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  6.1 E VIL , THE  D EVIL   AND   THE  N EGATIVE  P OWER N O   ONE   CAN   DENY   THE   EXISTENCE  of good and bad in this world. To agreater or lesser extent, it confronts everyone at every step – both withinoneself as well as in the outside world. The srcin of this interplay, how-ever, is not so easy to determine. Most religions assert that God is thesupreme Creator and controller of all things. Many teach that He is alsoa God of love and compassion. Consequently, there is a fundamentaldichotomy in all attempts to explain God and the world in logically sat-isfying terms. For how can a loving, compassionate and merciful God,who appears to demand such a high standard of behaviour from Hiscreated souls, have created such things as evil and suffering?Religion, theology, mysticism and philosophy have put forwardmany different myths, explanations, theories, opinions and dogmas toaccount for this paradox. But since, necessarily, these accounts haveall been expressed in intellectual and conceptual terms, there is noexternal visible proof of any of them, and therefore none of them areentirely satisfying.Most religions speak in terms of a devil, in one form or another, butthe way in which this power is understood varies between and withinthe many religious and spiritual traditions. Common elements arepresent between them, however, and perhaps the broadest-based scenariohas been put forward by a number of mystics, gnostics and mysticalschools throughout the ages. This school of thought sees the good andbad of this world as two sides of the same coin. Some mystics have alsoadded that this world, and a vast area of the heavenly realms as well,are under the administration of an archon  (ruler) or ‘super-devil’ whohas a divinely appointed role to keep all souls within his domain throughthe interplay of good and bad, happiness and suffering, bliss and misery.But since the truth or otherwise of this scenario can only be determinedby mystical experience of the whole affair, for the majority of people,this too remains only another possibility.In popular thought, the devil is the supreme spirit of evil, the rivalor enemy of God and, therefore, in ordinary usage, the concept has anexclusively negative connotation. The ‘super-devil’, on the other hand,is a servant of God, even an exalted entity, and compared to man, is“full of light, goodness, wisdom and power”. 1  Everything he does is bydivine command, and ultimately has a divine and loving purpose; for it Sample page from 'A Treasury of Mystic Terms'(c) 2003 Science of the Soul Research Centre. All rights reserved.    4 6.1 E VIL , THE  D EVIL   AND   THE  N EGATIVE  P OWER is the discomfort of separation from God which finally drives the soulto seek union with Him. Intellectually, this is somehow a more satisfy-ing idea than a devil who – to one extent or another – is forever outsidethe dominion of the Divine, with powers of his own, and acting as Hiseternal enemy.The negative aspect of this power is that he is the srcin of the mind,the body and the senses and through these agents, acting in the realm of duality, he keeps souls enmeshed in the lower realms of creation – thephysical, astral and causal worlds. The law by which this ‘super-devil’keeps souls in these lower realms is one of pure justice, of pure causeand effect. The souls themselves are thus responsible for their own suf-fering. Understood in this manner, this devil is clearly of a differentcharacter from the all-evil being of traditional religious conception.Terms for this ‘super-devil’, for the devil as he is commonly under-stood, and also for lesser devils and demons are the subject of thissection. Since terms such as Satan, Shayān,   Kāl,  the Demiurge and soon have a spread of meaning in their normal religious settings, it hasbeen necessary to choose a neutral English term specifically for the‘super-devil’. Though not ideal, largely because it was first used onlyrecently, during the early twentieth century, and is also unfamiliar tothe majority of people, the term chosen for this purpose is the ‘negativepower’. This term does have the advantage of being largely free fromthe connotations of other possible contenders.K EY   ENTRIES : devil , devils , Kāl , negative power , Satan . 1.Julian Johnson, The Path of the Masters,   POM   p.260. Sample page from 'A Treasury of Mystic Terms'(c) 2003 Science of the Soul Research Centre. All rights reserved.       