Hardtack Fails

The temptation continues

“Hardtack, every tempter always fails on his first try or two. Humans are fickle creatures. Should you think your failure is complete and the end of it, you have missed the more discriminate aspect of your art. Every failure experienced will have meritorious value when at your next attempt you find your patient at a weaker moment than before. In his stronger times, your failure is a seed for him to justify his indiscretions in weaker times. This is the art of tempting, not the science.”

“Hardtack, we must not forget the larger goal of separating your patient from the Enemy. Because he is a creature of time, his perception of time works to our advantage. Better to tempt him by gradation because when what humans call a conversion and the new life, and when inevitably the excitement of his surrender wears away, we have not fully lost him to the Enemy. More, and with time, which is our valued assistant, we can convince him to go back to his normal means of living.”

“Screwtape often said, ‘Let him go back to his inner circle to succumb to its social pressure. He should then follow suit continuing to drink his pint (or two) and telling off color jokes behind closed doors, being one of the boys, something he never really wanted to relinquish in his supposed new life. Allow him to compartmentalize his new found enlightenment, reserved for his public image and Sundays but never within the inner chambers his kind inhabit.’”

Wormwood, Screwtape really knew his craft.

“Yes, and he was relentless. This you must learn.”

“Hardtack, all your failures, all your successes are but preparation. Your effort is simply not to separate him from the Enemy or even from his morals and ethics. Strive to get him to claim his morality as his own, to believe his judgments are mere preferences and expressions of choice. Lead him to the idea his morality is relative, a cafeteria of equal moralities. When he reaches this point, his cause will be greater than his Christ. His so-called faith will be a means and not the end. You must understand power serves means; authority serves ends. A single failure, your first failure, does not preclude your patient from realizing this fact.”

“There is one important human trait in your favor. Your patient learns by imitation. Present to him any image appealing to his base desires and he will strive to be like it. Then, in his inner thought, he will justify his effort and thus forget the absolute moral objective which forbids his choice. And since he values his need to be right, the beginning of forming his own morality begins.”

Wormwood, what does all this mean?

“To us, as tempters, it means everything. When your patient develops his own morality, he does so to push aside the fear he has of the Enemy. Only unconditional love can truly cast out his fear. Misdirect him from this truth and you will succeed.”

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