The Psychology of The Devil

God and the Devil, are the two fundamental  patterns of human existence. The path of light:   good, truth, beauty, life, heaven, and salvation,  and the path of darkness: evil, deception,   betrayal, negation of life, hell, and damnation. The reality of evil is a source of deep and  

Uncanny fascination. In fact, it seems that  while many of us choose good over evil, some   of us cannot help but to fall into the temptation  of doing evil. Nothing is easier than to denounce   the evil doer. Nothing more difficult than  understanding him. We must be aware of the evil  

Within, so as not to fall prey to its effects.  When we merely identify ourselves with the good   and deny our capacity for evil, we inevitably  project it unto other people. It takes control of   us as an autonomous power, often clearly visible  to others, if not to us. The Devil has a character  

Of an autonomous personality which is greater than  man’s consciousness and greater than his will.  When you point a finger to someone, three fingers  point back to you. The only reality is that   everyone is capable of evil, and the proper moral  position is knowing evil, choosing not to do evil. 

Belief in demons occur historically throughout  the world. They are typically seen as malevolent   supernatural entities. The daimons of the  ancient Greeks, however, are divided into   good and evil categories: agathodaimōn and  kakodaimōn. The former is a guardian angel   or tutelary figure which mediates between men and  gods, while the latter is the adversarial demon. 

The daimon is a higher spirit constantly aware of  its intimate connection with other human beings,   with nature, and with the entire cosmos. When  our inner daimon is in a state of good order,   we experience eudaimonia, a state of  good spirit and fulfilment. However,  

The kakodaimōn brings trouble and distracts  us from our path towards wholeness.  The Devil resembles the fauns and satyrs of Greek  and Roman mythology, the latter of whom were   companions of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine,  intoxication, and festivity. On the other hand,   the Greek god Pan is associated with  the wilderness, goats, shepherds,  

Fertility and music. There is a general theme  of worldly pleasures in these mythical beings.  The word panic derives from Pan, who was  the source of mysterious sounds that caused   contagious fear in herds and panic attacks in  people who frequented lonely places. While in  

Fear we know what threatens us and our perceptions  become sharper to overcome the danger, in anxiety,   we are threatened without knowing what steps to  take to meet the dangers, and instead of becoming   sharper, our perceptions generally become blurred  or vague. Pandemonium (literally, “all demons”),  

Which refers to wild uproar, confusion, and  chaos, was first coined by English poet John   Milton to describe the capital city of Hell in  his epic poem Paradise Lost. These words have   remained in our language and still best define  the destructive confusion that the Devil and his  

Minions can cause in our world and in ourselves. In the Bible, sheep are considered loyal followers   of the Son of God, metaphorically a  shepherd. Goats, on the other hand,   are disobedient and difficult. Goats were used in  rituals of atonement, as the bearer of the sins  

Of the nation, and were let free to supposedly  carry the evil into the wilderness. This is where   the term scapegoating comes from, a psychological  process in which others are singled out and take   unwarranted blame for something. People use others  as a scapegoat to hide their own greatest defects.  

This projection often happens unconsciously  because of repressed shadow traits: envy,   anger, guilt, lust, etc. Swiss psychiatrist and  psychoanalyst Carl Jung makes a profound statement:  “This is the deeper meaning of the fact that  Christ as the redeemer was crucified between  

Two thieves. These thieves in their way were also  redeemers of mankind, they were the scapegoats.”  In “shadow projection”, one is tied to others in  hatred; the lower classes, racial and national   minorities, and other faiths are likely to become  targets of repressed psychic contents. The shadow  

Is the unknown part of ourselves, which becomes  the dark side of our personality when it is   ignored. None of us stand outside humanity’s  black collective shadow. It is a truism of   life that when negative aspects of ourselves are  not recognised as belonging to us on the inside,  

They appear to act against us on the outside. To be accused of something you did not do is   painful, and this lie creates a wound that can  fester for years. When we do something unexpected,   we say, “I don’t know what the devil got  into me!” The Devil is a useful scapegoat. 

By contrast, in “saviour projection”, one  is tied to the other person not in hatred,   but in blind and uncritical adoration. Such a  leader frequently develops a god complex. Leaders   can turn into god-like figures because of their  promises to save the nation from poverty, famine,  

And misery. They are the symbolic carriers  of the unconscious of millions of people.  The Devil goes by many names: Satan, Lucifer, The  Great Beast, Beelzebub, The Prince of Darkness.   He is the adversary, the accuser, the tempter,  the deceiver, and the one who divides from God. 

