Wednesday, October 14, 2009


In reading C.S. Lewis' "Surprised by Joy," I found a description of what I was attempting to convey in my previous post. Obviously, it is done much, much better, seeing as how it is Lewis. :-) But if you want to understand some context for my appreciation of this passage, you should read my previous post first. Or after. I suppose either way works, as long as you read them together.

Lewis on Joy

I saw that all my waitings and watchings for Joy, all my vain hopes to find some mental content on which I could, so to speak, lay my finger and say, "This is it," had been a futile attempt to contemplate the enjoyed. All that such watching and waiting ever could find would be either an image... or a quiver in the diaphragm... I knew now that they were merely the mental track left by the passage of Joy-not the wave but the wave's imprint on the sand. The inherent dialectic of desire itself had in a way already shown me this; for all images and sensations... soon honestly confessed themselves inadequate. All said, in the last resort, "It is not I. I am only a reminder. Look! Look! What do I remind you of?"

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 desiring... Inexorably Joy proclaimed, "I myself am your want of something other, outside, not you nor any state of you..." the naked Other, imageless (though our imagination salutes it with a hundred images), unknown, undefined, desired.

No comments:

Post a Comment