I once heard someone whom I respected greatly justify her ill actions toward another with the interesting phrase, “You don’t have to be honest with the devil.” The statement intrigued me at the time and I have to admit, sounded reasonable at a certain level. I mean, who would be honest with the devil, if the fate something precious were at stake?
But then I thought about it a little further. I am of the mind that says “do no evil,” which stems from an underlying philosophy of “resist not evil.” This statement of being is absolute. As such, there are no exceptions…not for someone with whom I have ill will, not for someone who has treated me unjustly, and not for someone whom I have (which I never have and never will) deemed a devil.
The mistake, I think the person was making was that she assumed that not being honest with the devil implied that she could be dishonest with him, her or it. The end (give that ol’ devil a smack down), in her mind, justified the means. This faulty logic led a supposedly God-fearing woman to act positively devilishly! What’s worse is that she did so shamelessly.
Now I don’t imagine that this cliche (in some circles) began as a trite and spineless suggestion, in fact I imagine that it was initially spoken with a very different meaning in mind, one that is much more closely aligned with the truth of love.
If you make cozenage, betrayal, or dissimulating your bedfellows, you are in bed with the source of those ill spirits. Call me naïve, but to my mind it’s that simple.
The truth of love is a radiant, forthright, honest, and transparent and never pusillanimous, underhanded, malicious, or secretive.