Sunday, October 12, 2008

From the Heart of George MacDonald: Phantastes

'But it is no use trying to account for things in Fairy Land; and one who travels there soon learns to forget the very idea of doing so, and takes everything as it comes like a child, who being in a chronic condition of wonder, is surprised at nothing.' –George MacDonald, Phantastes

'Past tears are present strength.' -George MacDonald, Phantastes

'Tears are the only cure for weeping.' -George MacDonald, Phantastes

'I learned that it is better, a thousand-fold, for a proud man to fall and be humbled, than to hold up his head in his pride and fancied innocence.  I learned that he that will be a hero, will barely be a man, that he that will be nothing but a doer of his work, is sure of his manhood.  In nothing was my ideal lowered, or dimmed, or grown less precious; I only saw it too plainly, to set myself beside it.  Indeed, my ideal soon became my life; whereas, formerly, my life had consisted in a vain attempt to behold, if not my ideal in myself, at least myself in my ideal.' -George MacDonald, Phantastes

'My spirit rejoiced.  They left me to my repose.  I felt as if a cool hand had been laid upon my heart, and had stilled it.  My soul was like a summer evening, after a heavy fall of rain, when the drops are yet glistening on the trees in the last rays of the down-going sun, and the wind of the twilight has begun to blow.  The hot fever of life had gone by, and I breathed the clear mountain-air of the land of Death.  I had never dreamed of such blessedness.  It was not that I had in any way ceased to be what I had been.  The very fact that anything can die, implies the existence of something that cannot die; which must either take to itself another form, as when the seed that is sown dies, and arises again; or, in conscious existence, may, perhaps, continue to lead a purely spiritual life.  If my passions were dead, the souls of the passions, those essential mysteries of the spirit which had imbodied themselves in the passions, and had given to them all their glory and wonderment, yet lived, yet glowed, with a pure, undying fire.  They rose above their vanishing earthly garments, and disclosed themselves angels of light.  But oh, how beautiful beyond the old form!  I lay thus for a time, and lived as it were an unradiating existence; my soul a motionless lake, that received all things and gave nothing back; satisfied in still contemplation, and spiritual consciousness.' -George MacDonald, Phantastes

'The very fact that anything can die, implies the existence of something that cannot die.' –George MacDonald, Phantastes

'I knew now, that it is by loving, and not by being loved, that one can come nearest the soul of another; yea, that, where two love, it is the loving of each other, and not the being beloved by each other, that originates and perfects and assures their blessedness.  I knew that love gives to him that loveth, power over any soul beloved, even if that soul know him not, bringing him inwardly close to that spirit; a power that cannot be but for good; for in proportion as selfishness intrudes, the love ceases, and the power which springs therefrom dies.  Yet all love will, one day, meet with its return.  All true love will, one day, behold its own image in the eyes of the beloved, and be humbly glad.' -George MacDonald, Phantastes


Gretchen Emily Wolaver said...

Man, don't you wish that you could come up with quotes like that? Or just write that good.

Camille Rose Wolaver said...