Have you ever asked yourself how the Devil feels about the plan of God? I mean, he is brilliant, clever, and has been around for a long time and has the Bible memorized. In fact, he was there when the Bible was written. So why does he hate it? What does he think of God’s plan to save mankind? What is he afraid of?And for that matter, what does he think of God, personally? If you were to ask Satan what God was like, what would he tell you? Granted, he might lie to you if it suited him, but if you could get him to tell you what he REALLY thinks, what would he say? From Satan’s point of view, what is God like?
If you’ve never considered it, take time to do so on your own before you continue reading. It’s worth it. What DOES Satan think of God? And how could you go about finding out?
The Bible is relatively quiet on the subject – but Satan isn’t. This is his world, you know. And if you read books, watch movies, and listen to tales and legends of ancient mythologies, you will see one common thread. A story as old as time. Well, almost.
Floating around our world, right under our very noses, are valuable nuggets of understanding. Understanding that explains both the far past and the distant future. As you probably know, anyone watching a given event or hearing a certain story will retell it a little differently. Ask any three people who witnessed a car crash, for example, and you’ll get three distinct stories – despite each of them being completely honest, they viewed and interpreted the facts differently, based on their frame of reference.
But how each of these three people interpreted this accident will, with some study, show insights into the character of each of them. And this process, if your goal was to get to know these three people, would be very worthwhile to you. And so now I want to show you something I learned from George Orwell’s book, “1984”. Maybe you’ve already read this book – but I doubt you noticed what I am about to show you, because I’m about to show you it’s application to the plan of God.
This book, written in 1949, is set in a then-future world in the year 1984 – hence the title. The plot is centered around an early middle-aged citizen named Winston Smith. Normal, unexemplary Winston is about to embark on a journey through this future world that will change his life forever. As we open the book we find him about to take his first step on this strange journey, the step where all such journeys begin – Winston is about to think for himself.
Despite great risks to himself, Winston addresses the story of his experiences “to the future, or to the past, to a time when thought is free, when men are different from one another and do not live alone – to a time when truth exists and what is done cannot be undone; from the age of uniformity, from the age of solitude, from the age of Big Brother, from the age of double think – greetings!”
This book contains a warning. A warning to mankind about the future. A warning… from Satan. This book, when you strip away the more esoteric trappings, tells a story. It describes the future God has planned, and how He plans to make it happen – as understood by the Devil!
You see, Winston lives in a future where freedom as we know it does not exist. Imagine what life would be like today had the Communist fifth-columnists of the 40s and 50s succeeded, and turned the entire world to Communism. Imagine further that as a result of that and the worldwide atomic war of the late 1950s, the world had been divided, not into the hundreds of bickering countries, but into three great power blocks.
And in this world of your imagination, imagine that truth, as a word, had almost no meaning. Imagine that what the Telescreen TOLD you was truth, and to question that, even in your mind, was to become an enemy of the state.
This is the world in which we find lonely, confused, and unfulfilled Winston. Big Brother, the benevolent leader of civilization, is of course, omnipresent and is always on the lookout for enemies of the party. In this world, the concept of a trial does not exist – at the whim of Big Brother, at the slightest suspicious act or sign of unorthodoxy (one of the most terrible epithets), people simply disappear. They never existed. Why? Because the party says they never existed. Just because you remember them, does not mean they existed. Who are you to be right when the party says they do not exist, and have never existed? As the party itself says “he who controls the past controls the present, and he who controls the present controls the future”.
According to the Telescreen, Winston’s home country of Oceania is at war with Eurasia. It has always been at war with Eurasia. Likewise, it is allied with Eastasia, and according to the party, it has always been so. And yet Winston KNOWS that 4 years ago, Oceania had been allied with Eurasia AGAINST Eastasia! How could such a colossal lie be pulled off? Surely there must be some record of it? The how is, oddly enough, the easy part.
