12.8.07

Lewis Imagines Hell

"For humor involves a sense of proportion and a power of seeing yourself from the outside. Whatever else we attribute to beings who sinned through pride, we must not attribute this. Satan, said Chesterton, fell through force of gravity. We must picture Hell as a state where everyone is perpetually concerned about his own dignity and advancement, where everyone has a grievance, and where everyone lives the deadly serious passions of envy, self-importance and resentment."

"Bad angels, like bad men, are entirely practical. They have two motives. The first is fear of punishment; for as totalitarian countries have their camps for toruture, so my Hell contains deeper Hells, it's ' "houses of correction" '. Their second motive is a kind of hunger. I feign that devils can eat one another; and us. Even in human life we have seen the passion to dominate, almost to digest, one's fellow; to make his whole intellectual and emotional life merely an extension of one's own-to hate one's hatred and resent one's grievances and indulge one's egoism through him as well as through oneself. His own little store of passion must of course be suppressed to make room for ours. If he resists this suppression he is being very selfish.
On Earth, this desire is often called ' "love" '. In Hell I feign that they recognise it as hunger. But there the hunger is more ravenous, and a fuller satisfation is possible. There, I suggest, the stronger spirit-there are perhaps no bodies to impede the operation-can really and irrevocably suck the weaker into itself and permanently gorge its own being on the weaker's outraged individuality. It is (I feign) for this that devils desire human souls and the souls of one another. It is for this that Satan desires all his own followers and all the sons of Eve and all the host of Heaven. His dream is of the day when all shall be inside him and all that says ' "I" ' can say it only through him. This, I surmise, is the bloated-spider parody, the only imitaion he can understand, of that unfathomed bounty whereby God turns tools into servants and servants into sons, so that they may be at last reunited with Him in the perfect freedom of a love offered from the height of the utter individualities which he has liberated them to be."

from The Screwtape Letters-Preface~C.S. Lewis

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3 Comments:

Blogger Starrlight said...

I love CS Lewis. Great choice to quote, too!

August 18, 2007 12:31 PM  
Anonymous ronnie said...

i love c.s lewis too! ^^

September 08, 2007 10:42 PM  
Anonymous ronnie said...

I love CS Lewis and Chesterton too.

Please visit my blog @ http://my-sense-and-sensibility.blogspot.com

September 09, 2007 5:54 AM  

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