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The sun, close to the horizon, reflected in still water
slide 11 of 17

In her essay “The Underlying Order: Nature and the Imagination,” Kathleen Raine mourns the impoverishment of human knowledge and experience which has resulted from secular scientism:
The materialist hypothesis—for it is no more—attributes order and reality to the outer world, leaving mind itself, consciousness itself, as the mere mirror or receptacle of impressions.

Modern secular man finds no burning bush, no Presence which commands “Take thy shoes from off thy feet for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.”  But in losing the capacity for awe, for wonder, for the sense of the numinous, the sacred, what we lose is not the object but that part of ourselves which can find in trees or churinga-stone or the dread cavern of the pythoness the correspondence of an aspect of our humanity of which these are the objective correlative, the correspondence, the mirror, the “signature.”

We can never un-know what the scientific investigation of nature has presented to us.  It has described in the minutest detail and the grandest scope that image in the “…glass of nature.”  But until we have experienced the unity of all things not as a natural fact but as a living presence we shall never, in the early mystic Traherne’s words, know the world “aright”.…

Within the tradition of spiritual knowledge…the underlying order is not some system of natural laws but being itself, at once the “person” and the “place” of the universe.…

The unity of this Being—of Being itself—is not that of a mechanism but of a consciousness, “in whom we live, and move, and have our being”…and we wish we could experience more of that whole of which each of us is at once an infinitesimal part and an infinite center.
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