Quote of the Day #2: Heavy Stuff

 

“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may someday be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations.” — C.S. Lewis, “The Weight of Glory”

C.S. Lewis put defensive lineman-sized muscles on the bones of “love thy neighbor” in his 1941 address to the congregation at Oxford University Church of St. Mary the Virgin. I find myself coming back to this in times of personal or work conflict and in encounters with frustrating, infuriating, or inconvenient people. Lewis did not counsel against mirth, rather he advocated for laughter that is not hurtful.

And then there are the wretched whose paths cross with ours. If we can see each other as “a society of possible gods and goddesses,” the frustrating work of first responders and ER personnel (like @vicrylcontessa) with repeat drug-addicted patients truly matters. Heavy stuff, but seriously glorious.

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  1. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    Just added The Weight of Glory to my amazon wish list. Thanks for this.

     

    • #1
  2. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    I was thinking of writing about CS Lewis too, as I re-read The Screwtape Letters. Thank you for this new source. He was a world of wisdom, and its timeless.

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  3. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Thank you, Clifford. We all do carry that weight of glory, that grand potential, for we are made in the Image and Likeness of the one God. We can use our God-given creativity to reflect that glory as Mr. Lewis did, or pervert it to less benevolent uses, such as finding ways to laugh at people rather than with them. We can build up, or we can tear down. The choice is in our hands in every moment. If we make the right choice often enough, it becomes a habit.


    This enlightening and uplifting conversation is part of our Quote of the Day Series. It can be the easiest way to start a conversation on Ricochet, but that does not mean that the conversations don’t have an impact. Why not share a quotation that has profoundly changed your life for the better? Our schedule and sign-up sheet is waiting for you.

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    • #3
  4. Jules PA Member
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    Thank you for this.

    • #4
  5. Jules PA Member
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    C. S. Lewis

    The Weight of Glory

    The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshipers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.

    • #5
  6. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Clifford A. Brown:– C. S. Lewis, “The Weight of Glory”

    It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may someday be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations.

     

    Once upon a time (back in the 70s) I typed out that passage and had it posted on the wall by my desk where I would see it frequently.

    • #6
  7. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Jules PA (View Comment):
    C. S. Lewis

    The Weight of Glory

    The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshipers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.

    The mountain range at the end of the Chronicles of Narnia.

    • #7
  8. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Beautifully written post. Thank you, Clifford A. Brown, for reminding me to reread that book of essays, The Weight of Glory.

    • #8

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