C.S. Lewis on delight, lust and temptation

(from Lewis circa 1930 )
I got such a sudden intense feeling of delight that IT (ie God) sort of stopped me in my walk and spun me round.  Indeed the sweetness was so great, and seemed so to affect the whole body as well as the mind, that it gave me pause -- it was so very like sex.
One knows what a psychoanalyst would say -- it is sublimated lust, a kind of defeated masturbation which fancy give one to compensate for external chastity.  Yet after all, why should that be the right way of looking at it?  If he can say that IT is sublimated sex, why is it not open to me to say that sex is undeveloped IT? -- As Plato would have said.  And if as Plato thought, the material world is a copy or mirror of the spiritual then the central feature of the material life (=sex), must be a copy of something in the Spirit: and when you get a faint glimpse of the latter, of course you find it like the former: an Original is like its copy: a man is like his portrait.
Just to give you the other side of the picture (I shall not often tell you these things) -- I have 'fallen' since you left after a long period of quite untroubled peace in that respect.  Serves me right, for I was beginning to fancy that I had really escaped, if not for good, at any rate for an indefinite time.  The interesting thing was that on both occasions the temptation arose quite suddenly, and carried me by storm    I don't mean to disclaim responsibility on this account: but I feel grateful that the enemy has been driven to resort to stratagems (not by me, but by God) whereas he used to walk boldly up to me for a frontal attack in the face of all my guns.  I hope I don't delude myself in thinking that this is an improvement.


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