The Charles Williams Society

Heraclitus on the Way of Exchange, by Stephen Barber

The following is an article by Stephen Barber.

Bishop Kallistos Ware once memorably described Williams’s account of heaven as the place of exchange. He summed it up by drawing on a phrase Williams quotes in ‘Bors to Elayne: on the King’s Coins’:

This is the way of this world in the day of that other’s;
make yourselves friends by means of the riches of iniquity,
for the wealth of the self is the health of the self exchanged.
What saith Heracleitus? – and what is the City’s breath? –
dying each other’s life, living each other’s death.
Money is a medium of exchange.

In one of his few notes, Williams gives his source: ‘The quotation from Heracleitus was taken from Mr. Yeats’s book, A Vision.’ This is a little terse, and it is worth following through in more detail.

Download the full article to read more…