One may not give one’s soul to a devil of hate – and remain forever scatheless.

What did Eugene O'Neill mean by:

One may not give one’s soul to a devil of hate – and remain forever scatheless.


This quote suggests that if one surrenders their spirit, or inner self, to feelings of hatred, they will not escape unscathed. It highlights the destructive power of hate and its potential to harm not only the object of the hatred but also the person who harbors it. The ‘devil of hate’ is a metaphorical way of describing hatred as an evil force that can possess and corrupt an individual’s soul. Being ‘scatheless’ refers to being unharmed or untouched, implying that hate inevitably leaves a mark or causes damage.

In today’s world, this concept is incredibly relevant. With the rise of social media and the digital age, it’s easier than ever to spread hate and negativity. However, according to this quote, those who engage in such behavior are not immune to the repercussions. They may find themselves consumed by the negativity they perpetuate, leading to mental health issues like depression and anxiety, or damaging their relationships with others.

In terms of personal development, this quote serves as a reminder to guard against allowing hate to take root in our hearts. Instead of allowing negative emotions to control us, we should strive to cultivate positivity, empathy, and understanding. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t feel anger or frustration, but rather that we should learn to manage these feelings in a healthy way that doesn’t harm ourselves or others. Holding onto hate can stunt our personal growth and well-being, while letting go of it allows us to move forward and grow as individuals.

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