Why Manichaeism doesn’t allow evil to be real enough

Tolkien’s metaphysics of evil (Finale)

Saying, as I have, that for Tolkien evil derives its power from the very good that it corrupts, doesn’t yet quite get to the real heart and problem of the matter, for as we have already touched on, the real scandal and mystery is that the being in which evil resides has the infinite Creator himself as its source, as the one “guaranteeing” and “preserving” evil with its seemingly inexhaustible resource of being (the subliminal realization of which also drives Melkor mad in his nihilistic despair). The ultimate answer to the question of why evil seems so powerful, then, is that evil has, for the time being at least, been given a lease on God’s own creative power, for at the heart of created being, including corrupted created being, is nothing less than the Flame Imperishable, kindling all things in their very existence. While it may seem that this puts God at evil’s disposal, ultimately the truth of the matter is quite the reverse: it means that even evil has to be at God’s disposal, as Ilúvatar reminds Melkor in the Ainulindalë at the close of the Music: “And thou, Melkor, shalt see that no theme may be played that hath not its uttermost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite. For he that attempteth this shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined” (Silmarillion 17). To be sure, evil is an enemy and a destroyer and its presence (by virtue of its enervating absence) and causality (by negating the causality of the good that is there) are mysteries, mysteries which, as a kind of “nothing,” are in that sense inexplicable even for God, “for ‘explanation’ can pertain only to existence, and here evil is not seen as something in existence” (Milbank, “Evil: Darkness and Silence,” 18). This means that, not having a being, nature, and logic of its own, evil must borrow itself, so to speak, from the good. To use St. Thomas’s distinction, it may not be “willed” by God, but it is certainly “permitted” by him, so that if evil should seem so radically powerful, it nevertheless must ultimately labor at its own expense (“in vain,” as Tolkien puts it), providing as it does the infinite and omnipotent God yet another “instrument” for bringing about his good purposes. Like St. Thomas, Tolkien too, in the words of Brian Davies cited in an earlier post, “seeks to understand [evil] as part of a world made by God.” Seen from this perspective, the real objection to Manichaean dualism is not that it makes evil real, but rather that it denies the existence of the omnipotent, transcendent Creator capable of making evil as real as it actually is, of giving evil, that is, the only reality to be had, the reality of the good. In summary, it is his Thomistic metaphysics of creation that enables Tolkien, through characters such as Ungoliant, Melkor, and Sauron, to take for granted the awesome and terrifying power of evil in the world—and thus allow the Manichaean insight into the radical power and being of evil, really for the first time, to come into its own—while at the same time reducing this same evil to nothing, and thereby holding out the hope of the ultimate futility and “vanity” of evil and hence its inevitable defeat. “Let that settle the Manichees,” one can hear Tolkien saying.

In review and conclusion, then, I have argued in this series of posts that, while Tom Shippey is quite correct that Tolkien’s fictional depiction of evil is far more complex and nuanced than perhaps a one-sidedly Augustinian account of evil has perhaps traditionally emphasized, the solution Tolkien arrives at is more sophisticated and coherent than the contradictory, “running ambivalence” that Shippey describes it as. Instead, I have argued that Tolkien’s ponerology involves a highly original application of St. Thomas’s metaphysics of creation and evil to uniquely modern forms of evil, forms of evil which the thirteenth-century Aquinas, for example, was largely unaware of, yet an application that reveals as much about Tolkien’s own dialectical and scholastic subtlety and inventiveness as it does about the profound explanatory power and adaptability of St. Thomas’s philosophy of being. At the same time, I have sought to explicate Tolkien’s remarkably cogent hierarchy and corresponding logic of evil, one that begins in a primordial, unnatural lust for the Flame Imperishable which gives being, before descending into the inordinate yet natural sub-creative impulse, first to produce and then to preserve the things of one’s own imagining, and at last devolving into the desire to dominate and then simply to annihilate the being of others. As I have further sought to show, while each of these forms of evil has its own peculiar identity and motives, at another level they are all variations of the same original sin of desiring what for both Tolkien and Aquinas is the Creator’s exclusive power to give created being.

