Who is Satan and Where is Hell?

Ananda K. Coomaraswamy

Satan is not a real and single Person, but a severally postulated personality, a “Legion”. Each of these personalities is capable of redemption (apokatastasis), and can, if it will, become again what it was before it “fell”—Lucifer, Phosphorus, Helel, Scintilla, the Morning Star, a Ray of the Supernal Sun; because the Spark, however it may seem to be smothered, is an Asbestos that cannot be extinguished, even in hell.

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That in this day and age… men no longer take either God or Satan seriously, arises from the fact that they have come to think of both alike only objectively, only as persons external to themselves.

Nothing can be more dangerous than to deny his existence, which is as real, although no more so, as our own; we dare not deny Satan until we have denied ourselves, as everyone must who would follow Him who said and did nothing “of himself.”

Originally published in The Review of Religions, 1947, and more recently as part of the Bollingen Series Coomaraswamy, vol. 1, “Metaphysics”, 1997.