From C.S. Lewis:
"The process of living seems to consist in coming to realize truths so ancient and simple that, if stated, they sound like barren platitudes. They cannot sound otherwise to those who have not had the relevant experience: that is why there is no real teaching of such truths possible and every generation starts from scratch."
Alas...I have forgotten from which book I took it. I read it years ago, and memorized it...though I had to resort to the internet to find it again and confirm the text. This is the trouble with relying too much on libraries for your reading material; once you've returned the book, you no longer have it for easy reference. Sigh...
The webpage on which I found it said it was from a letter to Dom Bede Griffiths, 8 May 1939, so perhaps I was reading an anthology of his letters. I'm not such a big fan of Lewis as I used to be, but would never doubt his wisdom. I just see more clearly now some of the limits of his understanding, and some edges where his insight fades into foggy speculation.
Anyway, the idea of "relevant experience" has always remained with me. In particular for us as queer people, whose experience with gender and sexuality transcends average heterosexual understanding, this quote points out to me the difficulty of sharing our understanding with the world. How can they have the relevant experience? I myself hated gay people...until I discovered that I was one of them. Then I hated myself for a long time, and finally I learned to love me...and my brothers and sisters.
Relevant experience taught me something so simple that, in various forms, it is the moral of most children's stories: "Step into the shoes of someone different than you, and you will learn to truly love them."
Lewis, in particular couldn't understand homosexuality which was "blank to his imagination." He was not really unkind about the issue, and was bothered by the intensity of Christian focus on it. Sex was to him one of the least important sins. He made a point of saying very little about this subject which he didn't really understand, for which I am grateful. Far too many Christians make bold proclamations in their ignorance, which only serve to obscure the simple truth.
There is no law against love.