Saturday, August 29, 2015

"goodness occurred and he tasted it"

A jog to the church following the boys on bikes + a couple more miles with mom + an accidental wandering through the neighborhood 'cause the gate got left open + play with his other puppy friend Ruby Lou = Banjo's best day of his life.  August 22, 2015

The best and most creative, insightful description of animal consciousness I've ever read (and maybe the only one!?): 

"Mr. Bultitude's mind was as furry and unhuman in shape as his body.  He did not remember, as a man in his situation would have remembered, the provincial zoo from which he had escaped during a fire, not his first snarling and terrified arrival at the Manor, not the slow stages whereby he had learned to love and trust its inhabitants.  He did not know that he loved and trusted them now.  He did not know that they were people, nor that he was a bear.  Indeed, he did not know that he existed at all:  everything that is represented by the words I and Me and Thou was absent from his mind.  When Mrs. Maggs gave him a tin of golden syrup, as she did every Sunday morning, he did not recognise either a giver or a recipient.  Goodness occurred and he tasted it.  And that was all.  Hence his loves might, if you wished, be all described as cupboard loves:  food and warmth, hands that caressed, voices that reassured, were their objects.  But if by a cupboard love you meant something cold or calculating you would be quite misunderstanding the real quality of the beast's sensations.  He was no more like a human egoist than he was like a human altruist.  There was no prose in his life.  The appentencies which a human mind might disdain as cupboard loves were for him quivering and ecstatic aspirations which absorbed his whole being, infinite yearnings, stabbed with the threat of tragedy and shot through with the colour of Paradise.  One of our race, if plunged back for a moment in the warm, trembling, iridescent pool of that pre-Adamite consciousness, would have emerged believing that he had grasped the absolute:  for the states below reason and the states above it have, by their common constast to the life we know, a certain superficial resemblance.  Sometimes there returns to us from infancy the memory of a nameless delight or terror, unattached to any delightful or dreadful thing, a potent adjective floating in a nounless void, a pure quality.  At such moments we have experience of the shallows of that pool.  But fathoms deeper than any memory can take us, right down in the central warmth and dimness, the bear lived all its life."  C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength

No comments: