Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Saturday, December 10, 2005  

Today's Quote:

“For me, reason is the natural organ of truth, and imagination is the organ of understanding.”

C.S. Lewis

I have occasionally had the difficulty of explaining Grace to an atheist or skeptic. Artists have a similar difficulty in trying to explain what is beautiful to the tone deaf and dull.

It takes imagination to understand Grace or Beauty. How do you demonstrate the sublime to one who has no feeling for the profound? And Grace is generally a veery common sensation, but one which many refuse to acknowledge, for to do so would insist to them that human life is not reducible to nihilism.

The experience of Grace is often a "warm fuzzy" such as watching a sunset with a beloved, or conforting a child during an illness.

Often, the sense of awe that people experience from a spectacular vista is gracious. Samuel Johnson defined wonder in his dictionary as, "the experience of novelty upon ignorance."

There is much truth in that, but not enough truth, for wonder is often confrontation with essential mystery, or the discovery of possibilities that never occurred before, or merely apprehension of the sublime.

Imagination, though, requires more than an ability to escape in magical kingdoms of dragons, warriors, and wizards. I have been surprised at how many unimaginative young men have been captivated by things like Star Trek or Star Wars, and yet are incapable of sensing their own souls and its yearning for transcendence, and militantly refuse to identify in any way with the Christ story which has an incredible aspect of being mythical or archetypal and true at the same time.

It is as if people encounter the myth of Narcissus and Echo and never realize that it might have anything to do with Self, Ego, and Deafness to actual love.

Aesop's fables are imaginative, but how many would "get" the moral of the story if if they weren't tagged with it?

Jesus's parables challenge in exactly that way. So often he doesn't explain what they mean, and so those without ears do not hear them.

posted by Mark Butterworth | 12:21 PM |