Thursday, August 03, 2006

rings and loops

c.s. lewis, one of my heroes, wrote an amazing article long ago entitled 'the inner ring.' in it, he says this:

of all passions, the passion for the Inner Ring is the most skillful at making a man who is not yet a very bad man do very bad things...

as long as you are governed by that desire you will never get what you want. you are trying to peel an onion: if you succeed there will be nothing left. until you conquer your fear of being an outsider, an outsider you will remain...

the quest for the Inner Ring will break your hearts unless you break it.
but if you break it, a surprising result will follow. if, in your working hours, you make the work your end, you will presently find yourself all unawares inside the only circle in your profession that really matters. you will be one of the sound craftsmen , and other sound craftsmen will know it. this group of craftsmen will by no means coincide with the Inner Ring or the Important People or the People in the Know. it will not shape that professional policy or work up that professional influence which fights for the professional as a whole against the public, nor will it lead to those periodic scandals and crises which the Inner Ring produces. but it will do those things which the profession exists to do and will in the long run be responsible for all the respect which the profession in fact enjoys and which the speeches and advertisements cannot maintain. and if, in your spare time, you consort only with the people you like, you will again find that you have come unawares to a real inside, that you are indeed snug and safe at the centre of something which, seen from without, would look exactly like an Inner Ring. but the difference is that its secrecy is accidental, its exclusiveness a by-product, and no one was led thither by the lure of the esoteric, for it is only four or five people who like one another meeting to do the things that they like. this is friendship. aristotle placed it among the virtues. it causes perhaps half of the happiness in the world and no Inner Ringer can ever have it.

(c.s.lewis; exerpted from 'the inner ring', taken from 'the weight of glory', circa 1962)

if we make loving others our profession, what are the implications of lewis' words here?

i think the implications of this are a feedback loop the builds upon itself with each cycle to a deafening celebration of everything good.

could this, perhaps, be the voice of God himself?

*note: jollybeggar is off to sri lanka until the end of august on a mission. for descriptions and details of what this kind of mission can entail, feel free to read his journals from last year, posted at (hyperlinked to your right under the heading 'jollybeggar abroad')

shalom, my friends.

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Blogger bjk said...

THanks for some more wrestling safe

Blogger Pastor Josh said...

This is really good. Have fun on your missions trip. God bless.

Blogger curious servant said...

Good post. This is a book of Lewis' that
I have not read.

The problem I have found with reading Lewis is that he leaves so little room for discussion. about all one can say after reading him is "yup, that's right."

Thanks again.

Blogger Internet Street Philosopher said...

Hmm, have a blessed mission trip.

Blogger curious servant said...

Can't keep away... Hoping all is going well in S.L.

Blogger jollybeggar said...

hey thanks CS and SP...
it was an incredible journey-
always is.

i am looking forward to further dialogue with you guys.



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