Monday, February 28, 2011

For The Sensualists
"...and this [contemplating the transformation of self and body that occurs in death and Olam Haba] reduces our imagination to the withering alternative either of bodies which are hardly recognizable as human bodies at all or else of a perpetual fast. As regards the fast, I think our present outlook might be like that of a small boy who, on being told that the sexual act was the highest bodily pleasure should immediately ask whether you ate chocolates at the same time. On receiving the answer ‘No,’ he might regard absence of chocolates as the chief characteristic of sexuality. In vain would you tell him that the reason why lovers in their carnal raptures don’t bother about chocolates is that they have something better to think of.
The boy knows chocolate: he does not know the positive thing that excludes it. We are in the same position. We know the sexual life [and are so often in this society proud to trumpet it for all to hear, all the time, though we do not know it fully - including from the outside]; we do not know, except in glimpses, the other thing which, in Heaven, will leave no room for it. Hence where fullness awaits us we anticipate fasting. In denying that sexual life, as we now understand it, makes any part of the final beatitude, it is not of course necessary to suppose that the distinction of sexes will disappear. What is no longer needed for biological purposes may be expected to survive for splendor. Sexuality is the instrument both of virginity and of conjugal virtue; neither men nor women will be asked to throw away weapons they have used victoriously [oh my word...]. It is the beaten and the fugitives who throw away their swords. The conquerors sheathe theirs and retain them [is he actually using this language?...]. ‘Trans-sexual’ would be a better word than ‘sexless’ for the heavenly life.”
-C.S. Lewis, Miracles

Also relevent, once one gains, or admits, a view from "outside";

"I want to add now that the next step is to make some serious attempt to practice the Christian virtues. A week is not enough. Things often go swimmingly for the first week. Try six weeks. By that time, having, as far as one can see, fallen back completely or even fallen lower than the point one began from, one will have discovered some truths about oneself [though this whole experience is somehow "engineered", much like Judaism considers the saga of Adam and Eve?..]. No man knows how bad he is [knows least of all himself,] till he has tried very hard to be good [to be more than just his acts, his behaviors]. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later [one doesn't know what it is to be faithful to one person unless one does so]. That is why bad people [or sensualists, gluttons, or professional "experts on sex" {acts} like prostitutes and adult film stars], in one sense, know very little about badness - they have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it...
-Lewis, Mere Christianity


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