On Satan and Love // Joseph Campbell

On Satan and Love // Joseph Campbell

“Dante saw even the fires of hell as a manifestation of God’s love.

You will have heard the old legend of how, when God created the angels, he commanded them to pay worship to no one but himself; but then, creating man, he commanded them to bow in reverence to this most noble of his works, and Lucifer refused — because, we are told, of his pride. However, according to the Moslem reading of his case, it was rather because he loved and adored god so deeply and intensely that he could not bring himself to bow before anything else, And it was for that he was flung into Hell, condemned to exist there forever, apart from his love….

The Persian poets have asked, “By what power is Satan sustained?” And the answer that they have found is this: “By his memory of the sound of God’s voice when he said, ‘Be gone!'” What an image of that exquisite spiritual agony which is at once the rapture and the anguish of love.”

— Joseph Campbell (“A Joseph Campbell Companion”)

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