My is due to the disappearance, in these rapturous experiences, ofthe motor adjustments which habitually intermediate between the constant background ofconsciousness (which is the Self) and the object in the foreground, whatever it may be. I must referthe reader to the highly instructive article, which seems to me to throw light upon thepsychological conditions, though it fails to account for the rapture or the revelation-value of theexperience in the Subject's eyes.



[241] My Quest for God, London, 1897, pp. 268, 269, abridged.

"One brilliant Sunday morning, my wife and boys went to the Unitarian Chapel in Macclesfield.

I felt it impossible to accompany them--as though to leave the sunshine on the hills, and go downthere to the chapel, would be for the time an act of spiritual suicide. And I felt such need for newinspiration and expansion in my life. So, very reluctantly and sadly, I left my wife and boys to godown into the town, while I went further up into the hills with my stick and my dog. In theloveliness of the morning, and the beauty of the hills and valleys, I soon lost my sense of sadnessand regret. For nearly an hour I walked along the road to the 'Cat and Fiddle,' and then returned.

On the way back, suddenly, without warning, I felt that I was in Heaven--an inward state of peaceand joy and assurance indescribably intense, accompanied with a sense of being bathed in a warmglow of light, as though the external condition had brought about the internal effect--a feeling ofhaving passed beyond the body, though the scene around me stood out more clearly and as ifnearer to me than before, by reason of the illumination in the midst of which I seemed to be placed.

This deep emotion lasted, though with decreasing strength, until I reached home, and for sometime after, only gradually passing away."The writer adds that having had further experiences of a similar sort, he now knows them well.

"The spiritual life," he writes, "justifies itself to those who live it; but what can we say to thosewho do not understand? This, at least, we can say, that it is a life whose experiences are provedreal to their possessor, because they remain with him when brought closest into contact with theobjective realities of life. Dreams cannot stand this test. We wake from them to find that they arebut dreams. Wanderings of an overwrought brain do not stand this test. These highest experiencesthat I have had of God's presence have been rare and  which havecompelled me to exclaim with surprise--God is HERE!--or conditions of exaltation and insight,less intense, and only gradually passing away. I have severely questioned the worth of thesemoments. To no soul have I named them, lest I should be building my life and work on merephantasies of the brain. But I find that, after every questioning and test, they stand out to-day as themost real experiences of my life, and experiences which have explained and justified and unifiedall past experiences and all past growth. Indeed, their reality and their far-reaching significance areever becoming more clear and evident. When they came, I was living the fullest, strongest, sanest,deepest life. I was not seeking them. What I was seeking, with resolute determination, was to livemore intensely my own life, as against what I knew would be the adverse judgment of the world. Itwas in the most real seasons that the Real Presence came, and I was aware that I was immersed inthe infinite ocean of God."[242]

[242] Op. cit., pp. 256, 257, abridged.