Masefield, John - Shakespeare and spiritual life
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Shakespeare and spiritual life – John Masefield
He saw life in its essentials for what it is, an order of intense power, revolving with immense energy about a centre or axle, like a spinning-wheel. The spinning about that centre in his vision, as in truth, is the main business of it, ordained from of old from some divine source of rhythm and harmony; any upsetting of that spinning, from whatever motive, even the noblest motive that ever lured men to devilry, is devilish and from a hellish source of broken rhythm and disharmony.
And at this point …..he saw very clearly that outside this spinning world of spinning societies of fiercely whirling men, are powers or states of spirit who cannot act directly upon men, but who do not want the rhythm broken, and strive to keep it running and to save its threatened axle, by all sorts of promptings, inarticulate cryings, efforts which are misunderstood and warnings which are misinterpreted. These powers are of that heart of things against which the working brain of man is ever a barrier
Only in childhood, in the ecstasy of absorption, and in the illumination of power, can man apprehend them
In the effort of this great heart to make itself heard across that fence of steel, …..... a storm is roused in things subject to its power....... the storm is the very thunder of the power of life, more true than any truth, more real than any reality known to us. In that storm which precedes or accompanies the great crime, the dead, whose wills are stilled, are drawn to walk from their graves, animals are shaken to madness, voices cry in the air, all nature rings with warning which yet never reaches the threatened man, because it is Fated so.