Rubáiyát – Existence Duo

Rubiayat

A moment I exist. And then am gone.
Look well, my friend. This face you gaze upon
Will shortly leave, departing for a place
Where you also will arrive there anon.

Beyond this Life both Paradise and Hell
Await for us. Which one? That, who can tell?
Can you divine the secrets of each heart
And say for certain which goes ill – or well?

So many souls have travelled down Life’s road
Before us through the Fatal Door: yet showed
Us nothing by returning from the grave
What lies beyond. So it remains un-knowed.

Does alien life exist on worlds unseen?
What does it matter, if there’s ever been
An alien? We’re quarantined on Earth
Even light-speed our escape can’t attain.

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Rubaiyat – Existence Uno

Rubiayat

What revelations mysterious and dark
Our wisest men have told: to them we hark
And listen to their fables. When they die
They carry with them thence their precious spark.

All forms of Life this world exhibits best:
From man to microbe is Creation Blessed
With overflowing Life that lives awhile
To sport and play: till Death calls all to Rest.

Life clothes herself with every shape and mold
Plants, trees, birds, fish, men, and others untold
She wears and discards every form in turn
As her Creator decreed from of old.

Our spirits dress themselves with mortal shape
Embodied flesh we fasten like a cape
Around our souls to walk upon the earth
Awhile. Until Death door’s opens escape.

stone gargoyle

Lost Screwtape Letters – Public Apologies

stone gargoyle

Dearest Wormwood,

Public Apologies are one of our newest and most useful tools in deluding the current generation of patients. A modicum of subtlety is required – which you demonstrate on your better days – for optimal results. You have already been taught the basics: now is the time for you to get your patient to practice this most useful activity.

However, as your mentor, I must mention a few points which cannot be too often repeated.

First: never forget that your patient must confess loudly the sins of others – but not his own. Confessing the sins of others is a congenial pass-time leading to the rapid growth of complacent pride: which is most useful to us. Confessing one’s own sins puts the patient in deadly peril – for it opens a route to humility and the possibility of real repentance. Happily for us, keeping your patient focused on pointing out the sins of others is an easy matter: just be sure he daily checks his social media and news feeds – which our agents continually update with the most violent, salacious, and titillating stories possible.

Second: ensure your patient starts making false public apologies a habit. This should be easy enough: because denouncing others allows every patient to feel good about themselves – avoiding all of the personal sacrifices that accompany really being good. Remind your patient of the joys of occupying the moral high ground that is all part and parcel of confessing the sins of others: and stress continually the pain which accompanies confessing one’s own sins. Our message is simple: “pain is evil and must be avoided” – something our Propaganda Department is constantly broadcasting through all the usual channels.

Third: ensure your patient expresses their false public apologies to as many as possible, in as many different fora as possible, as loudly as possible, for as long as possible. Teach him that “a virtuous person is not one who practices virtue – but one who expresses the correct viewpoint”, and therefore the most virtuous person expresses the correct view the most loudly and most often. Be careful to avoid anything that might spur the patient to action: patients who begin acting virtuously have been known to trigger The Enemy’s deadliest weapon – Grace – against which we are helpless. But nothing ventured, nothing gained: and we take comfort from most patients’ natural aversion to any kind of positive action. With our help, every patient will embrace our motto of “more talk – less action”!

Finally: cultivate your patient’s comfortable feeling of self-satisfaction. False public apologies naturally lead the patient to expressing themselves in terms of grandiose unctuous moralizing. Encourage such sentiments by every means at your disposal: for self-satisfied patients rarely – if ever – bother taking concrete action of any kind. Your patient should, by this stage, feel in high spirits for having exposed the sins of others: which lesson is reinforced whenever you helpfully remind him of his own shame should his own faults ever be similarly exposed. Hypocrisy is such a wonderful tool of the trade!

I trust that you will apply my suggestions assiduously and dutifully. If you do, your patient’s presumptuous pride cannot but flourish – and so, in time, we may safely usher him to a warm welcome in our Father’s House.

Your loving uncle,

Screwtape.

Rubáiyát – Truth & Falsehood Uno

Rubiayat

A half-truth is a lie. And a half-lie
Is true enough to dupe the heedless by.
How to discern between the False and True
Is meat enough for all Philosophy.

So what divides the Falsehood from the Truth?
Smooth words persuade and lies present as sooth.
Utmost discernment and the grace of God
Might part one from the other without ruth.

We guess, intuit much of what we know
Then about daily business on we go.
The currents of this world propel us on
And toss us as they will, both to and fro.