The Hierarchy of Evil
We need to talk about evil and what it's doing in the novel I Am Not Gog. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Although opinion varies on this, I see Ephesians 6:12 as a short list of three types of evil forces in descending order of authority, the last clause being a summation of them all. In context, coming after the exclusion of ‘flesh and blood’, Paul appears to be talking about purely spiritual forces. But, whether you believe in spiritual forces or not, we all know that what everyone calls ‘evil’ becomes manifested, ultimately, by flesh and blood. It is, therefore, fair game for us to use this hierarchy as a template to hold up against our world today and see how it fits real entities by which evil might be made manifest in actuality. This is what I did in I Am Not Gog and the target of its whole allegorical scheme, which is our Unnamed Modern-Day International Phenomenon (UMDIP – it should never be publicly named, by the way). It fitted pretty well, I found, but it needed fleshing out a little bit more by adding eriphions at the bottom of the hierarchy as ‘those who serve darkness’. These are the three of Maggie’s fellow squatters: Milner, Walsingham, and Huram-Abi. Eriphion means 'goat', and I take the word from Matthew 25:32-33, where Christ describes how, on his return, he will separate the ‘sheep from the goats’. Maggie herself is one step up from them in authority, Alex and Philip are above Maggie in authority, and right at the top of the hierarchy we have the always unseen character of RK. In relation to UMDIP, that unseen element is important. RK’s name is a homophonetic representation of the word 'archḗ' (principalities). Alex and Philip are identified by the names of their businesses, Exousia (powers) and Power’s respectively. Maggie identifies herself as Kosmokrator (world-rulers) in the tea-party ritual, and the Eriphions (goats) identify themselves in their incantation.
This was the last in a series of five blogs looking at the overall allegorical scheme and the four strands of allegory running between Lydia’s story (source) and UMDIP (target). A general overview of the allegorical scheme is here. The second in the series is here, the third here, and the fourth is here. Thanks to the excellent resource StudyLight.org, from which I took all the Koine Greek in both the novel and this blog.