Blog Template Theology of the Body: C.S. Lewis on How to Pray, Think, Read

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

C.S. Lewis on How to Pray, Think, Read

"Good reading, therefore, though it is not esentially an affectional or moral or intellectual activity, has something in commo with all three. In love we escape from ourself into the other. In the moral sphere, every act of justice or charity involves putting ourselves in the other's place and thus transcending our own competitive particularity. In coming to understand anything we are rejecting the facts as they are for us in favor of the facts as they are. The primary impulse of each person is to maintan and aggrandise himself. The secondary impulse is to go out of the self, to correct its provincialism and heal its loneliness. In love, in virtue, in the pursuit of knowledge, and in the reception of the arts, we are doing this. Obviously the process can be described either as an enlargement or as a temporary annihilation of the self. But that is an old paradox; 'he that loseth his life shall save it'... here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and I am never more myself than when I do."

- C.S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism, 138, 141.