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  • Writer's pictureCrone

The allure of the mystical - a story

Updated: Sep 2, 2021

Well, she said, I guess you could call it a new belief system. No, she said, not that. Maybe faith? The upward inflexion underlined by creased bows, her face all earnestness, utterly serious. No, not even faith. Gosh, I don’t know what you’d call it! Her smile was radiant and I almost forgave her the waste of my time.

I’d driven all the way to Dartmoor to see her because my brother had assured me she was worth interviewing. Though that’s not quite true. I’d driven to Devon to see my brother and thought I’d shut him up by arranging this meeting on the way. A bit of a detour, but not too far. And besides, I loved the moors with the gorse in bloom smelling of marzipan and the heather like a sea of purple.

But now she was incoherent and abstruse. Incapable of articulating anything.

My brother had said she was fascinating, inspiring, saw the world in a whole new way and had some meaningful vision to impart. A new philosophy.


I tried again.

OK, I asked, let’s not worry about labels. What is it that you believe.

Yes, sure, OK, that’s easier, she said, nodding.

I waited.

I don’t believe in a God, she said. Or dogma. Not, like, well, any religious stuff, as such. Though some of the religious stories? They’re really wise. Like, super insightful? I mean, OK, Adam and Eve…

She went into an esoteric discourse into a psychological interpretation of the Genesis story. Which involved some scientific primatology research showing that our eyes became acute due to the presence of predatory snakes.

That might be going into too much depth, to start with, I interrupted, once she paused for breath. She’d been about to launch into something about colour vision and fruit and I didn’t have the patience. It’s not so much the analysis of the Bible that I’m interested in. More, why you feel you’re experiencing something… different from conventional Christianity.

Oh! But I’m not, not, not a Christian, she said.

No, and we’ve ascertained that you can’t say exactly what you are, so I’m trying to get a sense of what… well, of what you think… I felt that I was losing my ability to communicate too.

I’m trying, she said. Again, that smile. And she leant forward, putting a hand on my arm. It was warm. No. It was cool. It was… I don’t know, pleasant.

Keep trying? I suggested.

I think, she began. Then paused.

I waited.

I think that there is more.

I waited. For more.

I waited some more.

Then I said, More than what?

More than we know. More than I know.

Like Hamlet, I said, feeling disappointed.

Her eyes lit up and she grinned, Yes! Exactly!

OK, I said. Well. And I was about to get up. To give up. But she spoke.

There is awe. There is wonder. There is beauty, transcendence, meaning. There is the luminous and the numinous. There is suffering and wisdom and joy that’s too create for our hearts and minds to accommodate and it’s both our there and inside. There is a multiverse of infinitude of experience that we usually only glimpse at.

Do you take drugs? I asked.

She laughed, I don’t need to! My mind is open to accept the grief and the glory and to relish it!

You what?

Now she held my arms, above the elbow, with both her hands. Her face was close to mine and she smelt of grass and salt and honey. I let in all in, she said, and I watch it.

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