This is a bit of a Part 2 to my previous post of a few minutes ago. In that post I made reference to C.S. Lewis’ Abolition of Man, and the first chapter “Men Without Chests”. Over the past 3 weeks my son and I read that chapter and at the close he entered those concluding sentences in his Commonplace.
Here I go straying again from my original intent, but I wanted to acknowledge how grateful I am to the Charlotte Mason philosophy of slow-reading, and the Advisory of AmblesideOnline that have emphasized this over and over to their users, as well as the counsel of Cindy Rollins and Angelina Stanford for slow, deep, and contemplative reading. I’m reminded of this as I think about the comment I made following the posting on Facebook of my son’s Commonplace entry. I’m reminded that to really understand a quote or idea, much more context and time to contemplate is needed.
And now I quote myself:
I had seen these lines quoted on several occasions in the past few years, but it was in reading this chapter “Men Without Chests” with my son that I understood better (I hope) just what Lewis meant by “chests”. Even with the words “virtue” and “honor” in the quote, I still had this idea of Machismo — Superman puffing out his Chest. But what he’s addressing is men (humans) being robbed of what is associated with that organ in the chest — the Heart. He talks about modern textbooks discouraging beautiful, descriptive, moving passages, and teaching that only the (physical) facts are necessary. Students are robbed of the notion that it is valid to place a judgment of quality on an object or idea. They are robbed of beauty, of noble ideas, of Heart.
And just so’s you know where I got my post title: