One of our great allies at present is the Church itself.
In every department of life it marks the transition from dreaming aspiration to laborious doing.
The best thing, where it is possible, is to keep the patient from the serious intention of praying altogether.
What you must always remember, that they are animals and that whatever their bodies do affects their souls. It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds; in reality our best work is done by keeping things out.
Some are lukewarm and complacent, and then it is our business to soothe them yet faster asleep.
Once you have made the World an end, and faith a means, you have almost won your man, and it makes very little difference what kind of worldly end he is pursuing.
Talk to him about “moderation in all things”. If you can once get him to the point of thinking that “religion is all very well up to a point”, you can feel quite happy about his soul. A moderated religion is as good for us as no religion at all—and more amusing.
He can be induced to live, as I have known many human live, for quite long periods, two parallel lives; he will not only appear to be, but actually be, a different man in each of the circles he frequents.
A few weeks ago you had to tempt him to unreality and inattention in his prayers; but now you will find him opening his arms to you and almost begging you to distract his purpose and benumb his heart.
Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.
Surely you know that if a man can’t be cured of churchgoing, the next best thing is to send him all over the neighborhood looking for the church that “suits” him until he becomes a taster or connoisseur of churches.
The joke is that the word “mine” in its fully possessive sense cannot be uttered by a human being about anything. In the long run either Our Father or the Enemy will say “mine” of each thing that exists, and specially of each man.
Noise, the grand dynamism, the audible expression of all that is exultant, ruthless, and virile—Noise which alone defends us from silly qualms, despairing scruples, and impossible desires. We will make the whole universe a noise in the end. We have already made great strides in this direction as regards to Earth.
Prosperity knits a man to the World. He feels that he is “finding his place in it”, while really it is finding its place in him. His increasing reputation, his widening circle of acquaintances, his sense of importance, the growing pressure of absorbing and agreeable work, build up in him a sense of being really at home in earth which is just what we want.
So inveterate is their appetite for Heaven that our best method, at this stage, of attaching them to earth is to make them believe that earth can be turned into Heaven at some future date by politics or eugenics or science or psychology, or what not. Real worldliness is a work of time—assisted, of course, by pride.