“Every star is like a sudden rocket”

Mysticism in its noblest sense, mysticism as it existed in St John, and Plato, and Paracelsus, and Sir Thomas Browne, is not an exceptionally dark and secret thing, but an exceptionally luminous and open thing. It is in reality too clear for most of us to comprehend, and too obvious for most of us to see. Such an utterance as the utterance that “God is Love” does in reality overwhelm us like an immeasurable landscape on a clear day, like the light of an intolerable summer sun. We may call it a dark saying; but we have an inward knowledge all the time that it is we who are dark…

It is remarkable to notice even in daily life how constant is this impression of the essential rationality of mysticism. If we went up up to a man in the street who happened to be standing opposite a lamppost and addressed him playfully with the words, “Whence did this strange object spring? How did this lean Cyclops with the eye of fire start out of unbegotten night?” it may be generally inferred, with every possible allowance for the temperament of the individual, that he would not regard our remarks as particularly cogent and practical. And yet our surprise at the lamppost would be entirely rational; his habit of taking lampposts for granted would be merely a superstition. The power that makes men accept material phenomena of this universe, its cities, civilizations, and solar systems, is merely a vulgar prejudice, like the prejudice that made them accept cock-fights or the Inquisition. It is the mystic to whom every star is like a sudden rocket, every flower an earthquake of the dust, who is the clear-minded man.

Mysticism, or the sense of the mystery of things, is simply the most gigantic form of common-sense.

— The Daily News, 30 August 1901.

Published in: on July 9, 2014 at 11:04 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’m from ‘Chestertonblog.com’ -in spanish-, perhaps you have heard about us.
    Fantastic quote of Chesterton. Can you tell me the article and book of this quote?
    Misticism is one of the richest concepts of Chesterton, and I’m very interested in locate this words and relate with others.

  2. Sorry. I forgot to say Than you and congratulations for your fantastic blog.

  3. Thanks for you comment. It is great to find another Chesterton blog!

    The quote is from Chesterton’s column in The Daily News, a London newspaper of the time. I believe I found it in William Oddie’s biography of Chesterton, Chesterton and the Romance of Orthodoxy.

  4. […] reseñábamos varios blogs que proponen citas originales de Chesterton concierta periodicidad. En The hebdomadal Chesterton ha aparecido una especialmente interesante, porque –aunque la sustancia ya la conocemos por ser […]


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