Thursday, January 20, 2011

Beyond imagining

Moonlight streamed into a poet’s bedroom. When asleep, the poet dreamt of a charming silver world. Hills tipped with silver light, birds with silver beaks, everything touched with silver. Then the poem ‘The Silver World’ ends with the stanza:

'But I was glad when I awoke
And peeped this morning through the pane
To see no more a silver world
But find my golden one again.'

We often talk of ‘dreams’—whether waking daydream or of sleep time, as something sweet and desirable. But just think, can any of those dreams be better than reality? Or, say, a landscape painting. However great the artist, can the painted picture be as good as the real scenery?

And to think that the scenery is still so beautiful despite human beings destroying this earth for so many centuries—how beautiful it must have been when it was newly created! And if the reality of this world is so much better than our most fantastic wishful thinking, how much more the world beyond! A country singer sings about heaven as:

'Made by God alone
According to His perfect plan…'

How beautiful such a place must be!

In the story The Silver Chair, one of the Narnian Chronicles by CS Lewis, the wicked witch abducted Prince Rillian and kept him imprisoned underground. With her magic powers she made him forget his family, his people and his country. Aslan the Lion sent a girl, a boy and a marshwiggle to rescue him.

The prince came back to his senses, he and his rescuers were about to escape. Then the witch tried her tricks to make them doubt the existence of any world beyond the dark underground. She made them feel that the country above ground with its sun, trees, grass, moon and stars, and Aslan himself, were only dreams.

Puddlegum the marshwiggle made a sane reply: “Suppose we have only dreamed …. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well it strikes me as a pretty poor one…. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play world. I’m on Aslan’s side….”

Just like it’s difficult to explain the real world above ground to those living in the underworld, it’s hard to imagine the beauty and glory of heaven. Same with the terror and horror of hell.

The truths revealed to us are too wonderful for human invention. The nature of God and his plan of salvation for mankind through Christ are all beyond our imagination.

‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.’—Bible.


illusionaire said...

Beautiful, and so true about how it is difficult to explain or visualize how the Kingdom of Heaven or Hell looks like.

mesjay said...

@Illusionaire, thanks. Yeah, because the other worlds are so difficult to visualize, some people decide to deny their existence.

Anonymous said...

Just watched "Voyage of the Dawn Treader" and then saw your post, purely coincidental..
The one line which struck me was when the mouse, Reepicheep, said something like "What are we without our beliefs?"
Different cultures and religions have their own interpretation of Heaven and Hell, the Heavens having abundance of what their culture deprives them of, and the Hells being their worst nightmares.
I guess the feeling that a better world exists beyond our own gives us the hope to go on with our lives day after day.

mesjay said...

@Blackestred, how did you like the Dawntreader movie? I haven't watched it but read some review, rather uncomplimentary. But the books are great - the whole series of the Narnian Chronicles. Though meant for children, are equally enjoyable for adults.

Beliefs - yes, we all make up our imaginary other worlds. But the real ones, as Bible tells us, are much more than we can imagine with our human minds.

sawmpuia said...

This post remind me of Sadhu Sundar Singh quote "The Indian Seer lost God in Nature; the Christian mystic, on the other hand, finds God in Nature. The Hindu mystic believes that God and Nature are one and the same; the Christian mystic knows that there must be a Creator to account for the universe."

mesjay said...

@Sawmpui, true, nature is so powerful, perhaps it can cause us to either lose or find God, depending on our approach.

Jerusha said...

Reminds me of something my mom always told me when I used to tell her that sometimes it's difficult to believe the existence of God. She'd say 'Just look at the forest, the hills and mountains and flowers, and the night sky with its many stars, then you won't be able to deny that there's no creator involved.

mesjay said...

@Jerusha, yeah, looking at nature and even humans, i'd say it takes a lot of 'blind faith' to believe there's no Creator.