One word more: This love of our neighbour is the only door out of the dungeon of self, where we mope and mow, striking sparks, and rubbing phosphorescences out of the walls, and blowing our own breath in our own nostrils, instead of issuing to the fair sunlight of God, the sweet winds of the universe. The man thinks his consciousness is himself; whereas his life consisteth in the inbreathing of God, and the consciousness of the universe of truth. To have himself, to know himself, to enjoy himself, he calls life; whereas, if he would forget himself, tenfold would be his life in God and his neighbours. The region of man’s life is a spiritual region. God, his friends, his neighbours, his brothers all, is the wide world in which alone his spirit can find room. Himself is his dungeon. If he feels it not now, he will yet feel it one day—feel it as a living soul would feel being prisoned in a dead body, wrapped in sevenfold cerements, and buried in a stone-ribbed vault within the last ripple of the sound of the chanting people in the church above. His life is not in knowing that he lives, but in loving all forms of life. He is made for the All, for God, who is the All, is his life. And the essential joy of his life lies abroad in the liberty of the All. His delights, like those of the Ideal Wisdom, are with the sons of men. His health is in the body of which the Son of Man is the head. The whole region of life is open to him—nay, he must live in it or perish.
~George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons
I was just re- listening to this bit from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader:
“Do you think I wouldn’t obey my own rules?” (CS Lewis, Aslan speaking.)
And it struck me again – this time in the light of Lewis’s The Abolition of Man (or should I say “the dark shadow?”), that good people – princes and subjects alike, all subject themselves to the laws of what is good. For somehow they understand that goodness is the very fiber of which reality is made. Unlike other “princes” who make their thrones on high towers, and pass down rules for those who serve under them, but they don’t have to abide by them personally, Christ, True Christianity and the good God we serve all stand in the light of goodness, virtue and truth. And he who would be the greatest, must be the first to be servant of all. This to me is the spirit of Christ, and in the vein of GK Chesterton, the “atmosphere” of truth, virtue and Goodness. By this we know if we are its disciples: if as we set out, we understand that we set out firstly to follow goodness, truth and virtue, and secondly to serve others, obeying the laws of life. If we set out with a desire to discover our own selves or “greatness,” and have a desire to be served by others, then we are in that moment, children of another mother, and not children of the true spirit of God.
~ Watergirl 🌸
Give me, take from me, as thou wilt. I learn—
Slowly and stubbornly I learn to yield
With a strange hopefulness. As from the field
Of hard-fought battle won, the victor chief
Turns thankfully, although his heart do yearn,
So from my old things to thy new I turn,
With sad, thee-trusting heart, and not in grief.