Why, I can teach you, cousin, to command the devil.
And I can teach thee, coz, to shame the devil
By telling truth; tell truth and shame the devil.
If thou have power to raise him, bring him hither,
And I’ll be sworn I have power to shame him hence:
O, while you live, tell truth, and shame the devil!
[Henry IV Part 1, Act 3 Scene 1, 53-8]
Glendower is making outrageous claims. When he pronounces that he can teach Hotspur to ‘command the devil‘, our wise friend implores, ‘O, while you live, tell truth and shame the devil!’
The vulgar mess we are in today is the vast accumulated beast of those who attempt to command the devil only to become inveigled into adopting devilish ways themselves. The systems they have (often unwittingly) created are built upon the fear and false security of a manufactured ‘them’ and ‘us’ mindset. What if all the seemingly complex problems facing Nature and Humanity could boil down to one source? What if the ‘proper’ way of going about things doesn’t work? Different religious texts agree in pointing out that hell is located below, so why do we drill? Drilling has now turned to fracking and actual rather than metaphorical fiery furnaces are poisoning the health of Nature. We consume with unquenchable thirst, unleashing multiple dimensions of hell on Earth, commit horrific acts through war—all this for a fuel that will only ever drive us deeper into darkness, when with a little basic creativity we could have worlds of natural nourishment and and an eternity of beauty at our fingertips.
The devil does not like to be shamed and we only need look to Galileo, Pythagoras, Socrates and other revered as well as unsung truth-seekers to realise that doing so comes at a price. But what is the alternative? Surely to do anything but find truth and speak it makes the the very act of living the lie.
Take Physic, Pomp!