This Itch

Context: He has just eaten a delicious gourd.

“As he let the empty gourd fall from his hand and was about to pluck a second one, it came into his head that he was now neither hungry nor thirsty. And yet to repeat a pleasure so intense and almost so spiritual seemed an obvious thing to do. His reason, or what we commonly take to be reason in our own world, was all in favour of tasting this miracle again; the childlike innocence of fruit, the labours he had undergone, the uncertainty of the future, all seemed to commend the action. Yet something seemed opposed to this “reason.” It is difficult to suppose that this opposition came from desire, for what desire would turn from so much deliciousness? But for whatever cause, it appeared to him better not to taste again. Perhaps the experience had been so complete that repetition would be vulgarity–like asking to hear the same symphony twice in a day….”

“…He had always disliked the people who encored a favourite air in the opera–“That just spoils it” had been his comment. But this now appeared to him as a principle of far wider application and deeper moment. This itch to have things over again, as if life were a film that could be unrolled twice or even made to work backwards…was it possibly the root of all evil? No: of course the love of money was called that. But money itself–perhaps one valued it chiefly as a defense against chance, a security for being able to have things over again, a means of arresting the unrolling of the film.”

Perelandra, C.S. Lewis

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6 thoughts on “This Itch

  1. Thanks for providing the context and a little more of the story…this makes me want to read this series…I started Out of the Silent Planet long ago but never finished it. May be time to try again!! Thanks, too, for letting us peak into Perelandra.

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