Emma: They're just stories. The Mad Hatter is a character in Alice in Wonderland--a book. A book I've read.
Jefferson: Stories. Stories? What’s a story? When you were in high school, did you learn about the Civil War?
Emma: Yeah, of course.
Jefferson: How did you learn about it? Did you read about it, perchance, in a book?
Emma: History books are based on history.
Jefferson: And storybooks are based on what, imagination? Where does that come from? It has to come from somewhere. You know what the issue is with this world? Everyone wants a magical solution for their problem, and everyone refuses to believe in magic.
Emma: Here’s the thing, Jefferson. This is it. This is the real world.
Jefferson: A real world. How arrogant are you to think yours is the only one? There are infinite more. You have to open your mind. They touch one another, pressing up in a long line of lands, each just as real as the last. All have their own rules. Some have magic. Some don’t. And some need magic… like this one.
The story of Christ is simply a true myth: a myth working on us in the same way as the others, but with this tremendous difference that it really happened. . . . The Pagan stories are God expressing Himself through the minds of poets, using such images as He found there, while Christianity is God expressing Himself through what we call ‘real things.’
No, said Tolkien. [Myths] are not lies. . . .
Man is not ultimately a liar. He may pervert his thought into lies, but he comes from God, and it is from God that he draws his ultimate ideals . . . Not merely the abstract thoughts of man but also his imaginative inventions must originate with God, and in consequence reflect something of eternal truth. In making a myth, in practicing ‘mythopeia’ and peopling the world with elves and dragons and goblins, a story-teller . . . is actually fulfilling God’s purpose, and reflecting a splintered fragment of the true light.