G.K. Chesterton: on decadence

There comes an hour in the afternoon when the child is tired of “pretending”, when he is weary of being a robber or red Indian.  It is then when he torments the cat.  There comes a time in the routine of an ordered civilization when man is tired of playing at mythology and pretending that the tree is a maiden or that the moon made love to a man.  The effect of this staleness is the same everywhere; it is seen in all drug taking and dram drinking and every form of the tendency to increase the dose.  Men seek stranger sins and more startling obscenities as stimulants to their jaded senses.  They seek after mad oriental religions for the same reason.  They try to stab their nerves to life, if it were with the knives of the priests of Baal.  They are walking in their sleep and try to wake themselves up with nightmares.

– GK Chesterton

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