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C. S. Lewis (Writer)

Only the skilled can judge the skilfulness, but that is not the same as judging the value of the result.
C. S. Lewis value
I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else...
C. S. Lewis believe
When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.
C. S. Lewis fear
I have at last come to the end of the : and though I say "at last", I almost wish he had lived to write six books more as he had hoped to do — so much have I enjoyed it.
C. S. Lewis hope
The man is a humbug — a vulgar, shallow, self-satisfied mind, absolutely inaccessible to the complexities and delicacies of the real world. He has the journalist's air of being a specialist in everything, of taking in all points of view and being always on the side of the angels: he merely annoys a reader who has the least experience of knowing things, of what knowing is like. There is not two pence worth of real thought or real nobility in him. But he isn't dull…
C. S. Lewis mind
For me, reason is the natural organ of truth; but imagination is the organ of meaning. Imagination, producing new metaphors or revivifying old, is not the cause of truth, but its condition.
C. S. Lewis truth
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be "cured" against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.
C. S. Lewis science
I believe Buddhism to be a simplification of Hinduism and Islam to be a simplification of Xianity.
C. S. Lewis believe
It isHimself, not the Bible, who is the trueof . The Bible, read in the right spirit and with the guidance of good teachers, will bring us to Him.
C. S. Lewis self
Critics who treat adult as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. 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.
C. S. Lewis life
As image and apprehension are in organic unity, so, for a Christian, are human body and human soul.
C. S. Lewis soul
The chief pleasure of his life in these days was to go down the road and look through the window in the wall in the hope of seeing the beautiful Island. … the sight of the Island and the sounds became very rare … and the yearning for the sight … became so terrible that John thought he would die if he did not have them again soon. … it came into his head that he might perhaps get the old feeling-for what, he thought, had the Island ever given him but a feeling?-by imagining. He shut his eyes and set his teeth again and made a picture of the Island in his mind.
C. S. Lewis life
He begins to think for himself and meets Nineteenth-century Rationalism Which can explain away religion by any number of methods .
C. S. Lewis religion
If you make the same guess often enough it ceases to be a guess and becomes a Scientific Fact. This is the inductive method.
C. S. Lewis you
He came in sight of a pass guarded by armed men. ‘you cannot pass … Do you not know that all this country belongs to the Spirit of the Age? … Here Enlightenment, take this fugitive to our Master.’
C. S. Lewis men
Then I dreamed that one day there was nothing but milk for them and the jailer said as he put down the pipkin: ‘Our relations with the cow are not delicate-as you can easily see if you imagine eating any of her other secretions.’ … John said, ‘Thank heavens! Now at last I know that you are talking nonsense. You are trying to pretend that unlike things are like. You are trying to make us think that milk is the same sort of thing as sweat or dung.’ ‘And pray, what difference is there except by custom?’ ‘Are you a liar or only a fool, that you see no difference between that which Nature casts out as refuse and that which she stores up as food?’
C. S. Lewis dream
‘Try now to answer my third riddle. By what rule to you tell a copy from an original?’
C. S. Lewis you
‘you must see that if two things are alike, then it is a further question whether the first is copied from the second, or the second from the first, or both from a third.’ ‘Some that thought that all these loves were copies of our love for the landlord.’
C. S. Lewis love
‘The Spirit of the Age wishes to allow argument and not to allow argument. … If anyone argues with them they say that he is rationalizing his own desires, and therefore need not be answered. But if anyone listens to them they will then argue themselves to show that their own doctrines are true. … You must ask them whether any reasoning is valid or not. If they say no, then their own doctrines, being reached by reasoning, fall to the ground. If they say yes, then they will have to examine your arguments and refute them on their merits: for if some reasoning is valid, for all they know, your bit of reasoning may be one of the valid bits.’
C. S. Lewis men
John-I’m trying to find the Island in the West. Sensible – You refer, no doubt to some aesthetic experience.
C. S. Lewis experience
I am sorry that my convictions do not allow me to repeat my friend’s offer, said one of the others. But I have had to abandon the humanitarian and egalitarian fancies. His name was Mr. Neo-Classical.
C. S. Lewis man
I hope, said the third, that your wanderings in lonely places do not mean that you have any of the romantic virus still in your blood. His name was Mr. Humanist.
C. S. Lewis hope
Mr. Neo-Angular – I am doing my duty. My ethics are based on dogma, not on feeling. Vertue-I know that a rule is to be obeyed because it is a rule and not because it appeals to my feelings at the moment.
