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The ancient Persians debated everything twice.

I know this is the opposite of what is often said about the necessity of keeping all emotion out of our intellectual processes –“you can’t think straight unless you are cool.” But then neither can you think deep if you are.  I suppose one must try every problem in both states.  You remember that the ancient Persians debated everything twice: once when they were drunk and once when they were sober.

This is an excerpt from Letters To Malcolm, C.S. Lewis’s primary work on prayer.

I’m not planning to start thinking through life’s questions and my own ponderings in both a sober and drunken state (although that’s one idea) … but I do think there’s value in looking at life from a multitude of perspectives: alone and with a community, in darkness and in joy, in youth and old age, with tears and while laughing, in the heat of emotion and logically reasoned.

What feels overwhelming or unapproachable or important in one state, may take on a refined meaning in another.


About Samantha Curley

Hi! My name is Samantha Curley. I live in Pasadena, California where I run a non-profit organization called Level Ground (onlevelground.org). I like to ponder, ask questions, and share stories about life, art, and faith.


One thought on “The ancient Persians debated everything twice.

  1. Thanks for the thought and the quotation. I’d forgotten this passage from the book. Like you, I’ll need to apply the principle as Lewis himself did, not following the example of the Persians in letter, but in spirit!

    Posted by robstroud | February 14, 2012, 11:56 AM

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