I have always been attracted by the veil, by seeing through a glass, darkly:
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half heard, in the stillness
Between the two waves of the sea
- from Little Gidding, T.S. Eliot
When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse,
Out of the corner of my eye.
I turned to look but it was gone.
I cannot put my finger on it now
- from Comfortably Numb, Pink Floyd
Two notes of the chord, that's our full scope,
And to reach the chord is our life's hope,
But to name the chord is important to some,
So they give it a word and the word is Om.
- from The Word, Moody Blues
If we must define Faerie it must be as a mask. For they do not let us see the full truth of themselves or their realm. - Rev. H.R. Fade, 1898
— Hookland (@HooklandGuide) August 2, 2022
I realise living in Hookland that I've slipped into the other England. An out of the corner of your eye, just to your left England. A place where the strange is familiar, a Wicker Queen to guard a field is no longer oddity, but a signpost to say you're home
– #MattAdams, 1981
Veil references are all around, if we could but perceive:
- In Sculptor of nightmares, David Lynch’s memoir, we get a glimpse behind his creative curtain.
- @HooklandGuide points to the erasure of name, to the failing of stone to hold memory.
- A psychologist described experiencing the momentary lifting of the veil, "For time to be meaningful, one must have purchase on a moment, and then another, and the temporal distance between the two can be measured, like the distance between two pitons on a rock face. But on the other side of the veil, the pitons cannot hold. There is only presence, and presence does not have a duration. Nor does presence, at this deepest expression, require a subject. As time collapsed, so too did any sense of a self that was separate from other things."
- Maria Popova noted that, in Faith, Hope and Carnage, Nick Cave's conversation with Seán O’Hagan, he considers how music parts the veil between the known world and the mystery of being: "I think music, out of all that we can do, at least artistically, is the great indicator that something else is going on, something unexplained, because it allows us to experience genuine moments of transcendence...I think there is more going on than we can see or understand, and we need to find a way to lean into the mystery of things — the impossibility of things — and recognise the evident value in doing that, and summon the courage it requires to not always shrink back into the known mind."
- Popova also noted that every once in a while, the curtain of the ordinary parts and we touch the miraculous - the sense that there is another world not beyond this one but within it, a mirror-world any glimpse of which returns our own more luminous and full of wonder. This can never be willed, but one can be willing for it - a willingness woven of two things: wakefulness to reality and openness to possibility.
- The School of Life notes that veil-related words exist in many languages, e.g.
- YŪGEN (Japanese): 'A mood in which one feels that the universe as a whole possesses a mysterious, elusive, but real beauty - moonlight, snow on distant mountains, birds flying very high in the distant sky.' Discover more Untranslatable Words:
- SAUDADE (Portuguese) – A bitter-sweet melancholic yearning for something beautiful that is now gone: perhaps a love affair, a childhood home, a flourishing business. There is pain yet also a pleasure that such loveliness once graced our lives.
- Thinking about the veil - Damh the Bard
- On arts trying to capture mystical experience
- On just societies and the veil of ignorance
- On the timeless euphoria of love
- On the centenary of the unconscious
- On lifting the veil of ignorance