The Devil is incredibly wicked and evil,  but also intelligent and witty – he is the   father of all tricksters – that  is what makes him so dangerous.  The English word “devil” derives from the  Greek diábolos (“the one who divides”).   Diabolic is the term in contemporary English.  The Greek verb dia-bollein literally means to  

Tear apart. The antonym to the diabolic  is the “symbolic”, which comes from   sym-bollein (to put together or unite). American  existentialist psychologist Rollo May writes:  “The symbolic is that which draws together,  ties, integrates the individual in himself   and with his group; the diabolic, in contrast,  is that which disintegrates and tears apart.” 

When a community forms, it can be a source  of brotherly love, to “love thy neighbour   as thyself”. The Devil, on the other hand,  scatters and produces discord. The scattering   is a sign of the darker power, whether it  be the division of communities, families,  

Or culture. Hence, “divide and conquer”,  or “united we stand, divided we fall”.  Rollo May identifies three characteristics  of the diabolic which are as relevant today   if not more than they were in the past:  love of nudity, violence, and division. 

Whereas before nudity and the aspects of the body  were private and reserved for the sacred act of   sexual union within marriage, now clothing is  intended to call attention to the private areas   of the body. The overall sexualisation of culture  also ties in with this aspect, exacerbated by the  

Ease of access technology provides to unfulfilled  desires of lust. In terms of violence, the 20th   century marked some of the most devastating events  in human history, and who knows what awaits us in   the future. Finally, the Devil loves to divide.  These divisions occur in almost every facet of  

Our lives: race, sex, religion, politics, and  economics. The demonic is an inversion of order.  The growth of the peculiarly  Western view of exploitation,   materialism and man’s ego as being at the centre  of life, is a by-product of the diabolic. Thus,  

Man has become alienated from himself. Perhaps  most relevant to our times, the devil appears   as virtual reality promising a utopia outside of  physical existence, or artificial intelligence   that has knowledge far superior than humanity,  engineered to become humanity’s saviour,   and yet without consciousness has no empathy. This division not only occurs externally, but  

Internally too, as split personality. When Jesus  spoke to the Gerasene demoniac and asked him,   “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is  Legion: for we are many.” A legion meant three   to six thousand soldiers. The possessed man,  having been overwhelmed by unconscious forces,  

No longer has an ego which functions as an  anchor to reality, resulting in schizophrenia.  Making a deal with the devil is a universal  theme which appears many times in works of   popular culture. Sometimes the  deal is done at a crossroads,  

Which symbolically represents liminality, a place  “neither here nor there”, where two realms touch:   the physical and the spiritual. The deal frequently begins with a mortal   desiring some worldly good such as youth, love,  knowledge, wealth, fame or power, but in exchange,  

He must sell his soul to the devil. This is  exemplified in the German legend of Faust,   based on the elusive figure of Johann Georg Faust,  a German alchemist, astrologer and magician. After   the Devil serves him with his magic powers  for a number of set years, the term of the  

Contract ends, and the Devil carries him off to  Hell. In early tales, Dr. Faust is irrevocably   damned because he prefers human knowledge  and material gain over divine or spiritual   knowledge. This is known as the Faustian bargain. In Goethe’s Faust, one of the greatest works of  

German literature, Faust is a scholar who becomes  depressed because of the uselessness of human   knowledge, and turns to magic for discovering  the ultimate truth. However, his attempts fail.   Frustrated, he no longer wants to live. In his  desperate moment, a dog appears, which transforms  

To the Devil’s servant, Mephistopheles. He tells  Faust that he will become his servant on Earth   and show him the pleasures of life. At first Faust  refuses. Then Mephistopheles makes a wager: if he   should ever experience a moment of ultimate bliss  on Earth so that he would beg for that moment to  

Continue, he would instantly die and serve the  Devil in Hell. Faust, who believes he cannot lose   his bet, because he will never be satisfied,  and thus never experience the “great moment”,   accepts the deal and a blood pact is made. Ultimately, Faust experiences a moment of  

Bliss and dies. However, as Mephistopheles  is about to claim his soul, Faust is saved   by God’s grace. Though he was never satisfied  and dies before he could realise his vision of   a kingdom of heaven on earth, Faust learns to find  happiness in progress, not just accomplishment.  

