June 10, 2008

CS Lewis Quote on ...

This CS Lewis quote reminds me of one of my needle-felted pictures I did several years ago called "Starburst". It's inspiration grew from an image I got while reading, and drew in my journal and developed further. I'll explain what it means to me at the end of this post.

In his book, An Experiment in Criticism, Lewis writes, "We therefore delight to enter into other men's beliefs ... even though we think them untrue. And into their passions, though we think them depraved ... And also into their imaginations, though they lack all realism of content ... in order to see what they see, to occupy, for a while, their seat in the great theatre, to use their spectacles and be made free of whatever insights, joys, terrors, wonders, or merriment those spectacles reveal ...

"This, so far as I can see, is the specific value or good of literature considered as Logos; it admits us to experiences other than our own. ... Those of us who have been true readers all our life seldom fully realise the enormous extension of our being which we owe to authors
(and other artists, including movie directors).

"We realise it best when we talk with an unliterary friend. He may be full of goodness and good sense but he inhabits a tiny world. In it, we should be suffocated. The man who is contented to be only himself, and therefore less of a self, is in prison. My own eyes are not enough for me, I will see through the eyes of others. Reality, even seen through the eyes of many, is not enough. I will see what others have invented. ... In reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do

God is love and light. God, and us too as we walk in Him, lights up the darkness. My Starburst felted picture has people walking into the darkness. I don't fear walking out into the darkness - the world's cultures, arts, etc. Walking on the rays of light I bring my gleanings back to center, to the light, to Truth, before venturing out again on another ray of light.
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