Saturday, February 24, 2007

Else a Grander Idea is Conceivable...

This is the cooles thing I have read in at least four months:

They who believe in the influences of the stars over the fates of men, are, in feeling at least, nearer the truth than they who regard the heavenly bodies as related to them merely by a common obedience to an external law. All that man sees has to do with man. Worlds cannot be without an intermundane relationship. The community of the centre of all creation suggests an interradiating connection and dependence of the parts. Else a grander idea is conceivable than that which is already embodied.

This is from the book Phantastes by George MacDonald. MacDonald was a Scottish writer of fantasy stories in the nineteenth century. He was also a Christian minister. He was a profound influence on both C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. You can read about him here.

The passage blows me away because it speaks to the heart of what is important about fairy stories: wonder. It has never once occurred to me that this universe may be precisely the most amazing one conceivable. Right here, where we live, is the most interesting world of all. You couldn't imagine a world of elves, or winged creatures, or dinosaurs, or anything at all, that would match what we have right here. And you know what: it's true. If the world had a Designer, He wouldn't have done a half-assed job.

We should be walking around every day with our mouths hanging open at the wonder of this world that we live in. But we don't. I don't. But we can. And that's what fairy stories remind us of: we live in a wonderful world. Every day can, and should be, an adventure. And it would be, if we could open our eyes to see it: this world is fucking wonderful.

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