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When The Body In Life Feels The Spirit
by [?]

She. But have you never forgotten the body, dreamed what it would be to
feel God? You have known those moments when your soul, losing the sense of
contact with men or women, groped alone, in an enveloping calm, and knew
content. I have had it in times of intoxication from music–not the
personal, passionate music of to-day, but some one or two notes that sink
the mazy present into darkness. I knew that my senses were gone for the
time, and in their place I held a comfortable consciousness of power.
There have been other times–in Lent, at the close of the drama of
Christ–beside the sea–after a long dance–illusory moments when one
forgot the body and wondered.

He. I know. One night in the Sierras we camped high up above the summits
of the range. The altitude, perhaps, or the long ride through the forest,
kept me awake. Our fires died down; a chalky mist rose from the valleys,
and, filtering through the ravines, at last capped the granite heads. The
smouldering tree-trunks we had lit for fires and the little patch of rock
where we lay, made an island in that white sea. Between us and the black
spaces among the stars there was nothing. How eternally quiet it was! I
can feel that isolation now coming over my soul like the stealthy fog,
until I lay there, unconscious of my body, in a wondering placidity,
watching the stars burn and fade. I could seem to feel them whirl in their
way through the heavens. And then a thought detached itself from me, the
conception of an eternity passed in placidity like that without the pains
of sense, the obligations of action; I loved it then–that cold residence
of thought!

She. You have known it, too. Those moments when the body in life feels
the state of spirit come rarely and awe one. Dear heart, perhaps if our
spirits were purified and experienced we should welcome that perpetual
contemplation. We cannot be Janus-faced, but the truth may lie with the
monks, who killed this life in order to obtain a grander one.