An angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other

Joyce notoriously wrote that any object, intensely regarded, may be a gate of access to the incorruptible eon of the gods. 

His theory was, holiness is location agnostic. 

Indeed, it’s a beautiful and accessible scaffolding for our spiritual lives. It means our souls belong everywhere. And that wherever we go, divine love will find us. 

And all the people shall say, amen. 

But as long as we’re talking about giant cosmic imaginary friends in heaven, it would only be fair to include our fiery friends from hell too. 

We wouldn’t want to be discriminating. 

Consider this couplet from an obscure book of religious poetry:

There is no place that the devil will spare. He can follow us anywhere. 

A humble reminder, that we all have an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. The daily inner conflict of conscience versus temptation never leaves us. 

The hard part is, these dark forces are far more insidious than the light. They play dirty. They throw things at us that we have never even seen before. And of course, the great trick they pull is convincing us that they don’t exist. 

Ask anyone in recovery. Whether their drug of choice is cocaine, gambling, sex or work, all addiction is the same. It’s only disease in the world that tells us that we don’t have it. 

That is my definition of the devil. And he is as real as it gets. 

Remember, if there is nothing in this world we can’t turn into heaven, then there is nothing in this world we can’t turn into hell. 

Every waking moment is filled with the overwhelming urge for whatever it is we are now addicted to. 


When temptation assails you with cruel force, how will you respond?* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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