Regenesis: A Retelling of the Beginning
You are a victim.
To show you, I’ll have to go back before things got screwed up. Since the beginning of time, there are three beings that have existed, called Elohim. They share a love so profound, so perfect, that though they are three, he is also one. For the function of love is precisely that, to bring beings together into perfect union.
Although Elohim had no need to bring new creatures into existence, he did so for the pure joy of creating. For creativity is in his nature, something he passed down to many of his creatures. He also created other beings so he could love them and be loved by them. Although I was not around to witness any of that first creation, since I was made last, I gather it was a sight to behold.
When I was finally born into this realm, called “the heavens,” I was overjoyed to be alive and to meet such a variety of life. I was constantly meeting new kinds of beings, and all of them had a place in the kingdom of Elohim. He had made the fleet-winged malakim, who were his messengers. He had made the burning seraphim with six wings, to fly by his throne, cover their faces and feet, and eternally sing his praises. He had made the many-eyed ophanim as wheels-within-wheels to travel his kingdom, see it’s glory, and praise him. Although it’s difficult to describe these creatures to you with your limited senses, perhaps you can get a sense of the wonder and awe I felt entering this world.
I am of the species cherubim. We each have 4 different faces, and wings covered in eyes, since we’re near relatives of the ophanim. Our species had a special task, we were to ensure Elohim’s creatures continued to grow in good virtue and knowledge, strength and love. We were responsible for planning challenges for others, to promote growth. You see, growth doesn’t happen on it’s own, but needs tests, and goals. Sometimes, even suffering is necessary to encourage growth.
Having made me last, Elohim had also made me his second in command, and he trusted me with everything. Because I was his second-in-command, he told me all of his plans. After a time of enjoying his first great creative act, he informed me of what at first seemed to be something truly wonderful and new, a second great creative act: the physical universe. I, carried away in my desire to please him, didn’t notice the subtle underpinnings. This would only end badly, with you, my reader, on the receiving end.
At the time, though, it was truly a wonder to behold. Along with a lot of preparation and detail work by the vast horde of the first creation, He created the universe, and he did it with seven mighty words. The first, “Let there be light,” was awe-inspiring. From a single point, there was an explosion of energy too mighty for words. Physical energy, an entity none could have thought of, except for Elohim. And the explosion expanded into 3 spatial dimensions, another novelty. The behavior of this energy was controlled by physical laws laid in place by the Almighty himself, such as a speed limit for everything in the universe.
His next mighty word was “Let there be matter,” which brought another novelty into existence. These served as carriers for this energy he had put in place earlier. The interaction of energy and matter was complex and intricate. Now the building blocks for his creation were in place, and boy did he do some incredible things with them. Stars, galaxies, planets, quasars, pulsars, and more, all in dazzling array. He had made new laws to go along with the old ones, which together included laws of inertia, force, and gravity.
Teams of us would put together large collections of light and matter based on our own whims and desires. I would come up with creative challenges for my peers to accomplish, and together we devised some really bizarre systems that stretched the limits of the rules Elohim had set in place. After much care given to forming billions of these heavenly bodies, the Almighty enlisted the help of a multitude of his creatures in this one small system. He seemed to be paying attention to certain details that made no sense to me at the time. We obeyed his commands anyway, even though we didn’t understand what he was doing.
There was one planet in this system that had to be a certain amount of space away from the star, and with certain ingredients. He even guided a giant space rock to collide with this planet, which eventually become the only space rock to orbit this planet. On the surface, there were substances that were somewhat unusual, but we didn’t see what their significance was.
As he was forming this special planet, he uttered a word, “Let there be water,” and directed us to start a bombardment of the planet by small space rocks. Bewildered, we obeyed, and bit by bit, the incinerated rocks started forming an atmosphere. Volcanic eruptions also started spewing gasses that were heavy enough to cover the surface of the earth. And then, it began to rain. So much rain that it filled up the low places on the planet with oceans of water.
