Tag Archives: CS Lewis

“We are far too easily pleased!”

“If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Sotics and is no part of the Christian faith.  Indeed, if we consider the unblushing proimses 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, “The Weight of Glory”

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An excerpt from CS Lewis’ book, The Great Divorce

 

In this chapter from the book “The Great Divorce”, by CS Lewis, people who have died can volunteer to visit Hell and Heaven as a tour by way of a grand bus, and decide if you want to stay.  A brilliant book, with a piercing look into the heart and personality of people, and how one would even be able to deny such a beautiful thing as heaven.  This book fits into the genre of fantasy so is it in no way a look into the theological position that CS Lewis holds over heaven and hell.

The context is Big Man, called the “ghost”, finds his employee/murderer who has found a place in heaven, and this friend has been sent to persuade his Big Ghost friend to come to the kingdom of heaven, which they can see in the background.  The angelical being just got done chiding his friend on how poorly the Big Man had treated people while on earth, in an effort to show him that really, he was a man not all played up like he proclaimed himself to be.  That’s where we dive in….

“You mind your own business, young man, said the Ghost, “None of your lip see, Because Im not taking any impudence from you about my private affairs.”

“There are no private affairs”, said the other.

“And I’ll tell you another thing,” said the ghost, “You can clear off see?  You’re not wanted.  I may be only a poor man but I’m not making pals with a murderer, let alone taking lessons from him.  Made it hard for you and your like, did I?  If I had you back there I’d show you what work is.”

“Come and show me now”, said the other with laughter in his voice.  “It will be joy going to the mountains, but there will be plenty of work.”

“You dont suppose I’d go with you?”

“Don’t refuse.  You will never get there alone.  And I am the one who was sent to you.”

“So thats the trick is it?” Shouted the ghost, outwardly bitter and yet I thought there was a kind of triumph in its voice.  It had been entreated: it could make a refusal: and this seemed to it a kind of advantage. “I thought there’d be some damned nonsense.  It’s all a clique, all a bloody clique.  Tell them Im not coming, see?  I”d rather be damned than go along with you.  I came here to get my rights, see?  Not to go snivelling along on charity tied onto your apron-strings.  If they’re too fine to have me without you, I’ll go home.”  It was almost happy now that it could, in a sense, threaten. “That’s what I’ll do’, it repeated, “I’ll go home.  I didn’t come here to be treated like a dog.  I’ll go home.  That’s what I’ll do.  Damn and blast the whole pack of you…”  In the end still grumbling, but whimpering also a little as it picked its way over the sharp grasses, it made off.”