"Williams and Lewis met by exchanging fan letters. In 1936... Lewis had readWilliams’ novel
The Place of the Lion
and was so taken with it that (“for the first time inmy life”) he wrote a fan letter to the author; almost immediately he received a reply fromWilliams explaining that he had been just about to write a similar letter to Lewis afterreading the proofs of
The Allegory of Love....
"Williams would remain in Oxford, continuing to work for the press but also givingoccasional lecture series for the university, and of course meeting with the Inklings, untilhis sudden and unexpected death in May 1945....
Lewis was devastated by the loss
,more than any of the other Inklings. Williams had... effectively displaced Tolkien fromhis place in Lewis’s life—indeed, he called Williams, in a letter written soon after theman’s death, '
my dearest friend
The Inklings: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams and their friends
by Humphrey Carpenter
(Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1979), pages 80-84."...a fundamental element in Charles Williams’s character, the thing that he was trying toexpress when he told a friend: ‘At bottom a darkness has always haunted me.’ Whatwas this darkness? ..."...by the time he was in his late twenties he was making some study of the beliefs andpractices of that semi-magical branch of Christianity known as Rosicrucianism.
[An occult system using a blend of Egyptian and Christian symbols]
During this period heread books by the Rosicrucian writer A. E. Waite; he entered into correspondence withWaite, and at Waite’s invitation was initiated (in 1917) into an organisation called theOrder of the Golden Dawn...."Among its first initiates was a coroner who allegedly performed
rites...while another early member was
black magician Aleister Crowley
, the self styledGreat Beast.... But the Order of the Golden Dawn also included persons of lessoutlandish ways, such as
W. B. Yeats
, whom Williams met during the period of hismembership, one or two clergy with a taste for the mystical, and A. E. Waite himself....It was this group that Williams joined."As a neophyte aspiring to be initiated into the Golden Dawn he would apparently havehad to declare: ‘My soul... seeking for the Light of Occult Knowledge...
[I chose not to include this oath].
’ He also had to take an oath to keep the rites secret, on penalty of a‘hostile current’ which would be set against him if he broke faith.... Probably they wereharmless enough
, based as they seem to have been on
Waite’s enthusiasms for freemasonry
, vaguely Christian mysticism, and
, a system of occult beliefs which combines the symbolism ofChristianity with the terminology of
[This is a demonic counterfeit of Christianity, yet it seems to be influencing the church through the popularity of mysticism, spiritual experience, and postmodern disinterest in God's unchanging Word]