The question we want to ask about Man’s ‘central’ position in this drama is really on a level with the disciples’ question, ‘Which of them was the greatest?’ It is the sort of question which God does not answer.
If from Man’s point of view the re-creation of non-human and even inanimate Nature appears a mere by-product of his own redemption, then equally from some remote, non-human point of view Man’s redemption may seem merely the preliminary to this more widely diffused springtime, and the very permission of Man’s fall may be supposed to have had that larger end in view.
Both attitudes will be right if they will consent to drop the words mere and merely. Nothing is ‘merely a by-product’ of anything else. All results are intended from the first.
What is subservient from one point of view is the main purpose from another. No thing or event is first or highest in a sense which forbids it to be also last and lowest. The partner who bows to Man in one movement of the dance receives Man’s reverences in another.
To be high or central means to abdicate continually: to be low means to be raised: all good masters are servants: God washes the feet of men. The concepts we usually bring to the consideration of such matters are miserably political and prosaic.
We think of flat repetitive equality and arbitrary privilege as the only two alternatives- thus missing all the overtones, the counterpoint, the vibrant sensitiveness, the inter-inanimations of reality.
From Miracles, by C. S. Lewis
Firstly, I am not sure “inter-inanimations” make sense in this quote, but I can find no evidence of it being a typo. There are days when it would be so convenient to send a deceased person a letter and get an answering one, but I guess Lewis deserves a break from correspondence for a while.
Third and lastly, there is a lot in here to unwind before I figure out how much I agree or disagree. Miracles is, by far, the most dense and difficult of Lewis’s works that I have encountered. I am acutely aware that I am not a scholar on his level, which seems to be the target audience. Still, I appreciate the challenge.