By Adrian Chan-Wyles
C S LEWIS is famous for his fantasy stories regarding the magical land of Narnia accessed by children through a wardrobe. Although this content probably represents a deep and profound set of inherited psychological issues, nevertheless, these books have made C S Lewis a household name.
What many do not realise is that C S Lewis spent his life up until 39 as a staunch atheist, and after this time as a Christian zealot. During the Second World War he was even hired by the British government to broadcast over the radio a constant stream of pro-Christian propaganda.
Lewis, like Isaac Newton before him, appears to have suffered a mid-life crisis that saw the re-emergence of a theistic faith, no doubt the product of a childhood in Northern Ireland. Although his Narnia books have sold millions, and have been made into cinema films, nevertheless, it is his book entitled Mere Christianity that has been by far the most popular of his works.
In his teens CS Lewis received an excellent education in the western classics and dialectics. This rationalism, probably influenced by the work of Karl Marx, created a level-headed young man who fought as an officer in the First World War, and despite witnessing extreme death and destruction, and being wounded himself, did not resort to the usual bourgeois sentimentality in expressing his memories. But despite living with a woman over twice his age, and ignoring his own father until the time of his death, C S Lewis slowly gravitated back toward the theistic thinking of his youth.
Whilst studying at Oxford, and later working as a professor there, Lewis lived what might be called a progressive lifestyle. However whilst talking to J R Tolkien he mentioned that the world was full of myths that involved a young man dying to redeem the world, and asked where this left Christianity. Tolkien, himself a fantasy writer famous for his Lord of the Rings, stated that Christianity was of course a myth, like all other religions in the world, with the only difference being that Christianity was real.
This type of nonsense underlies the bourgeois educational establishment, and serves to demonstrate the danger of thought regression from the progressive state back into the reactionary. The middle-aged, middle-classed C S Lewis suffered what might be described as a psychological counter-revolution that turned the cognitive clock backward. Religious myth-making passed on throughout the ages is a very potent and difficult to dislodge form of psychological conditioning. Its resurgence renders a progressive lifestyle dormant, and reduces creativity to a standstill. Good ideas cease as the reality becomes limited to the confines of the pages of the Bible, which are haphazardly assembled collections of muddled thinking held together by theistic fantasy.
It is ironic that CS Lewis created Narnia – a heaven on earth that could be accessed if only belief in it was strong enough. In CS Lewis’ imagination at least, heaven has been found on Earth, although one hidden by a veneer of pagan spirituality, as if the strictures of Christianity prevent a Christian heaven from being directly referenced on Earth – which is logical as it does not exist.