Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Figure Of Satan Before Torah

Satan is a symbolic figure that existed even before Torah was made. At that time, Satan was a figure for curiosity and thirst for knowledge. It was a very positive figure connotated with people of science, including among others: Mathematicians and Physicists.

In the Jewish (and later on Christian) mythology, when The Lord of Moses (God) created The Garden of Eden (Heaven), he created many trees. One of those trees was the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Some clergies refer to the tree as an "apple tree", which strips it from its symbolic meaning).

The Lord of Moses has forbidden Man to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Satan (which represents thirst for knowledge) has raised curiosity of Man to know what that tree tastes like, and thus Man has defied the will of The Lord and eaten from the tree.

Thus according to Torah and the Christian mythology, Man's curiosity for knowledge caused him to be expelled from The Garden of Eden, and thats why Satan according to Torah is a negative figure. And Man is now being punished for his curiosity.

Satanism (and Satanists in general) carry the old tradition of thirst for knowledge, and Satan still represents that thirst for knowledge, and the Satanists admire the knowledge being gained.

Some people might wonder why The Lord of Moses has forbidden Man to eat from that tree. It is simple, knowledge (in general - as well as that of good and evil) is considered a Godly attribute (Don't all Abrahamic religions state that God is all-knowing?). The Lord of Moses (and almost all Gods known to mankind) didnt want Man to attain such Godly attribute.

Biblical References:
Old Testament: (PDF)
Genesis 2:16-17 [God forbids Adam to eat from the tree]
Genesis 3:1-5 [Satan convinces Eve to eat from the tree]
Genesis 3:7-11 [What happened when Man has eaten from the tree]


Tala said...

Satan was a figure for curiosity and thirst for knowledge,, i disagree... this is insane. you know, its like giving an excuse to something wrong in an acceptable way.

maybe you mean an adjective but not a figure that resembles a being. it cant be a characteristic of satan. someone who seeks knowledge and is curious. it would be someone who has knowledge who seeks power. the power he will never have.

what era was that? who were the Gods at these times?

i looked Satan in Wikipedia, it said a lot about different civilisations and how they precieved Satan.

Devil's Mind said...

I am not sure which mythology does the figure of Satan come from... I am not sure, but probably Greek or Egyptian. But regardless of that, two questions arise: (1) Why does the bible choose Satan to tempt Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge? I would say, because he represented the instinct to seek knowledge. (2) And since Satanism existed before Abrahamic religions, what did those Satanists relate to? My answer is again: Knowledge.

Remember that the figure of Satan has been distorted over the ages; Like say the word "gay". In the old days, "gayness" was a positive trait. It meant happiness and cheerfulness. Today it connotated with homosexuality.

The point is, the meaning of words does change over time. When Satanists talk about Satan, they refer to the ancient positive figure, not the one portrayed by the Christian church.

Tala said...

Why does the bible choose Satan to tempt Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge?

my story would be,
why wasn't Satan eliminated the minute he became disobedient? why was he kept running free?

because God doesn't destroy what he creates. its what makes God great, but God punishes you simply by leaving you on your own, isolated.

what would an isolated person want to do? he would want some allies. because ONE is always weak, the power is in the littles of all. you cant break that.
for a single person with some capital, a rare kind of capital.. how do i make you a follower, i tempt you with what you cant have!

Actually fool you saying im offering you self control, dignity and knowledge!

its like the ring in the lord of the rings,, it cannot be handled by anyone.. you can't empower anybody. if Satan didnt have enough faith in God and thinks he can manage things better that he can make a good replacement. let him be on his own and live with himself and be as curious as much as he wants.

Tala said...

but my other question would be, couldn'y Eve be self tempted and Satan never existed?

Tala said...

maybe its deep source is arrogance i donno ...

Devil's Mind said...

Satan is a symbol for the human instinct, and one of those human instincts is curiosity (as in the story of the forbidden tree). There are no angels (or whatever) controlling or suggesting thoughts to us. But religions in general like people to believe without questioning. Thats why they hate the human instinct to search for knowledge, and discover things on his own. Thats why they teach us to resist Satan (ie. stop doubting and looking for answers).

So, you are right no-one tempted Eve but herself. Satan is within us!

But don't you find it interesting that the Abrahamic God (according to the Old Testament) forbid Man from the tree of knowledge of good and evil?! Why that tree in particular, not some other tree?! In fact, why forbid Man from any tree at all?!

It is obvious that the Abrahamic God didn't intend Man to be as good as he was. Then in Genesis, it says: "{1:27} So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and
female created he them." - This is obviously hypocritical, unless of course that the Abrahamic God himself cannot handle the idea of good and evil.

As you can see, the Abrahamic God hated Satan because he exposed his hypocrisy.

The Observer said...

Good post.

I am not sure where I stand with this. I like to seek knowledge, but I wouldn't call myself satanist even if Satan has been an icon for seeking knowledge in old days, now it has another impact on people.

But yes, I remember reading the story in the bible. According to the bible there were 2 trees. One for knowing the good and evil, and the other one is for eternity. When Adam and Eve ate from the first tree, God feared that they would eat from the second tree and become immortal like him.

I realize that it is a methodology that didn't really happen, but sometimes I wonder whether it is better for someone not to bother himself of knowing more, because the more you know, the more hectic you feel. That is why I feel that a donkey seem to be more happy than us. We are always worried with thinking. Maybe God just wanted to spare us this.

Same applies to immortality. I wouldnt want to live for eternity. I guess it would be borning after a million year, but I don't want to die as well. It is a delimma. One that I can't figure out yet.

Devil's Mind said...

You raise some interesting points about knowledge and immortality.

When you consider the story of Man eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, you realize that Satan (at least in that specific story) STILL represents curiosity and the will to recognize both good and evil.

