From the back cover of Outwitting the Devil: The Secret to Freedom and Success by Napolean Hill:
“In 1938, just after publication of his all-time best seller Think and Grow Rich, Napolean Hill reveals that he broke the Devil’s Code, forcing him to confess his secrets. The resulting manuscript – Outwitting the Devil – proved so controversial, it was hidden for over seventy years. Sharon Lechter brings us this important book, annotating and editing it for a contemporary audience. Using his legendary ability to get to the root of human potential, Hill digs deep to identify the greatest obstacles we face in reaching our personal goals – including fear, procrastination, anger, and jealousy -as tools orchestrated by the Devil himself. These hidden methods of control can lead us to ruin, and Hill reveals the seven principles of good that will allow us to finally over them and succeed.”
Now, if you have not heard of Mr. Napolean Hill – you ought to. If I was anyone who is anyone and saw the title “Think and Grow Rich” on the shelf at the book store I would probably pass it up – sounds like another scheme to get you to buy a book that is extremely vague, pointing out the obvious in order to inflate an ego or two, or a few thousand, or million, into deifying some guy/gal who wrote the book. However, I don’t believe there to be anyone who has done as much work as Mr. Hill in the last one hundred years of American history in the effort to outline a method for success. If you have not picked up Think and Grow Rich you should… or at least just listen to the full audiobook on Youtube.
Hill was a mentee of sorts of Andrew Carnegie in the early 20th century and was tasked with interviewing some of the top entrepreneurs, business people, inventors, engineers, politicians (some BIG names) and overall successful people to figure out what made them so successful.
Carnegie said to him “The job will require at least twenty years of continuous effort, during which the one who undertakes it will have to earn his living from some other source, because this sort of research is never profitable at the outset, and generally those who have contributed to to civilization through work of this nature have had to wait a hundred years or so after their own funerals to receive recognition for their labour.”
He also interviewed so-called “failures” to uncover what exactly made them unsuccessful. Hill interviewed thousands of people over those twenty years and produced an absolute GEM in Think and Grow Rich. It is a metaphysical masterpiece, but is not the focus of this article.
The focus of this article is within a book Mr. Hill wrote some time after his work in the previous book. I want to lay out a part of the book that jumped out at me from the pages. I had such an intuition that told me to share it here. The part I wanted to share was from a later chapter in the book where Mr. Hill has an interview with The Devil himself.
Now, in the pages leading up to the interview the editor talks about the speculation around this. “Did he really do it?” “How did he do it?” “What was the technique?” All I will say here is that in the words of the Devil, Mr. Hill had conquered all fear and thus was able to subdue the Devil into the interview. The interview is quite believable. Just as a little taste I will tell you that the Devil describes himself, after Mr. Hill asks him of his physical appearance, by saying:
“My physical appearance? Why, my dear Mr. Earthbound, I have no physical body. I would be handicapped by such an encumbrance as those which you earthbound creatures live. I consist of negative energy, and I live in the minds of people who fear me. I also occupy one-half of every atom of physical matter and every unit of mental and physical energy. Perhaps you will better understand my nature if I tell you I am the negative portion of the atom.”
Have you begun to rethink your expectations of this article? Good… keep reading and prepare for mental melting.
During the interview, Mr. Hill talks to the Devil and forces him to divulge his innermost secrets and the greatest of weapons that he uses against us! The Devil Says:
“My greatest weapon over human beings consists of two secret principles by which I gain control of their minds. I will speak first of the principle of habit, through which I silently enter the minds of people. By operating through this principle, I establish (I wish I could avoid using this word) the habit of drifting. When a person beings to drift on any subject, he is headed straight toward the gates of what you earthbound call hell.”
Mr. Hill responds with:
“Describe all the ways in which you induce people to drift. Define the word and tell us exactly what you mean by it.”
To which Mr. Diablo says:
“I can best define the word “Drift” by saying that people who think for themselves never drift, while those who do little or no thinking for themselves are drifters. A drifter is one who permits him self to be influences and controlled by circumstances outside of his own mind. He would rather let me occupy his mind and do his thinking than go to the trouble of thinking for himself. A drifter is one who accepts whatever life throws in his way without making a protest or putting up a fight. He doesn’t know what he wants from life and spends all of his time getting just that. A drifter has lots of opinions, but they are not his own. Most of them are supplied by me.”
Were you expecting that from “The Devil”?? I think not.
