Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

He who Says Immortal, Says God.

September 05th, 2016 by G.

Re-reading the Discarded Image; I came across this passage. Lewis is talking about one of Cicero’s works called the Somnium Scipioni and pointing out elements that at first blush appear classically Christian but have different connotations.

Most deceptive of all . . ., he is exhorted to remember that not he, but only his body, is moral. Every Chrsitian would in some sense agree. But it is followed almost immediately by the words “Realize therefore that you are a god.” For Cicero that is obvious; “among the Greeks,” says Von Hugel–and he might have said “in all classical thought”–“he who says immortal says god. The conceptions are interchangeable.” If men can go to heaven it is because they came from there; their ascent is a return.

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September 05th, 2016 12:02:18

The Sheltered Ones

September 21st, 2015 by MC

I recently watched an episode of “The Jim Gaffigan Show” with a bit of dialogue that perfectly encapsulated a thought that’s been bouncing around my head for a while. For those who aren’t familiar with Jim Gaffigan, he’s a “clean” but still very famous comedian who is basically a stereotypical Irish-American Catholic dad from the post-War era; his wife is more devout than he is, but he still is fully supportive of raising his kids as Catholics, with all that entails. He plays himself on the show, which is based on his real life.

In this episode, Jim’s wife invites their local parish priest, a gregarious young man from Africa named Father Nicholas, to go to Jim’s next stand-up, without asking Jim first. Jim hates the idea because he’s convinced that having a priest in the audience will kill the mood, but he gives in and takes Father Nicholas anyway. Right before they walk into the comedy club, they have the following exchange: (more…)

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September 21st, 2015 05:12:06

Dishes and Damnation

September 16th, 2015 by G.

Here is a line of thought that begins like this: you sometimes hear women get a note of desperation about dishes and dinner. It just never stops, they say. Finish one meal and another starts. Men feel the same way about their jobs sometimes. They see a desert of 8-5s stretching out with no horizon.  (more…)

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September 16th, 2015 11:58:41

The Virtue With No Name, Or the Best Mormon Essay You’ll Read this Month

September 09th, 2014 by G.

No, not this essay, goose. Another essay. Which will be revealed to you later.



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September 09th, 2014 12:10:29

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 (more…)

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August 25th, 2014 10:46:34

No Pity in Heaven

August 12th, 2014 by G.

The Great Divorce is a great story. It is not a perfect story. I’m thinking here of the episode of the Dwarf and the Tragedian. Short summary: there is a sinner who uses other people’s pity to manipulate them. His wife descends from Heaven to tell him to repent and be saved. In the process we learn that she doesn’t feel sorry for him any more. She doesn’t even feel sad that he’s damned. In Heaven there is no pity, Lewis says.

Well, bunk. (See here for why). (more…)

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August 12th, 2014 14:56:04

Hobbes and Hobbits

June 06th, 2014 by G.

What if our imagination should become as a little child’s? What if receiving the kingdom of heaven as a little child mostly meant imagining it differently? Not stern and beautiful like Milton, but jolly and abundant.

Last night I came home to my little boy wearing a red bath robe with a red bandanna on his head pirate-style, a garbage bad tucked into his neckline for a beard, and another garbage bag dragging behind his red trike. He was Santa Claus, he said. My littlest girl was wearing a tan quilt with sticks stuck in her braids. She was the reindeer. The reins were from a swing.

Hobbes and Hobbits
The imagination of children is whimsical. They don’t see the unseen world as eldritch or fey. To them, the transcendental and supernatural are friendly, fun, whimsical, domestic.

The childish imagination is Calvin and Hobbes, Narnia, the Hobbit. When the Abrahamic trial comes, it trusts, because it believes that something golden must lie out there in darkness.

“If you’re thirsty, you may drink.”

They were the first words she had heard since Scrubb had spoken to her on the edge of the cliff. For a second she stared here and there, wondering who had spoken. Then the voice said again, “If you are thirsty, come and drink,” and of course she remembered what Scrubb had said about animals talking in that other world, and realized that it was the lion speaking. Anyway, she had seen its lips move this time, and the voice was not like a man’s. It was deeper, wilder, and stronger; a sort of heavy, golden voice. It did not make her any less frightened than she had been before, but it made her frightened in rather a different way.

“Are you not thirsty?” said the lion.

“I’m dying of thirst,” said Jill.

“Then drink,” said the lion.

“May I — could I — would you mind going away while I do?” said Jill.

The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.

The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.

“Will you promise not to — do anything to me, if I do come?” said Jill.

“I make no promise,” said the Lion.

Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.

“Do you eat girls?” she said.

“I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,” said the Lion. It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.

“I daren’t come and drink,” said Jill

“Then you will die of thirst,” said the Lion.

“Oh dear!” said Jill, coming another step nearer. “I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.”

“There is no other stream,” said the Lion.

Even Lord of the Rings has childlike elements. It has hobbits, the Shire, the last Homely House, Strider. Even its orderliness, its insistence on getting the details right for their own sake, is childish.

Perhaps, instead of standing in awe at the works of God, we should wriggle with delight.

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June 06th, 2014 07:13:26

Death is Lighter Than a Feather: C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce

February 04th, 2011 by G.

My review of The Great Divorce from a Mormon perspective is up. I think you’ll like it. Let me know what you think.

You can read and comment here.

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February 04th, 2011 11:53:42

What is fantasy fiction?

February 25th, 2010 by G.

If the Mormon Review ever gets around to publishing my essay on The Great Divorce, you’ll find that Overstreet’s definition of what’s important about fantasy is what I was trying to get at. (more…)

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February 25th, 2010 09:52:23

C.S. Lewis on the common moral law

January 14th, 2010 by Vader

C.S. Lewis firmly believed in what he called the Tao, the common moral law understood by almost all human beings. (more…)

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January 14th, 2010 18:12:20