Before I began my degree at Heythrop College, I spent 2 days at a poetry conference being held in the college, I stayed overnight in the Halls. I did this in order to get a feel of the place, to get a sense of whether I would enjoy studying here. I did this to gain a deeper insight, to see if I could cope with being in an academic setting (not being an academic). I am fully aware that my questioning, and my immediate perception and enthusiasm to learn is more than adequate. In fact at times it is deeply intuitive, but being of a different (poetic) nature, I was (and still am) aware of my only average ability (else desire) to translate my understanding into academic results.
I find it difficult meeting someone elses strict criteria for formatting reflections etc. I want a blank page, I want the freedom to express with descriptive words (not acceptable in academia) which gives birth to, and sheds light on my understanding of all things. Just like in the bible, and not like in our essays, where a clinical factual study with objective reasoning and arguments cross-examined, are to be presented and referenced (where descriptive words and personal experience are to be avoided) .
At the poetry conference which was in June 2011, I was absolutely captured. You may read about my experience here Continue reading →.
One of the speakers (Professor Wilcox) especially captured me, Her presentation was so passionate, inspirational, alive, engaging and transcendent. She talked about ‘the highest matter, faith in the noblest form, poetry’. A beautiful and deeply intuitive sentence which has stayed with me. As the first evening of the conference came to a close, in a heightened holistic state I took myself off in wonder to the darkened chapel, and what I experienced drew me through a portal from which I could never return.
This happened only because of One vital factor.
A similarly heightened way of being, engulfed me whilst on my Rome pilgrimage, a week of intense holistic prayer. Not just the formal prayer times (which were in every way perfect for me), but Mass prayed in the deepest way, and then there was the waking sleeping and waking of the whole pilgrimage. My whole being, every fibre of my body, mind, heart and soul in a constant state of contemplation and prayer, alive with heightened wonder.
The same One vital factor present.
Saturday past I experienced a very special Mass at uni. It was not a particularly memorable homily, else a particularly memorable Mass in any other way, other than the fact that in deepest prayer I was engulfed (in fact blinded) by the most radiantly fiercely peaceful warmest whitest light, (the same radiant in-pouring of white light which I have experienced before). It was so powerfully upon me and before me, that I could barely see the priest. It was like a blinding intense white sunshine everywhere, all-encompassing. One wonders how it wasn’t mentioned to me, as I could not imagine that others could not have seen it, and I could not imagine that such a narrow window could let in so much light, in such a way.
It wasn’t mentioned though.
Last week I giggled to myself as there is a new, seemingly regular face at morning prayer, a lady who has been taking morning prayer with the Sisters for the past few weeks. Later when I was setting up Mass alone, she offered to trim else repair the candles (which actually I think are far more beautiful in their untrimmed fully natural softly melted form). She is a very silent lady, but a confident presence. I spoke to her, I asked in my normal friendly chatty way if she were a novice, and she informed me in direct precise no messing terms that she was a lecturer of religious psychology, my “how interesting” met with another severe silence. :O)
This week at Uni the word holistic was used much. The word holistic has become of late more fashionable, from my N.H.S ‘Health Trainer’ training days, to uni and beyond. It used to be a word (which in my other lifetime of ‘owning a whole food’ shop) only I seemed to know amongst my peers. Holistic, wholesomeness, a full understanding relating to the All, considering all components to arrive at the fuller picture, and nothing less. At uni today they used the phrase ‘holding everything in tension’.
And this leads me back to All my deepest, heightened experiences of prayer, contemplation and living, which I witness and experience in All its intensity (only as a result of passing through the portal) which is possible only because of this One vital factor.
Every living moment of my life is lived holistically . . . heightened because of Love. A Love which was born from its first moments through the Holy Spirit. A Love bestowed, where there was a locking together of eyes and souls. And since that first moment of awakening there is known to be no beginning and no end. Love Eternal in Triune. Because that Love is God bestowed Eternal in Him, it lives beyond its crucified state, resurrected in a spiritual union of the highest order, penetrating All things, making everything holistic and heightened in experience . . . thus the portal is opened.
Theres One vital thing professor Wilcox overlooked in her sentence ‘the highest matter, faith in the noblest form, poetry’. . . The most transcendent experience of All . . . Love.
God who is Love and Spirit.