The man can neither man, nor retain, one moment of time; it all comes to him by pure gift; he might as well regard the sun and moon as his chattels.
A moderated religion is as good for us as no religion at all-and more amusing.
It is always the novice who exaggerates.
The man who truly and disinterestedly enjoys any one thing in the world, for its own sake, and without caring two-pence what other people say about it, is by that very fact forewarmed against some of our subtlest modes of attack.
A woman means by Unselfishness chiefly taking trouble for others; a man means not giving trouble to others...thus, while the woman thinks of doing good offices and the man of respecting other people's rights, each sex, without any obvious unreason, can and does regard the other as radically selfish.
It is in some ways more troublesome to track and swat an evasive wasp than to shoot, at close range, a wild elephant. But the elephant is more troublesome if you miss.
The pleasure of novelty is by its very nature more subject than any other to the laws of diminishing returns.
All the delights of sense, or heart, or intellect, with which you could once have tempted him, even the delights of virtue itself, now seem to him in comparison but as the half nauseous attractions of a raddled harlot would seem to a man who hears that his true beloved whom he has loved all his life and whom he had believed to be dead is alive and even now at his door.
Prosperity knits a man to the world. He feels that he is finding his place in it, while really it is finding its place in him.
The use of fashions in thought is to distract men from their real dangers. We direct the fashionable outcry of each generation against those vices of which it is in the least danger, and fix its approval on the virtue that is nearest the vice which we are trying to make endemic. The game is to have them all running around with fire extinguishers whenever there's a flood; and all crowding to that side of the boat which is already nearly gone under.
By this method thousands of humans have been brought to think that humility means pretty women trying to believe they are ugly and clever men trying to believe they are fools. And since what they are trying to believe may, in some cases, be manifest nonsense, they cannot succeed in believing it and we have the chance of keeping their minds endlessly revolving on themselves in an effort to achieve the the impossible.
Provided that any of those neighbours sing out of tune or have boots that squeak, or double chins, or odd clothes, the patient will quite easily believe that their religion must therefore be somehow ridiculous.
There is nothing like suspense and anxiety for barricading a human's mind against the Enemy. He wants men to be concerned with what they do; our business is to keep them thinking about what will happen to them.
He cannot ravish; He can only woo.
She's the sort of woman who lives for others - you can tell the others by their hunted expression.
We must picture hell as a state where everyone is perpetually concerned about his own dignity and advancement, where everyone has a grievance, and where everyone lives with the deadly serious passions of envy, self-importance, and resentment.
He sees as well as you do that courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means, at the point of highest reality.
Suspicion often creates what it suspects.
When they have really learned to love their neighbours as themselves, they will be allowed to love themselves as their neighbours.
Humans are amphibians--half spirit and half animal.
The claim to equality, outside of the strictly political field, is made only by those who feel themselves to be in some way inferior.
Whenever all men are...hastening to be slaves or tyrants we make Liberalism the prime bogey.
Humour is...the all-consoling and...the all-excusing, grace of life.
The duty of planning tomorrow's work is today's duty; though its material is borrowed from the future, the duty, like all duties, is in the Present.
I do not expect old heads on young shoulders.
The Future is, of all things, the thing least like eternity. It is the most temporal part of time--for the Past is frozen and no longer flows, and the Present is all lit up with eternal rays.
I do wish Slumtrimpet could do something about undermining that young woman's sense of the ridiculous.
The game is to have them all running about with fire extinguishers when there is a flood, and all crowding to that side of the boat which is already nearly gunwale under.
Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one--the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts,...Your affectionate uncle, Screwtape.
More C.S. Lewis Quotations (Based on Topics)
God - Man - World - Christianity - Love - Life - Work & Career - Religions & Spirituality - Mind - Time - Sense & Perception - Books - Good & Evil - Vice & Virtue - People - Dreams - Joy & Excitement - Pleasure - Present - View All C.S. Lewis Quotations
More C.S. Lewis Quotations (By Book Titles)
- Mere Christianity
- Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia
- Screwtape Letters
- The Chronicles of Narnia
- The Four Loves
- The Great Divorce
- The Horse and His Boy
- The Last Battle
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
- The Magician's Nephew
- The Screwtape Letters
- The Silver Chair
- The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
- Till We Have Faces: A Novel of Cupid and Psyche
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