Harry Roger Williams III's Reviews > Outwitting the Devil: The Secret to Freedom and Success

Outwitting the Devil by Napoleon Hill
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I tremendously enjoyed this imaginative book in which – 76 years ago – Napoleon Hill recorded his “Interview with the Devil.” I took extensive notes and recorded many quotations. I’ll share a few to give you the flavor of the writing. For the Q&A the questioner is Hill and the answers are by the Devil. Who is this Devil anyway? p. 99-100: “You know that I exist only in the minds of people who have fears… You know that my hell is here on earth and not in the world that comes after death. And you know also that drifters supply all the fire I use in my hell. You know that I am a principle or form of energy which expresses the negative side of matter and energy, and that I am not a person with a forked tongue and a spiked tail.”
p 116 “Q: Which do you prefer to serve as your propagandists – the young or the old? A: The young, of course! They can be influenced by most bribes [temptations] more easily than people of mature judgment. Moreover, they have longer to remain in my service.” [This was written in 1938, long before the “youth culture” and advertisements using young people to serve as trendsetters.]
p 140 “The highest power in the universe can be used for constructive purposes, through what you call God, or it can be used for negative purposes, through what you call the Devil. And something more important still, it can be used by any human being just as effectively as by God or the Devil… you have but one source available through which you may appropriate the benefit of universal power, and that is by trusting and using your own power of thought. This is the direct road to the universal storehouse of Infinite Intelligence. There is no other road available to any human being.”
If you ever thought there was a satanic element to the promises and lies of marketers you may find this quote as amusing as did I: p 149-150 “Q: Why doesn’t your opposition [God] give your secret to all people by telling them to avoid you through definiteness of purpose?... A: Because I am more clever than my opposition. I draw people away from definiteness with my promises. You see, I control more people than my opposition because I am a better salesman and a better showman. I attract people by feeding them liberally of the thought-habits in which they like to indulge.”
Here is one more quote, a magnificent one: p 197 “A… There is no human being now living, no human being has ever lived, and no human being ever will live with the right or the power to deprive another human being of the inborn privilege of free and independent thought. That privilege is the only one over which any human being can have absolute control. No adult human being ever loses the right to freedom of thought, but most humans lose the benefits of this privilege either by neglect or because it has been taken away from them by their parents or religious instructors before the age of understanding. These are self-evident truths, no less important because they are being called to your attention by the Devil than they would be if brought to your attention by my opposition.”
This book is full of self-evident and not-so-evident truths. Whether they are called to our attention by the Devil, or by Napoleon Hill, I am grateful to have been exposed to them. I recommend this to anyone interested in enjoying and sharing the joy of our life on this Earth.
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Started Reading
December 3, 2014 – Shelved
December 3, 2014 – Finished Reading

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