There are 3 main faces of evil.
 Mephistophles= ‘Man, the elevated, overviewing mind.’
Abstraction; false transcendence into a thin and life-destroying air; perversion of Knowledge, whether mystical, esoteric, or scientific, which turns the mind into an elevator to the ‘higher realms’ that either abandons what is below, or imposes ‘one size fits all’ solutions on ground-level reality, squeezing all the life, pith, juice, spark, out of it. This is the sickness of mind. [Examples– Platonism; Scientism]
Mephistophles raises us to shrink our humanity.
 Lucifer= ‘Man, the self-divinizing god.’
Wholeness; false polishing of the diamond of the self to a brilliant sheen; perversion of Giftedness/Charisma, which turns the riches of imagination and its creative power into a seduction that devours the soul. [Examples– Gnosticism; Jungianism]
Lucifer flatters us to deceive our humanity.
 Satan= ‘Man, the miserable sinner.’
Accusation; false moralism or false judgementalism; perversion of Moral Discrimination/Moral Consequences, which turns the distinction between good and evil into a weapon with which to kill the human heart. [Examples– Puritanism; Fundamentalism]
Satan accuses us to murder our humanity.
Lucifer flatters and corrupts the soul, to romantically ‘woo’ us out of the heart..
Mephistophles abstracts and inflates the mind, to idealistically ‘raise’ us out of the heart..
However, the real enemy of the heart is Satan. To have a heart, it is necessary to face up to the Satanic, for his evil spirit seeks the final defeat of the human heart. He is not joking. He means it.
Satan= hatred of the human, in its ‘passibility’; that it can be affected and is malleable, and hence that the human has an inherent vulnerability, is dismissed with profound spiritual contempt. Satan upholds the invariant and unfailing, even the mechanical [hence William Blake’s “dark Satanic mills”]. He detests the messiness, the ambiguity, the paradox, of the human condition.
All forms of evil work through a false dualism between ‘higher’ and ‘lower’, which is really ‘angelic versus human.’ All that changes is what is higher and what is lower.
Mephistophles= intelligent versus stupid [sophisticated versus backward, etc].
Lucifer= charismatic versus mediocre [colourful versus dull, etc].
Satan= right versus wrong [rectitude versus transgression, etc].
This duality sows seeds of dissension among humanity, whatever its context. This duality is false, and creates rivalry rather than solidarity among humans. The premise of the evil spirits is that the angelic is superior and the human is inferior, whether this takes a more mind [Mephistophles], soul [Lucifer] or heart [Satan], format in human culture.
This false dualism of superior ‘angelism’ versus inferior ‘humanness’ is also the delusive distinction into ‘this’ and ‘that’ referred to in Buddhism. ‘Not to judge’ intellectually [Mephistophles], creatively [Lucifer], morally [Satan], is not the way of the evil spirits! Because their judgement is that all of humanity is inferior, they aim to divide humanity into the angels [the successful] and the mere humans [the failures], so that thus divided, humanity will tear itself asunder.
The good spirits serve humanity, as helpers. They accept God’s judgement on the human, which is that it is basically good and beautiful, at its beginning, and whatever its twists and distortions along the way, can ‘come through’ and reach an end which, precisely because it is tempted and tested, proves something ‘fearful and wonderful’ in the way humans were made [Psalms, 139, 14].
Most unacceptable to the evil spirits is that God, in creating humanity as his vessel of embodiment and partner for co-action in the world, has preferred to do this by way of depths, abandoning the impregnable heights in which all the angelic spirits come to birth. That the divine depths, never before searched out, should become the very engine of the human venture is a mystery to the good spirits, a terrible and holy paradox they humbly accept, but an offense to the evil spirits, an incomprehensible injury to their high station. That some pathetic material creature, so below them in being, could carry the depths of God that no angel can fathom is beyond comprehension, an insult to ‘reason’, a demoting of ‘excellence’, a disrespect for ‘worthiness.’ That the route to depths so deep nothing in heaven or earth can fathom them is not by means of the high but through the low is the ultimate offense against the angelic, which is high by nature and origin, because of preferring the human, which is low by nature and origin. The evil spirits are jealous of the human, and seek to spread their jealousy into the human, thereby reinforcing the division of humanity.
