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don't know; she was certainly not bred thought she was “touched,” and were in those parts; no one there had ever kinder to her than she knew. They seen her like. Had she been in society ceased to criticize her and made it easy or on the stage, her beauty would have for her to be alone. In the summer-time made her famous; but her fellow towns- she would take her book and her lunchpeople merely thought her odd, she was basket and tramp the fields and woods so amazingly unconventional and so till she found some spot she could love, astonishingly unprovincial. She did as and spend the days with her dreams she chose, as a duchess might have done. and her long, long thoughts. But the
'One wonders where the little chap evenings belonged to her man; though she married ever found her, or why she what they found in common I cannot. appealed to him. He was a good little guess. chap enough, absorbed in his work and ‘But one day on her walk she had an in the life of the town, delighted with adventure. She found a field she liked his house, and heartbroken because no liked because it was flushed with children had ever come to it. Ugly little hardhack and white with meadow-sweet, man he was, too, and quite typical of and inhabited by a man whose type was his class; repeated your name when he unknown to her. Any of you would met you; said, “Pleased to meet you," have placed him quickly enough; his and “Excuse my glove,” just where, riding togs and English boots would according to his lights, he should have. have marked him for you - a young
'And she she was like a wild bird blood who had come a cropper among caged, a woods-flower set in a border of the hardhack and meadow-sweet. But zinnias and asters, a well-kept border to her he was new; his looks and his where one would not expect to find a clothes and his opening remark to her weed, however rare. She was slender, were all quite different. and long-limbed, shapeless as a young ““I've lost my horse,” he said genboy; her neck was slim and white, and ially. She looked curious, which apparher head small and wonderfully set. ently encouraged him. “I don't mind," She had a great mass of reddish hair, he said. “He was a horrid horse.” She short, thick, curly hair, - but her lashes looked about her. "You won't see him," were long and black.
said the man; "he could run most aw'No wonder the townspeople dis- fully fast." approved of her; they bored her, and 'It occurred to her that he had fallen when her husband insisted that they off. “Are you hurt?" she asked. should continue to bore her by forcing ““Thanks, not a bit. This is a jolly her into their society, she became field, is n't it?" extremely ill. Then he became almost ""I like it," she said. frantic, for he adored her and would “Blueberry-picking?” he suggested, trust her to none but the greatest doc- looking at her basket. tor he could discover; and the doctor 'She shook her head. "No, just proved himself great by his diagnosis, lunch." for he told the man that nothing ailed 'Picnicking! By Jove, what luck. his wife but that her life did n't suit Falling makes one so frightfully hungry, her, and that she must be left freer, to choose one more congenial. So after She did n't know, but she believed that she was let alone, free to find the him and invited him to share her meal. country that surrounded the town, to They found a shady place, and in the walk, to run, to read. The townspeople course of time discovered many things
about each other. He was staying at a danced and dined. But oftener he told country house with people she knew by her about herself
her about herself - how lovely she was, sight — knew their traps and their and how lovable. They were very much grooms when she saw them outside
in love before long, and she showed shops in the town; knew what the town a curious courage in her determination people had chosen to tell of them and of that, having missed so much, this should their ways. He discovered more about not pass her by. her. And he found her book.
'So they lived to the utmost — while ““Masefield, Daffodil Fields,” he said; the fair weather lasted. The third day “do they read that in the town?” he met her, he brought her a yellow rose
"“No,” she said, “I read it — in the from the garden of his hostess. woods."
““I searched the garden,” he told ““Oh, no, you don't; I read it to her, “to find what flower you are like.
This is it." 'So he began and read for a while; “So every day she wore a yellow rose and he read delightfully, for he had a tucked in her gown. pleasant voice and he loved what he 'At last the weather broke, and he read. But by and by he put down the went back to the city, and she no book and they talked for a while, of longer could roam the fields and woods. books and of themselves again. It was She drooped like a flower in the long a wonderful day for her — a surprise to wet autumn, confined to the house; and find the things she cared for were loved though nothing ever ailed her very by others, and that she was not really much, she died before the winter was “odd" at all. By and by it was time to half through! go home, before her man should come 'Her husband was beside himself from his work. But they made plans for with grief, and the neighbors who had the morrow, or, should the morrow not bored her came and looked on her when be fine, for the day after.
she was dead. Her husband had filled 'It happened they were in for a spell her hands with yellow roses. of fair weather, and they spent long "“She loved them so," he told his hours together in the fields and in the friends; "all summer long she wore woods. They read books together, and them in her dress. he told her of cities and of life in the cities, and of people he knew, people ‘So that,' said Reggie Forsyth, 'is who would not have bored her and the story of a woman who lived a lie, made her ill. He told her of music, and yet no one ever knew.' art and architecture, and stories of ‘Yet you knew,' said Tina Metcalfe hunting and balls and dinner-parties, quickly — and wished she had bitten and about the women who hunted and out her tongue before she spoke.
