Friday, June 21, 2013

The Inversion of Love

In CS Lewis' The Screwtape Letters, an elder demon writes letters to a junior tempter (the diabolic antithesis to a guardian angel, whose job it is to damn your soul), with advice on how to get a certain man to hell.  Screwtape always ends his letters with, "Your affectionate Uncle Screwtape."

That word, "affectionate" struck me as very odd until the very end of the book.  There, Screwtape explains that his affection is meant purely as desire.  Particularly, a desire to consume.  The demons in hell feast off of the damned and the senior demons devour failed junior demons.  It is all the more creepy when his last letter is signed, "Your affectionate and ravenous Uncle Screwtape."

This is the exact inversion of real love.  In hell, the other is looked at as an object to be taken and consumed completely into the ego, like food being broken down and made a part of the self.  In heaven, the self is freely surrendered to the other so that the they may be united as one and yet be more fully themseleves.

Why am I writting all of this?

Because Screwtape's twisted idea of love seems to have filtered up to some people in this world.  Particularly Judy Nicastro who wrote recently about her abortion for The New York Times.  Particularly note her understanding of love and tell me that it isn't exactly like Screwtape's.

Click the link to the story here.

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