Lucifer's Technologies, Part One

I just read that Fox has renewed its "adaption" of the Vertigo/DC comics series Lucifer for a second season. I use 'adaption' in the loosest possible sense, in that rough contours of the long-running comic series can be gleaned from time to time in the TV series, but they're buried underneath an almost unimaginably-inappropriate (and gag-inducing) police procedural.

Fox's Lucifer neither looks, acts nor contains any of the dignity or quiet menace of his comics counterpart. Here he's your stereotypical TV quippy-Brit, teamed with your stereotypical tough-but-tender female cop who's a single mom trying to raise her stereotypical spunky little moppet of a daughter.

Lucifer- yes, that Lucifer, giddily gallops around LA (Vancouver, actually) and helps the tough-but-tender female cop solve crimes that would have seemed tired in Angela Lansbury's heyday.


The show
is an abomination, but not for any of the reasons some of the YouTube pantpissers thought. (It should be noted there's also a cable series called Damien, based on the Antichrist in The Omen, but that seems destined for cancellation).

The comic series Lucifer was a spinoff from Neil Gaiman's byzantine
Sandman universe and was written by British creator Mike Carey, who also did a series that archly played off of Harry Potter fandom called The Unwritten.

The comics Lucifer was based visually on David Bowie and, oddly enough, the series premiered two weeks after Bowie's death. However, the only reference to Bowie in the TV pilot was "Fame" playing in the after-credit sequence. Given the horrendous spectacle that followed it's almost a mercy Bowie wasn't there to see it.

Indeed, this TV Lucifer is all too fitting for the age of safe-space Satanism. Listen to this riveting synopsis for a recent episode: "When philanthropist Tim Dunlear is found dead, Lucifer explores his good side by becoming a benefactor for Tim's glitzy Los Angeles charity." 

(...the eff?)
.


Carey's take on Lucifer was distinctly Gnostic, and I don't mean that in the trendy, one-size-fits-all sense of the word. Lucifer Morningstar, who had long ago resigned his post as King of Hell and struggled with a nemesis in the form of the Archangel Michael, who was in fact the Demiurge. Yes, that Demiurge. 


All sorts of strategies and alliances took form and one began to wonder just how interested Carey was in the actual history of the Lucifer mythos as opposed to classic British fantasy. The artist who drew most of the issues, Peter Gross, is best known as a fantasy artist.

Indeed, the comic series was deeply rooted in that tradition more than the Biblical tradition, which only makes sense seeing that Lucifer is not only a title and not a name, but in the Vulgate (that was the Bible for more than a millennium) refers to a number of different things and people, one of whom is Jesus Christ himself. 


There really is no nominal Lucifer in the Biblical tradition, unless you choose to transpose the name onto a more-or-less historical King of Babylon, not the Prince of Perdition, in the Book of Isaiah. 

Bible translations are all over the place on this, with many referring to Lucifer as Hyll (pronounced"Hillel"), believed by some scholars to be a reference to Nebuchadnezzar II, whom Saddam Hussein saw himself as the reincarnation of, perhaps unwisely.

How can that be, you ask? Why, we know all about the history of Satan and his secret origin as the beloved Archangel Lucifer and his rebellion against God and his fall from his heavenly estate because of his pride and vanity! Why, it's right there in the Word of God!

Actually, no. It isn't. The mythology of Lucifer- again, a title and not a name- comes entirely from non-Biblical sources and various apocryphal texts and entered the great cultural lexicon largely through John Milton's Paradise Lost, who was in fact drawing on an extra-biblical tradition.