THE MYSTIC'S EXPERIENCE OF GOD
BY RUFUS M. JONES
The revival of mysticism, which has sole quite unmistakable evidence of been one of the noteworthy features in the supremacy of the spiritual world.' the Christianity of our time, has pre- These phenomena are worthy of caresented us with a number of interesting ful, painstaking study and attention, and important questions. We want to for they will eventually throw much know, first of all, what mysticism really light upon the deep and complex nature is. Secondly, we want to know whether of human personality — are, in fact, it is a normal or an abnormal expe- already throwing much light upon it. rience. And omitting many other ques- But they furnish us slender data for tions, which must wait their turn, we understanding what is properly meant want to know whether mystical expe- by mystical experience and its religious riences actually enlarge our sphere of and spiritual bearing. knowledge, that is, whether they are We can, too, leave on one side the trustworthy sources of authentic in- metaphysical doctrines that fill a large formation and authoritative truth con- amount of space in the books of the cerning realities which lie beyond the great mystics. These doctrines had a range of human senses.
long historical development, and they The answer to the first question ap- would have taken essentially the same pears to be as difficult to accomplish as form if the exponents of them had not the return of Ulysses was. The secret is been mystics. Mystical experience is kept in book after book. One can mar- confined to no one form of philosophy, shal a formidable array of definitions, though some ways of thinking no doubt but they oppose and challenge one an- favor and other ways retard the expeother, like the men sprung from the rience, as they also often do in the case dragon's teeth. For the purposes of the of religious faith in general. Mystical present consideration, we can eliminate experience, furthermore, must not be what is usually included under psychical confused with what technical expert phenomena, that is, the phenomena of writers call 'the mystic way. There are dreams, visions, and trances, hysteria as many mystical 'ways' as there are and dissociation and esoteric and occult gates to the New Jerusalem. 'On the phenomena. Thirty years ago Professor east three gates, on the north three Royce said: 'In the Father's house are gates, on the south three gates, and on many mansions, and their furniture is the west three gates.' One might as extremely manifold. Astral bodies and well try to describe the way of making palmistry, trances and mental heal- love, or the way of appreciating the ing, communications from the dead and Grand Cañon, as to describe the way to "phantasms of the living" – such the discovery of God, as if there were things are for some people to-day the only one way.
I am not interested in mysticism as He whom I have waited for and sought an ism. It turns out, in most accounts, after from my childhood.' Angela of to be a dry and abstract thing, hardly Foligno says that she experienced God, more like the warm and intimate expe- and saw that the whole world was full of rience than the color of the map is like God. the country for which it stands. 'Can
II ada is very pink,' seems quite an inadequate description of the noble country There are many different degrees of north of our border. It is mystical ex- intensity, concentration, and convicperience, and not mysticism, that is tion in the experiences of different indiworthy of our study. We are concerned vidual mystics, and also in the various with the experience itself, not with experiences of the same individual from second-hand formulations of it. 'The time to time. There has been a tenmystic,' says Professor Royce, 'is a dency in most studies of mysticism to thoroughgoing empiricist.' 'God ceases regard the state of ecstasy as par ercelto be an object and becomes an expe- lence mystical experience. That is, howrience,' says Professor Pringle-Pattison. ever, a grave mistake. The calmer, more If it is an experience, we want to find meditative, less emotional, less ecstatic out what happens to the mystic him- experiences of God are not less convincself inside where he lives.
