I don't normally blog dreams but this one was very vivid, and I want a record of it for my own sake. Feel free to skip if you hate reading other people's dreams.
Mephistopheles showed up to bargain for my soul. My first reaction was that there's nothing I want. I considered my life with a sense of amazed contentment. Refusing him, and it was completely from the heart, felt very powerful.
He stood. Not intimidating, not ingratiating, just very much there. (I've met a few people who have that sort of commanding presence in real life, but they are too moral to take advantage of that.) I couldn't turn my attention away from him even a little, couldn't make the transition between the decision to do so and the will.
I found myself asking for healing for my friends who are sick and dealing with chronic pain. It would have to be a guarantee of real healing, not some cheat like an end to their suffering in the form of their death.
"Don't try to rules lawyer me, this isn't a D&D game. I know your desires better than you can ever formulate them anyway."
I knew he was speaking the truth, and I agreed to the bargain in my heart. My soul, in exchange for healing for those I love. In that moment, I had something like a vision, in cinematic terms it would be a flash-forward, of what the consequences were going to be. It made me understand what direct telepathy would feel like, clear, undeniable communication but at a much deeper level than words.
To my surprise, I didn't become less moral without a soul. I still wanted to do the right thing, indeed I wanted to do as much good as possible to balance the evil I had done in selling my soul. I hoped that the relief of suffering of the people I thought of would count some way in my favour. But I found myself unable to care about my friends any more. I couldn't really rejoice in the end of their pain, I could only coldly and intellectually regret that I hadn't asked for healing for all the sick and injured in the world instead of just the people I formerly cared about. And similarly, when I did do what good I was able to do, I didn't get any satisfaction from it, I just went through things mechanically, my work, my political campaigning, my volunteer stuff. It was as if the bargain left my conscience untouched, but stole all my love and joy.
Ugh. I don't even believe in that mythos anyway.