Sunday, April 11, 2010

Slower Things Lit by the Light

"The proper rewards are not simply tacked on to the activity for which they are given, but are the activity itself in consummation."
I've been working hard this weekend on history plans, which means that the house is absolutely trashed. Next week I'll have to get back to normal. Can anyone say "hyperfocus"? I think that when I "zone in" on something the corollary is that I zone out on everything else. I have been thinking hard about how that relates to simplicity. Dietrich von Hildebrand talks about how one consuming interest or love is nobler than a multiplicitous scattering of interests or actions. But there seems to be something in the middle -- "serial fascinations", like a guy who is devoted to one girl at a time but goes through a progression of them over his lifespan. That isn't really a good analogy -- because intellectual fascinations aren't inherently bigamous. But what I'm noticing is that it's easier to "practice the presence of God" when I'm doing something menial and scattered (so long as it's not overly demanding or stressful) than when I'm doing something that involves my mind. I have to figure out a way to deal with that. I think I remember CS Lewis saying that he never felt so dead to love of God as when he had just written some theological essay -- I don't remember the context he said it in, so I'm not sure if it applies here, or even if I'm paraphrasing it correctly. But it has stuck in my mind because it seems to express how I can get so immersed in something that I'm only doing FOR something else that I almost pull away from the FOR itself.

This isn't the quote I was looking for, but I like it, so I'm posting it!

"'We do not truly see light, we only see slower things lit by it, so that for us light is on the edge--the last thing we know before things become too swift for us. CS Lewis"
I guess when I focus on the "slower things" it's like when you are on a train and trying to watch some stationary object as it flashes past your window -- and you end up feeling disoriented.