I can only imagine, a Philosopher a Christian and a self centered mind altered
drug user together. If I was there I could get something from each of them, but
I don't think they would.
Eloquent, and informative, writing! Thanks for sharing a view into these great
men's lives and philosophies.
I remember vividly the day Kennedy was killed, I was in the 5th grade in my last
class before lunch. They announced it over the intercom.. I remember running
home from school crying.. I remember my grandmother coming to the door and
asking me what was wrong, she had not heard the sad news. I remember crying even
harder when MLK was murdered! The two saddest days I can remember in my life.. I
can't wait to hear on judgement day of what really happened to these two
JFK was a great leader. How I wish we had a leader in the White House today.So
much for wishing. As far as the assassination goes I just can't believe
this was a single man job. There had to be two shooters involved simply because
there is no way a man could shoot a bolt action rifle from that distance from
that angel and a moving target too boot and all in 5 seconds time (three shots
fired). Even using a semi-auto rifle would have been a real challenge. As a life
long big game hunter with bolt action rifles I just can't believe one man
was involved. My guess is there was a second shooter in the same
building...perhaps on top.
Excellent article. Of the three men mentioned, I wonder which has had the most
influence on the individual? Huxley is almost a stranger to me. He was
required reading in high school, so I remember reading "Brave New
World", but that book didn't resonate with me. Some might think that
President Kennedy has had the greatest influence. I would agree that he is held
in very high regard by many people world-wide, but I would think that C. S.
Lewis has influenced more people to reflect on their lives and to make the
changes necessary to their thinking and behavior that would allow them to
experience true joy and happiness. C. S. Lewis is one of my favorite authors.
Just as the passage quoted shows his ability to get us to focus on the worth of
a soul, much of his writing inspires us to think beyond the moment and to think
of the possibilities.
It does a great disservice to Huxley to focus on his drug use – something
he did for spiritual reasons only relatively late in his late. And he would have
been horrified by the 60’s drug culture.He was one of the
towering figures of the 20th century and one of the most intelligent men who
ever lived – no small statement when you consider that he was tasked with
updating the Encyclopedia Britannica.And his knowledge of world
religions was, well… encyclopedic. Further, he was a greatly believer (I
think justifiably so given his talents) in the common core of the world’s
religious traditions, notably when they went beyond dogma & doctrine and
towards pure (i.e., uninterpreted) religious experience. His classic
The Perennial Philosophy is a masterpiece and should be read by anyone who would
claim a deep understanding of religion.
I have to agree with TD. The Perennial Philosophy makes other religious works
(including the most widely used scriptural canons) appear like amateur comic
books by comparison.
That paragraph about our nature and potential as human beings... Did CS Lewis
really write that? I've kind of admired him off-hand for his influences in
writing, but maybe it's time I take up some of his works and study.
I also find it puzzling that LDS apologists should so much admire the work of CS
Lewis - as mystical a Trinitarian as there ever was! If you do not see or
understand the "trinitarian mystery" in CS Lewis' works, then you
cannot understand CS Lewis. Any CS Lewis ideas and quotes that LDS admirers like
can only be liked because of complete and utter misunderstanding.
The quoted passage from Lewis is not the only one where he discourses on
theosis, the ancient Christian doctrine preserved in the Eastern Orthodox
churches that salvation consists of being raised into godlike beings as we are
reconciled to God. The fact of Lewis' trinitarian belief does not in any
way deprive Latter-day Saints of the opportunity to agree with many of the other
insights he expressed about the nature of Christ, Satan, and eternity. I have
heard Mormons who knew Lewis personally speak about this.
Mr. Peterson, your experience in California finding out about JFK was eerily
similar to my experience in California. We heard about it on the playground at
lunch, and then our principal came in and told our teacher. When he left and
closed the door she bowed her head and sobbed. It is the only time before or
since that I have observed an educator in such a state. It was a sad time. I
remember that Monday (the day of the funeral) everything was closed, much like
Christmas. Our entire family gathered around our small TV set to witness the
proceedings. That has stuck with me my entire life.
The scientist: Religious canon "amateur comic books". Really? Perhaps
a little deeper study of those works would help you re-evaluate that statement.
Not even Aldous Huxley would be so bold as to make that statement. But, he was
just Aldous Huxley. It sounds like we have someone a step higher.
The admiration of C.S. Lewis by LDS people is not ignorance, but rather an
acknowledgement that we don't need to agree on everything to to find people
or their beliefs admirable. THIS is the concept that is completely
misunderstood by some.Another trinitarian and Christian (and
Catholic) apologist who had a tremendous influence on C.S. Lewis was G. K.
