Monday, November 08, 2004

From Dream to Waking

This is how I distinguish dreaming and waking. When I am awake I can, in some degree, account for and study my dream. The dragon that pursued me last night can be fitted into my waking world. I know that there are such things as dreams; I know that I had eaten an indigestible dinner; I know that a man of my reading might be expected to dream of dragons. But while in the nightmare I could not have fitted in my waking experience. The waking world is judged more real because it can thus contain the dreaming world; the dreaming world is judged less real because it cannot contain the waking one. For the same reason I am certain that in passing from the scientific points of view to the theological, I have passed from dream to waking. Christian theology can fit in science, art, morality, and the sub-Christian religions. The scientific point of view cannot fit in any of these things, not even science itself. I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
~C.S. Lewis, "Is Theology Poetry?", The Weight of Glory (1945)


Cool link of the day: Wandering Fire Pottery

9 Comment(s):

At Mon Nov 08, 05:56:00 AM EST, Blogger Arevanye said...

This quote confuses me a little, in that I don't understand what he means by "The scientific point of view cannot fit in any of these things, not even science itself." How can scientific beliefs not fit in a belief in science?

Also, I'm not sure what he means by sub-Christian religions. Is he speaking of pre-christianity--those religions that existed before Christian teachings? or is he speaking of non-Christian religions, like Buddhism and Hinduism?

But I do love the last line of this passage.

At Mon Nov 08, 06:55:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kerewyn: Hmmm... but what if the dreaming world contains all elements taken FROM the waking world? Actually... I know what he means here but can't find equivalent language to discuss it, and admire anyone who can. An interesting quote! (but I can't figure out the last bit either)

At Mon Nov 08, 09:11:00 AM EST, Blogger Roger R. said...

Psalm 36:9
"For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light."

At Mon Nov 08, 11:34:00 AM EST, Blogger jesusandME said...

I love that quote: "I believe in Christianity..."

It is one of my all time favourites, and almost certainly my favourite CSL quote.

I think what he means by "The scientific point of view cannot fit in any of these things, not even science itself." is not that it doesn't fit inside other things, but that it doesn't fit anything inside itself.

Science rules out anything it can't understand or measure... whereas Christianity can encompass - and in many ways has an explanation - for everything in existance.

Philip Yancey explains it wonderfully well in his book Soul Survivor, but I'm afraid I can't find my copy of it, so rather than quote from it, I'll have to just leave it as another book recommendation for you. *winks*

x Amatire x

At Mon Nov 08, 11:37:00 AM EST, Blogger Arevanye said...

That's perfect. Thanks, Roger! =)

At Mon Nov 08, 12:07:00 PM EST, Blogger Sandicomm said...

I think by sub-Christian religions he means any religion that isn't Christianity ( if that's his meaning, then, gee, that's an awfully friendly way of putting it).

Again, with the scientific point of view: the preceeding sentence talks about how Christianity can encompass all, but science (that is, I think, scientific reasoning) can't quite fit into the things that are found by science. Thus we can have a science for dreams, but dreams defy all laws or reasoning.

At Mon Nov 08, 06:12:00 PM EST, Blogger Anamire said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At Mon Nov 08, 06:19:00 PM EST, Blogger Anamire said...

Oops! Maybe I should read the whole quote before I post. :-)

This is a great quote. Lewis makes a good point about religion being able to change to fit in certain aspects of life. I especially like the last sentence.

At Tue Nov 09, 03:00:00 AM EST, Blogger Pilot Mom said...

I love your site and check in most days to read what you have posted. Thank you.


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