" Something broke and something opened. I filled up like a new wineskin.Breathed an air like light; I saw a light like water.I was the lip of a fountain the creek filled over; I was ether, the leaf in the zephyr ; I was flesh-flake , feather, bone. When I see this way I see truly. As Thoreau says , I return to my senses. I am the man who watches the baseball game in silence in an empty stadium. I see the game purely; I'm abstracted and dazed. when it's all over and the white suited players lope off the green field to their shadowed dugouts, I leap to my feet; I cheer and cheer.
But I can't go out and try to see this way. I'll fail, I'll go mad. All I can do is try to gag the commentator, to hush the noise of useless interior babble that keeps me from seeing just as surely as a newspaper dangled before my eyes.The effort is really a discipline requiring a lifetime of dedicated struggle; it marks the literature of saints and monks of every order East and West, under every rule and no rule. The world's spiritual geniuses seem to discover universally that the mind's muddy river, this ceaseless flow of trivia and trash cannot be dammed, and that trying to dam it is a waste of effort that might lead to madness. Instead you must allow the muddy river to flow unheeded in the dim channels of consciousness; you raise your sights; you look along it, mildly , acknowledging its presence without interest and gazing beyond it into the realm of the real where subjects and objects act and rest purely, without utterance. 'Launch into the deep,' says Jacques Ellul, 'and you shall see'.
- from Ann Dillard's Pilgram at Tinker Creek
( Thanks to Joan for putting this great read my way.)