God is only a great imaginative experience.

yellow mum

I would like to be able to put my ego into the sun... and live the life of the heavens

Surely one of the greatest imaginative experiences the human race ever had was the Chaldean experience of the stars, including the sun and moon. Sometimes it seems it must have been greater experience than any god-experience. For God is only a great imaginative experience. And sometimes it seems as if the experience of the living heavens, with a living yet not human sun, and brilliant living stars in live space must have been the most magnificent of all experiences, greater than any Jehovah or Baal, Buddha or Jesus. It may seem an absurdity to talk of live space. But is it? While we are warm and well and “unconscious” of our bodies, are we not all the time ultimately conscious of our bodies in the same way, as live or living space? And is not this the reason why void space so terrifies us?

I would like to know the stars again as the Chaldeans knew them, two thousand years before Christ. I would like to be able to put my ego into the sun, and my personality into the moon, and my character into the planets, and live the life of the heavens, as the early Chaldeans did…

by D. H. Lawrence (11 September 1885 – 2 March 1930)
from Apocalypse and the Writings on Revelation

Chaldean Ideas and D. H. Lawrence’s “Live” Space

“Chaldean” relates to a part of Biblical Babylon. A “Chaldean” idea is shorthand for the occult, specifically astrologers and magicians. A Chaldean’s experience of space might include early ideas about personification of planets as gods.

Babylonians were also among the first to develop the idea that the nature of astronomical phenomena may be mathematically predictable. These “astronomers” were not scientists in today’s sense of the idea: though they observed, recorded and predicted astronomical phenomena, they had not separated mysticism from science. They were more like scholar-priests who made both divinations and careful astronomical records.

A Note About Religious Reverence

It’s interesting to me that D.H. Lawrence writes with such passion and longing about a grand spiritual experience, yet manages to get “only” into the sentence “God is only a great imaginative experience.”

This one was hard for me, because I am a religious person.

The reverence with which D.H. Lawrence writes is very much like the reverent awe I feel about God. I can’t reject D.H. Lawrence, because we all came from the same mud, and he’s striving to give the best of what he has. He may be different from me, and many of the people I quote here are very different, but his reverence still broadens my own, and I am grateful and thirsty when I dive into reading him.

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