After three days, he had created a planet unlike any other. But he didn’t stop there. Oh, no, he still had some tricks up his sleeve. The next mighty word was “Let there be life.” He showed us how to put together certain elements that were capable of absorbing nutrients and reproducing. We had never even begun to conceive of such a thing. So we all had a go at making life forms, unaware of the incredible diversity that would arise from such simple beings.
And Elohim said, “Let there be plants,” and over a great period of time some of these tiny beings became able to turn the light from the star this planet orbited into energy. After millions of generations, these beings and the ones that just absorbed nutrients started to change. They had to, for the composition of the atmosphere and the supply of food were changing. Slowly, as Elohim guided small mutations in the genetic code, causing them to arise at the right time, he formed ever-more complex creatures.
And finally Elohim said, “Let there be animals.” With the new oxygen surrounding the planet to protect and provide, these small creatures began to form collectives, which functioned as one being. These organisms started leaving the protective confines of the ocean. As the heavenly host caught on to how Elohim caused certain mutations to arise at the right time to create incredible complexity, we all joined in.
Elohim had given these creatures the will to survive, for without it, they would never have lasted long. The other component that we used to our advantage was competition. Some animals developed speed and fearsome teeth to chase other animals. This gave the fastest of their prey, or the prey that was best at hiding, an advantage over other creatures. On and on this went, following the same pattern that I knew so well: challenges, including suffering, can lead to growth. We all picked a species or two to nurture and bring to new levels. Over a long period of time, we had come up with an unbelievable diversity of life.
Although the Almighty had created many species, he seemed especially intent on shaping a particular species, again one that at first did not seem to have any redeeming value. This species seemed a little too bare, a little too weak. The Almighty, he has a thing for those who are helpless. It was over these helpless beings that he spoke his final, terrible, word of creation, “Let there be consciousness,” and with those words he breathed into a human. The unthinkable had happened. God had taken a bit of spirit, from our world, and imbued it into a physical being.
Undoubtedly, there were benefits for your kind. You gained the power of language, of creativity, and of love. But along with this, he had given you a terrible power. The power to betray him. This would prove to be a fatal flaw, his first mistake. For what he had done was to create the roots of what would become evil, which he called “free will.”
Elohim had chosen two representatives from your species to receive his “gift” of consciousness. He had first put consciousness into a man, and named him Adam. Then he took a bit of the spirit-stuff from Adam and put it into a woman. Adam named the female Eve, for though the first conscious woman had come out of a man, every future human consciousness would come out of a woman.
If Elohim had just left it at that, things might have been okay, but he also gave you a single, simple rule, that you must not eat from a single tree in the garden. This was the second ingredient in his folly. You see, if he had never given this command, Adam and Eve would have had no opportunity to disobey. Yet he chose to lord it over you, and to force you to submit to his will.
So with the knowledge that Elohim had made two vital mistakes, I set out to prove him wrong. He had taught me so much, everything I knew, but morality required that it was time I taught him something. I was confident though that he would quickly admit his mistake and correct his error, but to this day he refuses to admit he was in the wrong. His stubbornness and his pretense that he still has the moral high ground continues to cause your suffering. But again, I digress.
So here’s how I decided I’d go about proving him wrong. The two happy humans were tending the earth, blissfully unaware of the horror that was to befall them. I decided I’d pay them a visit, to see if they had any idea of the flaws that were buried deep within them. One of my four faces appears to humans as a snake, and that’s the one I presented to Adam and Eve. I struck up a conversation, and after a while I asked them a trick question just to see how fallible your species really is. “Did I actually overhear Elohim ordering you not to eat from any tree in the Garden?’” Eve confirmed my suspicions by mis-reporting, “Not at all! We can eat from the trees in the garden, but Elohim did order us not to eat from, or even touch, the tree that is in the middle of the garden, or we would die.’”
Elohim had not said anything about touching this fruit. On top of this he wasn’t being truthful when he said they would die. They might eventually, but not right away. I pointed this out to them: “Oh, that’s not true. You aren’t gonna die. Elohim’s just telling you that because he doesn’t want you to be like him, knowing good and evil.”
