Did Faust cheat the Devil?

Faust is the protagonist of a classic German legend and is based on the historical Johann Faust (c. 1480–1540). The erudite Faust is successful yet dissatisfied with his life. One day, he meets the Devil at a crossroads and makes a pact with him in which Faust exchanges his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures.

Well, here's a thought - what if the soul he sold wasn't his to exchange in the first
place? What if it didn't belong to him? What if his soul was only loaned - along with the body? It does stand up to scrutiny because in truth it's difficult to say for example that a mother is wholly and entirely responsible for the growth and development of a child in the womb. The mother is at best an airport for the arrival of the new child, in which she does her best not to interfere with a whole series of mysterious and magical processes that result in the formation of a new individual.

So did Faust cheat the devil? Or could he have given some other part of himself? What about the ally to the soul - the spirit, the ultimate energiser of the human being?
Well, that's derived directly from the Creator, if that's what you believe. And esoteric circles would say that when you die, it returns to the Creator, since all things return to the source of their arising. And, if truth be told, the same could be said of the soul, that it would return to the great pot of souls to be then dropped into some newly conceived foetus.

So, not the soul and not the spirit. What's left after that? What do we have? What about the body corporate? Well, that also belongs to the planet's, since that is where it returns to at the end of its tenure here. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust and all that.

There's a developing pattern here. Not, the soul, not the spirit, and not the body. We're running out of possibilities. What about the emotions, the instinct, the brain, and all those other marvellous faculties through which we perceive and interact with the world at large? Well, they're part of the design we inherit as well and so not really ours, in the sense that they weren't made by and for us, wholly so.

What we could say is that the body, spirit and soul are rented on a short-term lease basis - now that is beginning to sound more accurate.

Is there anything that doesn't belong to the Creator? Not a lot. Perhaps our experiences of life, for one, that is something that could be sold. And why would the Devil be interested in those?

To my mind, Faust cheated the Devil. One wonders what the Devil actually has got? Perhaps a feeling of being ripped off by the human race. And that, probably isn't new for the Devil either.

Justin Newland
March 2016