Affirmation or Negation – Two Ways to Approach Life

Charles Williams

Inklings member and author Charles Williams surprisingly demonstrated that either affirmation or negation of life can be a legitimate path to personal fulfillment. (Image: public domain.)

As is now widely known, C. S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia) was a member of a writer’s circle known as the Inklings. J. R. R. Tolkien also belonged to this remarkably talented group. A lesser-known member of the circle was the poet, novelist, and literary critic Charles Williams who, like Lewis, wrote a number of books about his deeply held religious beliefs.

The occult also fascinated Williams. He went on creatively to merge religion with the occult in a series of unusual novels that he referred to as “metaphysical thrillers.” (T. S. Eliot used the word “supernatural” when writing about them.) They read like speculative fiction yet manage to include elements such as the Holy Grail, tarot cards, King Solomon’s Stone, Platonic archetypes, doppelgangers, and a succubus all surrounded by insights into the eternal struggle between good and evil and the effects (both good and bad) of possessing great power. Williams is rare in assuming that great power can sanctify. When was the last time you saw a film or read a book where that was the case?

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