Thursday, January 8, 2009

Meditation in a Toolshed

In C.S. Lewis' essay, "Meditation in a Toolshed", he describes a scene where a man is standing in a dark toolshed, observing a beam of light. The man then walks toward the beam and looks up along the beam, observing now leaves and the sun.

Lewis uses this description of the man and the beam of light to explain the difference between looking "along" something and looking "at" something. Looking at Lewis' explanation, we can better understand the importance of observing and experiencing. In this understanding, we come to realize that we need both observation and experience to fully understand the topic or subject being examined.

For without both, we cannot have a clear understanding of the subject. If experience is discounted to ensure unbiased accuracy, the logic and reasoning will still be incomplete because one cannot know about anything without at least once experiencing it, personally.

Lewis also points out the danger of throwing out experiences and thought as irrelevant because the that thought would become irrelevant and so on and so forth. What we, as humans, are looking for is absolute truth, which is found only in God. Just as the beam of light depends upon the sun, all things are dependent upon God for existence. Through Him, we learn wisdom and humility. Through our humility we then realize that we can only see in part, and know that God is in control-seeing the entire picture, as a whole.

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