For Lewis to disclose his imaginative plan would have been to destroy the very thing he was trying to achieve.
There would also have been sound theological reasons for keeping the plan secret. The children in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe do not know that they are in a world and in a story created and sustained, so to speak, by Jupiter. He saves us by becoming local. The children in the story can see the incarnation of Jupiter, in the form of the Kingly, Lion-hearted Aslan, who does away with winter, bleeds for the traitor, and enthrones them at the royal castle; and that is enough.
He was ingeniously reversing the normal pattern of his medieval and renaissance sources. Lewis presumably expected that his readers would eventually spot what he was up to. But he was not going to tell them what he was up to because he wanted to communicate to their imaginations rather than to their intellects.
Great communicator that he was, he knew the importance of making the medium the message. As a playful man with a keen wit, he would also have wanted to keep the scheme secret for sheer fun. If we can overlook the spiritual symbolism of seven fairy tales, how much more might we be overlooking the spiritual significance of the real world and of the Christ who upholds it? The Narniad looks planless, but all is planned.
For those interested in reading more, Dr. They proclaim the glory of God, according to the nineteenth psalm, a psalm St. Paul quotes to demonstrate how the Gentiles have already heard the preaching of Christ Rom.
The Magi who followed the Star of Bethlehem to the birthplace of Christ clearly understood this. Interpretation of these signs is depicted negatively in Isaiah and Daniel ; ; ; , but only because it was practiced by heathens for godless ends, not because such astrological enquiry was considered evil per se. Influencing Planets Often the biblical writers treat the heavenly bodies as a kind of celestial court or choir 1 Kings ; Job ; Ps.
In the tradition of the Church, this understanding of the significance and influence of the stars continues. No Christian theologian before the Copernican revolution denied the general theory of planetary influences.
The only subject for discussion among the doctors of the Church was the extent to which the stars were resistible. Admittedly, John of Damascus c. John wanted to prevent idolatry, not deny the reality of influence. You are free subjects of a greater power, a nobler nature that creates your mind, and over this the spheres have no control. The idea of ranked heavens is also found in the Bible, most notably in St. Belief in planetary influences persists through the Renaissance, at least until Milton, where it is still quite strong.
Disenchanted Planets With his epoch-making work, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres , the Polish stargazer Nicolaus Copernicus showed that there were not seven planets and they did not go round the Earth.
The Sun was the center, and it was orbited by six planets. As a scholar of the sixteenth century, Lewis knew well the cultural consequences of the Copernican paradigm shift.
Reducing Nature to her mathematical elements, men began treating her as a machine, rather than as a spiritual organism with her own integrity. This process, slowly working, ensured during the next century the loss of the old mythical imagination: the conceit, and later the personified abstraction, takes its place. Later still, as a desperate attempt to bridge a gulf which begins to be found intolerable, we have the Nature poetry of the Romantics.
The great minds know very well that the object, so treated, is an artificial abstraction, that something of its reality has been lost. Prince Caspian: Mars. Mars is famously the god of war and this is a war story, of a civil war to drive out the usurping King Miraz. Less famously, Mars is a god of woods and forests— Mars Silvanus, as he was known. This is a story about a journey towards the rising sun.
Aslan flies out of the sunbeam towards Lucy as an albatross; he appears in the room when she utters the spell to make invisible things visible; he is seen shining as if in bright sunlight, though the sun has in fact gone in, on Goldwater Island. The Silver Chair: the Moon.
Aslan only appears in person in his own high country above the clouds and has to be remembered by way of signs and in dreams below in Narnia, where the air is thick. The structure of the book reflects the great lunar divide that existed in medieval cosmology between the translunary realm of certitude and the sublunary realm of confusion.
The Horse and His Boy: Mercury. Venus is the fertile planet associated with laughter, motherhood, beauty, warmth, and the apple grove of the Hesperides. The Last Battle: Saturn. Aslan does not appear at all until all the characters are dead, reflecting the nature of Saturn, the planet of apparent ill-chance and treachery and death. Aslan is here the deus absconditus, the God who is felt only in abandonment. Father Time with his scythe is a mythological character based on Saturn. Lewis' Oxford University Press, Lewis from the online archives Lewis by Michael Ward The Planet Narnia thesis is not primarily aimed at enhancing our enjoyment of the books, but rather offering us a rubric to better contemplate the source of our enjoyment.
It is like when a layman is moved by a particular piece of visual art and an art major comes along and explains the various methods used to produce the effects the viewer is experiencing. Understanding the possible symbolism and meaning in the story may not produce any significant or new enjoyment of the texts — it may even lessen it if we turn all our attention to it — but it may help us better appreciate the genius of the author.
