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Christian, why should the different vices of those people in the next pew prove that their religion is mere hypocrisy and
convention?" You may ask whether it is possible to keep such an obvious thought from occurring even to a human
mind. It is, Wormwood, it is! Handle him properly and it simply won't come into his head. He has not been anything
like long enough with the Enemy to have any real humility yet. What he says, even on his knees, about his own
sinfulness is all parrot talk. At bottom, he still believes he has run up a very favourable credit-balance in the Enemy's
ledger by allowing himself to be converted, and thinks that he is showing great humility and condescension in going to
church with these "smug", commonplace neighbours at all. Keep him in that state of mind as long as you can.
Your affectionate uncle
MY DEAR WORMWOOD,
I am very pleased by what you tell me about this man's relations with his mother. But you must press your advantage.
The Enemy will be working from the centre outwards, gradually bringing more and more of the patient's conduct under
the new standard, and may reach his behaviour to the old lady at any moment. You want to get in first. Keep in close
touch with our colleague Glubose who is in charge of the mother, and build up between you in that house a good settled
habit of mutual annoyance; daily pinpricks. The following methods are useful.
1. Keep his mind on the inner life. He thinks his conversion is something inside him and his attention is therefore
chiefly turned at present to the states of his own mind—or rather to that very expurgated version of them which is all
you should allow him to see. Encourage this. Keep his mind off the most elementary duties by directing it to the most
advanced and spiritual ones. Aggravate that most useful human characteristic, the horror and neglect of the obvious.
You must bring him to a condition in which he can practise self-examination for an hour without discovering any of
those facts about himself ,which are perfectly clear to anyone who has over lived in the same house with him or worked
the same office.
2. It is, no doubt, impossible to prevent his praying for his mother, but we have means of rendering the prayers
innocuous. Make sure that they are always very "spiritual", that he is always concerned with the state of her soul and
never with her rheumatism. Two advantages follow. In the first place, his attention will be kept on what he regards as
her sins, by which, with a little guidance from you, he can be induced to mean any of her actions which are
inconvenient or irritating to himself. Thus you can keep rubbing the wounds of the day a little sorer even while he is on
his knees; the operation is not at all difficult and you will find it very entertaining. In the second place, since his ideas
about her soul will be very crude and often erroneous, he will, in some degree, be praying for an imaginary person, and
it will be your task to make that ima...
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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 Arizona.
- Spring '07