‘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 an outrageous claim. When he says that he can teach Hotspur to ‘command the devil’, our wise friend implores, ‘O, while you live, tell truth and shame the devil!’.
The agglomerated beast of those who attempt to command the devil only to become inveigled into adopting devilish ways themselves has made a vulgar mess. The systems and technologies created (often unwittingly) to feed it are reliant upon qualities we have been warned to stay away from in stories passed down through generations, especially in spiritual and religious texts. Those that feature hell as a place you would never wish to visit agree that the devil, his demons, and his demonic powers live deep down within the earth.
Then we drill. We wage wars so often in the name of God, and yet so often in the business of oil—the power that also, as it happens, can be found deep down within the earth. The more we obtain by drilling, the more we discover we need. We become greedy, fearful, lustful, envious. No amount is enough. Drilling turns to fracking in the effort to amass faster, in ways that mean caring less and ruining more. Actual rather than metaphorical fiery furnaces and multiple dimensions of hell are unleashed. We are aware and yet too engrossed to do anything about it. We carry on consuming with unquenchable thirst a fuel that will only ever drive us deeper into the darkness.
All the while, the true heavenly sources of energies we could
be cherishing boundlessly await.
Take Physic, Pomp!