The good as the efficacy of evil

Tolkien’s metaphysics of evil, part 53

In the previous post on this subject I noted that Tolkien does not write in The Silmarillion that Ungoliant’s darkness “was not lack but a thing with being of its own,” but that it “seemed not lack but a thing with being of its own. The point of this observation, however, is not merely to demonstrate that Tolkien’s presentation of evil is consistently Augustinian or Boethian after all, but rather to raise the prospect that Tolkien is in fact doing something much more profound and interesting. Far from vacillating between the Augustinian and Manichaean theories of evil, as per Tom Shippey’s reading, what Tolkien’s fiction accomplishes is a confrontation of Manichaeism head-on, not by contradicting it outright, but more intriguingly, by conceding what even the pre-converted Augustine recognized as a certain superficial cogency to Manichaean dualism: evil at times at least seems to have its own independent power and being. As Tolkien’s friend C.S. Lewis put it in the context of his own rejection of Manichaeism in favor of the Augustinian privation theory, the Manichaean position does enjoy a certain “obvious prima facie plausibility…” (“Evil and God,” 22). I think the best way of understanding Tolkien, therefore, is to see him as conceding the appearance of Manichaean evil at the phenomenological level, all the while re-inscribing and accounting for this appearance in the only way it could be accounted for, namely in terms of an otherwise Augustinian and Thomistic metaphysics of creation. This “truth” of Manichaeism, moreover, is one that Thomas himself, after a fashion, defends in the Summa, when he argues that evil is no mere illusion, but has a real existence in things (ST 1.48.2), meaning that in an important respect evil is as real and present as the things in which it resides. This I also take to be the meaning behind Tolkien’s emphatic claim in his “Mythopoeia” poem that “Evil is,” for as the poem also assures us of the eye that will see Paradise,

Evil it will not see, for evil lies

not in God’s picture but in crooked eyes,

not in the source but in malicious choice,

and not in sound but in the tuneless voice. (Tree and Leaf 101)

As we have seen, for both Thomas and Tolkien, evil by itself is a “zero,” but therein lies the paradox: evil is never by itself. As Thomas puts it, “evil is the privation of good, and not pure negation” (malum privatio est boni, et non negatio pura, ST 1.48.5 ad 1). Evil, in other words, is not isolatable to that small segment of the thing which it negates, for its effects reverberate throughout and may even be said to be amplified by the being that remains. (Compare this with the devastation which follows from Melkor’s monstrous wolf, Carcharoth, swallowing the Silmaril jewel after he bit off the hand of Beren. Although the jewel, as a symbol of creative and sub-creative light and existence, is a thing beautiful and good in itself, inside the belly of Carcharoth, its powerful effect is only to magnify the madness, terror, and destruction of Carcharoth’s rampage: “Of all the terrors that came ever into Beleriand ere Angband’s fall the madness of Carcharoth was the most dreadful; for the power of the Silmaril was hidden within him.”)

As Mary Edwin DeCoursey aptly puts it in her 1948 dissertation on Thomas’s metaphysics of evil, the privation of evil “is more than simple non-being. It has definite, malevolent ties with reality; it is the absence that is conspicuous” (The Theory of Evil in the Metaphysics of St. Thomas and Its Contemporary Significance: A Dissertation, 34, also cited in Knight, Chesterton and Evil, 51). Herbert McCabe has also put the point well:
Now does this mean that badness is unreal? Certainly not. Things really are bad sometimes and this is because the absence of what is to be expected is just as real as a presence. If I have a hole in my sock, the hole is not anything at all, it is just an absence of wool or cotton or whatever, but it is a perfectly real hole in my sock. It would be absurd to say that holes in socks are unreal and illusory just because the hole isn’t made of anything and is purely an absence. Nothing in the wrong place can be just as real and just as important as something in the wrong place. If you inadvertently drive your car over a cliff you will have nothing to worry about; it is precisely the nothing that you will have to worry about. (God Matters, 29)
In this way, as John Milbank has put it, “it is possible for negativity to take a sublime quasi-heroic form” (“Evil: Darkness and Silence,” 21). Thus, it is not in spite of evil’s status as a privation that it seems to be so powerful, but precisely on account of it. To state it differently still, evil doesn’t need to be ontologically independent in order for it to be a potent force to reckon with, since it has the very potency of the goodness of being at its disposal. Evil’s status as a privation of being is not what mitigates its efficacy, therefore, but what establishes it: it is as a privation of being that evil is able to derive its power and potency from the being it labors to negate. Thomas explains that evil is never capable of “corrupting the whole good” (ST 1.48.4), yet this only means that evil always has some remaining good behind it, giving it its very ontological efficacy and metaphysical momentum.

