Friday, December 30, 2005

Other worlds and journeys

Just a quick update this morning, I may write more later. I’m going to see Narnia today with the kids.

So first wanted to share some thoughts on CS Lewis. My favorite of his non-Narnia books is Surprised by Joy, a beautiful yet frank account of Lewis’ journey to Christianity.

Lewis talks about inspiration and the connection with the Divine as Joy, with a capital J.

One thing…I learned, which has since saved me from many popular confusions of mind. I came to know by experience that it [Joy] is not a disguise for sexual desire. … I learned this mistake to be a mistake by the simple, if discreditable, process of repeatedly making it. … I repeatedly followed that path—to the end. And at the end one found pleasure; which immediately resulted in the discovery that pleasure (whether that pleasure or any other) was not what you had been looking for. No moral question was involved; I was at this time as nearly nonmoral on that subject as a human creature can be. The frustration did not consist in finding a “lower” pleasure instead of a “higher.” It was the irrelevance of the conclusion that marred it. … Joy is not a substitute for sex; sex is often a substitute for Joy. I sometimes wonder whether all pleasures are not substitutes for Joy.

--CS Lewis, Surprised by Joy, Chapter XI

This I believe is what endears Lewis to us—he’s one of us. In his writings, you see and hear from people such as himself who are figuring it out like the rest of us.

I’m so looking forward to the movie, to seeing Narnia come alive before my eyes. Narnia was one of the countries I lived in as a child, along with Middle-Earth, Prydain, and Earthsea. Sometimes I traveled freely from one to the other. I was fascinated to learn later how much the various authors owed to Welsh legend—and to Christianity. Like Jesus, these authors shared their values and ethics through stories. I felt at home in their hearts.

So, more later, when I’m back from the movie.


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