How long did it take you to figure out my ploy?
I don’t believe you. No matter. I’m caught. You have me. I’ll admit it. Thought I could pull a fast one on you, but, no, you are just too good.
I suppose appealing to pride is one of those tools you were talking about?
Yes. Yes, it is. And it’s usually quite effective. It’s easy, in many respects, to invoke that vice. It’s very reptilian; it grows to the size of its tank. The wise are no more immune to it than the foolish, the strong no more than the weak, the mature no more than the insipid. The power of pride. Perhaps the most potent of our tools, at least one of the most.
What would you say is the most potent?
Nice try, boy, but this is a conversation, not an interrogation. I am not some encyclopedia of spiritual warfare that you can peruse at your leisure. You want answers; you will have to work for it.
All right. Why is pride so effective?
It’s universal. As I said, no one is beyond it. Every single human being that has ever lived or ever will is vulnerable to it. It is the bit error in your souls. The single gap in your armor that any tip can find. Accuracy is the key. Not just where, but how. What mode will be most effective? It is always important, not just for effectiveness but style as well, to tailor your methods to your patient. It’s just good demoning, I find.
Know your target.
Precisely. And we know you. Oh, yes. Better than you do. I know exactly how much it will take. The dosage. The frequency. The mode. The timing. I know exactly how much it will take to break you.
Some would say that no matter what you do they will never break.
They all say that.
Don’t “they” also all say that?
That they do. But don’t forget who you’re up against, little one. I’ve played this game before. Many times. Want to guess what my track record is?