Monday, May 08, 2006

What else is there? II

"You can't get second things by putting them first; you can get second things only by putting first things first."

So says C.S. Lewis. To see the truth of that one need only consider a man who, observing other men satisfied and content in marriage, makes it the goal of his marriage to content and satisfy himself. Such a man is putting second things first and won't get them, but misery.

Had he put first things first and made it his purpose to produce and rear his children well, he could have had all the contentment and satisfaction hoped he'd for.

No matter how tricky or evolved we suppose ourselves, failure to follow the natural order only and always ends in ruin.

Lewis continues, "[f]rom which it would follow that the question, What things are first? is of concern not only to philosophers but everyone".

Quite so. The answer is especially important because it's almost always the second things we really want, and usually quite a bit more than the first things. That is, no man shovels dog excrement for the putrid ritual of it. He shovels because he wants a clean back yard in which to swill beer.

So if second things are what we want, and getting them depends on putting first things first, what we've really got to discern is what things are first things.

We pretend we know what first things are. We spend an awful lot of time doing things we hope are going to give good results. We seem to be failing all around. There are now whole teams of liberals that do nothing but point to the 'root causes' of all the horrors we've made, but what they call causes are only other sad symptoms of the same first cause.

I ask the good reader to entertain the possibility that we, collectively, have lost all sight of what things are first and hence failed to put them first. I ask the good reader to entertain also that as a result we have now upended God's order on so grand a scale that even the most basic things of humanity (things like male, female, marriage, family) are becoming disordered and confused.

Such is the terrific outcome of putting second things first.

This is the second of three parts. Read part one here and part three here.


Jim said...

It's not that clear what your talking about, or referring to. Are you saying that you dont like CS Lewis, or is there more to this?
In your follow-up, would you be so kind as to give
some examples, and maybe offer something is the way of solutions? Thanks old boy. ;o)

J D Carriere said...

Three parts, Jimbo. Three. Check back in a few days.

jif said...

a few days??? its been over a week. Wherefore art part three, romaneo?
the suspense is killllllling me.

J D Carriere said...

So sorry. Life intrudes from time to time. You understand. I hope to post again shortly.