Screwtape Lost and Found - Gregory's Wages of Sin
This fictional essay is part of a series inspired by C S Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters. Each essay seeks to respond to the satirical concepts laid down by Lewis, and to twist them around a little. Lewis was once an atheist and died a Christian. This author was born into Christianity and lives as an atheist. More
This fictional essay is part of a series inspired by C S Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters. Each essay seeks to respond to the satirical concepts laid down by Lewis, and to twist them around a little. Lewis was once an atheist and died a Christian. This author was born into Christianity and lives as an atheist.
Gregory’s Wages of Sin discusses how demons behave, and what Gregory’s particular demon does to him.
Gregory’s Demon comes to him at a very late hour, and on any day with its rattling bag of temptations to pay him his wage for his sins, or threaten him with death. A slimy, winged Nosferatu that seats itself inside his brain’s hot amygdala and throws at him, in a seething gas, the temptations of sloth, lust, greed and the rest of the family of sins Gregory is prone to. In here there is no god. But in here there is no soul. He is half human and half robot in this space. Eventually all mental machinations and their consequences will be sacrificed to mortality. His Demon knows this, and comfortably works away at Gregory’s mental destruction.
While Gregory lives, if his Demon has his mind at any time, he is lost. If the Demon doesn’t have his soul as well, then oh dear, for Gregory will still believe in eternal life ever after, and his soul will not like being left alone while the Demon attends to Gregory’s mind. The Demon will attend to both while he are alive, if the soul pleads for its inclusion; evidently some souls need the mind, and vice versa. The Demon’s only compassion is shown here. When the soul pleads for its place in living Hell alongside its companion mind, the Demon rarely refuses. It does not discriminate, although it really is after the mind alone. There is so much more going on in it than in the yearning soul.
Thanks to C S Lewis Gregory has a vivid understanding of how his Demon works. And if Gregory understands Screwtape, he will know how to deal with his tempting Demon. For him to know his Demon enemy, he must keep it closer to him than his friends. And it would help the vulnerable Gregory to know that his Demon, like all Svengali’s, is only as good as its sanctum, eager to please but prone to the impulsive errors of the unthinking youth that Gregory is.