by Christopher Assenza
In the chapter on Hope, Lewis makes fun of those who reject the Christian idea of Heaven because they don’t want to spend eternity playing harps. “The answer to such people,” he says, “is that if they cannot understand books written for grown-ups, they should not talk about them” (p. 121). What is Lewis’s conception of Heaven? What is his view on the right relation between this world and the next? Why does he feel we should we “aim at Heaven” rather than at earth? (p. 119).
In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis writes that if we have a desire – a longing for something – satisfaction for that desire must exist: “[a] baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food.” That hunger is a desire and food its answer does not imply that a baby who hungers will always be fed, but it does mean that there is an actual way to satisfy the longing; and, for Lewis, this rule applies to all desires, whether simple (e.g., thirst) or complex (e.g., love). Although a reasonable position, it leaves a difficult question: if we accept the premise that all our desires can indeed be satisfied, what of the desires we have for which no satisfaction is to be found on Earth?