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Screwtape Letters' quote

Screwtape Letters' quote

Postby meg ishikawa » 17 Jan 2005, 13:52

I need the quote from The Screwtape Letters where Wormwood tells his nephew that if he can get them to believe there is no devil, then the biggest part of his job is accomplished. What is that quote exactly???
meg ishikawa

Re: Screwtape Letters' quote

Postby Paul F. Ford » 19 Jan 2005, 19:23

I think the passgae you are looking for is the first two paragraphs in Letter VII:

I wonder you should ask me whether it is essential to keep the patient in ignorance of your own existence. That question, at least for the present phase of the struggle, has been answered for us by the High Command. Our policy, for the moment, is to conceal ourselves. Of course this has not always been so. We are really faced with a cruel dilemma. When the humans disbelieve in our existence we lose all the pleasing results of direct terrorism, and we make no magicians. On the other hand, when they believe in us, we cannot make them materialists and sceptics.
At least, not yet. I have great hopes that we shall learn in due time how to emotionalise and mythologise their science to such an extent that what is, in effect. a belief in us (though not under that name) will creep in while the human mind remains closed to belief in the enemy. The “Life Force,” the wor¬ship of sex, and some aspects of Psychoanalysis may here prove useful. If once we can produce our perfect work—the Materialist Magician, the man, not using, but veritably worshipping, what he vaguely calls “Forces” while denying the existence of “spirits”—then the end of the war will be in sight. But in the meantime we must obey our orders. I do not think you will have much difficulty in keeping the patient in the dark. The fact that “devils” are predominantly comic figures in the modern imagination will help you. If any faint suspicion of your existence begins to arise in his mind, suggest to him a picture of some¬thing in red tights, and persuade him that since he cannot believe in that (it is an old textbook method of confusing them) he therefore cannot believe in you.
Paul F. Ford
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major themes in the Screwtape Letters

Postby Guest » 18 Dec 2005, 19:05

Does the screwtape letters share any commonalities with the Great Divorce? You guys seem to know alot about the Screwtape Letters. Please reply.

Re: major themes in the Screwtape Letters

Postby Paul F. Ford » 18 Dec 2005, 21:57

Anonymous wrote:Does the screwtape letters share any commonalities with the Great Divorce?

Though Lewis’s “strictly apologetical” works—The Problem of Pain (1940), Miracles (1947), and Mere Christianity (1952)—all end with profound insights on the meaning of holiness, five books are particularly devoted to spirituality issues: the pair on discernment (The Screwtape Letters and The Great Divorce), the pair on prayer (Reflections on the Psalms and Letters to Malcolm, Chiefly on Prayer [1964]—noted for their “just-two-people-talking atmosphere”), and the treatise on ordering our affections (The Four Loves [1960]).

In the Preface to The Screwtape Letters Lewis suggests that “Ideally, Screwtape’s advice to Wormwood should have been balanced by archangelical advice to the patient’s guardian angel. Without this, the picture of human life is lopsided.” In his modesty Lewis claims that he has neither the spiritual insight nor appropriate style for the job (“Mere advice would be no good; every sentence would have to smell of Heaven.”) But many who admire The Great Divorce guess that, in it, Lewis might just have attempted to write such a companion volume to The Screwtape Letters For this reason alone they should always be studied together.
Paul Ford—self-appointed president of the "245-3617 Club" and proud member of the "245-6317 Club"; author of the Companion to Narnia and the Pocket Companion to Narnia.
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Postby guest » 22 May 2007, 03:38

does anyone know the quote from screwtape letters where maybe wormwood says something along the lines of [our biggest threat is a man who keeps his faith even when God is seemingly not present.]

Postby Karen » 22 May 2007, 11:52

"Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy's will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys." (from chapter 8)
I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library. -- Jorge Luis Borges
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