Davis asked us to read it in the fall.
We didn’t know he was going to pass away, suddenly, unexpectedly. He had just agreed to lead our small group, and he gave everyone a copy of The Great Divorce, an allegory/fantasy by C.S. Lewis. I had not read this book before.
During the winter, Davis was admitted to the hospital and continued his journey to heaven from there.
The first time I read The Great Divorce I couldn’t stop thinking about Davis.
The second time I read it, which was last week, I still thought of Davis, but this time I was better able to understand and appreciate the flow of the story.
The book asks whose “will” will be done, ours or God’s? Is there any freedom, even in eternity, from perhaps the strongest form of bondage in the universe – the bondage to our selves – our wants, desires and pride?
“Here at least
we shall be free; the Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
Here we may reign secure, and in my choice
to reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven.”
– from John Milton’s Paradise Lost
And this from “Space Seed,” a 1967 episode of Star Trek…
CAPTAIN KIRK: [after stopping Khan’s attempted takeover of the Enterprise] Those men went on to tame a continent, Mr. Khan. can you tame a world?
KHAN: Have you ever read Milton, captain?
KIRK: Yes. I understand. [Khan is escorted out by Security]
SCOTTY: It’s a shame for a good Scotsman to admit it, but I’m not up on Milton.
KIRK: The statement Lucifer made when he fell into the pit: “It is better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven”.
I know you’ve been freed from that bondage Davis. Great book! Can’t wait to thank you in person.