Thursday, March 21, 2013

Literature: C.S. Lewis "The Screwtape Letters"

Wormwood, the Devil's assistant, is teaching his underling about humility:

To anticipate the Enemy's (God's) strategy, we must consider His aims. The Enemy (God) wants to bring the man to a state of mind in which he could design the best cathedral in the world, and know it to be the best, and rejoice in the fact, without being any more (or less) or otherwise glad at having done it than he would be if it had been done by another. The Enemy wants him, in the end, to be so free from any bias in his own favor that he can rejoice in his own talents as frankly and gratefully as in his neighbor's talent - or in a sunrise, and elephant or a waterfall. He wants each man, in the long run to be able to recognize in all creatures (even himself) as glorious and excellent things. He wants to kill their animal self-love as soon as possible; but it is His long term policy, I fear, to restore to them a new kind of self-love - a charity and gratitude for all selves, including their own; when they have really learned to love their neighbors as themselves, they will be allowed to love themselves as their neighbors. For we never forget what is the most repellent inexplicable trait in our Enemy; He really love the hairless bipeds He has created, and always give back to them with His right hand what He has taken away with His left.