Pascal muses about our waking hours being more like a dream and our dream worlds more like reality – death being the ultimate awakening. It’s interesting! The veil our fallen nature has placed between us and You is a veil only to our wide-awake senses which take in the concrete material around us. When the senses are gone, as in sleep, with what do we perceive our dreams? What dormant sense only rises when the others are put to sleep? And what if there yet may be a sense beyond even that, which awakens only after death?
We may speak of our body’s eye or our mind’s eye or even our spirit’s eye. Awake we see with the eyes of the body, asleep we dream with the subconscious mind’s eye, and in death we see with the eye of the spirit. These middle and latter senses may rarely be perceived in our waking hours, when, through our best annihilation of our five bodily senses, we dispose ourselves to means of awareness. Our bodily eyes see as though through a glass darkly. The dream images of our subconscious mind’s eye are imbued with mystical symbolic qualities that are mostly lost upon waking. Only with the eye of the spirit, which will never fully open until death comes to the eyes of the body and mind, will truth be perceived.
Yet, there are times when it seems possible to part, ever so slightly, those spiritual eyelids and gain fuzzy glimpses of that which cannot be seen by the body’s eyes or imagined by the mind’s eye. There is an ineffable urge within us to perceive differently. There is a tiny seed of knowledge in us that Your immanence cannot be avoided but cannot be clearly perceived either. Thomas Merton says contemplative prayer is the seeking of You knowing we cannot find You unless You reveal Yourself to us; and it is we who stand in Your way. We have placed ourselves there ever to struggle against it. Oh, what our natures must once have been!