He never gave into lust or idleness, but  was focused on justice, prosperity, love,   and the improvement of the lives of his people.  This constant striving ultimately saves his soul.  Interestingly, this wouldn’t have been  possible without the Devil’s attempts to   have Faust live a wicked and sinful life.  The Devil’s persistence to tempt Faust,  

And Faust’s unwillingness to give in, leads  to his spiritual enlightenment and salvation.  As the Austrian poet Rilke wrote in one of his  letters after withdrawing from psychotherapy:  “If my devils are to leave me, I am afraid  my angels will take flight as well.” 

We cannot have one without the other. We  have both an angel, representing conscience,   and a devil, representing temptation. Our inner devils resemble our shadow, which   retains contact with the lost depths of the soul,  with life and vitality, and provides hints for  

Self-realisation. As the saying goes, a man that  casts no shadow is the devil himself. In the 1814   novella Peter Schlemihl, the protagonist sells  his shadow to the devil for a magical bottomless   purse full of gold, however, he finds out that  without his shadow, he is shunned by others. 

Italian violinist Giuseppe Tartini had a dream  in which the devil appeared to him and asked to   be his servant and teacher. Tartini gave  him his violin to see if he could play,   and the music was so wonderful that he had never  conceived it in his boldest flights of fantasy.  

He felt enraptured, transported, enchanted: his  breath failed him, and he awoke. Immediately,   he grasped his violin in order to retain, in part  at least, the impression of his dream. It was all   in vain. Despite having said that the music he  composed is indeed the best that he ever wrote,  

Which he named the “Devil’s Trill”, it was so  inferior to what he had heard, that if he could   have subsisted on other means, he would have  broken his violin and abandoned music forever.  The devil is an archetype (a collectively  inherited pattern of behaviour),  

And like all archetypes, fascinates us  because of its numinosity. Identifying   ourselves with an archetype can lead to our  psychic destruction, causing ego-inflation,   in which our sense of identity is excessively  amplified, creating delusion and megalomania,   and an overall self-destructive path. Archetypes  are primitive and serve a realm close to the  

Instincts, they are not necessarily concerned with  ethical human values. It is as much the ego’s duty   to bring a sense of moral responsibility to  the archetypal images of the unconscious,   as it is for us to tend to the welfare of our  fellow humans in the outside world. The key is  

Not identification but integration. Jung writes: “The images of the unconscious place a great   responsibility upon a man. Failure to understand  them, or a shirking of ethical responsibility,   deprives him of his wholeness and imposes  a painful fragmentariness on his life.” 

In Christianity, the voice of temptation appears  at the very beginning of time, represented as the   serpent in the Garden of Eden, which was later  equated with the Devil. The serpent’s role was   to tempt Adam and Eve, the first humans, to eat  of the fruit of the tree that God prohibited,  

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil,  because it would open their eyes to reality   and they would become like gods. The most  dangerous lies contain half-truths. The serpent   promises good things, and purposefully avoids  speaking about the evil that will befall them. 

Thus, Eve plucks the fruit, eats it, and gives  some to Adam. They immediately become ashamed   of their nakedness and experience guilt and  anxiety. The sin of pride, to become like God,   appears as the first act of disobedience,  leading to the original sin of mankind,  

And the fall from Paradise. In a similar myth, the Greek god   Prometheus steals the fire from heaven for the  benefit of mankind and is punished by the gods.   Myths are not mere stories or superstition,  but perennial patterns that express the human  

Condition. Psychologically, we can view these  two myths as the development of consciousness   in the human being, which is always followed by  feelings of transgression, guilt and punishment.  We are born integrated, in a state of original  wholeness (paradise), and as we grow up,  

Become self-aware and acquire the ego, we  experience disintegration or the fall from   paradise. We go from living under the comforting  and nourishing circle of the mother, to having   to leave the nest of comfort. If we do not throw  ourselves into the fire of life, we cannot become  

Reintegrated and regain our relationship with our  natural state of being. Since wholeness only has   meaning when we reunite our fragmented self, this  event is also described as felix culpa (fortunate fall or happy fault). Without a fall, we cannot  experience redemption. Disintegration represents  

The necessary condition for all self-realisation. Before delving deeper into the psychology of the   devil, we must first explore the different  meanings behind the names Lucifer, and Satan.  Lucifer (the light-bringer) is the Latin name  for the morning appearances of planet Venus  

(the morning star), visible before sunrise.  The planet also appears as the evening star,   visible after sunset, depending on  the phase of its orbit around the Sun.  In Roman folklore, the morning star was  personified as a male figure bearing a torch.  

