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From: "Andy Robertson" 
Subject: (urth) The proper quote to define Catholic Fabulation
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 17:17:04 -0000

C S Lewis, PERELANDRA,  first chapter somewhere

As to my intense wish never to come into contact with the eldila myself, I
am not sure whether I can make you understand it. It was something more than
a prudent desire to avoid creatures alien in kind, very powerful, and very
intelligent. The truth was that all I heard about them served to connect two
things which one's mind tends to keep separate, and that connecting gave one
a sort of shock.

We tend to think about non-human intelligences in two distinct categories
which we label "scientific" and "supernatural" respectively. We think, in
one mood, of Mr. (H. G.) Wells' Martians (very unlike the real
Malacandrians, by the bye), or his Selenites.

In quite a different mood we let our minds loose on the possibility of
angels, ghosts, fairies, and the like.

But the very moment we are compelled to recognize a creature in either class
as real the distinction begins to get blurred: and when it is a creature
like an eldil the distinction vanishes altogether.

These things were not animals and to that extent one had to classify them
with the second group; but they had some kind of material vehicle whose
presence could (in principle) be scientifically verified. To that extent
they belonged to the first group.

The distinction between natural and supernatural, in fact, broke down; and
when it had done so, one realized how great a comfort it had been and how it
had eased the burden of intolerable strangeness which this universe imposes
on us by dividing it into two halves and encouraging the mind never to think
of both in the same context.

What a price we may have paid for this comfort in the way of false security
and accepted confusion of thought is another matter.


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