CSL: Naturalism is Blind, Unless…

“As long as one is a Naturalist, ‘Nature’ is only a word for ‘everything’—And Everything is not a subject about which anything very interesting can be said or (save by illusion) felt. . . .

But everything becomes different when we recognize that Nature is a creature, a created thing, with its own particular tang or flavour. . . .

The Englishness of English is audible only to those who know some other language well. In the same way and for the same reason, only Supernaturalists really see Nature. You must go a little away from her, and then turn round, and look back. Then at last the true landscape will become visible. You must have tasted, however briefly, the pure water from beyond the world before you can be distinctly conscious of the hot, salty tang of Nature’s current.”

C.S. Lewis, Miracles

HT: JT

3 Comments

  1. Yes! This is at the heart of everything Lewis believed about literature, too. Physical reality points to spiritual reality (which is the exact opposite of gnosticism, in which physical reality has entrapped spiritual reality). Everything created is an icon of God, in some way. This is why the symbolist tradition of literature is so powerful: because it channels these icons into concentrated doses and allows us to interact with them in story form.

    I feel a Rabbit Room post coming on.

  2. I love this quote. People say, “Just do what comes naturally.” This of course is terrible advice. By nature, we would love to do many things that harm ourselves and other people. I know Brennan Manning says something to the effect of, “Just do what comes supernaturally,” but I can’t find the exact quote.

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