Hidebound Hump Day — Cornelis Drebbel 15

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A wonderful read ❤❤😊

Teagan's Books

Wednesday, October 31, 2018 

Man Sun gears Steampunk Eugene_Ivanov_2442Eugene_Ivanov, Wiki Media Commons

Happy Halloween, everyone!  Welcome back to the spontaneously written, #SteamPunk serial, Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers.  Everything about the story is driven by the random things that were sent by readers, back in 2015

When I say everything, I mean it — even the location.  Although no one seemed to notice (or at least they didn’t seem to mind), after all those weeks, I still had not gotten a “thing” that guided me to where all the zany events were taking place.  Author and translator, Olga Núñez Miret sent the “things” for this chapter, and I finally saw a general location for the story.  Which of “Old Family Bible, Carved Whale’s Tooth, and Vine Leaves” do you think gave me the location? Read on and find out.

Previously with Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers

Chapter…

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Book Review: Atonement in Bloom

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Myths of the Mirror

I’ve been aboard Teagan’s tour bus for a few days and just hopped off for some biscuits and gravy in Atonement, Tennessee. While I’m at it, I’ll attempt a little magic for Teagan and share my review of Atonement in Bloom.

But, oh, not so fast. First I had to delve into Teagan’s amazing technicolor pantser brain and find out how she does it! Here is my question:

I know that you’re a pantser, Teagan, and I assure you that this is foreign territory for us dedicated outliners. Your stories are full of magic – people, objects, places, lore – and they all converge on the small town of Atonement in a zany adventure with eight plot threads whirling around at once. How do you keep this literary cyclone straight and make sure that it arrives at “the end” in one piece? I’d love to learn about the method to…

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►Greek Mythology: “The Harpies, Winged Bird Monsters”.-

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⚡️La Audacia de Aquiles⚡️

►Greek Mythology: “The Harpies, Winged Bird Monsters”:

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"Aeneas and his Companions Fighting the Harpies" by François Perrier (17th century). “Aeneas and his Companions Fighting the Harpies” by François Perrier (17th century).

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In Greek Mythology, a harpy was a female monster in the form of a bird with a human face.

They were  the spirits of sudden, sharp gusts of wind.

They were known as the hounds of Zeus and were sent by him to snatch away people and things from the earth.

The harpies were also they were agents of punishment who abducted people and tortured them on their way toHades’ domains. Like the Erinyes, the harpies were employed by the gods as instruments for the punishment of the guilty.

They seem originally to have been wind spirits. Their name means “snatchers”.

Aeschylus in The “Eumenides” (Third part of “The Oresteia”) referred to them as ugly winged bird-women. 

Odysseus-SirensLater Greeks transformed Harpies into Sirens, which can be seen in depictions of Odysseus on his…

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The collapse of universal human values

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https://searchingthemeaningoflife.wordpress.com/

Today we find that the universal values ​​that so much effort and blood have conquered by the peoples of the earth through the ages have been weakened by the emergence of money as the first value. We have reached the point of the deification of money and material goods. The need to restart and strengthen the role of universal values ​​in our lives on the planet as a whole is imperative. Without these values, ​​only the downhill and destruction remain.

navagio-cosmos

 

The great embankment that holds, holds and holds humanity in a path of spiritual values, with the ideals and cultures, is our love and our attachment to universal human values: Peace, democracy, freedom, equality, justice, meritocracy, honesty, virtue. This embankment has been weakened and continues to weaken. We are living under the collapse of universal values.

The few (and there are everywhere and always a few) try to contain the torrent of the dropping of moral values. Almost always anonymous and unprotected from the moon of the nasty, when they reveal their dirt. Dedicated to their duty, with passion and love, and with unparalleled patience and will, they give it all for an idea, a dream: to make a better humanity.

brecht Trying to make this dream come true, it’d be quickly finding that the path of success is up and down. These are some of the   difficulties that Brecht ‘s view of how to fight falsehood and   ignorance:

“Whoever today wants to fight the falsehood and ignorance and write the truth has to overcome the least five difficulties:

  · They must have the courage to write the truth, although they who whimper everywhere, they are eliminated.

  · The cleverness of recognizing it, even if it is hidden in a     thousand ways.

