CS Lewis' ideas and quotes

Mike_Key

Sparrow
I think CS Lewis’ ideas must be known to man in this current era. After thinking about all the ideas in the Man-o-sphere, I feel that many people know the basics of PUA, Red Pill/Black Pill and Mgtow; heck even of Soy-boy/Blue pill notions. Say “hypergamy” and everyone thinks Red Pill; say “neg her, push pull” and that’s PUA. The idea of a man not marrying / not having kids and him laughing at bankrupt divorced women is definitely Mgtow. Some may attribute Blue pill to Christianity but I think they would be mistaken when all factors (variables) and equations are taken into consideration. A Christian man is resolute in many of life's aspects when he has gone through proper discipleship – when he has the ideas that hold water.

Maybe this thread can capture CS Lewis' ideas and maxims. I wonder if he had heavenly visions, maybe in his dreams, that allowed him to be such a great writer.

On Love:

#1

Man will fail you, yes, but try to love and try to be loved. God will not fail you. (Paraphrase)

You have to love otherwise you create a sort of hell for yourself to live in ...
Because hell is the absence of trying to be loved and trying to love ...

#2

"Love becomes a demon when it becomes a god."

Reminds me of the current god-less culture in the USA with the meme 'love is love'.
Too, some cultures love everything and everyone but not critically. They love so much that they rarely speak of God.

#3

"Sex without marriage is like eating good food and then spitting it out."
(CS Lewis was never married however he prefaced his commentary reminding people that he references Scriptures and authority (other authors/clergy) and by observation of the many marriages he has seen over many decades)

On Life:

Life is a clunker, do the best you can with it. (Paraphrase)

Someone may make a play on this idea - by saying “Women are clunkers, … “
Lol
Haha

But whatever …
Some men are troubled too … and inferior.

On Satan:

The enemy, Satan, is a parasite because most all things on earth are good until evil corrupts them. (Paraphrase)

Sex is originally and generally good ...
Married sex …
Moderate food ...
Moderate wine ...
Business is good …
Giving is good ...
Decent comedy and humor ...

These are all good things until they are corrupted by a parasite called evil.

On Virtue and Vice:

Courage and bravery are virtues. Cowardice is a vice. (Paraphrase)

On War:

In times of peace people ignore good and evil entirely. God allows war and through that people see their own self loathing cowardice and in turn discover a whole new moral world. (Paraphrase)

The following ideas may be a blend of my own or Lewis’, from my notes I tend to forget which are mine. If the idea is great then it belongs to CS Lewis, how about that rule. Nonetheless, these ideas still relate to "On War:".

When there is danger the issues of good and evil are put in a guise (a shape of, an external appearance or semblance) that can be hidden from the human. The enemy doesn’t deal in bravery because it’s a virtue so therefore fight and achieve peace by strength and by fighting evil.

A moral stupor (suspension of sensibility) is what people are often found in. Too, the enemy has a dilemma if he goes to justice - because then it plays into God’s plan. If he does the opposite then God allows war and revolution. And people will wake up to morality.

This is a dangerous world, i.e. the natural conclusion after the fall of man, so don’t forget it. Courage is the highest of all virtues because honesty or chastity or mercy is only a virtue with conditions if danger arrives.

Pontius Pilate was only merciful until it became dangerous.

The modern day Peace sign is actually anti-peace because it invites war, it symbolizes cowardice.

War brings upon calm and stability.
 

Thomas More

Hummingbird
Great thread idea! Always loved the Screwtape letters. The Narnia series was good too. Lewis had a unique perspective on Christianity and civilization.
 

Captainstabbin

Hummingbird
Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.
 

Athanasius

Kingfisher
He's great. Don't miss reading the sublime The Weight of Glory. It's 30 minutes you won't regret. The most famous quote in it:

"f we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."
 
Powerful quote from C.S. Lewis, all the more so in our current age.

“In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”

― C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man
 

Mike_Key

Sparrow
Thanks for the replies, they are really great.

