Question: In the stories of the righteous Job relates that his suffering is the result of a dispute with the evil spirit named Satan, who supposedly looks at people and decides to test their loyalty to the Creator.
Satan claims that Job was righteous because he had everything and thrived in life. And if you take away his wealth, it is unknown how he will respond. This is the beginning of the suffering of Job. Who is Satan?
Answer: This story is about the evil desire that confronts everybody. Satan is inside us and is called the evil inclination. It is written: “the evil inclination in a person is the Satan, the angel of death.”
Question: We consider Satan to be some kind of the higher power?
Answer: Why can’t it be higher? We are born this way; it precedes me: “the human heart is wicked from the day of one’s birth.” It rules over us. I would say that this force is even stronger than the Creator. Nature consists of four levels: inanimate, vegetative, animate, and speaking.
The force that controls the inanimate, vegetative, and animate levels is benevolent. That is why harmony and balance are present in the first three levels. Even though some live creatures gobble each other up, it happens only because they are governed by nature. They don’t hurt each other deliberately. The positive, kind force that rules the inanimate, vegetative, and animate levels is called the Creator (Elokim).
The human (speaking) level is controlled by the negative force: “the human heart is wicked from the day of its birth.” The evil nature constantly tempts us to hurt others. Not only do I want to take your watch, ring, and beautiful eyeglasses just because I want them, I also enjoy that you don’t possess them anymore. Where does this feeling come from? It derives from the ability to sense our neighbors, i.e., “I feel you.”
Since I feel them, I am not satisfied when my neighbor simply doesn’t feel good. I really want them to feel bad. This mere fact makes me automatically happy. So the sensation of a neighbor that is inherent to human nature allows us enjoy others’ suffering that result from the fact that they lack things that they strive for. This sensation elevates and fulfills us. The force that causes this sensation is called Satan or the evil inclination.
Question: What does the dialogue between Satan and the Creator mean?
Answer: Satan lives inside us. It is our nature. As for the Creator, He is the external nature that we don’t yet have. It exists in the inanimate, vegetative, and animate levels, but is absent from the human level: “the human heart is evil from the day it was born.” This is how we are born and then continue living. You can easily see it in our children. They gradually grow for two, three, four years, and all of a sudden they become people.
They begin lying, stealing, acting solely for their own sake, doing anything they can to fulfill their desires. They want everything, and if you give a toy to a child and the second toy to another child, the first child wants to grab both. It is our duty to transform the wicked inclination into a good one, “as if for our own self.” If previously a little child grabbed both toys and never gave them to other children, now he is supposed to give both toys to his friends. It’s not about sharing. He has to act “as if it is for his own sake.”
Question: How should we understand Satan’s manipulations when he demands sending new troubles to Job? It’s not enough to take Job’s money away. It is necessary to take away his children!
Answer: It stems from the program of nature that constantly rules over us. We permanently advance and grow, and our desires constantly enhance, develop, and become more and more egoistic. Our needs expand. However, do we become more corrected from generation to generation?
We constantly follow Satan. He pushes us to bad things: weapons, murder, terror, deceit, and slyness. Can we resist these things? No! We drift with the wicked flow that leads us nowhere. We consent to it. Moreover, we continue considering ourselves to be honest citizens!
By converting evil into benevolence, we’ll attain the Creator’s level. Then, we’ll understand all of nature and reach the best possible scientific level, build correct relationships among us and behave accordingly. We are not there as yet.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 5/28/13