· The art makes it, It’s a handy and effective weapon.

· The judgment to choose, those in their hands the truth will gain tremendous strength.

· It is wise to spread it among them.

 Universal human values ​​are the thread that knits human tissue. It is the fertilizer that helps in its development. And it is this human tissue that brings people together, joining them to a body, a mind, a soul, in order to overcome the obstacles, to make the necessary excess, for mankind to live a better life. Without the fabric of universal values, we can not overcome the great and devastating threats of our planet, nor lift humanity up and make it more human. Without the fabric of universal human values, ​​it is like building on the sand. Only with this web can mankind prevent all evil and make real the dreams and aspirations of all peoples of all time for a fairer and more human life.

Nothing of despondency, 
joint marriage, and the future invisible.

Isokratis

of Paraskevas N. Paraskevopoulos Professor of the NTUA

source:  http://anthologion.gr/

Greek Mythology: “Hecate, Goddess of Crossroads” / Literature: D.G. Kaye’s New Book: “Words We Carry”.-

Gallery

⚡️La Audacia de Aquiles⚡️

►Greek Mythology: “Hecate, Goddess of Crossroads”:

►Literature: D.G. Kaye’s New Book: “Words We Carry”:

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Hecate by Richard Cosway. Pen and brown ink with traces of graphite underdrawing. “Hecate” by Richard Cosway. Pen and brown ink with traces of graphite underdrawing. Early 19th century.

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Hecate ( In Greek“influence from afar”) was the Goddess of  Crossroads, Magic, Witchcraft, The Night, Ghosts and Necromancy. 

According to the most common tradition, Hecate was a daughter of Persaeus and Asteria, whence she is also known as Perseis. Hecate’s Roman equivalent was Trivia.

She was most often shown holding two torches or a key and in later periods depicted in triple form.

Hecate has always been a deity with strong lunar associations.

She was sometimes portrayed as wearing a glowing headdress of stars, while in other legends she was described as a “Phosphorescent Angel” of the Underworld.

Hecate was associated with borders, city walls, doorways, crossroads and, by extension, with realms outside or beyond the…

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Islam’s ‘Toxic’ Schism

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Here is an excellent article about the real cause of the divide of Sunni Shia in Islam. (Of course, it doesn’t bother me, I think that Islam needs an immediate renaissance as in Christum to rescue itself, otherwise, it does not only damage its own existence but also the worlds!)  Though, I must add a little here about the real surviving of Shia; actually, the Shia is more “made of Persian”! or at least not last that the freedom fighters in Iran who wanted to get free of the Arabic raign, had used this pretext to make a big front against Arabs by making these Twelvers stronger, especially the eighth one Imam Reza who had lived in Iran, in the state of Mash-had, a province in the East of Iran and even married an Iranian princess. There is still a golden tomb in there for Shias pilgrim. Anyway, it’s truly a political strike between the Arabic world and the old, “even though” Persian just to keep their own identity as Persians and not Arabs.

Embodied in the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the Sunni-Shia divide is a schism that threatens to tear the Islamic world apart. Though its origins go back to the beginnings of Islam, its present toxicity is a recent development.

via https://www.historytoday.com/

https://www.historytoday.com/site-sections/miscellanies

By John McHugo | Published 06 December 2017

Shia reverence: portrait of Imam Husayn ibn Ali, son of Ali ibn Abi Talib, on a street in Kashan, Iran.

Shia reverence: portrait of Imam Husayn ibn Ali, son of Ali ibn Abi Talib, on a street in Kashan, Iran.

 

Since then, we have gone from one extreme to the other. Today, far too many commentators latch onto the Sunni-Shia divide as the root cause of all the difficulties currently faced by the Middle East and much of the rest of the Islamic world. This explanation is facile, if convenient. Nor is it confined to neo-conservatives or right-wing identity entrepreneurs in the West, who relish writing about a Darwinian struggle for the soul of Islam that fits in with their own preconceptions about the essentially violent nature of the religion. Indeed, Barack Obama is on record as stating that ‘ancient sectarian differences’ are the drivers of today’s instability in the Arab world and that ‘the Middle East is going through a transformation going on for a generation rooted in conflicts that date back millennia’.