About the excerpt to follow, I think it's wonderful because it gives a perspective on war that is unheard of especially when our young men are being taught by women (in some case, fat, undisciplined, feminist, socialist, commies). Even if not as described, these women are rarely upright 'hawks' they are often over-fed old grannies with ample body fat and they are pacifists.

I don't believe that in all cases with Soldiers "words" can protect against PTSD but these words are powerful. They say that men are being stripped of something great when it comes to war, a proper view of it, a proper view of war.

The main quote for me is the following:

"War is a dreadful thing, and I can respect an honest pacifist, though I think he is entirely mistaken.  What I cannot understand is this sort of semi-pacifism you get nowadays which gives people the idea that though you have to fight, you ought to do it with a long face and as if you were ashamed of it.  It is that feeling that robs lots of magnificent young Christians in the Services of something they have a right to, something which is the natural accompaniment of courage - a kind of gaiety and wholeheartedness." WWI soldier CS Lewis - Mere Christianity

See, some men (not all) out of High School had been soft boys running around like girls at age 17 on a soccer field, then they go to military bootcamp. They come out playfully and boisterously attacking their fellow soldiers saying "You dead!", "I just killed you, dude, you're dead."

That's great that they are now brave and that they mock kill one another. But what happens when they comes back from War theater or a deployment. In some cases, they have PTSD. Had they learned all aspects of war and how to handle war (how to view it), I'm unsure. Had they been robbed of something they have or had a right to.

On War and Forgiveness:

CS Lewis Mere Christianity excerpt:

" ...;
Now a step further. Does loving your enemy mean not punishing him? No, for loving myself does not mean that I ought not to subject myself to punishment - even to death.  If you had committed a murder, the right Christian thing to do would be to give yourself up to the police and be hanged.  It is, therefore, in my opinion, perfectly right for a Christian judge to sentence a man to death or a Christian soldier to kill an enemy. I always have thought so, ever since I became a Christian, and long before the war, and I still think so now that we are at peace. It is no good quoting "Thou shalt not kill." There are two Greek words: the ordinary word to kill and the word to murder.  And when Christ quotes that commandment He uses the murder one in all three accounts, Matthew, Mark, and Luke.  And I am told there is the same distinction in Hebrew. All killing is not murder any more than all sexual intercourse is adultery.  When soldiers came to St John the Baptist asking what to do, he never remotely suggested that they ought to leave the army: nor did Christ when He met a Roman sergeant-major - what they called a centurion. The idea of the knight - the Christian in arms for the defence of a good cause - is one of the great Christian ideas.  War is a dreadful thing, and I can respect an honest pacifist, though I think he is entirely mistaken.  What I cannot understand is this sort of semi-pacifism you get nowadays which gives people the idea that though you have to fight, you ought to do it with a long face and as if you were ashamed of it.  It is that feeling that robs lots of magnificent young Christians in the Services of something they have a right to, something which is the natural accompaniment of courage - a kind of gaiety and wholeheartedness. 

I have often thought to myself how it would have been if, when I served in the First World War, I and some young German had killed each other simultaneously and found ourselves together a moment after death.  I cannot imagine that either of us would have felt any resentment or even any embarrassment.  I think we might have laughed over it.

I imagine somebody will say, 'Well, if one is allowed to condemn the enemy's acts and punish him, and kill him, what difference is left between Christian morality and the ordinary view?'  All the difference in the world.  Remember, we Christians think man lives for ever.  Therefore, what really matters is those little marks or twists on the central, inside part of the soul which are going to turn it, in the long run, into a heavenly or a hellish creature. We may kill if necessary, but we must not hate and enjoy hating.  We may punish if necessary, but we must not enjoy it.  In other words, something inside us, the feeling of resentment, the feeling that wants to get one's own back, must be simply killed.  I do not mean that anyone can decide this moment that he will never feel it any more.  That is not how things happen.  I mean that every time it bobs its head up, day after day, year after year, all our lives long, we must hit it on the head. It is hard work, but the attempt is not impossible. Even while we kill and punish we must try to feel about the enemy as we feel about ourselves - to wish that he were not bad, to hope that he may, in this world or another, be cured: in fact, to wish his good. That is what is meant in the Bible by loving him: wishing his good, not feeling fond of him nor saying he is nice when he is not.

