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Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Law of Diminishing Returns


The above picture was taken shortly after I adopted Matilda (aka Tilly) from a local humane society. Very quickly, I realized that she likes very soft things and curling up in a little ball. This is how she fit into the cat bed. Note how Olive feels about Tilly absconding her cat bed. While Olive can only sleep in one at a time, she doesn't like that Tilly has one at any time.

Isn't that just like our nature as well? We have something that is perfectly good and acceptable. We can only handle so much of it. Yet, we find we want more. This could pertain to anything like money, food, etc. I personally feel that way about ice cream.

Just this morning, I read this from C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters. If you are unfamiliar with the book, it's letters from a demon (Uncle Screwtape) advising another demon how to seduce a person away from God. In this chapter (nine), Uncle is discussing how God (referred to as "the Enemy") created all good and pleasurable things. However, evil has managed to make these things into bad by their excess and abuse.

Here is a telling passage, "Hence we always try to work away from the natural condition of any pleasure to that in which it is least natural, least redolent of its Maker, and least pleasurable. An ever increasing craving for an ever diminishing pleasure is the formula."

Oh, that last part really gets me. Because - it is true of ice cream! The more you eat, the less you notice the flavor and texture. Our tongues become so cold from an "ever increasing craving" that we have an "ever diminishing pleasure."

Olive has learned to share her cat beds with Tilly. Tilly has learned not to chase Olive around the house. I, on the other hand, am still learning portion control of ice cream.

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