Friday, November 28, 2008

Rabbi Heschel on the Ineffable

"The ineffable inhabits the magnificent and the common, the grandiose and the tiny facts of reality alike. Some people sense this quality at distant intervals in extraordinary events, in every fold, in every nook; day after day, hour after hour. To them things are bereft of triteness; to them being does not mate with non-sense. They hear the stillness that crowds the world in spite of our noise, in spite of our greed. Slight and simple as things may be--a piece of paper, a morsel of bread, a word, a sigh--they hide and guard a never ending secret: A glimpse of God? Kinship with the spirit of being? An eternal flash of will?

Part company with your preconceived notions, suppress your leaning to reiterate and to know in advance of your seeing, try to see the world for the first time with eyes not dimmed by memory or volition, and you will detect that you and the things that surround you--trees, birds, chairs--are like parallel lines that run close but never meet. Your pretense of being acquainted with the world is quickly abandoned."

Abraham Heschel - from Man is Not Alone: A Philosophy of Religion