From the Jewish Encyclopedia:

The Lucifer myth was transferred to Satan in the pre-Christian century, as may be learned from Vita Adæ et Evæ (12) and Slavonic Enoch (xxix. 4, xxxi. 4), where Satan-Sataniel (Samael?) is described as having been one of the archangels. 
Because he contrived "to make his throne higher than the clouds over the earth and resemble 'My power' on high," Satan-Sataniel was hurled down, with his hosts of angels, and since then he has been flying in the air continually above the abyss.
The general opinion seems to be that the "demonization" of Lucifer was transferred from these apocryphal texts during the Reformation, in order to stick it to the Catholics who used the term as an honorific. From the Catholic Encyclopedia:
The name Lucifer originally denotes the planet Venus, emphasizing its brilliance. The Vulgate employs the word also for "the light of the morning" (Job 11:17), "the signs of the zodiac" (Job 38:32), and "the aurora" (Psalm 109:3). 
Metaphorically, the word is applied to the King of Babylon (Isaiah 14:12) as preeminent among the princes of his time; to the high priest Simon son of Onias (Ecclesiasticus 50:6), for his surpassing virtue, to the glory of heaven (Apocalypse 2:28), by reason of its excellency; finally to Jesus Christ himself (2 Peter 1:19; Apocalypse 22:16; the "Exultet" of Holy Saturday) the true light of our spiritual life.
Oh, golly, a little different now, innit?

Well, what about all those Luciferian texts and the Luciferian cults and the Luciferian this and the Luciferian that? 

Well, there may be a few small cults here and there that identify as "Luciferian" (and might be considered as such by some, like the Process Church) but as you probably know a handful of people can get together and call themselves whatever they want.


 It's much the same way people misidentify the Eye of Providence with the Eye of Horus. Because they can and it feels good.

The truth is that the "facts" you might have heard about the "Luciferians" in the New World Order are based entirely on rumor and innuendo arising from the fertile imaginations of religious paranoids, many of which are of extremely recent vintage (Jack Chick, Texe Marrs, Tony Alamo, etc etc etc).

The name has entered the lexicon because "Satanist" sounds too trailer-park, is my best guess. "Luciferian" sounds all hoity-toity and Masterpiece Theatre. British accents are almost de rigeur.


Similarly, the Bavarian Illuminati were not "Luciferian," unless you begin to stretch the term to mean absolutely anything you want it to. The Bavarian Illuminati were in fact Enlightenment rationalists, most of whom had little time for supernaturalism of any kind.
.


Well, you may ask, what about the Theosophist newspaper/magazine Lucifer and Alice Bailey's Lucifer/Lucis Trust, you may continue to ask?


Taking her cue from some heretical Gnostic sects, Blavatsky identified "Lucifer" (and indeed, Satan) not as an entity but as symbolic of intelligence and the human mind (Secret Doctrine, Vol 2, pg 513). The Theosophists get quite incensed about the whole thing, and insist Blavatsky's interpretations were entirely metaphorical, as you can see here.

In this regard, HPB, while herself a Monist, might be seen as the forerunners of the safe-space Satanists. And in a strange way of Jack Kirby, who did his own spin on the Sethian retelling of the Fall.


Alice Bailey, whose writings were even more impenetrable than Blavatsky, basically says the same thing, throwing in Lucifer being the "Planetary Throat Center" for good measure. 

"Planetary Throat Center."

 
Planetary-effin'-Throat-Center.

Criminy, how did anyone take that woman seriously?


OK, what about Albert Pike and his shout-out to the Lighty One? Well, I've no interest in defending Pike but it's been pretty well established that the Lucifer bits ("Yes, Lucifer is God," etc etc) in Morals and Dogma was not in the original text but added in a pamphlet published by French pornographer and hoaxter Leo Taxil.

Pike is actually pretty consistently anti-Lucifer. ("The Apocalypse is, to those who receive the nineteenth Degree, the Apotheosis of that Sublime Faith which aspires to God alone, and despises all the pomps and works of Lucifer," etc etc)


 And no, I don't think those "Three World Wars" letters are genuine either.

Throwing around terms like 'Luciferian New World Order' might sound all metal and junk, but they don't actually describe any recognizable entity. There's no organized body of any appreciable size, no extant corpus of literature, nothing to look at but Internet name-calling. It tends to be reinforced through repetition but evaporates as soon as you try to pin it down. 

