by Anthony North
In one sense, he is the fallen angel, forever causing trouble, and in another he is a Jungian ‘archetype’ – the trickster, forever to be found in various cultural clothes throughout world mythology.
He is also the guy with whom we have a pact
Sell your soul to the Devil and you get rewards – but don’t worry, it will come at a price, eventually. And in this sense, he is part of our psychology. Our urge to do wrong, knowing it is – well – wrong.
In a variation on the theme, the pact can lead to possession, where the Devil or one of his friends takes you over, and you are either influenced to do bad by this supernatural entity, or blatantly possessed, complete with red eyes and green vomit.
And here, too, we can attach a non-supernatural tag
We can argue, rather than supernatural possession, the person is taken over by split-off elements of his own mind. But this continual fascination with such demonic influences is rarely discussed.
This is a problem with paranormal research. Researchers and enthusiasts often chastise the scientific community for their intransigence – they’re only interested in ‘how’, not ‘why’ – but this mentality exists in this community as well.
The Devil won’t go away
And for a supposed supernatural ‘force’ to be continually experienced in the paranormal, it must have a reason for its existence. We can, of course, blame culture for this. After all, it is culture that maintains stories of the Devil. But we can go deeper still.
A peculiarity of our existence is the fact that we advance. This is the process of history itself, forever changing the focus of culture and society. If we didn’t do so, we would not have evolved our society in the way we have.
Why does social evolution occur?
I think the central element of change is that we are never happy with what we’ve got. Rather, any social system has in-built frustrations that give us an urge to change what we’ve got.
The things that make us frustrated are the things we label ‘bad’, or even ‘evil’. They represent existence at its worse. And in seeing such bad things around us, we can learn to act in the opposite, thus being good.
In this sense, we need to see bad around us in order to BE good
Without this influence, there would be nothing but amorality. And in aiming to be good, we see the light that becomes the advancement of our humanity, our society, and ourselves.
In this sense, we require temptation and adversity. It is, in essence, the ‘fuel’ of our social change and advancement, working on both the individual person and society as a whole.
Thus, the Devil is outed for what he really is. He is the engine of change – an essential element of ourselves. And in this sense, he is also an influence above us – not of the supernatural, but of evolution itself.