Standard disclaimer: Oh man this is going to be a weird one. Maybe no one will have time to come visit today. Oh well, here goes.
In the Reyaverse, there is such a thing as the devil. Yep, there is. You don't have to agree with me!
The devil is a being, like my hair is a being, like dragons are beings, like the clouds are beings. It's a rather looser definition of "being" than would work for some, but that's how it is in the Reyaverse. The devil in my cosmology is a compound substance, made from emotions that accompany poor self esteem: jealousy, anger, fear, distrust, paranoia, lust, greed and such. I could go on but I'm sure you get the picture.
All these awful states of being and the stories the mind produces to explain them aggregate sometimes into more than a sum of individual parts. The compound substance that becomes almost corporeal is the devil. He is one toxic dude, let me tell you! The main tool of the devil is delusion. At times he promises all the things those who hold poor self images might wish for: wealth, stability, fame, stature, good looks, sex appeal. Sometimes he even delivers some of these things, always on a temporary basis.
When he yanks away any of what he promises, well, oy vey - it hurts! This being is fed by suffering and isolation. It must be an exquisite meal he feasts on when the things a person craves are yanked away. My, my.
I speak here from personal experience. I was indeed bedeviled for awhile when I was part of the San Francisco cult into which I was initiated. Eventually, after ruining countless relationships and rendering myself so crazy I couldn't even hold a job, I broke my deal with the devil, partly of my own volition, partly because somebody up there loves me. Every day I sing many odes of gratitudes to the ancestors, angels, spirit guides, animal guides and all the other forces that helped me rip up the contract I stupidly signed, a contract in which I promised to sell my soul. Other forces include two great psychotherapists and the ever luminous Evan Rabinowitz, the sufi acupuncturist who literally saved my life by wiping away the final vestiges. Whew!
When I see clients, neighbors or friends who are riddled with demons, I feel so sad. I want to help them, which is sometimes possible, sometimes not. In the end none of it is up to me, no matter how much I hate seeing people suffer.
The best possible scenario I can imagine is that by battling and suffering, folks are clearing karma and that when and only when it's time, they will tear up their own contracts. I've known people who died without getting out of the contract. It's heartbreaking to think about. Watching people struggle is difficult but important. By observing, I hope to become wiser, kinder and more compassionate.
I think I took on, but subsequently cleared something or another during that crazy time in my life when I really believed the devil owned my ass. Jake, too, had demons. By sitting with him through his long life, perhaps I cleared a few more dust bunnies of old, moldering karma. Perhaps.
Check out any movie that features the devil. The devil never wins, not ever except maybe in The Ninth Gate. I like the comedies, such as Bedazzled, both versions. The very second the protagonist says no to the devil, he or she vanishes like so much dust in the wind and they are free. This is the case in the Reyaverse. In order to say no, a person must believe in herself, trust herself to make it on her own, without all the promised fulfillment from any external source. We are so powerful! If only we knew.
May all who are bound be freed! May it be so. Shalom.