Beston, Henry - from The Best of Beston
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
From Night on the Great Beach
Our fantastic civilisation has fallen out of touch with many aspects of nature, and with none more completely than with night.
Primitive folk, gathered at a cave mouth round a fire, do not fear night; they fear, rather, the energies and creatures to whom night gives power; we of the age of machines, having delivered ourselves of nocturnal enemies, now have a dislike of night itself.
With lights and ever more lights, we drive the holiness and beauty of night back to the forests and the sea; the little villages, the crossroads even, will have none of it. Are modern folk, perhaps, afraid of night?
Do they fear that vast serenity, the mystery of infinite space, the austerity of stars?
Having made themselves at home in a civilisation obsessed with power, which explains its whole world in terms of energy, do they fear at night for their dull acquiescence and the pattern of their beliefs?