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J.R.R.Tolkien: “No man can estimate what is really happening in the light of eternity.”

24 March 2012

“I sometimes feel appalled at the thought of the sum total of human misery all over the world at the present moment: the millions parted, fretting, wasting in unprofitable days–quite apart from torture, pain, death, bereavement, injustice.  If anguish were visible, almost the whole of this benighted planet would be enveloped in a dense dark vapor, shrouded from the amazed vision of the heavens!  And the products of it all will be mainly evil–historically considered.  But the historic vision is, of course, not the only one.  All things and all deeds have a value in themselves, apart from their ’causes’ and ‘effects.’  No man can estimate what is really happening sub species aeternitatis (in the light of eternity).  All we do know, and that to a large extent by direct experience, is that evil labors with vast power and perpetual success–in vain: preparing the soil for unexpected good to spout in.”

– J. R. R. Tolkien, in a letter his son Christopher

2 Comments leave one →
  1. tamaray permalink
    24 March 2012 3:13 pm

    Thanks for sharing this quote and reminder. Really helpful at this time!



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