animals, Arcturus, death, Dialogues With the Devil, eternal life, evil, existence, free will, God, goodness, Heaven, hell, intellect, Lucifer, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, mankind, maturity, Melina, myth, nature, patron saint of scientists, reality, scientists, senses, Taylor Caldwell, temptation, Truth, virtue, war, wickedness, wisdom
[Caldwell, Taylor. Dialogues With The Devil. New York: Doubleday & Co., 1967. pp 1-5.] Please see Taylor Caldwell’s Dialogues With The Devil (1967) #1 of 22 for an introduction to this serialization.
SALUTATIONS to the Lord God of Hosts, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and worlds and suns, . . . the Perpetrator of men — and my Father.
I wish to assure you, my Father, that it has given me no unsurpassed pleasure that Melina, one of the sons of Arcturus, has now become a wasteland, devoid of the curse of human life, and moves about his parent sun in glorious silence, except for the winds which blow from pole to pole. Nothing sentient survives. The seas move in and out unseen by human or animal eye. I regret the innocent animals, but am I guilty of the men of Melina? No, it was Your Majesty who created them, despite my warnings — as I warned You from the beginning of time.
This morning, . . . I meditated on the blessed silences where men are not. . . . I knew that within these waters lived no fish or serpent any longer, no sinless fin, no wild and uncorrupted eye. That was my sadness, my only sadness. Did I destroy Melina, and leave her mighty white cities uninhabited, her tangle of vast roads pale only with dust? . . . I am guiltless of this. I do not force men; I suggest and tempt. It is their will that they obey me, that they offer me their deepest adoration and most passionate allegiance, and that they turn, always, from You. I do not exploit their wickedness; they choose it for themselves. I merely give them the opportunity to pursue evil to its ultimate. The horizons of Melina are now without meaning, for Death has no meaning, as You, my Father, and I know only too well. You have said it often, in all Your worlds, in the tongues of all creation — but men do not believe You. They believe only me.
. . . What has virtue to offer in comparison, though virtue is eternal life? Does virtue possess the drama, the violence, the color, the frantic vehemence, the terrible euphoria, the laughter and noise and ecstasies of evil, and yes, the enormous capacity for destruction? Verily, it does not. It is a weariness to man, as You have regretfully observed ten thousand times ten thousand millennia over and over. The desire for wickedness and death is far greater in the breasts of mankind than the desire for innocence and life.
Eight billion souls from Melina now occupy my domain, and I loathe them, . . . To You, my Father, there rose only six thousand souls who had resisted me. A poor harvest! You are the Sower, but I am inevitably the Reaper, and so shall it be throughout eternity. You are the Vineyard, but it is I who harvest and press the grapes and drink the wine. You are the Tree, but I garner the fruit. You are the Meadow, but the grain fills my granaries. Do you consider that I rejoice in this? I do, only to the extent that I can prove that Your Majesty was wrong from the beginning. It is no joy to me to wound You, Who have so many wounds, and Who shall receive so many countless more. . . . If I had tears to shed I would shed them for my Father, Who loved me, Who called me His son and His Star of the Morning. It was You Who mourned me and exclaimed, “How have you fallen!” But I have not fallen lower than man. That would be impossible.
I have been called the patron saint of scientists. Yet, . . . I merely conducted a dialogue with them, as a teacher, a suggester. It was theirs to recoil, to reject with terror and loathing. It was in their hands to destroy the formulae, in horror. But alas, they hated their brothers with so much infernal passion! It is true that I am the father of wars, the songster of hatred, but again, it is in the power of men to reject, for do they not possess free will, that frightful gift you bestowed on men and angels so long ago? But though I am the father of wars, I do not precipitate them. There is no need for my own energies to be involved in this matter of fraternal detestation, nor do I need to stimulate it. It is in the nature of man to hate his brother; he needs little encouragement.
. . . They did not think: “How will this benefit my race?” They only thought: “How can this be used to eliminate my enemies?” For man, as Your Majesty knows, cannot live unless he creates his own enemies. He finds existence dull beyond imagining if he has no foes. His pursuit from birth is not goodness and mercy and love. It is only destruction. It is his nature.
. . . Still, I am guiltless. They could, until the final awful moment, have withdrawn from their decision. I used no force. They were no slaves. They were free. They chose to die. Certainly, it was not their plan to vaporize themselves together with their “foes.” But evil is madness and has no pity, and therefore it is confusion thrice compounded. Evil men possess no wits. They are easily led to believe what they wish to believe, and the men . . . believed that they would suffer no consequences from the murder of their brothers, and that the cities and the treasures of their fellows would survive.
. . . their children and their children’s children cried — as they cry always — “It is only a myth! It did not occur! . . . It is only a vision of what is Not Possible, for there is only reality, and man is reality, and what is seen and felt and smelled and tasted and heard with our senses is the only objectivity, and only truth. We are too Advanced for myths; we have achieved maturity and wisdom and intellect. Begone with Myths! They are the lumber of dead yesterdays, the rubble of a primitive people, the legends of our racial childhood. There is only Today, and we are that Day. There is but one God, and His Name is Mankind, and science is His prophet.”
Shall You raise up another race?
Your son, Lucifer