C.S. Lewis on the Meaning of Life (Part 3 of 3)

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C.S. Lewis on the purpose of life joy The Meaning of Life

According to Lewis, life is a journey that can lead us to the ultimate source of joy. He said we will wander down various paths and enjoy tastes of joy along the way, but our main goal should be to prepare ourselves for our true home. To use a modern example, it is like taking a long car ride to a destination such as Disney World. We should be able to enjoy the scenery of the drive and enjoy resting at fuel stops along the way. However, it would be a shame to spend too much time trying to enjoy our vacation at gas stations and on the shoulder of the highway when an all-expenses-paid vacation awaits us at our destination. The hope we have for our experience at Disneyworld should inspire us to travel more quickly and have an overall better time on our journey.


In previous entries, we have talked about the importance of “home” in relation to the Good Life. I think Lewis would agree that having a loving community that provides us with rest, hope, and joy is essential to the Good Life.

If I were to ask C.S. Lewis the Good Life question, I am sure he would respond by telling me that the Good Life comes from experiencing things which provide us with a sense of joy that could only be described as heavenly. I think he would also repeat the famous of lines of St. Augustine: “Thou hast made us for Thyself and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.”

What was this Entry Supposed to be about again?

I must apologize. I realize this chapter was a little abstract and probably seemed a bit like a research paper. IOther entries on happiness will be more interactive discussions with unique personalities in the next chapter. However, I wanted to be a little more academic here, so that we start formulating intellectual answers to the following questions:

  • What is my worldview toward happiness and how does it differ from C.S. Lewis’s or Aristotle’s?
  • What is more important — happiness or joy?
  •  What measurement am I going to use to know that I am living the Good Life?

To develop better answers to these crucial questions, we’ll continue to meet others from a range of different disciplines who will have many thoughts to share about happiness, joy, and the Good Life.

I sometimes wonder whether all pleasures are not substitutes for joy.
— C. S. Lewis

Joy is not in things, it is in us.
— Richard Wagner

Joy is the feeling of grinning on the inside.
— Dr. Melba Colgrove

Know that joy is rarer, more difficult, and more beautiful than sadness. Once you make this all-important discovery, you must embrace joy as a moral obligation.
— Andre Gide

The very nature of Joy makes nonsense of our common distinction between having and wanting.
— C.S. Lewis

Read the Bio of C.S. Lewis and other reflections by Nick >>
C.S. Lewis on joy

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  1. C.S. Lewis on Happiness (Part 2 of 3) | The Good Life Crisis - September 14, 2012

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