Field of Force

The poet’s or the painter’s vision of the divine in nature, the worshipper’s awareness of a holy presence in the sacrament, symbol or image – these are not entirely subjective.  True, such perceptions cannot be had by all perceivers, for knowledge is a function of being;  but, the thing known is independent of the mode and nature of the knower.  What the poet and painter see, and try to record for us, is actually there, waiting to be apprehended by anyone who has the right kind of faculties.  Similarly, in the image or the sacramental object the divine Ground is wholly present.  Faith and devotion prepare the worshipper’s mind for perceiving the ray of Godhead at its point of intersection with the particular fragment of matter before him.  Incidentally, by being worshipped, such symbols become the centres of a field of force.  The longings, emotions and imaginations of those who kneel and, for generations, have knelt before the shrine create, as it were, an enduring vortex in the psychic medium, so that the image lives with a secondary, inferior divine life projected on to it by its worshippers, as well as with the primary divine life which, in common with all other animate and inanimate beings, it possesses in virtue of its relation to the divine Ground.

  ~ Perennial Philosophy: An Interpretation of the Great Mystics, East and West by Aldous Huxley


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