Friday, June 12, 2015

GK Chesterton - Secrecy is of the devil

More from Jousting with the Devil by Fr. Bob Wild on GK Chesterton.

From Page 60-61:
These early imaginative depictions of the demons still seemed rather odd until I came across the following insights that express another driving force behind his writing and thinking: a horror of secrecy. We should "put things on the table, say what you really think, expose your inner world to the light. So he didn't conceal his early fascination with demons. 
In the following passage he applies this line of thinking to thinking itself, to Christian and non-Christian art, and then to our major topic, talking about the devil. Generally, he thinks that secrecy is of the devil. But first about thoughts themselves: 
"Whenever you hear much of things being unutterable and indefinite and impalpable and unnamable and subtly indescribable, then elevate your aristocratic nose towards heaven and snuff up the smell of decay [read "devil"]. It is perfectly true that there is something in all good things that is beyond all speech or figure of speech. But it is also true that there is in all good things a perpetual desire for expression and concrete embodiment; and though the attempt is always made to embody it is always inadequate, the attempt is always made. If the idea does not seek to be the word, the chances are that it is an evil idea. If the word is not made flesh it is a bad word." (G.K. Chesterton, "The Mystogogue;' A Miscellany of Men (IHS Press: Norfolk, 2003)."
In another place he wrote: "I could fancy that men drew the Tempter with the curves of a serpent because they can be twisted into the shape of a question mark." (The London Illustrated News, Jan. 27, 1917) I interpret this to refer to world, the tempting question in the Garden, "Did God really say you must not... ?' One of the devil's ploys is to ask questions which make us doubt the word of God, the trustworthiness of God. 
Concealment of thoughts, in certain circumstances, can be a form of lying, used by the father of lies. He hates the light and the truth. So when he speaks it is often lying; and if he cannot or will not speak, or allow his followers to speak, the tactic is to remain silent and conceal one's plans, one's ideas. Above all he does not like to "put his cards on the table:""

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