The phrase, “The devil made me do it” was popularized by Flip Wilson, a comedian of the 70’s. It removes the responsibility for any action from the self and attributes it to the devil. This is the thinking of many who believe that the devil is responsible for any kind of evil thought or act.
The idea of a devil was necessary to express a concept that requires an intuitive insight, or an understanding of the human psyche. This is true of many spiritual concepts that are otherwise unexplainable in words. The word “God,” for example, has many different connotations, and the concept is expressed through a variety of words that appear to distinguish different personalities while they are actually attempting to bring to mind a single idea that is entirely foreign to mind.
The personification of the part of the human psyche that is ego-centered is that which is called the devil. Ego is that part of our selves which is in direct opposition to that which is personified as God. Ego considers itself to be its own god of the earth and, as such, it desires to rule over each of us, giving us the notion that we are perfect and good regardless of our thoughts, words or actions. This is in contrast to the inner promptings of conscience, the still, small voice within. The ability to choose what is right is drowned out by the constant rumbling of thoughts, attitudes and emotions that cloud the mind and hide that quiet inner feeling. This is enhanced even more so in this age of technology where iPods keep us continuously tuned in to the outer world, while they drown out the inner.
We each confront our own devils when we are given the choice to give of ourselves instead of taking for our own selfish gains. It is selfishness, the aim of ego to enhance its own growth, which directs us away from the openness and unity of Love. It separates and divides making us believe that we are not connected to the Whole. It is interested only in the self and its gains, often at the expense of others. This is the root of all evil in the world and is that which is called the “devil.”
For more information about the devil and evil, read my book, SPIRIT AND TRUTH.