What truth is there in such statements? In order to answer that question, we need to establish how most Muslims became either Sunni or Shia and examine why the split is still theologically significant. Is the Sunni-Shia divide really a driver for conflict or is it, in reality, a convenient cloak for political disputes? I believe that the latter is the case and that we hinder our attempts at analysis by using the divide as an explanation for modern conflicts.

*

 The origins of the split may go back to the final hours of the Prophet Muhammad’s life in 632. When those close to him realised he was dying, they were forced to confront the question of who would lead the Muslim faithful after his death. The Muslims, followers of the new religion Muhammad believed had been revealed to him by God, now dominated Arabia. Yet there were different factions within the Muslim community and its roots were still shallow in many parts of the peninsula. Whoever became the new caliph, as the leader of the community came to be styled, would be faced with pressing political decisions, as well as the need to provide spiritual guidance. Moreover, his authority would never be able to match that wielded by Muhammad, since the caliph would not be a prophet.

Muhammad and Abu Bakr, 17th century.Muhammad and Abu Bakr, 17th century.

Ali bin Abi Talib, Muhammad’s cousin, who had also married his daughter, Fatima, believed that the Prophet had designated him as his successor. But other leading companions of Muhammad considered Ali unsuitable. He was 30 years younger than Muhammad and therefore much younger than many of the Prophet’s leading companions. Some questioned the reliability of his judgment. Perhaps most crucially, he was perceived as too close to the Muslims of Medina, the Ansar. These ‘Helpers’ were the inhabitants of Medina who had given refuge to the Prophet and his followers after they left Mecca in 622. As such, they were not members of the aristocratic Meccan tribe of Quraysh, to which Muhammad had belonged. Ali was repeatedly overlooked as the leadership passed in turn to three much older companions of the Prophet: Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman. Ali accepted this state of affairs with grudging resignation but never abandoned his belief that the Prophet had intended him as his successor.

During the 24 years in which Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman ruled the polity which Muhammad had established, it turned into an empire that conquered Greater Syria, Iraq, Egypt and much of the Iranian plateau. This success was nearly it’s undoing. Mutinous tribesmen, dissatisfied with their share of the booty from the conquests, murdered Uthman and it was only at this point, in 656, that Ali was acclaimed as caliph.

Ali’s rule was contested from the outset. Civil wars inside the Muslim community began within months. The Prophet’s widow, Ayesha, stirred up a rebellion against Ali under the leadership of two other eminent companions of the Prophet, Talha and Zubair, both figures of sufficient stature to be considered potential candidates for the caliph. Ali defeated them and they were both killed on the battlefield, but then he had to fight the powerful governor of Syria, Mu’awiya, who was a kinsman of the murdered Uthman. There was a pause for negotiations but, before this dispute could be resolved, Ali was assassinated in 661 and the caliphate was taken over by Mu’awiya, who founded the Umayyad dynasty, which ruled until it was overthrown by the Abbasids in 750. Their caliphate lasted until 1258, although they had to bow to the control of families of warlords from 945 onwards. Most Muslims accepted Umayyad and then Abbasid rule, but the office of caliph decayed into little more than a symbolic source of legitimacy. Whatever power the caliph may (or may not) have once had to define Islamic teaching had drained away by the middle of the ninth century.

The civil wars that shattered the Muslim community’s unity during Ali’s caliphate were a scandal and left a trauma. Islam was meant to bring peace and justice. Instead, it had been torn apart by violence leaving a legacy of bitterness and mistrust, as well as calls for vengeance. Some of Muhammad’s closest companions had led armies against each other. As a consequence of this discord, two competing narratives of the early history of Islam emerged, which led directly to rival conceptions of how the truths of Islam should be discerned.

Tribal men questioning Mohammed and Abu Bakr, 16th century.Tribal men questioning Mohammed and Abu Bakr, 16th century.

All Muslims accept the Quran as their starting point. The question is: how can Muslims discern the teaching and practice of their faith when the text of the Quran does not provide a clear answer to questions about doctrine and practice. Most Muslims looked to the Prophet’s companions as the source of his wisdom, his customs and his practice of the faith. But this was problematic for those who believed Muhammad had intended Ali to follow him. This group saw the overwhelming majority of the companions as people who had betrayed the wishes of the Prophet after his death when they rejected Ali. It followed that, however, close those companions may have been to the Prophet during his lifetime, they were unreliable transmitters of the faith.

