According to the movie Revolver, people will do insane things to protect their ego, mistaking it for their true selves. As a person attempts to ascend the tree of life the ego often pulls that person off the ascent. I’m inclined to believe this.
It makes the movie a mind-bending bummer.
Watch it anyway. You’ll be just as confused as I am, and likely you’ll want to share.
One of things it points out is that Christians (among others) concoct the devil as a way of displacing blame for acts of evil done to protect the evil. The Rider-Waite tarot takes a more honest view: the interpretation of the devil is usually “Your ego makes you STUPID.” You are the devil. You are chained by beliefs you create explicitly to avoid responsibility, or to avoid acknowledging unpleasant truths. The Devil = DENIAL.
Denying truths never does a thing to change them.
Wicca ditches the whole devil mythos – first of all, we aren’t Christian, and Christian morality concepts are none of our business even as we live in a culture that views them as standard fare. Second, as I once said in irritation to one of those standard fare Christians, “We don’t need the devil when we have ourselves.” The human ego is the source of all evil. Not money. Not sex. Not even religion. We, human beings, commit acts of hate, of malice, and of cruelty, sometimes even for the sake of it in order to reinforce the self-image we create for ourselves.
The Ego runs a litany of deny, deny, deny, suppress, suppress, suppress – and lie to yourself when you can’t find any other way out of owning some act you performed that made the world a worse place to be. Being Wiccan – or any other kind of Pagan – does nothing to make you immune to this. But there’s also no devil to collect your blame.
Wicca isn’t exactly an enlightenment religion – we look forward, even down into the taproots, rather than up. The mysteries lie in where and how we share the world. Even so, stilling the ego seems to make the work inherent in this spirituality happier if not easier. It means a quieter mind during meditation. It means the ability to celebrate the happiness of others. It means not, in any way, winding up like the characters in Revolver.
That in itself seems like a strong reason to ditch the ego and leave the Devil’s chains empty.