Stars were then regarded as living celestial  beings. In myth, the morning star is interpreted   as a heavenly being striving for the highest seat  of heaven only to be cast down to the underworld.   The morning star, one of the brightest objects  in the sky, is filled with pride. After its  

Brief declaration of victory, it is humbled and  vanishes from sight when the all-powerful sun   rises and floods everything in its light. The first reference to the morning star   as an individual occurs in the Book of Isaiah: “How have you fallen from heaven, morning star,  

Son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the  earth, you who once laid low the nations! You   said in your heart, “I will ascend to the  heavens; I will raise my throne above the  

Stars of God”… But you are brought down to the  realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit.”  Though this passage actually refers to the  condemnation of an evil king of Babylon, it has   been interpreted as an allegory of Satan’s fall  from heaven. Considering pride as the major sin,  

“to love oneself more than others and God”,  Lucifer became synonymous with the Devil.  Pride was not only what caused the fall of  man from Paradise, but also what caused the   Devil and his angels to rebel against God and  be thrown out of heaven. This is described in  

The apocalyptic Book of Revelation, where a  past war occurs in heaven between angels led   by the Archangel Michael against the rebel  angels led by “the dragon”, or the Devil:  “Then war broke out in heaven. Michael  and his angels fought against the dragon,  

And the dragon and his angels fought back. But  he was not strong enough, and they lost their   place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled  down—that ancient serpent called the devil,   or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He  was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” 

It wasn’t just a few angels who  were on the side of the Devil,   but a third of them who refused to unite their  free will with the will of God, so they descended   into hell as fallen angels. The sorrows of  the Prince of Darkness are as immeasurable as  

Eternity itself. Shut out of heaven, to hear  all through the unending aeons the far-off   voices of angels whom once he knew and loved,  and to be a wanderer among deserts of darkness.  Confusion arises when Jesus is also  described as the morning star in the  

Book of Revelation. However, he is described  as the bright morning star. In other words,   the Devil’s light is a poor imitation  of the real light of the world,   and while both were called morning star, only  one of them represents authentic light. It is  

No coincidence that the Devil disguises himself  as an angel of light, for he is a deceiver.  The Devil is also given the name “Satan”, which  means adversary or accuser. He is the one who   sets a stone in your path where you least  want it, and blames you for your failure. 

In the Book of Job, God’s most faithful servant,  Job, is a righteous man who honours God,   and has been blessed with health, family,  and wealth. In Heaven, God asks Satan about   his opinion of Job’s piety. Satan says that his  servant is only faithful to him because he has  

Been blessed with prosperity, but if he would  have everything valuable taken away from him,   he would surely suffer and curse God. Thus, Satan  is given permission by God to test Job’s faith.  “Satan is the destructive  doubt within God’s personality;  

Yet it has a mysterious existential necessity for  God and man and their relation to each other.”  Messengers come to tell Job that his animals,  servants and children have been killed.   Devastated, Job falls down to the ground and  cries, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb,  

And naked shall I return there; the  Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;   blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job remains strong in his faith. This time,   Satan afflicts Job’s whole body with boils. As he  lies down in excruciating pain, his wife tells him  

To “curse God, and die.” But Job remains strong  in his faith. Three of his friends come to him,   weep, and sit down with him for seven days, and  none spoke a word, for Job’s grief was very great. 

After this, Job opens his mouth and curses the day  he was born, and longs for the death that does not   come. His friends cannot comprehend how a just  God would punish an innocent and pious man. They   think that his suffering must be well-deserved  and accuse him of committing sin. Knowing his  

Conscience was clear, Job grew weary of their  accusations and calls them “miserable comforters”.  Job moves from his pious attitude to berating God  for his disproportionate and unjustified wrath.   The wicked have power over the meek, and God  does nothing to punish them. God answers Job’s  

Cry and appears in a whirlwind. He describes  the complexity of the world he has created.   Carrying out justice in a world full of evil  is complicated, and not black or white like Job   and the friends seem to think. Just as there is  order in the world, there is also chaos as seen  

In the two creatures of Behemoth and Leviathan  which God points to. We live in a world that is   not designed to prevent suffering. Job trusts  God’s wisdom despite his suffering. Finally,   God honours Job’s struggle and honesty and  his family and fortune is restored. He becomes  

The archetypal faithful servant of God. The Book of Job, in comparison with the   story of Paradise, represents a significant  advance in God’s self-consciousness. Adam   and Eve are expelled from God’s presence as  if their knowledge of good and evil were an  

Offense against the creator. In Job one begins to  realise that this knowledge is fruitful when free   will is combined with the infinite wisdom of  God’s divine will. It is also interesting that   in Job Satan acts in agreement with God, not  behind his back like the serpent in Paradise. 

