Thinking Out Loud

January 23, 2011

C. S. Lewis Defines “Progress”

…You may have felt you were ready to listen to me as long as you thought I had anything new to say; but if it turns out only to be religion, well, the world has tried that and you can’t turn back the clock.  If anyone is feeling that way…

First, as to putting the clock back.  Would you think I was joking if I said that you can put a clock back, and that if the clock is wrong it is often a very sensible thing to do?  But I would rather get away from that whole idea of clocks.

We all want progress.  But progress means getting nearer to the place you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turn, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.

…I think if you look at the present state of the world, it is pretty plain that humanity has been making some big mistake. We are on the wrong road. And if that is so, we must go back. Going back is the quickest way on.

~C. S. Lewis, Basic Christianity

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