They looked hesitant, but the fruit was gorgeous, and to their eyes, far better than it actually was, just from the mere fact that Elohim had forbidden it. With the truth of my words ringing in their heads, Eve reached out and grabbed two apples, and handed one to Adam. Together, they bit into the apples. Although the apples tasted amazing at first, it wasn’t long before they turned into ashes in their mouths. Your species now knew evil.
“How could you do this to me and my kind?” you might ask. Although it seems like I was the one at fault, the fault really lies with Elohim. Suffering caused for no reason is evil, and he had no reason to give you free will, thus setting up your subsequent suffering. I, on the other hand, had good reason to point out Elohim’s mistakes.
The only way he could restore things is if he admitted his mistake and made it all right again. The physical and the spiritual were never meant to be contained in the same beings. Free will should never have existed.
A while after this unfortunate episode, I was chatting with Elohim when he said, “You seen my friend Job? He’s a good man, honest and true.” Of course I had noticed Job, he was one of the Almighty’s biggest fans. He was also powerful and rich. It’s easy to think Elohim is great when your life is going so well, and I said as much.
Then I came up with a plan. Maybe if Job’s stuff were taken away, he’d see the truth of the situation. Human weakness and frailty are Elohim’s fault. I was actually kind of surprised when the big guy granted me permission to do whatever I wanted to Job’s things. This was a chance to prove myself, but more importantly to achieve growth in both Job and in Elohim. Suffering is only moral for that purpose.
So I got together with some trusted associates, all of whom were dissatisfied with Elohim’s rule. We timed our strike perfectly so that Job would face all this devastation at the same time. All his wealth, flocks and herds, and even his children were destroyed. I eagerly awaited his response, knowing that he would admit Elohim’s failures. But when he heard the news, he merely said “Elohim has given and Elohim has taken away, may his name be praised.”
Obviously frustrated that Job had denied the truth, I went back to the drawing board. Perhaps if he understood the frailty of his own body, he would change his mind. So I got my friends together and we all went to Elohim. He had to rub his success in my face, by gloating that Job was still loyal even though all his stuff was taken away.
“Maybe so,” I said, “but if his health was taken away too, he’d surely admit I’m right.” Elohim granted this too, apparently convinced of his own rightness. Because we understood that suffering is the road to enlightenment, my friends and I devised the worst diseases we could imagine and inflicted them on him. Surely he’d admit Elohim’s mistake in creating pitiful humans.
After all that, Job’s wife seemed convinced, but Job himself, while not exactly chipper, still wouldn’t go so far as to admit Elohim had it out for humans. All Job could say was that Elohim had a right to cause suffering if he wanted to.
Next, by a stroke of luck, Job’s friends made my case far more eloquently than I ever could have, not by strong arguments, but by sheer stupidity. They had the audacity to go and blame this whole crisis on Job himself! Now if this didn’t convince Job that Elohim had made a mistake with humans, what would? Human cruelty, from his closest friends. Unfortunately, just as Job was about to admit I was right, even calling on Elohim to face him in court, Elohim intervened. He responded not with answers but with questions, and Job couldn’t handle the pressure.
Elohim claims to want all of you to love him, yet he has made it impossible. He refuses to use any persuasion at all to convince you to his cause, preferring instead you come to him “freely.” In the name of this persuasion, he even went down to earth and became the very weakling he had created to try to convince you to come to his side. This brought the abomination of spirit-matter beings to a whole new level. I thought perhaps his experience as one of you would show him his error. But when I talked to him, he was just as stubborn as always. Here’s about how it went down:
Jesus was fasting, which I’ll admit can be one of those times that suffering can bring growth, and he was praying all the while to Elohim. I went up to him when he was experiencing some serious discomfort, a time when he might understand the suffering that humans all over the world were experiencing due to his own stuck-up-ness.