Out of this astonishing self-reflection  induced in God by Job’s stubborn righteousness,   God develops empathy and love, and out of it a new  relationship between God and humankind is born.   God is pushed into a process of transformation  that leads to His incarnation as Jesus Christ. 

The crucifixion and death of Christ is the  ultimate tragic story, where the worst of   all punishments is inflicted upon the one who  least deserved it. The answer to Job is given in   the supreme moment of Christ’s despairing cry from  the Cross, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken  

Me?” God experiences what it means to be a mortal  man and what he made his faithful servant Job   suffer. When Jesus died on the cross, the devil  celebrated his victory. But, in reality, it was   the moment of his defeat. For he did not foresee  the resurrection of Christ three days later. 

The period between the crucifixion and  the resurrection of Christ is known as   the Harrowing of Hell, where Christ descended into  the underworld and brought salvation to the souls   held captive there. Dante’s Divine Comedy,  which portrays a midlife crisis in which we  

Must descend to hell, is timed to parallel  Jesus’ harrowing expedition. Jung writes:  “Therefore, after his death Christ had to journey  to Hell, otherwise the ascent to Heaven would have   become impossible for him. Christ first had to  become his Antichrist, his underworldly brother.” 

Everyone’s story on the path to self-knowledge  and spiritual awakening starts by descending   into Hell. The formula of a journey to the dark  domain of death in search of wisdom is universal.  Just as an open wound that is left  unattended slowly infects the whole body,  

So too is sin like an open wound in the  spirit, through which the demonic can get   in and influence your mind. When someone tells  God to get out of his or her life, it allows for   the perfect opportunity to invite the devil, who  will try to console the person and present himself  

As one’s ally. Satanism is evil disguised  as good. The demonic is hidden in secret.  God tells us to be careful of going down the  path of destruction, and stands in front of   us blocking the way. It seems that he is  not on our side, because we are not free,  

And cannot do what we want to do. The Devil,  on the other hand, appears to be on our side,   and whispers to our ear: “just do what makes you  happy, life is too short”, “times have changed,  

We live in a new world with new rules”, “everyone  else is doing it, why shouldn’t you?”, “you obey   no one, and you are the God of yourself.” This  is how the Devil talks, and when we experience   ego-inflation, he smiles because it is only  a matter of time till we join his kingdom of  

Darkness. Pride comes before a fall. Satan thinks  he is equal to God. Reality is revolved around   him and it is his visions that matter above  all, leading him to rebel against everyone who   disagrees. Pride is the origin of all evil. Before we sin, God seems to be the accuser,  

And the Devil our defender. However, after we sin,  the roles are reversed, God becomes the defender,   and the Devil the accuser. God is not a tyrant who says,   “Do this or you’ll be punished”, but rather,  “Do this because it will do you good.” 

The diabolic can be invited indirectly as  a result of a person’s actions; actions   that lead to an increased susceptibility  to demonic influence. This is especially   terrifying when one is unconscious of it. More  rarely, people engage in demonic subjection,   voluntarily submitting to the Devil, as is  typical of cults or deals with the devil.  

Every pattern of sin is accepted and taken in,  leading to contempt of others and the world.  While there are cases of extraordinary activities  of the demonic which can happen in very direct and   frightening ways, such as demonic infestation (the  presence of evil in a location, animal or object),  

Demon vexation (physical attacks by a demon), and  demon possession (when the demon takes complete   control of a person’s body), we’ll be focusing  on the psychological activities of the demonic.   The line between demonic behaviour and mental  health issues is blurry, and one has nothing  

To lose by visiting both a psychologist  and priest, for they are complementary to   healing our soul and strengthening our spirit. Temptation is the ordinary activity of the   devil. It is a real thing for us in each and every  day. The gate that leads to destruction is broad  

