the Devil by Napoleon Hill, was written in 1938 after Hill wrote Think
and Grow Rich. The Napoleon Hill Foundation has held this manuscript and
didn’t publish it until June, 2011. Napoleon Hill’s wife, who passed
away around 1984, did not permit the foundation to release it because
she felt it might offend some people. He address the issue of prayer and
how there is an “other self” that guides us.
Although the foundation felt this was a very timely work for the era of the great recession America and the world is experiencing which started late in the first decade of 2000. In Outwitting the Devil, Hill has a discussion with the Devil who reveals his plan to keep us poor, unproductive and under his control. Hill never says whether this was a real or imaginary discussion although it appears to be a literary ploy by Hill to make his point… how the opposite of the Think and Grow Rich principles, which the Devil champions, will eventually make individuals impoverish and allow us to be under control of power-possessed leaders.
Outwitting the Devil… how Napoleon Hill outwits the Devil to reveal how he tricks people to live destitute lives under his control.
After learning the principles Hill published in Think and Grow Rich, it took him over twenty years until he saw them begin to work. One major lesson he learned was failure was an even greater teacher than success. It teaches you what not to do, like his conversation with the devil points out. His discussion with Andrew Carnegie began in 1908. He used the principles he learned and by 1927 he was hitting the success track. Then devastation hit him. He was pegged by a organized crime organization as an ally to a paper speaking out against them. They killed the publisher and Hill was on the hit list too. Hill ran for his life and hid out for years. The Great Depression began and now Hill was into destitution with barely anything left in his possession. Battling depression and loss of almost all of his friends, he was homeless and lived with any relative who would take him in. They began losing faith in Hill. Then Hill made a great discover, which was released in Outwitting the Devil.
We have an “other self.” Infinite Intelligence guides us and we all can tap into the power of the “other self.” In today’s world, we may call it Spiritual Intelligence, but more than just intuitive, it’s a Spiritual gift the Bible calls prophecy or having Divine knowledge without anyone telling us. Up to this time this may have been laughed at by many. The “soul” was yet to be added to his 17 principles of success. It can only be developed after the “other self” appears.
Where is this learned… through prayer Hill adds.
“This is your testing time. You have been reduced to poverty and humiliated in order that you might be forced to discover your ‘other self.‘” This discovery comes usually as the result of an emergency, when men are forced to change habits, and to think their way out of a difficulty. Being cast into a life of fear, he learned how the “other self” guided him which transcended him into faith. “Every great leader of the past has been beset by difficulties and met with temporary failure before “arriving. From Christ to Edison, those who achieved the most were met with the most stubborn forms of failure. Here men learn the spirit of faith in times of difficulty when ordinary reasoning is inadequate for their needs.“
Hill learned to concentrate on his purpose, and through prayer the plan would come. Infinite Intelligence knows more about plans than the one doing the praying. The result of prayer is a plan, a strategy, that can be attained through natural and material means. The plan must be transmuted according to Hill. This changed his whole life. Instead of going to prayer to confront difficulties, he learned to pray before difficulties come. “I pray not for more of the world’s goods and greater blessings, but to be worthy of that which I already have.”
Faith is the beginning of great achievement. Mixing faith with thoughts moves Infinite Intelligence to move with us. Infinite intelligence transmutes one’s desires into concrete or material form.
The rest of the Outwitting the Devil is Hill’s conversation with the Devil in which he tricks the Devil into revealing his own tricks to control a person’s life… being held hostage against one’s will, or heart’s desires.
In interviewing the Devil, it is learned that the same power which bound millions of others in the Great Depression, is the chief weapon in which the Devil ensnares and controls human beings to this day.
The cleverest trick of the Devil for mind control is fear… fear of poverty, criticism, ill health, loss of love, old age, and death. He sows the seeds of negative thought and gets people thinking, in fear, about these as much as possible. War, enemy attacks, economic collapse breed fear in people’s minds which is certainly the work of the Devil.
Another clever trick is to enter the minds of people as early as possible with fear, superstition, avarice, greed, lust, revenge, vanity and plain laziness. The trick is to get them while young. It gets people drifting. When drifting starts at an early age it becomes a natural part of their life for most of their lives. The Devil can get the best of them by having people drift through school with no vocation in mind.
