Tag Archives: C.S. Lewis

An Internet Brief

This week on Facebook: The media celebrated the 25th anniversary of the world wide web this year, reserving a special accolade for its instigator — British computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee. History may judge the last 25 years to be the time when, in one sense at least, the internet really did make the world a global village. A village where nothing, or very little, remains hidden from those who live in it. Global village neighbours expose themselves — in every sense of the word — both literally and figuratively on social media. A media that enables global neighbours to express opinions and views, within or without laws that may govern another neighbour’s behaviour. Politicians use their public administration to propagandise policy influencing public opinion and in many cases censoring public access to the internet.  Read more of this post

A Letter For Christmas

The genre used by C. S. Lewis in The Chronicles of Narnia, and his friend J. R. R. Tolkien in The Lord Of The Rings is now used to popularize the concept of some supernatural force, contrary to that intended by Lewis and Tolkien who both attributed supernatural forces to the divine.

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“The Piper at the Gates of Dawn”

The recent flooding in Britain brought the author Cowper to mind. No: not the poet William Cowper, nor  John Cowper Powys who was a prolific novelist, essayist, letter writer, poet and philosopher; a writer of enormous scope, complexity, profundity and humour. Rather, John Middleton Murray who mostly wrote science fiction under the pen name of Richard Cowper, writing Profundis with much humour. Read more of this post

Nurturing Education

Reading a post that referenced excerpts from a book by Charles Sykes, reminded me of my 2011 post ‘Knowledge is not a shovel’, itself prompted by Knowledge is not a shovel – Universities and democratic society, in which Gesine Schwan wrote:

“The primary aim of education, however one understands it, must be to nurture the ability to reflect, to develop new ideas, and to implement these collectively”.

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Diffuse Dissatisfactions

In Lashed by Lash I mentioned  the American social critic Christopher Lasch, credited with coining the term diffuse dissatisfactions. I would express diffuse dissatisfactions as my belief that ‘the world is going to hell in a handcart‘. What other view would I hold, I’m a septuagenarian. I am nevertheless empathetic with Lasch’s argument that the self-awareness movement instead of liberating the personality and helping the individual to understand the world and society, suggests an even more extreme defensive stance, a momentary relief, Prozacs for the proletariat ,  tranquilisers for the bourgeoisie and cocaine for aristocracy. To a layman like me, confirming the abstractions of the socially stressed. Read more of this post

Like – ‘er’, you know, they’re only words.

Education, Education, Education, was the mantra of New Labour in 1997, which certainly appealed to me, having the experience of two boys being educated in a state comprehensive school.  An appeal reinforced by my experience in a military training establishment for adolescent and mature students.  However, 13  years post New Labour’s mantra and some 20 years post the Tories Citizens Charter, it seems that instead of a nation educated and proficient in the use of ‘simple English’, we are now a nation of ‘English simpletons’.

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It’s Hell For Democracy

First separately published by C.S. Lewis some 50 years ago as ‘Screwtape Proposes a Toast‘ (pdf), it was written some 15 years after the Screwtape Letters. In the followed abridged version, Screwtape addresses the part played by democracy and education in the downfall of humanity. Those changes to gender references have not been done for political correctness, but to make it representative of our own age in which it would seem little has changed. Or has it?
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Here There Be Dragons

The Screwtape Letters, written by C. S. Lewis, purport to be the correspondence from a senior assistant named Screwtape, who is working on behalf of ‘Our Father Below’, to his nephew and subordinate Wormwood. They are a series of letters advising Wormwood on methods of securing the damnation of a man known only as “the Patient”. God is always referred to as ‘the Enemy‘, being the antagonist to ‘Our Father Below’.​ In the introduction Lewis writes; There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.
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