The 5 Gods of Hell (Part 1)

          Man is neither inherently good nor evil, but rather, inherently burdened. One might mistakenly surmise that he is instead inherently lazy, but this is as unfair as calling a man who struggles under the full weight of the world “weak.” Indeed, man’s existence is a constant struggle to stay conscious, to stay moving, to stay alive. If man is guilty of an original sin, it is the bold sin we have committed against oblivion itself, the courageous sin of life. Yet despite the weight of our condition, we should not, nay, must never, repent. We are apostates to the dull old gods of oblivion, in service now to far more vital gods who will reign forever here in hell.

          Yes, human existence is a hell, although it is, in many places, a quite lovely one. Recent theological aberrations have twisted the term so as to make it incomprehensible to our modern ears, such that one can no longer recognize the obvious infernal depths that persist all around us. Perhaps it is morbid fascination or just plain stupidity that has caused so many to become possessed by the notion that their existence could and may get far worse after death. What they somehow fail to appreciate is that all our struggles, our sorrows, and our pains are contingent on our biological life, on the vulnerability of our skins and the endless hunger that exists at our very core. That so many humans continue to fear a world of flames that they believe may await them after they’ve abandoned the perpetual burden of flesh is a sad testament to how truly little we know and understand ourselves.

          Even the rather unsettling declaration of the Buddhists that “we are dying from the moment we are born” fails to do justice to the grim reality of our shared biological existence. Death is not merely inevitable, as this statement might infer to the average man or woman, but it is immediately present as well. There is a mortal flaw at the root of every living creature that draws each of them towards an ever impending suffocation or starvation. At the very root of biological life is what one might call a tendency towards entropic dispersal, or, in much simpler terms, an inexhaustible mortal hunger, yet whatever one chooses to call it, it forces each and every living thing into a relentless struggle to consume additional sources of energy; that is, if any of them wishes to continue existing for more than another month at most.

          Yet I digress. My immediate purpose is to introduce you to those forces which reign over mankind, or, to slightly paraphrase the apostle Paul, the gods of this world. What follows could also be considered as a demonological exegesis on the crown princes of Hell, yet such subject matter suddenly becomes far more essential reading once one has cleared up that minor misunderstanding about precisely where we all are right now.

          I suppose I should also take a moment to explain the nature of “the gods” that I have in mind here. Although I will delve separately into the particular natures of each, there are a few things that can be said of them collectively. First and foremost, it is safe to say that, even if nothing else I know of them is true, they are each worshiped by tremendous numbers of humans. Although they could be conceived of as merely archetypal forms, their intense and ceaseless worship alone causes them all to incarnate, to varying degrees, within various humans all over the world. Sometimes they know what they are, oftentimes they don’t, but if you read on, you’ll know, should you ever meet one or find them hiding within your soul.

          The most obvious and blatant “rulers” of mankind are Moloch, the god of war, and Mammon, the god of wealth. Those who fail to recognize and understand the unique mentalities of these two gods will have absolutely no hope of understanding human government or politics, at least not in any real depth. Rather than tell you obvious things about them, which you could, or should, have probably figured out for yourself, here are some things you might not know.

          First, these are not the same god. The fact that money and power are so rarely comprehended as distinct political forces can be attributed to two basic reasons. One is that very few people really understand either of these gods, despite their tremendous fame and popularity, except on the most superficial of levels, yet the more important reason is that the violent forces of Moloch, in this modern, civilized, age, have been almost completely subdued, subverted, or maligned, by the far more stable forces of Mammon. No longer do Alexanders walk the earth in glory, and even our few modern analogs, such as Napoleon Bonaparte and Adolph Hitler, have found their rises and falls intimately tied to the whims of Mammon’s strongest.

          The repression of Moloch has had its benefits, which are obvious to anyone who has ever suffered violence unwillingly, yet the problem is that now Moloch is no longer at liberty to bring the servants of Mammon to justice, an essential function, despite their not infrequent forays into utter mayhem, that Moloch’s more noble warriors once preformed quite well. Yet, as the most volatile of the gods, binding Moloch has been a goal of most, if not all, of the others for quite some time, perhaps even from the beginning. Though they have had varying degrees of success, the frequent collusions and collisions of Moloch with Mammon have made his subservience to the god of wealth and profit an almost inevitable state of affairs.