You see, Winston’s duty for the party is to work in the Ministry of Truth. This is the division of the Oceanian government devoted to the alteration of history. “For example, it appeared from the Times of the 17th of March that Big Brother, in his speech of the previous day, had predicted that the South Indian front would remain quiet but that a Eurasian offensive would shortly be launched in North Africa. As it happened, the Eurasian Higher Command had launched its offensive in South India and left North Africa alone. It was therefore necessary to rewrite a paragraph of Big Brother’s speech in such a way as to make him predict the thing that had actually happened.”
Once this rewrite took place, that paper would be recalled and replaced with the corrected version. This way, if anyone was to mistakenly think that the telescreen had proved Big Brother wrong and attempt to verify it from the newspaper, they would find that the Telescreen had in fact been right all along. Truth is what the party SAYS is truth, in Winston’s world. And Big Brother is never wrong.
This same thing happens hundreds of times a day. History is altered constantly to tell the story as Big Brother tells it, and books, magazines, recordings, all are changed, no, corrected by the Ministry of Truth for the good of the party.
But what about the people, you might ask. Surely THEY know they are being lied to? In Winston’s world, the people are little more than machines. They have had all the humanity crushed out of them, all self-expression and free speech is gone. When anyone shows a sign of unorthodoxy or disagreement with the party they simply disappear. This process must, perforce, create a society of paperweights, people who never question anything, who never think for themselves.
In this society, there is no freedom of expression. Everything must be controlled by the state – fornication is outlawed, as is marriage not ordained by the state. Any sedition or freethinking, EVEN IN THOUGHT, is a crime. An errant word muttered in your sleep would bring the Thought Police to your door to carry you off to the Ministry of Love, where you would disappear, to be converted from your evil ways. Of course, there was no such thing as religion – nothing is permitted that could interfere with your single-minded obedience to Big Brother.
All of this is interesting, in a way, but as Winston said…”I understand HOW: I do not understand WHY.” The why is the fascinating part – and there hangs the tale.
Everyone who has ever truly contemplated how they will spend eternity has come to the same conclusion at some point. That conclusion is that there will come a day in the vastness of infinite time where you have seen all the nebulae in the universe, where you have helped thousands of little old ladies cross the street, where you have designed and created lizard people to live in the rings of Saturn, and where you are simply bored. Staring into the face of God for eternity notwithstanding, what will you DO with yourself to fill up your time, to keep life full and interesting, even exciting?
I know of few people who have seriously tried to answer this question. Most have shrugged it off and said “Oh well, I suppose God knows what He’s doing – we’ll sort it out when we get there.”
I can, at least, say that I do know that Man isn’t the first being to ponder this question. I also know that the purpose of this book, 1984, is to answer that question. This book shows it is possible to stay excited and interested for all eternity. At least, it shows one being’s answer. The answer is the first tenet of the future society: WAR IS PEACE.
In this future, each of the power blocks is economically independent, and does not need to fight a war. Indeed, none of them is interested in winning the war, although they have been fighting against each other in various configurations for at least 25 years. War is no longer fought over the arcane reasons of the past. War is fought as the key to a permanently stable society. A society that is stabilized, not by peace, but by unending war. A war that only affects a relative few on the far-distant fronts, fronts the location of which the average citizen could indicate only vaguely. This war is fought to create peace.
It is a fact that as long as mankind has plenty of food and creature comforts he will be free to look about himself in an effort to improve his situation. The society will be full of free radicals, men like Jefferson and Lincoln, Neitzche and Hitler, Tolstoy and Ghandi, Martin Luther and Galileo. Men who are always chipping away at the foundations of society to affect change. These men would threaten the stability of the party, but a state of war keeps mankind from enjoying the comforts of peace and from having the free energy to create such men. And those few radicals who do question the party simply disappear, never having existed. It is therefore necessary that the product of the labor of mankind be continually destroyed in order to keep him in eternal poverty, and to prevent the creation of freethinkers.
