Wednesday, July 02, 2008


...In the moral life, and (still more) in the devotional life, we touch something concrete which will at once begin to correct the growing emptiness of our idea of God. One moment even of feeble contrition or blurred thankfulness will, at least in some degree, head us off from the abyss of abstraction.

It is Reason herself which teaches us not to rely on Reason only in this matter. For Reason knows that she cannot work without materials.

When it becomes clear that you cannot find out by reasoning whether the cat is in the linen-cupboard, it is Reason herself who whispers, "Go and look. This is not my job: it is a matter for the senses." So here. The materials for correcting our abstract conception of God cannot be supplied by Reason: she will be the first to tell you to go and try experience--"Oh, taste and see!" For of course she will have already pointed out that your present position is absurd...

Even that negative knowledge which seems to us so enlightened is only a relic left over from the positive knowledge of better men--only the pattern which that heavenly wave left on the sand when it retreated.

"A Spirit and a Vision," said Blake, "are not, as the modern philosophy supposes, a cloudy vapour, or a nothing. They are organised and minutely articulated beyond all that the mortal and perishing nature can produce."

[C.S. Lewis, Miracles: A Preliminary Study]

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