I admit that this means loving people who have nothing lovable about them. But then, has oneself anything lovable about it? You love it simply because it is yourself. God intends us to love all selves in the same way and for the same reason: but He has given us the sum ready worked out in our own case to show us how it works. We have then to go on and apply the rule to all the other selves.  Perhaps it makes it easier if we remember that that is how He loves us. Not for any nice, attractive qualities we think we have, but just because we are things called selves.  For really there is nothing else in us to love: creatures like us who actually find hatred such a pleasure that to give it up is like giving up beer or tobacco ... " Mere Christianity
 

NoMoreTO

Pelican
I recently picked up a copy of Mere Christianity. My understanding is that CS Lewis was an atheist professor who spent time with other professors discussing deep philosophical questions, many of who were Christians. Over time, he became a Christian. I am interested to see his approach in this book which is extremely popular among Christians (I am only 40 pages in). I am hoping some of the points will be useful for people who atheists or agnostic about religion. I have heard from some that it is a good 'gateway' read.

If I read something that strikes me I'll be happy to post it here.
 

Athanasius

Kingfisher
NoMoreTO said:
I recently picked up a copy of Mere Christianity. My understanding is that CS Lewis was an atheist professor who spent time with other professors discussing deep philosophical questions, many of who were Christians. Over time, he became a Christian. I am interested to see his approach in this book which is extremely popular among Christians (I am only 40 pages in). I am hoping some of the points will be useful for people who atheists or agnostic about religion. I have heard from some that it is a good 'gateway' read.

If I read something that strikes me I'll be happy to post it here.
Yes, he was an English Lit professor who was converted through other professors, with I believe his "born again" experience occurring after a long night discussing things with JRR Tolkien. Central true it was his seeing Christianity as "true myth," the story that all stories about death and resurrection pointed to (and still do). The other thing I recommend is just reading the Bible. Read the books of Luke and John, for example, and ponder this character Jesus and what He says. There's just never been anyone like him in the history of the world.
 

Wutang

Hummingbird
Gold Member
Mike_Key said:
#3

"Sex without marriage is like eating good food and then spitting it out."
(CS Lewis was never married however he prefaced his commentary reminding people that he references Scriptures and authority (other authors/clergy) and by observation of the many marriages he has seen over many decades)
He actually married a Jewess who had converted to Christianity; his books being a facilitator for the conversion. She ended up dying from cancer early in their marriage. Her death resulted in him writing "A Grief Observed."
 

Athanasius

Kingfisher
From Lewis's introduction to my book "On the Incarnation" (OK, it was actually by the real Athanasius):

There is a strange idea abroad that in every subject the ancient books should be read only by the professionals, and that the amateur should content himself with the modern books. Thus I have found as a tutor in English literature that if the average student wants to find out something about Platonism, the very last thing he thinks of is to take a translation of Plato off the library shelf and read the Symposium. He would rather read some dreary modern book ten times as long, all about “isms” and influences and only once in twelve pages telling him what Plato actually said. The error is rather an amiable one, for it springs from humility. The student is half afraid to meet one of the great philosophers face to face. He feels himself inadequate and thinks he will not understand him. But if only he knew, the great man, just because of his greatness, is much more intelligible than his modern commentator. The simplest student will be able to understand, if not all, yet a very great deal of what Plato said; but hardly anyone can understand some modern books on Platonism. It has therefore been one of my main endeavors as a teacher to persuade the young that firsthand knowledge is not only more worth acquiring than secondhand knowledge, but is usually much easier and more delightful to acquire.
 

Athanasius

Kingfisher
And one of my favorites, from his essay "Christian Apologetics:"

One of the great difficulties is to keep before the audience’s mind the question of truth. They always think you are recommending Christianity not because it is true but because it is good. And in the discussion they will at every moment try to escape from the issue “true--false” into stuff about a good society, or morals, or the incomes of bishops, or the Spanish Inquisition, or France, or Poland--or anything whatever. You have to keep forcing them back, and again back, to the real point. Only thus will you be able to undermine...
 

