‘Ordinary things have always seemed numinous to me’ (Marilynne Robinson)
The numinous hides in plain sight, integrated into the very fabric of all living matter. It’s mysterious aesthetic appeals to our higher emotions and instinctual impulses somehow awakening our ignorance to the divine that curates the very nature of life. It somehow opens our consciousness to new realms of mystical knowing.
Deep in the imagination of our humanity is an inquisitive interest in the spiritual, a fascination with meaning and purpose that insists we pay attention to what our psychic self is conjuring and proposing.
My relationship with the numinous has always been a hit and miss journey of intuitive experimentation and imaginative collaboration. The infatuation with the para-normal has helped me conclude that we are more than the sum of our conscious parts. Our sub-conscious is so under rated and indeed under appreciated to the point where we have allowed cynicism and skepticism to pollute our belief in numinous existence and experience.
‘Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.’ (Lewis Carroll: Alice in Wonderland )
The mystics believe that the numinous is not just something to be aware of at an intellectual level but something to experience as a moment of personal ecstasy. To be overwhelmed beyond comprehension is the very nature of divine interjection, a wonderment that captures our attention and overpowers our sensibilities. This is more than a religious experience that comes to us through an institutional construct, which can valuable and helpful, but rather it is a moment of union with the created and uncreated essence of all things. Without the numinous we dehumanise the psychicenergy of our immortality and reduce our humanity down to a forensic equation that majors on the scientific and minimises the spiritual.
The ordinary exists to remind us of the extra-ordinary, a very visible reminder that what we see is just a glimmer of the greater insight that is available to all who have their eyes opened to the awe that lies beyond our sensate selves. The mystics believe that there are 3 ways of seeing. The first is via our senses, which help us to connect with the natural world. The second is via our eyes, helping us comprehend the deep knowledge of our imagination. And the third way of seeing takes us a step further, offering a union with the unseen which is the transformation of consciousness itself. This numinous seeing is commonly understood as ‘presence’, the presence of a deity or divine spirit that opens you up to an intensely satisfying feeling of understanding and contemplation.
Now do not let the word “mystic” scare you off. It simply means one who has moved from mere belief systems or belonging systems to actual inner experience. All spiritual traditions agree that such a movement is possible, desirable, and available to everyone. - Richard Rohr