At the Japanese Garden of the Chicago Botanical Gardens there is an odd shaped bridge. It consists of two large, rectangular granite slabs laid end-to-end over a small stream. What makes the bridge intriguing is that the slabs are offset from each other forming a zigzag walkway. According to Japanese folklore, the devil always travels in a straight line. So when you sidestep from the one slab to the other, you trick the devil who walks straight off the end of one slab and falls into the water.
The wisdom here is that evil stems from being too linear in your thinking and approach to life. For example, you can be so focused on or invested in a certain goal that you miss important directing signs along the way, signs like: “stop,” “turn here,” “yield,” or even “scenic overlook.” You can also be very linear in your thinking, habitually placing rationality and logic over intuition and feelings. When you do this you let your mind rather than your soul guide your life.
One aspect of evil is the suppression of life and creativity. When your decisions rely solely on logic and conventional wisdom, your world becomes narrow and confining. But the path of your soul is full of spirals, zigzags, and unexpected turns. Life is meant to be a journey of adventure, joy, and discovery. So if you want to live life fully–and stay a few steps ahead of the devil–be open to unexpected twists and turns. Take the risk of following your soul.