Do you Believe in God?

Friday, 15 May 2009

The Origin of The Devil - Part IV

Our traditional image of the horned, winged demon comes from the Sumerian Myth of Zu and focuses on the two brother-gods, Enki, who seems to have sympathy for the humans, and Enlil, who is a strict adherent to Anu's orders.

The Nefilim were again presented with a potential mutiny when the Igigi, a form or Nefilim that worked in "the firmament," or space, complained that they had no place to rest. They noted that other Nefilim who mined, and certain deities assigned to land duty, were provided with a retreat. But they feared a confrontation with both Enki and Enlil and persuaded Zu to make their request known to the godhead.

Zu was an orphan. The stories about Zu mention that his ancestors were enemies of Anu and his clan (from events on their home planet), but only Enki was aware of this and he chose to keep the matter secret. Zu was adopted by the space workers, the Igigi, and lived as one of them. And it was with pleasure that he took their request for help to a meeting with Enki and Enlil. He was not their equal, but he was their kind.

Enlil was not easily convinced that a rest-stop for Igigi was necessary. He hesitated. His god-brother Enki, for some reason, suggested that the whole matter could be delayed indefinitely if Enlil would re-assign him to his own personal service. Service to either brother would supercede any other committments. The suggestion was made to have Zu guard the most sensitive area, atop the ziggurat pyramid, in the secret chamber where "the tablets of destinies" were kept. This position was considered important enough to delay the Igigi request. Enlil agreed and made it so.

To the words that Enki spoke to him
the god Enlil consented.
At the sanctuary Zu took up his position
At the entrance to the chamber
Enlil had assigned him.

Zu envies the "tablets of destiny" and the power that they could bring. He perhaps even realized the tactics of Enlil. He finally steals the tablets of destiny and escapes back to "the heavens," from where he begins to utilize the power of the tablets. Anu and the godhead are shocked. The entire planet is in a state of crisis over this violation of trust. Anu orders that the tablets be restored to Enlil -- but, the godhead moaned, "who will be able to fight Zu now that he has the tablets?"

It is decided that Enlil's first born son (and heir to his authority), Ninurta, will do battle with Zu. Ultimately, the battle is won and Ninurta restores the tablets to their sacred chamber. There is a dramatic trial in which all of the godhead sits in judgement and condemnation of Zu. He is handed over to Ninurta who cuts his throat. This epic was so meaningful to the Sumerians that it was depicted on countless clay seals and artistic impressions. Zu is often depicted as a bird, with feathers and wings, to represent his allegiance to the Igigi, the ones "who fly." The epic was remembered in Babylonian and Assyrian rituals where a bull, representing the evil Zu, was sacrificed in the presence of the godhead. To Sumerians, Zu represented the ultimate personification of betrayal and he served as a metaphor of deception and affliction.

The "horned one" also has his links to Sumeria. Anu, Enlil and Enki were almost always depicted with horns, a beard and occasionally a tiarra or widely brimmed hat. The horns were a way of signifying their godhead identity, much the same as Christian art shows a halo to signify being "holy." Did they have real horns? Probably not.

The addition of horns to the winged, bird-like feet of Zu completes the archetype of the devil. But the existence of real evil in the world attests to something more substantial than a myth or even an historical being in the past. What is the basis of evil today?

To the Sumerian godhead, evil was a reversion to the weakest impulses and drives of the being. Humans, being part animal (homo erectus) and part god (Anunaki) were prone to give in to their animal desires. This was the evil in men -- the residual primitive drives for self-preservation and procreation. Evil would always prevent man's movement to become more Nefilim-like, by developing his Nefilim abilities. His lack of self control would naturally inhibit this process.

True, personified evil would result in the use of Nefilim powers for the attainment of self-interest. There have always been those rare individuals who have, perhaps by accident, developed some Nefilim abilities and then used them incorrectly. Like the betrayal of Zu, the misuse of power is at the very core of our concept of evil.

Where is the devil? He is inside every human, waiting to impose self-interests and attend to our animal psyche. He is, I'm afraid, part of each and every one of us.

As I said before, this story is true. Rather than list each reference and translation, being caught up in the many arguments over syntax and convention, I have given you the plot. A quick review of history will readily prove the plot, without getting further into the details. You will then have to ask yourself whether you choose to believe that this is true, or that the Sumerians had an extremely lively and creative imagination. The deeper you dig, the more you will recognize the history that has been kept from you. But you have a right to know.


What did you think of this article? Make sure you leave your comments below, so we can finally kick start this public debate – Once, and for ALL.

This made far more sense to me than any Biblical story, much clearer and simpler. I’m not the kind of person who reads something and believes it, not by far. This article simply peaked my interest into the civilisation that, in my eyes, is the most mysterious and fascinating civilisation of all – The Sumerians.

For those of you that have not yet heard about this civilisation, look them up. For those of you that have, I’m going to start revealing things that you not have known about them.


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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting. Interesting ideas. I've been reading up on the origin of Satan and aspects of the Christian text. I was raised in a Christian home and attended a Christian college but was kicked out for asking questions. Since then finding answers has been my obsession.

    The Bible's books are out of chronological order. The earlier texts view Satan as a member of an early legal system. In the book of Job, arguably the earliest text, Satan is the prosecutor essentially. Basically Michael is the defense, Satan the prosecutor, and God (El) the judge.

    However, this is only before the second Babylonian exile, when the Jewish community spent time mixing myths with the Zoroastrians, who were the first true monotheists. Well, monotheistic as much as dualism presents. They are credited in many acedemic circles with the idea of God the solo creator of everything and Ahriman, the early prototype for a destructive Judeo-Christian Satan, as the great advesary.

    Not as early as what you posted but worth mentioning. I'm not sure what early people intended. However, one thing I am sure of is that the writers of the Old Testament were NOT monotheistic and God was to early people the father of good and evil. He brought it all.

    Good books on the topic:
    A History of the Devil; Gerald Messadie
    Cosmos, Chaos, and the World to Come; Norman Cohn
    The Origins of Satan; Elaine Pagels
    The Biography of Satan; Kersey Graves
    Adam, Eve, and the Serpent; Elaine Pagels
    When Time Shall Be No More; Paul Boyer