Supposing you hear a cry or help from a man in danger. You will probably feel two desires – one a desire to give help (due to your herd instinct), the other a desire to keep out of danger (due to the instinct for self-preservation). But you will find inside you, in addition to these two impulses, a third thing which tells you that you ought to follow the impulse to help, and suppress the impulse to run away. Now this thing that judges between two instincts, that decides which should be encouraged, cannot itself be either of them. You might as well say that the sheet of music which tells you, at a given moment, to play one note on the piano and not another, is itself one of the notes on the keyboard. The Moral Law tells us the tune we have to play: our instincts are merely the keys. – C.S. Lewis; Mere Christianity (pg10)
Strictly speaking, there are no such things as good and bad impulses. Think once again of a piano. It has not got two kinds of notes on it, the ‘right’ notes and the ‘wrong’ ones. Every single note is right at one time and wrong at another. The Moral Law is not any one instinct or set of instincts: it is something which makes a kind of tune (the tune we call goodness or right conduct) by directing the instincts.– C.S. Lewis; Mere Christianity (pg11)
I recall reading Mere Christianity a few years ago. I was in a cabin in a remote area, a friend and I were on a retreat of sorts. I was sitting in the loft area, reading these passages and then it hit me. God is the grand composer. Sweet music doesn’t happen randomly, an intelligent being puts notes on staves in such a way that they sound melodious when played together. I thought of my favourite classical pieces and the complex way the musical notes intertwine, dancing around each other, complimenting one another. These things don’t just happen, thought and time goes into each piece.
I thought of earth the trees growing in the backyard, the deer that walk across the lawns, even the squirrels that ran up and down the trees looking for food. The complexity of each animal, the way trees grow, the water cycle and the fluffy clouds, I thought of these things, could they really have all happened by chance?
I thought about myself. My body, the blood the runs through my veins, the complexity of my brain and I wondered, how could this have all happened by chance?
I thought of how we are all connected as though derived from a similar place and I wondered, is it not possible that an intelligent being saw something that worked and then reworked it, making it better and better at each iteration?
Then, I thought of the notes. The music. The melody in the chaos of black and white. Left alone, things decay, spoil, die, but intelligence begat order and life.