Angels and demons are all the same, and humans just started dividing them all up with concepts of good and bad? Originally they were the powers that governed all aspects of life, literally all, even Nasragiel the keeper of the gate to hell. And it was heavily debated even in early Christianity what ones conduct regarding angels should be, even whether to admit they exist at all as they seemed to appear almost as a hallucination in every incidence of encountering them. There was even concern that angelic piety would threaten the worship of the Christ, which is a title denoting the King of Israel. The messiah is unrelated to the role of King of Israel, and it was even debated by Jesus as people sought to make him assume the role. He repeatedly denied he sought any temporal sovereignty.
Sir Francis Bacon speculated that angels were creatures of pure intellect, which wasn’t an argument for them not being real. In that day and age the doubt of the mind and perception wasn’t in vogue as it is today. He meant to say that they came and are encountered on a level of mind and not flesh. Similar to our current use of the idea of “fighting our inner demons” as a metaphor, but he and even the Greek priesthood saw the mind as a whole realm of existence. Morpheus called it home, as well as the daemon Eros.
The tale of the encounters between Eros and psyche were quite telling. We even use the image of Eros to depict an angel today. Even in early Jewish tradition there were angelic powers that served as supports to humanity and those who served as adversaries, enforcers of Gods will. Sort of like the state side of court in today’s court of law. So when visited with hostile judgemental ideas, it was believed that the adversary was communicating with you. In the case of the plagues on Egypt that order of angels were responsible for meting out what was seen as justice in Hebrew intuitive thinking.
Hence the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other? Yes, but not directly opposing each other. That concept didn’t come until later. To this date a Rabbi will not speak on the evils of Satan. This is why they have their atonement concepts. They won’t speak on Satan at all other than to say that you will be tempted and will be judged based on failing in the face of that temptation. That’s all the preaching about any adversary they do.
The angelic hierarchies still existed after the human perception of the schism, but it was decided that things like disease, and famine, and war were not approved of by God. A reactionary spin off of Jesus’ message of tolerance. To my mind an unreasonable conclusion, but in later reckoning the angels of these pains and hardships were considered demons. A word adopted from the Greek and originally meaning powers lesser than god, or the divine sovereign. So the other angels sort of took a back seat when the concept of divine war kicked in. It became for “king” and country. Any other focus was seen more or less as treason and any understanding of angels or understanding of these weird spiritual encounters went by the wayside, other than that angels were the agents of divine providence.
Perhaps we should stop thinking of there being opposing forces between angels and demons, this ‘war’ so to speak? It might help us stop thinking of war on earth? Yes. Even in Native American faith there was an angelic hierarchy. The great spirit, the parent of all existence and the elemental spirits that we might know better as totems. It’s an article of faith that there are evil spiritual forces and that we are threatened from that side. Otherwise the modern paradigm loses its sense. But in the Native American case they saw their “angels.” They didn’t have the dualism in favour of an animistic and very spiritual world.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.