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Unformatted text preview: tered that. Your man has been accustomed, ever
since he was a boy, to have a dozen incompatible philosophies dancing about together inside his head. He doesn't think
of doctrines as primarily "true" of "false", but as "academic" or "practical", "outworn" or "contemporary",
"conventional" or "ruthless". Jargon, not argument, is your best ally in keeping him from the Church. Don't waste time
trying to make him think that materialism is true! Make him think it is strong, or stark, or courageous—that it is the
philosophy of the future. That's the sort of thing he cares about.
The trouble about argument is that it moves the whole struggle onto the Enemy's own ground. He can argue too;
whereas in really practical propaganda of the kind I am suggesting He has been shown for centuries to be greatly the
inferior of Our Father Below. By the very act of arguing, you awake the patient's reason; and once it is awake, who can
foresee the result? Even if a particular train of thought can be twisted so as to end in our favour, you will find that you
have been strengthening in your patient the fatal habit of attending to universal issues and withdrawing his attention
from the stream of immediate sense experiences. Your business is to fix his attention on the stream. Teach him to call it
"real life" and don't let him ask what he means by "real".
Remember, he is not, like you, a pure spirit. Never having been a human (Oh that abominable advantage of the
Enemy's!) you don't realise how enslaved they are to the pressure of the ordinary. I once had a patient, a sound atheist,
who used to read in the British Museum. One day, as he sat reading, I saw a train of thought in his mind beginning to go
the wrong way. The Enemy, of course, was at his elbow in a moment. Before I knew where I was I saw my twenty
years' work beginning to totter. If I had lost my head and begun to attempt a defence by argument I should have been
undone. But I was not such a fool. I struck instantly at the part of the man which I had best under my control and
suggested that it was just about time he had some lunch. The Enemy presumably made the counter-suggestion (you
know how one can never quite overhear What He says to them?) that this was more important than lunch. At least I
think that must have been His line for when I said "Quite. In fact much too important to tackle it the end of a morning",
the patient brightened up considerably; and by the time I had added "Much better come back after lunch and go into it
with a fresh mind", he was already half way to the door. Once he was in the street the battle was won. I showed him a
newsboy shouting the midday paper, and a No. 73 bus going past, and before he reached the bottom of the steps I had
got into him an unalterable conviction that, whatever odd ideas might come into a man's head when he was shut up
alone with his books, a healthy dose...
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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