I recently discovered a great short story online called “The Silver Key” written by H.P. Lovecraft in 1926. It tells the story of a young man who loses his sense of child-like wonder at the world. One passage near the beginning caught my attention. The narrator, who had not lost his sense of wonder, describes the man’s situation:
Randolph Carter […] had forgotten that all life is only a set of pictures in the brain, among which there is no difference betwixt those born of real things and those born of inward dreamings, and no cause to value the one above the other. […] He failed to recall […] that the deeds of reality are just as inane and childish [even though] their actors persist in fancying them full of meaning and purpose as the blind cosmos grinds aimlessly on.
I encountered similar ideas through other means, and I wrote a short essay about that titled “Imaginary Worlds” last month. These observations can be an compelling first step to moving from a “modern”, scientific, materialist view to a “post-modern”, subjective, spiritual view.
Beyond these opening remarks, “The Silver Key” is a wonderful story of magic and mystery with important comments on “modernism”.