Marvin Barrett writes ‘Death is the experience of the light. Prayer is the rehearsal for death.’ I like that. It turns things around to a way of thinking that is not usual. I like unusual ideas. They have me thinking more deeply about the meaning of life, light and prayer.
Short excerpt from Marvin Barrett’s article ‘Beyond The Curtain’.
“I have had several experiences of the light in my relatively long lifetime. At first, at age five, followed by an accident I had while playing in the snow. I don’t quite remember what happened, but I fractured my skull and was, for a while, given up for dead. When I regained consciousness, there was, directly above me, a circle of heads and beyond them, the light. The doctors stayed by my side, busy, concerned, drawing me in their various ways, back to life. The light faded but not the memory of it.
The next occasion was in early twenties when, as a young naval officer, I experienced a religious conversion and was instantly blinded by a light that was inexplicable, consuming, thus confirming the convictions that were falling into place. Again, it flashed out, but it’s sustaining memory was indelible.
My last experience with the light, and I expect my penultimate experience of the light, was, as with my first, part of my losing consciousness. That time, as before in my child-hood experience, associated clearly with the proximity of death and for that reason, strangely life-enhancing, illuminating a view of the ever-present future which has lasted me for, so far, two decades..
…Meanwhile, I refresh the memory and preserve the reality of the light by prayer. ”
ANTHEM OF LIGHT
O Light Invisible, we praise Thee!
Too bright for mortal vision.
O Greater Light, we praise Thee for the less;
The eastern light our spires touch at morning,
The light that slants upon our western doors at evening,
The twilight over stagnant pools at batflight,
Moon light and star light, owl and moth light,
Glow-worm glowlight on a grassblade.
O Light Invisible, we worship Thee!
~ T S Eliot, ‘Choruses From The Rock’