Lewis on Pleasure

Pleasures are shafts of glory as it strikes our sensibility. . . . But aren’t there bad, unlawful pleasures? Certainly there are. But in calling them “bad pleasures” I take it we are using a kind of shorthand. We mean “pleasures snatched by unlawful acts.” It is the stealing of the apples that is bad, not the sweetness. The sweetness is still a beam from the glory. . . . I have tried since . . . to make every pleasure into a channel of adoration. I don’t mean simply by giving thanks for it. One must of course give thanks, but I meant something different . . . Gratitude exclaims, very properly, “How good of God to give me this.” Adoration says, “What must be the quality of that Being whose far-off and momentary coruscations are like this!” One’s mind runs back up the sunbeam to the sun. . . . If this is Hedonism, it is also a somewhat arduous discipline. But it is worth some labour.
C.S. Lewis

Provided the thing is in itself right, the more one likes it and the less one has to “try to be good,” the better. A perfect man would never act from sense of duty; he’d always want the right thing more than the wrong one. Duty is only a substitute for love (of God and of other people), like a crutch, which is a substitute for a leg. Most of us need the crutch at times; but of course it’s idiotic to use the crutch when our own legs (our own loves, tastes, habits, etc.) can do the journey on their own!
C.S. Lewis

3 thoughts on “Lewis on Pleasure

  1. I’m really beginning to understand this in my own life just recently. I order for me to make God (my Father) a part of my every day life and the reason I live, I have to consciously find his hand in everything. I have to consciously add him to everything and make my mind bring him glory or ask for his guidance in my life. It’s so easy to live our life without him and only add him in when we need him or we’re doing our devos. Yes, it takes work, discipline and extra thought until we relize the blessing enough to enjoy it and make it a blessed habit, need in our life. I know this will take me years to perfect but I’m going to thank God that He has at least helped me to come to this conclusion and find a little success in it already. I’m writing this half with Casey in mind because he is fighting this process and he doesn’t like how it makes him feel although it is good. He has to come to grip with the fact that his ducks are less than in a row and that he has to buckle down and work to build his relationship with Christ. He has his relationship with himself down perfectly. (concern about pride, how other people make him feel, his ideal of who he wants to be and is going to strive to be in and of himself, and how to pity himself and stay days in guilt and discouragement to soak his soul in) Sorry this sounds so harse but I’m finally figuring out some of mine and Casey’s problems. So much stems from feelings and selfishness. I hope this makes the least bit of sense as I don’t know what I’m saying myself. I told you firsthand these thoughts that just popped into my mind as I wrote so they surely are rough. I must confess that I really feel feeble minded when i deal with you sometimes. I don’t mean to make you feel bad. It’s my insecurity and pride. I love you and what in heavens name would I do without you?

  2. Molly that is the most powerful writing I’ve ever read from you. I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m praying for you. Pray for me that I would consider myself weak so that Christ can change and grow me. I’ll respond more later.

  3. Matt, I think, no, I know you are the only one who really understands me. I love you so much. God knew I really needed you so he gave you to me. How perfect!

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