THE DEVIL’S GREATEST TRICK
In the movie The Usual Suspects (foundation#KatrinaRuth viewing, don’t you dare tell me you’ve not seen it!), there’s a line said which has stuck with me and fascinated me for some several decades now –
“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist”.
The quote is a distillation of one originally attributed to the extraordinary 1800’s writer Charles Baudelaire, who wrote in Paris newspaper ‘Le Figaro’ in 1864 that “one of the artifices of Satan is, to induce men to believe that he does not exist”.
For years I had myself convinced that this quote was from the movie The Devil’s Advocate (also required viewing!), in which Al Pacino gives a damn good rendering of a fairly dashing and persuasive (thus extremely realistic) Satan … I’m still not entirely sure the line isn’t referenced somewhere near the end of the movie; I’ve a vision of Pacino standing in a stairwell and throwing this over his shoulder as he climbs towards the roof for one of the final scenes.
Either way, what a deeply compelling truth this statement is to consider. Don’t you think?!
You don’t need the Christian roots that I had to be equally magnetized and appalled by what it could mean for you, if it’s true that you’ve been seduced by an idea that the Devil is not real.
If you think I’m about to preach to you on God, give some sort of religious sermon (I do God, not religion), or try and save you, think again. For now at least I’m just here to invite you to considering saving you from yourself, and from the almost-certain SWAYING FROM PURPOSE you’ve got yourself all entangled in right now.
You know –
Who the hell do you actually think you are?!
That voice which shows up each day in a different and oh-so-subtle way. So assured and solemn that you can’t help but believe it, even trust it!
Shaking its invisible yet WILDLY treacherous head at you as it reminds you that actually what you’re doing NOW is the thing, yes, that’s it, you’re doing enough, you’ve done enough, no need to push harder, drop deeper, be MORE.
And so you capitulate, once more, to the voice of reason, to accepting life as you’ve currently created it and yourself as you’ve currently created THAT, rather than acknowledging the truth of all you’ve not yet fully stepped in to –
You think that this is the voice of REASON, of caution?!
No! It’s the voice of the devil.
But oh, what’s that now? That’s right … you don’t believe in the Devil, do you?! It’s a silly idea made up by silly people who want to scare you silly … it’s a childhood myth … or an adult horror story … or it’s just about drumming FEAR into people; how dare they?!
He is as real as the fact that even after all these years you STILL don’t do the work of being fully you.
Even after all these years you STILL manage to convince yourself that this, this … EXISTENCE … is enough.
Even after all these years, all these tears, all these PRAYERS (yeah, somehow you still manage to throw out a prayer when desperation calls for it; despite your non-belief in Satan!), all these PROMISES made –
and broken –
YOU’RE STILL BARELY ONE FOOT IN.
Dance dance dancing on the edge, maybe I will, maybe I won’t, what a gamble, what fun, how fey; it’s only my LIFE!
And it’s so EASY, isn’t it?
It’s so easy …
To lean into the ways of the world.
To accept that ‘this is just how it is’.
And to accept the gradual decline –
Of your body,
And your soul.
To accept that this is how life WORKS, you can’t just DO WHAT’S INSIDE OF YOU! LA is for the dreamers, real life is about compromise. Sacrifice AGAINST self. And letting standards and expectations of what you once insisted was non-negotiable, what you were born for, destiny – !
Once upon a time you had a destiny …
But once upon a time you were a child, who believed in love, and fantasy, and that the things she couldn’t see were more real than the toys of the world.
What a long ago time that was, even though it was only yesterday, but now –
You know better.
You’ve been hurt.
And you’ve been taught NO.
And this whole time, this entire ridiculous time, you’ve been telling yourself that all of this letting go of destiny is because it’s not possible … you can’t … not yet, when actually?
It’s just the damn Devil whispering sweet lies into your ear.
Don’t you get it yet?
His entire JOB is to GET.YOU.OFF.TRACK.
Sadness, hopelessness, ‘I can’t’, and ‘I shouldn’t’, so ultimately ‘I won’t’, and ‘I didn’t’.
That’s what he’s here to do.
You can believe it or no, your soul knows it’s true.
Meanwhile, here is all that really matters next:
What are YOU here to do?
And are you planning to ever go do it?
Don’t forget –
Life is Now. Press Play.