A Kind of Happiness

“There is a kind of happiness and wonder that makes you serious. It is too good to waste on jokes.”

— C.S. Lewis

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The Thought of a Thinker

The letters he has left behind him, have waked but poor ideas in poor minds; for words, if they seem to mean anything, must always seem to mean something within the scope of the mind hearing them. Words cannot convey the thought of a thinker to a no-thinker; of a largely aspiring and self-discontented soul, to a creature satisfied with his poverty, and counting his meagre faculty the human standard. Neither will they readily reveal the mind of one old in thought, to one who has but lately begun to think.

-George MacDonald

Love of Our Neighbor

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

On Spiritual Nature

A man’s reaction to Monarchy is a kind of test. Monarchy can easily be “debunked;” but watch the faces, mark the accents of the debunkers. These are the men whose tap-root in Eden has been cut: whom no rumor of the polyphony, the dance, can reach – men to whom pebbles laid in a row are more beautiful than an arch. Yet even if they desire equality, they cannot reach it. Where men are forbidden to honor a king they honor millionaires, athletes or film-stars instead: even famous prostitutes or gangsters. For spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served; deny it food and it will gobble poison.

CS Lewis: “Equality” in Present Concerns

So beautifully stated – this idea has been on my mind recently, for I think it ties in to the idea of honoring parents. I think the instances of Kings being “divinely appointed,” or the divine right of kings has been very few and far between. It has happened, but it is a far step (not to say a very chasm) from there and the fallacy that insists that every ruler was appointed by God. This (latter) belief is sometimes accepted by good men, but who have been amused and are literally also away from thinking, whose manhood and ability to think and reason has been stolen from them, not taught them, but abolished. And this fallacy is generally perpetuated by the power seekers themselves, for it is in their favor to be so thought of. But to feel that idea (of the beauty of monarchy) to be romantic is a good and natural thing, and to not understand it at all is to have lost our humanity, and our sense for the good, the true and the beautiful, and our appreciation of archetypes. The one place I believe this idea is always true, is with parents. Every one of our parents was given to us by God. And whether good or bad, these are the people- like the family Chesterton speaks of (people we are put into families with, and told to get along). These are the people we must learn to love, honor and obey. And I believe that the words of Lewis ring monumentally true at home and hearth as well – where men are forbidden to honor parents, they will honor millionaires, athletes and film stars. I wonder if the idea of monarchy is not merely a child idea who has lost his own love for parents, and has wandered away in the dark, and given his love to newly found replacements, and false images.

(I should add that I believe the archetype is possibly a true one – our rulers were possibly intended to be appointed by God. But in a world like today’s, God is dead, and so also is his rule. But it is still a question mark- why did God, with the children of Israel seem to prefer sending prophets than appointing Kings?)

~ Watergirl 🌸

True Education is Truest Kindness

“Those who love certain animals selfishly, pampering them, as so many mothers do their children with worse results, that they may be loved of them in return, betray them to their enemies. They are not lovers of animals, but only of favourites, and do their part to make the rest of the world dislike animals. Theirs are the dogs that inhospitably growl and bark and snap, moving the indifferent to dislike, and confirming the unfriendly in their antagonism. Any dog-parliament, met in the interests of their kind, would condemn such dogs to be discreetly bitten, and their mistresses to be avoided.

And certainly, if animals are intended to live and grow, she is the enemy of any individual animal, who stunts his moral and intellectual development by unwise indulgence.

Of whatever nature be the heaven of the animals, that animal is not in the fair way to enter it. The education of the lower lies at the door of the higher, and in true education is truest kindness.”

– George MacDonald, Hope of the Gospel

Cleverness Kills Wisdom

“It has decided, rightly or wrongly, that this specialism and this universalism shall be divided between the sexes. Cleverness shall be left for men and wisdom for women. For cleverness kills wisdom; that is one of the few sad and certain things.”

GK Chesterton, What’s Wrong With the World

Curiouser and curiouser… Why does Chesterton make me feel like Alice?

Awake

“MEN are never more awake to the good in the world than when they are furiously awake to the evil in the world. Men never enjoy so much the blazing sun and the rushing wind as when they are out hunting the Devil. On the other hand, there are no people so dreary as philosophical optimists; and men are never so little happy as when they are constantly reassured. Such men have begun by calling the moon as bright as the sun, but they end only by seeing the sun as pallid as the moon. They have made a shameful treaty with shame; and the mark of it is on them. Everything is good, except their own spirits.”

~G.K. Chesterton: “Daily News,” Dec. 16, 1905.