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Observations placeholder

Gerhardie, William - Resurrection - Perception recall 1



Type of Spiritual Experience


' while we trace our destinies we stand in our own light. '

A description of the experience

Resurrection - William Gerhardie

... step off the carpet of your past. On the last day of your life you still stood on the edge of it, though the carpet was rolled up. If at first you felt chilly in this new unfurnished mansion, unroll your
carpet. ' Unroll, unroll I ' he urged.

My agent concurred, implying that it was not dangerous, and I unrolled my carpet, and I was never so surprised ! I was not only living my life again, but my life as I had first traced it now came into full focus. There was a sudden easy shifting of scenes.

My mother came up the stairs of the Bolton house and brought me my breakfast. Now she sits up in bed in her room in the Petersburg house overlooking the Neva, and everything associated with that day and ignored at the time stands up as a witness of the resurrection morning. Now we are driving, my mother and I, a boy of twelve, in a feather-spring victoria along the wide and long Kamennodstrovsky. She asks what I intend to be when I grow up, and I reply that I do not want to be anything.

'Luckily you are provided for' she says. She is a young woman dressing for a ball, but when I, now quite a small boy, say to her ' Oh, how beautiful you are !' she does not, to my surprise, reciprocate with 'And so are you,' and I think to myself : That woman, my mother, is cold and strange. Yet she had, in her own time, often when I felt distant and cold, such an abundance of love for me. O that it were our time, too ! But love fights shy when it meets itself, as if it did not quite like its own face in the mirror. I saw it all now. A little boy and a young mother.

An old mother turning to her grown-up son for advice.
I saw it now--every stage an accomplishment, every phase a fulfilment. Life, where are thy misfits now, where are thy ' failures ! ' A book of mine has failed to reach a wide sale.
My mother says indignantly : 'It's a shame ! ' In a tone of indictment, and as if she had discovered the real culprit : ' It's the public,' she adds. I saw it now, the perfect picture of imperfect life. Whether I had failed or succeeded, it mattered little now-it was equally in the picture, which had succeeded.

I have published half a dozen boolcs or so, and rny mother, who has come to stay with me in London, is a little surprised that I can pass in and out of buses apparently not recognized by anyone at all. All these events I was recrossing now out of reach of Anxiety and Habit, with extraordinary ease, within the whole range of what was once my past. Cleared of these pests it is all strangely, heart-flutteringly beautiful, all of it, full of meaning now, and not over but before my very eyes.

That the poignant beauty of my old mother, who in the spacious days of the Large house had kept an eye on us through a governess and a German Fraulein and who stayed in bed in the morning and gave her orders to a housekeeper, that the same wornan, now old and impoverished, should bring my breakfast for me which she had prepared herself in her little kitchen and carried upstairs on a tray for me, her visitor, who she insisted must stay in bed for it-that the poignant beauty of this,
not perceptible to my mother who liked her little house and enioyed my short visit, should not have occurred to me at the time, but only now, was another instance of how while we trace our destinies we stand in our own light.

And perhaps, after all, nothing more could have been done about it, since were I to have grown maudlin there and then, this emotion would have obtruded itself into the picure, like a photographer who should want to pose alongside his own sitter ; my mother, in her moment of beatitude, could not have shared the pathos, and the sharp design of it would have gone and the image remained for ever blurred.

We do, it is true, stand in our own light while we live ; but perhaps that is necessary,  that the silhouette of the shadow we cast may at least be clear and the feaures sharply authentic.......

Thee was no actuality in this new world; they were all states of being liberated and pure and ecstatic to the point of beatitude.

O Lord, let me than Thee fo this life, before only a promise and now a life.

The source of the experience

Gerhardie, William

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