This has to be the most overused image of Lewis. That’s because it’s awesome. Look at the expression on his face as he stokes up the ol’ Longbottom Leaf. It’s like I just told him the punchline of a joke right as he struck his match, and then he looked up at me and began to puff his pipe with fervor for my joke, as if to say “I’ll laugh in a ripe jiffy, just gotta get this bloody thing working first, cheerio chap. Blimey.”
I can’t wait for tonight. There will be turkey and beer and pie and excerpts from C.S. Lewis. It is our annual men’s group Thanksgiving feast and Lewis tribute night. As I was thumbing through the Intarwebs, I came across some quote archives and hand selected some of my favorite Lewis quotes. Since I probably will only read one or two of them tonight in between mouth fulls of Stroh’s-glazed Turducken, I thought I’d post them here so I can remember them for eternity or until my web host goes out of business.
I could write an individual post about each of these, but why spoil a good thing? C.S. Lewis is an amazing person and has an extraordinary gift for putting the most complicated philosophical issues into layman’s terms. I fear I would only ruin his points by expounding upon them. Have I not already ruined this whole thing with what I’ve already written? Yep, I have. Forget it.
Ok ok, here they are. I know the last one’s long, but read it because it’s my favorite.
“Without sin, the universe is a Solemn Game: and there is no good game without rules.”
–A Preface to Paradise Lost
“Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done…”
–from a letter “To Mrs. L.” (50)
“If you are really a product of a materialistic universe, how is it that you don’t feel at home there?”
–Encounter with Light
“Now that I am a Christian I do not have moods in which the whole thing looks very improbable: but when I was an atheist I had moods in which Christianity looked terribly probable.”
“No philosophical theory which I have yet come across is a radical improvement on the words of Genesis, that ‘In the beginning God made Heaven and Earth’.”
“Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.”
–not sure, a little help? Art would probably know since I stole this quote idea from him.
“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.”
–I’m guessing Mere Christianity, anyone know?
“My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? A man feels wet when he falls into water, because man is not a water animal: a fish would not feel wet. Of course, I could have given up my idea of justice by saying that it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too–for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my private fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist–in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless–I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality–namely my idea of justice–was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.”
I hope none of my men’s group reads this until tomorrow, because otherwise they’ll know the quotes I picked before I read them tonight. You know what would be funny? Someone should print this out and take it to group tonight and read it like these are their favorite quotes and pretend they spent all day looking for them and then I would spit out my mouth full of Turducken and say “you FRAUD!”