Chesterton, another admirable atheist turned Christian thinker. Lewis has said
that Chesterton's book Everlasting Man was the second book, next to the
scriptures, that convinced him (Lewis) to become Christian.
All this ballyhoo about the fiftieth anniversary of President Kennedy's
assassination. Nothing at all was said in 1950 about the fiftieth anniversary of
President McKinley's assassination.I lived in the San Francisco
Bay Area from 1963 to 1966. Plenty of people said that the State of Texas was to
blame for President Kennedy's assassination. Five years later, nobody
blamed the State of California for his brother's assassination.
"The Scientist's" claim that "'The Perennial
Philosophy' makes other religious works (including the most widely used
scriptural canons) appear like amateur comic books by comparison" is not one
with which the author of "The Perennial Philosophy" would have agreed.
Not even close. Aldous Huxley respected the world's spiritual traditions
and scriptures.As to "The Scientist's" claim about C.
S. Lewis, it's striking -- but by no means unusual, as the same phenomenon
appears in very many other Christian authors -- how small and limited a role
specifically Trinitarian theology plays in Lewis's works. There's no
wonder at all in the fact that discerning and informed Mormons can and do like
Lewis's writing so much despite his orthodox Trinitarianism.
The Scientist,It's not just apologists that like Lewis. Many
LDS do.And we totally get that he was a Trinitarian (like most
non-LDS Christians). But that doesn't mean we can't appreciate his
other insights.Do you agree with every single word or thought of
those you admire?
RE: C.S. Lewis ,“Longing for God”.The idea of God in
some minds does not contain, not a mere abstract definition, but real
imaginative perception of goodness and beauty, beyond their own resources and
this not only in minds which already believe in God. It certainly seems to me
that the ‘vague something’ which has been suggested to one’s
mind as desirable ,all one’s life even in such ostensibly irreligious
forms as the land east of the Sun and west of the Moon in Morris ,and which
arouses desires that no finite object even pretends to satisfy, can be argued
not to be any product of own imagination."In other words, the sense of
desire that no finite object even pretends to satisfy to a real human need. A great theme of Christian thinking about the origin and goal of human nature.
For in him we live and move and have our Being...(Acts
17:28)Creation is dependent on God for it’s very existence. “You
have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until
they find rest in you,” St. Augustine.
While of these three men, C.S. Lewis would be the one I most admire and respect,
and have learned the most from his words, I could not say that he has impacted
my life the most.There is no question that our time has been shaped
by actions of JFK while in office. The American people have a very unique
relationship with Cuba, that has taken it's form almost exclusively because
of the Bay of Pigs, and subsequent events including the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Immigration from Cuba to the USA is shaped by these events. Arguably, the decisions of President Nixon, to allow the events at the
Watergate, were at least partly because Nixon had not forgotten the dirty
politics of JFK and his daddy, several years earlier when he lost to JFK. Nixon
had no intention to ever allow a political adversary to to to him, what the
Kennedy's did to him. These events, and all those that
followed, have most assuredly shaped the country we live in now.
RE: C.S. Lewis ,“Longing for God”. The idea of God in some
minds does not contain, not a mere abstract definition, but real imaginative
perception of goodness and beauty, beyond their own resources and this not only
in minds which already believe in God. It certainly seems to me that the
‘vague something’ which has been suggested to one’s mind as
desirable ,all one’s life even in such ostensibly irreligious forms as the
land east of the Sun and west of the Moon in Morris ,and which arouses desires
that no finite object even pretends to satisfy, can be argued not to be any
product of own imagination. In other words, the sense of desire
that no finite object even pretends to satisfy to a real human need. A great
theme of Christian thinking about the origin and goal of human nature. For in him we live and move and have our Being...(Acts 17:28)Creation is
dependent on God for it’s very existence. “You have made
us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in
you,” St. Augustine
I would mourn C.S. Lewis and Adolus Huxley, authors of some of my favorite books
(including my absolute favorite, Brave New World, which is almost prophetic in
the way that it depicts the morally degenerate and dehumanized society of the
future) far more than I would John F. Kennedy. Kennedy is one of the most
overrated politicians in American history and it is doubtful that if he had
lived he would have remained as idolized as he has been in death. His policies
were disastrous, his personal morality was virtually nonexistent, and his legacy
is entirely a fiction concocted by liberal historians and the media. But by all means, let us continue to idolize "Camelot" ad nauseam