Ali’s followers clung instead to a belief in the Prophet’s family as the source for the true teaching of Islam, especially Ali and his direct descendants through Fatima, the Prophet’s daughter. In each generation, the head of the House of Ali became known as the Imam (not to be confused with the more general title given to a prayer leader by Sunni Muslims). He was deemed to be sinless and to have a direct connection with the Divine that meant his interpretation of the faith would always be the true one. Such ideas were anathema to the majority of Muslims, who believed Ali had not been chosen by the Prophet as his successor.

These are the two communities we now call Sunni and Shia. Sunnis are those who revere the companions of the Prophet and see them as the transmitters of his practice or custom (sunnah in Arabic); Shias are the partisans of Ali and his descendants through Fatima (Shi’ah means faction or party). The differences between them go back to their incompatible interpretations of the early history of Islam and each can find justification for its position in the historical sources. The Shia see Sunnis as betrayers of the true Islam, while Sunnis see the Shias as a group who have brought factional strife into their religion. Although most Shia clerics discourage this today, there have been many periods of history when Shia have cursed Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman as well as other important Sunni figures such as the Prophet’s widow Ayesha. For their part, many Sunni scholars throw up their hands in horror at the Shia veneration for the Imams, which they see as a form of idolatry.

*

 As long as the basic point concerning these rival narratives of early Islamic history and their theological significance is understood, there is no need to delve any deeper into the struggles between medieval dynasties in order to understand the tensions between Sunnis and Shias today. It is sometimes implied that those struggles have continued into modern times, but this is entirely wrong. What has survived into our own time is the existence of rival – and, to an extent, incompatible – teachings as to how the doctrines and practice of Islam should be discerned.

Today, up to 90 per cent of Muslims are Sunnis. Among the Shia minority, an overwhelming majority are ‘Twelvers’. ‘Twelver Shi’ism’ teaches that the 12th Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, went into hiding in the late ninth century in order to escape murder at the hands of the Sunni Abbasid caliphs. He remains alive to this day but is hidden, or absent, from the world. He will reappear at the end of time to initiate a millenarian era of justice which will precede the struggle with the Antichrist and the Last Judgement. One consequence for Twelvers of the absence of the Imam until the end of earthly time is that their religious scholars have gradually taken over the Imam’s role in expounding the doctrines and practice of the faith. Iran and Azerbaijan are Twelver countries, while Twelvers constitute a majority in Iraq and Bahrain and are the largest single religious sect in Lebanon. There are also significant Twelver minorities in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Central Asia and among the Muslims of India.

When people talk of the Sunni-Shia divide as an issue in international politics, they are generally alluding to the divide between Sunnis and Twelvers, since that is the divide that appears to have political significance today. Other Shia groups, such as the Ismaili followers of the Agha Khan, tend to have little significance in the politics of most Muslim countries, while others, such as the Alawis of Syria (who are an offshoot of the Twelvers) or the Zaydis of Yemen (who are not) are only of political importance in the particular countries where they are located.

It is often forgotten that the Sunni-Shia divide only became explosive internationally from the 1970s onwards. Before then, Twelvers had come to be accepted by many Sunnis almost as an additional law school alongside the four great law schools of Sunni Islam. Sunnis accept these four law schools, the Malikis, Hanafis, Shafi’is and Hanbalis, as equally valid in their teaching of the practice of the faith. Twelvers are sometimes described as followers of the Ja’fari law school, named after the sixth Imam, Ja’far al-Sadiq (died 765). It is worth noting in passing that, as well as being a Shia Imam, he was also hugely respected by Sunnis as a teacher of Muslim doctrine and practice. Malik bin Anas and Abu Hanifa, the founders of the Maliki and Hanafi law schools of Sunni Islam, were among his pupils.

