Let us agree, reality is not something that I (or you) will ever grasp in its entirety or its essence, but there is every reason to hope that we will receive glimpses. And if we are graced with such glimpses how do we use them to feed into the construction of our lives?
One glimpse I was given is very clear in my mind – the setting is very clear – twelve years ago, early summer, early morning, a drizzly dull morning, mug of tea in my hand, my bum heading for a bench under a vine covered pergola. Writing this, I’m distracted by the famous Proustian moment of revelation, the Madeleine, the step back, the flood of memory. But in my case the image that floods my mind is a split second view of interconnectedness. An image that appears to contain everything laid out before me, very bright and very total. An image has the capacity to hold vast amounts of information simultaneously. It was the ultimate non-paranoid view.
Another incident comes to mind: about seven years ago my right eye suffered a retinal detachment and it happened as I was half way between sitting and standing. An action – sitting or standing – which links the glimpse of reality and the retinal detachment. One, half way to sitting, the other, half way to standing. One, an inner vision, the other, containing the potential of taking away my visual sense. Tiresius comes to mind, a figure to embody the idea of the blind seer, the paradox of seeing and not-seeing.
Have I been able to incorporate the glimpse into my life? I think the answer is in the affirmative. It seems to me that the image has (largely unconsciously) slid into my awareness/thought at the level of foundation and continues to challenge me to refer to it as I make my way onward. If you like it’s God’s eye view, perhaps impossible to describe in any full way with words, except, perhaps, through poetry, or at least the poetic – the purpose of the poetic being to point to in words, what cannot be described in words.