BERGMAN SUGGESTS (vide Hour of the Wolf) that if only one might be convinced that there is a devil, a real one, then one would know pari passu that there is a God, and one could not but be happy, knowing that at very least the game was (so to speak) “straight-up.” That would have to be strictly entailed. Or would it? One might perhaps have a second look at that devil, call him the Antichrist (A.C., for short); hasn’t he (and he tends to be a he in all accounts), hasn’t he pretty much had the show to himself, so far, the real show, that is, the only one in this universe’s town, the one that either comes out, or (variously) it does not, and, how does it look, so far. More than merely  “serious”, more than very grim indeed, isn’t it bleak, damned (exactly) bleak, and didn’t just exactly a very real real devil do those things — and more and more of them as time went along — those that mean life cannot go on, like this — those things that are death.

And if there is a God in all of that, he (and he’s pretty much always got out as a he, too, East and especially West), and his nature (eternally, of course) is good, then it is as if he got to lay out great wonder and beauty only to have to watch it (in his contemplation) done to death over and over as the tiny particle that is human existence in this universe has gone on. If in fact there is some Great and Good Being, that Being exhibits remarkable restraint in not really ever having “pushed back” so-to-speak, no matter how tempting it might have been to halt evil in its tracks, for once, just to show forth for once One’s great good potency. The very real devil has never yet been startled, nor seems due to be.

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