English / 02.01.2020 / 1086
The devil exercises his power by appealing not just to the foul, but also to the purest of intentions
If not the whole Bible, then at least a significant portion of it is devoted to the issue of free will. Could Eve have resisted her temptation? Could Adam have exercised his free will and refused the apple? My interpretation was always that God gave people the freedom to choose. He outlined the rules, but he didn’t push people towards any choice in particular. Meanwhile, the devil used manipulation to force people to make the decision he wanted. So how did he do it?
For me, the answer is drawn on a Tarot card. A man and a woman are chained to an altar, and upon that altar sits the devil himself. The ability to impose his will is granted to him by people’s addictions. The common idea is that the chains represent the most horrible human qualities: greed, avarice, vanity…
It’s a surface-level interpretation. Goethe’s genius produced another one. In his tragedy, Faustus just has to exclaim: “Stay a while…”, and the hero’s soul will belong to the devil, who would then win his bet with God. And when does Faustus pronounce these words?
The blind Faustus says them when he thinks that a dam is being build around him (in actuality, it’s demons digging his grave.) So Faustus doesn’t lose his soul for money, fame or sex. He almost blows it on the good intention of making people happy with a useful object. The devil exercises his power by appealing not just to the foul, but also to the purest of intentions.
By the way, in criminal circles, when people suppress your will, they also appeal to eternal, perfectly good values. Friendship. The willingness to sacrifice yourself in order to keep your word. The ability to share your wealth with those who surround you.
Fists and bayonets aren’t a great basis for power. One of the characteristics of a state’s power is the monopoly on violence. However, all wise crime bosses and politicians alike strive to limit their use of force. And if you just have to destroy someone, then you should show that there’s no other option. The people themselves want blood. The modest sovereign is just humbly obeying the people’s will… Thousands of years of history show – the monarch should not be the one to initiate executions. Kings that have the rep of an executioner don’t last long. The people don’t like them.
Let’s draw an intermediate conclusion. Will is suppressed by...
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“The problem is, Nikolai, that you never finish anything you start. You don’t even have a degree,” my girlfriend scolded me. We were on the subway.
She had just received some money to make a website, where she would eventually put up some boring local news. The site had dramatically less subscribers than even her Facebook page. In a couple years, the project went bankrupt. But she never lost her faith in the magical formula:
“You need closure. Every beginning has an end…”
Exactly one question determines whether or not to part with a person. The question goes like this:
— Can I live without this person?
If the answer is "I can't live without...", then it's time to break up. The thought of "how can he/she live without me?.." is the same tune. Romantic creatures will tear apart for this story, but it's true. Any affection is harmful. Failure to leave a relationship leads to the one becoming a tyrant, and the other a slave. Even if no one wanted to be a tyrant.