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Unformatted text preview: that you can weaken his prayers by diverting his attention
from the Enemy Himself to his own states of mind about the Enemy. On the other hand fear becomes easier to master
when the patient's mind is diverted from the thing feared to the fear itself, considered as a present and undesirable state
of his own mind; and when he regards the fear as his appointed cross he will inevitably think of it as a state of mind.
One can therefore formulate the general rule; in all activities of mind which favour our cause, encourage the patient to
be un-selfconscious and to concentrate on the object, but in all activities favourable to the Enemy bend his mind back
on itself. Let an insult or a woman's body so fix his attention outward that he does not reflect "I am now entering into
the state called Anger—or the state called Lust". Contrariwise let the reflection "My feelings are now growing more
devout, or more charitable" so fix his attention inward that he no longer looks beyond himself to see our Enemy or his
As regards his more general attitude to the war, you must not rely too much on those feelings of hatred which the
humans are so fond of discussing in Christian, or anti-Christian, periodicals. In his anguish, the patient can, of course,
be encouraged to revenge himself by some vindictive feelings directed towards the German leaders, and that is good so
far as it goes. But it is usually a sort of melodramatic or mythical hatred directed against imaginary scapegoats. He has
never met these people in real life—they are lay figures modelled on what he gets from newspapers. The results of such
fanciful hatred are often most disappointing, and of all humans the English are in this respect the most deplorable
milksops. They are creatures of that miserable sort who loudly proclaim that torture is too good for their enemies and
then give tea and cigarettes to the first wounded German pilot who turns up at the back door.
Do what you will, there is going to be some benevolence, as well as some malice, in your patient's soul. The great thing
is to direct the malice to his immediate neighbours whom he meets every day and to thrust his benevolence out to the
remote circumference, to people he does not know. The malice thus becomes wholly real and the benevolence largely
imaginary. There is no good at all in inflaming his hatred of Germans if, at the same time, a pernicious habit of charity
is growing up between him and his mother, his employer, and the man he meets in the train. Think of your man as a
series of concentric circles, his will being the innermost, his intellect coming next, and finally his fantasy. You can
hardly hope, at once, to exclude from all the circles everything that smells of the Enemy: but you must keep on shoving
all the virtues outward till they are finally located in the circle of fantasy, and all the desirable qualities inward into the
Will. It is only in so far as they reach the will and are there embodied in habits that the virtues are really fatal to us. (I
don't, of course, mean what the patient mistakes for his will, the conscious fume and fret of resolutions and clenched
teeth, but the real centre, what the Enemy calls the Heart.) All sorts of virtues painted in the fantasy or approved by the http://members.f...
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- Spring '07