Daily Reading for June 15 • Evelyn Underhill, 1941
The narrow limits within which even the physical world is accessible to us might warn us of the folly of drawing negative conclusions about the world that is not seen. We cannot penetrate far into the reality of any life other than our own. The plants and the animals keep their own strange secret; and it is already a sign of maturity when we recognize that they have a secret to keep, that their sudden disclosures of beauty, their power of awakening tenderness and delight, warn us that here too we are in the presence of children of the One God. With what a shock of surprise, either enchantment or horror, we meet the impact of any truly new experience; its abrupt reminder that we do really live among worlds unrealized. Our limited spectrum of colour, with its hints of a more delicate loveliness beyond our span, our narrow scale of sound: these, we know, are mere chunks cut out of a world of infinite colour and sound—the world that is drawing near, charged with the unbearable splendour and music of the Absolute God. And beyond this, as our spiritual sensibility develops, sparkles and brief intoxications of pure beauty, and messages from the heart of an Unfathomable Life come now and then to delight us: hints of an aspect of His Being which the careful piety that dare not look over the hedge of the paddock will never find.
From The School of Charity: Meditations on the Christian Creed by Evelyn Underhill (London: Longmans, Green and Co Ltd., 1934).