My Dear Mogslopper,

Why do you insist upon making your man define his beliefs? Have I not instructed you before about this kind of poor tempting? I am sure you will protest you have done nothing like this--you have been pushing him, through various means, toward agnosticism. But nothing of the kind is happening, I can assure you. Humans commonly regard belief as a mindset. They think that if certain proscribed thoughts go through their mind enough times--or at the right kinds of times--they maintain some sort of belief. Likewise, they think that talking about certain topics such as faith, religion, righteousness, law, hope, love is synonymous with understanding or at least regarding such things are true (or false). They are decieved, however. And it is your job, nay, your essense to ensure they remain decieved. Our Father Below has been called the Father of Lies. This is indeed true and applicable as well as paradoxical. Tempting your patient toward agnosticism by forcing him to examine his beliefs is the surest route to failure. The well-tempted patient should remain blissfully or even uneasily ignorant of his true beliefs. What he really believes is, of course, a matter of his Will rather than his intellect or his emotion. A patient's Will is revealed through his actions--a more obvious principle I could not point out. Yet the human vermin find the idea that doing and believing are linked repugnant. One of the late Yartuppnot's patients, an unfortunate fellow named Luther--you should have heard about him in school--was thoroughly confused by this arrangement. (The silly fellow wanted to remove an entire book from the Scriptures wherein this link between faith and works is so boldly expounded. Unfortunately, that was not enough to bring him to Us in the end.) However, his insistance that doing and believing are conditional--that faith without works is slightly alive--has percolated through the centuries, delivering thousands of half-convinced men to Us (and, incidentally, cooking out some of their "gamey" flavor). Luther was correct, of course, but our fancy footwork has kept the humans from spotting when doing and believing are linked and when they are not. In any case, your man should be questioning his beliefs less, not more, over the course of his life. We would rather have him reading the newspaper, the stock report, or--best of all--the sporting magazines with his feet comfortably propped on a table and a mug of coffee in his fist than dwelling on the mysteries of the universe. It should be obvious to you by now why this is the case. If a man considers his own life in regards to what he believes, he may see shortcomings or inconsistencies that, while absolutely glaring to everyone else, have remained hidden from him. Our Enemy is always nagging at him about this or that incongruency. You should counter Him not with argument but with nothing. Or, more accurately, with everything that contains no lasting value. Our best patients always have the television on or the sports page open. They are often at the mall, in the movie theaters, in their cars with the radio volume turned up, on a chat program clacking away at their keyboards about this or that inanity. They are busy, Mogslopper. Far too busy to stop and think. Far too busy to attend to Our Enemy who usually whispers instead of shouting at them. Even when they attend a weekly church event, they are more concerned with their friends, the state of the building, the particular quality of the pastor's voice that they find so appaling, their favorite songs, the weather, the temperature of their coffee, and what they are going to do "after church" then they are about the widening gap between what they profess to believe and what they actually do with their lives. I don't wish to give you a false sense of security, but some of the easiest patients are those who call themselves Christians. They believe themselves to be in Our Enemy's camp. But they remain materialists and consumers through and through. They have been tempted so effectively that they cannot bridge the gulf between what they say they believe and what their lives actually reflect. When we finally meet them Downhere, their surprise and alarm is tempered (sometimes to humorous effect) because, while they were alive, they saw the sneer on your face in every meaningless television program and candybar wrapper; they heard the rasp of your voice in every pop song and advertising jingle. They simply did not recognize that it was you because the discrepency between what they believed and what they did with their beliefs was so large that they persisted in the meaningless parts of their lives while ignoring the meaningful ones. And they never were the wiser. To sum up, you mustn't allow your patient to examine his life. He shouldn't argue principles with anyone. He should not read books that make him "feel bad" about the state of his life. He should not go for a walk in the country without headphones on. He should not think about his neighbor or his neighbor's needs. He should not consider the meaning of his work or his life. He should grab some glossy piece of pulp or plastic and sit in front of it for long periods of time without considering the deadening weight of it on his soul. With affection, Your Uncle


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9/06/2004 2:03 PM  

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