None of this means that tensions between Sunnis and Shias had been absent. After the creation of the modern state of Iraq, for instance, there were bitter struggles over whether the Sunni or Shia interpretation of the early history of Islam should be taught in schools. The majority Shia felt excluded from Iraq’s predominantly Sunni elite (although between 1945 and the overthrow of the Iraqi monarchy in 1958 there were four Shia prime ministers). Yet in many countries, including Iraq and Syria, secular politics based on nationalist and socialist ideas seemed to be the way forward. This made questions of sectarian identity among the Muslims there less important. When India was partitioned in 1947, Pakistan was conceived as a homeland for a new nation that would have Islam as the cornerstone of its national identity. Intra-Muslim sectarianism played no part in its creation. Frequently overlooked today (and sometimes airbrushed from history) is the fact that Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, was a Twelver Shia. So were the Bhutto family.

*

 Why has Sunni-Shia sectarianism become so toxic? There are several reasons. The first is the tolerance of anti-Shia hate speech by the Saudi Arabian government, which, especially after it accrued massive oil revenues from 1973 onwards, has sought to export its brittle Wahhabi ideology. Saudi Arabia might see itself as promoting Muslim solidarity as a rallying point for conservatives against Arab nationalism, socialism and democracy, yet its founding ideology, Wahhabism, demonises the Shia (and Sufis) as idolaters. The second reason is the Iranian revolution of 1979. This was ‘Islamic’, although not primarily in a sectarian sense. Ayatollah Khomeini’s ambition was to persuade all Muslims – Sunnis as well as Shias – to line up behind him. (That was his motive when issuing a death sentence on Salman Rushdie, for example). The spread of Iranian revolutionary ideas was seen as a threat by Saudi Arabia and all other western-aligned, conservative states with Muslim populations. As the decades passed, Saudi Arabia and Iran would both try to co-opt Sunni and Shia communities to their side in their struggle for regional power. Iran’s greatest success was in the mobilisation of the Twelvers of Lebanon and the formation of the political and paramilitary organisation, Hezbollah. It also did what it could to stir up trouble for Saudi Arabia among the Twelvers of the oil-rich eastern province of the kingdom, who were always looked down on with suspicion by the Saudi monarchy and suffered discrimination. In Pakistan, as a result of Saudi influence during the military rule of General Zia ul-Haq from 1977-88, a form of strict Sunni Islam became the governing ideology of the state. This excluded the Shia and led to the sectarianisation of Pakistani politics

The third reason is the decay of Ba’athism, the ultra-secular Arab nationalist movement that came to power during the 1950s and 1960s in Syria and Iraq through a series of military coups and intrigues. Although Ba’athism pledged to remove religion from politics entirely, the manner in which Ba’athist regimes came to power ended up having the opposite effect. Military dictators have to build up power bases with patronage. Men like Saddam Hussein in Iraq (a member of the Sunni minority) and Hafez al-Assad in Syria (a member of the Shia Alawi minority) promoted family members, childhood friends from their own town or village, people from their own tribe and province and, almost inevitably, co-sectarians. It should be no surprise that Saddam’s Republican Guard were recruited from (Sunni) tribes near the president’s hometown, or that the Alawis of the mountains where Hafez al Assad grew up supplied a disproportionate number of his secret policemen.

Sunni minority: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, 2003.Sunni minority: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, 2003.

In both countries, democratic life ended in the late 1950s or early 1960s and the dictators were as brutal as expediency required. No wonder, then, that toxic sectarian politics should have found fertile soil in each of them. In Syria, this occurred when militant Sunni Islamists, who denounced Alawis and Ba’athists as apostates, took on the regime in Hama in 1982 and subsequently infiltrated the abortive revolution after 2011. In Iraq, Shia opposition to Saddam led to the growth of religion-based political parties linked to Iran, while the re-introduction of democratic elections after the 2003 invasion led to the flourishing of sectarian parties. The perfect storm created in both countries incubated ISIS with its extreme anti-Shia rhetoric. In Iraq, some Sunnis who felt excluded from the new order were tempted to fight under its banner, which also attracted a number of talented former army officers. In Syria, where those killed by ISIS are only a fraction of the number killed by government forces, some Sunnis could see ISIS as the lesser of two evils.

