We are Satan's people
Knights in Satan's service
…the Revolution…has a theological and spiritual foundation, even if its “theology” is an inverted one and its “spirituality Satanic.”
Nihilism: The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age, by Eugene (Fr. Seraphim) Rose
What is at the root of the nihilistic doctrine? What are its theological sources? What is its ultimate program? These are the questions that Fr. Rose intends now to explore. And for this, he turns to two people: Nietzsche, who he describes as a “systematic Nihilist,” and Dostoyevsky, “whose insights strike to the very heart of Nihilism and strip aside its masks.”
Regarding Nietzsche, well-known phrases are offered: there is no truth, God is dead. Nietzsche describes well the state of modern man. “God is dead” means that we have lost our faith in God; “there is no truth” means that we have lost the divine and absolute. But Fr. Rose offers that Nietzsche does more than merely observe the reality of the situation:
Zarathustra is a “prophet”; his words are clearly intended as a counter-revolution directed against the Christian Revelation.
It isn’t just that God no longer exists; men wish Him to no longer exist. Men are not merely agnostic; the death of God is not merely some kind of “cosmic catastrophe.” Men are also not merely atheist. No one is atheist, as no one denies God except to accept and serve another false god in His place.
Citing Pierre-Joseph Proudhon:
The first duty of man, on becoming intelligent and free, is to continually hunt the idea of God out of his mind and conscience. For God, if he exists, is essentially hostile to our nature… Every step we take in advance is a victory in which we crush Divinity. …God, if there is a God, is [humanity’s] enemy.
Albert Camus and Mikhail Bakunin are cited as well, with similar sentiments. In men such as these, the theological forerunners of today’s nihilism, Fr. Rose sees as faith as strong as one will find in Christian faith: “its success, and its exaggerations, are explicable in no other way.”
This faith and its distinctive spirit give meaning and power to Nihilistic doctrine. But what is the nature of this Nihilist faith? As opposed to a Christian faith which is “joyous, certain, serene, loving, humble, patient, submitting in all things to the will of God,” the Nihilist faith is contrary in every aspect: “full of doubt, suspicion, disgust, envy, jealousy, pride, impatience, rebelliousness, blasphemy….”
In other words, a total dissatisfaction with this world, a repudiation not merely of God (as if this isn’t enough), but of everything good seen around them. It is a spiritual attitude; and, as should be clear, animated by a dark spirit:
It was well described by Bakunin as “the sentiment of rebellion, this Satanic pride, which spurns subjection to any master whatever, whether of divine or human origin.”
To seek the origin of this animating spirit anywhere or in anyone other than “the primal Satanic will to negation and rebellion” will lead us down a wrong path.
If I may interject…here we find “the prince of the power of the air,” with whom “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Returning to Fr. Rose, this systematic campaign, which he labels Bolshevik (accurate for his time, but fully Westernized in ours), is not satisfied with merely uprooting the Christian faith. It has achieved this long ago. This continuing drive “has no rational explanation”:
…it is rather part of a ruthless war to the death against the only force capable of standing against Bolshevism and “disproving” it.
The control group must be destroyed. But not all who are on the attack see Christianity as the target. Hence, it is turned into a war against authority, against all hierarchies (with, of course, no valuable or meaningful and sustainable hierarchy offered in replacement).
Keeping in mind that Fr. Rose was writing in the early 1960s, and that the Nihilist examples he had were National Socialism and Communism, the following statement is both prophetic and chilling: “Of this age Nihilist regimes of this [twentieth] century have given a foretaste…” Only a foretaste….
Fr. Rose makes a very insightful and intriguing connection, one that should have been obvious to me via a simple exercise of etymology. He notes that one of the most difficult Christian doctrines for the wise of our age to accept is that of creatio ex nihilo – creation out of nothing; and it is precisely “nothingness” that Nihilism worships. It was “nothingness” that God destroyed, merely by His Word. It is this “nothingness,” this “nihilo,” that is at the heart of Nihilism and the Nihilist – the destruction of God’s creation.
“What,” says Nietzsche, “does Nihilism mean? That the highest values are losing their value. There is no goal. There is no answer to the question: why?”
I will point out that the Christian answer to the question “why” always ends with love. It is the final answer to the last “why” when it comes to why humans act, why humans exist, why humans were created. And it is precisely because this is the Christian answer that it is only in a Christian culture where such an extreme opposite can take such strong root. Fr. Rose cites Joseph de Maistre, who notes that there have always been men of impiety against every religion…
“But only in the bosom of the true religion can there be real impiety…Impiety never produced in times past the evils which it has brought forth in our day, for its guilt is directly proportional to the enlightenment which surrounds it.”
It is not mere coincidence that the word “enlightenment” is used. Continuing with de Maistre:
“Although impious men have always existed, there never was before the eighteenth century, and in the heart of Christendom, an insurrection against God.”
It must be so only if the battle is a battle against the true God. Can there be a more meaningful and significant battle?
Even those not consciously in the battle have a heightened sense of anxiety, at least somewhat aware of this program of antitheism. But for those caught in its grip? The realization that he is falling into the abyss does not bring anxiety and despair, but “a frenzy of Satanic energy,” hence striking out at all of creation – with the desire to bring it into the abyss with him.
What other than complete evil and corruption could explain such behavior? Who is the father of such evil and corruption? As Fr. Rose offers, they are like their father, the Devil.
No man lives without a god. The god for the Nihilist is nihilo – nothing: “The Nihilist will the world, which once revolved about God, to revolve now about – nothing.” What is left but to sink into the abyss left by nothingness? It is an order that cannot stand, hence one reason that the de-construction will continue, as there never is a place where nothingness reaches completion, a place where one hits bottom.
As noted in my previous post, the path began innocently enough with Liberalism and humanism. At the time, one could believe that such views were positive moves for humanity and toward liberty. This is no longer an option – nor is it possible to conclude that it is possible.
…if nothingness be the center of the world, then the world, both in its essence and in every detail, is incoherent, it fails to hold together, it is absurd.
As Jonathan Pageau has put it – the world will come apart…literally. It is a world well described by Nietzsche’s madman: there is neither up nor down, right nor wrong, true nor false. There is nothing but confusion, doubt, and despair. In other words…the meaning crisis.
Nothingness, incoherence, antitheism, hatred of truth… A subtle intelligence lies behind these phenomena…
And the named philosophers and revolutionaries are merely servants, not architects.
…we have to do with the work of Satan.
They condemn themselves with their own tongue: Bakunin found himself on the side of “Satan, the eternal rebel, the first freethinker and emancipator of worlds.” Nietzsche proclaimed himself “Antichrist.” Countless artists have also made the connection openly.
And then there is Proudhon:
“Come to me, Lucifer, Satan, whoever you may be! Devil whom the faith of my fathers contrasted with God and the Church, I will act as spokesman for you and will demand nothing of you.”
John 8: 43 Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot listen to My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I say the truth, you do not believe Me.
Jesus was speaking to real flesh-and-blood human beings, sons of their father. Let us not pretend that our physical enemies today are not of the same lineage.