Monday, December 17, 2012

A Transfiguration

For most of us most of the time, the world of everyday experience seems rather dim & drab. But for a few people often, and for a fair number occasioonally, some of the brightness of visionary experience spills over, as it were, into common seeing, & the everyday universe is transfigured...

Here is an entirely characteristic description of the transfiguration of the everyday world:

"I was sitting on the seashore, half listening to a friend arguing violently about something which merely bored me. Unconsciously to myself, I looked at a film of sand I had picked up on my hand, when I suddenly saw the exquisite beauty of every little grain of it; instead of being dull, I saw that each particle was made up on a perfect geometrical pattern, with sharp angles, from each of which a brilliant shaft of light was reflected, while each tiny crystal shone like a rainbow.. The rays crossed and recrossed, making exquisite patterns of such beauty that they left me breathless... Then, suddenly, my consciousness was lighted up from within and I saw in a vivid way how the whole universe was made up of particles of material which, no matter how dull and lifeless they might seem, were nevertheless filled with this intense and vital beauty. For a second or two the whole world appeared as a blaze of glory. When it died down, it left me with something I have never forgotten and which constantly reminds me of the beauty locked up in every minute speck of material around us."

Similarly George Russell writes of seeing the world illumined by "an intolerable lustre of light"; of finding himslef lookin at "landscapes as lovely as a lost Eden"; of beholding worlds where the "colors were brighter and purer, and yet made a softer harmony." Again, "the winds were sparkling and diamond clear, and yet full of color as an opal, as they glittered through the valley, and I knew the Golden Age was all about me, and it was we who had been blind to it, but that it had never passed away from the world."

Heaven & Hell
Aldous Huxley

Pablo Picasso painting with light.
via butdoesitfloat

This is what I wish to whomever; that amidst the impossibility of sight, may we always find what has always been.