Quotes to remember

Last weekend, I finally got around to C. S. Lewis’ Abolition of Man. Two quotes I want to remember:

“When all that says ‘It is good’ has been debunked, what says ‘I want’ remains. {snip} My point is that those who stand outside all judgements of value cannot have any ground for preferring one of their own impulses to another except the emotional strength of that impulse. We may legitimately hope that among the impulses which arise in minds thus emptied of all ‘rational’ or ‘spiritual’ motives, some will be benevolent. I am very doubtful myself whether the benevolent impulses, stripped of that preference and encouragement which the Tao teaches us to give them and left to their namely natural strength and frequency as psychological events, will have much influence. I am very doubtful whether history shows us one example of a man who, having stepped outside traditional morality and attained power, has used that power benevolently. For without the judgement ‘Benevolence is good’ – that is, without reentering the Tao – they can have no ground for promoting or stabilizing their benevolent impulses rather than any other.”

And the concluding three sentences:

“If you see through everything, then everything is transparent. But a wholly transparent world is an invisible world. To ‘see through’ all things is the same as not to see.”

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