Faust. Where are you damn’d?Meph. In hell.Faust. How comes it then that thou art out of hell?Meph. Why this is hell, nor am I out of it.
-- Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
In an insightful new post, William Wildblood asks, "Are we in hell now?" You will want to read the whole thing, but here are a few highlights, interspersed with my own thoughts.
It would be my contention that just as there is a divine plan for mankind so there is also a demonic plan. . . . Their aim is to absorb the energy from human souls for their own benefit and use. They have cut themselves off from the source of life and need life energy to maintain their existence. So they seek to corrupt souls.
I found this an interesting take on demonic motivation, which has always been hard for me to understand. Pure spite just doesn't seem like enough of a reason for the devil to keep working tirelessly, millennium after millennium, for something that brings no benefit to him personally. It seems plausible that the devils must in some way need human damnation, that they must be soul-predators, vampires.
William suggests that, just as plants get their life energy from the Sun, so non-demonic beings get their life from God. The demons, who have cut themselves off from God, would be analogous to animals, which, because they cannot photosynthesize for themselves, must prey directly or indirectly on those who can. Not for nothing is the Satanic system called the beast. The devils "seek to corrupt souls" in order to cut them off from God -- which either "kills" them, making them suitable food for the devils, or forces them to become soul-predators themselves. I'm not entirely sure this is true, but if it is, it has some interesting ramifications -- including that there are likely two different sorts of damnation: that of the cannibalized, and that of the cannibals.
What is their aim? It is still the corruption of souls as it always has been but now there is something else. I believe, and I believe this because of what I can observe around me, because of the pattern of recent history and because of intuition, that they are seeking to make hell on Earth. That is to say, they are seeking to externalise hell onto the physical plane, to extend their domain, as it were.
The whole demon-possession subplot in the Synoptic Gospels -- especially the story of the devils who, being cast out of a man, begged to be allowed to possess a herd of swine -- strongly suggests a strong desire among the devils to extend their domain into the physical. Something similar is hinted at in the Genesis 6 story of the fallen angels who descended to earth and took human wives. The motivation behind this is not obvious, but perhaps we should make more of an effort to understand it.
If hell can be defined as separation from God then it should be obvious that we are in hell now.
And if the speculation above is true, it means that those who are sufficiently separated from God to have entered a hell state here on earth have two possible fates: to "die" spiritually or to turn to soul-cannibalism. And isn't that what we see all around us -- the zombie masses and the vampire elite?
You don't have to go out and do anything publicly but through your thoughts and prayers you can serve God and help souls struggling for truth in the spiritual quagmire of the contemporary world. This world may be turning into hell but heaven awaits those who simply wake up to that fact.
"This is hell," said Mephisto to Faust, "nor am I out of it" -- because hell is in the last analysis not a geographical location but a state of the soul, and wherever you go, there you are. One likes to imagine Jesus responding to a similar question -- "How comes it then that thou art out of heaven?" -- with, "Why this is heaven, nor am I out of it." Wherever you go, there you are.
To an extent unprecedented in history, we walk through the valley of the shadow of death -- but for those who turn to God, it is possible at the same time to lie down in green pastures and walk beside the still waters, to sit at table in the presence of our enemies.
"Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? . . . Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live" (Isa. 55:1-3).