Alan Jacobs from The Narnian:

“Here I would like to suggest something that is the keynote of this book: my belief that Lewis’s mind was above all characterized by a willingness to be enchanted and that it was this openness to enchantment that held together the various strands of his life—his delight in laughter, his willingness to accept a world made by a good and loving God, and (in some ways above all) his willingness to submit to the charms of a wonderful story, whether written by an Italian poet of the sixteenth century, by Beatrix Potter, or by himself.

“What is ‘secretly present in what he said about anything’ is an openness to delight, to the sense that there’s more to the world than meets the jaundiced eye, to the possibility that anything could happen to someone who is ready to meet that anything.”

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3 thoughts on “The Distinctive Feature of C.S. Lewis’ Mind”

  1. Christiane says:

    It may be that C.S. Lewis’ openness to ‘something more’ was the same kind of expression of hope that we find in St. Augustine’s letter to the Roman matriarch Proba:

    ” . . . ultimately we want only one thing—”the blessed life”, the life which is simply life, simply “happiness”. In the final analysis, there is nothing else that we ask for in prayer.
    Our journey has no other goal—it is about this alone.”
    But then Augustine also says:
    “looking more closely, we have no idea what we ultimately desire, what we would really like. We do not know this reality at all; even in those moments when we think we can reach out and touch it, it eludes us. “We do not know what we should pray for as we ought,” he says, quoting Saint Paul (Rom 8:26). All we know is that it is not this. Yet in not knowing, we know that this reality must exist. “There is therefore in us a certain learned ignorance (docta ignorantia), so to speak”, he writes.
    ” We do not know what we would really like; we do not know this “true life”; and yet we know that there must be something we do not know towards which we feel driven.”

    Perhaps C.S.Lewis wanted to stimulate our imaginations so that we could begin to understand the possibilities of a better world than this?
    Or maybe his writings just help us to discover that hope which we already possess for a better life beyond this earth,
    and to celebrate it through our own temporal enchantment with Narnia ?
    I think it’s the latter. :)

  2. Wesley says:

    Great post. I think Lewis simply had what Jesus referred to as “faith like a child” and he held on to it long into his winter years. It is truly one of God’s gifts to us if we only embrace it, for He has filled His creation with endless things at which we may wonder and be enchanted at; mostly b/c it all points back to Him.

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Trevin Wax


​Trevin Wax is managing editor of The Gospel Project at LifeWay Christian Resources, husband to Corina, father to Timothy, Julia, and David. You can follow him on Twitter. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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