The Interview with the Devil by Napoleon Hill

Napoleon Hill authored a book called, “Outwitting the Devil” which caused me to have several “Ahaa!” moments and those where I felt more his victim than anything else.

So first questions first! Did Napoleon really interview the devil literally or was it the typical stretch of a writer’s imagination? Secondly, in the book, the devil seemed to have no choice out of the interview except to reveal what was asked by Napoleon, my curiosity demands to know what trick Napoleon used to subdue the devil in the interview. Did he use a spell? Did he make a sacrificial ritual like those we see in horror movies? Did he perhaps summon the devil by using some strange drawings of geometrical shapes on the floor with goat’s blood? Is my imagination running away from me?

What the Devil says He Is

Now let us see how the devil describes himself. He says he is energy. So, right there, we have been grossly misled by horror movies to think the devil looks like an angry red man on fire with burning eyes and flesh( thank the TV show Lucifer for that one), some go as far as giving the devil props such as the infamous three-pronged spike.( I don’t know if I got the name right). Anyway, at least now we know from the horse’s mouth what the devil’s true nature is: he is negative energy manifested as fear, poverty, illness, hopelessness, and a bunch of other nasty feelings and conditions we battle with everyday of our ordinary life. In short simple words, the devil is that cigarette you cannot stop smoking, that alcohol you cannot stop drinking, those negative thoughts which keep you in the dark, that deadening feeling of hopelessness, those fears of never having enough, and so on and so forth.

What the devil says he is NOT

So the devil says he has an opposition. Think of it like the story of an asian historical drama, where there are two brothers one who became the crown prince and one who fled to oppose his brother’s reign. Now the devil says he is the crown prince here because he controls 98 percent of the people in the world. Imagine his audacity! I could almost see him smirk. Moving on, he says while God is all that is positive and proactive, in charge of making sure all the planets revolve in their respective orbits and the sun rises and sets okay everyday, the devil has no time to oversee such silly stuff. Why you would ask? He is busy making more than half the world suffer from depression, or dividing countries and pitting them against one another. He is a busy fellow who preys on the minds of toddlers, and sometimes corrupts them before they are even born, through their parents and ancestors. And he will not apologize to anyone about it!

What I think caught my attention was the part where he disclosed that he could only affect people he termed as “drifters” which he explained to mean those who do not think for themselves but simply follow stuff they are told. He went on to say it is the chronic procrastinators of the world( myself included) and those who fall victim to the circumstances life throws at them either in their environment or the people in their life. Just when I heard these words, I was laying on my bed and I shoot up like a tree and started finding something to do. He will possess you if you are idle. That is when he gets room in your mind to sow his dreadful seed of misery. So get busy people! Do something!

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