“C. S. Lewis’ Pilgrim’s Regress is an allegorical defence of Christianity, reason and romanticism. The main character, a man named John, is in search for meaning and answers – going from philosophy to philosophy until he ends up at a mountain called the spirit of the age. John is described not as a free being living in the spirit of the age, but is instead depicted bound in chains, living for the spirit of the age.
The man who controls the spirit of the age looks down upon John to give him breakfast. He loosens the chains to enjoy that breakfast. As he takes a sip of the milk, John comments on how delicious and nourishing it is. The guard who brings it to him – representing the spirit of the age – says to John, you only call it nourishing and delicious, but all it is, is the secretion of a cow, isn’t it? The cow secretes urine, the cow secretes milk. You call it delicious and nourishing, it’s just a secretion of a cow.
As John is put back in chains, Reason comes riding on a horse to rescue John. Reason looks at him who runs the spirit of the age and says, “Sir, you lie”. You lie because you don’t know the difference between what nature intended for nourishment and what nature intended as garbage.
A knowledge of God determines what is right and good, as opposed to what nature intended as garbage. In today’s world, we have confused these two areas, deeming everything profitable and permissible, however only as we understand God can we determine the difference between what will nourish us and what will leave us empty.