Screwtape is a demon and he is writing letters to his nephew, Wormwood. The letters are meant to help Wormwood, who is fresh out of Tempter’s College, in his endeavors to prevent people from becoming Christians. In the end Wormwood fails and is eaten by the more successful demons.
The advice given by Screwtape was potentially effective, but it was also subtle.
- Church members can be used to keep people away from the Gospel, especially if they behave rudely or practice immorality.
- Family discord, lack of self-examination, and critical thoughts toward others will promote a self-righteous attitude.
- Keep people away from prayer or have them use memorized superficial prayers that can be repeated without meaning.
- Keep people focused on themselves and their own problems to promote selfishness and prevent charitable behavior.
- Keep people focused on personal feelings.
- Teach people to reverence religious objects, so the object replaces God.
- Teach people to view the past as happy and peaceful. Teach them to view the future with dread and hopelessness, so they will believe not even God can save them from certain destruction.
- Create anxiety to prevent people from focusing on God.
- Promote hatred for those who are different from them and hatred for enemies.
- Promote malice towards the people around them and keep benevolence out of their minds.
- Increase temptation during times of struggle, so sin appears to be the best way to elevate depression and inner turmoil.
- If people desire to attend church, help them find one that focuses solely on friendship and self-help topics.
- Teach people to live two parallel lives. Sunday is for church, but during the rest of the week there is no thought of God. This will allow them to live in sin, but still feel self-righteous.
- Lull people into the path of wickedness, “Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”
- Don’t allow people to be rooted in a church, “if a man can’t be cured of church going, the next best thing is to send him all over the neighborhood looking for the church that ‘suits’ him until he becomes a taster or connoisseur of churches.”
- Promote discord in the church, so the members are arguing over petty things, then they will be unable to teach the gospel with any effectiveness.
- Encourage false spirituality among the people.
I enjoy working with and training my dogs. I’ve read a ton of books on dog training and attended several different training schools with my dogs. However, the book “Three Dimensional Dog” by Aaron McDonald is different from anything I have encountered up to this point.
It was eye opening and changed my entire approach to dog training. While I was reading the book, I was wondering why didn’t I think about these issues. It seems so obvious now.
The first part of the book explains the differences between trick training and cognitive behavior training.
Most dogs are trained to perform an action for a treat. The training is focused only on the outer behavior of the dog. This is known as trick training.
Cognitive behavior training looks at the whole dog. It addresses the inner mind and emotions of the dog and uses that information to teach the dog how to live peacefully within the family unit. The three dimensional approach to dog training is based on cognitive behaviorism.
The first dimension that needs to be addressed is the dog’s emotional needs. Does the dog feel safe and have appropriate boundaries? Are the dog’s physical needs being addressed?
The second dimension is concerned with what the dog is thinking. Before a dog does anything they will develop an intellectual plan. Paying attention to the dog’s body language will tell you how the dog is feeling and give you insight into what the dog is thinking.
The third dimension involves action. It is everything the dog does with their body. This is where traditional training methods actually start.
Addressing the dogs physical, emotional, and intellectual needs will allow the dog to reach a state of actualization. Also, focusing on the three dimensions help the dog achieve a balanced emotional state. This allows the dog to reach their fullest potential and be a functioning member of the family unit.
My favorite quotes from The Wit & Wisdom of Mark Twain:
- A human being has a natural desire to have more of a good thing than he needs.
- It is our nature to conform; it is a force which not many can successfully resist.
- An uneasy conscience is a hair in the mouth.
- I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.
- Experience is an author’s most valuable asset; experience is the thing that puts the muscle and the breath and the warm blood into the book he writes.
- Many a small thing has been made large by advertising.
- Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).
- Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
I just finished reading Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. My favorite section in the book, is when Montag asked, “Where do we go from here? Would books help us?”
Faber responded: “Only if the third necessary thing could be given us. Number one, as I said, quality of information. Number two: leisure to digest it. And number three: the right to carry out actions based on what we learn from the interaction of the first two.”
Although it wasn’t mentioned in this section, but it was alluded to in other parts of the book, another thing needed is the desire to read and learn from books.
You don’t have to burn books to make them ineffective. You just have to get people to stop reading them. You get them to not want to read books.
I just finished reading “Our Town,” by Thornton Wilder. There is a passage at the end of the play that really struck me.
Emily has died in childbirth and her spirit is wondering about. She does not want to remain in her grave, but wishes to relive one day of her life. Unfortunately, this proves to be so painful for her that she returns to her grave. That’s when Simon Stimson says,
Yes, now you know. Now you know! That’s what it was to be alive. To move about in a cloud of ignorance; to go up and down trampling on the feeling of those…of those about you. To spend and wast time as though you had a million years. To be always at the mercy of one self-centered passion, or another. Now know – that’s the happy existence you wanted to go back to. Ignorance and blindness.
Life is short and we are often to busy to enjoy it. Whatever you are doing today, take time to enjoy the moment.
This book is about a young man seeking his personal legend (following his dreams).
While I was reading the book, I spent a good deal of time thinking about my own personal legend.
I enjoy reading, traveling, and seeking out unique adventures. I also enjoy writing about my adventures, my life, and my thoughts on various subjects.
At this point in my life, I am able to do all these things. I feel like I am living my own personal legend.
This was an enjoyable book to read and full of practical advice. The main things I learned from reading it:
- Anything that feels forced or harder than it should be or causes you pain and distress is not meant for you.
- If we keep holding on to toxic situations or toxic people because we’ve already done too much or it’s too late to change things, we are only setting ourselves up for a miserable life.