Friday, 21 July 2006

How are you?

It was an enormous gilt effigy of the human eye, surrounded with rays of gold, and taking up as much room as two or three office windows.
'What on earth is that?' asked Father Brown, and stood still.
'Oh, a new religion,' said Flambeau, laughing; 'one of those new religions that forgive your sins by saying you never had any. Rather like Christian Science, I should think. The fact is that a fellow calling himself Kalon (I don't know what his name is, except that it can't be that) has taken the flat just above me. ... He calls himself the New Priest of Apollo, and he worships the sun.'
'Let him look out,' said Father Brown. 'The sun was the cruellest of all the gods. but what does that monstrous eye mean?'
'As I understand it, it is a theory of theirs', answered Flambeau, 'that a man can endure anything if his mind is quite steady. Their two great symbols are the sun and the open eye; for they say that if a man were really healthy he could stare at the sun.'
'If a man were really healthy,' said Father Brown, 'he would not bother to stare at it.'
'Well, that's all I can tell you about the new religion,' went on Flambeau carelessly. 'It claims, of course, that it can cure all physical diseases.'
'Can it cure the one spiritual disease?' asked Father Brown, with a serious curiosity.
'And what is the one spiritual disease?' asked Flambeau, smiling.
'Oh, thinking one is quite well,' said his friend.

- from The Innocence of Father Brown, by Chesterton.

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