Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Screwtape Letters: A snippet from Letter #18

My dear Wormwood,


Even under Slubgob you must have learned at college the routine technique of sexual temptation, and since, for us spirits, this whole subject is one of considerable tedium (though necessary as part of our training) I will pass it over. But on the larger issues involved I think you have a good deal to learn.homer-marge-going-out

The Enemy’s demand on humans takes the form of a dilemma; either complete abstinence or unmitigated monogamy. Ever since our Father’s first great victory, we have rendered the former very difficult to them. The latter, for the last few centuries, we have been closing up as a way of escape. We have done this through the poets and novelists by persuading the humans that a curious, and usually shortlived, experience which they call ‘being in love’ is the only respectable ground for marriage; that marriage can, and ought to, render this excitement permanent; and that a marriage which does not do so is no longer binding....

Your affectionate uncle,
SCREWTAPE

CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (originally 1942; this edition: Harper Collins, 1996) 93.

Technorati Tags: Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis, sexuality, marriage, love

5 comments:

  1. I wish I had read this sooner! Lewis really reveals the strategy used by the Evil One in our time, "persuading the humans that a curious, and usually shortlived, experience which they call ‘being in love’ is the only respectable ground for marriage; that marriage can, and ought to, render this excitement permanent; and that a marriage which does not do so is no longer binding...."

    Isn't this what most people, including Christians, seem to believe?

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  2. As usual, Lewis nails it. Every time I pick up Screwtape – doesn't matter which letter – I am blown away by Lewis' insight into the human heart... and into the bill of good that modernity has sold us – and continues to sell us – in hopes of increasing our "happiness," but ultimately, doing just the opposite. Awakening to Lewis' eternal perspective is like having a veil pulled from your eyes. But sadly, once you can "see," you start noticing how blind everyone else is. And it's hard to know where to go from there.

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  3. P.S. The new design looks great!

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  4. What I like is that moment at which I'm reading the Screwtape Letters and a light bulb turns on in my mind -- Yes, I've been deceived that way. Wait, if Screwtape is telling Wormwood about this so matter of factly, then I'm not the only one who's believed this nonsense. We've all been duped!

    What's brilliant about Lewis is how he got these common deceptions out of his experience and onto paper so that we could all recognize them for what they really are.

    Glad you like the new design. I'm still fine tuning it. I think I like it, but it's not behaving too well.

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  5. Margaret, U sound like a pretty big homosexual.

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