Tolkien’s “phenomenology of evil”

Tolkien’s metaphysics of evil, part 52

The previous post made the claim that, in portraying the darkness and evil of Ungoliant as “more” than a mere “loss” or negation of light, but as a “thing with being of its own,” Tolkien might seem to challenge deliberately the Augustinian doctrine of evil as mere non-being in favor of the more dualistic and Manichaean account of evil. Before concluding, however, as Tom Shippey does, that Tolkien’s presentation of evil is ambiguous, incoherent, or contradictory—the result of an effort to make sense of distinctly modern forms of evil by means of quaint and antiquated premodern theories of evil—we should consider whether Tolkien might not have had a deeper purpose in view here.

To begin, we may observe in this episode from The Silmarillion that Tolkien does not in fact say that the darkness introduced by Ungoliant was a thing with being in itself, but rather that it “seemed not lack but a thing with being of its own.” In the passage cited earlier recording the Ainur’s first experience of darkness, moreover, Tolkien writes not that they had “perceived a new thing,” but that “it seemed to them that in that moment they perceived a new thing” (S 19, emphasis added). In the case of Ungoliant, the explanation the narrative gives for this “seeming” ontological independence of darkness and evil is fully consistent with Tolkien’s creation metaphysics, “for it was made by malice out of Light,” and thus it had “power to pierce the eye, and to enter heart and mind, and strangle the very will.” Ungoliant’s evil and darkness, in other words, are powerful precisely because they have as the source of their strength the goodness and light which they negate, and it is this borrowed strength that in turn provides evil and darkness with even its appearance of radical independence. Again, Tolkien aptly captures the very phenomenon John Milbank sees as being fully accounted for in the privation theory of evil as taught by St. Thomas, namely “an incremental piling up of small deficient preferences which gradually and ‘accidentally’ (as Aquinas argued) produce the monstrous” (Milbank, “Evil: Darkness and Silence,” in Being Reconciled, 21).

Tolkien on evil: the Thomistic context

Tolkien’s metaphysics of evil, part 10

My own thesis on Tolkien’s approach to evil, to be defended in the posts to follow, is that like Houghton and Keesee and over against Shippey, I see Tolkien as presenting a consistent metaphysics of evil, but with Shippey I do think Tolkien deliberately, provocatively, and paradoxically flirts with Manichaeism far more than the one-sidedly Christian-Neoplatonic interpretations of Tolkien have sometimes allowed. In short, my argument is that Tolkien’s theory of evil exhibits both a greater internal coherence and a greater dialectical subtlety than either of these two camps have recognized, a coherence and subtlety, moreover, that I think best accessed and elucidated in light of what I have argued in previous posts to be Tolkien’s profoundly Thomistic metaphysics of creation.

 

In many respects, of course, St. Thomas’s own ponerology is quite conventional in its Neoplatonism, a fact which seems to be behind Paul Kocher’s remark that “Thomas’s less specifically Christian propositions about the nature of evil seem highly congruent with those which Tolkien expresses or implies in laymen’s terms in The Lord of the Rings.”[1] Thomas’s discussion of evil in question 48 of the Summa, for example, begins familiarly enough with his denial in the first article that evil is a nature, since every nature has its attendant perfection and goodness, whereas “by the name of evil is signified a certain absence of good” (ST 1.48.1).[2] Thomas goes on to explain in the second and third articles how evil exists in those things that have been corrupted from or fail to attain their intended goodness: the “subject” of evil is some good thing of which the evil constitutes a privation or absence of form that the subject is supposed to have (ST 1.48.3).[3] In the fourth article, much as we saw Tolkien denying earlier that any “‘rational being’ is wholly evil,” Thomas argues that, because evil only exists in a subject that is otherwise good, no evil is or can be completely successful in corrupting the whole good (ST 1.48.4).[4]


[1] Kocher, Master of Middle-earth, 77.

[2] “Relinquitur ergo quod nomine mali significetur quaedam absentia boni.” See also On Evil 1.1.

