C.S. Lewis: How to avoid God

Franklin, Tennessee

“How, then, it may be asked, can we either reach or avoid Him?

The avoiding, in many times and places, has proved so difficult that a very large part of the human race failed to achieve it. But in our own time and place it is extremely easy. Avoid silence, avoid solitude, avoid any train of thought that leads off the beaten track. Concentrate on money, sex, status, health and (above all) on your own grievances. Keep the radio on. Live in a crowd. Use plenty of sedation. If you must read books, select them very carefully. But you’d be safer to stick to the papers. You’ll find the advertisements helpful; especially those with a sexy or a snobbish appeal.”

C.S. Lewis
This is an except from his essay “The Seeing Eye” and included in the book “The Seeing Eye and Other Selected Essays from Christian Reflections “. The essay was first published in the American periodical Show with the title of “Onward, Christian Spacemen” in February, 1963 (the title of which was chosen by the editors of Show). Walter Hooper the editor of “The Seeing Eye” changed the title out of respect for Lewis, who disliked the Spacemen title.

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2 Comments

Filed under 1960's, 1963, Books, C.S. Lewis, England, Faith

2 responses to “C.S. Lewis: How to avoid God

  1. I’m glad the title was changed. But the title itself shows how little the editor of Show understood or respected what Mr. Lewis was saying.

    • What an incongruous title for a C.S. Lewis essay! He began it with an account of a Russian space mission where they bragged about not finding God in the heavens, but you’re right and Lewis was right. As an English friend of ours once told his son, “it just isn’t done”.

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