I believe that the Devil is real. I believe that the way he works is by persuading us each of the supremacy of our own truth – by convincing us that it is THE truth – and then convincing us that the reason we are alive on this Earth is to prove ourselves right, and everyone else wrong.
Whether we end up being passive or being gentle about it, depending on our personal tendencies, this becomes our goal. It becomes the hill we think we should die on. The way we do it isn’t important. The severity with which we do it doesn’t really matter. What matters is THAT we do it, and that we fall into this pattern of us vs. them, and that we wind up in a place where drawing a line in the sand and committing to a moral code of exclusivity becomes our whole life.
This can be just as easily done with religion as it can with a pure, solid irreligiosity and skepticism. Any creed or anti-creed will do. Any dogma, loose or constricting. One can be just as easily beaten over the head with a volume of Nietzsche or Voltaire as they can be with the Bible itself.
The only thing that actually lies opposite of all this is love, and it is as rare and precious in this world as freaking unicorn tears, I swear.
Love doesn’t freak out and feel an uncontrollable need to correct or admonish. Love takes its time with people. Love acts as a human thermometer with the other person’s emotions, and studies to find out what would be the best way to exercise itself on their behalf. It doesn’t take away from people in order to benefit itself; instead it gives itself away to others.
Love is painstakingly compassionate. This compassion is genuine, not feigned for the sake of appearance. It is rich and sincere, full and broad, and it soaks all the way through every action and thought.
Love is not consumed with jealousy. It is zealous for the heart of the one it adores, but this passion does not become toxic or harmful. It sets one afire with a certain joyous contentment in the wellbeing of others, in such a way totally separate from any sort of need for personal gain.
Love does not catalogue the infractions and violations which others have committed against oneself. It absorbs such infractions. It covers them with itself. It lays itself down and says, “I will bear the burden of these things, that the guilty may have mercy, and that justice may be answered.”
Love is not a thing that we can actually manifest in and of ourselves. It can be imitated and emulated, but iterations will be counterfeit, and they will have a limit. To possess the real deal, we must relinquish ourselves. Self is the antithesis of love, and only as it dies can love be born.