          By the age of “maturity,” most of us have been trained, either by necessity or some sinister design, to act only on behalf of either our immediate or long term financial interests, allowing a dull and indolent practicality to strip us of any higher purposes that we might have otherwise served. Yet even Mammon, powerful as she is, is not the supreme god of this age, nor is she the one who is most responsible for bringing Moloch down.

          If you actually managed to convince a long line of people that you could supply each of them with an unrestricted supply of only one of the following: money, power, love, or knowledge, one of the more frequent responses that you would receive would be a desperate request for love. Few, especially among the young, can escape the soft promises of that most passionate embrace, and although those whom she has spurned are often found among the staunchest supporters of her sister Mammon, Belial is unmistakably the most seductive ruler of Hell. She could be declared as the god of all adolescents, if not for a very strong, though largely doomed, youthful following of Moloch, one that thrives among even preadolescent boys, and at that undifferentiated stage, many young girls as well.

          Like Moloch, Belial is also a god of force, yet while her masculine brother delights in the more external expressions of power, from a smooth right hook to the pounding charge of a cavalcade, Belial is primarily interested in the battles beneath the skin, the forces that rend or extend the passions of the human heart and lobby compellingly for the seduction and the reproduction of our flesh.

          Yet it was not Belial’s irresistible charms which crippled Moloch in the modern age. No, that honor goes to the god who invented the gun, ending forever the glory and honor of war for the strong; the god who replaced the master-at-arms with the arms race, and replaced survival of the fittest with mutually assured destruction. It was technology which placed war firmly within the hands of the wealthy, yet all the credit for that technology belongs to Lucifer, the god of knowledge.

          Within the small space of but a few hundred years, our world has witnessed, often with great fear and trepidation, the meteoric return to prominence of the light bringer, in “body,” so to speak, if not yet in “spirit.” A few simple advances in technology have produced further ones, which in turn carry us on to others, pulling technology forward at an almost exponential rate. Considerable breakthroughs within the areas of communication and travel specifically have also significantly shortened the amount of time that all this new information takes to spread across the world.

          Arguably the most uniquely “human” of all the gods, Lucifer has won many great victories over his Dark Age oppressors, but, unfortunately, that subtle war still rages on today. We have entered an “information age,” but how many within it can be said to prize truth? Despite the many brilliant triumphs of science and reason within our modern era, Lucifer is not yet a god who is widely embraced on a personal and philosophical level by the bulk of mankind, and sadly receives nothing like the almost unparalleled levels of devotion currently paid to Mammon, the god of careers, cash, and consumption.

          Yet as we have said, even Mammon, a fairly selective and exacting god, one who regularly tantalizes, exploits, and then spurns countless millions, has not yet overtaken the most powerful of the gods, that unsurpassed ruling force who, at the height of its own power, had tried in vain to completely extinguish forever the light of Lucifer during our most recent of Dark Ages.

          So, who is this mysterious god that commands more devotion than all the other deities on earth combined? I have come to know it best as Beelzebub, the uncontestable lord of the flies. This is the genderless god of mediocrity, who is alive and well in the hearts of every man, woman, and child on this planet who sincerely believes that seeking power is wrong, unhealthy, or even impossible, and for whom the pursuit of knowledge is vain, dull, or just a waste of time; who find passion to be sinful, embarrassing, or else too uncomfortable, and who will sincerely tell you that money is evil, unimportant, or else just plain uninteresting.

          Although many of its servants turn their backs on the gods of this world as some perverse article of faith, many others have no conscious reason for their blandness at all, just a complete and utter lack of inspiration, a deep disconnection from those vital forces which call human beings into the service of the other gods. The followers of Beelzebub, like the corpses over which the humble fly keeps watch, seem, upon investigation, like the walking dead, each without appetite, ambition, or awareness.

          Yet do not confuse their lack of obvious acts of worship with simply failing to yet take up the banner of any god, for many of Beelzebub’s masses are quite firm, and often vicious, in their lackluster, yet faithful, service to their homely god above all else. As Einstein pointed out, “great spirits have always encountered fierce opposition from mediocre minds.” Perhaps most tragically, even with the tremendous recent advances within the estates of both Mammon and Lucifer, the ultimately characterless and humdrum Order of the Fly is still far more populous than all of the other gods’ followings combined. For this reason, it is the utterly colorless and bland Beelzebub, the god of the anti-elite, who must grudgingly be recognized as the supreme god of our world today.

          So ends this first lesson on the 5 Gods of Hell. Go now and be careful who and what you serve.

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