113) Dealing with the Devil:  Adventures in parenting, Part 1 – A Sentient Universe

So, the other day, my kids and I made a deal with Baphomet.

It was our second time making a deal with a Lord of Evil.

Hmmm, you may be getting the wrong impression here. Let me explain.

In my Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) campaign, demons and devils are quite real, as the incarnation of archetypal patterns, which are so strong in reality, having so many pervasive effects, that they coalesce enough “magical” energy that they manifest as conscious beings.

In my universe, consciousness suffuses all things, like Spirit, like Star Wars’ Force.  I call it the Flux, for I believe it is Chaos at its heart, Chaos keeping the Spark of Divinity alive, the foundational process of Change always in motion, so that in the essential “stuff” of Reality, movement comes into being, in opposition to counter-movement, and thus “two” are born from one, ebb from flow, and Divinity can separate enough to become aware and know Itself.  

Since all the universe is a gossamer web of consciousness, “otherness” connected through causal relations, “karma”, the Buddhists’ 12 Links of Dependent Origination, it merely takes enough organized convergence of that consciousness to create the “self”-awareness of a Being, an entity.  

We humans are one form of such an entity; Demons are another.

In addition to being fun to contemplate as a kind of model of an animistic reality, the incarnation of Demons into conscious beings in a way that bridges the magic-fantasy genres with mythology and cultural history, gave me a vehicle, a very sneaky and powerful vehicle, particularly useful for a Dungeon Master who is creating adventures for his children, and wants the experience to be about more than hack & slash & steal the treasure.

What do I use this vehicle for?  Where does it take us in our D&D adventuring?

It’s the coolest thing ever.  I feel like I didn’t even invent or create or weave this idea into our D&D campaign.  I feel more like it was woven into us, almost like the idea was already in existence, “out there” in Reality somewhere, like a scent drifting on the wind, waiting for an attentive nostril to register its existence, or in this case an attentive mind ready to translate this Idea into Words.

In fact, the feeling I just described, of this Idea being Other to me, having an existence of its own, coming from somewhere outside of myself and inhabiting my mind, points to the same ontology, the same model of Reality, as the way I described Demons a little earlier.  ….How about that eh?

So what do I use this vehicle for in our D&D campaign?  I use it for meaning, for profundity, for philosophical depth.  And it works wonders.

Let me tell you a little story about the first time my children made a deal with the Devil. It’s going to take me some time to write it out well, so come back and check the next post! 


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