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Henry Miller, Jouffrey, rapture, unknowing, the void, and this incomprehensible life

excerpted from THE WAY OF WONDER: a return to the mystery of ourselves, by Jack Haas




“...the whole terrain founders, the soil underfoot is afloat,

the constellations are shaken loose from their moorings,

the whole known universe, including the imperishable self,

starts moving silently, ominously, shudderingly serene

and unconcerned, toward an unknown, unseen destination.”

Henry Miller



And it is exactly this dis-solution, which is the initial requirement for rapture.

           A short synopsis of what happens is this: we are born, and grow up, and go to school, and learn to read and write, and to ‘know’ things, and so we proceed through our days without the slightest inclination that everything we believe to be true is merely opinion, excuse, or misinterpretation; that we have defrauded the grandiosity of being by conceptualizing within the context of limitedness; that we have persisted in the shallows of interpretation and learning, only because of a habitual fear of the height of awe. And when finally we realize that all we have come to ‘know’ and believe as reasonable explanations for life are but confused make-shift veneers hiding all that is truly incomprehensible, the whole show comes tumbling down.

A brief anecdote from Jouffrey will help to explain: “I shall never forget that night of September in which the veil that concealed from me my own incredulity was torn. I hear again my steps in the narrow, naked chamber where, long after the hour of sleep had come, I had the habit of walking up and down. ...Anxiously I followed my thoughts as they descended from layer to layer towards the foundation of my consciousness, scattering one by one all the illusions that until then had screened its windings from my view, making them at every moment more clearly visible. Vainly I clung to these last beliefs as a shipwrecked sailor clings to the fragments of his vessel, vainly, frightened at the unknown void into which I was about to float. I turned with them towards my childhood, my family, my country, all that was dear and sacred to me; the inflexible current of my thought was too strong- parents, family, memory, beliefs- it forced me to let go of everything. The investigation went on more obstinate and more severe as it drew near its term, and it did not stop until the end was reached. I knew then that in the depth of my mind, nothing was left that stood erect. …This moment was a frightful one, and when, towards morning, I threw myself exhausted on my bed, I seemed to feel my earlier life, so smiling and so full, go out like a fire, and before me another life opened, somber and unpeopled, where in future I must live alone, alone with my fatal thought that had exiled me there, and which I was tempted to curse. The days that followed were the saddest days of my life.”

From Jouffrey’s confession it can be seen that despite the undeniably exhilarating effect of absolute non-understanding, there is often a negative reaction, a terror, at the collapse of all cognitive grounding.


excerpted from:


way of wonder, sacred geometry, sri yantra



THE WAY OF WONDER: a return to the mystery of ourselves

by Jack Haas

author Jack Haas, Canadian, American writer, artist, photographer














Mystical books, visionary art, and fine art photography by Jack Haas




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