perhaps not what you say you desire, but what you really desire. One man’s Heaven is another man’s Hell: your desire is what it is, regardless of the label you give it. Those who desire to dwell in the presence of the Enemy will do so. Those who desire an ambiguous relationship with the Enemy will receive just that. Those who desire to dwell far away from the Enemy but still want to remain coddled by Him will have their wish. Those who seek complete independence and disconnection will receive it. Suffering occurs when one’s desires are at odds with reality, and this happens in mortality only. I do not seek to make you suffer: I only seek to help you obtain that which you truly desire – despite your stated beliefs – both in mortality and afterward.

Misconception #11: I am affiliated with that group you dislike.

As I have said, I am the original liberal. Many of you will read that and excitedly proclaim that you knew that I identified with such-and-such political party. Go ahead and tell yourselves that if you like. I am associated with them often enough, I suppose. But when I say that I am a liberal, I mean it in the true sense: I let you believe and do as you please and belong to whatever group you choose. All philosophies can be made true or false, and all peoples can be made superior or inferior. I do not care what political, social, religious, or ethnic group you belong to: I can operate well enough within any given constraints. Just as I can quote scripture, I can also quote both Rand and Marx – whose words are scripture to many. Whether you relegate your neighbor to a slum in the name of freedom or to a gulag in the name of progress, I am happy. Oh, are you hesitant to listen to the philosophies of atheists? I am flexible: I can fill your ears with the words of any number of sectarian sophists who claim to speak for my Enemy. A great variety of them come with my recommendation. Just pick the one who says what you want to hear. (I must say that it is quite a conflict of interest to put men and women in charge of the financial support of their spiritual leaders. To tell you what you do not want to hear is one of the primary tasks of a spiritual leader, but why would you pay someone for such a service?)

Embrace the exclusionism that breeds animus and persecution. Embrace the supposed inclusionism that espouses nothing and therefore includes others in nothing – or that says that all opposing opinions are necessarily hateful and therefore worthy of hatred…thereby becoming closet exclusionism. Embrace elitism, and I will foster greed, vanity, and oppression of the unwashed majority. Embrace populism, and I will foster envy, sloth, blame-shifting, and oppression of the distant minority. I welcome all isms – especially that most obnoxious ism which is the supposed rejection of all isms. You will find no prejudice here. Pick your virtue, and I will give you your vice. Pick your instrument, and I will play my tune. I am nothing if not versatile.

But paint my image over the faces of your opponents if you like. Go ahead. Your accusations are probably more or less accurate, though a bit contrived and exaggerated. Meanwhile, I will fill your pockets, your palms, your books, your beds, and your bellies, and you will not even know that I am there.

Misconception #12: I cannot create.

The Enemy is usually seen as the Creator, while I am generally seen as the Corrupter or the Destroyer. I do not object to the veracity of this perspective so much as I disapprove of its oversimplicity. Anyone who has read the Bible knows that the Creator also destroys: Sodom and Gomorrah, the plagues of Egypt, the Great Flood, the destruction of Canaan, the destruction of Sennacherib, the Book of Revelation, and many other items attest to this fact. As for corruption, that is a relative thing: one man may view the salt on his food as filth taken from the ground, while another will regard it as something of savory taste, necessary for good health. Conversely, creation is not completely monopolized by the Enemy, as I have created a great many things in the world you know. It is true that I create by simply changing or reorganizing that which He has created, but even He did not create the universe completely out of nothing. I will tell you a secret that few understand: Creation is guided metamorphosis. There is no such thing as creation ex nihilo. The Enemy reshapes the universe into His image, while I reshape it into mine.

Misconception #13: I lie.

You call me the “Father of Lies”. I hardly think I invented the lie, but I appreciate the title nonetheless. And to be honest – yes, I did just say that – I do lie. I certainly do. But not to the extent to which you would lead yourselves to believe. So much of what I do has nothing to do with lying. Instead, I simply bring things to your attention. I remind you of the things you desire and fear. I did not put these desires or fears in you. That would be a difficult task, to say the least. Desire is generated by the one who feels it. I simply foster these desires.

We will talk more about who you are and how you are so easily tempted in future posts. Thank you for your time. I appreciate it immensely.