Sunday, 22 November 2009

Musings on Immortality

George Trevelyan wrote a book in 1984 called “A Vision of the Aquarian Age.” I am going to quote parts of it for I believe he has tapped a wellspring of truth that can help us all understand better our true place in eternity.

We are beginning, perhaps dimly as yet, to see that behind and within the outer forms of matter is one life, manifesting in infinite variety and diversity. With an inner eye, we are looking into this whole, with what Coleridge called “sacred sympathy” – for once perceived as part of that whole, everything alive becomes sacred. Every form is a housing for Being. Each is therefore a window into the eternal worlds. Each is a navel for the universe of spirit, each a vortex leading our sight into the etheric planes. Creative Oneness has manifested itself through infinite diversity; but our consciousness now is emerging from its imprisonment in matter to find it can extend and unite itself with the organic oneness of things. As Wordsworth says:-

To me the meanest flower that breathes can bring
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.

A crystal, a bird, a single leaf can trigger this new understanding. Thus, meditation on a single object can lead one through to an empirical recognition that we as human beings are intimately and inextricably part of the whole of nature. In this way, we proceed to discover that Planet Earth is truly alive, a sentient creature with her own breathing, bloodstream, glands and consciousness. We human beings are integrally part of this organism, like blood corpuscles in a body. We are, moreover, points of consciousness for the Earth Being. Man is that point where, as Teilhard de Chardin says, “evolution becomes conscious of itself” and can think out into the cosmos. And having done that, we discover that the cosmos itself is shot through with living Thought, Intelligence and Creative Imagining. We can then begin to share what Wordsworth experienced in his famous musings at Tintern Abbey:

…… I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts: a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns
And the round ocean and the living air
And the blue sky and in the mind of man,
A motion and a spirit that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thoughts
And rolls through all things.

Raynor Johnson in his book “The Watcher on the Hill” has collected many examples of “ordinary” people in our own time who have had a sudden flash – perhaps only a few seconds or minutes in duration – in which they have seen the life in nature and in man. All colour in flowers and trees and sky is enhanced and intensified, colour is even experienced as sound, everything appears extraordinarily beautiful and burgeoning with significance; and the seer knows with profound certainty that he has glimpsed the Reality behind appearance. All who have undergone this phenomenon concur that life will never be the same again, and that it will be invested with a quality of hope, of joy and of serene confidence unknown before. And such experiences are becoming ever more frequent.

Tomorrow I shall continue with this extract including the description of such an experience.

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