“War, it will be seen, accomplishes the necessary destruction, but accomplishes it in a psychologically acceptable way. In principle it would be quite simple to waste the surplus labour of the world by building temples and pyramids, by digging holes and filling them up again, or even by producing vast quantities of goods and then setting fire to them. But this would provide only the economic and not the emotional basis for a hierarchical society. What is concerned here is not the morale of masses, whose attitude is unimportant so long as they are kept steadily at work, but the morale of the Party itself. Even the humblest Party member is expected to be competent, industrious, and even intelligent within narrow limits, but it is also necessary that he should be a credulous and ignorant fanatic whose prevailing moods are fear, hatred, adulation, and orgiastic triumph. In other words it is necessary that he should have the mentality appropriate to a state of war. It does not matter whether the war is actually happening, and, since no decisive victory is possible, it does not matter whether the war is going well or badly. All that is needed is that a state of war should exist.”
And there you have the recipe to a stable society. WAR IS PEACE. “But still,” you may object, “surely those who are at the top of this society know the truth. They must know that a given item of news is not factual and perhaps even that the whole war is a farce.” Such people, indeed, all party members who find evidence against the party, deal with such apparent problems with DOUBLETHINK.
“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. The Party intellectual knows in which direction his memories must be altered; he therefore knows that he is playing tricks with reality; but by the exercise of doublethink he also satisfies himself that reality is not violated. The process has to be conscious, or it would not be carried out with sufficient precision, but it also has to be unconscious, or it would bring with it a feeling of falsity and hence of guilt.”
How is this justified?
This concept of doublethink is a major part of the warning of this book. And having laid down the groundwork, I can finally tell you WHY all of this is important to you. This book is a grave warning to mankind, the saga of a man overcome by God. The tragedy of the evils of the plan of God. Be warned!
I can also tell you now what Satan thinks of God. Then you can put the pieces together and see what you come up with. Satan sees God the Father as a control freak. A dictator whose lust for power can only be satiated by more and ever more people crawling in smitten subservience to obey his ridiculous laws and whims.
Moreover, God isn’t happy with simple obedience, but to even THINK an evil (Matthew 5:28, etc), is to commit a sin, which is punishable only by death. From the Devil’s point of view, who does God think He is, anyway? What RIGHT does He have to deprive the people from FREEDOM. Freedom to think what they want, say what they want, DO what they want.
His laws, the Ten Commandments, prevent liberty, and freedom. You do not have the FREEDOM to commit adultery any more. You do not have the FREEDOM to serve any god you choose. You do not have the FREEDOM to work on Saturday. God is bent on depriving a helpless mankind of its inalienable right to be stupid. HOW DARE HE, says the Devil!
WHO DOES HE THINK HE IS to impose HIS morality and HIS rules on everyone else! We’re all equal, and we all have the right to DO, THINK, and ACT as we want!
God the Father is 1984’s Big Brother. An (apparently) omnipotent, (apparently) omnipresent, and (apparently) omniscient dictator, bent on controlling even the THOUGHTS of those, His subjects.
This is how Satan feels about the Father. But how does he feel about Christ? After all, they have different personalities. They aren’t the same being. Does he feel differently about Him? Fortunately, we do have a little bit in the Bible about this point.
Matthew 4:9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
Satan offered Christ a seat at his side – well, in subservience to him, but still a part of his ruling body. Satan would not have done that if he didn’t think that there was HOPE for Christ. A hope that Christ would, one day, see the evils of the Father’s dictatorship.
Don’t forget that Christ is Satan’s father. He created him (John 1:3). And in many of the clearer versions of this story, the hero (Satan) is being killed by the evil arch-villain (The Father), and at the very last minute, the secondary villain (Christ) turns on the Father and saves the hero. Often dying in the process.
Satan knows that even though he is wise, beautiful, crafty and cunning, he isn’t strong enough to defeat the Father. But with CHRIST on his side… someday… he might destroy the rules, the inhibitions put in place by God and FREE the galaxy for mankind forever!
It is a truism that a man is always the hero of his own story. Whether it is Winston in 1984, Luke in Star Wars, Neo in the Matrix, or any of a hundred other movies I could name ranging from Planet of the Apes to the Lone Ranger. Or if you prefer classical mythology, Gilgamesh, Siva, the Titans and Hercules all tell the same story.
