The seed itself

August 20, 2016 (Kampala):

I just finished reading Out of the Silent Planet, the first in C.S. Lewis’s space trilogy. I think the main point he’s driving at in the book is that the spirit world is real and alive, in some ways more real than the material world. With its vivid sensory description of the planet Malacandra, the account of ‘hnau’, the rational principle found in languaged creatures, and its cosmic outlook, I think this work of fiction can serve as inspiration for my future thought.

A few memorable quotes:

“Now…he [Ransom] saw the planets – the ‘earths’ he called them in his thoughts – as mere holes or gaps in the living heaven – excluded and rejected wastes of heavy matter and murky air, formed not by addition to, but by subtraction from, the surrounding brightness. And yet, he thought, beyond the solar system the brightness ends. Is that the real void, the real death? Unless…he groped for the idea…unless visible light is also a hole or gap, a mere diminution of something else. Something that is to bright unchanging heaven as heaven is to the dark, heavy earths.”

“I do not think the forest would be so bright, nor the water so warm, nor love so sweet, if there were no danger in the lakes.”

“Of course they [the elderil] have bodies. There are a great many bodies you cannot see. Every animal’s eyes see some things but not others.”

“No one learns the speech of my people, for what we have to say is said in stone and sun’s blood and stars’ milk and all can see them.”

“Strange!,” said Oyarsa. “You do not love any one of your race – you would have let me kill Ransom. You do not love the mind of your race, nor the body. Any kind of creature will please you if only it is begotten by your kind as they now are. It seems to me, Thick One, that what you really love is no completed creature but the very seed itself.”

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