What do people mean when they say, "I am not afraid of God because I know He is good"? Have they never even been to a dentist?
Only the skilled can judge the skilfulness, but that is not the same as judging the value of the result.
There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils... There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.
Humans are amphibians — half spirit and half animal.... As spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time.
A pleasure is full grown only when it is remembered. You are speaking, Hmān, as if the pleasure were one thing and the memory another. It is all one thing. The séroni could say it better than I say it now. Not better than I could say it in a poem. What you call remembering is the last part of the pleasure, as the crah is the last part of a poem. When you and I met, the meeting was over very shortly, it was nothing. Now it is growing something as we remember it. But still we know very little about it. What it will be when I remember it as I lie down to die, what it makes in me all my days till then–that is the real meeting. The other is only the beginning of it.
Essays based upon radio addresses of 1941–1944
The most dangerous thing you can do is to take any one impulse of your own nature and set it up as the thing you ought to follow at all costs. There is not one of them which will not make us into devils if we set it up as an absolute guide. You might think love of humanity in general was safe, but it is not. If you leave out justice you will find yourself breaking agreements and faking evidence in trials "for the sake of humanity", and become in the end a cruel and treacherous man.
What can you ever really know of other people's souls—of their temptations, their opportunities, their struggles? One soul in the whole creation you do know and this is the only one whose fate is placed in your hands. If there is a God, you are, in a sense, alone with Him. You cannot put Him off with speculations about your next door neighbours or memories of what you have read in books.
God lends us a little of His reasoning powers and that is how we think: He puts a little of His love into us and that is how we love one another.
The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation.
Nothing is yet in its true form.
A review of J. R. R. Tolkien's famous work in On Stories and Other Essays on Literature (1982) edited by Walter Hooper > The Value of myth is that it takes all the things you know and restores to them the rich significance which has been hidden by the veil of familiarity.