The common thread of all of these movies is that Luke is FREEING the galaxy from an evil emperor who wants to ENSLAVE a galaxy to HIS rules and HIS way of thinking. Or a Neo who is wanting to remove the DECEPTION and OPEN THE EYES of the world to the TRUE reality behind the Matrix (Compare this to Genesis 3).
This is how Satan perceives the plan of God. And most of these stories tell a tale where, in a final climactic battle, Luke(Satan) is dying and appeals to his father Darth Vader(Christ), who, in the end, sees that Luke was right all along and throws the Emperor down the Bottomless pit. But 1984 is different.
1984 is a warning. It isn’t a rallying propaganda story, as most of the others are, telling of a future, glorious battle. It is instead a chilling warning not to trust God. Here we see that Big Brother is always right because Big Brother always changes the past to make sure that he predicted it correctly.
We see a Big Brother who calls things the opposite of what they are. Hence, the Ministry of Truth is actually involved in altering history with lies. The Ministry of Peace is the War Department of Oceania. And the most feared of all, the Ministry of Love, is the place where Big Brother breaks the spirit of those terrified thought-criminals in his Hate.
Remember, Satan sees the love of God, which enforces His law, as hate. He sees the “perfect law of liberty” of God, as a harsh little box which confines him and prevents him from expressing himself. A box that destroys his freedom and his happiness. Never have I seen that expressed better than in this book.
Back to the plotline of the book, Winston begins to question the party, and to eventually begin to make tiny overt acts against it, which he gets away with. He makes friends of a young woman, Julia, and a member of the elite Inner Party called O’Brien, both of whom feel as he does. He hears of an underground brotherhood against the party. An underground so secret that noone is even sure it exists, until O’Brien, whom he, for some unknown reason, had always felt he could trust, introduced him to it.
O’Brien, his friend, gave him a book of the brotherhood that explained many of the mysteries of the workings of the party, many of which I’ve already showed here. And then, as Winston was reading the book to Julia, they were CAUGHT. Instantly judged guilty of thought-crime they were separated and sent to the dreaded Ministry of Love.
After a few days of waiting in a cell, hungry and tired, who walks in the door but O’Brien, with a security guard. He had been a double-agent all along! His trusted friend had betrayed him! Not only that, but O’Brien personally “interrogated” and tortured him.
They demanded that he confess to various crimes, espionage, sabotage, etc, but that was just a formality. Mostly he was simply tortured for no reason, although he confessed to every crime imaginable, and implicated everyone he’d ever known of crimes against the state, anything to stop the torture. Then after an interminable amount of time, finally, little by little, O’Brien began to explain the “WHY” we alluded to earlier. And there, at last we find the most fascinating part of the plan of God as seen by the Devil!
As you may have guessed by now, O’Brien represents Christ in this story, who BETRAYED Winston (Satan) by convicting him of sin and siding with the Father over Christ’s own SON. O’Brien, who directed all of this torture – Winston was to one day realize, though he did not then know it, that it was for his own good – O’Brien’s purpose was to SAVE Winston from himself. During one of the half-conscious torture sessions, he whispered in his ear
“Don’t worry, Winston; you are in my keeping. For seven years I have watched over you. Now the turning-point has come. I shall save you, I shall make you perfect.”
Later, after more pointless torture, after Winston had been degraded to a mere shadow of himself, O’Brien at last began the reconstruction. The SAVING of Winston. He began by saying “Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party. That is the fact that you have got to relearn, Winston. It needs an act of self-destruction, an effort of the will. You must humble yourself before you can become sane.”
Again, doesn’t that sound like a twisted version of a few different scriptures? And doesn’t it scare you to worship a being like that? It SHOULD, if it were true!
“He paused for a few moments, as though to allow what he had been saying to sink in. ‘Do you remember,’ he went on, ‘writing in your diary, “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four”?‘ ‘Yes,’ said Winston. O’Brien held up his left hand, its back towards Winston, with the thumb hidden and the four fingers extended. ‘How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?’ – ‘Four.’ – ‘And if the party says that it is not four but five — then how many?’ – ‘Four.’
