120 years ago, on Sept. 20, 1886, was born a man, life and death enveloped by a halo of mystery. Rosicrucian saw him as a follower, although he always remained a devout Christian. Christians have shied away from him even after he left the occult Order, shaking off the dust from their feet. Charles Williams was everywhere, and not to the point, however, covered by his presence all around.
Already in childhood, when religious parents were taken to Charles in a small church, he visited her not coerced, but because of the pull of the mountain world, which beckoned to her dreamy child.
His spiritual formation was the boy owes much to his father, the holder of a small shop into the artistic goods. Pope, in spite of the care for his family and business, he managed to write stories that are willing to publish various London newspapers and magazines. Long walks and intimate conversations with his father, Charlie helped to discover the greatness of culture and begin to find myself in creativity. By the time included his first poems.
Next was the training in the classical school, he graduated with honors. Then – admission to Medical College of London University, who was unable to finish due to lack of funds.
So would Charles and he worked all his life by the seller in the bookstore Methodist Church, if not a happy meeting with the director of Oxford University. The new work is so fascinated by Williams, that he was the publisher until his death.
However favorite work could not give enough money, when a young married Charles Williams and the couple had a child. To earn some money, Williams took up teaching. Since the autumn of 1922 he lectured in English literature at the evening general education classes for adults. His fine mind, outstanding oratory, love the subject and the desire to share knowledge have been deservedly praised. In his lectures were always crowded. And the university conferred an honorary degree from Williams, Master of Arts – a unique fact, given that Charles had not received higher education.
The beginning of a major literary work of Williams assumed the publication of the first of seven “mystical detective” – “The war in heaven. The writer then turns 44 years old. And, turning to the genre, Williams wanted to affordable tell the inexperienced reader of the spiritual world that surrounds us, its laws and our place in that invisible realm. Fortunately, the sad experience in this field the writer has had plenty: behind Williams left the membership in a secret mystical Rosicrucian organization 1.
What led him there – you can only guess. Perhaps one of the reasons served as a dry climate and ossified religiosity that prevailed in what was then the Anglican Church, which provoked the search for Williams kakihto special mystical experiences. That search and brought the then young Christian in the occult Order of the Golden Dawn, founded in 1880 by Anglican clergyman and Freemason AF Woodford. By the time the lists of the Order there were a lot of people, known in the creative world, of which the publisher Williams knew firsthand. Among them – the Irish poet WB Yeats, who in 1923 received the Nobel Prize, Sir Arthur KonanDoyl, GR Hagard, BA Stocker, and many others.
Initially, among the main tasks of the Order were employed so-called great work – the achievement of control over himself and nature, and the establishment of closer and personal relationship with Jesus. ” However, later followed by numerous splits, and pious intentions to approach the Savior have been replaced by worship of the Egyptian goddess Isis, and the members of the Order carried away with an intensive search for the philosopher’s stone, the elixir of life, access to the astral and other occult practices. At one time member of the Golden Dawn was Aleister Crowley Satanist who called himself “the beast from the bottomless pit”, which, however, soon expelled for licentious behavior and a series of provocative statements.
Watching all this from the inside, Williams soon left without regret Order, enriched by the practical spiritual experience, which many people do not even suspect. “He sees how evil can turn the use of such (SG occult) knowledge and gave them power and understand how a man should do that did not happen. For him though there is no temptation to the occult, he goes “through” him, just as through life’s difficulties, perhaps because always and everywhere remains a Christian “- a summary in the preface to War in Heaven” N. Grigoriev.
