Now that the holidays are behind us and we’re staring down a long cold road, I thought I’d begin making some suggestions for reading on long wintry nights.
Initial installment: some books dealing with the existence of Evil in the world.
I, Lucifer: Exploring the Archetype and Origins of the Devil
by Corvis Nocturnum (pen name for paranormal researcher, Eric R. Vernor);
Nov 28, 2011—133.42 N759I 2011
An extremely well researched and illustrated volume that explores the Satanic persona from its beginnings in ancient myth and pagan religion to its incorporation in the Judeo-Christian-Islamic traditions; reviews the appearance of this character (real or symbolic) in the art and literature of societies around the world during the centuries leading up to the present, and finally, to its presence in the media and society today; and seems to ask the question:
Is this a real being or the personification of an idea?
Lords of the Left-hand Path: Forbidden Practices and Spiritual Heresies
by Steven E. Flowers, Ph.D (Germanic Languages and Medieval studies)
June 27, 2012—133.409 F644L 2012
This work draws on a wide range of resources to explore and celebrate what the author calls “the principle of isolate intelligence”, a mental framework or philosophy which he says makes its appearance in many world cultures: ancient Indian Tantric philosophy, Gnostic Christianity, Gurdieff’s Fourth Way, Neoplatonism, the Hell-Fire Club and the Bolsheviks are just some examples he provides.
He also contends this self-willing is at the core of Satanism and Black Magic.
So this book asks a slightly different question: not simply is Satan or Lucifer, or the devil—however you may want to call him—the personification of an idea, but, if so, what idea does he personify?
According to this author, Lucifer is not an evil fellow, but one of many “heroes” who rebel against a tyrannical religious philosophy that dictates that obedience to a greater will and more than that—submergence in a greater ego—is the right way.
He, and others like him, are looking for freedom and self-empowerment; they want to survive as individuals for eternity—something that mainstream religion—and much of main stream secular philosophy, for that matter—doesn’t allow.
An interesting idea.
The Nature of Good and Evil: Understanding the Many Acts of Moral and Immoral Behavior
by Samuel Oliner (professor of Sociology and director of the Altruistic Personality and Prosocial Behavior Institute at Humboldt State University.)
September 15, 2011—170 O46N 2011
Right off the bat—The illustration on the cover of this book grabs me.
I think the word, evil, is thrown around a little too easily these days—a lot of people, sadly, apply it to anyone who disagrees with them.
This author, however, is concerned with explaining those acts that anyone would consider evil—genocide and other acts of cruelty on a massive scale. He explores the psychology of the perpetrators and finds the roots of evil in the human psyche and the social forces that help to mould it.
Satan: an autobiography as told to Yehuda Berg
by Yehuda Berg (prominent authority on Kabbalah)
March 1, 2009—296.316 B493S 2009
This book has rave reviews on Amazon. The author, Yehuda Berg, places all the evil in the world on the back of self-doubt, insecurity, and an over inflated or over reactive ego. So, it seems to say something completely different than what Steven Flowers says in Lords of the Left-hand Path, where big egos are associated with heroes who have the courage to buck forces acting to bring them in line with some kind of universal will.
Again, an interesting idea.
All in all, sounds like an exploration worth undertaking . All items are in our collection; ask at a public service desk for help finding what you’re looking for.
I’ll be back ASAP with more suggested reading and news about upcoming programs. Until then, remember to
KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE EDGE.