And many enter through it. But the gateway to  peace is narrow, and none may enter save through   affliction of the soul. The devil looks for cracks  in one’s “spiritual armour” to try to enter in,   the strength of which depends on what Aristotle  called the “golden mean”, the point between a  

Deficiency and an excess of a trait, such as  confidence between self-deprecation and vanity.  Temptation begins with deception, buying into  the lies of the devil, who promises good,   only to deliver evil. The goal of this is to  create division or inner conflict in ourselves,  

Paralysing our capacity to choose and causing  us to spiral downward. In despair, we look   for a substitute in life and numb ourselves  with pleasure or diversion, which can lead to   addiction. Hell is that state of mind which has  abandoned itself so completely to a given sin  

That it cannot act independently of that sin. By way of illustration, note the difference   between the person who drinks, who even chooses  to get drunk occasionally, and the alcoholic   who has lost the power to choose, who cannot  decide not to drink and who cannot decide to do  

Anything but drink. What starts out as something  “small” that one thought one had control of,   becomes a problem that takes complete control of  one’s life. When one is trapped in this state, it   leads to obsessive behaviour, irrational thoughts,  rumination, and self-blame. One falls into the  

Vicious cycle of vice. What was believed to be  the source of one’s freedom, becomes one’s prison.  The Devil tells us that the party is over, and now  we must suffer the consequences of our actions,   and he fills us with despair. Frequently this  creates oppression, a negative influence on  

Loved ones and friends, leading to further  alienation, and discouragement. When one loses   everything that was valuable in one’s life,  it leads to a loss of any sense of meaning,   direction, or purpose in life. This is  unbearable and people lose all desire to live. 

“I don’t exist, the thoughts you are having is  just you”, so speaks the Devil. Sometimes all we   need is a helping hand that pulls us out of the  quicksand. The Devil tempts us in what he thinks  

Are areas of weakness in our lives, and while he  cannot read our thoughts like an all-powerful God,   he is an excellent observer. Therefore,  if you are going to outwit the devil,   it’s terribly important that you don’t give  him any advance notice. In fairy tales,  

It is the fool that often outwits the devil,  usually unintentionally, because he possesses   a purity of heart that cannot be corrupted. When the Devil identifies our weaknesses,   we can also use this to our advantage,  for we will know what to focus on. 

For Jung, one way the devil can be  represented is as a neurosis. He writes:  “[The Devil] describes the grotesque and sinister  side of the unconscious; for we have never really   come to grips with it and consequently it  has remained in its original savage state.  

Probably no one today would still be rash enough  to assert that the European is a lamblike creature   and not possessed by a devil. The frightful  records of our age are plain for all to see,   and they surpass in hideousness everything that  any previous age, with its feeble instruments,  

Could have hoped to accomplish.” The Devil is the diabolical aspect of   every psychic function that has broken loose from  the hierarchy of the total psyche and now enjoys   independence and absolute power. As such, our  inner devils can be equated with the autonomous  

Shadow. This rejection of the shadow occurs in  childhood, where our animal instincts are usually   punished by social institutions and conventional  standards of behaviour (the superego). As we grow   up, we suppress much of what we do or think about  since it is deemed unacceptable. This leads to  

Repression: our unacceptable traits return to  the unconscious layer of personality, where it   remains as the shadow. When it occasionally  breaks through the barrier of repression,   the shadow manifests itself in pathological ways. By denying our dark side, we neglect half of our  

Existence as human beings. In mythology,  the shadow appears personified in a figure   of the same sex, as our “dark brother” who  accompanies and clings to his “light” counterpart:   Cain and Abel, Set and Osiris, Mephisto  and Faust, and Mr. Hyde and Dr. Jekyll. 

