My Dear Bandersnatch-The Temptation Behind Singleness: Elspeth Shepherd

My Dear Bandersnatch,

 

I am pleased to read your last letter. The young woman you mention is right where she is most open to your influence, and the best of it is - she thinks she is nearly immune to it because of her "Christian" faith. Your work has been most excellent to bring her to this place. A young single woman, living on her own in a tiny, affordable flat. Attractive male friends. A job she adores that she considers "ministry" within the community of other Christians. And a romantic heart that is relatively undiscerning about is own nature. The juicy morsel is right before your lips, Bandersnatch. Guard it carefully, guard it carefully lest the Enemy slip it out of your hands.

Let me explain just how perfect your young woman's position is. (One of the annoyances I often have with younger demons is that because you have such little experience, you can't appreciate the fine-tuned work that has gone into this position, and you often don't know how fragile this position is, because to you, it was rather effortless. How I wish our Father Below would assign you initiates to tasks where you must really cut your teeth on harder work…) First, let me explain about her heart. Take heed, Bandersnatch - you think you are responsible for this (and in a very small way, you are) - though you think you know about human hearts, you must be sure you always understand how they work in order to better use that knowledge to your advantage.

Human hearts are probably the closest thing to the human condition that we can understand. Though that makes us thankfully very different from the varmints, it does make our task more difficult since we have never experienced life in the nasty flesh as the Enemy has. But we are spiritual, and since their hearts are also spiritual, we can understand some of this. You are not locked in the prison cell of time. Human beings are. This means that they believe reality is sequential. (Pay attention, B. I know your habits of skimming things that bore you, and your recompense may be losing the soul of this woman!) 

Try to imagine, if you can, believing that every event is A. caused by a previous event and B. causes future events, but that each of those events are entirely natural, with nothing to do with the spiritual reality. (This thinking pattern is, might I add, one of our proudest accomplishments - thanks to the work of your predecessors in the period we have named - it just tickles me - the Enlightenment.) Therefore, the human creatures think that everything has a natural (not a spiritual) cause. Most of the ones in America don't even think that humans are spiritual beings. Those that do recognize this spiritual dimension are often our easy targets for pride, since they can easily think themselves better than others for this "discovery" of their true nature.

 

But I digress. Back to the heart of the human creatures. As I was saying, the American humans are scarcely aware that they are spiritual beings, and so it follows that they do not well recognize that their heart and desires are the pulse of their spiritual desires. This makes our work so much easier. You see, the Enemy has aptly said in his filthy book that he has set eternity in the hearts of men, yet so that they cannot find out what the Enemy has done from the beginning to the end. (It is amusing to me that the Christians praise him for his wisdom, since putting them into this paradox seems to me the height of stupidity…) So their hearts desire the spiritual, yet they are trapped within time and flesh. They rarely ever think that their desires come from the spiritual dimension of their hearts, and yet that is the very seat of their desires! The reason they have desires at all is because they are spiritual! Because of this impeccable deception, they can easily be persuaded that these spiritual desires are really not spiritual at all, but can be attributed to something as unspiritual as a lousy egg sandwich.

So, back to your young woman. Looking at her education records, I am encouraged, and yet we must be cautious. She has studied the Enemy's book extensively, and continues to do so for her job as well as on her own. She must be guarded from the reality of her heart's condition. I'll attach a few simple yet tried-and-true tips that you can use to keep her from the Enemy's book later on. Here's the crux of it - her heart longs for the spiritual, and desires things that nothing in the world can satisfy. Your task will be twofold - first make her believe that those desires are for things in the world that are attainable, and second, encourage her to pursue all of those things in order to satisfy her, but keep them nearly always out of her grasp so that she never finds out by experience that they don't actually satisfy. (If she does happen to acquire some of them and discover that dissatisfaction, then you can always tell her that the ones she has are not quite right, that conditions need to be a little different, the people she is with are the problem, etc. The ultimate goal is to keep her from realizing that her heart's desire is outside of the physical world.)

