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On the Veil

Veil

 

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

 

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.
  • 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."
  • The School of Life notes that veil-related words exist in many languages, e.g.

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

 

 

Further reading:

 

 

Timelines
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Signifiers