5 thoughts on “Shadowlands”

  1. Yes, Lewis was often much more of a Platonist, a lover of the Romance of Paganism, and an Esotericist than “orthodox Christians” are comfortable with. It cost him his relationship with Tolkien, but they both struggled a bit with some of the same things as it surfaced in their Nordicism and love of Wagner — all very troubling for Brits off their generation. Their academic world of north European philology was a product of Romanticism and specially touched and torn by the wars, by nationalism, and by the holocaust. “Shadowlands” is a literal translation of Das Abendlands, which means “The West” or “The Occident,” all terms that evokes one of the oldest ongoing bloody ideological divisions we have.

    1. Thank you. Not sure about Shadowlands being a translation of “Abendlands”; it’s certainly not a literal one. I’m reminded more of purgatory in Lewis’ “The Great Divorce”, a shadow or pale reflection of heaven.

      I can see the Abendlands in Lord of the Rings, tho.

  2. I had thought “Shadowlands” is about Lewis (by Brian Sibley or other writers), not by Lewis himself. Then I found the word “Shadowlands” in the quote from The Last Battle of Narnian series. So, this is his idea.

    What did Lewis mean by “Shadowlands”? According to Marc, “That suggests that this reality, this planet Earth, is the “Shadowlands”, i.e. a preparation for the reality which comes in another world. That fits with the idea in “The Great Divorce”, where Heaven is the real reality: what was experienced before Heaven was only half real. Hell, or purgatory, is a kind of “shadowlands”: everything is grey and cloudy and dull. Not exactly night, but not exactly bright day either.” I agree, so Shadowlands is earthly life or where shadows live? It is a complicated matter. In The Great Divorce, the characters who take a bus trip to Heaven are actually ghosts but they don’t realize they are ghosts because the place where they lived while they were alive is quite like the grey town. Now I no longer have the book to make sure, but I remember this: once you choose Heaven (meaning letting go of everything including your “self”, or committing your life to the Christ), you’ll find this world has been a part of Heaven itself from the beginning, and vice versa. So, for some people, this world is a part of Heaven, and for others a part of Hell.

    “Shadowlands” would be uniquely Lewis’ idea (or maybe Christian idea?), but the idea that this world is not a real reality is not only his. I’ve remembered Plato’s “イデア論”. (This seems to be called “Theory of Forms” in English.) According to Plato (Wikipedia) “.. Plato’s belief that the material world as it seems to us is not the real world, but only a shadow of the real world.”

    1. This idea that our present reality is only a copy and shadow of the *true* reality is also found in the New Testament where Paul writes that Jewish religious ceremonies are shadows of true reality (Colossians 2:17). The same idea shows up in Hebrews 8-10 where the Jewish priesthood and tabernacle are shown to be shadows and copies of the true reality that is in heaven. It could be argued that John also has this idea in the beginning of his gospel, where he says that no one has seen the Father, but that the Son has revealed him … the idea being that we start to understand true reality through observing Jesus’ life here on earth.

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