[3] See also On Evil 1.2.

[4] Thomas does not make this same point explicitly in his On Evil, though it is implied in article 2 of question 1, “Whether Evil is Something.”

Rejoinders to Shippey’s dualistic reading of Tolkien

Tolkien’s metaphysics of evil, part 9

While many readers have been convinced by Tom Shippey’s dualistic reading of Tolkien, others have not found his thesis persuasive. Theologian Colin Gunton, for example, writes that he finds “somewhat more consistent a theology of evil in The Lord of the Rings than does Shippey,” whom Gunton faults for making “the mistake of drawing too absolute a distinction between ‘inner’ and ‘objective evil.”[1] Scott Davison has similarly repudiated Shippey’s thesis in favor of a consistently anti-Manichaean and Augustinian reading of Tolkienian evil according to which, in Davison’s words, “the more evil something is, the more nearly it approaches nothingness.”[2] John Houghton and Neal Keesee have taken a slightly different approach, arguing that the alleged tensions and ambiguities identified by Shippey in Tolkien’s account of evil are in fact already present in Neoplatonism, thus rendering Shippey’s Manichaean thesis otiose. Although Houghton and Keesee do not discuss the aforementioned, almost Gnostic dualism of Plato’s and Plotinus’s views of matter as an eternal and even necessary source of evil, they do note that the Platonic tradition recognizes that evil

can nonetheless be both internal temptation and real external threat, leaving the evildoer both dead and alive, corrupted to the point of intangibility and yet truly dangerous, something to be both pitied for what it has lost and fought for what it is…. From Plato on, those who defend the position that Evil is nothing make consciously paradoxical, openly counter-intuitive, statements… The Neo-Platonic tradition, then, would teach us to see evil synoptically, if paradoxically…[3]

As for the climactic Sammath Naur scene at the end of The Return of the King discussed by Shippey, Houghton and Keesee show how Tolkien’s own interpretation of the scene in light of the sixth and seventh petitions of the Lord’s Prayer (“lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”) belongs squarely within the tradition of Christian-Neoplatonic exegesis of this passage represented by St. Augustine and St. Thomas.[4] Houghton and Keesee conclude their study by affirming with Shippey that Tolkien does indeed offer “a complex and nuanced assessment of the nature of evil,” yet they object that “this view is not a departure from Boethius; it is consistently paradoxical rather than ambiguous or contradictory. Rooted firmly in the Neo-Platonic tradition, Tolkien… perceives evil’s true nature: nothing, yet paradoxically powerful.”[5]


[1] Gunton, “A Far-Off Gleam of the Gospel: Salvation in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings,” 140n6.

[2] Davison, “Tolkien and the Nature of Evil,” 102.

[3] Houghton and Keesee, “Tolkien, King Alfred, and Boethius,” 134-138.

[4] “On Shippey’s analysis, the [Sammath Naur] scene showcases the contradiction between evil as internal temptation (and so ‘Boethian’) and evil as external force (and so ‘Manichaean’)…. In this context, [Shippey] reports, from a 1955 letter to Douglas Masson, Tolkien’s connection of Frodo at the Sammath Naur with the sixth and seventh petitions of the Lord’s Prayer … [C]onceding that the petitions might merely reinforce each other, [Shippey] proposes that they are more likely to frame a contrast, ‘the first asking God to keep us safe from ourselves (the Boethian source of sin), the second asking for protection from outside (the source of evil in a Manichaean universe)’. But would Tolkien have understood temptation in quite this way, or had precisely this contrast in mind?… Neo-Platonist theologians of the sort we might think Tolkien likely to have followed put forward other interpretations. Augustine, for example, discusses these two petitions in several places, while Aquinas… follows Augustine when he discusses the Lord’s Prayer in the Summa. These doctors do not see temptation as interiorized, for on their understanding temptation can come from God or from Satan: if the interior conflict were all that counted, there would be no point in insisting on the distinction between the exterior elements. In Sermon 57, Augustine tells those who are about to be baptized that even after they have been baptized, they will face an internal struggle, a battle against their own lusts; if those lusts are conquered, the Tempter will find no opportunity for his evil work. Thus far, Augustine supports interiorization; but he sandwiches this statement between two comments that the individual capacity to resist depends upon God’s aid, and that without that exterior support, Satan ‘finds in [the individual] no resistance against his power, but forthwith presents himself to him as his possessor.’ Thus without God’s support the individual seems to be in the ‘Manichaean’ situation, one where the active force of evil needs no internal echo in order to overpower the person. This idea of being abandoned by God is not merely hypothetical. Following St. Paul’s assertion in 1 Cor. 10:13 that God does allow us to be tempted, Augustine and Aquinas insist that ‘lead us not into temptation’ does not mean merely ‘do not tempt us,’ but rather ‘do not allow us to meet with temptations we cannot bear,’ ‘do not abandon us to temptation’, interpretations which assume that God could abandon us… Rather than a complementary division between God’s interior (in saving us from our own weaknesses) and exterior (in defending us from evil forces) work, Augustine and Aquinas see instead the contrast between God’s not abandoning us in the future to evil forces and his liberating us now from the results of the past…. Frodo, at the Sammath Naur, is in fact at precisely the position Augustine and Aquinas describe: tempted to the very point of abandonment, and surrounded by present evil… On this reading, the Sammath Naur episode fits squarely within the Neo-Platonic tradition of biblical exegesis.” Ibid., 148-151.