Hermetic Seal

Kingfisher
Gold Member
I've got to contribute a great YT channel to this thread, CSLewisDoodle. These videos take his writings and audio lectures and add some visuals to them. CS Lewis is one of those writers whose work really comes alive in an auditory form. Here's a good one to get you started.

 

Dr. Howard

Peacock
Gold Member
I'm curious as to what catholics and the orthodox think of CS Lewis. For english speaking protestants he's like a our own Thomas Aquinas. Is he has popular in other denominations?
 

Mike_Key

Sparrow
On conversion/converting:

Put your gun down and leave the enemy’s side, surrender and bend the knee. (Paraphrase)

This reminds me of an atheist Professor during my undergrad years, he was known for giving Ds and few grades higher than that mark. I recall him ranting against Christianity like a mad man. He once angrily raged that there is a mega-church in Africa that can be easily seen from space with apparently low magnification, I can’t recall – because none of the students cared.

I was a member of a student body Christian groups on campus. We met regularly on Friday afternoons for two hours. One Friday, from outward appearances, he angrily showed up to one of our auditorium meetings. When I saw him I thought he was there to raise hell, a 50+ year old man. Two of our Seniors approached him, greeted him and were welcoming, etc. Rumors started to spread that he had diabetes. Well, this Professor did in fact develop diabetes. Students prayed for him. The next time he visited he was in a wheelchair, missing a leg. A few months later we learned that he died. I hope he put his gun down and surrendered to God. All this happened within a 6 month period.

On death of a loved one:

Now this may seem blasphemous to the loved ones mourning at a funeral; it’s not your purpose on earth to longingly await heaven only to see your loved one. (Paraphrase)

It’s ironic that he used the word “blasphemous”, that type of neglect of God (I won’t opine one way or another) is definitely something. I say God deserves worthy attention. He shouldn’t be an afterthought; standing behind your loved one in heaven.

Nevertheless, yes, some people give undue attention to lost or expired loved ones. I was once asked if I occasionally think of my father lost years ago. I said no. He didn’t foster a relationship that would invite me to miss him or even think about him, sadly. He was unfortunately very selfish. Some might say he was MGTOW. I can't believe I just wrote that ... Ha.
 

Mike_Key

Sparrow
Athanasius said:
NoMoreTO said:
I recently picked up a copy of Mere Christianity. My understanding is that CS Lewis was an atheist professor who spent time with other professors discussing deep philosophical questions, many of who were Christians. Over time, he became a Christian. I am interested to see his approach in this book which is extremely popular among Christians (I am only 40 pages in). I am hoping some of the points will be useful for people who atheists or agnostic about religion. I have heard from some that it is a good 'gateway' read.

If I read something that strikes me I'll be happy to post it here.
Yes, he was an English Lit professor who was converted through other professors, with I believe his "born again" experience occurring after a long night discussing things with JRR Tolkien. Central true it was his seeing Christianity as "true myth," the story that all stories about death and resurrection pointed to (and still do). The other thing I recommend is just reading the Bible. Read the books of Luke and John, for example, and ponder this character Jesus and what He says. There's just never been anyone like him in the history of the world.
Wow, this is interesting. I’ve not had time to look this up. I have now and it’s a good read. Thanks.


Wutang said:
Mike_Key said:
#3

"Sex without marriage is like eating good food and then spitting it out."
(CS Lewis was never married however he prefaced his commentary reminding people that he references Scriptures and authority (other authors/clergy) and by observation of the many marriages he has seen over many decades)
He actually married a Jewess who had converted to Christianity; his books being a facilitator for the conversion. She ended up dying from cancer early in their marriage. Her death resulted in him writing "A Grief Observed."
Thanks, I do remember now. Shadowlands the movie depicts this part of his life.

Dr. Howard said:
I'm curious as to what catholics and the orthodox think of CS Lewis. For english speaking protestants he's like a our own Thomas Aquinas. Is he has popular in other denominations?
I asked once recently when Bill Graham died if the average Catholic knew him. I would say that the answer is sadly no. Therefore Catholics and Orthodox worshipers likely don't know about CS Lewis.

