After reading the article by C.S. Lewis, “Meditation in a Toolshed”, I wondered if I was living by staring at the bright beam of light with wonder or looking along the beam. Then, I also landed to the same question as Lewis: Which one is the “valid” or “true”?
I understood from the article that looking at and looking along are very different from each other. Whereas looking at refers to objective or scientific explanation of a phenomenon from the outside, looking along is referred as a subjective or direct experience felt from the inside. The author uses the example of a man “loving” a woman (this is looking along) and a scientist’s definition of this attraction as mere “biological impulses” (this is looking at) to bring some light to both definitions.
Normally, as Lewis says, people take “for granted that the external account of a thing somehow refutes or “debunks” the account given from the inside” since it offers a more reasonable and logical thought. Making most to ignore and underestimate the value of looking along. Sometimes this seems justifiable; however I think it’s important for one to never forget that both are actually important.
To have a complete knowledge about basically anything, one must use both kinds of looking. Without either one of them, the view becomes narrow and the knowledge mediocre. It’s like a person who knows a recipe very well but has never touched a fry pan. To know it all, one must experience it all, and because one can experience, one can explain. Only because something exists, it is possible to explain it.
Thus the two kinds of looking are necessary since both cannot exist without each other’s existence. No matter how accurate an “outside” view of points is, it can’t exist without there being an “inside”, and equally, the “inside” cannot exist without the “outside”. Only because there is darkness that light can shine.
This was my first reading and reflection of the class, and I found it very interesting and thought-provoking. I’m always amazed when C.S. Lewis manages to uncover the simple yet important things of life that we often ignore and brings it forth for us to read, understand and consecutively apply it to our lives and way of living.
Life is a precious and wonderful gift from God. And I think it would be a shame to waste it without to not come to know it and love it. Thus I came to the realization that to do so, to live wholly, I must “look both along and at everything” (I guess as a student, the only thing I can do now is search for constructive experiences and study hard ^ ^)