So the second best trick is to develop the habit of drifting. Who’s the Devil’s allies to create drifting… parents, school teachers, and religious instructors. The Devil admits that this is not the second best trick but the first. He gets the parents, teachers, religious instructors to serve his purpose by destroying the children in the habit of thinking for themselves. The Devil said he used these sources to create fear in the child so to weaken the child’s ability to reason and think for himself, which affects the child the rest of his life. On the other hand, nothing can stop someone who has accurate thought and it absolutely thwarts the Devil’s methods.
The game plan is to get people to drift through school without a definite purpose or plan for living, take the first job that comes along, and this keeps millions in fear of poverty. The drifter has a total lack of major purpose in his life. The non- drifter has a mind of his own, a definite purpose, and mastery of self, and the Devil can’t control it.
The Devil confessed that he brings failure so if someone quits trying they will go back to drifting. But those who overcome failure go on to experience even greater levels of success later on. Those who achieve enduring success will find, without exception, that their success has been in exact proportion to the extent that surmounted failure. Most failures are only temporary defeat and under any circumstances should it be used as an excuse to drift. Every failure brings with it the seed of an equivalent success. Unfortunately, few convert failure into stepping stones to success.
How to insure against the habit of drifting.
1. Do your own thinking on all occasions.
2. Decide definitely what you want from life.
3. Analyze temporary defeat and extract from it the seed of an
4. Be willing to render useful service equivalent to the value of
all the material things you desire in life.
5. Recognize that your brain is a receiving set to receive Infinite
Intelligence that transmutes your desires into their physical equivalent.
6. Recognize that your greatest asset is time.
7. Recognize the truth that fear is generally a filler that the
Devil uses to occupy the unused portion of your mind.
8. When you pray, do not beg. Demand what you want
and insist on getting exactly that.
9. Recognize that life is a cruel taskmaster. You master it or
it masters you. Never accept from life what you do not want.
10. Remember, your dominating thoughts attract, by their
shortest and most convenient route, their physical counterpart.
Drifting can be broken in time… only if a definite purpose is found and followed. Otherwise the drifter may fall in the Devil’s spider web and he won’t be able to get out.
Any impression of thought that the mind repeats over and over again through habit forms an organized rhythm. When a person gives their mind over to fear, that becomes a pattern as an hypnotic rhythm forms. When that happens, the Devil has control. It takes a burning desire to break it. When someone uses their own mind, they can break it… use it or lose it. What you allow to be sowed in the mind you reap. What you deliberately sow in your mind you reap.
The world depression broke up habits of men and redistributed the sources of opportunity in all walks of life to unprecedented levels. Do not wait for opportunity to be placed in your way. Create opportunity to fit your desires and demands of life.
defeats fear: faith.
Faith is the opposite of fear and it comes from controlling your thoughts with a definite purpose with an intent to be of service to others. Hill defines faith as a state of mind where one recognizes and used the power of positive thought as a medium by which one contacts and draws upon the universal store of Infinite Intelligence. Faith is definiteness of purpose backed by belief, fueled by Infinite Intelligence. It takes repeated thought of a definite purpose which serves others to become a beneficial hypnotic rhythm that leads a person to the goals, the definite purpose each has identified. Hypnotic rhythm then is a healthy habit, a habit force as Hill called it, that works subconsciously to maneuver our behaviors in finding solutions that lead each person to his definite purpose.
The strongest power is to be in harmonic rhythm with others. When in harmony with others who share a definite purpose it provides the force that will accomplish the purpose two or more in harmony set out to do. So the mind must be in harmony with a person’s definite purpose, the environment and education… all need to line up. He coined the concept of a master mind. When two or more are in harmony with each other and serve each other, it creates a third mind of power in life that draws all things to them of which they are in harmony in thought about. This is the true power of prayer.
The seven principles that overcome fear and defeats the Devil so he no longer has control over you are:
Definiteness of Purpose
A person who gains and maintains power must be definite in all his thoughts and his deeds. He recognizes the difference between temporary defeat and failure. When plans fail he substitutes others, but he does not change his purpose. He perseveres.