Jungian analyst Erich Neumann writes: “By accepting evil, modern man accepts the   world and himself in the dangerous double nature  which belongs to them both. This self-affirmation   is to be understood in the deepest sense  as an affirmation of our human totality,  

Which embraces the unconscious as well as the  conscious mind and whose centre is not the ego   (which is only the centre of consciousness),  nor yet the so-called super-ego, but the Self.”  In Tarot, The Devil is one of the twenty-two  Major Arcana cards, and has a different symbolism  

Compared to the Christian’s view of the Devil as  pure evil. The imagery is derived in part from   Eliphas Levi’s famous illustration of Baphomet,  supposedly worshipped by the Knights Templar.   It is a hermaphroditic figure who also has  goat horns, bat wings, and the talons of a  

Predatory bird. Two fingers on the right hand  point up and two on the left-hand point down,   symbolising the alchemical maxim, “as above, so  below.” Its arms bear the Latin words solve and   coagula, to separate and to reunite. Jung writes: “[S]uch an attempt as the union of opposites  

Appears to the Christian mentality as something  devilish, something evil which is not allowed,   something belonging to black magic.” In Jungian psychology, the role that the   devil plays points to the one-sided Western image  of God. In the West, the paradoxical behaviour and  

Moral ambivalence of the gods of classical  antiquity were not tolerated. In classical   Judaism, Yahweh possesses both light and darkness.  Good and evil are not separated from one another   but are interrelated aspects of his numinosity. “I form the light, and create darkness:  

I make peace, and create evil:  I the Lord do all these things.”  In later times, the morally ambiguous Yahweh  became a wholly good God, with no particle of   evil in his nature. Christianity amputated God’s  left hand, relegating Satan to the nether regions,   thus leaving a wholly beneficent  God to reign supreme in heaven. 

Everything changes with Christ’s incarnation,  God ceases to be ambiguous, and now becomes   manifest in the form of man who is conscious  and therefore has to discriminate between good   and evil. Christ wanted to change Yahweh into a  moral God of goodness, but in so doing he tore  

Apart the opposites that were united in him.  Thus, the first thing Christ did was to sever   himself from his shadow and call it “devil”. The  Devil became psychologically inevitable in that   he is the personification of Christ’s split-off  dark side. Unlike Christ, the Devil was created,  

Not begotten. However, though Christ is the  embodiment of the good, there still remain traces   of his original moral ambivalence, as he states,  “I bring not peace but the sword.” In fact,   the Book of Revelation may have been written to  provide a contrast to Christ’s gospel of love. 

The devil can be regarded as God’s  dissatisfaction with himself, a projection   of his own doubt acting as a constant reminder  of the flaw in creation, and thus a constant   urge towards conscious realisation and thereby  towards greater wholeness. We must be careful,  

However, to not anthropomorphise God  as a being, because he is being itself.  The Devil is a necessary figure in life, not  only because he allows us to distinguish good   from evil, heaven from hell, virtue from sin, but  also to make human action and freedom possible.  

Had God not allowed the Devil the freedom to  rebel, there would be no ego-consciousness,   no civilisation, and no opportunity to transcend  the ego through self-realisation. Humans would   have been little more than machines and  everything would have remained One forever. 

The reason for the absence of the shadow is the  doctrine of the summum bonum (the highest good);   for the Christian, neither God nor Christ could  be a paradox, both had to have a single meaning.   God creates man in his own image; thus, man  must be fundamentally good, but through his  

Free will can choose otherwise. This one-sided  perfection, however, demands a psychic complement   to restore the balance, or else man will be  hopelessly split into two irreconcilable halves.  The concept of privatio boni (the absence of good)  states that evil is simply the absence or lack of  

Good, and therefore everything that exists is  good. This idea tormented Jung and became the   focus of much of his correspondence with various  Christian clergymen, notably with Father Victor   White. For Jung, good and evil are locked in an  eternal duel for supremacy. Thus, if one believes  

In one God, He must contain the two within  Himself. White could not accept this and stated:   “God is light; in Him there is no darkness.” This conflict led Jung to write Answer to Job,   which he referred to as “pure poison”, because  of its controversial nature. In this work,  

He explores the shadow or dark side of God,  Satan, who is to become the Antichrist,   as a necessary compensation to the light side  of God embodied in Christ. This is the deus   absconditus, the hidden god that lies in  the darkness of our Western unconscious. 

The intermediary of Christ and The Antichrist  as motivating forces is the Holy Spirit,   a process whose psychological equivalent is the  individuation of mankind, the journey towards   becoming the Self, which constitutes our true  nature and the wholeness of our personality. 

