Thursday, 23 July 2009

Graham Greene dreams about God

The final item in this Graham Greene mini-series concerns his interesting dream about God. In his novel The Honorary Consul Greene's dreamed theory is explained in the following passage:

The God I believe in must be responsible for all the evil as well as for all the saints. He has to be a God made in our image with a night-side as well as a day-side. When you speak of the horror [...] you are speaking of the night-side of God. I believe the time will come when the night-side will wither away [...] and we shall see only the simple daylight of the good God. You believe in evolution [...] even though whole generations [...] slip backwards to the beasts. It is a long struggle and a long suffering evolution, and I believe God is suffering the same evolution that we are, but perhaps with more pain.


  1. Interesting Poet (and nice to read you again) but am not sure what to make of it. As I do not believe in any God at all I find it confusing - sorry.
    How is the running going? Dominic is doing a 10km fell race as I write. No doubt it will appear on his blog in due course.

  2. There's nothing to "make of it". It is simply an insight into a key paragraph from a famous novel, how it came to the author through an inspiring dream, and subsequently came to be written. It could be that many poets, writers, artists etc. get their best ideas when they are asleep and dreaming. It seems that the muse never sleeps!
    I'm looking forward to reading of Dominic's latest running episode. My own running is going very well, or at least I think it is. I'm enjoying it; the fresh air, the scenery, the elements; and that's the main thing I think. Last week there was a 75 years young man in a race with me and he enjoyed it too!

  3. Interesting what you say Gwyllim - I think the most creative times are when you are drifting off to sleep and when you are half awake in the morning. I often think i should have a notebook by the bed - but I am a restless sleeper as it is and I don't think the farmer would appreciate my sitting up and making notes in the early hours!
    Do you feel like joining in Inspiration Wednesday (see my blog today) - I know it is not your kind of thing - but I would love to know who inspires you and I do think you might add a bit of "clout" (for want of a better word which I can't think of!) - do hope I can persuade you.
    Hope Dom posts his fell race notes - if he doesn't I will tell you about them in a few days.

  4. Not quite the same, but I'm reminded of Eliot:

    I am moved by fancies that are curled
    Around these images, and cling:
    The notion of some infinitely gentle
    Infinitely suffering thing.

    (Account of run duly posted!)

  5. I think Dominic's Eliot quote is perfectly apt. It's hard to get your head around the 'horror' as Greene put it, and scrapping the idea of an omnipotent creator who could have made it all lovely if only he wanted to is useful and somehow consoling. An interesting series on Greene. His scraps of time idea puts a label on something all of us have no doubt noticed in our lives and his ideas on inspiration open onto a mystery almost as impossible to get you head around as the problem of the night side of things. Thanks for putting it together for us.

  6. Kudos to Greene trail...Long live bardic spirit...
    Hope everthing 'running' well...?

  7. Thanks for all your comments. Satyapal you may soon be able view if "everything is running well" at for a few days after Wednesday. Click on the heading 'sport' at p3tv and then select the video of what appears to be a running race up a mountain. The commentary will be in German but the scenery will be universal. The newsworthy snippet will be 2 minutes.


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