The problem is, Christianity now considers this curiosity to be the reason Man fell from grace.

If you ask me, I think that Satan (even in the Genesis story) is still a "good guy". If I were today in Adam's place, I would chose knowledge rather than "blissful ignorance". I think anyone reading the bible with critical eyes would consider God's decision to keep Man in ignorance is a questionable choice. - This surely is a personal view that you might disagree with!

I cannot really say if we were immortal how things would be, but if you consider that we can live as much as we want, and commit suicide whenever we are "bored". In such view I wouldnt mind be given the ability of immortality.

On an additional note -not related to the discussion at hand- I find it interesting that according to Genesis, when Man ate the forbidden fruit, the first thing he did was to see his own "nakedness" and dressed up. This symbolizes that Man should be ashamed of their true (naked) selves. Something that really makes one wonder what kind of messages those texts were intended to suggest!!

Tala said...

by the way, more knowledge is not always good!

i guess what happened after eating from the tree is that man was able to identify differences no more no less, like being aware of objects, like before eating the apple he wouldnt recognise hatred, pain, envy, greed .. but after being aware up to the physical dimension because this is what Satan is, he became human,, materialistic.. not divine

anyways, its all interpretations..
but about being ashmed of being naked,, yeah its instinctly true. watch for animals .. you will know that its true..

ya3ni ,, imagine how animals are, they cant tell differences between their species on a brainy level.. but yet they are somehow pure, everything is instinct.. like a dog doesn't prefer a dog over another.. they are all the same.

The Observer said...

Devil Mind, I guess that I would choose "blissful ignorance" :)

I guess that I have to go back and read Genesis again. I have never thought that it portrays Satan in a good light. Maybe because I was guided to see it from a different perspective.

This discussion has make me wonder whether knowledge is good or bad. I have to give it some thought.

Tala, I didnt get what you said about animals. Are you saying they feel ashamed of being naked or otherwise?

Devil's Mind said...

I think in the last comment I kind of contradicted myself regarding some ideas I posted before.

Blissful ignorance can be a reasonable choice at times; Arguably the word "blissful" makes it favorable (Thats to say, ignorance isn't necessarily blissful, but if it was so then it could be favorable - for example: The choice of Cypher in The Matrix film, to be inserted back into the Matrix, which I find justifiable).

I guess I have to ponder to clear out the confusion (for myself in the first place). Nonetheless, I -personally- wouldnt agree that someone 'decides' for me whether certain knowledge is subjectively good or not.

Anyways, this whole story is fictional, yet I am very glad that discussing it showed some of the contradicting views and interpretations such a story can create. The way each one interprets such symbolic stories is strongly related about their conviction about the world around us.

Tala said...

i mean, for any living being on earth, whether it was human or animal or plants, they are all instinctly aware of their gendre. you see it in the reactions of animals as if they are aware of their organs and you sense that they see it as private as well.
well i think Adam & Eve were more shy rather than ashamed, since its something they learned about themselves recently which is natural..

The Observer said...

Devil's Mind, Tala, thanks for the nice dicussion.

No_Angel said...

lol i seem to be enjoying ur blog alot lately and i came late to this discussion. just a general comment I think there is alot of shrewdness in the post (i dont mean that in a bad way) i might be reading too deep.

first thing regarding the icon of knowledge i think i read that somewhere in a wyccan book somewhere or a neo paganism and i also recall something about it in the davinci quotes but i wouldn't quote any of them in a theological discussion

second regarding knowledge I think the story is intriguing but nothing more nothing less the more you think about a bigger picture the more hazzy it gets
just add the words omnibenevolence, omniscience in the mix and it goes into a nice infinite loop of questions and no answers.

does religion tend to put bounderies on knowledge. Yes thats why it doesn't meet with science until it suites its needs.
does religion seem too ambiguous, yes more times than being precise and clear.
so why are there so many religious people in the world ? its just an absurd world that follows no logic really

hence starting with Satan is good or bad could get you in a bind

dont know i seem to have lost myself here, ohh and for more interesting topic to discuss in this area the old testament is so full of fun stories. theology in general is full of those :)
i'll leave u with this link to some philosophy since as plato put it
"philosophy is the acquisition of knowledge."

Devil's Mind said...

"hence starting with Satan is good or bad could get you in a bind" - I agree, I was just getting there to make a point, but not to be taken very seriously because its the story didnt really happen to start with :)

Thank you for the link provided about the "problem of evil". I know this argument before hand, its not new to me (i even have used it in a few debates before). Its good to know that others are also aware of this well-formed counter-omnibenevolence argument.

Rania said...

I love the idea that the forbidden fruit symbolizes doubt. Doubt is a threat. It's dangerous for those in control because it shakes the ground beneath their high chairs. It makes you question your position and that of others. Why am I here and not elsewhere? Do I want what I have? Can I have what I want?

The more you know, the more you want. To stop seeking, to me, is to cease to be. To know is to never be satisfied- there's no end to it, but it's also what keeps us living.

In Genesis, maybe God was being overprotective in trying to hide from man the knowledge of evil. But ignorance is not guaranteed bliss since it doesn't really banish what you don't know from existence! You're never really "safe" from it.
Knowledge is lots of headache, but you should be the one to decide if you want that. Because along with knowledge comes power. The power to control, to manipulate, to influence, to create... the simple power to choose, to have options to pick from. There's risk, too, of course. But once you make a choice, you have no one to blame about the consequences but yourself.

Devil's Mind said...

Knowledge is lots of headache, but you should be the one to decide if you want that. - Exactly my point!

And you do have a good interpretation of the relation between "knowing", "wanting", and "living". And its amazing to realize that all three exist because of the other two.