Today’s post has me thinking about Edgar Allen Poe. He was dark and disturbed as some would say. I remember reading the Tell Tale Heart when I was around 13 years old and it moved me then as it does today.
Let’s set the stage shall we…
“It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture –a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees — very gradually –I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.”
The writer stalks his prey by being cunning, careful, and quiet. He goes in at midnight each night for seven days to watch the old man sleep knowing it is his eye that is vexing him and not the man himself. On the eighth night the old man cries out “Who is there” and yet the writer waits. The old man is so concerned that he does not go back to sleep but sits up in his bed and waits. After an hour has past the writer stealthily creeps closer to the man. He carefully cracks the lantern and the light shines on the mans one pale eye. The old man lets out one loud shriek and then goes silent. The writer attacks the old man, dismembers him, and buries him under the floorboards of his home. Later the police come…
“Almighty God! –no, no! They heard! –they suspected! –they knew! –they were making a mockery of my horror! –this I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! –and now –again! –hark! louder! louder! louder! louder! —
“Villains!” I shrieked, “dissemble no more! I admit the deed! –tear up the planks! –here, here! –it is the beating of his hideous heart!”
Can you see how thoughts can corrupt someone. It can make you crazy. Can you see where his downfall was? It wasn’t his lust for money nor had this man ever wronged him. Instead he found one thing that was inconsequential and it created a bitter seed of hate in him.
How often has your thought life corrupted you? A thought once it has been festering can lead to dangers in your life. Then there is the guilt that follows the thought or action. How many times has guilt eaten at you? Have you heard the beating of a heart in your ear? When guilt comes in do you repent, ask forgiveness, or continue to hide the guilt under the floorboards of your life?