When it began to be said that Tash and Aslan were one, then the world became dark in my yes. For always since I was a boy, I have served Taash and my great desire was to know more of him and, if it might be, to look upon his face. But the name of Aslan was hateful to me...
But when [those in charge] said that all who desired to look upon Tashlan - for so they mixed the two words to pretend that they were all one - must pass one by one into the hovel [before them]. And I said to myself, Doubtless this is some other deception. But when [another] had gone in and had come out again in a madness of terror, then I said to myself, Surely the true Tash, whom thay called on without knowledge or belief, has now come among us, and will avenge himself. And though my heart was turned into water inside me because of the greatness and terror of Tash, yet my desire was stronger than my fear, and I put force upon my knees to stay them from trembling, and on my teeth that they should not chatter, and resolved to look upon the face of Tash, though he should slay me. So I offered myself to go into the hovel...
Then I looked about me and saw the sky and the wide lands and smelled the sweetness. And I said, By the Gods, this is a pleasant place; it may be that I am come into the country of Tash. And I began to journey into the strange country and to seek him.
So I went over much grass and many flowers and among all kinds of wholesome and delectable trees till lo! in a narrow place between two rocks there came to meet me a great Lion. The speed of him was like the ostrich, and his size was an elephant's; his hair was like pure gold and hte brightness of his eyes, like gold that is liquid in the furnace... Then I fell at his feet and thought, Surely this is the hours of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honour) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him... But the Glorious One bend down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, Son, thou art welcome. But I said, Alas, Lord, I am no son of Thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thaou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me. Then by reason of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true... that thou and Tash are one? The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which that hast done to him, for I and he ar of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath's sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted... But I said also (for the truth constrained me), Yes I have been seeking Tash all my days. Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
C.S. Lewis on Inclusivism
In the last of his books written for children, The Last Battle, Lewis includes a passage where a servant of the false god, Tash, recounts standing before the judgment of Aslan (Lewis' Christ-figure, who appears in the form of a fiersome lion).