Thursday, August 19, 2010

Beguiled

Serpent. Yo toots! I saw you taking a gander at the fruit on this handsome tree. Words can't describe how good and the sweet the fruit is. You need to taste it for yourself.
Eve. He said we weren't even supposed to touch it, but it's sure yummy to look at. I'll give you that.
S. Why would He put it there if you weren't meant to nosh on it? He may have gotten bored and wanted to test your reaction to my complimentary schmoozing and chipper talking up.
E. Yes, and maybe there is good and then there is GOOD, and just maybe that fruit is only a tempting knockoff sort of good, something to appeal to "channels of sense, intellect, and aspirations". [Dummelow via time warp]
S. Sweetie, the fruit on this tree has more delights than a Swiss army knife. Talk about good! You can whip up a fruit salad from this tree that would be the envy of a platoon of North Korean generals. Look at some of these endorsements: "Lip smackin' good", "So sweet and good you'll think you're on a date with Elvis", "More gorgeous than Gorgeous George", and "Grrrreat!" (from Tony the Tiger no less).
E. Well, I can't deny I get a goose-bumpy tingle when I look at that tree, and every coruscating fruit has, I see, a little seal of approval from someone (in microscopic print). Still, He said don't think about touching it.
S. Pshaw! Quit being such a dweeb. With an attitude like that you'll never get invited to a wingding or chosen to be a Bachelorette. Maybe the Lord God only said "Hands Off" until He could open a Walmart and you and that palooka over there could rustle up some duds to cover up the petty annoyance of guilt and shame.
E. Guilt? Shame?
S. Bon appetit!

21 comments:

Near Boston said...

A vintage Broken Net. So well written, Christian!

H. G. said...

You are one talented fellow (at least I think you're a fellow).
A lot of laughs in this one.

Regular viewer said...

Hi there,
I like all your essays, but ones like this one may be my favorite. Quite original. And funny, too.

UK fan said...

A thoroughly enjoyable read! Keep 'em coming, Christian.

Mark said...

You are a creative writing teacher, right? If not, I think you sure could be.

NYC said...

A most interesting blog post, blogger. Certainly nothing I would get to see in the Sentinel, say. You are creative, I will say that.

None (for now) said...

Hey there,
You do know how to give your readers some good laughs. A pleasure reading this one, Christian

LowlyWise said...

Hate to sound like a broken record -- I'd rather sound like a broken net-- but I recommend that all of you read Milton's Paradise Lost, Book IX, preferably out loud with at least two friends: one will read Eve's lines, one the Serpent's, and the other the Narrator and Adam. This is the all-time imaginative fleshing out of the dialogue between Eve and the Serpent (who, of course, has been body-snatched by Satan as the instrument of his revenge on God for passing him over in favor of Man, and he has chosen to make man disobey God and therefore incur the penalty of death). When she tastes,

...her rash hand in evil hour
Forth reaching to the fruit, she pluck'd, she ate;
Earth felt the wound, and Nature from her seat,
Sighing through all he works, gave signs of woe
That all was lost. (lines 780-784)

Shortly Adam comes, and when she admits what she has done, he ultimately decides that because he loves her he will eat too, and share her penalty. But their balanced, harmonious relationship, carefully drawn through Books IV to VIII, tanks. In the end,

Thus they in mutual accusation spent
The fruitless hours, but neither self-condemning
And of their vain contest appear'd no end. (lines 1187-1189)

Barnes & Noble commissioned a wonderful edition of PL by David Hawkes, and Hawkes' introduction and supplemental material make this a most instructive edition for general readers. Some of Hawkes' footnotes seem inspired and quite useful to Christian Scientists.

There. I have more about Milton on my blog, and I posted there some notes on this week's Golden Text which I hope will be useful.
http://weeklylanguagenotes.blogspot.com/♠

Phoenix, AZ said...

Morning Christian,
You've certainly given your readers a novel way of showing what happens when one listens to the beguiling blandishments of the carnal mind--that so-called mind that hates everything God stands for.
Thanks!

Longtime CS said...

Well Lowlywise:
Now that we have your name, you may dispense with the nom de plume for commenting on Christian's blog. Just looked up your 2 blogs and can see why you and this author have hit it off.
Happy day, Nancy Charlton...

Thanks from Wisconsin said...

It's easy to see why your blog is so widely read. You give CS truths (and from the Bible, too) in a well-written, fresh way.

Anonymous said...

Such a pleasure to read your entries, Christian. Nothing quite like it out here that I have come across--certainly not done by CS's.

Anonymous said...

在莫非定律中有項笨蛋定律:「一個組織中的笨蛋,恆大於等於三分之二。」............................................................

Regular reader said...

Noted on one of your earlier essays that someone was wondering if our Leader would use the Internet were she still with us. I think probably so, given her appreciation of modern inventions. It is certainly is a means of getting the word out about Christian Science, to the whole world. And who knows who will discover this blog and become interested in what our religion has to offer.

Anonymous said...

Speaking for myself, I'm so grateful that we have all the truths we need through Mrs. Eddy's writings to not be beguiled by the apparent attractive nature of sin and materiality.
Good blog post, Christian.

Thank you (Florida) said...

Our Leader has something in her writings somewhere (can't think precisely where at the moment) that "bear in mind a serpent said that." This is the phrase I recall, and it has helped me more than once when dealing with a problem and being tempted to believe it was real, that only a serpent is saying God is not All, that matter is real and to be feared. Or desired, as you bring out.

Anonymous said...

There is a cartoon in a recent New Yorker magazine of Adam and Eve sitting on a log looking at a fire with a spit over it and the serpent is on the spit. Eve says
"No one said we couldn't eat the snake."
Bon appetit.

from Ohio

Longtime student of CS said...

Previous commenter mentioned something of Mrs. Eddy's that has helped him or her. The following has been invaluable to me in dealing with mortal mind's arguments.
"To allow sin of any sort is anomalous in Christian Scientists, claiming, as they do, that good is infinite, All. Our Master, in his definition of Satan as a liar from the beginning, attested the absolute powerlessness--yea, nothingness--of evil; since a lie, being without foundation in fact, is merely a falsity; spiritually, literally, it is nothing."
(From Miscellanous Writings, page 108. Note: "is nothing" should be in italics.)

Anonymous said...

Tee-hee, from Ohio!

Enjoyed this! said...

A fresh and with it, blog, blogger. Came across your website just now,was curious.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for some of your insights. I love CS but so many still in the world of "Churchianity" require all of us to either be obsequious to human policy or we are called "mortal mind". Blind unthinking allegiance to any authority is antithetical to Christian discipleship.
Check out the Blue Book recorded notes:"Babylon is the world in the church"