First, I pointed out that he could ease the suffering of many people just by turning rocks into bread, the same suffering he himself was experiencing. Not only that, but the masses would flock to him if he would just give out bread to everyone he met. He could accomplish a two-fold victory, but in his callous desire to save “free will” he said “Man does not live on bread alone, but also on my Father’s words.” Well perhaps, Jesus, you could feed them first, and then give them his words, when they are in a position to hear.
Then I said, “If you would jump from the top of the temple, into the busiest part of the city, the malakim would catch you. Then word would quickly spread of your magic powers, and you’d have multitudes begging to follow you. You’d be able to end evil in no time flat.” But again, he resisted, saying that “My Father is not a magician that you can have do whatever you want. His way of doing things is best, if we just trust him.”
Not being one to blindly follow what Elohim says, I tried one last argument to show him his mistake. I listed off all the kingdoms of the earth, and revealed that I had seduced every leader into obeying my will by giving them power. If Jesus would simply acknowledge that humans were a failed experiment, then I would turn over every leader to his command, and he could end oppression everywhere. As an added benefit, people would again come flocking to his side.
Jesus resisted, all in the name of his precious “free will.” He said if the humans didn’t choose to love freely, then it wasn’t really love. But who cares about free will?! Why is this so important that humans have to go through so much evil and hatred, so much meaningless suffering, merely for Elohim’s “values.” Jesus couldn’t even see it when he was experiencing it firsthand.
Then, in the end, my human counterparts did a far more complete job of showing him the true extent of evil and suffering in this world. There he hung, in the most excruciating pain in the world, having been unjustly accused and sentenced. He was abandoned by the leaders, religious and nonreligious, and his friends all abandoned him too. Surely, if there was any time for Jesus to see that your kind couldn’t handle the freedom that Elohim had given them, this was it.
“It’s not worth it,” I said to him in my humble abode. “You can’t pretend any longer that giving these humans a chance to love you for your own sake is worth leaving them in the misery that you enabled them to create for themselves.” Jesus looked at me in silence for a moment. Then uttered “Oh, Satan, don’t you see? You can come back to Yahweh too. He loves you, you know.” And for a split second, I almost believed him. That everything could be okay again if I just admitted I was wrong and Yahweh was right. But, in the end, I couldn’t, because I knew who was wrong and who was right. Love is not worth lying to yourself and to others.
That brings us to today. Elohim has been utterly stubborn in his refusal to admit his mistake. All of the evil, hatred, and human weakness that you see around you is his fault. He could make it all better in an instant but he chooses not to.
So you see? I have been on the fight for justice for all people, but Elohim continues to maintain his charade. He continues to pretend that your “freedom” is better than living without evil. What kind of “freedom” is it anyway, that you have to live in fear and oppression? Your god is Elohim-the-tyrant, and you are his victim.
I (Peter, not Satan) would like to say a word or two about the story.
First, about the “poetic scientific creation mythology” as my friend Jim so aptly named it. Although it is told by a fallible character, I was hoping that this part of the story would be unspoiled, since Satan speaks of it as an idyllic time before Elohim messed things up. In any case, I’d like to say that I could imagine creation having gone this way, and it seems somehow fitting.
If you compare the “words” in my account of creation with the “days” in the Genesis account, you might realize that I picked similar topics. Further, you might realize that my order, using the order from the Genesis account, is roughly day 1, day 4, day 2, day 5, day 3, day 6, (day 7, though I don’t mention it). If you’re an Old Testament scholar you’d know that this order isn’t chosen at random but is correlated with the way that the Genesis account was organized (1 corresponds to 4, 2 with 5, and 3 with 6). I tried to capture some of the poetic orderings, without being so rigid that I lost the “new” poetry or the science.
Also, I’d like to point out that although this account more-or-less matches the modern-day scientific account of the first things, scientists are always finding evidence that contradicts previously-held truths. It is probable that someday this account will feel just as out of date, scientifically, as the Genesis account feels now.