excerpt from the book i am currently reading

from the preface . . .

"i do not think that all who choose wrong roads perish; but their rescue consists in being put back on the right road. a wrong sum can be put right: but only by going back till you find the error and working it afresh from that point, never by simply going on. evil can be undone, but it cannot 'develop' into good. time does not heal it. the spell must be unwound, bit by bit, 'with backward mutters of dissevering power'—or else not. it is still 'either-or.' if we insist on keeping hell (or even earth) we shall not see heaven: if we accept heaven we shall not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of hell. i believe, to be sure, that any man who reaches heaven will find that what he abandoned (even in plucking out his right eye) was precisely nothing: that the kernel of what he was really seeking even in his most depraved wishes will be there, beyond expectation, waiting for him in 'the high countries.' in that sense it will be true for those who have completed the journey (and for no others) to say that good is everything and heaven everywhere. but we, at this end of the road, must not try to anticipate that retrospective vision. if we do, we are likely to embrace the false and disastrous converse and fancy that everything is good and everywhere is heaven.

but what, you ask, of earth? earth, i think, will not be found by anyone to be in the end a very distinct place. i think earth, if chosen instead of heaven, will turn out to have been, all along, only a region in hell: and earth, if put second to heaven, to have been from the beginning a part of heaven itself."

~c. s. lewis, from the great divorce


EnnythingGoes said...


Georgia B. said...

hay, spellcheck Mama. you forgot to spellcheck the title on this one before i fixed it. did you notice i had the word excerpt spelled wrong?

Char said...

I came back and read this three times before I could wrap my brain around everything that he is saying here. I never did very well in philosophy as I am sort of the literal type, but, it makes sense that you have to undo evil - or return to the right path.

Georgia B. said...

hahaha. . .Char, don't feel bad. whenever i read anything by Lewis, i have to read each sentence at least twice! i always eventually grasp what he is saying, but sometimes it takes a few attempts. and often, it requires a dictionary by my side. :)

Chris Greene said...

I had to read it a couple times too. But once I understood most of it (at least, I think I did), I'm kinda blown away. This really made me think. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it. I haven't thought about that last part in a long while.

Thank you for putting this up and telling me about it, Georgia.

Claire said...


thank you for sharing from this litrary giant. i am busy with his "four loves" at present.

this passage that you have shared, is where i am at present in my walk with God. i have asked Him to become my everything so that nothing here could appear to be heaven. He is teaching me that i have to voluntarily lay down the evils onto which i cling so that He is able to proceed further along the correct road.

thank you for being a reassuring hand in the process my g.

this post was uplifting and encouraging.

Jekisa Jean said...


on several levels. :)

great photo
great quote
great book
great intellectual who took great photo and is reading great book :)

Bruce said...

Hi - this is my first comment on your blog. I like the general quote of Elliott Erwitt you put up in the sidebar. An I see you're putting it into practice with the shadow photo's you've posted.

I also read C.S. Lewis' excerpt at least twice to get a grip on it. The question that comes to mind is: do I go back often enough? Far enough? Where have I found error and started afresh?

Well I do see 2009 as fresh start, and my first blogging as an attempt take a better look at ordinary things.

Thanks for the quote!

Chris said...


Great image, too.

shilvia said...

now i have to find this book!!! thank you for letting me know of such wonderful book :)