The Wood between the Worlds and the Pools of water

C. S. Lewis, his worlds, and his faith.

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The Wood between the Worlds and the Pools of water

Postby Tirian541 » Dec 14, 2010 7:21 pm

In Magician's Nephew there is the quiet Wood between the Worlds. It is a place that can only be gotten to by the yellow rings given to Digory and Polly. This Wood is visited about 2 times I think and one of those times with Jadis. When she was in it her power faded and she said she would die if left there.
In the Wood there are pools of water that lead to other worlds, including Charn (Jadis' home) and Narnia. I always loved the Wood between the Worlds cause C.S. Lewis never says how many pools there were or where they went.

I always wondered what C.S.Lewis' meaning for the Wood between the Worlds was. Like, Was there a Biblical meaning or a personal meaning or something?
Any thoughts?
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Re: The Wood between the Worlds and the Pools of water

Postby Ithilwen » Dec 14, 2010 8:19 pm

I think that there most likely was some meaning to it. I think a lot of things in the Chronicles have meaning behind them. For, although they are not strictly "allegories", even non-allegory can still use symbolism as a literary tool, and often does. (For example, I put symbolism into pretty much all my novels, yet I only consider one of them to be an actual allegory)

As for what it symbolizes, spiritually or personally, I'm not sure. We know it's a peaceful, sleepy place, most likely filled with the Spirit of God -- which is why it was pleasant for the "good" characters, but death for Jadis. And it's the starting place to many different paths, some good and some evil.
This is just a thought, of course, but perhaps C.S. Lewis at some time had a few choices laid before him -- different paths he could go down, and he was unable to see ahead of time which ones he should take, and to what sort of place they would take him. And instead of feeling afraid or stressed from the decision he had to make, maybe God gave him a sort of peace to calm him. Perhaps a sort of event like that could have insired him to make the place known as "The Wood Between the Worlds". :)


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Re: The Wood between the Worlds and the Pools of water

Postby Cineadh » Dec 15, 2010 8:56 am

I'm not sure if there was a deep spiritual meaning to it, but, rather, it was intended to increase the mystery and depth to Aslan/God. How many worlds has He created? How many has He died in for the sake of the Deep Magic and His creations? How many have the people of our world visited?

Essentially, he's opened up endless questions with endless possibilities, which I think was the purpose of including it.
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Re: The Wood between the Worlds and the Pools of water

Postby StarAsterisk » Dec 31, 2010 5:05 pm

good question. As others have said, yes i believe there i some meaning. I"m not sure what it is but it seems to be a spiritual crossroads... hmm.. wish i knew more about this.
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Re: The Wood between the Worlds and the Pools of water

Postby Dr Elwin Ransom » Jan 04, 2011 1:32 pm

cineadh wrote:I'm not sure if there was a deep spiritual meaning to it, but, rather, it was intended to increase the mystery and depth to Aslan/God. How many worlds has He created?

That's always how I read it as well: just more of the general idea of the mystery that God would be, if -- and this is the extra-Biblical, imaginative part -- He really had created other worlds out there, and been active in them.

Ithilwen wrote:I think that there most likely was some meaning to it. I think a lot of things in the Chronicles have meaning behind them. For, although they are not strictly "allegories", even non-allegory can still use symbolism as a literary tool, and often does.

Yes, but conversely, even specifically intended allegorical fiction can have non-allegorical elements. For example, I like to refer back to Lewis's own words about whether the "Chronicles" are pure allegory, which it turns out I refer to so often that we put it into the very Section Rules:

5.) Keep in mind that none of the Chronicles is an “allegory,” a story in which a thing or a person (such as Giant Despair in Pilgrim’s Progress) directly stands for something else. The Chronicles do contain elements that remind us of the Christian Bible, but they do not always exactly mirror it or how God works in the real world. We want to encourage discussions to delve deeper than questions of “does the White Witch equal Satan” or “Peter is exactly like King David.” Lewis himself says,

Some people seem to think that I began by asking myself how I could say something about Christianity to children; then fixed on the fairy tale as an instrument; then collected information about child-psychology and decided what age-group I’d write for; then drew up a list of basic Christian truths and hammered out “allegories” to embody them. This is all pure moonshine. I couldn’t write in that way at all. Everything began with images; a faun carrying an umbrella, a queen on a sledge, a magnificent lion. At first there wasn’t even anything Christian about them; that element pushed itself in of its own accord. It was part of the bubbling.
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Re: The Wood between the Worlds and the Pools of water

Postby Aravis Narnia » Jan 09, 2011 1:46 pm

I take it as meaning that no matter how many worlds and dimensions and universes there may be out there with intelligent life, we all share the same Deity. That there should be no conflict between science/fantasy and religion/spirituality.
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Re: The Wood between the Worlds and the Pools of water

Postby Conina » Jan 15, 2011 8:51 pm

It could have many meanings. I think it represents the limitless nature of God's creative power. I've had a pretty bad cold and while I was sick I re-read "Magician's Nephew" and "Silver Chair." I had never noticed how similar Aslan's country beyond the end of the world in SC is to the world between the world. I have wondered if that world between the world was Aslan's country. Just introduced differently or understood differently by the characters as time progresses.
"Reason is the natural order of truth; but imagination is the organ of meaning." -C.S. Lewis
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Re: The Wood between the Worlds and the Pools of water

Postby elrondaragorn » Jan 27, 2011 8:28 am

Conina wrote:I have wondered if that world between the world was Aslan's country. Just introduced differently or understood differently by the characters as time progresses.


I could be wrong about this, but I thought there was a hint in one of the books that there is a relationship between the wood and Aslan's country, but more indirect, like attached to it.
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Re: The Wood between the Worlds and the Pools of water

Postby Conina » Jan 29, 2011 10:57 pm

The Wood Between (MN) the Worlds could be the earthly shadow of the outer rim connecting all the worlds in LB.
"Reason is the natural order of truth; but imagination is the organ of meaning." -C.S. Lewis
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Re: The Wood between the Worlds and the Pools of water

Postby Lucy85 » Feb 04, 2011 11:46 am

For me, the wood between the worlds almost had an "enchanted ground" feel to it, like in Pilgrim's Progress, but in a good way. Whereas the enchanted ground in that book was sinister, I don't feel like the wood was sinister at all. They are similar in that both places make the characters feel sleepy and forgetful :) I do think, as others have said, that the wood could symbolize the Holy Spirit, in that it brings peace and rest to those who need it. I just got finished reading this part of MN in my car during lunch, so that scene is still very fresh in my mind :D
Wrong will be right when Aslan comes in sight / At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more / When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death / And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again
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