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Unformatted text preview: stian he can still be made to think of himself as one who has adopted a
few new friends and amusements but whose spiritual state is much the same as it was six weeks ago. And while he
thinks that, we do not have to contend with the explicit repentance of a definite, fully recognised, sin, but only with his
vague, though uneasy, feeling that he hasn't been doing very well lately.
This dim uneasiness needs careful handling. If it gets too strong it may wake him up and spoil the whole game. On the
other hand, if you suppress it entirely—which, by the by, the Enemy will probably not allow you to do—we lose an
element in the situation which can be turned to good account. If such a feeling is allowed to live, but not allowed to
become irresistible and flower into real repentance, it has one invaluable tendency. It increases the patient's reluctance
to think about the Enemy. All humans at nearly all times have some such reluctance; but when thinking of Him
involves facing and intensifying a whole vague cloud of half-conscious guilt, this reluctance is increased tenfold. They
hate every idea that suggests Him, just as men in financial embarrassment hate the very sight of a pass-book. In this
state your patient will not omit, but he will increasingly dislike, his religious duties. He will think about them as little as
he feels he decently can beforehand, and forget them as soon as possible when they are over. A few weeks ago you had
to tempt him to unreality and inattention in his prayers: but now you will find him opening his arms to you and almost
begging you to distract his purpose and benumb his heart. He will want his prayers to be unreal, for he will dread
nothing so much as effective contact with the Enemy. His aim will be to let sleeping worms lie.
As this condition becomes more fully established, you will be gradually freed from the tiresome business of providing
Pleasures as temptations. As the uneasiness and his reluctance to face it cut him off more and more from all real
happiness, and as habit renders the pleasures of vanity and excitement and flippancy at once less pleasant and harder to
forgo (for that is what habit fortunately does to a pleasure) you will find that anything or nothing is sufficient to attract
his wandering attention. You no longer need a good book, which he really likes, to keep him from his prayers or his
work or his sleep; a column of advertisements in yesterday's paper will do. You can make him waste his time not only
in conversation he enjoys with people whom he likes, but in conversations with those he cares nothing about on
subjects that bore him. You can make him do nothing at all for long periods. You can keep him up late at night, not
roistering, but staring at a dead fire in a cold room. All the healthy and outgoing activities which we want him to avoid
can be inhibited and nothing given in return, so that at last he may say, as one of my own patients said on his arrival
down here, "I now see that I spent most of my li...
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This note was uploaded on 02/07/2014 for the course MIS 304 taught by Professor Mejias during the Spring '07 term at University of Arizona- Tucson.
- Spring '07