Even if some humans who are higher beings ‘go up’ in the end of days, whilst the rest of the humans who are lower beings ‘sink down’, this will be a victory for the evil spirits. Depth will be defeated, as a way, unless it includes all humans, and all humans include each other. If time ends with a division into ‘winners and losers’, then the risk God has taken with humanity will have failed. Angel-ism will have won out over human-ness..
Though the mind can be deep when it looks under the surface, and the soul has psychic depths like the innermost recesses of the ocean, only the heart has the spiritual depths of God, for the heart rests on nothing, ‘behind’ the heart is only God; this is why the heart stands on, or falls into, an Abyss. The Abyss is beneath the ground of all things visible and invisible.
Because ‘the heart is deep’, and ‘Good requires the heart’, and everything else in our being ‘passes through the heart’, so the Satanic war against the heart is the most intense, the most malicious, the most vicious, of all. The heart is not just abstracted and inflated, the heart is not just seduced and deceived, the heart is attacked. Satan means to bring the human venture, risked to the heart, to a juddering halt, by killing off all heart for this world.
Here is a peculiarity not much noticed, or commented upon.
The oldest written text, and thus in reality the first book of the Jewish Bible, is the story of Job who suffers innocently. He is made to undergo terrible torment at the hands of Satan the ‘Accuser’ of humanity. Now, the odd thing is that Satan in his role as Accuser is mentioned again in the Revelations of John, the last book of the Christian Bible. Even the way in which Satan is accusing humanity ‘before the throne of God night and day’ in the story of Job is echoed in the verses of the Apocalypse. A full circle is traced..
Satan is present both at the beginning and the end of the entire Jewish–Christian Biblical canon because as humanity’s “adversary”, or “hinderer” as Martin Buber nuances it, his Accusation of our failings clashes with the Messiah who is the ‘Advocate’ of humanity. In a subtle but real sense, the whole story unfolded in the Bible is really the drama of the adversarial battle between the Spirit of Accusation and the Spirit of Advocacy in regard to the human venture in its passion and pathos, its glory and tragedy, its fire and grief.
There can be no fudged compromise, and no happy reconciliation, between these contrary stances toward the human heart in its freedom to love, or to refuse to love.
–The Satanic Judge and Jury moralistically condemns, and thus in the end damns, the human experiment, totally and finally. This is Satan’s aim= the murder of the human heart for existence. The Moral Law is used as a weapon of tyranny, oppression, inhibition, and ultimately murder.
–The Messianic Advocate and Redeemer does not judge, nor does he condemn; rather, he brings the human risk through its failures and follies, by paradoxically uncovering the best in the worst, through his own willingness to suffer, to carry, to pay for, what the human cannot. This is Christ’s aim= the reforging and vindicating of the human heart for existence. The Sword and the Cross are used as a weapon of freedom and love, truth and depth, dying and resurrection.
The Satanic is final hell for the human heart.
The Messianic is heaven lost to and unexpectedly, even impossibly, refound in hell; heaven resurrected from hell. In this way, hell is faced, wrestled with, ‘suffered’ and accepted, yet overcome in its depth and in its core.
Between a hell that precludes and eliminates heaven, and a heaven that includes and only by that vanquishes hell, there is a gulf.
You cannot relativize such a gulf, it is absolute. Humanity either ends in hell, as the Satanic intends, or humanity falls into hell and paradoxically finds heaven at its greatest and deepest only by passing through hell, and emerging on the other side, through the Messianic. This is the real either/or. Such opposition, such contention, such ‘spiritual war’ is real. This war is serious and unremitting. A Greek Orthodox writer has aptly called it ‘the contest of love.’ The fight between an ultimate love for humanity, inspiring a love of human for human — against an ultimate hatred of humanity, urging dissension and judgement among humans.
