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"Letter from the Warmer Regions"
by Jan Sand
2008-06-26 10:02:15
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This guy in the other pit.
He's got a better demon than me.
His can taunt with a sharper wit.
Mine's mind is weak, I must admit.

Frank, over there, gets the common stuff.
Acid drip, disemboweling, a bit of frying.
You'd think these things were too rough,
But demons do their best by trying.

Sometimes my guy makes things fall off.
An ear, my nose, a nipple or a toe.
I've lost one lung - which makes me cough.
And other things. That's how things go.

But this process is a losing game.
(Pardon the pun) I've had to grow them back.
My demon's required to make me blind or lame.
His torturing suffered for the lack.

The first millennium can be a trial.
But you can accommodate to anything.
The red hot knives, freezing cold, drowning
Can, at first, evoke screams, make you sing.

But, after a century or so, brings only frowning.

My demon and I, between torture sessions,
Now entertain ourselves by playing chess.
Neither he nor I retain any aggressions
And he dislikes cleaning up the mess.

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Emanuel Paparella2008-06-26 12:47:19

Sartre had it more on target with his play "No Exit": you don't need fire and torture to experience hell here or beyond: all you need is to place two people who dislike each other in the same room with no exit.

Then there are "The Skrewtape Letters" of C.S. Lewis where a written correspondence is revealed between a senior and a junior demon in which the senior demon instructs the less experienced junior that the key strategy to snatch a soul from the Enemy (God)ought not to be a display of the demon's terrifying dark powers but rather that of reinforcing the notion that neither the Enemy (God)nor he exist and consequently there is no such thing as free will and a hell to which one condemns oneself, but only a predetermined impersonal universe with no purpose and no destiny which just exists; in other words there is no evil and no good either; which all sound as a conference by the Nazi rationalists where they plan the holocaust in two hours. That conference room must have not have had any exit either. Food for thought!

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