Unformatted text preview: use. He would be greatly relieved if that one day involved nothing harder
than listening to the conversation of a foolish woman; and he would be relieved almost to the pitch of disappointment if
for one half-hour in that day the Enemy said "Now you may go and amuse yourself". Now if he thinks about his
assumption for a moment, even he is bound to realise that he is actually in this situation every day. When I speak of
preserving this assumption in his mind, therefore, the last thing I mean you to do is to furnish him with arguments in its
defence. There aren't any. Your task is purely negative. Don't let his thoughts come anywhere near it. Wrap a darkness
about it, and in the centre of that darkness let his sense of ownership-in-Time lie silent, uninspected, and operative.
The sense of ownership in general is always to be encouraged. The humans are always putting up claims to ownership
which sound equally funny in Heaven and in Hell and we must keep them doing so. Much of the modern resistance to
chastity comes from men's belief that they "own" their bodies—those vast and perilous estates, pulsating with the
energy that made the worlds, in which they find themselves without their consent and from which they are ejected at the
pleasure of Another! It is as if a royal child whom his father has placed, for love's sake, in titular command of some
great province, under the real rule of wise counsellors, should come to fancy he really owns the cities, the forests, and
the corn, in the same way as he owns the bricks on the nursery floor.
We produce this sense of ownership not only by pride but by confusion. We teach them not to notice the different
senses of the possessive pronoun—the finely graded differences that run from "my boots" through "my dog", "my
servant", "my wife", "my father", "my master" and "my country", to "my God". They can be taught to reduce all these
senses to that of "my boots", the "my" of ownership. Even in the nursery a child can be taught to mean by "my Teddybear" not the old imagined recipient of affection to whom it stands in a special relation (for that is what the Enemy will
teach them to mean if we are not careful) but "the bear I can pull to pieces if I like". And at the other end of the scale,
we have taught men to say "My God" in a sense not really very different from "My boots", meaning "The God on
whom I have a claim for my distinguished services and whom I exploit from the pulpit—the God I have done a corner
And all the time the joke is that the word "Mine" in its fully possessive sense cannot be uttered by a human being about
anything. In he long run either Our Father or the Enemy will say "Mine" of each thing that exists, and specially of
each man. They will find out in the end, never fear, to whom their time, their souls, and the...
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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