June 22, 2014

The meaning of terms such as "devil" or Satan" used in sacred books

Every human being has a spiritual nature and also a material nature; his purpose is to subdue the material nature, which inclines him to evil, and, with the aid of Divine Teachings, to develop his spiritual nature so that he can manifest praiseworthy attributes. An individual who chooses to surrender to the promptings of his material nature can sink to levels of depravity and bestiality which are abhorrent to the discerning eye, and which are totally unworthy of the human station. The Baha'i Teachings inform us that there is no independent force of evil in creation, but terms such as "devil" or Satan" are used in sacred books as symbols of the promptings of the lower nature of man. 
(From a letter dated 9 September 1992 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer)