More from Satan: Heaven vs. Hell

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From Screwtape Letters:

“The whole philosophy of Hell rests on recognition of the axiom that one thing is not another thing, and, specially, that one self is not another self.  My good is my good and your good is yours.  What one gains another loses. Even an inanimate object is wat it is by excluding all other objects from the space it occupies; if it expanded, it does so by thrusting other objects aside or by absorbing them.  A self does the same.  With beasts the absorption takes the form of eating; for us, it means the sucking of will and freedom out of a weaker self into a stronger.  ‘To be’ means ‘to be in competition.’  

Now the Enemy’s philosophy is nothing more or less than one continued attempt to evade this very obvious truth.  He aims at contradiction.  Things are to be many, yet somehow also one.  The good of one self is to be the good of another.  This impossibility He calls love…” (94)

And this seems to apply to death as well.  We believe that when we die, it’s not really over.  As the priest said at my own father’s funeral not long ago, his life here on earth may be over… and the way we know him may be over… but “his life is just starting again.”  Really, for my father, the good stuff – the real life – would be just starting.  These words are important to me as I try to imagine my father’s soul – and his afterlife (and perhaps we shouldn’t even really call it “afterlife”) – and I hold onto these words dearly in my heart.  Death is not deat but life.  And this really bugs Screwtape…

(Quote from: Lewis, C.S.  The Screwtape Letters.  New York: Harper Collins, 1996.)


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