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Afterwards Harwood and I lay under the trees and talked. He told me of his new philosopher, Rudolf Steiner, who has ‘made the burden roll from his back’. Steiner seems to be a sort of panpsychist, with a vein of posing superstition, and I was very much disappointed to hear that both Harwood and Barfield were impressed by him. The comfort they got from him (apart from the sugar plum of promised immortality, which is really the bait with which he has caught Harwood) seemed something I could get much better without him.

I argued that the ‘spiritual forces’ which Steiner found everywhere were either shamelessly mythological people or else no-one-knows-what. Harwood said this was nonsense and that he understood perfectly what he meant by a spiritual force. I also protested that Pagan animism was an anthropomorphic failure of imagination and that we should prefer a knowledge of the real unhuman life which is in the trees etc. He accused me of a materialistic way of thinking when I said that the similarity of all languages was probably depended on the similarity of all throats.

From All My Road Before Me

All My Road Before Me: The Diary of C. S. Lewis: 1922-1927. Copyright © 1991 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Foreword copyright © 1981 by Owen Barfield. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

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