SONG OF THE WEEK – PRINCE OF DARKNESS

I

Earlier this week, I was doing a meditation with some friends.  It was suggested that whenever an extraneous thought came along we should acknowledge, “I created that,” and let it pass.

How far beyond the mind and meditation should that acknowledgement be extended?

II

Some of the news headlines from the past few days:

  • TERRORISM SUSPECTED IN CRASH OF RUSSIAN AIRLINER; 224 DEAD
  • ANKARA SUICIDE BOMBERS KILL 102; OVER 500 INJURED
  • 42 DEAD IN SUICIDE BOMBING OF NIGERIAN MOSQUE
  • PARIS TERROR ATTACKS:  8 ATTACKERS DEAD AFTER KILLING MORE THAN 120 PEOPLE AND INJURING HUNDREDS

III

A young nun sits with her superior and asks, “Mother, why does God permit hundreds of innocent people to die at the hands of Satan and his violent terrorists?”

The mother superior replies, “Do not blame God or Satan, my child.  You have caused those deaths.”

“How can you say that?  I am cloistered, living at peace among my sisters.  I pray for peace in the world at least eight hours each day.  I do not eat the flesh of any living creature, and avoid even stepping on an ant that may cross my path.”

“How did you feel when you heard of the innocent deaths, my child?”

“Mostly I felt sad and confused.”

“Anything else?”

“For only a second, a part of me felt a spark of anger that such things could happen.”

“That spark, my child, is enough to ignite huge conflagrations far beyond the walls of this convent.”

IV

John Milton’s epic poem, Paradise Lost, refers to Satan as the “Prince of Darkness.”  It also tells us that Satan was formerly known as Lucifer.  I guess we already knew that because three centuries earlier, in his Inferno, Dante Alighieri had called Satan Lucifer (among other names).  “Lucifer,” translated from the Latin is an adjective meaning “light-bringing” or a noun referring to the morning star.

Hmmm.

V

The Nylons was an a cappella singing group formed by four underemployed actors in Toronto, Canada in about 1978.  The personnel in the group changed over time, but during the Nylons’ most productive years (starting in 1982 and going until about 1990) the members were Claude Morrison, Arnold Robinson, Paul Cooper and Mark Connors.

The group is best known for its fine cover versions of rock and roll standards like “Happy Together,” “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and “Town Without Pity.”  Members of the group also wrote some excellent songs.  The Nylons’ best album was the second one released in 1982, entitled One Size Fits All.  It includes a song by Mark Connors and Paul Cooper called “Prince of Darkness.”

Pay attention to the lyrics.  If we haven’t “created that,” we surely can.

Prince of Darkness
By Mark Connors and Paul Cooper

Be gone, Prince of Darkness
Be gone, Prince of Darkness
You have no power
You have no power
Be gone
Be gone

I woke from a dream to a rumble of thunder
Not heard but perceived from within
A feeling inside that just can’t be denied
Says the countdown is soon to begin

But in the darkest hour the human spirit
Sings ancient songs to me
The tyrants will gather to worship their master
But he will be brought to his knees

Be gone, Prince of Darkness
You have no power here
Be gone, Prince of Darkness
You have no power here
You have no power, you have no power here
You have no power, you have no power here
Be gone

We speak with the voice of ten million souls crying
This war that you make is not ours
You sit at the left hand of those who are lying
Seducing with hypnotic powers
But now your stone cold heart has started rumbling
A song has risen free
And we shall not stop with the laughter and singing
‘Til you have been swept to the sea

Be gone, Prince of Darkness
You have no power here
Be gone, Prince of Darkness
You have no power here
You have no power, you have no power here
You have no power, you have no power here
Be gone

We run with the spirit that moves through the city
The heart of the jungle is whole
The seekers of truth with the hot blood of youth
Together we’re never alone
When every heart has finally found the courage
To love with all it’s might
The chains will be broken, the doors will burst open
And we shall know the power of the light

Be gone, Prince of Darkness
You have no power here
Be gone, Prince of Darkness
You have no power here
You have no power, you have no power here
You have no power, you have no power here
Be gone

 

7 thoughts on “SONG OF THE WEEK – PRINCE OF DARKNESS

  1. Bad news, Louis. You did not create the acts depicted in those headlines. You are merely capable of them, as are all human beings. Lenore and I both have exposure to the practice you describe. It is a good practice as a revelatory step on our path to conscious awareness of God – and a terrible belief.

    While some thought systems embrace the belief that we are each personally the responsible creator for everything from cancer to prosperity in our lives, the truth is that the facts of life are not necessarily subject to personal control. Things happen. What we are in charge of is how we see and meet them, and whether or not our perspective kills the God within us with fear, isolation, and/or anger, or calls the God within us out into a perspective involving both compassion for, and acceptance of, the whole truth of human nature.

    The good gained from the practice of this step is undeniable. It’s useful in the dualistic realm where our perception draws the lines between the aspects of God which are within, without, and throughout all things. We characterize the highest aspect of God as The Creator; we characterize ourselves as one of those creations, attributed with all aspects of our Creator; and so we can accept that we ourselves are also A Creator without overstepping and consigning to ourselves the status of The Creator of all things when in fact we are simply the creators of our own perceptions and experiences.