[**Pssst: By the way, I do recognize the rather male domination of the conversation, I held myself back from writing he/her or any of that to preserve the original text. Let’s be honest, it was the 1930s… and we all know the power structure back then. Don’t feel excluded my ladies and gender neutral folks!]
So, the Devil is dropping some bombs during this conversation, eh? I was surprised myself. I was also struck with some self consciousness because I can definitely relate to what The Devil is saying here. In a world so filled with technology and media, we can get caught up in what other people think, what the authority says we should believe, and end up not thinking for ourselves, following the mass media train, and end up being selfless-procrastinating-unthinking-zombie-chattle-drifters!
I don’t want to go to in depth on drifting here, but I wanted to get into the methods for not being a drifter, as Mr. Hill kindly thought of to wrench from The Devil.
Later in his interview, Mr. Hill says:
“Your Majesty (The Devil required Mr. Hill to call him this if the interview was to be conducted for The Devil considers himself to be worthy of the title for all of his domain) has given me a clear description of drifting. Tell me what must be done to insure against the habit of drifting. I want a complete formula that anyone can use.”
Here comes the juicy bit…
The Devil replies:
“Protection against drifting lies within easy reach of every human being who has a normal body and a sound mind. The self-defense can be applied through these simple methods:
1. Do your own thinking on all occasions. The fact that human beings are given complete control over nothing save the power to think their own thoughts is laden with significance.
2. Decide definitely what you want from life; then create a plan for attaining it and be willing to sacrifice everything else, if necessary, rather than accept permanent defeat.
3. Analyze temporary defeat; no matter of what nature or cause, and extract from it the seed of an equivalent advantage.
4. Be willing to render useful service equivalent to the value of all material things you demand of life, and render the service first.
5. Recognize that your brain is a receiving set that can be attuned to receive communications from the universal store-house of Infinite Intelligence, to help you transmute your desires into their physical equivalent.
6. Recognize that your greatest asset is time, the only thing except the power of thought which you own outright, and the one thing which can be shaped into whatever material things you want. Budge your time so none of it is wasted.
7. Recognize the truth that fear generally is a filler with which the Devil (interesting the Devil uses himself in the 3rd person, eh?) occupies the unused portion of your mind. It is only a state of mind which you can control by filling the space it occupies with faith in your ability to make life provide you with whatever you demand of it.
8. When you pray, do not beg! Demand what you want and insist upon getting exactly that, with no substitutes. (Gosh this is so important…they all are, but this one especially..if I could say that)
9. Recognize that life is a cruel taskmaster and that either you master it or it masters you. There is no half-way or compromising point. Never accept from life anything you do not want. If that which you do not want is temporarily forced upon you, you can refuse, in your own mind, to accept it and it will make way for the thing you do want.
10. Lastly, remember that your dominating thoughts attract through a definite law of nature, by the shortest and most convenient route, their physical counterpart. Be careful what your thoughts dwell upon.”
And boom goes the dynamite.
There you have it, some of the most up-to-date practical metaphysics since The Ra Material, said in a way that won’t make you go “huh?” like The Secret.
These 10 Steps constitute the very 10 things that we as a people (we is just referring to the collective identity I happen to consider myself a part of) need to realize and recognize as true in order to manifest what we want…in order to get the hell out of hell! Hell is not a place where you go when you die – even the Devil himself told us here. Hell is a mind state; a state of mind that we put ourselves in through our lack of being mental. People say“You’re mental!” like you are a crazy person. But, when people say “You’re mental!” to me… I say, “Heck yea, aren’t you?!”.
We have had life backwards for too long. Good is bad, bad is good, wrong is right, truth is untruth, being smart is dumb, being dumb is smart…it’s a travesty.
If there was anything you needed to contemplate, it is this list of 10 Methods. There are some intensely metaphysical aspects that, to the “average” (what the hell does that even mean) person, will be totally foreign and their ego will shut it down automatically because it threatens their Platonic-cavern-oriented mental complex. Or simply, it threatens what they have believed for so long to be true that they might outright reject it!
This is important stuff. Look it over. Think about it. Don’t be a drifter.
Christopher A. Greene is a Masters Student at Boston University in the dual degree program of Master of Theological Studies w/ Master of Social Work student. Christopher is working on his vocational goal of opening a holistic clinical practice that integrates a faith-based approach with other bio-psycho-social models for individuals and small groups/families. He is also working behind the scenes to one day teach at the professorial level. In his spare time Christopher enjoys painting, composing music, writing poetry, participating in competitive sports, and spending time in nature!