We've all heard legends of deals with the devil. Everything from the man who wanted great guitar skills at the crossroads, to all the variations of the Faust legends.
How are we taught to view this figure? The purest, wholly-made-up of evil humanoid, why is he imagined as a cartoonish, red fellow with a mischievous smile? Perhaps as a half-man, half-goat creature with large horns?
Horns. Cloven hooves. A cheap, plastic trident. How does this image correctly show the corruption of good, ugly, vicious truth of the damnable wrong in this world? The atrocious acts that take place why we live our normal lives? The repulsive, wrathful, stinking thoughts that go through the heads of the both insane and “normal”.
Have you ever thought about something... just wrong? When you're driving in a car, thinking about how easily you could ram someone with your marvelous technological wonder made of a couple tons of steel? Perhaps harm yourself by jumping off a tall building and seeing what it feels like to die?
Now, we all experience those thoughts, right? We don't tell anyone. They would put us away for life.
What about the devil? To some it's a specific person they disagree with. To some it's music they aren't accustomed to.
But the devil is always a clever, conniving cheat, correct? Well. So are we, right? Some are. Certainly not you or me, right?
What about when a family relative lets you hold their baby when you were younger. How careful you had to be with the newborn. But didn't you think about just... dropkicking it across the room? How “fun” it would be? Surely you could never do that. Surely.
What about the boogeyman under your bed or in the closet? You didn't know what it could look like, but you could certainly imagine. Back then it could scare you so much; but think about it now? Humorously grotesque, silly personification of your childhood fear. Does that scare you now? It shouldn't. You know better that there are much more evil and obscene things in this world.
The real world. Not the one in your head.
Lots of things go on in your head, right? That little voice when you read. You hear it now, don't you? Well, hello there. How do I sound? Ha. No matter.
What else goes on in your little brain? Imagining about your future. Thinking about your significant other and all of his or her traits. How your life would be so much better if you had just a bit more money. How your life would be better if you changed yourself.
What about when you're cooking? You're chopping up some vegetables. Thinking about easily you could cut off your own hand and smear blood all over your face. Or what about the person sitting, complimenting how the kitchen smells. What about them? How about skinning them and wearing it's flesh as a costume? Sounds fun, doesn't it? Oh, no. Too hard to hide the rest of the body, I guess.
Is that evil? What about all that goes on in the world. From the beating of a child to the buying and selling of them for... unspeakable acts. Unspeakable to you. We don't talk about it, they don't want us to. It exists, though. But you don't want to think about it. It's too evil.
Do the people that partake in such activities think it is wrong? Certainly not. What they want is above what we would call “good” and “bad”. They are satisfying others lustfulness for their own greediness.
But you aren't greedy, certainly not. No need to feel guilty that you didn't put your spare change in that little cup or kettle. I'm not sure that small amount of money could have kept that homeless man dying of hypothermia in the winter air. Or that small child starving to death. Not your fault, of course. Nothing could have been done. You didn't know.
Not your fault, of course. Nor is it mine. I'm just a messenger.
How about if you've ever cut off a relationship and wished they would simply be locked away in a dungeon forever so no one else can have them? Now, that's not evil. They deserve it. At least, that's what you think. It's simply selfish. Human nature. Natural.
Now, who causes the most death? Gang shootings? Acts of terrorism? Murderous revenge? Or is it a short man with horns with a comically-evil mustache?
That isn't the devil.