The dark side is the missing fourth element  of the Trinity (God the Father, God the Son,   and God the Holy Spirit). The Trinitarian  symbolism lacks the feminine, the material,   and hence the dark substance of the flesh and the  devil. Jung believed that the trinity should be  

Supplanted by a quaternity,  a common symbol for the Self.  In Revelation, the Devil is locked into a hole  without a bottom for a thousand years. After this   he must be free for a while. As it is written: “When the thousand years are finished, Satan  

Will be free to leave his prison. He will go out  and fool the nations who are over all the world.”  We can find a parallel in Norse mythology,  with the trickster God Loki, eventually   punished and bound by the gods. A serpent  hangs above Loki, and drips venom onto him,  

Which makes him writhe in agony, making the whole  world shake and bringing about the earthquakes   that preceded Ragnarök, the end of the world  and the destruction of the gods. But why must   the figure of the Devil be freed? Jung writes: “The coming of the Antichrist is not just a  

Prophetic prediction – it is an invariable  psychological law whose existence… brought   him [John, author of the Book of Revelation] a  sure knowledge of the impending enantiodromia.”  If there is any one-sidedness to a pair, a  conversion, or shift over to the other is  

Likely. This is the fundamental psychological law  of enantiodromia (a running towards the opposite),   which Jung discovered from Heraclitus. Life itself is a contest of opposites:   birth and death, health and sickness, good  and evil. Soo too is our conscious attitude   balanced by its unconscious opposite, in  an attempt to restore psychic wholeness.  

When the conscious mind has severed its  unity with the unconscious, enantiodromia   will take place. Polarity and opposition are  universal laws, and no growth and development   of human personality is possible without  consideration of them. As Willam Blake writes:  “Without contraries is no progression.  Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy,  

Love and hate, are necessary to human  experience. From these contraries   spring what the religious call Good and Evil.” One can master this polarity only be freeing   oneself from them by contemplating both, and  so reaching a middle position. To be at the  

Border between yin and yang. Only there is one  no longer at the mercy of the opposites. And for   this one must be aware of the duality of one’s  nature. Whatever leads to wholeness is good;   whatever leads to splitting is evil.  Integration is good, disintegration is evil. 

Sometimes the holiest of people, commit  the most heinous of acts – because they   split themselves from necessary evil. The  persecution of unbelievers and heretics,   the burning on the stake, tortures,  crusades – are all partly the result   of the one-sided conscious attitude of purity  and goodness, which causes shadow projection. 

Jung writes of the compensatory role of the  psyche in John, the author of Revelation,   who strove to lead a pure, holy, and saintly life: “The “revelation” was experienced by an early   Christian who, as a leading light of the  community, presumably had to live an exemplary  

Life and demonstrate to his flock the Christian  virtues of true faith, humility, patience,   devotion, selfless love, and denial of all worldly  desires. In the long run this can become too much,   even for the most religious… I have seen many  compensating dreams of believing Christians…  

But I have seen nothing that remotely resembles  the brutal impact with which the opposites collide   in John’s visions, except in the case of severe  psychosis. However, John gives us no grounds for   such a diagnosis… Like Job, he saw the fierce  and terrible side of Yahweh. For this reason,  

He felt his gospel of love to be one-sided, and he  supplemented it with his gospel of fear… God has a   terrible double aspect: a sea of grace is met by  a seething lake of fire… That is the “eternal”,   as distinct from the temporal, gospel:  one can love God, but one must fear him.” 

We must beware of thinking of good and evil  as absolute opposites. They are halves of a   paradoxical whole. When we realise this, we  can turn inner conflict into inner peace.   We experience reality as it is, and allow  ourselves to be united with our whole Self. 

However, the complete realisation of our potential  is an unattainable ideal and is rarely if ever   reached by anyone, except by a Christ or a Buddha,  which are embodiments of the Self. But then,   ideals are only signposts, never the goal. There  is no psychic wholeness without imperfection. Only  

Gods make something perfect. It is much  better to know that one is not perfect,   then one can feel truly at home. Nevertheless, the  image of perfection is so ingrained in our culture   that we feel guilty when we can’t achieve it. By definition, we are all sinners. Like Faust,  

We must learn to find happiness in progress, and  learn to live with sin (not in sin), doing our   best to live a virtuous life. As we have seen,  the Devil plays a crucial role in this. He is   not just an abstract figure, but represents  a real and serious psychological phenomenon,  

Whose temptations can lead to meaninglessness  or can act as that fearful power which drives   us towards individuation. Without Satan  as the God-opposing will, there would   have been no creation and no work of salvation. We must, however, not give the Devil more credit  

Than he is due. The greatest trick the Devil ever  pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.   The second greatest trick the Devil ever pulled  was convincing the world he is the good guy.

#Psychology #Devil