Evans, Margiad - from Autobiography
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
MARGIAD EVANS. From Autobiography (London, 1943; 2nd edn., 1952),
But the clear moment which was the prelude, oh, rarely, rarely have I had that again.
Those are the eras, the visions, when the inner and outer meaning of the earth and sky and all that is in them, fit exactly the one over the other, when there is no slipping, no edge of obscurity, no groping.
Ah, how impossible it is to keep those moments, to hold down for more than a single instant that joy of being oneself contained in all one sees! Feeling with the leaves, travelling with the clouds, seeing back from the star, into one's own breast that is the very essence of perception.
It is then that one can live for an instant in the millions kinds of life which fumble for the sun, or in the stars which search through space for the earth to shine on, and on the earth, a spirit to enter.
It is the strangest sensation for the mind to fix itself in the contemplation of one single natural thing; and one of its most singular phenomena is the amazing quality of universal perception which takes place in the thinker at the same time.
Fixed on one, all-things become supernaturally distinct and detailed. With the mind utterly rapt the eye becomes abnormally sensitive, bur unconsciously, so that in recollection memory brings back a landscape where one seemed to see only a cloud's broken suns.
Yet not always.
Sometimes I seem to know each separate thing while lost in the one, and it is then that I feel profoundly the almost palpable linking up of the universe. From life to life, from kind to kind, through the mind to the sky and out to each planet, the chain reaches.
Ah, who can doubt it? Who that really feels what he sees can fail to be sure, if he thinks at all of what his senses tell him? The air itself is felt to be woven of threads of life. Even in the darkness they are there.
Looking up to the moon as it seems to rush backwards across its own white hollow of light, looking at the sun's direct rays on the earth, looking at the stars whose presence reaches us through enormous darkness, who can deny the thought? Even in sleep it does not leave me-the least thrill in the chord recalls me, and in the morning it is there directly the day is felt on my eyelids. Yes, even before I wake, I come to it.
And there are millions of spirits like mine.
To them I unite because we are still more closely connected. I believe in it.
But I have failed to describe it, because language cannot form the thought, because it is wordless and unimaginable and pictureless, an inhabitant unseen.