Wednesday, May 30, 2007

"Work on their horror of the Same Old Thing"

The post about change just now (Sunday morning observations), and the comments that followed made me think about this passage in The Screwtape Letters, which I like very much.

'The horror of the Same Old Thing is one of the most valuable passions we have produced in the human heart – an endless source of heresies in religion, folly in counsel, infidelity in marriage, and inconstancy in friendship. The humans live in time, and experience reality successively. To experience much of it, therefore, they must experience many different things; in other words, they must experience change. And since they need change, the Enemy (being a hedonist at heart) has made change pleasurable to them, just as He has made eating pleasurable. But since He does not wish them to make change, any more than eating, an end in itself, He has balanced the love of change in them by a love of permanence. He has contrived to gratify both tastes together in the very world He has made, by that union of change and permanence which we call Rythm. He gives them the seasons, each season different yet every year the same, so that spring is always felt as a novelty yet always as the recurrence of an immemorial theme. He gives them in His Church a spiritual year; they change from a fast to a feast, yet it is always the same feast as before.
...Once they knew that some changes were for the better, and others for the worse, and others again indifferent. We have largely removed that knowledge. For the descriptive adjective 'unchanged' we have substituted the emotional adjective 'stagnant'. We have trained them to think of the Future as a promised land which favoured heroes attain - not as something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.'

5 comments:

meggie said...

This is a very good thought provoking post.

marlyat2 said...

Lewis is so often sound, isn't he? That was a clever little book.

herhimnbryn said...

Ah, Screwtape. Always on the nose!

Lucy said...

Yes, sound is a very good word for Lewis; sound and satisfying. He brings me as close to the possibility of faith as anything does...

Sheila said...

Lucy, it's me again. I have been thinking lately that I want to re-read Screwtape and Mere Christianity. I think I will take this as a sign and get them off my list and into my stack.

I find myself wanting to read further on your blog, but I have a huge exam to study for....I'll hope to be back.