The Easiest Way to Go Insane

Imagination does not breed insanity. Exactly what does breed insanity is reason.

The general fact is simple.

Poetry is sane because it floats easily in an infinite sea; reason seeks to cross the infinite sea, and so make it finite. The result is mental exhaustion…

To accept everything is an exercise, to understand everything is a strain. The poet only desires exaltation and expansion, a world to stretch himself in. The poet asks only to get his head into the heavens.

It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.

G.K. Chesterton
from Orthodoxy

I’ve just started reading this again, and this time the passage made me think of a conversation I had with my dad where he warned me not to try too hard to figure out all that theological stuff (I think I was playing both sides of an argument by myself).

“Remember, this is God we’re talking about here. It’s not like he’s really going to let us nail him down entirely; as if we could put God in a box and say, ‘Now we know he will *always* do this.'”

3 thoughts on “The Easiest Way to Go Insane

  1. Argh. I ALWAYS play both sides of an argument. And often I argue my opponents stand to a third party, hoping for I-don’t-know-what!

    And I SO wish I had a few more absolutes in which to know God will *always*…

    But such is Life, I suppose.

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