Wednesday, March 7, 2018

091: satan, the great orator: Part III - Subtle Twists of Truth

Continuing from the book Perelandra by CS Lewis...later in the conversion between Ransom and Weston, Weston becomes further possessed, has a meltdown, and collapses. Ransom leaves him and seeks out the Green Lady. After some time searching for her, Ransom hears two voices, which turn out to be Weston and the Green Lady speaking to one another in “earnest conversation”. Ransom listens in.

First, a few names are refenced in this conversation:
  1. Piebald: the Green Lady's nickname for Ransom.
  2. Maleldil: think, Christ, who speaks to the Green Lady in her thoughts.
  3. Eldila: think, angelic messengers.
  4. The King: the male counterpart of the Green Lady; who the Green Lady was separated from and has been searching for.
  5. The Fixed Land: Perelandra is a water world with a series of floating islands that move, however, there is one Fixed Land that does not move, but there is a commandment to not reside upon it. The Green Lady and the King were separated, in part, due to the floating islands, and the Fixed Land is the place where they could ultimately reside together. 
Secondly, light commentary in [brackets] -- the text speaks for itself and likely speaks to individuals differently depending on their experience and circumstance:

“I am wondering,” said the woman’s voice, “whether all the people of your world have the habit of talking about the same thing more than once. I have said already that we are forbidden to dwell on the Fixed Land. Why do you not either talk of something else or stop talking?”
[satan dwells continually on the same topic, speaks for long periods of time, repeating himself over and over again in an effort to wear down the hearer...until the temptation has been thoroughly overcome. On the other hand, God commands and then warns, but ultimately respects, to our blessing or demise, our choices. God is talkative, but He does not dominate and control the conversation...He is responsive.]
“Because this forbidding is such a strange one,” said the man’s [Weston's] voice. “And so unlike the ways of Maleldil in my world. And He has not forbidden you to think about dwelling on the Fixed Land.”
[satan tries to subtly nudge us towards that which will violate God's commands. satan tries to use God (Maleldil) in his calculations to deceive and lead atray]
“That would be a strange thing — to think about what will never happen.”
“Nay, in our world we do it all the time. We put words together to mean things that have never happened and places that never were: beautiful words, well put together. And then tell them to one another. We call it stories or poetry. In that old world you spoke of, Malacandra, they did the same. It is for mirth and wonder and wisdom.”
[satan often uses commonplace concepts or things we already accept and believe in, but miss-applies them in an attempt to deceive. he takes truths from stories and wisdom from myths and legends and uses them as a precedent for violating God's laws.]  
“What is the wisdom in it?” asked the Lady.
“Because the world is made up not only of what is, but of what might be. Maleldil knows both and wants us to know both.”
“This is more than I ever thought of. The other — the Piebald one [Ransom] — has already told me things which made me feel like a tree whose branches were growing wider and wider apart. But this goes beyond all. Stepping out of what is into what might be and talking and making things out there… alongside the world. I will ask the King what he thinks of it.”
“You see, that is what we always come back to. If only you had not been parted from the King.”
“Oh, I see. That also is one of the things that might be. The world might be so made that the King and I were never parted.”
“The world would not have to be different — only the way you live. In a world where people live on the Fixed Lands they do not become suddenly separated.”
"But you remember we are not to live on the Fixed Land.”
“No, but He has never forbidden you to think about it. Might not that be one of the reasons why you are forbidden to do it — so that you may have a Might Be to think about, to make Story about as we call it?”
[satan tries to get us to think about breaking the commandments, to consider the possible outcomes of doing so, so that the possibility of breaking the commandments starts to enter reality. Rather, we should flee temptation, and not contemplate or consider it.]
“I will think more of this. I will get the King to make me older about it.”
["getting older" equates to becoming wise or experienced]
“How greatly I desire to meet this King of yours! But in the matter of Stories he may be no older than you himself.”
“That saying of yours is like a tree with no fruit. The King is always older than I, and about all things.”
“But Piebald and I have already made you older about certain matters which the King never mentioned to you. That is the new good which you never expected. You thought you would always learn all things from the King; but now Maleldil has sent you other men whom it had never entered your mind to think of and they have told you things the King himself could not know.”
[satan twists truth and makes his hearers believe that all knowledge is "new good" and should be believed and lived, regardless of its source or powers.] 
“I begin to see now why the King and I were parted at this time. This is a strange and great good He intended for me.” 
[satan hopes that we will believe that listening to him is good for us, that he is a source of reliable information and truth. he is not.]
“And if you refused to learn things from me and keep on saying you would wait and ask the King, would that not be like turning away from the fruit you had found to the fruit you had expected?”
[satan tries to get us to believe that the knowledge and information he is sharing is what God desires for us to receive, that he is a messenger from God. he is not. Everything he says is a lie.] 
“These are deep questions. Stranger. Maleldil is not putting much into my mind about them” said the Lady.
