A blog dedicated to providing quotes by and posts relating to one of the most influential (and quotable!) authors of the twentieth century, G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936). If you do not know much about GKC, I suggest visiting the webpage of the American Chesterton Society as well as this wonderful Chesterton Facebook Page by a fellow Chestertonian

I also have created a list detailing examples of the influence of Chesterton if you are interested, that I work on from time to time.

(Moreover, for a list of short GKC quotes, I have created one here, citing the sources)

"...Stevenson had found that the secret of life lies in laughter and humility."

-Heretics (1905)


"The Speaker" Articles

A book I published containing 112 pieces Chesterton wrote for the newspaper "The Speaker" at the beginning of his career.

They are also available for free electronically on another blog of mine here, if you wish to read them that way.

Friday, December 18, 2015

"I mean that a tree goes on growing, and therefore goes on changing; but always in the fringes surrounding something unchangeable."

[While written in a different context, the following passage is applicable, I believe, to many conflicts in the Church today as well...indeed, the word "tree" naturally reminds one of Christ's parable of the mustard seed]

Perhaps we might call the two antagonistic philosophies the philosophy of the The Tree and the philosophy of The Cloud. I mean that a tree goes on growing, and therefore goes on changing; but always in the fringes surrounding something unchangeable. The innermost rings of the tree are still the same as when it was a sapling; they have ceased to be seen, but they have not ceased to be central. When the tree grows a branch at the top, it does not break away from the roots at the bottom; on the contrary, it needs to hold more strongly by its roots the higher it rises with its branches. That is the true image of the vigorous and healthy progress of a man, a city, or a whole species. but when the evolutionists I speak of talk to us about change, they do not mean that. They do not mean something that produces external changes from a  permanent and organic centre, like a tree; they mean something that changes completely and entirely in every part, at every minute, like a cloud; there is no head or tail that cannot turn into something else; it not only changes, but it is itself only a prolonged change. While Hamlet and Polonius stood looking at the cloud, it will be remembered that, in those few minutes, the prince could persuade the courtier that the cloud had a hump like a camel, that it was a weasel, and that it was a whale. That is the cosmos as understood by these cosmic philosophers; the cosmos is a cloud. It changes in every part; nor is one part more permanent or even more essential than the other. For that matter, of course, the cosmic philosophers change as much as their cosmic cloud [...] Now, if this merely cloudy and boneless development be adopted as a philosophy, then there can be no place for the past and no possibility of a complete culture. Anything may be here today and gone tomorrow; even tomorrow. But I do not accept that everlasting evolution, which merely means everlasting chaos. As I only accept the organic and orderly development of a thing according to its own design and nature, there is for me such a thing as a human culture that is reasonably complete. Only the modern, advanced, progressive scientific culture is unreasonably incomplete [...] For its weakness is, according to the sacred philosophy of the tree, that it has no roots or its roots are very shallow; it is too recent to be rooted in the subconsciousness or to have anything of the dimension of depth, in the matter of memory and what is called "second nature." There is not enough of the momentum of mankind behind it, and it wavers and grows weary even before our eyes.
-Avowals and Denials (1935)

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