Thursday, October 9, 2014

C.S. Lewis Says No to Drugs

C.S. Lewis
"Finally, in all our joys and sorrows, religious, aesthetic, or natural, I seem to find things (almost indescribably) thus. They are about something. They are a by-product of the (logically) prior act of attending to or looking towards something. We are not really concerned with the emotions: the emotions are our concern about something else.  Suppose that a mother is anxious about her son who is on active service. It is no use going to her with the offer of some drug or hypnotism or spell that would obliterate her anxiety. What she wants is not the cessation of anxiety but the safety of her son (I mean, on the whole. On one particular wakeful night, she might, no doubt, be glad of your magic.) Nor is it any use offering her a magic which would prevent her from feeling any grief if her son were killed: what she dreads is not grief but the death of her son.  Similarly, it is no use offering me a drug which will give me over again the feelings I had on first hearing the overture to The Magic Flute. The feelings, by themselves- the flutter in the diaphragm- are of very mediocre interest to me. What gave them their value was the thing they were about.  So in our Christian experiences.  No doubt we experience sorrow when we repent and joy when we adore.  But these were by-products of our attention to a particular Object." - C.S. Lewis, The Language of Religion

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