If we look about us in life, we shall perceive as Job did, that the wicked seem to flourish and it is the just man who is stricken. This is part of the Divine Plan. The just man, having consecrated himself to the highest of his principles, is immediately confronted with KARMA and deluged with what seems to be adversity. In reality, this is not adversity, but the speeding up of evolution as the result of consecration to the spiritual life.
More is expected of a man who is wise than of the man who is foolish. The older we grow, the more strength we have; and the more strength we have, the more sternly we are tested to prove that strength. But no man is tested beyond his capacity. Therefore, the Lord says to Satan that he may afflict Job, but that he may not take his life. Satan is not a spirit of destruction.
There is no essential evil in the universe. Our present form of the devil is merely derived from the Greek nature god Pan. As Goethe says, Mephistopheles, or Satan, “is part of the power that still works for good while ever scheming ill.” Satan is really KARMA, but he is more than that. He is that temptation from which arises strength. When the Mysteries were celebrated in ancient Egypt, there was an evil spirit called Typhon or Set who brought about the death of the good Osiris.
It is the red Set that has given us our concept of the devil; but Set was nothing but the material world, the ground of man’s temptation, and also the environment in which he gains immortality through self-discipline.
Therefore, Set, or Satan, is divine opportunity; the world into which we come in ignorance but from which we depart in wisdom. It is the obstacle that is ever building strength, it is that whole field of difficulty which, overcome, makes us master of our own life.
Manly Palmer Hall
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