Men… who possess hidden wisdom, are freed from common rules.

I am currently reading the book “The Magician’s Nephew” by C.S. Lewis. And there is a couple of quotes that I want to talk about in the book. Yes, I know it is a work of fiction, but it also holds some truths. The first quote is where Digory is talking to his Uncle Andrew. His Uncle Andrew makes this comment in Chapter Two – Digory and His Uncle.

“Oh, I See. You mean that little boys ought to keep their promises. Very True: most right and proper, I’m sure, and I’m very glad you have been taught to do it. But of course you must understand that rules of that sort, however excellent they may be for little boys – and servants – an women – and even people in general, can’t possibly be expected to apply to profound students and great thinkers and sages. No, Digory. Men like me, who possess hidden wisdom, are freed from common rules just as we are cut off from common pleasures. Ours, my boy is a high and lonely destiny.”

In this paragraph, Uncle Andrew makes several points. The main one is that if you are a progressive (profound) student, thinker, or sage, then the rules do not apply to you. If you fit into one of those categories, you are then exempt from the rules and laws.
Later in the book in Chapter Five – The Deplorable Word, Digory and Polly meet a Queen. This Queen then explains how she use a single word to destroy all living things from her world. The children called her on her action. Her response was this.

“Don’t you Understand?” said the Queen (still speaking to Digory). “I was the Queen. They were all my people. What else were they there for but to do my will.” “It was rather hard luck on them, all the same, ” said he. “I had forgotten that you are only a common boy. How should you understand reasons of State? You must learn, child, that what would be wrong for you or for any of the common people is not wrong in a great Queen such as I. The weight of the world is on our shoulders. We must be freed from all rules. Ours is a high and lonely destiny.”

This point is also illustrated by two non fictional people. The Historian Lord Acton in 1887 said “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” William Pitt in 1770 also said “Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it”.

I think that the passages from the C.S. Lewis book point out one of the reasons that this happens. People start to think that they are above the law and it does not apply to them, because it will hinder them. That they do not have to obey the laws because they know better or are to protect the common people.

When reading this I was reminded of a quote President Nixon said, “when the president does something, it is not illegal”. I think that a lot of our current politicians now have this attitude. They think that because they are progressive thinkers they are above the law.

What do you think? Do you think that our current and past political elite think that they are above the law? Do you think that they know better than we do and therefore common laws do not apply to them.

Comments

  1. Absolutely perfect quotes for these times!! I so love the writings of C.S. Lewis!
    And yes to your first question; no to your seoond one. Good post:)
    Blessings, Aimee

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