One, I should say, of the poems I enjoy the most. Its message is about resilience and freedom, both essential factors in the pursuit of happiness.
Out of the night that covers me
Black as the Pit from pole to pole
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid
It matters not how strait the gate
How charged with punishments the scroll
I am the master of my fate
I am the captain of my soul.
Invictus – William Ernest Henley..
The Devil’s archetype is, after all, about rejecting the status quo and suffering dire consequences for it. as I say in my home page: The Devil, as an archetype, reflects qualities that are important to progress. First is the desire to challenge (totalitarian) authorities attempting to control human behaviour and thought – thinking critically about whom to follow and why. Second, is a clear understanding of deception and misinformation (the prince of lies, as many call the Devil, has a keen eye for lies and disinformation). And third, and perhaps the most critical part of this project, is the pursuit of happiness.
To be the master of one’s fate implies a willingness to endure the ramifications of actions that lead to freedom from social expectations and oppression. In this day and age, mastering one’s fate is about knowing how reject preconceptions about what it means to be good or bad.
I will let you decide what being the captain of your soul means to you. I understand that while it may only be a metaphor, the idea of a soul has influence over behaviour.
— The Devil Unbound