Letters From the Earth – Twain
June 12, 2005 § 12 Comments
Seriously, everybody MUST read this book. Its wonderful, it takes humanity and looks at it objectively…God forbid we actually critisize ourselves! but Twain steps up and does a beautiful job of it.
This part that im going to share with you is actually part of the book that is a favorite of an English/Literature professor of mine Ray Liedlich. He is a great teacher and the reason he is, is because of his genuine love for literature and everything about it and he shares that love with his students which has taught me to appreciate literature more than I ever have before.
This is an exerpt from the second letter from sent Satan to St. Michael and St. Gabriel in which he writes about his observation of the "Human Experiment"
For there is nothing about man that is not strange to an immortal. He looks at nothing as we look at it, his sense of proportion is quite different from ours, and his sense of values is so widely devergent from ours, that with all our large intellectual powers it is not likely that even the most gifted amount us would ever be quite able to understand it.
For instance, take this sample: he has imagined a heaven, and has left entirely out of it the supremest of all his delights, the one ecstasy that stands first and foremost in the heart of every individual of his race – and ours- sexual intercourse!
It is as if a lost and perishing person in a roasting desert should be told by a rescuer he might shoose and have all longed-for things but one, and he should elect to leave out water!
To wit, that the human being, like the immortals, naturally places sexual intercourse far and away above all other joys – yet he has left it out of his heaven! The very thought of it excites him; opportunity sets him wild; in this state he will risk life, reputation, everything – even his queer heaven itself – to make good that opportunity and ride it to the overwhelming climax. From youth to middle age all men and all women prize copulation aboove all other pleasures combined, yet it is actually as I have said: it is not in their heaven; prayer takes its place.
-By Mark Twain from "Letters From the Earth" Pg 8,10.
Isn’t this amazing? He is so right and he writes on about many more subjects that we either enjoy or detest on Earth but then we take those things and either omit them or fill our thought of heaven with them depending on what WE think to be pure and reverant. One of my favorite parts of this letter is one of his closing paragraphs where he writes:
"By this time you will have noticed that the human being’s heaven has been thought out and constructed upon an absolutely definite plan; and that this plan is, that it shall contain, in labored detail, each and every imaginable thing that is repulsive to a man and not a single thing he likes!"
HAH! We’ve imagined heaven as being an eternity of church and worship and yet the majority of people cannot stand to be in church any longer than an hour and a half and limit themselves to it only once a week and once more dont even look forward to it when the time comes…so why would we imagine heaven to be filled with an eternity of it? Maybe we dont really understand what eternity means…well let me break it down for you….No Smoke Breaks!