Saturday, March 31, 2012
Into the Region of Awe is the book we will be discussing in April. Here is the quote the title comes from:
I had been equally wrong in supposing that I desired Joy itself. Joy itself, considered simply as an event in my own mind, turned out to be of no value at all. All the value lay in that of which Joy was the desiring. And that object, quite clearly, was no state of my own mind or body at all. In a way, I had proved this by elimination. I had tried everything in my own mind and body; as it were, asking myself, "Is it this you want? Is it this?" Last of all I had asked if Joy itself was what I wanted; and, labelling it "aesthetic experience," had pretended I could answer Yes. But that answer too had broken down. Inexorably Joy proclaimed, "You want - I myself am your want of - something other, outside, not you nor any state of you." I did not yet ask, Who is the desired? only What is it? But this brought me already into the region of awe, for I thus understood that in deepest solitude there is a road right out of the self, a commerce with something which, by refusing to identify itself with any object of the senses, or anything whereof we have biological or social need, or anything imagined, or any state of our own minds, proclaims itself sheerly objective. Far more objective than bodies, for it is not, like them, clothed in our senses; the naked Other, imageless (though our imagination salutes it with a hundred images), unknown, undefined, desired.
Quote found at the end of the 11th paragraph in chapter 14: Checkmate - in Surprised by Joy
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
We will be adding a reading to C.S. Lewis, My Godfather, for the March meeting. The reading will be "The Inner Ring" - found in The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses. A quote:
"The quest of the Inner Ring will break your hearts unless you break it. But if you break it, a surprising result will follow. If in your working hours you make the work your end, you will presently find yourself all unawares inside the only circle in your profession that really matters. You will be one of the sound craftsmen, and other sound craftsmen will know it. This group of craftsmen will by no means coincide with the Inner Ring or the Important People or the People in the Know. It will not shape that professional policy or work up that professional influence which fights for the profession as a whole against the public: nor will it lead to those periodic scandals and crises which the Inner Ring produces. But it will do those things which that profession exists to do and will in the long run be responsible for all the respect which that profession in fact enjoys and which the speeches and advertisements cannot maintain."
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Space: The Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the starship... Sorry, writing the first four words automatically followed with the next seven before I caught myself. My Star Trek quest ended a year or so ago and Lewis related aspects can be found on this website by a quick search. I am writing this post out of a need for a new one and the recent publicity stops of Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson in support of his new book Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, brought a topic to mind. Dr. Tyson has been making the rounds on the TV talk shows and most recently in my listening - Science Friday on NPR. Besides Dr. Tyson's books (which I have never read) you may find his series with The Teaching Company to be of interest - I am a nonScience guy and I enjoyed it -borrowed mine from the library. Anyway, the topic. Well - SPACE!!! I have slowly become a very selective science fiction fan over the years, in movies as well as books. When I walk through a bookstore I am amazed at the number of science fiction titles available, but with limited reading time I try to stay with the tried and true. I am posting this to share the interesting thoughts Dr. Tyson brings up in his interviews and to put a Lewis quote at the end to get you thinking. Possibly next year we will be reading The Space Trilogy (available right now at a great price in a 1 volume edition) and we will have more time to delve into Lewis's thoughts, pretty set in stone thoughts, about humans and space exploration, or exploitation, as he might describe it. I hope this post is of interest and possibly gets you thinking about the Final Frontier.
As I am writing I am listening to Gustav Holst's The Planets, to get in the cosmic mood, and according to Dr. Michael Ward's Planet Narnia, was a favorite of Lewis (see note 98 in chapter 3).
One of Lewis's cosmic thoughts from an interview he gave to Sherwood Wirt in 1963:
Wirt: Do you think there will be widespread travel in space?
Lewis: “I look forward with horror to contact with the other inhabited planets, if there are such. We would only transport to them all of our sin and our acquisitiveness, and establish a new colonialism. I can’t bear to think of it. But if we on earth were to get right with God, of course, all would be changed. Once we find ourselves spiritually awakened, we can go to outer space and take the good things with us. That is quite a different matter.”
Lewis says other things about space and a great place to find them is his essay "Religion and Rocketry" currently found in the essay collection The World's Last Night. Also of interest is a book edited by Ryder W. Miller titled From Narnia to A Space Odyssey: The War of Ideas Between Arthur C. Clarke and C.S. Lewis.
The Christmas season, for me, usually means my annual trip to the movie theater. I average about one trip a year and as far as I can r...