"In that moment of remote immediacy to things--of intimate strangeness--there may be some element of unreflective innocence, even something childlike [...] That sudden instant of existential surprise is [...] one of wakefulness of attentiveness to reality as such, rather than to the impulses of the ego or of desire or of ambition; and it opens up upon the limitless beauty of being, which is to say, upon the beauty of being seen as a gift that comes from beyond all possible beings. This wakefulness can, moreover, become habitual, a kind of sustained awareness of the surfeit of being over the beings it sustains, though this may be truly possible only for saints. For anyone who experiences only fleeting intimations of that kind of vision, however, those shining instants are reminders that the encounter with the mystery of being as such occurs within every encounter with the things of the world; one knows the extraordinary within the ordinary, the supernatural within the natural. The highest vocation of reason and of the will is to seek to know the ultimate source of that mystery. Above all, one should wish to know whether our consciousness of that mystery directs us toward a reality that is, in its turn, conscious of us."~from THE EXPERIENCE OF GOD: Being, Consciousness, Bliss, by David Bentley Hart. Professor Hart is an Eastern Orthodox theologian and philosopher who draws much of his inspiration from the classical theology of non-Christian religious traditions, including Sufism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. The subtitle of his book, in fact, is derived from the Sanskrit description of Brahman in Vedantic philosophy: Sat-Chit-Ananda (Being, Consciousness, Bliss).
Friday, April 18, 2014
The Mystical Experience
I am always amazed by those rare writers who manage to describe what in truth is indescribable.
Posted by David Angsten at 2:23 PM