By Allen Lewis, inspired by the Screwtape Letters
My dearest Scumclod,
In your last message, you expressed confusion about my enthusiasm regarding some of our recent efforts. It seems you have fallen prey to the Enemy’s own propaganda—particularly about the power of Death. Indeed, some of our best Tempters have been led astray by that old drivel about how the Enemy has somehow stolen our best weapon from us and turned it against us. Bah! As if He who forbade men from murdering their fellows would willingly choose to make use of the dread power of mortality that we have claimed for our own! As if the Living One Himself would wield the power of Death, when He has always been at utter enmity with it! Why, even one of His own servile scribes wrote long ago that Death was the “last enemy.” But we know better—for Death is no enemy to us.
Yes, our true Enemy would have them all believing the nonsense that He created all that exists from nothing. But we know the real story, just as we have learned it from our Great Leader himself.
By Death, His Lowliness brought forth all creatures that exist! It was Death—Death and time—that allowed Him to do so, and it could not have been done otherwise. Yes, the story that we have been telling the recent generations of mankind is in fact true! It is the deep and secret knowledge for which we have been preparing them down through the ages. Their ancient forebears were not yet really ready to hear it. That much was made clear by their centuries of reluctance to set aside even those useful lies we spun for them in the old myths and legends about the origins of the cosmos. But now—now at last they seem ready to hear what the ancients would not: through eons of Death, all creatures were fashioned.
You see, Death is the most powerful force we know. It is indeed to be feared, oh yes! But it is equally to be admired, to be adored, to be worshiped as the great Creator that it is. Look on its works, ye mighty, and despair! But blessed is he who drinks deeply of its heady draught, for he it is who shall gain the world by the power it offers. Yes, one may gain the whole world by bowing to the power of Death, and by wielding Death’s power to subdue all else.
The Enemy’s followers love to decry our carefully cultivated “culture of death” (something they have actually labeled correctly for once!) because they know, deep down—just like their ancestors—that Death is strong and fearsome, that it swallows up the weak and the pathetic while lending its power and favor to those who are themselves strong and fearless enough to surrender to its dominion so that through them it may bring about great, terrible, and glorious works.
Witness the great figures of history for whom Death was the route to enduring renown. Who is better known than those visionaries who were most willing to cast off all their useless inhibitions and moral qualms in order to lay hold of the rewards only available through the power of Death?
And now our greatest victory (perhaps our final one!) is playing out before our eyes. They begin to see it now, haven’t you realized? All their most influential thinkers, artists, institutions—all have now almost fully embraced this, our highest ideal: not creatio ex nihilo, but rather creatio ex morte. And more than that! For the heart of the matter is not merely creation out of Death, but ultimately victory.
Through Death, we offer victory over the appalling biological imperative that links physical pleasure to parenthood. Through Death, we offer victory over the astonishing cruelty of inescapable suffering at the end of life. Through Death, we offer victory for the Sacred, Unconquered, and All-Glorious Self over anyone and anything that would stand in the way of the full realization of its own sacrosanct desires—whatever they may be.
All these victories and more are won through Death and Death alone, but only for those who are willing to reach out and take what it offers!
And who is there now that will pay any attention to that towering obscenity leveled against us by the followers of our Enemy—He who would have them (and us) believing nonsense that twists and contorts this very same ancient knowledge I have just been expounding to you and makes it stand preposterously on its head—that somehow, in His own death, our Enemy was able to defeat the power of Death itself, that He now holds authority over it, and that He will at the last finally destroy it once and for all.
Surely that cannot be true. Who ever heard of such a thing as Death being swallowed up in victory? I am sure you will not allow such old imp’s tales to cause you any consternation.
No, my dear nephew, pay no attention to such obvious claptrap, and continue on with your destructive duties in peace. Rest assured we will indeed win the field when all is said and done! That odd glimmer of light we see on the Eastern horizon is nothing more than a trick of the eyes—fearsome only to those silly, cowardly fiends who have begun to half-believe what the Enemy has to say, and tremble!
In reality, it is nothing but the last dying ember of hope for all who will not join with us and glory in all that His Lowliness has to offer! The dawn shall surely not overtake us.
Your affectionate uncle,