C.S. Lewis would’ve said “zero.” It’s the Tao that helps you find the beer.
It is Nature, it is the Way, the Road. It is the Way in which the universe goes on, the Way in which things everlastingly emerge, stilly and tranquilly, into space and time. It is also the Way which every man should tread in imitation of that cosmic and supercosmic progression, conforming all activities to that great exemplar.
That’s C.S. Lewis writing about the Tao in his famous book, The Abolition of Man. Since the book’s publication in 1947, Lewis’s name has been associated with the Tao because of his love and respect for the natural law it embodies.
But I associate Lewis with the Tao for a different reason: his beer drinking.
You see, Lewis spent many Tuesday mornings at the Eagle and Child public house drinking beer with J.R.R. Tolkien and other friends.
It’s vintage Lewis. Although he was at times melancholy, Lewis could find enjoyment almost anywhere doing almost anything: attending church, taking long country walks, living at his humble Kilns, tutoring students, writing theology or children’s fiction, teaching.
The difference between enjoying and enjoying the enjoying
Lewis’s capacity for enjoyment stemmed at least partly from the early influence of a little-known Australian philosopher named Samuel Alexander.
Alexander pointed out the distinction between enjoying something and being aware of the enjoying. Here’s how Lewis put it:
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“Enjoyment and the contemplation of our inner activities are incompatible. You cannot hope and also think about hoping at the same moment. Of course, the two activities can and do alternate with great rapidity, but they are distinct and incompatible.