“The word ended in a gasp of pain. The needle of the dial had shot up to fifty-five. The sweat had sprung out all over Winston’s body. The air tore into his lungs and issued again in deep groans which even by clenching his teeth he could not stop. O’Brien watched him, the four fingers still extended. He drew back the lever. This time the pain was only slightly eased.
‘How many fingers, Winston?’ – ‘Four.’ The needle went up to sixty. ‘How many fingers, Winston?’ – ‘Four! Four! What else can I say? Four!’ The needle must have risen again, but he did not look at it. The heavy, stern face and the four fingers filled his vision. The fingers stood up before his eyes like pillars, enormous, blurry, and seeming to vibrate, but unmistakably four. ‘How many fingers, Winston?’ – ‘Four! Stop it, stop it! How can you go on? Four! Four!’ – ‘How many fingers, Winston?’ – ‘Five! Five! Five!’ – ‘No, Winston, that is no use. You are lying. You still think there are four. How many fingers, please?’ – ‘Four! five! Four! Anything you like. Only stop it, stop the pain!’ Abruptly he was sitting up with O’Brien’s arm round his shoulders.”
This is what God wants to do to YOU! He wants to make you admit, through your suffering and pain, that HE IS RIGHT! That His laws are TRUTH, and nothing else is! And He will make you suffer all He has to to make you admit that! Even to the point of making you deny what YOU KNOW to be true! This is the warning this book carries!
Well, in due time Winston admitted that he didn’t really know how many fingers were being held up. And then O’Brien undertook to explain to him WHY this was happening.
‘And why do you imagine that we bring people to this place?’ – ‘To make them confess.’ – ‘No, that is not the reason. Try again.’ – ‘To punish them.’ – ‘No!’ exclaimed O’Brien. His voice had changed extraordinarily, and his face had suddenly become both stern and animated. ‘No! Not merely to extract your confession, not to punish you. Shall I tell you why we have brought you here? To cure you! To make you sane! Will you understand, Winston, that no one whom we bring to this place ever leaves our hands uncured? We are not interested in those stupid crimes that you have committed. The Party is not interested in the overt act: the thought is all we care about. We do not merely destroy our enemies, we change them.”
What a chilling thought. We do not merely destroy our enemies… we change them. But it gets worse.
‘You are thinking,’ he said, ‘that since we intend to destroy you utterly, so that nothing that you say or do can make the smallest difference — in that case, why do we go to the trouble of interrogating you first? That is what you were thinking, was it not?’ – ‘Yes,’ said Winston. O’Brien smiled slightly. ‘You are a flaw in the pattern, Winston. You are a stain that must be wiped out.”
Winston was a flaw in the pattern. Neo was a glitch in the Matrix. Satan was a bug in God’s plan, when he “caused” the fall of Adam. Is there not a connection there?
“Did I not tell you just now that we are different from the persecutors of the past? We are not content with negative obedience, nor even with the most abject submission. When finally you surrender to us, it must be of your own free will. We do not destroy the heretic because he resists us: so long as he resists us we never destroy him. We convert him, we capture his inner mind, we reshape him. We burn all evil and all illusion out of him; we bring him over to our side, not in appearance, but genuinely, heart and soul. We make him one of ourselves before we kill him. It is intolerable to us that an erroneous thought should exist anywhere in the world, however secret and powerless it may be.
‘Do not imagine that you will save yourself, Winston, however completely you surrender to us. No one who has once gone astray is ever spared. And even if we chose to let you live out the natural term of your life, still you would never escape from us. What happens to you here is for ever. Understand that in advance. We shall crush you down to the point from which there is no coming back. Things will happen to you from which you could not recover, if you lived a thousand years. Never again will you be capable of ordinary human feeling. Everything will be dead inside you. Never again will you be capable of love, or friendship, or joy of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or courage, or integrity. You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty, and then we shall fill you with ourselves.’
