Inquiry for Truth

"There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, in the end, 'Thy will be done.'"  
In one of his classic works, The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis wrote of two men engaged in a theological discussion where this statement was made:

"Once you were a child. Once you knew what inquiry was for.
There was a time when you asked questions because you wanted answers, and were glad when you had found them. Become that child again: even now. . . . Thirst was made for water; inquiry for truth. What you now call the free play of inquiry has neither more nor less to do with the ends for which intelligence was given you than masturbation has to do with marriage."1

I don't adhere to much of Lewis's theology, but his point is well made and the story well told. When love of being right eclipses a love for truth, great tragedy can occur resulting in cognitive corruption. It's not wrong to be right, but right as its own end seems wrong. Because, ultimately it's not about us. We are stewards, even of truth and intelligence.

1. C.S. Lewis, The Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Classics, The Great Divorce (HarperOne, 2002), 487.

2 comments:

Dawn McLaughlin83 said...

Isn't it a revelation that life is NOT about us? Where did we ever get a hold of the idea that it was? At some point a line gets crossed as we age that says if we ask questions because we don't know, it can be perceived as weakness so don't ask. Crazy, mixed up notion there!
I have found it freeing to discipline myself to the school of "it's not about me!" A change in my ways for sure but knowledge weighs nothing and better to carry that than a load of guilt or shame because you didn't ask and learn.
C.S. Lewis has a unique way with words for sure!!

S. Edwin Rufener said...

Well said. One word "hellenism." You've inspired another post. Blessings