The difference between this clash of ‘hell and heaven’ — or more accurately, this battle between an ‘exclusive hellishness’ and a ‘heavenly that extinguishes hellishness by taking it into itself, and suffering it in a new way, carrying it in a new way, paying for it in a new way’ — is ultimate. When this war ends, time ends. The war between the Satanic and the Messianic, the key rationale to time, means that time will not end before that war is over. When this war ends, there will be no more time.
The Satanic and the Messianic fight each other down all of time..
The Accuser wins, or the Advocate wins.
This is the spiritual warfare that cannot be risen above spiritually, nor rationally explained away; it cannot be calmed by worldly panaceas and answers, nor can any premature peace be imposed upon its fundamental existential contention.
This journey and battle plays out, to the end.. It plays out fairly. Hell cannot be supressed by morality, nor defeated by force even if supposedly good.
Nietzsche= ‘Beware that when you fight monsters you don’t turn into a monster.’
Only the Sword and the Cross, Righteousness and Redemption, are capable of fighting the good fight, which is the true fight. When a person becomes a genuine warrior, we can call them true-heart.
The Jewish moralists try to convince Job he must have sinned to be suffering so much. He loses money, house, family, reputation. The story is very familiar. The key note in its depiction of Satan is that he comes and goes in heaven, freely, and challenges God to a wager. The challenge Satan lays down before God is, if human beings are made to suffer innocently, this suffering not being punishment for transgression but just the cost of existence and the cost of the strange way that God’s Love works out in existence, then human beings will turn on God. They will throw away the human heart called to carry and be the ‘stand in’ for God’s heart in the world.
In effect, Satan is saying human beings are only ‘cupboard lovers’ of God; they love God not primally, come what may, but only secondarily, as an effect of all the good God bestows on them. Once God ceases bestowing good on humans, they’ll walk away from him. God takes the bet. He allows Satan to destroy all of Job’s happiness and fulfilment, only preserving his life..
The Satan here, and in other places in the Old Testament, is setting himself up as the ‘Judge and Jury’ on human ‘failures to hit the mark’ [the Greek for ‘sin’]. Thus is Christ, and all the holy persons in the world who preceded him and anticipated him as prefigurements and foretastes, the Advocate for Humanity’, because it must be understood that this Advocacy stands as our only protection against the awesome Power of the Accusation mounted by the Evil One. Satan says we humans are basically no good in our very root– and all our failures, deviations, weaknesses, flaws, twistedness, smallness, evasion, ‘proves’ we are worth nothing at all. The Advocate for the human says that despite all these ‘falls’ from any true ‘standing’, we are redeemable. Indeed, this Advocate says more= there is something deep in all human beings, and this depth can become the crucible and ground for raising up in us that which becomes great. Even our flaws and most terrible instances of repeated falling-down can be part of the deepening that transforms our base matter into gold.
Clearly, God and Satan are locked in battle for the human heart.
If Satan prevails, the heart becomes hell, full stop and end of story. If God prevails, the heart becomes the hell that gives birth to heaven, the hell through which heaven is tested and proved.
This battle between Accuser of the human heart and Advocate for the human heart is spoken of not only in the Jewish Old Testament, in Job and elsewhere, but is carried right into the Christian New Testament, appearing in the weird and terrifying visions of John on the island of Patmos. Thus, consider Revelation, chapter 12, verses 7–12. Here too, right at the end of all time, do we witness again the wager and battle between Accuser against humanity and Advocate for humanity, but now it is reaching a climax.
The text recapitulates the whole story of Lucifer being kicked out of heaven, and falling to earth where he digs in, becoming Satan, the ‘prince of the world’ who wants to end up its king, its ruler, its chief and determining power.. But it adds a prophetic voice in verse 10, saying that redemption has come through Christ, “for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, [he] who accuses them day and night before God.” This passage does not support the traditional teaching that Satan is locked into hell; on the contrary, he is at liberty to go before God, and in that intimate place he accuses all of us humans, all of our brothers and sisters, day and night. And that same Voice of Accusation is in our own heart, accusing each of us, very personally and by name, day and night. The Accusing of humanity never stops.
