Self, other, and transcendence

We are not content to be Leibnitzian monads. We demand windows. Literature as Logos is a series of windows, even of doors. One of the things we feel after reading a great work is “I have got out.” Or from another point of view, “I have got in”; pierced the shell of some other monad and discovered what it is like inside. …

The man who is contented to be only himself, and therefore less a self, is in prison. My own eyes are not enough for me, I will see through those of others. …

In reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.

C.S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism, pp. 138, 140-1



  1. Just like The Holy Trinity is a whole and the three Persons live through one another, so is creation, angelic order and then the human order. Of course, The Holy Trinity and creation also form a bigger whole and The Holy Trinity lives through creation and creation through The Holy Trinity, each in its specific way.

  2. I believe it is a principle of love to see how others are different than you, beautiful in their own way and be happy and content to experience the world through them, instead of wanting what they have for yourself (let's say).

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