“Do you not see why?”
“Since Piebald and I have come to your world we have put many things into your mind which Maleldil has not. Do you not see that He is letting go of your hand a little?”
“How could He? He is wherever we go.”
“Yes, but in another way. He is making you older — making you to learn things not straight from Him but by your own meetings with other people and your own questions and thoughts.”
“He is certainly doing that.”
[satan deceives us into believing that God wants us to grow up to be like God by becoming more independent from God. The silence of God that the Green Lady experienced is likely due to many things - one of which may be that a choice is being presented and she is required to use her intelligence and agency to choose for herself. satan tells us he has been sent to teach us truths that God has not or cannot teach for one reason or another. God works in order and by patterns...he sends authorized messengers with an authorized message, which does not point to the messenger as the source of the message (if that makes sense) and His message is consistent with other truths He has given.]
“Yes. He is making you a full woman, for up till now you were only half made — like the beasts who do nothing of themselves. This time, when you meet the King again, it is you who will have things to tell him. It is you who will be older than he and who will make him older.”
[satan tells us we need to become a real man or a real woman, to reach our "full potential" as human beings, according to the standards of the world, which means becoming superior in strength, knowledge, and power to others, whereas God wishes us to become as a little child...submissive, humble, pure, and full of love.]
“Maleldil would not make a thing like that happen. It would be like a fruit with no taste.”
“But it would have a taste for him. Do you not think the King must sometimes be tired of being the older? Would he not love you more if you were wiser than he?”
[satan tries to make us think that God really wants us to break His commandments in order to grow, whether it be out of a fake-sacrifice or for some fake-heroic good, because He wants us to grow up or "become older" (ie, wiser, more powerful or knowledgable), but He cannot suggest it, because He would be telling us to break His own commandment. God did not intend this, He really does not want us to break His commandments, despite how satan twists the truth of it.]
“Is this what you call a Poetry or do you mean that it really is?”
“I mean a thing that really is.”
“But how could anyone love anything more? It is like saying a thing could be bigger than itself.”
“I only meant you could become more like the women of my world.”
["my world" = Earth] 
“What are they like?”
“They are of a great spirit. They always reach out their hands for the new and unexpected good, and see that it is good long before the men understand it. Their minds run ahead of what Maleldil has told them. They do not need to wait for Him to tell them what is good, but know it for themselves as He does. They are, as it were, little Maleldils. And because of their wisdom, their beauty is as much greater than yours as the sweetness of these gourds surpasses the taste of water. And because of their beauty the love which the men have for them is as much greater than the King’s love for you as the naked burning of Deep Heaven seen from my world is more wonderful than the golden roof of yours.”
[satan tries to confuse us into thinking that being independent from God is being like God. It is not. When we are like God we are one with God, not free from Him. We are not "little gods" (ie, "little Maleldils) when we are free from God. satan equates freedom with being like God. satan tries to instill a fear that you will be less than what you are and what your potential portends if you do not break free and become independent like God is. satan has broken free and become independent from God and finds himself in constant misery in his current state.]
“I wish I could see them.”
“I wish you could.”
“How beautiful is Maleldil and how wonderful are all His works! Perhaps He will bring out of me daughters as much greater than I as I am greater than the beasts. It will be better than I thought. I had thought I was to be always Queen and Lady. But I see now that I may be as the eldila. I may be appointed to cherish when they are small and weak children who will grow up and overtop me and at whose feet I shall fall. I see it is not only questions and thoughts that grow out wider and wider like branches. Joy also widens out and comes where we had never thought.”
“It is a great branching out,” it [Weston] was saying. “This making of story or poetry about things that might be but are not. If you shrink back from it, are you not drawing back from the fruit that is offered you?”
“It is not from the making a story that I shrink back, O Stranger,” she answered, “but from this one story that you have put into my head. I can make myself stories about my children or the King. I can make it that the fish fly and the land beasts swim. But if I try to make the story about living on Fixed Land I do not know how to make it about Maleldil. For if I make it that He has changed His command, that will not go. And if I make it that we are living there against His command, that is like making the sky all black and the water so that we cannot drink it and the air so that we cannot breathe it. But also, I do not see what is the pleasure of trying to make these things.”
“To make you wiser, older,” said Weston’s body.
“Do you know for certain that it will do that?” she asked.
“Yes, for certain,” it replied. ‘That is how the women of my world have become so great and so beautiful.”
[satan twists the truth to deceive. he equates the breaking of a commandment, becoming independent, and letting go of God's hand as a necessary ("there is no other way") step in the gaining of wisdom, knowledge, and power. It is a lie.] be continued...

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