The Devil = Ego = Clinging = Enslavement
Use a word too much and it becomes meaningless, but the word ‘clinging’ is very important. Clinging means that we identify very strongly with an idea that colours our perception, and therefore our whole life. And, because we cling, we attract more of the same. It’s a vicious spiral of servitude on the conveyor belt of life – one of a long line of conveyor belts running through lifetimes.
When we cling to ideas, we become dependent on a programme, a planned series of future events or performances. This programme plans our life. It is a version, or vision, of ourselves, to which we adhere and, unfortunately, respect. We take pride in a feeling that we are behaving with honour and dignity, according to custom. It’s a nice idea, and it works like a … charm! We obsess about ourselves, and become addicted. Our addiction to our self is a drug, through which we are exposed to the ‘drug dealers’.
We all have our likes and dislikes; we are always free to choose, but we get lazy and fall in with the crowd. When our clinging to these likes and dislikes means that we cannot change our behaviour, then that clinging becomes our personality, our ego, our prison of limitations. It is then that we become vulnerable.
Having said that, liking and disliking is beneficial when addressing, “Not too tight and not too loose”:
I like the Buddha’s teachings, because they help me understand and so remain balanced.
I dislike manipulations, but they help me to understanding evil forces and so remain balanced.
But if we become obsessed and addicted to our likes and dislikes, then that makes us a fundamentalist; someone who is too strict and is controlled by dogma/programming. Basically, if we cling to ideas, we are no different from a robot: we become a robotic jobsworth.
How many people do you know who cannot come out of character?
Why is this so important? One reason is that we cannot control our self, our worthwhile image. The other reason is that, if our self image is admired by other self images, we can be controlled. If we cannot control ourselves, then someone else will do it for us!
What do you think the internet is really all about? It gathers information on us. Of course, the internet is also a useful tool: there would be no point in creating something that didn’t attract and thus cause addiction, would there?
When we look on Youtube, there, waiting for us, is “Recommended for you”. It knows you, and what you’re interested in. This all goes under the guise of advertisers giving you what you want, but the data gathered will also be building a profile of you and your tendencies. There is even technology to read your thoughts, and this is all a trap to make us conform on an industrial level.
Conformist do not like non-conformists. This is evident in the followers of spiritual traditions. A non-conformist is treated as an egotist, when maybe, they just cannot conform by copying others. Then again, a non-conformist could equally be clinging to their own set of ideas. What a muddle!
There is no devil. There are no dark powers. There are no Satanic truths. It’s all a charade to manipulate and deceive. Even the deceivers are deceived, because they do not truly know the nature of mind. If we believe in something external, we will only be misled. There is no power greater than our own pure perception, for without that, nothing external would be known!
Know your own mind and be free.
In knowing our own mind, we recognise when we are being controlled by our likes and dislikes.