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Lewis on Time & Ownership

From the pen of Screwtape, a senior devil, addressing his junior, Wormwood:

"You must therefore zealously guard in his mind the curious assumption 'My time is my own'. Let him have the feeling that he starts each day as the lawful possessor of twenty-four hours....The assumption which you want him to go on making is so absurd that, if once it is questioned, even we cannot find a shred of argument in its defense. The man can neither make, nor retain, one moment of time; it all comes to him by pure gift; he might as well regard the sun and moon as his chattels."

"And all the time 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 especially of each man...At present time the Enemy says 'mine' of everything on the pedantic, legalistic ground that He made it: Our Father hopes in the end to say 'mine' of all things on the more realistic and dynamic ground of conquest."

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