Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Reality of the Law: Explaining the Obvious

It begins to look as if we shall have to admit that there is more than one kind of reality; that, in this particular case, there is more than one kind of reality; that, in this particular case, there is something above and beyond the ordinary facts of men's behaviour, and yet quite definitely real- a real law, which none of us made, but which we find pressing on us.  (Mere Christianity, p. 30)

What I really like about Clive Staples Lewis is how he can state these philosophical ideas so simply, even I can understand him.  :-)   Okay, I'm not exactly dumb... when I was in college, I was actually considered to be intelligent.   However, I got tired of the mind ______ (insert word which a lady ought not to say, write, or think).   It seems that people will argue things they don't even believe in philosophy, just to prove themselves to have more supple minds than their opponents.   I don't want a twisted mind, thank you very much!  I'd rather look dumb than become twisted!

That is not to say that all philosophers are twisted.  I have a friend who is trying to convince someone on her blog that people have souls.   I find it difficult to participate because the person she is discussing this with is playing the mind game thing.. He can contradict himself right and left so long as he doesn't give in to what she is saying an inch!   I can't deal with that poop.   Not anymore!

What does this have to do with Clive?   It seems to me he is stating the obvious, yet I know it isn't "obvious " to everyone, or at least that not everyone wants to understand this.  He writes in Chapter 3 about how their are laws of Nature such as how a rock must fall or a tree must grow under certain conditions, but there is no such law for people.   People aren't even governed by the rule of convenience, since we might despise and distrust someone who would be a traitor to their country for their own convenience, even if they were the enemy and their treachery made it easier for us.  People are moved by something deeper, something that is at the core of our nature.  

We don't always follow it, but when we don't, we feel shame.  We know we are wrong.  God put this law in each of our hearts.  I believe sometimes we bury it, and maybe even convince ourselves that it isn't there, but is just a manmade idea that we have been shamed and guilted into believing.  But that doesn't explain how even then, we know when someone has wronged us.


Sarah Salter said...

I find that I really have to concentrate on Lewis' writings to understand it. But when he puts the analogies (i.e the piano, the stone) with the explanation, it just all comes together clearly for me and makes so much sense!

Helen, thanks again for participating!

Glynn said...

The obvious that isn't obvious is called wisdom, I think. And Lewis (along with G.K. Chesterton) was a genius at it, as you point out. Good post, Helen.

Anonymous said...

We picked the same quote! And you're right, the obvious isn't always obvious. For instance, when you wrote "mind *blank*" I immediately thought "games" but then I couldn't for the life of me figure out why a lady shouldn't say that. :) Great post, Helen.

HisFireFly said...

I remember when I learned Who the Holy Spirit Is ---

I thought, "so that's the voice that whispers in my ear trying to tell me to do the right thing"

How blessed we are to have such a friend with us always and how often we try to block His voice.

Great post Helen!

Dusty Rayburn said...

My wife often tells me I live in an alternate that what Lewis was talking about? said...

I think some things are obvious to everyone, some people are just really good at ignoring the obvious and putting up straw man after straw man to block their view from it. I read Romans 7 the other day, a chapter I've read many other times before,and yet I felt that God was revealing certain things to me (while opening up more questions.) Anyways, the gist of it was that we are all born with the knowledge of God in us, but we are also born with a sinful nature. The two war each other until we make a decision to follow one or the other, but when we choose to ignore God there remains an emptiness.

Great post! It was thought provoking, clever, and funny- a great combo for a blog!