A Quote by Clive Staples (Jack) Lewis on birth, conformity, death, devil, direction, discipline, doubt, goals, gold, good, knowledge, love, magic, men, performance, power, practice, problems, reality, repentance, science, solution, soul, spirit, truth, v

There is something which unites magic and applied science while separating both from the 'wisdom' of earlier ages. For the wise men of old the cardinal problem had been how to conform the soul to reality, and the solution had been knowledge, self-discipline, and virtue. for magic and applied science alike the problem is how to subdue reality to the wishes of men: the solution is a technique; and both, in the practice of this technique, are ready to do things hitherto regarded as disgusting and impious - such as digging up and mutilating the dead. If we compare the chief trumpeter of the new era (Bacon) with Marlowe's Faustus, the similarity is striking. You will read in some critics that Faustus has a thirst for knowledge. In reality he hardly mentions it. It is not truth he wants from the devils, but gold and guns and girls. In the same spirit, Bacon condemns those who value knowledge as an end in itself . . . The true object is to extend Man's power to the performance of all things possible. He rejects magic because it does not work; but his goal is that of the magician . . . No doubt those who really founded modern science were usually those whose love of truth exceeded their love of power; in every mixed movement the efficacy comes from the good elements not from the bad. But the presence of bad elements in not irrelevant to the direction the efficacy takes. It might be going too far to say that the modern scientific movement was tainted from its birth; but I think it would be true to say that it was born in an unhealthy neighborhood and at an inauspicious hour. Its triumphs may have been too rapid and purchased at too high a price: reconsideration, and something like repentance, may be required.

Jack Lewis (1898 - 1963)

Source: Lewis, C.S. The Abolition of Man, Collins, Fount Paperback, 1978, p. 46.

Contributed by: Zaady