I just finished reading this clever little book, The Training of KX12 by That DanKent. I read it in one day, that is what I mean by little. It is using the literary style very similar to C. S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters with its correspondence between demons on how they try to mess with people. (Do you realize that The Screwtape Letters was written 76 years ago?!) One clever new twist is this author calls hell The Corporation. Like hell is this large impersonal conglomerate of paperwork and cubicles! So relatable!!
I want to share this part from one of the correspondence (or chapters) since everything in the book is set up as if it is a corporation:
Truly innovative organizations are disruptive organizations.
And when it comes to disruption, you will find The Corporation excels. You see, we must be disruptive or we lose. The simple reason for this: the enemy (God) is the architect of the marketplace. He designed the battlefield upon which we fight. Everything has intended purposes. Night time for sleeping, food for eating, water for drinking, coitus for bonding and procreation. Things like that.
Done within the constraints of their intended purpose, these activities produce benefit and a certain level of pleasure for prospects. Regrettably, should a prospect learn to live within these constraints, they are nearly impossible to convert. This is why we must work so hard at disrupting these intended purposes. We must get them to do these things for other reasons. We must get them to add meanings to common activities, meanings that were never meant to be there.
This is how we use good things and exploit them by using them to numb us. Food is good! So yummy! So necessary as fuel for my body. But when we use food for other reasons—such as emotional eating or depriving our fuel as an attempt to control—food loses its joy and becomes the very thing that zaps all life out of our lives. The same goes for money. Money is good! It floats our economy and provides jobs and provides abundance means to bless those in need. Generosity is a great identity to have in this brave life. But when we use money for other reasons such as shopping therapy or going into debt so you can’t live generously because a much too large percentage of your income is going towards interest—money loses its joy and becomes the very thing that zaps all life out of our lives. The same goes for wine or beer. The same goes for busyness. The list is quite long here.
Do you think perhaps our enemy has a plan here?
The author spends the rest of the chapter on the numbing of food.
Take eating, for instance. All that eating really is, at its most basic level, is the nourishing of one’s body. That’s it. But even this dumb-basic understanding can be greatly disrupted. In fact, Stubnugget (demon in charge of the father of the prospect in the story) and KX09 (demon over the mother) have done a splendid job of adding all sorts of meaning to eating in the minds of mom and dad. Eating means all sorts of crazy things to them! Your job is to help your prospect appropriate all of those absurd meanings into his own understanding.
Remember dinner on Wednesday? Your prospect sat with his ham, peas, and carrots. He doesn’t care much for peas, does he? Well, mom has this crazy notion that there is something inherently good, and I mean good on both a biological and a moral level, about eating everything on one’s plate. Remember how our boy was writhing to get out of his high chair? And his desperation to get back to his toys? Remember how mommy repeated the same chorus over-and-over: “Finish everything on your plate first, honey?” How painfully he struggled to eat those peas! And when he finally choked down that last heinous orb, mom flooded him with affirmations: “What a good boy you are!” She even got daddy involved in the praise orgy: “Dad, look what our little guy did. He ate it all!” Then dad chimed in: “That’s good work, buddy.”
Your prospect stared blankly at all the ridiculous praise.
This was your fault. You let a profitable opportunity slip right through your fingers. I’m surprised Stubnugget and KX09 didn’t file a complaint.
Focus! What you need to be doing here is helping your prospect convert his parents’ ridiculous notions of eating into his own understanding. You might think this is a difficult task. It is not. In fact, it is easy once you get the hang of it.
For starters, help him actually feel like a “good boy” who has done something special simply by eating the entire arbitrary amount of food on his plate. When he gorges himself, coerce him to think this is, somehow, an impressive accomplishment. Encourage him to bathe in that strange praise. Help him to process it all appropriately and to make it all his own.
When he does this, when he feels like a good boy simply for eating, then you have gained a powerful foothold in him. Eating will now no longer be about simply nourishing himself, but will also include meanings totally extraneous to eating: being a good boy. And not just eating, but eating more. Eating it all. If you can get him to buy into such ridiculous ideas at this young age, he will accept it and never challenge the logic of it when he develops the capacity for logic.
At this stage of life, opportunity for disruption abounds.
He is going to his grandparent’s house this weekend. I just know Grandma will totally reinforce his new perverted notion of eating. In fact, she will say, “Eat up! You can’t have pie unless you finish everything on your plate.” Now if you do your job right, your prospect will begin to associate oversatiation as deserving of a reward! It is in these early years that we lay the conceptual framework of his future gluttony.
He’ll eat so much he’ll be afraid to burp!
And, if Fickle Bell can stop chasing his own tail for a moment, we might even get Grandpa to make a contribution. Grandpa has been known to advise his children, in times of half-finished meals, “There are children in Africa starving who would kill for some eggplant and Brussels sprouts.” This would be splendid as food can now also be about fighting starvation for unknown people in faraway places.
Imagine the long term opportunities all this will afford you down the road, KX12! Getting him to feel like a good boy for doing such a silly, self-destructive things as overeating sets him up to self-medicate with food (it will always make him feel like a good boy!). Plus, consider the abuse his body will take as he gorges himself, regularly, the rest of his life. But, most importantly, the more he eats for reasons other than nourishing himself, the less he will listen to his own body. His body will tell him, “I’m full,” and, “Stop eating now.” But his mind will tell him, “Good boys eat everything.” Eventually, he will barely hear his body at all. Pp. 23-26.
So clever. And a truth that may be personal to you. It may be so personal that you are feeling a lot of shame. And/or a lot of anger. I ask you to stop both of those patterns right now. I never want to introduce more shame to you.
Do you think the enemy has a plan here? So that you—whatever you are using to numb yourself—also will not hear your body at all?
As Hosea 4:11 says, Alcohol and prostitution have robbed my people of their brains.
Your body is important. God actually uses your body to help you live this life of faith.
Where does your body spend its time during your everyday life? With your family? At work? Playing ball? When you aren’t doing whatever, you are thinking about doing whatever, right? This means that living your life of faith is never reduced to doing that only on Sunday mornings. Or when you are in a religious building. Or doing a quiet time every day. You don’t have a spiritual life or the real world life. It’s not like you work and then pick Jesus up again at 5 pm. There is not this life with Jesus and then your sex life. Read your Bible–those two do go together!
You respond and influence this world through your body. You live out your life in your body. You do everything with your body. Everything you look at, everything you taste comes through your body. You are a spiritual being that is expressed by your free will which is lived out of your body. Your body is designed to be with you in this life of faith. So you can listen to it to help you live your life bravely.
The enemy has a plan to numb your body so you can’t hear it.
Are you feeling your senses pulse as you read this blog? What is your body telling you? Be brave with what you are learning.
(photo credit: Pixabay.com)