TO MRS. RAY GARRETT: On the real program of the spiritual life—living in the present moment.
12 September 1960
The whole lesson of my life has been that no ‘methods of stimulation’ are of any lasting use. They are indeed like drugs—a stronger dose is needed each time and soon no possible dose is effective. We must not bother about thrills at all. Do the present duty—bear the present pain—enjoy the present pleasure—and leave emotions and ‘experiences’ to look after themselves.
That’s the programme, isn’t it?
Could Lewis succinctly express profound truths, or what?
“Tolerance,” is a double-edged sword. While we must practice tolerance of others’ faults, or become guilty of judging, we must not develop tolerance(become desensitized) for “methods of stimulation,” such as emotional pleasure or pain. This moment is all we have to give our Eternal Lover, and to experience life in the moment, we must not anticipate the pleasure, dread the pain, or regret the inevitable mistakes.
Of course, to experience our fullest life we must do our best to be our best, and we can achieve that best only in the power of God’s Holy Spirit. Our Savior created us as we are—warts and all—so he might empower us to become the man or woman of his vision.