Mortal: I came to you because I became troubled after reading a text about how the devil laughs in his sleeve.
Angel: Yes, I read that too. In other words, I listened to his speech. Simply nothing remains hidden from me.
M: First of all, thank you for entering into this dialogue with me.
A: If I can be of service to you or anyone else in that way, with pleasure.
M: The devil chose the monologue.
A: Just as we are used to him doing so, very typical; he cannot do otherwise. The angelic crowd always opts for dialogue. We look at the great, classic examples: of Hermes with Tat, of Plato with Socrates. Central to this is always the demand for wisdom. What is your question?
M: There is a deep crisis going on in the world, as you know. Caused by a pandemic, a new virus. What is the reason this crisis is hitting us now?
A: Could there be a reason for it? Causes are sought, but that is not the same. Back in the Middle Ages and further back to prehistoric times, health crises such as the Black Death were attributed to higher powers. No, not the devil was blamed. It was God who punished mankind. At the end of World War I, which was caused by humans, God showed that he could make things even worse.
M: People believed that at the time, but not anymore.
A: Rightly so. For the image of the punishing God is a human invention, a delusion. Now most people know better, even in orthodox circles you don’t hear that story now. The nations were demoralized by the World War though, especially the young adults, the men who had fought in the trenches. Someone once called this war apocalyptic; to the armies, that had to fight against each other for years and could not win, it certainly was. In the end, it was a senseless slaughter, devised and plotted by completely unscrupulous rulers, politicians and army commanders. As the Germans believed: a ‘Frischer, Fröhlicher Krieg’, (a refreshing, friendly war) and the English lived in the delusion of ‘the war that would end all wars’. But I digress.
M: The devil is laughing in his sleeve now, he said. Not so much about the misery of disease and death, but more about other consequences of the pandemic. Every year people get sick or die from the flu, many more people die from other ailments every year. But never before have societies worldwide been locked up, with all the collateral damage that entails.
A: Yes, everyone sees that. It didn’t happen during the Spanish flu, which was much worse, more deadly than corona; that would not have been possible then. There was also great fear in 1918, but now people seem to be more alert to it.
You see, part of humanity, especially in Europe and America, has become immensely spoiled during the last fifty, seventy years. Most of those areas were actually improving in certain respects, but not all of them, of course. Obviously there were crises before, but they did not affect everyone. Not even now; a small group of vulnerable people have become ill, very ill, or died.
Still the majority of the people, that do not get ill, are also suffering from the health crisis.
Freedoms have been taken away, physical contact with friends is denied, the joys of an evening in a full house of music lovers, the evening out for dinner, sports together – all banned things. Many have to miss their colleagues at work, students their teachers and fellow students, communication has become distant, via a screen. But at the same time, if you look at the differences between those who have become unemployed, who lose their income, who become lonely or who see their care delayed, versus many others who do not lose their jobs, do not lose their prosperity, the dichotomy that already existed, intersects in society in even sharper, deeper rifts now. And then I’m just talking about the rich countries.
M: I am also concerned about the discord that has now arisen, between the group that, out of safety and fear, complies with official country policy, that observes the restrictions, and the group that does not care about it and resists. In other words, increasing polarization. The devil thinks it’s all fine.
A: He has to: he lives from it, he grows from it. But you can also look at the whole thing in this way: the population has suddenly involuntarily entered a situation in which sacrifices are required of everyone. That is not new. Think back to the past, what we consider to be primitive times. When disasters happened or when there were great threats, the chief priests, the shamans who pretended to be able to solve the crisis, stood up to avert the danger. But, not for nothing; their crisis management, you could say now, only worked when sacrifices were made by the people. Animal sacrifices, human sacrifices even. With that the gods and powers of nature were softened, they became well-disposed again.
M: Not everyone wants to make sacrifices now, for example by going into quarantine or not cuddling anymore. Those people do not understand all those measures, and even less why they are fined if they violate them. On the other hand, others are getting angry because of the lack of solidarity, and shout: if you do not keep your distance or wash your hands, you are to blame for illness and death. More discord.
A: What the devil gloats about is the fear that this corona spectacle induces, causing a narrowing of consciousness in many. That’s how it always went; of course you know the old cliché about fear as a bad counselor. Your immune system suffers, that also affects your environment.
You know what is so funny: more and more people, so it seems, believe in the devil again. They talk about Satanists who would lead a kind of world government. That devil with his speech was very transparent, just like the belief in those alleged devil worshipers with their child sacrifices. People don’t know history or are simply forgetful. The people who are possessed by the devil don’t look like the caricatures from the movies about exorcism, no, the real devilish types are primarily seducers, deceivers. They pretend to be helpful helpers, as peacemakers, philanthropists or altruists, preferably with a spiritual aura. Sooner or later it turns out that those are the great seducers, the perfidious devils. In any case, you should be very careful with them. You should not be afraid of the devil himself, then you give him what he asks. Then you sell your own soul.
M: Then you wonder: does the devil exist?
A: Good question. There are several answers that can be given. On the one hand you have the well-known personifications, the caricatures. If “God the Father” is that old man with a long white beard high in heaven, then the devil is a dirty old goat with a hideous face, residing in a hellfire deep under the earth. But then you have to ask yourself: does our father only want the best for us, even when he punishes humanity and scourges with plagues? In a place where one of the worst low points in world history took place, the Nazi concentration camp, some victims afterwards wondered aloud: Where was God? He had left us in the deepest misery, I called upon him, begged for his help which did not come. For those who then fell away from their faith, the definition God = love no longer applied.
The other way around: does the devil only want the worst for us? There is no conclusive answer to that either. There are those who wonder why the adversary, the fallen angel Satanael, exists at all. Could it not be that Satan serves as a resistance that could or should make us stronger and more aware?
M: You mean to say: every question raises a new one.
A: Yes, but beware! Something like that can degenerate into an endless game. But these are the most essential questions that everyone should answer for themselves. I ask you: do angels really exist?
M: I’m in contact with one now, I’m in a dialogue with him.
A: How can you be sure that I am not the Angel of the west window who set John Dee on the trail of establishing an earthly empire, the British? Just as the conquests of Columbus and the subjugation of natives had the blessing of the church.
M: Ah! I know what you are talking about, I have read the book with that title by Gustav Meyrink.
A: So you should ask, no, rather demand, that I identify myself.
To be continued in part 2