I suppose you know what it’s like to have one of those highly non-scientific gut feelings that somebody you have just met is very bad news. You meet them and you almost gasp because they are giving off such a strong message of “I’m not okay.” It doesn’t happen often, but once in a while, someone just gives you this impression. DiscerningOne told me about how she could barely look such a person in the eye, the sensation was so unpleasant.
I have heard advice given to women about this phenomenon. It goes like this. You’re waiting for the elevator, and it opens, and you see a man standing there alone but he seems really creepy. You don’t want to seem rude, but there’s something about him. The message is, obviously: “Don’t get on the elevator! Never mind anything else, just don’t go!”
This sixth sense is, as I have said, unscientific, in the sense that you can’t point to any concrete thing to justify your reaction. And it’s not ‘sensible’ in the sense that your ordinary five senses haven’t discovered anything objectively wrong. You would barely be able to explain yourself. You’d probably stammer something like, “I don’t know what it was. There was something about his eyes, maybe, or the way he looked at me?”
A Christian who allows himself access to more realms of thought and experience than the strictly material, would more easily explain such a phenomenon. For starters, there’s the saying that the eyes are the window to the soul. Being able to talk about the soul is a distinct advantage because it’s a reality – an invisible reality, for sure, but a reality nevertheless.
I mention all this as an introduction to the idea of a mystic.
Last night I came across this Chesterton quotation about mystics: “Real mystics don’t hide mysteries, they reveal them. They set up a thing in broad daylight, and when you’ve seen it, it’s still a mystery.”
And this is so true. When they speak, they don’t even understand the riddle themselves. They say what they know, and it’s more than others know, but even after saying it, they don’t necessarily know why they are being given that knowledge. It doesn’t make sense to them sometimes. So, for example, a mystic will suddenly have a very strong feeling that something is wrong with a part of his home, so that he gets a priest in to have it blessed, but he can’t explain much more than that.
However, having said that, the way this works is that later on, the meaning becomes clear – or at least, clearer.
In early October, I wrote a post about Hallowe’en, and soon after I posted it, I was talking to GentleOne – a mystic – about it. She didn’t read it, but she told me that it would be better for me not to post it.
Not post it?
This didn’t make a lot of sense to me, especially because she said that it was a good post, and that someone should say such things. I pressed her for more of an explanation and she said it would be dangerous for me.
Dangerous? To me? To post this post?
Dangerous to me to post this post?
Yes, she said.
I asked her if this could change; she said that it might. That’s why the “Boo!” post kept its number of 42 even though it was hidden.
So I changed the status of “Boo!” to ‘Private,’ and I periodically I asked her whether I could post it. She always said no. The last time I spoke with her about it, she said that she might never know when it would be a good time.
It was one of my longer posts, and so it seemed sort of a shame that I wrote it for nothing.
Hallowe’en came and went, and my topical post sat there unpublished and unread.
But I spoke to her today, and she was the one who brought it up. “The post.”
“The post? The Hallowe’en post? I can post it?”
“But why? Why now? Hallowe’en is over!”
“Yes, it’s calm now.”
“It’s calm, now that Hallowe’en is over?”
“So how is this going to work? I can only have it up when it’s not Hallowe’en?”
“And then whenever Hallowe’en gets closer, I need to hide it?”
“I don’t know.”
It’s the strangest thing. It means that when Hallowe’en is approaching, when it seems like the most sensible time to go ahead and talk about it, that’s exactly when I’m not supposed to ‘go there.’ It’s weird. At the time of year when that elevator door rises to ground level and opens, I’m told, “Never mind anything else. Don’t go!”
But apparently, the coast is clear. A new elevator has arrived, and it’s going up!
Happy All Saints Day!
So here it is again: Post 42: Boo!