The urge to write seems to be a purge, to be taken from time to time to express what it is one believes one has learnt. To be cleansed and purified in mind by the art of manifesting in words the inner workings of one’s soul.
I have come out. Not in the sense of some base sexuality but in a declaration to myself that I believe in something rather than nothing. That I believe in mind or rather, perhaps, the “soul”.
Transcendence, what a word. To witness an existence beyond the normal or physical level. How they laugh, the materialists, how they scorn belief in anything that can not be measured, weighed or dissected by man.
And yet it happens, it is there and to those who have glimpsed such states (even if rarely or from afar) it seems obvious that the world’s ills stem in a large part from our species’ unwillingness or inability to see beyond the dark and brutal struggle for physical survival on a rocky outcrop in the middle of nowhere.
A young organ scholar professed to me his disbelief in the Christian faith and I to him but we both met somewhere on that magical field of transcendence. The western choral tradition is, for some, an avenue to beyond. It provides a glimpse, a view through a mirror darkly, of another world altogether.
Aspiciens a longe we sang, set to the music of Palestrina.
I look from afar:
and lo, I see the power of God coming,
and a cloud covering the whole earth.
It was a dark and cold winter’s night and the ancient church was lit by candles. Family and friends were there, and the Matin Responsory reached them from a few unseen, unaccompanied voices hidden from sight in the South Transept of this lovely building. Would that we sang with the perfection of the Gesualdo Six but perhaps our efforts made our case well enough.
In that place, at that time, nothing else existed. Wrapped in beauty, nothing else mattered. Power and wealth, greed and struggle seemed laughable and the route to paradise so clearly marked.
I do not seek to convert, nor ever will. There is no-thing to which I cling, in any doctrinaire sense. No-thing to which I would direct our unhappy and misguided species.
But with ever increasing clarity I know.
I know what is not.
Much, so much of what we do and think and believe is “not”. And yet what we could become is so very different.
In those quiet moments, in that ethereal place beyond the mundane I know what is. And I know that it is something rather than nothing.