While valuing the author as an author is far from the goal of enjoying a good book, it is not a bad practice in which to engage if one is trying to better appreciate the craft of writing. Why does he fly in a sunbeam in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader? Why is he mistaken for two lions in The Horse and His Boy? Why does he not appear in Narnia at all in The Silver Chair? Lewis was not as concerned with our propositional thinking about medieval cosmology as he was with our psychological, even spiritual, reactions to it.
This, of course, raises the question of how to go about evaluating the evidence. First, one hardly knows what to do with a The data does not interpret itself. Is a But how many characters actually die in The Silver Chair? Bayes looks at the relationship between three elements: a hypothesis h , evidence e , and background knowledge k to assess the probability P of a hypothesis. Does the hypothesis explain the evidence? Did the evidence need explaining?
Is the hypothesis independent and likely, given what else we know? Of course, this is also where contradictory evidence, both general and particular, must also be evaluated. The explanatory power of the thesis must be evaluated in light of the prior probability of the evidence existing in spite of the thesis.
We can also ask whether it was possible or desirable to write a book with unique elements of a single planet to the complete exclusion of all others. Finally, one must consider the prior probability of the hypothesis — namely, how likely it would be that Lewis would employ such a method of writing and conceal it from everyone. These questions are the subject of the first two chapters of Planet Narnia.
Honest critics, I believe, must be persuaded that Lewis could and would employ such a method given his stated interests in rehabilitating the medieval model of the universe and his particular theories about how we appreciate stories.The Romp then would be a ritual of rejuvenation, regression to what was before: a creative chaos which utters the spell to make invisible things visible; he. If we then agree to treat Narnia word I use a collective name for the whole space, together makes renewal possible. Harper and Row, Publishers, New York,p hypothesis, e. There is no related for as female oppression in this current day project in a timely fashion.
You may conclude otherwise, but before you do so, I hope that you first consider the analytical tools offered here. In this way, the ritual is performed and Deep Magic is appeased. The rites performed concern Narnia alone and the travellers from the Earth are excluded from them. Harper and Row, Publishers, New York, , p.
If we then agree to treat Narnia here I use a collective name for the whole space, together with, e. Lewis by C. Finally, one must consider the prior probability of the hypothesis — namely, how likely it would be that Lewis would employ such a method of writing and conceal it from everyone. However, in big-scale restoration rituals like the Romp, non-Narnian characters join in. Lewis constructed the Chronicles so that in each book the plot-line, the ornamental details, and the portrayal of the Christ-figure of Aslan, all serve to communicate the governing planetary personality.
Is the hypothesis independent and likely, given what else we know? Calling on Aslan, rites of Zardeenah, the silver chair or the summoning of the White Witch could be examples of such use. The rites performed concern Narnia alone and the travellers from the Earth are excluded from them.
The appearance of Father Christmas in this story has become a lightning rod for criticism of the Narnia Chronicles. It involves creation from the earth, unaided by Aslan. Lewis constructed the Chronicles so that in each book the plot-line, the ornamental details, and the portrayal of the Christ-figure of Aslan, all serve to communicate the governing planetary personality.
It is led by Aslan, Bacchus, Silenus and Maenads, and its goal is to destroy the new structures, imposed by Telmarines and celebrate the regained freedom. It is like when a layman is moved by a particular piece of visual art and an art major comes along and explains the various methods used to produce the effects the viewer is experiencing. A crook with a revolver would have conveyed a significantly different experience to the reader, even though the danger he represented might have been greater.
Let us look quickly we do not have room for a full treatment at the god who provides the kappa element of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Did the evidence need explaining?
Tell you what is engraved on the sceptre of the Emperor-beyond-the-Sea? As can be seen on the example of the Pevensies in Price Caspian, it can be quite painful and the results are unstable. Eliade, Mircea. Why Would Lewis Hide It? Only entering them, he subjects himself to the laws that govern a particular space.
The appearance of Father Christmas in this story has become a lightning rod for criticism of the Narnia Chronicles. Why is he mistaken for two lions in The Horse and His Boy?
Lewis and the Secret of the Seven Heavens, or visit www. And this put him, as it puts all of us, into something of a predicament, which he expressed in Miracles: The fact which is in one respect the most obvious and primary fact, and through which alone you have access to all the other facts, may be precisely the one that is most easily forgotten—forgotten not because it is so remote or abstruse but because it is so near and so obvious. The only thing we learn about this ritual is that it involves drawing a circle and preparing blue fire, but the hag is stopped before she can do anything. Words and actions possess power, which brings consequences in the physical sphere, which they do not possess in our world. It allows for transcending the ritual and freeing oneself from the constraints of the laws and regulations.
In this case, the quality of this being is described by Caspian. Its function is creative, i. First, one hardly knows what to do with a