A pinnacle of light


"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in the world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world", C.S. Lewis.

Our deepest longings for love, beauty, order, joy, satisfaction, .... are rarely fulfilled. Plato, in his quest for the divine, used the analogy of a darkened cave and our natural desire to press toward the pinnacle of light in the distance, so as to walk in the green meadow beyond. Plato's analogy serves as an image of the souls ascent into the reality of the ideal form. Yet, is it possible to prove the existence of the other from our own sensual being? Is it possible to describe God by an examination of our own character, our own inner desires and aspirations? Does our understanding of the existence of God begin with ourselves?

The Bible tells us that a knowledge of God's existence, "his eternal power and divine nature, has been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made." Yet, "although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him." In the end, all we can know from ourselves and our environment, is that we are in a dark cave and that there is a light in the distance, but it is well beyond our reach. It is left to God to reach out to us, and even then he only reaches out to those who want his help. It is only then we come to know God and walk in the green meadow. Faith leads to knowledge, so where there is no faith there is no knowledge.

Remember back to the tragic death of Diana, the Princess of Wales. There was disbelief, grief, but above all, anger. It is true that anger is a very normal part of the grieving process. It usually precedes the soft sadness that leads to acceptance. Yet, this was unhealthy fault-finding. The media was to blame, the French, Charles, the Queen, the British secret service, the driver, women's magazines, we were to blame for buying the women's magazines..... even God was to blame (he was punishing her for going out with a Muslim). "Their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened."

The death of someone we love reminds us of our own frailty, hidden in the dark cave of life; it reminds us of the dust of our mortality and prompts us to find that distant light so that we may walk in the green meadow.


[Pumpkin Cottage]