It often has to do with time; your interests are limited to the time you have to investigate.
 

Mike_Key

Sparrow
Ok, so I wondered earlier today and was thinking; what more can I add as my notes, from one location, were running thin. I wondered this question; what from Lewis' seven (7) book series do I remember as profound?

The answer came from Digory (I believe the Magician's Nephew). He flew atop a mountain having been given instructions, etc. He found an apple tree and apples. Apparently these apples could heal his dying mother and that was his desire. But if he broke the rule then bad things would happen. I think eventually he, Digory, was given permission to give the apple to his dying mom.

At least that's what my daughter told me that she remembered - from when I read this book to her and her brother a couple years ago.

On Lust/Desire and/or Rule breaking:

You can have your desire but with despair. (Paraphrase)

*This was spoken/written when Digory had to collect an apple from the mountain garden but the sign said get one and give it to others (but his mom was in another world(?)).

Above in bold, I wrote "lust" because imagine if with women (dark triad women) you satisfy your lust or desire but end up with bad consequences, despair or a kid raised poorly by her - a vile dark triad woman. Wow, God must have protected us all from at least a few women.

On Friendship:

“Friendship is even, if you like, angelic. But man needs to be triply protected by humility if he is to eat the bread of angels without risk.”

Page 87 of Four Loves (I believe this is the correct citation)

Does anyone know the meaning of the above quote? I simply thought that it sounds very powerful. Imagine dying, going to heaven and there before you are angels baking bread. And then they ask you, "Wants some bread?"
 

Mike_Key

Sparrow
Just a couple off the top of my head ...

On Morality:

Morality for self and for society is like a Naval fleet. A fleet has three components of importance. It must include ships that are seaworthy, the ships must not damage one another with collision and they all must arrive at the proper destination. (Paraphrase)
From Mere Christianity

Extra: You have to ask, is an action, a behavior, a policy, etc making you or society better? (Paraphrase)

So are you fit morally and spiritually, how about your family, your society? Do you damage one another? If you are headed to Calcutta (Kolkata) but arrive in Venezuela, are you going to survive?

These ideas are really great for us all to consider. Is anger making you better? Does Mgtow, pua ideas, not being a strong leader in marriage - do these things make you better?

As for societal morality, some people might not value this but they would be good to consider it as it affects your neighborhoods and cities. Who will your wife or mom encounter? Who will your daughter and son marry?

One young guy I knew, a physicist from a prestigious Private university, a young evolutionist stoically once said to me, "why should I care about morality?".

Well, because it affects the ethos (character) of society. This young evolutionist went on to become an alcoholic and was known to pee (urinate) on himself and the belongings of other people. I hope he cleaned up his act.

On Power:

You have great power in your fingertips (or physically within your reach) through fasting and praying. (Paraphrase)

I can't recall which book authored by Lewis has this quote, but I think it mentioned something more - such as - you can move mountains by fasting and praying.

Which reminds me of a question many people ask. Why don't (many more) miracles happen today and why don't we see the Holy Spirit before us?

Ravi Zacharias answers and says something to the effect of "we are too weak for miracles and God's direct presence".

When in the book of Acts believers fasted and prayed for 10 days the Holy Spirit was there; many great things happened; Eutychus was raised from the dead by Paul (Acts 20). But too, Ananias and Sapphira were killed when they lied (Acts 5).

As for me personally, I can tell you I've seen some mighty powerful spiritual things that shake you to the core - and I understand the scientific method and reproducibility. But spiritual things are beyond that. You can't measure with a ruler or a test tube an angel or, quite distinctly different, a demon.
 

Francis

Pigeon
Who can name the book? No cheating. If any of you have read this book I'll be surprised if you don't guess correctly straight-away:

'Will you come with me to the mountains? It will hurt at first, until your feet are hardened. Reality is harsh to the feet of shadows. But will you come?'
 
I could kick myself for having missed the play based on The Screwtape Letters! And there was another play about a fireside conversation between C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, which I had wanted to see.
 
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