Dante’s journey through the Inferno is designed to prepare him for divine truth by seeing, but not taking part in, the punishments of the damned. Martin likewise describes his own “slide . . . down a staircase” to “taste the truth” through “a seizure of the senses” with “a foot in the grave”. The language mirrors the descriptions of lust and the other sins in terms of letting go control, but here submission is to truth, and this is an active decision to fight against baser impulses.