Tuesday, May 18, 2010

C.S. Lewis | The Screwtape Letters | 1942

My dear Wormwood,

I note with interest your reply to me on the matter of subtle operations. I have suggested in the past that you should infiltrate the human mind indirectly, for appearing before these mortals in too overt a manner will either turn them against us or yoke them forever to the fact of our existence. And recall also my previous notes regarding the fundamental comedy of the demon in the human imagination, and how this keeps us, fortuitously, in a position of espionage.

I must commend you, my dear nephew, on your work with the modern American political scene. I have said many times that our human patients are the healthiest to us when they are either extreme patriots or extreme pacifists. Every time I turn on the television, I see that you and your colleagues are following this bit of wisdom. I commend myself for thinking of it and commend you for following it.

In addition, Wormwood...Oh, who am I fooling? It's not your Uncle Screwtape writing you! It's John, the guy who lives down the hall. For a while, all your devil this and demon that and Mephistopheles the other thing was getting on my last nerve, but then I thought about it, and I am pretty sure I agree with you. So, will you teach me? I have a pretty good hold on evil already. Can I be the Wormwood to your Screwtape? I am six-foot-two and can bench about three hundred pounds, if that makes any difference. Nose tackle in college.

Keep on the sunny side,
John Wilson