Saturday, February 23, 2008


I was rummaging through the archives at the blog at Original Faith, and I came across this post from May of last year. It summarizes something I have danced around a few times, with my own plea that I would prefer to remain silent about it. Many years ago - in the summer of 1993, in fact, right after I got married - I had a mystical experience that I mentioned briefly to my wife, once. About four years later, I told my good friend, Steve, about it, and we had a long discussion about it. Reflecting on what is said in the linked post, and how I felt about my attempts to relate what happened, I feel two ways about the issue. On the one hand, I see no reason why I shouldn't share it. On the other hand, reducing the event to words, whether words with another person face to face, or words on a computer screen, just seems to me to reduce the event itself, make it not so much banal as understandable. The fact is - the event itself was charged beyond my own capacity for understanding. It just was, and there is no way to make sense of it apart from my own emotional reaction to it.

To call it "ineffable" does present its own problems. It's odd that we have a word in the English language for things for which there are no words. Like the concept "zero" as a mathematical unit, it seems to be an inherent contradiction - a concept for that which signifies no thing. Something about nothing. Except, of course, this is the opposite kind of thing; this is something about just about everything.

Rather than relate in detail, in sum, I came face to face - was it in flesh? spirit? something beyond any of these humdrum categories? - with the Divine. I saw, in those eyes, one who saw and knew everything about me, and yet looked on me with a love and acceptance that is beyond my ability to relate. My reaction to that moment when my eyes met his - a moment that lasted forever, it seemed - was immediate; I collapsed in tears, and was held. No words were said, but none were needed. The honest comfort was enough.

Then, just as suddenly as it all began, I was alone again, my face wet, my mind confused about what it was, exactly, that had happened.

To this day, I wonder. Was it some kind of hallucination? Was it "real", or real, or perhaps REAL? There is no answer I can give to any of these questions. My fear of relating the event itself rests as much in my own distrust of my own recollections, as well as my ability to capture the power of that moment, as anything.

What say you?

Virtual Tin Cup

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More