Monday, October 5, 2009

Surprised by Joy

Surprised by Joy
(The Shape of My Early Life)
Clive Stanley Lewis

Copyright 1956 By C.S. Lewis
Copyright renewed 1984 by Arthur Owen Barfield

Page 238
But what , in conclusion of Joy? for that, after all, what the story has mainly been about.  To tell you the truth, the subject has lost nearly all interest for me since I became a Christian.  I cannot, indeed, complain, like Wordsworth, that the visionary gleam has passed away.  I believe (if the thing were at all worth recording) that the old stab, the old bittersweet , has come to me as often and as sharply since my conversion as at any time of my life whatever  But I now know that the experience, considered as a state of my own mind, had never the kind of importance I once gave it.  It was valuable only as a pointer to something other and outer.  While that other was in doubt, the pointer  naturally loomed large in my thoughts.  When we are lost in the woods the sight of a signpost is a great matter.  He who first sees it cries "Look!"  The whole party gathers round and stares.  But when we have found the road and are passing sign post every few miles, we shall not stop and stare.  They will encourage us and we shall be grateful to the authority that set them up.  But we shall not stop and stare, or not much; not on this road, though their pillars are of silver and their lettering of gold.  "We would be at Jerusalem."

Not, of course, that I  Don't often catch myself stopping to stare at roadside