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position is even stronger. Prosperity knits a man to the World. He feels that he is "finding his place in it", while really it
is finding its place in him. His increasing reputation, his widening circle of acquaintances, his sense of importance, the
growing pressure of absorbing and agreeable work, build up in him a sense of being really at home in earth which is
just what we want. You will notice that the young are generally less unwilling to die than the middle-aged and the old.
The truth is that the Enemy, having oddly destined these mere animals to life in His own eternal world, has guarded
them pretty effectively from the danger of feeling at home anywhere else. That is why we must often wish long life to
our patients; seventy years is not a day too much for the difficult task of unravelling their souls from Heaven and
building up a firm attachment to the earth. While they are young we find them always shooting off at a tangent. Even if
we contrive to keep them ignorant of explicit religion, the incalculable winds of fantasy and music and poetry—the
mere face of a girl, the song of a bird, or the sight of a horizon—are always blowing our whole structure away. They
will not apply themselves steadily to worldly advancement, prudent connections, and the policy of safety first. So
inveterate is their appetite for Heaven that our best method, at this stage, of attaching them to earth is to make them
believe that earth can be turned into Heaven at some future date by politics or eugenics or "science" or psychology, or
what not. Real worldliness is a work of time—assisted, of course, by pride, for we teach them to describe the creeping
death as good sense or Maturity or Experience. Experience, in the peculiar sense we teach them to give it, is, by the
bye, a most useful word. A great human philosopher nearly let our secret out when he said that where Virtue is
concerned "Experience is the mother of illusion"; but thanks to a change in Fashion, and also, of course, to the
Historical Point of View, we have largely rendered his book innocuous.
How valuable time is to us may be gauged by the fact that the Enemy allows us so little of it. The majority of the human
race dies in infancy; of the survivors, a good many die in youth. It is obvious that to Him human birth is important
chiefly as the qualification for human death, and death solely as the gate to that other kind of life. We are allowed to
work only on a selected minority of the race, for what humans call a "normal life" is the exception. Apparently He
wants some—but only a very few—of the human animals with which He is peopling Heaven to have had the
experience of resisting us through an earthly life of sixty or seventy years. Well, there is our opportunity. The smaller it
is, the better we must use it. Whatever you do, keep your patient as safe as you possibly can,
Your affectionate uncle
MY DEAR WORMWOOD,
Now that it is certain the German humans will bombard your patient'...
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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