Wretchard has a warning and a prophecy.
The foliage, sounds, the shift in airs, scents -- all of these -- spoke to them as directly as words in a book, though I scarcely imagined how. Later I discovered that psychologist Julian Jaynes had advanced the theory of the bicameral mind, which helped explain what I'd seen. His book, the Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind suggests that our ancestors were instructed by voices and visions. They understood through a process of unconscious thinking as perhaps the Mangyans still do. Nature spoke to them, and they heard....It is true what he says. I have felt it myself. I think there is an ending of things, which the bumper sticker of the post below makes clear: a point at which thought can carry us no farther. When it seems rational to make such a claim, as it increasingly does to increasing numbers, we may be coming to a time beyond words.
My own hunch is that in the last two or three months there's been a change in the tone of the blogosphere. Nothing definite, simply a change in atmosphere in proportion to the degree of abstract tendencies of the blogger. Authors who trafficked in ideas and concepts have altered the most.... The old play is ending and yet the new one has not yet begun. And this bothers abstract intellectuals far more than it does the men in the field. A soldier can write with perfect conviction that "the world was a slightly better place every time I pulled the trigger" because he lives in a world of specificity, but the agonized thinker can find no such comfort in cold abstractions; abstractions now in need of repair under the weight of experience.
Wretchard ends with the Old Testament, as he prefers to do. I shall end as I prefer, with the Ballad of the White Horse.
And the great kings of WessexSo it is, in the time between whispers. Yet, in the ballad as in the Bible, that was only the beginning: the vision was set to come.
Wearied and sank in gore,
And even their ghosts in that great stress
Grew greyer and greyer, less and less,
With the lords that died in Lyonesse
And the king that comes no more.