Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

The Tao of Elder Packer: Juxtapositions III

August 25th, 2014 by G.

Much of what I have come to know falls into the category of things which cannot be taught but can be learned. Knowledge which is of eternal value comes only through personal prayer and pondering.

-thus Boyd K. Packer

The way that can be said is not the true way.

-thus Lao Tzu

I read Alexander’s . . . theory of “Enjoyment” and “Contemplation.” These are technical terms in Alexander’s philosophy. “Enjoyment” has nothing to do with pleasure, nor “contemplation” with the contemplative life. When you see a table you “enjoy” the act of seeing and “contemplate” the table. Later, if you took up Optics and thought about Seeing itself, you would be contemplating the seeing and enjoying the thought. In bereavement you contemplate the beloved and the beloved’s death and, in Alexander’s sense, “enjoy” the loneliness and grief, but a psychologist, if he were considering you as a case of melancholia, would be contemplating your grief and enjoying psychology. We do not “think a thought” in the same sense in which we “think that Herodotus is unreliable.” When we think a thought, “thought” is a cognate accusative (like “blow” in “strike a blow”). We enjoy the thought (that Herodotus is unreliable) and, in so doing, contemplate the unreliability of Herodotus.

… It seemed to me self-evident that one essential property of love, hate, fear, hope, or desire was attention to their object. To cease thinking about or attending to the woman is, so far, to cease loving; to cease thinking about or attending to the dreaded thing is, so far, to cease being afraid. But to attend to your own love or fear is to cease attending to the loved or dreaded object. In other words the enjoyment and the contemplation of our inner activities are incompatible. You cannot hope and also think about hoping at the same moment; for in hope we look to hope’s object and we interrupt this by (so to speak) turning round to look at the hope itself. Of course the two activities can and do alternate with great rapidity; but they are distinct and incompatible.

-thus C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Matthew 7:22-23

Mortal experience is not the entrance exam to the eternities. It is the path.

Comments (2)
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August 25th, 2014 10:46:34

August 25, 2014

Does it follow that examining your fear is the path to courage?

I am not sure that examining your love is the path to indifference. It may be the path to lust.

October 31, 2014

One of Lewis’ notions was that the fear was usually worse than the thing you feared. To my knowledge he never connected that to his enjoyment-contemplation distinction, but it seems to fit.

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