by diverse hands
From: Casca (email@example.com)
Greg Littmann wrote:
> Personally, given that hatred is the most evil thing there is, I would leave the word to Lucifer himself or just not give it to anyone at all. Its too close to having a Demon of Evil.
I've done a lot of thinking about this sort of thing, and I've come to the conclusion that Satan's Word isn't anything overtly evil. That would be too obvious and too easy. To get a feel for what his Word is, we must look at the story of his fall.
What do we know about Lucifer? He was a Seraph, this we know, and was called the Lightbringer. It is also reported that he was the highest angel, above even Michael and Yves. He must have had an incredibly important Word to merit such a distinction.
But what made him different from the other angels? What caused him to rebel against God, instigating a battle he should have known he couldn't win? The answer is simple: he was fulfilling his Word.
Lucifer's Word is Free Will. The ability to choose between Good and Evil is at once the greatest gift and the greatest curse of humanity. We can aspire to great heights of goodness, or plumb the depths of evil, all because we -choose- to. It is a subtle and powerful Word.
Lucifer rebelled because he embodied Free Will. He realized that the other angels, by serving God, had subsumed their own will for God's. So he told them they had a choice, that they did not HAVE to follow God, that they could become their own masters.
Of course Lucifer knew the rebellion would fail, but he rebelled anyway. Better to rule in Hell than serve in Heaven, as the saying goes. But he really had no choice in the matter....the rebellion was predetermined. You see, for good to exist, there must be an opposite choice. If there is no way to do Evil, then it is impossible to do Good; the concepts exist as negations of each other. Remove Evil, and you remove Good. So it was necessary for Lucifer to fall, to enable the creation of Good by being its opposite number.
This, of course, leads to the question, "What is God's Word?" The answer is equally simple and subtle. Genesis 1:1 :"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." God's word is -I AM-, the state of being which encompasses everything. Before Creation, the universe simply -wasn't-. Then God appeared and it -was-.
This means two very important things: One, God is the universe, and the universe is God. That, if nothing else. should give a feel to just how powerful He is. Two, by encompassing everything that is, ever was, and ever will be (embodying the concept behind "to be" includes all variations on tense, mind you), everything everyone does furthers God's Word. Yes, even Satan furthers God's Word, if for no other reason than being the 'bad' which defines God's goodness by counterexample.
That's why Satan is so pissed. He knows that whatever he does and whoever he is, his actions further the Plan no matter what. And for the embodiment of Free Will to be told that, ultimately, he has no choice... well, that's why it's called -Hell-, folks.
From: Earl Wajenberg (firstname.lastname@example.org)
> So God is the universe, but also beyond the universe. And that concept makes my brain hurt, so I'll stop there. ;)
This concept is technically called "panentheism" and is a little different from "pantheism." In pantheism, God = universe, but in panentheism, God contains the universe as a proper subset.
In standard theology, God is said to have "necessary existence," or in Latin "aseity," meaning that God's nonexistence is as impossible a proposition as 1+1=3.
If God has a Word at all, "To Be" would be it, I agree.
As for Lucifer, "Light" and "Free Will" are both plausible, but how about this? -- Before the Fall, his Word *was* Light, but when he fell, he lost his old Word. His new Word is "Me." He is the embodiment of selfishness, pride, and arrogance.
From: Bob the Dancing Monkey (DJOHNSON@carleton.edu)
Actually, if we wish to go to one of the principal sources of In Nomine, we can grab a good Word for God from the words of Jesus (I do not know chapter and verse; this is merely a paraphrase...) When asked who he was, Jesus said, "Before Abraham was, Yahveh." The people of the time heard this as the verbalization of what was called the tetragramaton, the word that best named God (well, there's a lot more to it than that, but...) A decent translation of 'yahveh' from the Hebrew is simply "I am." I daresay that God's Word in the In Nomine universe would probably "To Be" or "Ser" or "I am". Pity that English doesn't have a single word for such things. Maybe God's Spanish...
From: Earl Wajenberg (email@example.com)
A hopefully interesting nit: As I understand it, "Yahweh" is the third-person form of a verb in archaic Hebrew and could be translated "He Is," "He Becomes," or "He Causes." Perhaps the ambiguity itself says something.
From: "Leath Sheales" (firstname.lastname@example.org)
>Lucifer's Word is Free Will. The ability to choose between Good and Evil is at once the greatest gift and the greatest curse of humanity. We can aspire to great heights of goodness, or plumb the depths of evil, all because we -choose- to. It is a subtle and powerful Word.
>Lucifer rebelled because he embodied Free Will. He realized that the other angels, by serving God, had subsumed their own will for God's. So he told them they had a choice, that they did not HAVE to follow God, that they could become their own masters.
I'd take that a step further, and say that Lucifer, the Lightbringer's Word is Light. He was the Archangel of Light. Since Heavenly Words often have a metaphorical sense to them, Light didn't just mean illumination in the physical sense of the Word, it meant that Lucifer was able to see how Free Will worked and could see how the angels were being deprived of it. This led him to rebel as described in your post. When he became ruler of his own world (Hell), he kept the word Light as a reminder to all that he holds the key to illuminating the mysteries of God, leading the demons to be able to one day unravel the mystery and defeat God. Therefore, although it would VERY rarely be used in Hell (or general conversation), Lucifer is still "the Lightbringer."
Just my opinion.
From: Casca (email@example.com)
On Fri, 15 Aug 1997, Grim88 wrote:
>>Lucifer's Word is Free Will. The ability to choose between Good and Evil
> Actually, its been stated that his Word was Light.
Remember that celestial words are more metaphorical than literal.
Light, the illuminator of darkness and the revealer of secrets. This light revealed to the angels their bondage to God, showed them that they did not have to blindly follow Him but that they could choose another path, and then illuminated that path for them.
It still contains 'Free Will' as a major subclause, and that's good enough for me.
From: "Nathaniel Eliot" (firstname.lastname@example.org)
> But what happened to the duties of the Angel of Light when he left them. IHMO thare are two people who likely took some of the strain. The Angel of Purity and the Angel of Fire. And what happened to them, hmmm, one Gone and the other Mad (by some peoples measure).
> And then who had to pick up the slack from Purity having been taken away. How about Judgement? And has people's opinion of Judgement been going up or down since about 700 AD?
Good idea. However, you missed two - Litheroy, Archangel of Revelation, and Yves, Archangel of Destiny. Both have words that relate to knowledge, especially of the Divine. Litheroy may be a recent addition, however, and Yves may be immune by virture of being older than Satan.
The question is this - are the problems caused by a taint left in the Word by Satan as he left, or are the caused by realising too much about God?
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