This novel and initiated a cycle of works of art, which the author himself has called “romantic theology. What are they? On the eternal battle of good and evil, which came to include all people who voluntarily choose which of the warring parties they choose. For greater attractiveness of the plot is twisted around a well-known novels of symbolic objects – this is the Holy Grail and the Stone of Solomon, and tarot cards …
The author shows how the characters in his novels, engaging in battle with evil, are not ready for such a serious fight. But in the process of this struggle are changing their minds. So liberal theologian, rector of the rural parish, faced with a warlock, who is trying to cast spells using the Holy Grail, won a duel with our lives ( “The War in Heaven”). In the “other worlds” main character, is very far from religion, is taken to combine in itself fragmented into many parts of the magical stone of Solomon. She decided to believe in God and makes with it a great mystery, linking the forces of evil, was released at the will of heartless scientists. Completing this mission, Chloe meekly goes to his Lord of the …
To someone else this turn of events would be perceived as a tragedy, but not for Charles Williams, who knew that with the death of a man of his existence does not end. That is the topic author dedicated his book “The Eve of All Saints.
In this novel kind of girl Fanivel Leicester, who died in a plane crash, to my surprise suddenly appears in no less real, but the beyond London. By the will of Providence, Leicester remains kakoeto time out of hell and the heavenly mansions. She was allowed to reach a final reconciliation with loved ones, to know the depth of love, to find repentance and save the soul of his friends from the clutches of the black magician. As a result of dedication to Leicester magician was punished, the attempt to seize world domination is failed, meek healed, and all those who remembered and loved a girl in life, known the path leading to the One who Himself is love.
So, from book to book, the author repeats the same gospel message: “no greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). He himself was fully gave himself to others: family, friends (the first of which was CS Lewis), students and readers of his books.
Williams was not afraid of the curses of the former soratnikovokkultistov, staying with the firm conviction that his master is stronger than their master. The author tried to stir the reader, giving him food for the mind and heart, recalling the different reality, which can not be ignored. Having been in the shoes Rosicrucian, Williams tries to warn the reader about the danger of flirting with spiritual forces. He felt responsible for every man, enthusiastic in the occult, to which he could not get through. It was not just fiction for a writer to which an eminent English poet Thomas S. Eliot said: “He was a man who lives at the same time and in the material and spiritual world, a man for whom these two worlds are equally real, because at the case is one of the world. ”
After leaving the Golden Dawn, a writer very much like to be taken in a large Christian family, which, he hoped his experience and spiritual experience could bring substantial benefits. At this time, Williams wrote a small book, “He came down from heaven” – a clear explanation of one of the basic tenets of Christianity. Then, from his pen there is a voluminous work, The Descent of the Dove “- a study on the history of the emergence and actions of the Holy Spirit in the Church. In “The Vision of Beatrice,” the writer considers the mystical dimension of creativity Dante …
But it so happened that the church’s elite did not show much interest in the former Rosicrucians and his books. Yes, and ordinary parishioners, mired in a religious routine and rituals, mysticism Williams was unclear and caused only a suspicion.
Williams did not give up, continuing to work and meet like-minded dreaming. Providence and then helped the writer, linking it with bonds of friendship, KS Lewis, an Oxford professor and ardent defender of Christianity.
Meeting of two writers turned to sign Williams: Lewis brought a new friend in the literary circle “Inklings 2”. All friends were deeply faithful Christians that Oxford was a great rarity. They were going twice a week to talk about literature, history, philosophy and theology. These evening meetings are often born the idea of masterpieces, which to this day credited by millions of people around the world. It is here in this small, warmed with love and understanding of society, Williams found his spiritual haven.
Then there was the terrible carnage of the Second World. London was bombed, and the publishing house, which labored Williams, moved to Oxford. The writer continued to write literary studies, essays, although the conditions for this were not comfortable. His cabinet was a small bathroom in a rented room. But all the inconveniences were a trifle compared with the pain he felt, looking at the terrible consequences of war.
The agony of the writer ended with the war. He survived the victory of the week. At Oxford, is still living legend: He offered his life to God for those who suffer in war, and was heard. So he stayed in the memory of man – a great writer, on the tombstone which bears the words: “Charles Williams, a poet by the grace of God”