Why the Devil is so smug

Not so long ago, the Devil was spending time at his favorite vacation resort by the Lake of Fire. He was drinking a special cocktail made from pure grain alcohol and hot sauce. He was enjoying a well-deserved rest after finally coming up with a most hellish strategy for foiling God’s plan to save souls.

From out of a smelly sulfur pit, there emerged one of the Devil’s most loyal devotees. The devotee took a lounge chair next to the Devil and showered him with words of praise.

Devotee: “Gee, souls from Earth are flooding our gates like never before! What devilish scheme did you concoct to pull this off?”

Devil (with a wide smile): “I am simply using God’s own strategy of Love against Him.”

Devotee: “How did you make something as noble as spiritual love the means for populating our conscienceless community?”

Devil: “Remember, I have earned a doctorate in human psychology and learned all their weaknesses. Earth-beings want to feel loved and important, so when they learn that God loves them and wants them to love others more, they simply increase their kind acts towards others.”

The Devil leans over and speaks closer into his devotee’s ear, adding, “But this activity takes their eye off the ball. People find it much easier to act friendly towards others then to mercilessly examine their hearts and minds. Therefore, emphasis on such acts of kindness actually blinds them from the real inner work necessary for their true spiritual growth. “

Devotee: “That is brilliant!”

Devil: “That’s why I make the big bucks around here.”

Devotee: “I only see one challenge to your deliciously nasty scheme. There are new books being spread on Earth, written by Emanuel Swedenborg. He made it perfectly clear that humans should first examine their lives and inner motives before their acts of kindness could be properly purified and become deeply sincere. Now what do we do?”

Devil: “Nothing! When people sincerely look for the dirt in their lives it begins to ‘rain on their party.’ People want what people want. I have studied Swedenborg’s work as well. You will notice that Swedenborg states that God will intensify this unflattering process of self-examination to the point that men and women will actually reach a state of despair. Who on Earth wants that? People would rather envision God as only hugging them.”

The Devil continued, looking smack dab into the eyes of his devotee and revealing a horrible grin, saying, “I am putting my poker chips on people’s spiritual inertia and preference for taking the easy way out by refusing to participate in any process that makes them feel the least bit uncomfortable about themselves. Most people use their religion to anesthetize and calm their inner world. Therefore, in spite of their outer acts of kindness, their inner world stays as it is and remains unchallenged. So let them love and love and love. Such souls who are not brave enough to ‘clean the inside of their cup’ will have their eternal abode with me and my glorious kingdom!”

The Devil and his number one devotee began laughing so hard that they fell out of their lounge chairs!



About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at http://www.staircasepress.com
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4 Responses to Why the Devil is so smug

  1. moonliteeve says:

    Hey, I really enjoyed reading this, it was funny! I like your writing style. Still, I believe love towards others will start to make it easier to examine your own self, by being able to forgive yourself, and by the more contrast you will be able to see, between loving and non-loving behavior…. But I enjoyed this one, I really needed this humor, mixed with insight. 😉

    • thegodguy says:

      Dear moonliteeve,

      I am glad you enjoyed the article. Yes, love towards others can make it easier to examine oneself. The question is whether self-examination is actually taking place. It is so easy to overlook this spiritual responsibility when one is engaged in external acts of kindness. The Lord warns us to be ever alert and to “sleep not!”

      Spiritually yours,

      • Ivonne says:

        OMG! This is my weakness. Sometimes it seems I am more ‘reflective’ than most, and during the past 10 years or so, I tend to observe people’s interactions a lot, and also observe my own feelings. But, often this “gnawing at the bone” about human relations and self, made me be clumsy and aloof… Hmmmm…I guess I have to keep improving. Irresponsibility and inaction are not traits to keep!

  2. thegodguy says:

    Dear Ivonne,

    You are making a discovery that few people actually make. Now that you have a taste of proper “inner” observation, the challenge becomes keeping up the pressure on yourself. This is the uncomfortable path by which your acts of kindness gain spiritual innocence. Yes, heaven is a kingdom of love but spiritual love must be based in innocence!

    Spiritually yours,

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