God fights fair, God lets the bet play out fairly. But the cost to us, in our heart, as well as to God, in his heart, is to have to put up with and hear the Accuser droning on all the time.. This is the real subversion of the heart, the undermining guilt and corrosive doubt, the shame and self-loathing, into which the human heart can fall and fall, without reaching any bottom..
In verse 11, it says how Accusation is defeated= through the sacrifice of Christ, called ‘the blood of the Lamb’; and this Lamb’s blood was shed even before the world began, to ensure the redeeming of the world and all in it would not fail, but would win out ‘in the end’– even against its most cruel antagonist and implacable foe. Satan is the Big Obstacle on the road of redemption. This means redemption is opposed by the chief ‘earthly’ evil spirit, Satan. It will cost.. But God was willing to pay that cost even before the creation was made.
And verse 11 says something else that is awesome= many people who gave — and will give — their blood in sacrifice, exactly as did Christ, will join with him in the redemption he wrought. It is not his work alone– though without him no one else could do it; rather, it is his work in conjunction with all those persons who make the same sacrifice of their blood as he did. Christ and these sacrificial humans together ‘conquer’ and defeat the Satanic Accusation, and together bring about and make real the Christlike Advocacy for the redemption of all the world. The persons who enter Christ’s redemptive action as co-workers for and co-lovers of the world’s ‘possibility’ are those who ‘loved not their lives even unto death.’
These persons give and empty the heart, pouring out all its passion, yet in doing this they gain the knowledge before anyone else that ‘love is stronger than death.’ For the rest of us, this is a heartening reassurance; for those who have lost their own heart to gain redemption for the whole world, this is what they know in dying, and thus even in resting in death, they are awaiting the coming rebirth of all.
Verse 12 sounds a warning in regard to this lengthy Middle-time after the Beginning but well before the End. For it says ‘woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows his time is short!’ This suggests that Satan suspects he will finally lose his wager, lose his battle, with God, so in the limited time he has to cause mischief, he attacks the human situation with unrelenting ferocity, doing all the damage he can muster.
But verse 12 says something else very interesting= the evil spirit who was once a good spirit in heaven, indeed as Lucifer the very brightest spark of heaven, has been expelled from God’s holiest place, and is coming down to the earth and down to the sea in a rage.
This implies that the earth and the sea become the new dwelling place of the disgruntled and now evil spirit. Earth is Satan’s dwelling, because Satanic evil is on the ground, materialistic, this worldly; the sea is Lucifer’s dwelling, because the sea is more mysterious, other worldly, psychic and spiritual. Thus, we might say Satan stalks the mean streets and the day and the workaday; but Lucifer stalks the palace of beauty and the night and the exotic. Satan is the temptation to transgression and the murderously harsh punishment of the ‘law’ brought to bear on that transgression. But Lucifer, as a passage of the Old Testament says, ‘has his throne in the sea’; this means Lucifer takes up residence in the unconscious, the psyche, the twilightzone or borderzone between the spiritual and the psychic, in order to take possession of the soul, and by that, seize the body, corrupting its life and desire. Freud’s Super Ego and Id, in their endless conflict, are merely flip sides of the Satanic; but Jung’s Self, ensconced far down in the unconscious psyche, but seeking realisation in the totality of the personality, is Lucifer. Freud ended in Satanic dogmatism of right and wrong; Jung ended in narcissistic self-love and self-completion.
The Messianic Advocate is the wild card in the pack, the Reversal, that changes everything.. By death, he defeats death; by descent into hell, he undercuts hell.
Once, years ago, the name that came for him= Warrior of the Abyss.
When the Bible tells us, ‘fear not’, it is in the awareness of this friend of the human heart, the hero who rouses it to a final heroism.