Monday, June 25, 2012

Vast Powers and Perpetual Success

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 version is, of course, not the only one. All things and deeds have a value in themselves, apart from their "causes" and "effects." No man can estimate what is really happening sub specie aeternitatis. All we do know, and that to a large extent by direct experience, is that evil labours with vast powers and perpetual success—in vain: preparing always only the soil for unexpected good to sprout in.

J.R.R. Tolkien, Letters (Letter 64, 10 April 1944 to his son Christopher), p. 76


  1. Eric M.9:43 PM

    This Tolkien passage reminds me of Sam's star of hope in the "Land of Shadow" chapter of The Return of the King. Perhaps a hint of the "eucatastrophe."

  2. It does seem to be a common feature of Tolkien's thought; the Ainulindale has something like it as well.


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