And there is the secret of the plan of God that God doesn’t want you to know about! If you trust God, and obey His laws, THIS is the future He has planned for you! He wants to SQUEEZE you dry and then fill you with HIS personality! He wants to DESTROY your independence, and rob you of every shred of volition you possess!
After still more torture sessions, O’Brien admits that “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power.
‘How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?’ Winston thought [for a moment]. ‘By making him suffer,’ he said. ‘Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.
These are the motives of God, as Satan sees them! God is creating beings in HIS image, after HIS likeness! This ultimate power is a goal in and of itself, and God does it, not out of any altruistic sentiment, but out of an insatiable lust for absolute power!
‘But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — for ever.’
This is what Satan thinks God intends do with eternity! He thinks this because this is what he, himself would do with eternity, although even he may not yet know that. This is the only answer he has to the question I asked earlier… “How can we keep eternity interesting”?
“Goldstein [an enemy of the party and head of the fabled brotherhood] and his heresies will live for ever. Every day, at every moment, they will be defeated, discredited, ridiculed, spat upon and yet they will always survive. This drama that I have played out with you during seven years will be played out over and over again generation after generation, always in subtler forms. Always we shall have the heretic here at our mercy, screaming with pain, broken up, contemptible — and in the end utterly penitent, saved from himself, crawling to our feet of his own accord. That is the world that we are preparing, Winston. A world of victory after victory, triumph after triumph after triumph: an endless pressing, pressing, pressing upon the nerve of power.
That is how the Devil would spend eternity! An endless succession of Star Trek battles and victory after victory, always in the pursuit of ever more power and excitement! But it is NOT how God intends to spend it, despite what Satan thinks!
And after yet more torture of various fashions Winston continues to grow towards a conformist. He becomes orthodox. He admits that he had been wrong, and that 2 and 2 really do make five, if the party says so. He learns to actually believe this. His self is washed out and replaced with the conscience of the party. He ceases to be a man, and becomes little more than a simple-minded automaton. But that wasn’t enough for the Party. They had to have EVERYTHING, and willingly!
And for that last act, as a result of an ultimate, unspeakable torture, Winston betrayed the last thing which he still held dear. Julia. The party finally destroyed that last shred of his self-esteem by getting him to wish, to TRULY wish his torture on her in his place.
And so we next find Winston, after considerable time had passed, in a small cafe where he spends the bulk of his time in a mindless stupor, idly staring at an enormous picture of Big Brother on the building across the street. And after all this time, he finally understood the truth. O’Brien had showed it to him. O’Brien, his friend.
“He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.”
This is the future that Satan fears! This is the future he is warning YOU about! THIS COULD BE YOU, 1984 screams! THIS IS WHAT YOU WILL BE LIKE, if you TRUST in God! Christ betrayed Lucifer, and HE WILL BETRAY YOU!
And as for God the Father, He only wants POWER, power for it’s own sake, power to CONTROL and dominate the entire universe for all eternity! The power to remove every scrap of you from your body, and transform you into a mindless drone! And at the end of this process, you will find yourself in a small cafe, a drooling imbecile, able only to think in an absent-minded sort of a way that YOU, TOO, LOVE BIG BROTHER!
This is the world that Satan believes God would create, as I said, because it’s the world that Satan would create. So watch for movies and stories about a harsh, stern, unforgiving dictator who makes the masses obey his own twisted concepts of morality, who is challenged by a young hero who wants nothing more than to secure freedom for the people. Freedom from the oppression of the rule of God. And turn the movie upside down and see if it is not just a parable, told by the Devil, to explain his point of view and to warn you, or inspire you, or rally you to his cause to scream, with Winston, DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER!
I said before that nowhere have I seen this plan explained better than in 1984. Well, I have never heard Satan’s goal expressed more succinctly than by the words of Neo Anderson, in the end of The Matrix, when he called up the computers running the Matrix and said…
“I know you’re out there. I can feel you now. I know that you’re afraid… you’re afraid of us. You’re afraid of change. I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it’s going to begin. I’m going to hang up this phone, and then I’m going to show these people what you don’t want them to see. I’m going to show them a world without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.”