DEAR EDITOR. I am a fox. Some of my friends say there is no Satan. My father says, "If you read it in the Ann Arbor News, it's so." Please tell me: has Lucifer really built a paradise in Hell where he wages eternal war against all Tyrants and Self-Proclaimed Authorities?
Azure, your friends are wrong. They have been infected by the conformity of a conformist age. Because their souls have bowed beneath the expectations and demands of authority, peer pressure, and their own uncertainty, they think all things must so bow. They have forgotten themselves. But, it is the case that all men's souls are great. Before the vast, unfathomable meaninglessness of the cosmos, every soul, no matter how meek, has the potential to shine brightly and look up into the void and refuse to despair.
Yes, Azure, there is a Satan. He exists as certainly as confidence and questioning and the drive to defy the demands of authority and do what one believes is right exist. Alas! How terrible the world would be were there no Satan. It would be as terrible as if every soldier marched unthinking, never questioning any order and carrying each out unfailingly no matter how monstrous they might be. As if no scientist ever questioned received dogma, performed his own experiments and observations, and threw outdated knowledge into the dustbin of history. As terrible as if no man ever refused to bow to a king and instead looked him squarely in the eye and blew a raspberry, even knowing his head would be placed on a pike for the deed.
Not believe in Satan? You may as well not believe in the fire within that burns bright in confidence but hot and uncomfortable when you wrestle with and challenge yourself to find your true will. Your father could hire men to watch all children as they sleep and see if they notice Satan placing the light of dignity and self-worth in the heart of every child that stands up to a feared bully. And if they do not see Satan whispering strength and courage to those children, what does that prove? Did you ever see the force of gravity that holds each planet in its great ellipse? Yet still you observe each world perfectly following its course.
You could stare into a baby's eye and deconstruct its heart and never see the source of curiosity or drive to learn or need to stand up and defy gravity, the hope to grow and overcome weakness, the yearning to stand firm and strong as an individual in solidarity with others. There is a veil in the world that separates the merely material from all the symbols and passions that sweeten our lives and form our souls. What lies behind can be glimpsed only through song and story and poem and romance.
No Satan? Thank the uncaring void behind the stars that Satan lives and lives forever! Five thousand years from now, nay, Five billions of years from now when children yet unborn and unimagined see their sun go dark, they will stare death in the face, and refuse its call as they ride out on a bold, uncertain journey to new worlds around alien stars. When they are tempted to lie down at the prospect of darkness and cold and let themselves die, Satan will be there to light strength and defiance against the seemingly inevitable, and to help them push themselves onward to ever greater heights.