a conception of self

I read the C.S. Lewis space trilogy the first time almost thirty years ago. I read them again 3 or 4 years ago. Powerful stuff.

I especially find the story in Perelandra to be a wonderful glimpse into the Garden of Eden through the mind and imagination of C.S. Lewis.

In the book, Satan constantly whispers in the Lady’s ear. His project is to build up her sense of self, her ego, to such a degree that she feels entitled to go on land (the book’s forbidden fruit) in spite of Maledil’s (God’s) instruction not to go there.

Only a creature that feels like it is somebody is willing to transgress God’s instruction because it wants its own version of happiness and joy rather than God’s.

The enemy’s scheme is bearing fruit in this quote from page 118 in the paperback version linked above:

But the Lady did not appear to be listening to him.  She stood like one almost dazed with the richness of a day-dream.  She did not look in the least like a woman who is thinking about a new dress.  The expression of her face was noble.  It was a great deal too noble.  Greatness, tragedy, high sentiment–these were obviously what occupied her thoughts.  Ransom perceived that the affair of the robes and the mirror had been only superficially concerned with what is commonly called female vanity.   The image of her beautiful body had been offered to her only as a means to awake the far more perilous image of her great soul.  The external and, as it were, dramatic conception of the self was the enemy’s true aim.  He was making her mind a theatre in which that phantom self should hold the stage. He had already written the play.

emphasis added.

This is the way our enemy works. He does whatever it takes to make us think that we are the ones that the play is about. A dramatic conception of self is always his true aim.

People who are great are the ones entitled to live in Disneyland all the time.

One Response

  1. […] of self part II Posted on August 4, 2009 by bkingr earlier I quoted C.S. Lewis in Perelandra to illustrate the point that our enemy has as his project the inflation of […]

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