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Whenever you're dealing with something sinful, it is helpful to see what it really is. Strip away the props; eliminate the frills and hype; and see what you really have. If you get the time or desire, you should read Dante's Divine Comedy, especially the translation by Dorothy Sayers (Penguin edition). Sayers helpfully explains the meanings behind Dante's symbols and they illustrate what I'm saying here. In Circle III of Hell, Dante sees the gluttonous souls who grovel in the mud. Sayers explains the symbolism: Gluttony and self-indulgence “often masquerades on earth as a warm, cosy, and indeed jolly kind of sin; here it is seen as it is ”“ a cold sensuality, a sodden and filthy spiritual wretchedness.” Likewise, in Circle II, Dante found that the souls of the lustful were doomed to drift forever in a black wind. Sayers explains: “As the lovers drifted into self-indulgence and were carried away by their passions, so now they drift for ever. The bright, voluptuous sin is now seen as it is ”“ a howling darkness of helpless discomfort.”