Those who follow the lead of the snake will always make decisions in the same manner, out of the motives of pride and cowardice. We always tend to think of cowardice as the draft dodger or the one that won’t speak up in the meeting. We always tend to think of pride as the kid who won’t shake hands with the opposing team after a hard fought loss. We are right. But we are also wrong in that it’s almost much simpler, yet much more conniving than that. Both are simply a detachment from the truth, plain and simple.
Pride is an inability to see reality as it is. None of us can see reality in its entirety and therefore we all have a level of pride within us. Understanding reality entails a lot of things, but one of those is understanding your station in the world, how high up or low down you truly are. Part of the human condition is the natural desire for superiority and supremacy. An awareness of reality, usually attained though a mix of experience and revelation, helps keep that natural tendency at bay. Without this awareness, our baser side has room to grow. For this reason the farther and farther a person gets from reality, the more those on the outside recognize it as a greater and greater pride. Someone suffering from a profound disconnect from the way things truly are, even on a clinical level, almost always leans toward viewing themselves as having more and more importance, while those on the outside see them slipping farther and farther into delusion.
Cowardice is also and inability to see reality. Now on the face of things, it seems just the opposite. That perhaps bravery would be the inability to accept the reality of your own mortality and perhaps certain types of foolhardy bravery may be, but cowardice is in itself an inability to see that God loves us and loves what is right. If God loves us and what is right then he will defend us when we do what is right. In the face of eternity, even if we die in the process, God will come to the aid of those who love his ways and obey his commands. When we don’t believe that he will defend us, we become cowards and have to devise our own strategies to save our own hides.
This is why the serpent behaves as he does and this is why those who follow in his ‘footsteps’ can be seen a mile away. They will always seek their desires because of pride, but seek them through cowardice, both behaviors betraying the fact that that individual does not live in reality. He cannot remain consistent, even in his own mind. The serpent will always believe his own hype but he will always act out his lowness. He will seek to assert himself over the strong, but always through the route of overtaking the weak. Never head on. His pride will compel him to desire the seat of honor, but his cowardice will only allow him to take it when the master is away and there are only the children there to speak up. His pride will compel him to demand what is “rightfully” his, his cowardice will wait until the dead of night to sneak and take it. His pride will tell him to sit on the throne of God, but his cowardice makes him wait until no one is looking so he can sneak into a garden to displace the thing God loves.
He who follows the serpent never wins. He can’t. He cant even grasp the basics of reality, how could he ever hope to truly effect it?