ing and possess greater constructive According to those who have been value for life and character than do there, the experience that we call mysti- ecstatic experiences which presuppose a cal is charged with the conviction of peculiar psychical frame and disposireal, direct contact and commerce with tion. The seasoned Quaker, in the God. It is the almost universal testi- corporate hush and stillness of a silent mony of those who are mystics that meeting, is far removed from ecstasy, they find God through their experience. but he is not the less convinced that he John Tauler says that, in his best mo- is meeting with God. For the essentia ments of devout prayer and the uplift- of mysticism we do not need to insist ing of the mind to God,' he experiences upon a certain 'sacred' mystic way, or 'the pure presence of God’ in his own upon ecstasy, or upon any peculiar type soul; but he adds that all he can tell of rare psychic upheavals. We do need others about the experience is ‘as poor to insist, however, upon a consciousness and unlike it as the point of a needle is of commerce with God amounting to to the heavens above us.' 'I have met conviction of his Presence. with my God; I have met with my Sav
Where one heard noise iour. I have felt the healings drop upon And one saw flame, my soul from under his wings,' says I only knew He named my name. Isaac Penington, in the joy of his first Jacob Boehme calls the experience mystical experience.
that came to him, 'breaking through Without needlessly multiplying such the gate’into‘a new birth or resurrectestimonies for data, we can say with tion from the dead'; so that, he says, “I considerable assurance that mystical knew God.' 'I am certain,' says Eckexperience is consciousness of direct and hart, ‘as certain as that I live, that immediate relationship with some tran- nothing is so near to me as God. God is scendent reality which, in the moment nearer to me than I am to myself.' One of experience, is believed to be God. of these experiences — the first one “This is He, this is He,' exclaims Isaac was an ecstasy, and the other, so far as Penington; "there is no other. This is we can tell, was not. It was the flooding in of a moment of God-conscious- the accomplishment for which the life ness in the act of preaching a sermon to has been prepared. There comes to be the common people of Cologne. The formed within the person what Arisexperience of Penington, again, was not totle called 'a dexterity of soul,' so that an ecstasy; it was the vital surge of the person does with ease what he has fresh life on the first occasion of hearing become skilled to do. Clement of AlexGeorge Fox preach after a long period andria called a fully organized and spirof waiting silence. A simple normal case itualized person ‘a harmonized man' of a mild type is given in a little book of – that is, adjusted, organized, and recent date, reprinted from the Atlantic ready to be a transmissive organ for the Monthly: ‘After a long time of jangling revelation of God. Brother Lawrence, conflict and inner misery, I one day, who was thus 'harmonized,' finely says: quite quietly and with no conscious effort, 'The most excellent method which I stopped doing the disingenuous thing (I found of going to God was that of doing had been doing). Then the marvel hap my common business purely for the love pened. It was as if a great rubber band, of God.' An earlier mystic of the fourwhich had been stretched almost to the teenth century stated the same princibreaking-point, were suddenly released ple in these words: ‘It is my aim to be and snapped back to its normal condi- to the Eternal God what a man's hand tion. Heaven and earth were changed is to a man.' for me. Everything was glorious be- There are many human experiences cause of its relation to some great cen- which carry a man up to levels where tral life - nothing seemed to matter he has not usually been before, and but that life.'
where he finds himself possessed of in
sight and energies that he had hardly Brother Lawrence, a barefooted lay suspected were his until that moment. brother of the seventeenth century, ac- One leaps to his full height when the cording to the testimony of the brother right inner spring is reached. We are hood, attained 'an unbroken and undis- quite familiar with the way in which turbed sense of the Presence of God.' instinctive tendencies in us, and emoHe was not an ecstatic; he was a quiet, tions both egoistic and social, become faithful man, who did his ordinary daily organized under a group of ideas and tasks with what seemed to his friends ideals into a single system, which we 'an unclouded vision, an illuminated call a sentiment, such as love, or patriotlove, and an uninterrupted joy.' Simple ism, or devotion to truth. It forms and humble though he was, he never slowly, and one hardly realizes that it theless acquired, through his experience has formed until some occasion unexof God, ‘an extraordinary spaciousness pectedly brings it into full operation, of mind.'
and we find ourselves able with perfect The more normal, expansive mystical ease to overcome the most powerful experiences come apparently when the inhibitory and opposing instincts and personal self is at its best. Its powers habits, which, until then, had usually and capacities are raised to an unusual controlled us. We are familiar, too, unity and fused together. The whole with the way in which a well-trained being, with its accumulated submerged and disciplined mind, confronted by a life, finds itself. The process of prepar- concrete situation, will sometimes, ing for any high achievement is a severe alas, not always, – in a sudden flash of and laborious one; but nothing seems imaginative insight, discover a unieasier in the moment of success than is versal law revealed there and then in