C.S. Lewis eternity

The Eternal Perspective: No Mere Mortals

6:00:00 AMJonah Soucy

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“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit” (1).
The other night, I had the opportunity to go see a one man play titled C.S. Lewis: The Most Reluctant Convert, an off-Broadway act which was really incredible. The quote above is one that I haven’t been able to get out of my head since going.


Stepping out of the theater, I looked at the city in a way that was drastically different than how I looked at it when I walked in. As I walked through JFK airport a few days later, that quote continued to play through my head as I walked past thousands of people, each traveling to different parts of the world, where tens of thousands more wait for them in the form of family and  friends, lovers and employers. In New York there are over 8 million people. On Earth there are 7 billion. Each is truly unique, never to be repeated.


Kierkegaard writes that man is a synthesis of the finite and the infinite, time and eternity (2). We have within us conflicting desires. Are we built for something special? Or are we a simple cog in the great machine of the universe? Destined to rust away, easily replaceable. If there is no meaning behind then our existence is a cruel and sick joke, a laughable tragedy. But what if we were made for more? What if we really do have a role to play in the drama of history that is unfolding all around us, at every moment of every day?


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To give evidence for the immortality of the soul and the existence of God is tempting, but there is simply too much ground there to cover for a single blog post to do it any sort of justice. I could go into how scientists still don’t have an understanding of consciousness. Sure, there are explanations for how our memories are stored, how our sense data works. But there’s still no great explanation for our lateral self presence. How is it that man can reflect on the deeper things of the universe? Or I could give a defense of the many different avenues and arguments for God. But again, that’s not the main point that I’m trying to make today. The point that I want to drive home is a simple one, and I hope to leave you, dear reader, with the same haunting feeling I felt walking out of that C.S. Lewis play. If it's all true, if we have this stamp of immortality on us, what are we doing about it? And how are we looking at the people around us?


Reflecting on those words of C.S. Lewis, my mind connected back to the personalism I so dearly love. Writers such as Alice and Dietrich von Hildebrand, Karol Wojtyla, Joseph Pieper; they understood this truth that C.S. Lewis touched on. He called it the “weight of glory”. When we view life through this lens, we see people and situations in a new light, an eternal perspective. Suffering and pain no longer have the same power over us. The little troubles of life get cast away from the foreground and into the back.


The uniqueness of every human being we come across speaks to the infinite and intrinsic value that each human life holds. Every single person you meet has this value pertaining to the metaphysical degree of their being.

And yet, we spend so much of our time putting up walls between us. Instead of having friendly conversations on the bus we put in our headphones and go off into our own world. We put our noses in our phones, not wanting to be disturbed. The population is rising, but we’re making the world a much more lonely place. How well are we loving our family and friends? Are we taking the time to let them know they are loved? That we show them we understand their worth and dignity? Where can we grow in these areas?


These aren’t easy questions. Our place in the universe seems so small and insignificant; yet, we have the power to make decisions that echo throughout eternity.We have the power to make a difference in people’s lives for the better, to bring joy to the afflicted, hope to the hopeless. We have the power to be good, and in being good to bring goodness into the world more and more every day.


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  1. C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory p. 45
  2. Soren Kierkegaard, The Sickness Unto Death, p. 1




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