Lucifer isn’t the oldest villain in history. He isn’t even the worst. So why, despite all the other prime examples of evil, do we keep gravitating back toward the King of Hell?
Perhaps this is more of a Western world or religious fascination, though of course there are animes such as “Blue Exorcist,” “The Devil Is A Part Timer,” and “Black Butler” (which deals with the topic of demons, though not Lucifer directly) – but the Western world’s influence on Eastern culture via missionaries might have something to do with this.
That being said, there are evil entities we tell stories about, no matter where on the globe we make our home. Just as most of us have a sense of good and evil, we are fascinated by evil and sometimes find good boring. Would anyone watch a superhero movie if they weren’t fighting evil?
What is it about this good vs. evil story that draws us? And why are we, apparently, more interested in evil? Or, have we been looking at it from a strict black-and-white dichotomy, when really it’s more of a perception issue?
This is why I love shows that revolve around the writers’ idea of Lucifer – shows like “Reaper,” “Supernatural,” and the new FOX comic-turned-drama “Lucifer” all embody our idea of evil: beautiful, deadly, and sometimes, misunderstood. Or at least tired of always being branded the bad guy.
Would evil really be so enticing if it weren’t beautiful? And why does the truth and goodness often appear so ugly?
I think more of us find we resonate strongly with Lucifer. We aren’t perfect, we make mistakes, and we’ve been largely condemned. There’s a lot of hatred for the human race amongst ourselves. Our self-hate and hatred of each other make evil more understandable.
But is Lucifer really evil? If we go back to the mythological tale of the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were created by God and lived in the Garden of Eden, where they were forbidden to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This meant that Adam and Eve were innocent.
When Lucifer “tempted” Eve, her curiosity had already taken her to visit the tree. It appears that Lucifer had already eaten of it, and had already lost his innocence. Therefore, if he hadn’t died, why should Eve?
Adam and Eve ate the fruit and subsequently cast out of the Garden because they were no longer innocent. The price for their innocence? Freedom. I don’t know about you, but I think Lucifer offered the better deal here.
Isn’t it better to know rather than exist in ignorance? Lucifer also never asked for anything. He never put rules and regulations out for Adam and Eve to obey. Perhaps he knew the damage unexplained rules could cause.
We identify with Lucifer because we recognize that nothing is as cut and dry as it seems. We only learn by doing, and therefore, mistakes must be made if we are to add to our knowledge base. Likewise, we also find Lucifer fascinating because he figured so prominently in another world. He was beautiful, the Morning Star. And he fell. We can identify with this story as it has happened over and over in our history.
In “Reaper,” Lucifer is a slick, sly devil of a man with his own agenda. In “Supernatural,” Lucifer is caught in a battle with his brothers because of his rebellion against their Father. And in “Lucifer,” he’s grown tired of being the King of Hell and decides to try being good for a while.
The “Supernatural” fandom is especially fond of their Lucifer, played by the incredibly talented Mark Pellegrino. “I Love Luci,” they say, and laugh about how weird their conversations about him and Crowley and the other angels and demons sound to those who aren’t part of the fandom.
We do love Lucifer — or at least, what he represents. We all experience a rebellious period in our lives, most often in our teens, and we all feel rebellious against the way the world is. What draws us most to Lucifer, however, is that he gives us hope. He rebelled against God and survived. He was given his own kingdom, with his own minions, and power beyond our imaginations.
Wouldn’t that be a reward, instead of a punishment?
Defying those in authority has often proved a mostly positive experience in our history. The American colonists fighting their ultimate authority figure, the British Empire, for example.
But rebellion isn’t without repercussions. We have to weigh the pros and cons of what it will cost us to rebel. What did it cost Lucifer? His connection with his Creator? His place in heaven? His wings? Was it worth it, to be his own person?
It’s probably wise to take heed of Lucifer’s story, whether you believe it to be the absolute truth or a bit of interesting mythology. There is always something gained and lost in these choices we make. Lucifer lost a lot, but he gained his freedom, and his own identity.
Is it worth it? According to mythology, Lucifer will have his freedom until God returns. Then Lucifer will have to fight Him and His angels, only to lose and be cast into a lake of fire with his followers. It’s a harsh punishment, though if Lucifer is responsible for all the evil in this world, perhaps it makes sense.
I think, however, we should look at where Lucifer came from. Who created Lucifer?
God did. God created this beautiful, bright angel and then dashed him to Earth when he dared question the order of things. That doesn’t sound like something a Hero would do, is it?
So is Lucifer really evil? Did he get that from his Creator? And if so, is God truly as good as some believe Him to be?Image Credits: FOX