Brian’s Reflection: Monday, November 29, 2010
Humans are amphibians - half spirit and
half animal. As spirits they belong to the
eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time.
C.S. Lewis, writer, novelist, thinker; he was
born on this date, 1898, in Belfast.
Well. I must say the fact that I am quoting C. S. Lewis is a sign of my maturing maturity! Lewis said some very ignorant and vicious things about homosexuality in his book “The Four Loves” – whereupon I stopped reading him ….. except for the Chronicles of Narnia. But, I’m willing to let it go ….. on the assumption that we are all ignorant at times. I hope he got over it. Someone out there probably knows whether he did or not.
However: I disagree with him about the “half spirit and half animal” bit. We human beings are not half and half anything. As Mrs. (Betty) Slocombe used to say in “Are You Being Served”: I am unanimous in this!!
We human beings are like Jesus Christ as defined by the Council of Nicaea: fully Divine and fully Human. By which I mean, Jesus (according to the Church) can’t be fully Who He is said to be without being fully both – and nor can we be who we are without being both. I’m not going to quibble about the theological niceties involved. I just make the point that our Humanity inhabits both eternity and time as part of the Reality of who we are. If we inhabit Time as animals, we also inhabit the “eternal world” as animals.
I don’t think that it helps in any way to think of ourselves as somehow essentially divided. We are a unity. When we know this, that is when we can live fully and authentically.