Skip to content

“The distinction between natural and supernatural, in fact, broke down.”

November 7, 2008
Perelandra

Perelandra

We tend to think about non-human intelligences in two distinct categories which we label “scientific” and “supernatural” respectively.  We think, in one mood, of Mr. Well’s Martians (very unlike the real Malacandrians, by the bye), or his Selenites.  In quite a different mood we let our minds loose on the possibility of angels, ghosts, fairies, and the like.  But the very moment we are compelled to recognize a creature in either class as real the distinction begins to get blurred:  and when it is a creature like an eldil the distinction vanishes altogether.  These things were not animals – to that extent one had to classify them with the second group; but they had some kind of material vehicle whose presence could (in principle) be scientifically verified.  To that extent they belonged to the first group.  The distinction between natural and supernatural, in fact, broke down; and when it had done so, one realized how great a comfort it had been – how it had eased the burden of intolerable strangeness which this universe imposes on us by dividing it into two halves and encouraging the mind never to think of both in the same context. (C.S. Lewis, Perelandra, p. 11)

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: