You’ve likely heard or read the popular adage about the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled. And in the weird event that you have not, it’s usually regurgitated as follows by pop culture.
The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was to convince the world he didn’t exist.– unknown
Aside from assuming my gender, this iteration of the quote is a contextual translation of the original French passage by Charles Baudelaire.
It reads like this:
“La plus belle des ruses du diable est de vous persuader qu’il n’existe pas.”
Which translates to:
“The devil’s finest trick is to persuade you that he does not exist.”
It is from Le Spleen de Paris – a collection of fifty short prose poems by Baudelaire – published after his death in 1869.
This phrase has been used by many religious persuasions to illustrate the mischievous and deceiving nature of the Devil archetype. And it has worked for the most part to portray the parties of God as the good guys and making anyone who disagrees with them appear evil.
The message of the passage, when used by religion has also confused and scared people into believing nonsense about human nature, and oppose natural rights and freedoms like sexual orientations and gender identities.
I like the quote because its fundamental message is about deception in the world, something more natural than humans are willing to accept.
— A Mischievous Devil