Saturday, June 30, 2007

From Gilbert Magazine's Mailbag:










Chesterton's Mail Bag


Gilbert Keith Chesterton Answers His Mail



More letters asking
“What’s the Difference?”


Dear Mr. Chesterton,
What is the difference between progress and growth?


Signed,
Muddy


Dear Muddy,
The fatal metaphor of progress, which means leaving things behind us, has utterly obscured the real idea of growth, which means leaving things inside us.


Your friend,
G.K. Chesterton


("The Romance of Rhyme," Fancies vs. Fads)



Dear Mr. Chesterton,
What is the difference between wit and humor?


Signed,
Mischievous


Dear Mischievous,
Wit is always connected with the idea that truth is close and clear. Humour, on the other hand, is always connected with the idea that truth is tricky and mystical and easily mistaken.


Your friend,
G.K. Chesterton


("The Puritan," George Bernard Shaw)



Dear Mr. Chesterton,
What is the difference between happiness and pleasure?


Signed,
Misbehavin'


Dear Misbehavin',
The real difference between the two words is that happiness is an end and pleasure can only be a means.


Your friend,
G.K. Chesterton



(Daily News, April 27, 1912)


Dear Mr. Chesterton,
What is the difference between an Italian and an Englishman?


Signed,
Mionetto


Dear Mionetto,
An Italian will sometimes break things where an Englishman will send for the manager or write to the Times.


Your friend,
G.K. Chesterton


(Illustrated London News, Dec. 2, 1916)



Dear Mr. Chesterton,
What is the difference between individualism and democracy?


Signed,
Mulling


Dear Mulling,
The (Individualists say) that a man must be free as regards his individuality, not merely as regards his citizenship. Democracy declares that a man should have liberty indeed, but should have that liberty which other men have. This (Individualist) school felt that the particular liberty which a man should above all things have, was the liberty which other men did not have. Their individual aimed not merely at being free, but at being unique, indeed, at being solitary. They set the claims of men against the rights of men.


Your friend,
G.K. Chesterton


(Daily News, May 26, 1906)



Dear Mr. Chesterton,


What is the difference between religion and superstition?


Signed,
Mystified


Dear Mystified,
Religion is a rare and definite conviction of what this world of ours really is. Superstition is only the commonsense acceptation of what it obviously is. Sane peasants, healthy hunters, are all superstitious; they are superstitious because they are healthy and sane. They have a reasonable fear of the unknown; for superstition is only the creative side of agnosticism. The superstitious man sees quite plainly that the universe is a thing to be feared. The religious man maintains paradoxically that the universe is a thing to be trusted. The awe is certainly the obvious thing; the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdomÉ. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom—but not the end.


Your friend,
G.K. Chesterton


(Daily News, June 2, 1906)



Dear Mr. Chesterton,


What's the difference between Buddhism and Christianity? Is there a difference?


Signed,
Muddled


Dear Muddled,
The very thing which has made some moderns think Christianity inferior to Buddhism is the very thing that saves Christians from complete spiritual pride—I mean the fact that the Christian looks to a God outside him, and not merely inside him. If anybody thinks that there is little or no difference between Christianity and Buddhism, let him look at the religious art of the two creeds. In the most perverse and hideous picture of mediaeval asceticism the eyes of the Saints are wide open, for they are looking at something not themselves. But the eyes of the Buddhist images are commonly closed, for they are looking within. They are self-centered, self-satisfied in their very denial of self.


Your friend,
G.K. Chesterton


(Daily News, Aug. 4, 1906



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© 2006 The American Chesterton Society

This excerpt is from www.gilbertmagazine.com

2 comments:

Mapaz said...

OH! I hadn't seen this post!

Lucia said...

I actually posted this after the 100th b-day post but there's a glitch in my computer that makes it post below earlier posts sometimes.