Where the devil?

July 26, 2007

An hour from now I’ll be attending a lecture/presentation on the whole discussion surrounding the devil at our last synod. Can’t say I’m particularly looking forward to it. One of the jokes running around, from before the synod, between the students was that the Dutch Reformed Church was going to say yes to the devil, and no to the gays:-), well, that’s not exactly what happened, but I still consider it a funny play of words.

I actually got around to reading the whole report of the commission studying the devil, or at least, studying the so-called “bediening van bevryding”, I’m not sure what the English would be, but it’s the ministry of freeing people from the power of the devil and demons and stuff like that. And interesting enough I just got to the part in The story we find ourselves in where there is nearly an argument between Carol and Kerry and Neo, about this exact same thing: Do Satan exist, or is it some internalized evil in people.

What I find troubling is the fact that people are actually having this argument with such a huge amount of certainty. And I’m not simply reffering to the synod, but just generally to conversation I’ve heard. As if it’s at all possible to know how things work on this “other” level. I’m not yet sure what to call it. Metaphysical? Spiritual? Maybe it’s just on this broadest of broadest level, where everything comes into play. On a level deeper than any Quantym physics we have tried to figure out thus far. Where time and space is no longer the limiting factors. I guess that’s how I try to make sense of this world.

Firstly, is it at all possible to put what is happening on the deepest level of existence, of maybe even on a level totally different from existence, into human language. And this goes both ways. Both to those claiming to know the inner workings of the army of demons supposedly running havock on earth, knowing their strategy etc. I mean really, how could we still believe that even on this totally different level of existence, there is a guy with a pointed tail and 7 horns, running around with a pitch-fork loading a huge bon-fire with tarred wooden poles. How can this be more than simply taking what we know, and projecting it into a picture that we will understand, using images from this simple visible world of ours.

On the other hand, how would we ever with absolute certainty know that their really is nothing more than that which we can see with our eyes, or meet with our intruments? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never experienced these demons and stuff either, and I’m not sure if I really fall for this heavy spiritual warfare thing going on. Maybe one day I’ll get into my room, and their will be this funny spirit-thing throwing around my books but not touching my Bible, I guess then I’ll say I’m sorry, but for now, I have to say I have no experience of evil working in this way. But on the other hand, I’m not sure I’m willing to go around telling people that if they experience things in this way they have some kind of pshycological malfunction, and that I am the only normal guy around.

I guess what really helped me was when someone once explained to me that we Westerners are about the only people in the world that do not experience some form of alternate realiry (whether good, bad, neutral, or whatever). So maybe the report is correct in saying that only those that believe in this sort of stuff experience it, but then again, most probably it would be better if we don’t make such ontological claims based on our experiences, or lack thereof.

Well, Now I have to go, to attend that presentation thing. I guess I still have a lot to figure out about all this, but I’m not really bothered by it at the moment, so I might just let it be.


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