On this day in 1936 the American Psychologist and writer M Scott Peck was born.
His best-selling book, The Road Less Travelled, with its unusual views on feelings and behaviours has led thousands to reconsider their position in life. His perspective on love for example, as not a feeling, but an activity and an investment, caused many to revisit their most powerful motivation. He defines love as “the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth”.
Less well known is that Peck was also an exorcist who helped many people suffering from demonic possession. His book Glimpses of the Devil is a factual and often chilling account of several exorcisms undertaken in the New York area. Today’s poem is about playwright Christopher Marlowe’s Dr Faustus, a man who sold himself to the devil for short term gain. These are the famous lines spoken by Faustus as time runs out for him and the devil comes to claim him:
Ah Faustus, now hast thou but one bare hour to live,
And then thou must be damned perpetually!
Stand still you ever-moving spheres of Heaven,
That time may cease and midnight never come;
Fair Nature’s eye, rise, rise again and make
Perpetual day; or let this hour be but
A year, a month, a week, a natural day,
That Faustus may repent and save his soul!
O lente, lente, currite noctis equi.
The stars move still, time runs, the clock will strike,
The Devil will come and Faustus must be damned.
Today I ask to make the right choices, between short term gain and long term benefit. I will not sell my soul to the devil.