- These, then, are the two points I wanted to make. First, that human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot get rid of it. Secondly, that they do not in fact behave in that way. They know the Law of Nature; they break it. These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in.
- But pleasure, money, power, and safety are all, as far as they go, good things. Badness consists in pursuing them by the wrong method, or in the wrong way, or too much. I do not mean, of course, that the people who do this are not desperately wicked. I do mean that wickedness, when you examine it, turns out to be the pursuit of some good in the wrong way.
- I order to be bad he must have good things to want and then to pursue them in the wrong way: he must have impulses which were originally good in order to be able to pervert them...It is a real recognition that evil is a parasite, not an original thing. The powers which enable evil to carry on are powers given it by goodness.
- Christianity agrees with Dualism that this universe is at war. But it does not think this is a war between independent powers. It thinks it is a civil war, a rebellion, and that we are living in a part of the universe occupied by the rebel.
- If you want to find out how proud you are the easiest way is to ask yourself, 'How much do I dislike it when other people snub me, or refuse to take any notice of me, or shove their oar in, or patronise me, or show off?'
- Pride is essentially competitive - is competitive by its very nature - while the other vices are competitive only, so to speak by accident. Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better-looking that others. If everyone else became equally rich, or clever, or good-looking there would be nothing to be proud about. It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.
- In God you come up against something which is in every respect immeasurably superior to yourself. Unless you know God as that - and, therefore, know yourself as nothing in comparison - you do not know God at all. As long as you are proud, you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.
This is not a typical Christian book read. There are very few Bible references. This book will probably not feed your soul or teach you how to grow spiritually in a typical fashion. But it will walk you through how to think about certain biblical truths and principles in a good way. Though it is not hard to read, it requires a decent amount of mental energy to think with Lewis as you read. But the effort was worth it. I see why it is considered a classic.