So perhaps spiritual experience is simply what happens in the space that
opens up in the mind when “all mean egotism vanishes.” Wonders (and
terrors) we’re ordinarily defended against flow into our awareness; the far
ends of the sensory spectrum, which are normally invisible to us, our senses
can suddenly admit. While the ego sleeps, the mind plays, proposing
unexpected patterns of thought and new rays of relation. The gulf between
self and world, that no-man’s-land which in ordinary hours the ego so
vigilantly patrols, closes down, allowing us to feel less separate and more
connected, “part and particle” of some larger entity. Whether we call that
entity Nature, the Mind at Large, or God hardly matters. But it seems to be
in the crucible of that merging that death loses some of its sting.
Whether it was these words, or the short sleep, or my assurance that while we had this lovely room to rest in*, he could sleep for three days, that shifted his mood, it felt as though the crisis was over and the trip would go on. We sat down to breakfast with a French arms dealer (“I sell submarines”) and his girlfriend who worked in PR.
*I want to add a photograph but need to resolve technical problems for this