Music or silence?
I am a big fan of C.S. Lewis (C for Clive, S for Staples). When I read his books I tend to get the feeling that they were written for me personally. I suspect they were not, but I can’t prove that. When my wife and I were thinking of names for our latest child, I tried to convince her that Clive Staples Throneburg was very sophisticated and commanded respect. She then commanded me to be quiet.
I have recently been reading Lewis’ “Screwtape Letters.” The book is a collection of letters written by a high-ranking demon to an underling. The underling has been assigned to a human and is working diligently to bring him into the Devil’s fold. The letters reveal the strategies and tactics he employs to complete his assignment. It’s a unique, and at times, amusing look at the struggle for our souls.
The thing that strikes me over and over as I read the book is its relevance in our modern time. At one point Lewis even comments on the media and the way they can distract and distort. He wrote the book 70 years ago! In one chapter the human subject finds a girlfriend, which we all know is an experience that can be soul-changing, for better or for worse. The demons discuss whether this is a positive development for them or a setback to their efforts. They conclude the new relationship is indeed a setback in part because the girl comes from a home “where there is only life and therefore all that is not music is silence.” The head demon, Screwtape, speaks to the dangers of such a home and goes on to promote the various benefits of noise to their diabolical cause.
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