Selling Your Soul

Selling Your Soul November 5, 2013

The above cartoon appeared in the newspaper the same day we started discussing Goethe's Faust in my class. We have not reached his deal with Mephistopheles yet, but will next time. I usually get students to discuss what, if anything, they would sell their soul for – or, if they are not comfortable with that scenario, then what they would wish for if they had one wish.

Despite what Hemant Mehta famously did, I do not believe you can really sell your soul on eBay – with or without SoulPal. Nowadays, we use the metaphor to indicate a fundamental compromise of one's values. And that is actually something that we discussed in today's class. Frequently, people set out to earn lots of money saying it is to provide for their families, or to help others, and yet what started as a means to an end turns into an end in itself. Many have found that the saying about Mammon and serving two masters does not apply only to God.

It is a real privilege to teach texts like this in a freshman seminar class. Students are often pursuing wealth, or happiness, even though on some level they know that actually pursuit of happiness is self-defeating.

The translation of Faust that we have been reading is really wonderful.


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  • Jhon Constantine

    If you’re tired of working for others, they do not pay you what you deserve for your effort.
    And just because they have more money….
    You mistreated for years in the same company.
    You no longer have time for you,
    Your life is worn every day and your youth is lost in time.
    Other people succeed around you and you’re still the same with the same.
    The same woman, same house, same old usual self.
    You strive for your children and they pay you wrong., Not know what you have suffered for their welfare.
    It’s time to be free to travel where you want, buy what you want, buy the woman or man you want.
    It is time to change your body and get it to your liking.
    No worries, no worries, with vitality and health regardless of your current age.
    It is part of our New Order.
    Sell your soul to Lucifer and all have.