Rumors of Another World

Here’s my Lewis quote for the day:

A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.

I like Phillip Yancey’s writing because it’s laced with the same idea. I’ve got a book by him called I Was Just Wondering, in which he comments on how strange it is that we are uncomfortable with so many things that are natural to all living creatures. Things like nakedness, dying, sex, and defecation strike us as funny. In fact, take away those four things and you’ll eliminate 97% of all jokes and curse words. Yancey asks, “Why is that?” He explains what he calls the theology of dirty jokes.

Can you imagine a cow being embarrassed about “relieving itself” out in the field in front of the other cows? Only people would show shame over something like that. I laughed when Sam the Eagle on the Muppet Show realized for the first time that he was naked. I was probably six years old, but I got the irony. So why is it that only human beings blush at these things?

Yancey suggests that maybe we feel uncomfortable about our own excrement because we somehow feel that we were made for better things. Somehow the creatures we were created to be shouldn’t produce something like that. And somehow we were never meant to feel nakedness, or witness death. So we make light of it. We cut jokes about it. We find each of these things intrinsically funny, because irony is the root of all humor.

Yeah, I think they’re on to something.

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2 Responses to “Rumors of Another World”

  1. Sarah Says:

    I love that cs lewis quote.

    and, uh, can we talk about something else? I’m feeling a wee bit uncomfortable… ;P

  2. J. Samuel Thomas Says:

    God is love.

    I think that “undefinable” desire is just that. Love,

    As for poop, maybe it has it’s place.
    Makes a great fertilizer.

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