C. S. Lewis men
Savage-There is only one way fit for a man – Heroism, or Master-Morality, or Violence. All the other people in between are ploughing the sand.
C. S. Lewis people
Wisdom: The first error is that of the southern people, and it consists in holding that these eastern and western places are real places. … give no quarter to that thought, whether it threatens you with fear, or tempts you with hopes. For this is Superstition and all who believe it will come in the end to the swamps to the south and the jungles to the far south. Part of the same error is to think that the Landlord is a real man:
C. S. Lewis hope
But supposing one tries to live by Pantheistic philosophy? Does it lead to a complacent Hegelian optimism?
C. S. Lewis philosophy
Then he tried to recall the lessons of Mr. Wisdom. “it is I myself, eternal Spirit, who drives this Me, the slave, along that ledge. I ought not to care whether he falls and breaks his neck or not. It is not he that is real, it is I – I – I.
C. S. Lewis self
The wraith of Sigmund said. “You know what this is, I suppose. Religious melancholia. Stop while there is time. If you dive, you dive into insanity.”
C. S. Lewis time
Mr. Sensible learned only catchwords from them. He could talk like Epicurus of spare diet, but he was a glutton. He had from Montaigne the language of friendship, but no friend.
C. S. Lewis friendship
The Guide sang: Nearly they stood who fall; Themselves as they look back See always in the track The one false step, where all Even yet, by lightest swerve Of foot not yet enslaved, By smallest tremor of the smallest nerve, Might have been saved. Nearly they fell who stand, And with cold after fear Look back to mark how near They grazed the Siren’s land, Wondering that subtle fate, By threads so spidery fine, The choice of ways so small, the event so great, Should thus entwine. Therefore oh, man, have fear Lest oldest fears be true, Lest thou too far pursue The road that seems so clear, And step, secure, a hair-breadth bourne, Which, being once crossed forever unawares, Denies return.
C. S. Lewis fear
The Guide sang: The new age, the new art, the new ethic and thought, And fools crying, Because it has begun It will continue as it has begun! The wheel runs fast, therefore the wheel will run Faster for ever, The old age is done, We have new lights and see without the sun. (Though they lay flat the mountains and dry up the sea, Wilt thou yet change, as though God were a god?)
C. S. Lewis god
Our father was married twice,' continued Humanist. 'Once to a lady named , and afterwards to Euphuia...
C. S. Lewis war
A pleasure is full grown only when it is remembered.
C. S. Lewis pleasure
"A pleasure is full grown only when it is remembered. You are speaking, Hm
C. S. Lewis pleasure
"And I say also this. I do not think the forest would be so bright, nor the water so warm, nor love so sweet, if there were no danger in the lakes."
C. S. Lewis love
Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness.
C. S. Lewis kindness
Love may forgive all infirmities and love still in spite of them: but Love cannot cease to will their removal.
C. S. Lewis love
Everyone feels benevolent if nothing happens to be annoying him at the moment.
C. S. Lewis men
God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
C. S. Lewis science
God will look to every soul like its first love because He is its first love.
C. S. Lewis love
Try to exclude the possibility of suffering which the order of nature and the existence of free-wills involve, and you find that you have excluded life itself.
C. S. Lewis life
What would really satisfy us would be a God who said of anything we happened to like, "What does it matter so long as they are contented?" We want, in fact, not so much a Father in Heaven as a grandfather in heaven — a senile benevolence who, as they say, "liked to see young people enjoying themselves" and whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be truly said at the end of each day, "a good time was had by all".
C. S. Lewis time
In the long run the answer to all those who object to the doctrine of hell, is itself a question: What are you asking God to do? To wipe out their past sins and, at all costs, to give them a fresh start, smoothing every difficulty and offering every miraculous help? But He has done so, on Calvary. To forgive them? They will not be forgiven. To leave them alone? Alas, I am afraid that is what He does.
C. S. Lewis art
I call this Divine humility because it is a poor thing to strike our colours to God when the ship is going down under us; a poor thing to come to Him as a last resort, to offer up "our own" when it is no longer worth keeping. If God were proud He would hardly have us on such terms: but He is not proud, He stoops to conquer, He will have us even though we have shown that we prefer everything else to Him, and come to Him because there is "nothing better" now to be had.
C. S. Lewis humility
If He who in Himself can lack nothing chooses to need us, it is because we need to be needed.
