In Spirit senses are

by Angelus Silesius

English version by Paul Carus
Original Language German

In Spirit senses are
One and the same. 'T is true,
Who seeth God he tastes,
Feels, smells and hears Him too.

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

This aphoristic verse by Angelus Silesius describes a simple truth experienced by many mystics. Although many think in terms of "seeing" God, in the states of deepest unity, the Divine is perceived wholly, without the intervening division of the senses. It is only in trying to intellectually comprehend this experience that the mind attempts to sort it out in terms of the common perceptual awareness of the senses.

Since sight is the dominant sense for most people, the direct perception of the Divine is most often understood and described in terms of visual phenomena. But the perception floods the other senses, as well, so mystics sometimes speak of a honey-like sweetness on the tongue, or the tactile sense of delight in every cell of the body, or the scent of roses, or the sound of a heavenly flute.

Angelus Silesius is, in his poetic way, stating that these are not separate sensory inputs; they are all One. It is only later that the limited mind parcels out the experience among the different senses in order to better comprehend and communicate it.



Recommended Books: Angelus Silesius

The Longing in Between: Sacred Poetry from Around the World (A Poetry Chaikhana Anthology)
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In Spirit senses are