Saturday, April 14, 2018

War in Heaven (myth)

Describes the causes and effects related to the war between angels [placeholder] led by the Archangel Micheal against those led by Satan, that ended in Satan's defeat and casting down into Hell and the Abyss. This is viewed within the game world as a real event that happened according to the manner in which divinity is created and made real.

Historical Background

Writing in the 15th century BC, the prophet Zoroaster proposed the ideal of cosmogonic dualism [placeholder], arguing that the universe had been created by two demiurges, artisan-figures who together took complementary and conflict-driven roles in the mastery of all things. Zoroaster described these both: Ahura Mazda [placeholder]represented the sphere of truth, order, justice and light, which was a new describing of a much older god, El, who was the consort of the great mother goddess Ana. By the time of Zoroaster, El had already existed for millennia. Zoroaster, however, proposed a new entity, Angra Mainyu, or Ahriman, represented falsehood, deceit, malevolence and darkness. This was the foundation of Zoroastrianism.

But though Zoroaster gained followers, his writings had influence only so far as the existence of El, under the alternative name of Ahura Mazda, had already existed. The manner in which Ahriman would come into existence would wait until the establishment of the Persian state under the Achaemenids.

There remained the concept of an unnamed "adversary" among peoples in the Fertile Crescent, from whom a significant figure would emerge. Abraham, the father of the Hebrew religion, began his migration into Egypt in the 14th century, some hundred years after Zoroaster. This so-called adversary would become part of the lexicon of the Hebrews. By the time of Moses and the Exodus from Egypt, a word would appear in the Book of Numbers: "satan." This word was not a proper noun, merely a descriptor of "the accuser" or "the adversary." It was not made an existing figure, much less a god, by the Hebrews, though it would be used again and again by their writings.

Yet Abraham's teachings did substantiate the belief in one true god, Yahweh ... which, like Ahura Mazda, was another descriptive of El. The Hebrews unknowingly worshipped a long-existing god, yet empowered that god with yet greater belief and with an elaboration on the power of El, so that the god became more powerful it his Yahweh incarnation (who ceased to be worshipped at El as the Hebrews destroyed their enemies in Canaan). Yet still the Zoroastrian god of darkness, Ahriman, did not exist.

The story then passes to the late 8th century BC. Beginning in 705 BC, Persia comes under the rule of King Achaemenes, the first of the Achaemenid dynasty, father of Teispes and ancestor of Cyrus the Great. During the time of the Achaemenids, Zoroastrianism became the state religion, being instrumental in spreading the religion as far east as China. With the increase in believers, Ahriman was made manifest. Believing, as Zoroaster had meant him to believe, that he was co-founder of the universe, Ahriman found instead that he was secondary to the power of Yahweh.

Viewed from another the Hebrew culture, the manifestation of Ahriman also meant also the manifestation of Satan, who ~ after all ~ had originated with the influence that Zoroaster's original text had had on Abraham's people. They were one and the same. So it was that Ahriman was also invested with the theological influence the Hebrew belief.

It was at this time that the War in Heaven occurred, sometime between 705 and 691 BC.

The War would then be revealed in a vision to Isaiah, the Hebrew Prophet, writing in 690 BC. He wrote about what happened after the creation of Ahriman/Satan. Thus Isaiah wrote in Chapter 14:

"... The staff of the wicked, the scepter of rulers, that struck the peoples with wrath ... you said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven, above the stars of God. I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High. But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit."

Sheol is the accepted Hebrew name for the Abyss, that part of the Lower Planes [placeholder] that is above Tartarus and conjoined with Hell [placeholder]. However, as I argue below, Isaiah wrote that from the perspective of someone seeking to propagandize that war in the favor of one deity over another.

The War

There are many tales and stories of what happened during the war. It is usually depicted to have occurred over a period of three days. It is also believed to have occurred prior to the creation of Adam and Eve, and that the Son of God played an instrumental part in the final defeat of Satan and his rebel angels. It has been argued that a host of gods from other pantheons also took part in the struggle and were also cast out of heaven in the end. Most of what the world believes is a matter for conjecture and deliberate propaganda by Earthly churches, whose motivations are to gain believers in the present and not to accurately depict moments in the past.

It must be said, first of all, that John Milton's famous book, Paradise Lost, was not published until 1667. Alexis' game world takes place in the fictional 1650, and therefore it should be understood that what Milton wrote was wholly derived from the mind of Milton. It has no bearing on the game world.

There was certainly a war. Ahriman, more commonly described as Satan because Judaism and Christianity became far more relevant and powerful theologies than Zoroastrianism, attempted to claim his rightful place as co-founder of the universe. The war was fought without a clear winner and without a clear loser, so that in the end it happened that the universe was divided between Azura Mazda and Ahriman (between Yahweh and Satan), granting to Satan the power over the Lower Planes of Existence, while Azura Mazda retained power over the Upper Planes [placeholder]. The Prime Material Plane would be divided between them.

Thereafter, Ahriman accepted the name of Satan. The angels who had fought with them called themselves devils and have remained so to this day. The devils in the lower planes rule over the demons, managing the dead who pass through Hell and into the Abyss.

It would come to pass, however, over the following millennia, that the power of Yahweh would be fabulously increased by the establishment of Christianity, then again by the establishment of Islam, until Satan's entry on the Prime Material would necessitate concealment and stealth. Christianity raised such forces against the power of Satan in the 4th and 5th centuries that he no longer ventures forth from the lower Planes of Hell. On rare occasions he will risk sending devils onto the Prime Material, but he much prefers that demons do this work, as they are more suited to guile through possession.

See Mythology

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