C. S. Lewis self
There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils...
C. S. Lewis evil
There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.
C. S. Lewis magic
There is wishful thinking in Hell as well as on Earth.
C. S. Lewis art
I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of "Admin." The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voice. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the offices of a thoroughly nasty business concern.
C. S. Lewis love
My dear Wormwood, I note what you say about guiding your patient's reading and taking care that he sees a good deal of his materialist friend. But are you not being a trifle naive? It sounds as if you suppose that argument was the way to keep him out of the enemy's clutches. That might have been so if he had lived a few centuries earlier.
C. S. Lewis reading
Of course a war is entertaining. The immediate fear and suffering of the humans is a legitimate and pleasing refreshment for our myriads of toiling workers. But what permanent good does it do us unless we make use of it for bringing souls to Our Father Below? When I see the temporal suffering of humans who finally escape us, I feel as if I had been allowed to taste the first course of a rich banquet and then denied all the rest. It is worse than not to have tasted it at all. The Enemy, true to His barbarous methods of warfare, allows us to see the short misery of His favourites only to tantalize and torment us — to mock the incessant hunger, which, during this present phase of great conflict, His blockade is admittedly imposing.
C. S. Lewis fear
Humans are amphibians — half spirit and half animal.... As spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time.
C. S. Lewis time
Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending to do our Enemy's will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.
C. S. Lewis man
All mortals tend to turn into the thing they are pretending to be.
C. S. Lewis end
The safest road to Hell is the gradual one — the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.
C. S. Lewis wit
When they have really learned to love their neighbours as themselves, they will be allowed to love themselves as their neighbours.
C. S. Lewis love
The humans live in time but our Enemy (God) destines them for eternity.
C. S. Lewis time
Gratitude looks to the past and love to the present; fear, avarice, lust, and ambition look ahead.
C. S. Lewis love
Much of the modern resistance to chastity comes from men's belief that they "own" their bodies — those vast and perilous estates, pulsating with the energy that made the worlds, in which they find themselves without their consent and from which they are ejected at the pleasure of Another!
C. S. Lewis belief
Courtship is the time for sowing those seeds which will grow up ten years into domestic hatred.
C. S. Lewis time
A sensible human once said, "If people knew how much ill-feeling unselfishness occasions, it would not be so often recommended from the pulpit"; and again, "She's the sort of woman who lives for others—you can always tell the others by their hunted expression."
C. S. Lewis people
And all the time — such is the tragi-comedy of our situation — we continue to clamor for those very qualities we are rendering impossible. You can hardly open a periodical without coming across the statement that what our civilization needs is more “drive”, or dynamism, or self-sacrifice, or “creativity”. 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 time
It is the magician's bargain: give up our soul, get power in return. But once our souls, that is, ourselves, have been given up, the power thus conferred will not belong to us. We shall in fact be the slaves and puppets of that to which we have given our souls.
C. S. Lewis power
There is something which unites magic and applied science while separating both from the wisdom of earlier ages. For the wise men of old the cardinal problem had been how to conform the soul to reality, and the solution had been knowledge, self-discipline, and virtue. For magic and applied science alike the problem is how to subdue reality to the wishes of men.
C. S. Lewis wisdom
Each thing, from the single grain of Dust to the strongest eldil, is the end and the final cause of all creation and the mirror in which the beam of His brightness comes to rest and so returns to Him. Blessed be He!
C. S. Lewis sin
When He died in the Wounded World He died not for men, but for each man. If each man had been the only man made, He would have done no less. Each thing, from the single grain of Dust to the strongest eldil, is the end and the final cause of all creation and the mirror in which the beam of His brightness comes to rest and so returns to Him. Blessed be He!
C. S. Lewis men
' But what of the poor Ghosts who never get into the omnibus at all?' 'Everyone who wishes it does. Never fear. There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, in the end, "Thy will be done." All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell . No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock it is opened.'
C. S. Lewis fear
There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, "All right, then, have it your way."
C. S. Lewis people
Reality is harsh to the feet of shadows.
C. S. Lewis reality
'It comes, it comes!' they sang. 'Sleepers awake! It comes, it comes, it comes.' One dreadful glance over my shoulder I essayed — not long enough to see (or did I see?) the rim of the sunrise that shoots Time dead with golden arrows and puts to flight all phantasmal shapes. Screaming, I buried my face in the fold of the Teacher's robe. 'The morning! The morning!' I cried. 'I am caught by the morning and I am a ghost.'
