Defeating Satan

Updated: Dec 3, 2021

Even of the simplest and healthiest-minded type of religious consciousness, we shall find this complex sacrificial constitution, in which a higher happiness holds a lower unhappiness in check. In the Louvre there is a picture, by Guido Reni, of St. Michael with his foot on Satan's neck. The richness of the picture is in large part due to the fiend's figure being there. The richness of its allegorical meaning also is due to his being there--that is, the world is all the richer for having a devil in it, SO LONG AS WE KEEP OUR FOOT UPON HIS NECK.

~ William James

"Varieties of Religious Experience"

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Let’s try an experiment to illustrate this coupling. Consider the following activities: Go through the list below and mentally check off those which are uncomfortable for you. Mentally double-check th