In C.S. Lewis’s The Magician’s Nephew, you get to read about the creation of Narnia. It’s beautiful. Alan, the Lion, sings the world into existence–the notes, high and low, correspond to the things he’s bringing into existence with the sound of his voice. I love it. The children in the story love it too–in fact, everyone loves it except the evil Uncle Andrew and the witch Jadis. They hate it. They hate him.
Lewis is making a sophisticated point about spiritual growth and regression. The healthy Christian life looks like alignment of our likes and dislikes to the likes and dislikes of Jesus. As we grow, we’re supposed to increasingly love what He loves, and hate what He hates. Regression is the opposite–we increasingly hate what he loves and love what he hates. To our own degradation and isolation from the True, Good, and Beautiful. Uncle Andrew, though intelligent, is a fool. Because he continues to harden himself against the beauty and goodness around him. His ‘truth’–his perception of reality–gets further and further from the way things really are. The Bible describes this as searing one’s conscience or hardening one’s heart.
For what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are….
[Uncle Andrew] missed the whole point; for a rather interesting reason. When the Lion had first begun singing, long ago when it was still quite dark, he had realised that the noise was a song. And he had disliked the song very much. It made him think and feel things he did not want to think and feel. Then, when the sun rose and he saw that the singer himself was a lion (“only a lion,” as he said to himself) he tried his hardest to make himself believe that it wasn’t singing and never had been singing–only roaring as any lion might in a zoo in our own world. “Of course it can’t really have been singing,” he thought, “I must have imagined it. I’ve been letting my nerves get out of order. Who ever heard of a lion singing?” And the longer and more beautifully the Lion sang, the harder Uncle Andrew tried to make himself believe that he could hear nothing but roaring. Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed. Uncle Andrew did. He soon did hear nothing but roaring in Alan’s song. Soon he couldn’t have heard anything else even if he had wanted to. And when at last the Lion spoke and said, “Narnia awake,” he didn’t hear any words: he heard only a snarl.C.S. Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew, 125-126.