C. S. Lewis light
"I wish I had never been born," she said. "What are we born for?" "For infinite happiness," said the Spirit. "You can step out into it at any moment..."
C. S. Lewis happiness
[Mortals] say of some temporal suffering, "No future bliss can make up for it," not knowing Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory. And of some sinful pleasure they say "Let me have but this and I'll take the consequences": little dreaming how damnation will spread back and back into their past and contaminate the pleasure of the sin. Both processes begin even before death.
C. S. Lewis death
"Then those people are right who say that Heaven and Hell are only states of mind?" "Hush," he said sternly. "Do not blaspheme. Hell is a state of mind — ye never said a truer word. And every state of mind, left to itself, every shutting up of the creature within the dungeon of its own mind — is, in the end, Hell. But Heaven is not a state of mind. Heaven is reality itself. All that is fully real is Heavenly."
C. S. Lewis people
'God' said the Ghost, glancing around the landscape.
C. S. Lewis god
'God what?' asked the Spirit. 'What do you mean, "God what"?' asked the Ghost. 'In our grammar God is a noun' said the Spirit.
C. S. Lewis you
"Milton was right…" The choice of every lost soul can be expressed in the words "Better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven." There is always something they insist on keeping even at the price of misery…
C. S. Lewis soul
There have been men before … who got so interested in proving the existence ofthat they came to care nothing for God himself… as if the good Lord had nothing to do but to exist. There have been some who were so preoccupied with spreading Christianity that they never gave a thought to .
C. S. Lewis reading
Every poet and musician and artist, but for , is drawn away from love of the thing he tells to love of the telling till, down in Deep Hell, they cannot be interested in God at all but only in what they say about Him.
C. S. Lewis love
"They would say," he answered, "that you do not fail in obedience through lack of love, but have lost love because you never attempted obedience."
C. S. Lewis love
"The cardinal difficulty," said MacPhee, "in collaboration between the sexes is that women speak a language without nouns. If two men are doing a bit of work, one will say to the other, 'Put this bowl inside the bigger bowl which you'll find on the top shelf of the green cupboard.' The female for this is, 'Put that in the other one in there.' And then if you ask them, 'in where?' they say, 'in there, of course.' There is consequently a phatic hiatus."
C. S. Lewis women
Not till then did his controllers allow him to suspect that death itself might not after all cure the illusion of being a soul—nay, might prove the entry into a world where that illusion raged infinite and unchecked. Escape for the soul, if not for the body, was offered him. He became able to know (and simultaneously refused the knowledge) that he had been wrong from the beginning, that souls and personal responsibility existed. He half saw: he wholly hated. The physical torture of the burning was not fiercer than his hatred of that.
C. S. Lewis death
If we are going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things — praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts — not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They might break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.
C. S. Lewis art
If there is equality, it is in His love, not in us.
C. S. Lewis love
Perfect humility dispenses with modesty.
C. S. Lewis humility
As long as this deliberate refusal to understand things from above, even where such understanding is possible, continues, it is idle to talk of any final victory over materialism.
C. S. Lewis understanding
We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private: and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.
C. S. Lewis friendship
100 per cent of us die, and the percentage cannot be increased.
C. S. Lewis age
Indeed, if 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.
C. S. Lewis war
At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of the morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendours we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so. Some day, God willing, we shall get in.
C. S. Lewis men
Though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of Time.
C. S. Lewis knowledge
A series of seven children's books, this is just a sampling of a few quotes, for more from these works, see .
C. S. Lewis quotes
Who believes innowadays?
C. S. Lewis believe
This is where dreams — dreams, do you understand — come to life, come real. Not daydreams: dreams.
C. S. Lewis life
It is the stupidest children who are the most childish and the stupidest grown-ups who are the most grown-up.
C. S. Lewis children
The trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed.
C. S. Lewis self
All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.
C. S. Lewis life
Goodness is either the great safety or the great danger — according to the way you react to it.
C. S. Lewis anger
Essays based upon radio addresses of 1941–1944
C. S. Lewis
If what you call your "faith" in Christ does not involve taking the slightest notice of what he says, then it is not Faith at all — not faith or trust in Him, but only intellectual acceptance of some theory of Him.
C. S. Lewis faith
The most dangerous thing you can do is to take any one impulse of your own nature and set it up as the thing you ought to follow at all costs...
C. S. Lewis nature

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