Yet sectarianism is a blind alley. The ideals of the Arab Spring in 2011 and similar movements were non-sectarian. The sectarian identity entrepreneurs who have set up groups like Al Qaidah and ISIS may succeed in manipulating enough people in their communities to destabilise the region for years to come, but in the end, the ideals which shook the Arab world in 2011 showed that the people of the region wish to travel in a different direction. Those ideals such as democracy, the rule of law, freedom of speech and the wish for a modern, corruption-free economy (all summarised by the protesters by the one-word karamah, ‘dignity’) still bubble away beneath the surface.

John McHugo is the author of A Concise History of Sunnis and Shi‘is (Saqi, 2017).

Carl Jung and a brief overview of Satan.

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(although in the Zoroastrians belief, Ahuramazda and Ahriman both were respected in the same way.)

Hence very early, in Clement of Rome, we meet with the conception of Christ as the right hand and the devil as the left hand of God, not to speak of the Judaeo-Christian view which recognized two sons of God, Satan the elder and Christ the younger.

via https://carljungdepthpsychologysite.blog/
[Carl Jung and a brief overview of Satan.]

 

I do not wish to multiply examples needlessly, but only to make it clear that the figure of Satan, too, has undergone a curious development, from the time of his first undistinguished appearance in the Old Testament texts to his heyday in Christianity.

He achieved notoriety as the personification of the adversary or principle of evil, though by no means for the first time, as we meet him centuries earlier in the ancient Egyptian Set and the Persian Ahriman. Persian influences have been conjectured as mainly responsible for the Christian devil.

But the real reason for the differentiation of this figure lies in the conception of God as the summum bonum, which stands in sharp contrast to the Old Testament view and which, for reasons of psychic balance, inevitably requires the existence of a “lowest evil”. No logical reasons are needed for this, only the natural and unconscious striving for balance and symmetry.

Hence very early, in Clement of Rome, we meet with the conception of Christ as the right hand and the devil as the left hand of God, not to speak of the Judaeo-Christian view which recognized two sons of God, Satan the elder and Christ the younger.

The figure of the devil then rose to such exalted metaphysical heights that he had to be forcibly depotentiated, under the threatening influence of Manichaeism. The depotentiation was effected this time by rationalistic reflection, by a regular tour de force of sophistry which defined evil as a privatio boni.

But that did nothing to stop the belief from arising in many parts of Europe during the eleventh century, mainly under the influence of the Catharists, that it was not God but the devil who had created the world.

In this way, the archetype of the imperfect demiurge, who had enjoyed official recognition in Gnosticism, reappeared in altered guise. (The corresponding archetype is probably to be found in the cosmogonic jester of primitive peoples.)

With the extermination of the heretics that dragged on into the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, an uneasy calm ensued, but the Reformation thrust the figure of Satan once more into the foreground. I would only mention Jakob Bohme, who sketched a picture of evil which leaves the privatio boni pale by comparison.

The same can be said of Milton. He inhabits the same mental climate. As for Bohme, although he was not a direct descendant of alchemical philosophy, whose importance is still grossly underrated today, he certainly took over a number of its leading ideas, among them the specific recognition of Satan, who was exalted to a cosmic figure of first rank in Milton, even emancipating himself from his subordinate role as the left hand of God (the role assigned to him by Clement).

Milton goes even further than Bohme and apostrophizes the devil as the true principium individuation is, a concept which had been anticipated by the alchemists sometime before.

To mention only one example: (He rises from earth to heaven and descends again to earth, and receives into himself the power of above and below. Thus thou wilt have the glory of the whole world.) The quotation comes from the famous alchemical classic, the Tabula Smaragdina, attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, whose authority remained unchallenged for more than thirteen centuries of alchemical thought.

His words refer not to Satan, but to the filius philosophorum, whose symbolism, as I believe I have shown, coincides with that of the psychological “self.”

The “filius” of the alchemists is one of the numerous manifestations of Mercurius, who is called “duplex” and “ambiguous” and is also known outside alchemy as “capable of anything”. His “dark” half has an obvious affinity with Lucifer. ~Carl Jung, Psychology and Religion, Forward to Werblowsky’s “Lucifer and Prometheus,” Pages 312-314, Paragraph 470.

 

BOEHMEDEMIURGEDEVILEVILLUCIFERLUCIFER AND PROMETHEUSMILTONPSYCHOLOGY AND RELIGIONSATAN