Now, I'm more than willing to believe that more than a few movers and shakers out there are Satanists (and not the safe-space kind), since the term certainly fits their behavior, but as we'll see, "Luciferian" describes an entirely different kind of behavior than that of monomaniacal overlords. 

And given the incredible evil and totalitarianism that's out in the open, do we still really need myths of secret UN Theosophists setting the table for Lucifer's return? It seems almost comforting in light of the insanity that's gripping this country (oh, like the mainstreaming of Satanism) and the rest of the planet as well.

Indeed, it's all too fitting that Lucifer retired as King of Hell in the comics and now the TV series since he or more accurately, the title, seems to have been press-ganged into service in the first place.


As many of you might know, there is in fact a Luciferian body of literature of another kind, myths of light-bringers who defied the Great Sky Gods in order to grant knowledge unto humans and paid a terrible price for these gifts. 


It could very well be why these Gnostic groups saw the Serpent in the Garden of Eden as the good guy- some even saw him as Christ himself- because he came to free Adam and Eve from the bondage of ignorance. As it turns out, they were cribbing their theology from other sources.

TO BE CONTINUED


9 comments:

  1. Awesome post, Chris. :)

    ~gag~ No wonder I don't watch first-run TV anymore, that version of 'Lucifer' sounds truly horrid.

    I fancy myself Gnostic anymore, but I'm trying to make that mean something, I'm reading about the traditions - following the leads you've written about and linked, thank you - and I think there might just be something to the notion of rebelling against the 'Garden'. Would I really want to live ignorant & innocent, eating fruit and wearing a fig leaf? Hells no. XD

    More seriously, organized religions seem to me like they thrive on ignorance, if not grotesque stupidity, and a willingness to be a mindless slave. And that just ain't me.

    I question, I strive, I try to learn how and why, and I have a major distrust of authority. Maybe a childhood of emotional abuse by a cop/Southern Baptist Deacon Dad does that to a girl?

    Perhaps the ones that ask questions, try to learn, and don't accept received authority and received "wisdom" have something to teach? :)

    ~Anna

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  2. Thank you for this! I've been wondering what the difference is exactly, and whether, as the final and greatest inversion, the Abrahamic God has been the bad guy all along, judging from his worshipper's behavior this wouldn't be hard to believe. And even the safe-space Satanists seem rather nice. Hail Satan the Lucifer! \m/

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  3. The mention of the impenetrable Alice Bailey reminded me of your great piece awhile back on how Bailey most likely influenced Lovecraft's Cthulu Mythos. And you're right, taking her "less seriously" seemed to be precisely the path that Lovecraft took (less teleology, more tentacles). And on the topic of ubiquitous, quippy Brits, I hope you're bracing yourself for the upcoming Benedict Cumberbatch- infused "Doctor Strange". A big batch of blockbusting safe-space sorcery is on the way!

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  4. I have a strong personal Morning Star sync: During my bankruptcy, the last-minute substitute lawyer at my trial was named Jack Morningstar. This syncs with the Jesus aspect (he is called The Morning Star in Revelation) because Jesus is best known as the forgiver of sins, or "debts".

    A Hitler's birthday post as well.

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    1. Jack is also a pretty common folk name for the 'devil'. So there's that.

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  5. Christopher Lucifer Knowles..our 'Light-Bringer' Excellent post as usual!

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  6. Well, there's a bit of a sync. I'm married to a bankruptcy lawyer. (Not named Morningstar. What a great name though.)

    Loved reading the distinction in this essay. It can get very confusing with all the odd groups. Thanks, Chris.

    By the way, I still stop by that weird Disinformation.com occasionally and did so this morning. There's usually nothing worth my time, but Thad McKraken is singing your praises and it's definitely a worthy read.

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  7. 4/21: Prince is dead, olympic flame...

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  8. Amen... Pike talks about becoming Christ, not Lucifer in that sense if anyone ever takes the time to read Morals and Dogma.

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