The Devil opened his eyes and asked his henchman why he was so rudely awakened.
“Bad news to report,” said the sinister supporter. “There is a movement on earth to feed, clothe and give shelter to the deprived children of the world. We can’t let this happen.”
“My faithful friend, I have been around long enough to know that there are trade-offs in life,” said the Devil with a cunning smile.
“My Lord Lucifer, I do not understand,” said the dismayed demon.
“I can accept poor children being fed, clothed, housed and even educated, as long as I get their souls in the end,” replied the king of darkness. “Why should I get off my butt and pretty tail when I have those silly humans to help me? You see, my fiendish friend, there is another kind of child abuse that goes on undetected and is most rampant among children living in the best of households.”
“You have me stumped, sir” confessed the hellish henchman.
“I have made a great study of God’s tactics and strategies for saving humankind. One of the things God does is create a mental plane within a young child’s mind where heaven’s influence can begin to get a foothold. The great scientist/theologian, Emanuel Swedenborg correctly referred to this sacred plane in his writings as one’s spiritual ‘remains.’ ”
The Devil lifted up his head and looked more directly into his cohort’s eyes. “God builds this sacred plane or ‘remains’ as long as the child is in innocence. But as every terrestrial parent knows, the child loses his or her innocence as they grow up. What these parents don’t know is that as the child learns more about the ways of the world they each discover that they can gain control of their lip movements and bodily motions to speak and act in conformity with socially accepted behavior—no matter what they inwardly feel or believe. This outer corporeal/sensual personality or mask covers over a child’s real inner essence until its activity becomes habitual and gains a life of its own.”
“What is your point?” questioned the cohort.
“People on earth grow up with two realities—interior and external—but they focus on and believe that only their outer and fabricated personality is their true identity. As a result, their God-given remains become neglected and languish. This happens to humans no matter how educated, how lucky, how well-clothed, or how much food they have in their bellies,” said the chief counselor of wise wickedness.
Seeing his top adherent scratching his head in confusion, the Devil gave further details. “When this split in human consciousness occurs, a person’s real self goes into a kind of passive slumber or trancelike state. I have learned to use this split in human consciousness to my own advantage. I simply concentrate my efforts on keeping this inner reality living in all kinds of dreams of self-delusion while permitting humans to look and act outwardly in a somewhat normal way among others of their kind.”
“Aren’t you worried that the earth-beings will eventually find out the truth?” asked the henchman.
“Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha,” came the Devil’s response. “In the case of human society, finding the truth will be like getting a harsh slap in the face! You see, in order to regain their innocence so that they can expand and increase the heavenly influence on their God-given spiritual remains, they will have to find a way for their inner and outer realities to reconnect with each other and unify. This contact is not pretty and demands complete sincerity. When this unflattering contact happens, what a person knows is brutally compared with what the person actually is. Intense conflict results from this self-examination and self-struggle. And, if sincerity prevails, humility results and innocence increases, giving God more access to an individual’s heart and mind.”
“You hinted that a man named Emanuel Swedenborg knew of and wrote about these things. What if people discover and begin reading his writings? What if they choose goodness?” asked the Devil’s pestilent partner.
These questions made the Devil laugh even louder. “I don’t give a crap if people go to church, feed the poor, care for widows, grow food organically, create a sustainable economy or discover renewable energy. If people do not reconnect their two split realities and engage in a spiritual battle between all their innumerable inconsistencies of behavior, they will not add one iota to their personal spiritual transformation. That is why I have been taking a nap under the canopy of this large tree—I’ve got it made in the shade!”