What would you do to be in the inner circle of knowledge and power? C. S. Lewis thought you would do a lot.
C. S. Lewis’ 1944 lecture
On December 14, 1944, C. S. Lewis gave the Memorial Lecture at King’s College of the University of London.
World War 2 had started in 1939 and the end was in sight. The daily bombing of London was over. The D-Day invasion had been a success. London would need to be rebuilt and there would be many casualties in the final six months of the war.
The students were looking forward to the end of the war and empowered by their future.
What would this Oxford don speak to them about? He was a noted scholar of literature but also the recent author of the Screwtape Letters. He seemed to be an odd mixture of academic rigor and old fashioned, irrelevant Christianity.
What do people really want?
Lewis was 46 years old and introduced himself as a middle-aged moralist.
I’m sure that with the dominant popularity of Freud that the students expected a talk on sex. That is what moralists talk about. Lewis talked about power.
Then they probably expected a talk about the dangers of what is lost when we are absorbed with seeking power. Lewis talked about relationships.
Then Lewis should talk about marriage. Lewis talked about friendship.
How does seeking power affect your friendships?
The Inner Ring
The Inner Ring usually is not official but is where the real power resides. The borders are known to the insiders and are heavily guarded.
We may want in and after time gain admission.
Lewis believed that we will be disappointed when we move inside the ring. The people are interested in power and control and the functions of the group, not us. We have no value to them except as we implement our power.
Power and control seem empty when no one cares.
If not the Inner Ring, then what?
Lewis thought that a better approach was to live a genuine life. Implementing our call and focusing on our work.
When we did this, we would attract people who were interested in us. They care about what we care about.
It would not be the inner ring, but it would be our ring. It would be friendship.
What would you give to be in the inner circle of information and influence? C. S. Lewis thought you would give a lot.
Questions for consideration:
Are there areas of your life where you are in the inner circle of knowledge and power?
Are there areas of your life where you would like to be there?
What difference does having power make?
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