Section from a book that I keep coming back too

"...Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. "He that will lose his life, the same shall save it," is not a piece of mysticism for saints and heroes. It is a piece of everyday advice for sailors or mountaineers. It might be printed in an Alpine guide or a drill book. This paradox is the whole principle of courage; even of quite earthly or quite brutal courage. A man cut off by the sea may save his life if he will risk it on the precipice.

He can only get away from death by continually stepping within an inch of it. A soldier surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for living with a strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine..."

Herein lies a lesson that I need to learn.

I have to learn.

I must learn.


  1. How thought provoking.

    It's well said and quite the parallel to the Bible. I think it's a great explanation of the Biblical principle. I think this quote would help many Christian's understand: You must lose your life to save it.

    Great quote Neil... I'm so thought struck I can't write intelligibly.

  2. It's from GK Chesteron's book "Orthodoxy", I've been digesting this book for over a year now, picking it up reading a chapter, feeling confused, rereading a chapter, over and over again. I find myself really enjoying his style but it take a lot of thinking on my part to muddle through it. I've been trying to find cool classic prints of Chesteron's works, Heretics is what I want to read next, and I've been able to find the ebook but somehow thats not the same. . . . you should give his stuff a try. Not your normal theology book, at least I presume it's not normal, I haven't really read very much theology.