The Inconsolable Secret

baxterstill071 copy 2This is the truth about all of us.  It is the human predicament.  We have all been addressed. And we know that we are made for higher things.  It all stirs within us, whether we are very conscious of it or not.  And the stew that this stirring makes inside of us Lewis calls ‘desire,’ ‘longing’ and even ‘joy.’  He calls it ‘joy’ because even the frustration that it creates is more precious to us than anything else on earth.  But his best phrase for it is ‘the inconsolable secret.’

. . . In the 1600’s, Sir Isaac Newton put God in a box and reduced Him to a spectator watching the universe from a distance.  With God safely tucked away somewhere up there, the Western world moved on with life, trusting that science, technology and politics could solve our problems and deliver our dreams to us.  We have hoped in them now for a long time.  And they have given us many things, many conveniences and comforts and freedoms.  In fact, they have helped produce the most free and prosperous nation on earth—but also the most anxious. 

For all of their gifts, science, technology and politics have not been able to touch the soul.  Neither has wealth or sports or entertainment.  They have not answered the real question.  The longing, the aching, the inconsolable secret, is still with us, still in us, still unanswered, and still passing judgment upon us and our conveniences, comforts and prosperity.  It is still reminding us that we have not yet found the higher thing for which we all know we are made. 

–C. Baxter Kruger
From Ghosts to Persons:
C. S. Lewis’ Vision of Christianity

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