In The Great Divorce, The Weight of Glory and Surprised By Joy, C. S. Lewis explained the concept sehnsucht, this mysterious desire for something we-know-not-what, something beyond this world. As it pointed us towards heaven, he reasoned, it must be of God. He felt it rarely but sometimes before a great landscape or reading a book.
But what does C.S. Lewis counts as an 'evil desire'?
I've heard it said there are no evil things to desire, only evil desires...aka wishing for lesser goods or in the wrong way (selfishly, for instance). But we can only currently desire what moves us now. If only I were drawn to classically sweet, good things. Alas, I am of a rather gothic disposition and adore (fictional!) Monsters and villains.If it is ok by God to like such characters, then what, if any is the limit? Is Hannibal Lector alright?!!! Or are we just allowed monsters without any emotion, thereby no knowledge of right or wrong: aka cyberman...and, in the real world, animals like crocodiles...
As an example, I love the cybermen in 'Dr Who' and gangster movies. Would Lewis count that as an evil desire or sehnsucht that points towards heaven? It would be prudish in an unhealthy way to toss away such enjoyments...And yet (whilst I would never emulate villianous characters!) if there are no evil things, sometimes there is something that draws us to 'bad guy' fictional characters? It is not just their 'other qualities' (strength. intelligence etc.) that can appeal. If the cybermen stopped being a menace, I would be sorely put out! I should add that I mean genuinely liking the characters...not just as a plot ploy or 'loving to hate'.