[5] Ibid., 151. 

More dualistic readings of Tolkien on evil

Tolkien’s metaphysics of evil, part 8

Tom Shippey’s dualistic reading of Tolkien on evil has met both criticism and approval from Tolkien’s readers. Hayden Head, for example, in his Girardian interpretation of Tolkien’s ponerology, cites sympathetically Shippey’s claim that “evil for Tolkien is both an absence and a presence; theologically speaking, evil is both Boethian and Manichaean.”[1] Lee Oser likewise follows in Shippey’s train when he pits Tolkien’s allegedly dualistic account of evil against the Augustinianism of St. Thomas:

There are grounds to suggest that Tolkien, like C.S. Lewis, had a strong intuition of positive evil, verging on dualism. Lewis found evidence for dualism in the New Testament. He recognized the danger of Manichaenism and, while stopping short of heresy, conceded ambiguity. The same kind of metaphysical problem exists in The Lord of the Rings… What is peculiarly modern in Tolkien’s intuition of evil is how he differs from Aquinas with regard to the orthodox Augustinian teaching that positive evil does not exist. He is closer to Kierkegaard, to Nietzsche, and to Yeats, all of whom recognize a creative element in the conflict of psychological drives or, as Nietzsche called them, “inspiring spirits.”[2]

Similarly, Verlyn Flieger, although not dealing directly with Shippey’s Manichaean-Boethian thesis, nevertheless agrees with Tolkien’s biographer Humphrey Carpenter that Tolkien was a “man of antitheses.” Whereas Shippey, however, contextualizes Tolkien’s complex account of evil in terms of his attempt to represent the ambiguities of modern forms of evil, Flieger traces it to significant aspects and events in Tolkien’s own personality and experience, especially the death of his mother when he was still a young boy. Speaking of the tension “between belief and doubt” she finds in Tolkien’s writings, Flieger writes:

They are emblematic of the poles of his emotional life. Even more, they are the boundary markers of his worlds—both the world he perceived around him and the world he created in his fiction. No careful reader of Tolkien’s fiction can fail to be aware of the polarities that give it form and tension. His work is built on contrasts—between hope and despair, between good and evil, between enlightenment and ignorance—and these contrasts are embodied in the polarities of light and dark that are the creative outgrowth of his contrary moods, the “antitheses” of his nature. Carpenter describes him as a man of extreme contrasts, one who was “never moderate: love, intellectual enthusiasm, distaste, anger, self-doubt, guilt, laughter, each was in his mind exclusively and in full force when he experienced it.”[3]

One place where Flieger particularly finds the “extreme contrast” of Tolkien’s temperament on display is in the conflicting pessimism and optimism of his two famous essays, “Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics” and “On Fairy-Stories,” the one representing the tragic spirit of “dyscatastrophe” at one end of Tolkien’s emotional spectrum, the other a spirit of hope and joy or “eucatastrophe” at the other end. Together the two essays are “devoted to exploration of dark and light, and to affirmation of both.”[4]


[1] Head, “Imitative Desire,” 145.

[2] Oser, “Enter Reason and Nature,” 118-19.