I took the liberty of reviewing her life file the other day, and was able to see that she is 24 years old and single. This age and condition, Bandersnatch, is ideal for telling her heart that the cause for her spiritual hunger is her lack of a man. Get her to believe that the one thing that will satisfy her completely is a husband. It is the real nature of the human women to desire companionship - this is a desire that we can use. It is also factual that biologically, her body is at its prime to bear children. She is quite aware of this, both due to her own biology, and due to watching her other female friends marry and reproduce. Because of these ideal conditions, she does have a natural desire for a man. But her deeper desire is spiritual, and it is easy for us to cause her to confuse those things. Watch her closely, for example, to see what makes her feel the longing. Does a sunset? Watching the leaves fall down to the ground in all of their different colors? Watching a young wedded couple look deeply into each others' eyes? Seeing families with children? All of these things should evoke in her the longing. 

Now, you and I know that beauty, seasons, loving marriage, and families are all pictures that the Enemy has made for his silly and senseless humans to see and to remember and long after him. But thanks to our Father below, their minds are darkened, so that intellectual connection is not as easy as it used to be. Every time she sees one of these things and feels the longing, tell her, "If only you had a man to share this 'romantic' (don't ever let her define that word - it has excellent connotations for a lonely heart) moment with, it would be better." You will then make her believe that this spiritual longing is not, in fact, spiritual, but a very natural longing for a man. This, combined with her natural female condition, will most assuredly redirect her affections. But the best part is that she will begin to associate that spiritual longing with man-longing. If you are as intelligent as you assure me you are, you will, undoubtedly, see the advantage of this kind of thinking.

Here is some advice for what she calls "this season of singleness:"

  1. Make her continue to idealize the marriages around her.

  2. Make her feel that she has been patient for long enough - that her "turn" to get married, which is overdue, has not yet come up. Make her believe that she deserves a husband.

  3. Cause her to pity herself, and thus indulge other pleasures that she feels she deserves, since she has been deprived of this one.

  4. When friends get married, convince her that she deserves that, too. If you are especially crafty, capitalize on her notice of the minor qualities in her friends that she has thus far overlooked. Make her compare herself with her friends and find that she is the best of each of them. Make her resent them even more, and look down on her friends' husbands and fiancés for choosing her friends. If she has love for them, this might be difficult.

  5. Most importantly, do not let her focus come away from herself and her lack of a man. Be especially wary of involvement in selfless activities - every time an opportunity comes up, make her hesitate and decide to wait until she has a husband to really get invested.

The best attack, however, is to always tell her that her spiritual hunger is simply man-longing. There is some fact to this, which makes it more believable. She will slowly starve. It will be like parading a banquet of choice foods before a slowly starving man, yet watching him refuse it all because none of the morsels are potatoes. He will starve, refusing to be convinced that what he needs is right before him. If you can get him to believe the lie, you will walk him nearly into our Father Below's hands. If you can get this young woman to believe that all of her spiritual longings are man-longings, you will be on your way to watching her soul starve for the food of the Enemy, and that starvation makes her most vulnerable to listening to you.

Guard her heart closely, Bandersnatch. Do not let this one slip through your fingers…

Your affectionate uncle,

Wormwood


 Elspeth Shepherd is currently studying for her MA in Biblical and Theological Studies at Southeastern. Like most seminary students, she enjoys coffee and books. She met a ginger pastor dreamboat on eHarmony, who said when they were dating that he'd "wife her up" and then take her to the same seminary he attended. She is grateful that he makes good on his promises. After North Carolina, their next destination is France to plant a church and share the gospel with one of the least evangelized people groups on earth.

Elspeth Shepherd is currently studying for her MA in Biblical and Theological Studies at Southeastern. Like most seminary students, she enjoys coffee and books. She met a ginger pastor dreamboat on eHarmony, who said when they were dating that he'd "wife her up" and then take her to the same seminary he attended. She is grateful that he makes good on his promises. After North Carolina, their next destination is France to plant a church and share the gospel with one of the least evangelized people groups on earth.

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