In Which We are Sure that we are Simply and Solely a Chicken

If you argue with a madman, it is extremely probably that you will get the worst of it; for in many ways his mind moves all the quicker for not being delayed by the things that go with good judgment. He is not hampered by a sense of humour or by charity, or by the dumb certainties of experience. He is the more logical for losing certain sane affections…The madman is the one who has lost everything except his reason…He is in the clean and well-lit prison of one idea…

As an explanation of the world, materialism has a sort of insane simplicity. It has just the quality of the madman’s argument; we have at once the sense of it covering everything and the sense of it leaving everything out.

The ordinary man has always been sane because the ordinary man has always been a mystic…If he saw two truths that seemed to contradict each other, he would take the two truths and the contradiction along with them. His spiritual sight is stereoscopic, like his physical sight: he sees two different pictures at once and yet sees all the better for that…The morbid logician seeks to make everything lucid, and succeeds in making everything mysterious. the mystic allows one thing to be mysterious, and everything else becomes lucid…Like the sun at noonday, mysticism explains everything else by the blaze of its own victorious invisibility…

– G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, pp. 23-33

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