Comments on
The Devil Made Me Do It

There’s no answer to this question, or rather there are too many answers, but it’s still worth asking: Why don’t we behave better?

Most of us understand what would make us healthy and happy.

7 thoughts on “The Devil Made Me Do It

  • October 2, 2011 at 9:30 am

    That discipline, virtue and self-fulfillment go together is an idea that goes back as far as Socrates and Cicero.

    The fact that this is seen as novel by those who claim to study the human mind today shows just how little they know.

    • October 2, 2011 at 11:06 am


      I quite agree. Neuroscience and the endlessly confused theories of psychology add little, in the end, to what the sages have known all along. Thanks for the comment.


  • October 2, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Here is an almost more clever version of “The Devil made me do it”:

    “The ego made me do it.”

    It puts something within our minds, that we choose, and decides out of guilt to put it outside (projection).

    Why? Try guilt. No don’t try to feel guilty or make guilt. See the guilt you feel and how you cover it up. It requires great introspection and sensitivity because we project it so readily and hastily.

    • October 2, 2011 at 12:00 pm


      Sounds like a good and helpful model. Do you think it’s always ego? Could other elements within us also push toward destruction? But like the post says, the explanation is less important than the solution. I like the concept of looking at guilt as projection and exploring it, watching our reactions. I’ll give that a try. Thanks for the comment.


  • October 3, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I think many of us just can’t live up to the expectations, especially the ones we place on ourselves. There’s no such thing as perfect. Striving for such perfection makes me crazier than I already am.

    I’m only human.

    • October 3, 2011 at 2:42 pm


      No one can live up to the highest of ideals. In Alcoholics Anonymous they say “We seek progress, not perfection.” Trying to be perfect is indeed a set up for even more dysfunction, but trying to be better? All can benefit from sincere effort to improve, I suspect. Thanks for pointing out the need to give ourselves a break, even as we encourage ourselves to grow.


  • October 13, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    I think one way/reason that mindfulness and related practices work, is to make it easier over time for each of us to access our Slightly Future Self, which helps us act with more balance among needs, competing desires, and consequences.

    Slightly Future Me is sometimes a little wiser, firmer, and more compassionate than Today Me is.


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