    This practice can also lead us to recognize the full range and potential of humanity, from the highest to the lowest. It can connect our conscious mind to the potential every human being has to chose to do anything they can, that part of us which is capable of choosing thoughts and actions outside moral, social and legal limits. Stated within the metaphor of the Triune Brain Theory, it can reveal the power and depths of the proto-reptilian and limbic brain systems to the neocortex, the seat of consciousness, where free will and choice have a hand in the formation of our own world view and the perspectives we embrace and actions we take.

    Enough said about that here. You’ve primed my pump, Louis, and I’m grateful – I haven’t been inspired to write much of late, and this has proven to be a good prompt for me to do something along those lines. I’ll post the result (if there is one, although you will remember I decided earlier never to commit to the phrase “more to come” ever again) over at my blog. When I mentioned it to Lenore, she said, “Well that’s something you can write about until the cows come home.” We never had any cows, so that could be a good long time for writin’…

    In a related vein and relevant to thye subject of your song of the week I also want to thank you for recalling to me my own perspective on the myth (as opposed to, once again, the belief) of Satan. It’s proven useful to me because it informs our perspective on human nature, particularly in the way it represents aspects of human being which include ego, pride, selfishness, and self-aggrandizement, and the desire to “mount to the head of the congregation.” It’s especially useful in the silly season of politics we are entering now, if indeed we ever left it…

    Satan is the character who proclaimed, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly… I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” He’s also the one who was “…brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit.” (Isaiah 14:13-15)

    Satan, or Lucifer, has also become the representative source, agent and figurehead for the entire list of human sins, those identified as deadly as well as the mitigable other sins. I may cover this more over at my blog as well. I have plenty of time. The cows aren’t coming home any time soon. Maybe the chickens to roost, but I’ll risk that…

    I realize I’ve wandered a bit from the musical subject of your blog entry, Louis, and as always I am grateful for your patience and forbearance… A lot. It’s a great song, too – I almost forgot to say that.

    • I was not intending to take responsibility for the events mentioned in the news headlines. It would certainly be my ego talking to assert that my beliefs alone create events occurring in far corners of the world. Gosh, I can’t even “manifest” parking spaces when I am in a hurry to get somewhere.

      Neither did I intend to blame the little nun I mentioned. I do acknowledge that she and I have sometimes added to the level of anger that exists. The second part of the meditation practice is to let the thoughts pass after recognizing they have been created. Thus, she and I – and everyone else who has felt any anger – are encouraged to let those feelings pass. Then, as the song says:

      We speak with the voice of ten million souls crying
      This war that you make is not ours
      ……….
      Together we’re never alone
      When every heart has finally found the courage
      To love with all its might
      The chains will be broken, the doors will burst open
      And we shall know the power of the light

      As for the myth of Satan, the traditional telling is that he gave up his position as Light-Bringer and became the Prince of Darkness because he tried to usurp the position of the Creator-God. However, we know that what goes around comes around; and have seen that each morning there is a new period of light brought in to replace a time of darkness. I think that if we can recognize the seemingly incomprehensible violence as a transient darkness we can, as a whole world, become the Light-Bringer that Satan once was (and, who knows, may become again).

      I look forward to reading whatever you may add. A word of advice: Don’t go trading any magic beans for for one of those cows far away from home.

    • After writing my initial reply, I got to thinking about light and dark, love and fear, war and enemies – those sort of things. I was reminded of Chapter 69 of the Tao Te Ching and my commentary concerning the phrase “making light of the enemy.” I talked about Pride in that post, but could just have easily discussed enlightenment coming from one’s perception of so-called enemies. Amy Putkonen had a good comment to my discussion, so I just went over to her site to refresh my memory on what she had said about the chapter. These words from her commentary struck a chord: “We have the opportunity in any moment to move beyond the patterns of the past and create a brand new future. This understanding is not new but we still stay stuck sometimes.”

      I know I do both.

  2. Hi Louis (& Bob!),

    This is a great reminder – to acknowledge the part that we all play in the game of hate. I found myself getting rather wrapped up in the hype of hatred myself for a bit, or rather, anger more than hatred, I think. Angry at why people would do such awful things. But I think that you are good to point out that getting ourself riled up in the anger is only furthering the problem and is not doing anything to lessen it.

    My husband was telling me about a documentary called Dirty Wars, which was about this Muslim guy who was speaking out against those attacking the US. Then, in a strange series of events, he became the victim of some military involvement that shifted his perspective and then he got into trouble with the US mililary. It would not surprise me if this was a common thing. I think that we need to look deeply at our part in all of this and if we are going to be active, we need to actively try to understand why we are causing such hatred from others.

    Great discussion, as usual, guys!

    • There are people who accept, and tell us, that all is in Divine Order. It probably is. However, we can make it better and still maintain that order by moving away from hatred and fear and toward love and acceptance.

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