Mastery of self or self-discipline
The person who is not the master of himself can never be the master of others. It requires accurate thought and not grasshopper thinking where a person jumps from one thing to another and never completes anything.
Learning from Adversity
Failure is a man-made circumstance. It is never real until it is accepted by man as permanent. A person’s success in and calling is usually in exact proportion or ratio to his experiences of defeat before succeeding. One can overcome adversity based on his ability to harmonize with others and in cooperation with others… who also live out these seven principles. There is a seed of equivalent advantage in every adversity.
Control environmental influences, associations
The material on which thoughts are fed comes from one’s environment, his associations. All people take in, consciously or subconsciously, the thought-habits of those they associate closely with. Those who drift are influenced by other drifters; those with definite purpose assist others with definite purpose to form mastermind groups. Coming together with those who know, have education with experience propels them in their definite purpose.
giving permanence to thought-habits depends upon the object and the nature of the thoughts. Time converts thought-habits into permanency over the lifetime of the individual. We are born to think. With good thought habits we think ourselves into wisdom.
the law of harmony forces everything within the range of a given environment to become harmoniously related. Negative influences are forced into association with one another, where they may be. Positive influences are just as definitely forced into association with each other. Successful men and women insist on harmony among their business associates… who share the same definite of purpose.
the most dangerous human trait is the lack of caution. The drifter moves without exercising caution. He acts first, thinks later. The non-drifter carefully thinks through his plans, making allowances for human frailties and plans ahead to bridge them. This includes his choice of close associates who have influence and contributes some benefits.
One’s dominating desires can be crystallized into their physical equivalents through definiteness of purpose backed by definite plans, with the aid of natures law of hypnotic rhythm and time. Success and failure are the results of day-to- day evolutionary forces through which dominating thoughts are pieced together bit-by-bit and woven into the things we want or the things we do not want, according to the nature of these thoughts. What we sow in thought, we reap in life. For those who find the “other self” and seek the help of God, there is no limit to what they can accomplish in life.
Great people live in the Power of Faith.
The Bible says the righteous live by faith. (Hebrews 10:38)
What we believe we bring into being.
“Fear is dangerous. It turns into fact the things we fear. It creates evil just as faith creates good.” (John G. Lake)
What God promises we can hold on to as fact. The power of Spirit has become a privilege for us to live in all of God’s power. We are made right with God through faith. We are made right with Him with Jesus’ one act…. He was resurrected. The only person ever to do this. And Now He gives us the same privilege… to be resurrected from all the deaths we face in our lives.
we align ourselves in alignment with Spirit that works Greatly in us we
live in the Character of God. The Scriptures say we are not under the
Laws of Old but we live by Spirit.
“But now we have been released from the law, for we died with Christ, and we are no longer captive to its power. Now we can really serve God, not in the old way by obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way, by the Spirit.” (Romans 7:6)
We excel with this new power that works in us, and we heed the inner voice of the Spirit. We
can listen to this Supernatural voice of God’s very own intelligence
directing our paths…God’s very own Spirit of creative Power working for
This is all possible…for those who have faith and believe.
In Ever Increasing Faith by Smith Wigglesworth, he inspirationally defines faith and its character. Note:http://www.worldinvisible.com/library/wigglesworth/5f00.0930/5f00.0930.c.htm
“God wants us to be free in every part of life. Men and women are tired of imitations, they want reality; they want to see people who have the Living Christ within, filled with Spirit Power.”
“Spirit has a realm of divine life opening up to us where there are boundless possibilities, where there is limitless power, where there are untold resources, where we have victory over every conceivable force that could face us.”
“There is only darkness in the natural. Darkness only exists when the natural is put in place of the divine.”
“He keeps us so that no evil can touch us. I see a place in God where evil forces dare not come…Hidden in God. And He invites us all to come into this Secret Place of the Most High God.” God has this place for us in Spirit.
“The impartation of this power produces everything you need; but it comes only as our faith moves out for its impartation. Faith gives us victory. If you believe… It Is Yours!”
“You can never be ordinary from the day you receive this life from above. You become extraordinary, filled with extraordinary power from the extraordinary Spirit of God that lives in you.”
“There is no stopping the current of life,
of love, of inspiration, and of Power.
God has brought unlimited resources for everyone.”