I have taken to this particular piece.
My group of friends I have been with are educated, intelligent, and nearly all atheist.
My one friend never fails to give us his philosophy, "I am the universe. I am human. I am here to experience all it has to offer."
Which to me, combining this statement with his actions has leads me to believe that this is his candy coated way of saying, "I'm going to do whatever makes me happy."
This is very frustrating as well as intimidating because he is one of the most intelligent people I know. Frustrating because he is lost in his own world, not open to any sort of deist ideas. Intimidating because it makes me wonder how someone of such high intellect can be so wrong. Or is it us that are so wrong?
I like C.S. Lewis' comment on humans need for discovery. Either we are indulging in one of the largest hoax's of history, and technically no harm is done. Or we are exploring and doing exactly as God intended us to do...to search for him to ultimately find rest.
But this is not the main point of Lewis' essay. He is really discussing the danger of thinking, "Will I be happier as a Christian?" I completely understand his predicament here. My friends will often ask if I've found the formula for happiness in Christianity. One part of me wishes to say yes, but not here. The other part of me is red in the face because I know they have no actual drive to KNOW truth and how things are supposed to be...they just want to be happy.
I often meet the phrase, "Whatever makes you happy. What's true to you is true to you."
I posted my response to Mere Christianity on my face book (Yes, I unfortunately do have one.) and this was the response of my intellectual friend:
For once, I honestly have no criticism, constructive or otherwise. All that I have is respect, I'm really glad that you chose to lay it all out for everyone to see. This is basically the basis for everything that I believe about life or anything else.
Life is just as this: You live it, you feel it, you draw your own conclusions, you live by them and die by them. That's it, everything else is irrelevant. For me, it's all about the universal communion of one. I seek nothing more than to experience the universe that I am and that I exist within. If you experience this through the Christian faith then I have nothing more than the utmost respect for you as a man and as a friend.
Someday I will cross the abyss, behold my lady, Babalon. My blood will be spilled into her Graal and I will be one with the universe, a dweller within The City of the Pyramids.
The universe is nothing more than a question, for me, the answer is as simple as "Do what thou wilt."
The word 'absolute' is one rarely heard from this friend. Everything we as humans do we do out of desire. It's all about finding what makes us feel right. It's difficult to argue with someone who has come to this conclusion. It's also hard to see if they will progress their philosophies any further?
I have no problem with friends that are honestly searching the world for truth. I have nothing to worry about here, for I know truth. I know they won't stop until they find rest, which is only possible in God. It's difficult to try and talk to a friend who has stopped his journey for happiness and settled for simply indulging in whatever gives him 'positive feelings.'
I can empathize with those who search for truth. Like C.S. Lewis says (I'm hesitant to quote him TOO often) if they rest elsewhere, it is an honest mistake. But one cannot pretend to make an honest mistake. "to leave an open letter from the bank unread, frightened as to what it might say."
We're either this way or that. There is no sympathy for those who pretend not to hear or see. We are meant to search and discover. Fixing our restlessness comes later.