[3] Flieger, Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien’s World, 129.

[4] “Although one speaks movingly of man’s defeat by ‘the offspring of the dark’ and the other celebrates ‘the joy of deliverance,’ each essay acknowledges that both light and dark are elements held in interdependent tension. The darkness that is the focus of the first passage needs the ‘little circle of light’ to give it meaning; the ‘Joy’ of the second passage is consoling only in light of the possibility of sorrow…. In the Beowulf essay dark heavily outweighs light; heroes go from the circle of light into the surrounding dark and down to final defeat. In the fairy-story essay, light is victorious and joy triumphs over sorrow.” Ibid., 12-13.

Tom Shippey’s dualistic reading of Tolkien

Tolkien’s metaphysics of evil, part 7

The preceding post in this series noted a couple of early observations by Tolkien’s readers as to his Augustinian conviction that evil is a privation of being and is therefore in itself nothing. According to Tom Shippey, however, it is precisely its reduction of evil to a sheer nothingness and therefore (in his view) to an almost illusory status that makes the Augustinian theory of evil ultimately inadequate as an account of everything Tolkien has to say on the subject. Thus, despite Tolkien’s clear disavowal of the existence of an “absolute evil,” Shippey has forcefully argued that Tolkien also presents in his fiction an ambiguous, even contradictory vision of evil, one that holds in deliberate tension, on the one hand, an Augustinian or “Boethian” monism, wherein evil is reduced to a form of relative non-being, and on the other hand a “Manichaean” dualism, according to which evil is more than non-being, but a positive, ontological force in its own right, coequal and equipotent with the good. Shippey argues that this complex portrayal of evil was the fruit of Tolkien’s attempt, like that of many of his fellow authors of the twentieth century,

to explain something at once deeply felt and rationally inexplicable, something furthermore felt to be entirely novel and not adequately answered by the moralities of earlier ages (keen medievalists though several of these authors were)…. [T]his “something” is connected with the distinctively twentieth-century experience of industrial war and impersonal, industrialized massacre… an unshakable conviction of something wrong, something irreducibly evil in the nature of humanity, but without any very satisfactory explanation for it. … Twentieth-century fantasy can be seen as above all a response to this gap, this inadequacy. One has to ask in what ways Tolkien’s images are original, individual, and in what ways typical, recognizable.[1]

According to Shippey, Tolkien achieves this balance of novelty and traditionalism by setting up a “running ambivalence” throughout his legendarium that is “at once orthodox and questioning to the whole problem of the existence and source of evil…”[2] As evidence of Tolkien’s more Boethian instincts, Shippey cites Frodo’s remark to Sam in The Two Towers that evil cannot create or even make “new things of its own,” and even more discerningly, the Orc Gorbag’s statement in the same chapter that abandoning one’s friends was a “regular elvish trick,” a statement implying the recognition of an absolute, overarching moral order.[3] On the other hand, Shippey sees a latent dualism or “Manichaeism” in certain aspects of Tolkien’s portrayal of evil. Whereas on the Boethian view, as Shippey interprets it, evil is primarily “internal, caused by human sin and weakness and alienation from God,” in his more Manichaean moments Tolkien represents evil as an objective, “external” force. Two examples Shippey notes are Tolkien’s depiction of, first, the Ring as a thing evil in and of itself, and second, those moments in the story when Frodo’s will feels the Ring beating down upon him as a force coming from without, as in the climactic Sammath Naur scene toward the end of The Return of the King. In representing evil as having a certain ontological independence, Shippey summarizes, Tolkien’s intention is not so much to flirt with heresy as it is to express an empirical fact about the universe and human experience, a fact Shippey believes to be unaccounted for in a one-sidedly Boethian perspective on evil.[4]


[1] Shippey, J.R.R.Tolkien: Author of the Century, 120-1.

[2] Ibid., 130.

[3] Ibid., 131-3.

[4] Ibid., 141. Shippey’s argument concerning Tolkien’s ambivalence towards the traditional, Augustinian privation theory of evil parallels the more general critique a number of recent philosophers such as Slavoj Žižek and Jean Luc Nancy have made of the privation theory in light of the “radical evil” of the twentieth century. For an overview and response to this critique defending privation theory, see John Milbank, “Evil: Darkness and Silence.”