upside down: smells like the spirit of evil

What entered the Almighty’s mind when he put the serpent into the Garden of Eden, he alone knows, and by now may have forgotten , may have regretted, or is keeping a firm lip on his plans until the Redemption. But until such a day arrives, the existence of villainy in a world under Divine supervision has been a disconcerting and somewhat tormenting issue for much of thinking society. In term of the arts and literature, villainy has been an un-mixed blessing from tyrants, pirates and pick-pockets there is no shorter of guises that the evil shadow has at their disposal…

From Mark Twain. In The Mysterious Stranger, set in an Austrian village in 1590. The speaker is an angel known as Satan, the nephew of the more famous one, who turns theological ideas upside down.

---The Mysterious Stranger: Art by Rick Geary)---click image for source...

—The Mysterious Stranger: Art by Rick Geary)—click image for source…

“Strange! that you should not have suspected years ago–centuries, ages, eons, ago! –for you have existed, companionless, through all the eternities. Strange, indeed, that you should not have suspected that your universe and its contents were only dreams, visions, fiction! Strange, because they are so frankly and hysterically insane–like all dreams: a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave his angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice and invented hell–mouths mercy and invented hell–mouths Golden Rules, and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man’s acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him!…(Mark Twain, The Mysterious Stranger, 1916)

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