201 Those “that are in the graves” are the people of this world. But those whohear the Voice of the Son of God “shall come forth” from their graves. Whenthey hear the divine Music or the mystic Voice within, they will be able toleave their bodies. This is the only resurrection that mystics teach.Likewise, in the  Books of the Saviour,  Matthew interprets a line from oneof the Odes of Solomon  to mean: You have freed them from the graves,and have removed them from the midst of the corpses.  Pistis Sophia 158:71; cf. PS pp.316–17, PSGG p.131 The soul who is so raised is “removed” from the company of “corpses”, thespiritually dead people in the graveyard of the world.See also: death , resurrection  ( < 2), tomb . habā ’ , al-  (A/P)  Lit.  the dust; an Arabic term used for matter, the substance of the physical universe. The term predates its synonym al-hayūl á  ,  derivedfrom the Greek hylē.  As terms for matter, and even for the body, ‘dust’,‘clay’ and ‘earth’ have been commonly used by mystics in a variety of languages.  Al-habā ’      is also used for primordial ‘matter’, the subtle essenceof matter out of which the physical universe is created.See also: al-hayūl á . harlots  See publicans and harlots . hayūl á , al-  (A/P)  Lit.  matter, substance; an Arabic term derived from the Greek  hylē,  which srcinally meant ‘wood’, and came to be the common mysticalterm for matter:  Hayūl á  comes from a Greek word meaning srcin and matter. Inphilosophy, it denotes that essence in the body which accepts what-ever happens to the body in the form of attachment or detachment. Itis where the various categories of physical form appear.  Jurjānī, Kitāb al-Ta ‘     rīfāt, in FLTM9 p.336  With scholars, it is that which accepts forms in an absolute way, with-out being designated to a specific form; it is also called matter. Tahānawī, Kashshāf Iilāāt al-Funūn, in FLTM9 p.336  hayūl á Sample page from 'A Treasury of Mystic Terms'(c) 2003 Science of the Soul Research Centre. All rights reserved.    202 6.2 T HE  V EIL   OF   THE  P HYSICAL  Habā ’      ,  dust, was also used as a generic term for the stuff out of which thematerial universe is made.  Hayūl á  was adopted into Arabic as philosophyand metaphysics developed as a branch of Islamic learning.See also: al-habā ’ , hylē . ijāb, al-  (A/P)  Lit.  the veil, the curtain, the partition; the traditional veil wornby Muslim women; also used as the plural form; mystically, anything thathides the inner reality; that which makes the Unseen (al-Ghayb)  to be un-seen; any obstruction in the spiritual path; anything which obscures mysticalperception; whatever causes the heart to turn away from contemplation andknowledge of God.In one of the adīth  (traditional sayings) of Muammad,  Allāh  is said tohide Himself behind a veil of lesser light or fire, since the sight of Him wouldbring the creation to an end: Abū Mūs á , may  Allāh  be pleased with him, reported:  Allāh’ s Mes-senger (may peace be upon him) was standing among us and he toldus five things. He said: “Verily, the Exalted and Mighty  Allāh  doesnot sleep, and it does not befit Him to sleep. He lowers the scale andlifts it. The deeds in the night are taken up to Him before the deeds of the day, and the deeds of the day before the deeds of the night. Hisveil (ijāb)  is the light (nūr). …  If He withdraws it (the veil), thesplendour of His countenance would consume His creation so far asHis sight reaches.”  adīth aī Muslim, HIC 103 (263), SM1 79:179 Sufis have been common users of the metaphor. In Kashf al-Majūb(Unveiling the Veiled),  Hujwīrī writes of eleven veils on the path to God,saying that the nafs,  the sensual part of man’s being, is the centre of “veiling (ijāb) ”. 1  Likewise, Rūmī points to “self-interest” as the srcin of a “hundredveils”: When self-interest appears, virtue becomes hidden:a hundred veils (ijāb)  rise from the heart to the eye.  Rūmī, Maśnavī I:334, MJR2 p.21  ijāb  also appears in a number of expressions such as ijāb-i   almānī   (veilof obscurity or darkness), hijāb-i raynī   (veil of covering), ijāb-i abr   (veilof cloud), ijāb-i ghaynī   (veil of clouding), ijāb al- ‘     izzah  (purblindness,perplexity). As Rūmī points out, “selflessness is cloudlessness”; for as longas an individual lives within the limitations of the self, he remains under Sample page from 'A Treasury of Mystic Terms'(c) 2003 Science of the Soul Research Centre. All rights reserved.

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Jul 23, 2017


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