I was recently reading a Substack article by Rod Dreher, a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church, which led me to this piece by David Bentley Hart. Hart talks about a man called Reuben, who he met many years ago in Lancaster, England. I haven’t read anything by Hart before; Dreher, though devout in his Christian faith, has a mystic aspect to his faith which often overlaps the Druidic worldview. Hart has this to say of Reuben:
noun: thunderbolt; plural noun: thunderbolts
a flash of lightning with a simultaneous crash of thunder.
- a supposed bolt or shaft believed to be the destructive agent in a lightning flash, especially as an attribute of a god such as Jupiter or Thor.
- used to refer to a very sudden or unexpected event or item of news, especially of an unpleasant nature.
Picture a man struck by a thunderbolt. He stands there, motionless, smoke rising from the shredded remains of his clothing. All around him, things are burning, but he is unharmed. All trivial things have been swept from his mind. He is fully, truly alive. He has been filled with Holy Fire.
Back in 2015 there was a brief media sensation about a dress in a photograph. Some people saw it as blue and black. Other people were convinced it was gold and white. Neither group could understand how the other group could possibly see it so differently. How could this happen?