Friday, June 8, 2012

Thin Places

"On this arid summit, where the winds blow hard, where no root takes hold, where distance seems infinite and heaven close, the spirit is tested and replenished ... the pilgrim has reached a thin place."
Micheal Mullen: Croagh Patrick, a perspective

What is a thin place? In simple terms a ‘thin place’ is where the veil between this world and the Other world is threadlike. The Unseen world being nearer. This meaning assumes the existence of a world beyond what we know through our five senses. Since time memorial fascination with the "Other world" has occupied human minds. A thin place is where connection to that world seems effortless and almost palpable.

Thin places should not be confused with those moments of transcendence we've all experienced, such as the birth of a child, the return of a loved one, reconciliation with an enemy a spiritual awakening. A thin place is simply a location where the veil is thin. The place itself calls you. Draws you in and transports you into the presence of the world beyond this world.

Describing an encounter in a thin place is like trying to describe, making love, the feeling of holding your newborn child, communion with God. All attempts are feeble and words are inadequate. Understanding marries experience and full understanding is almost never achieved.
In the Celtic tradition a thin place is where the veil between this temporal world and the "other world " of eternity is sheer like gossamer.

In Genesis, Bethel where Jacob had his dream of angels ascending and descending on a ladder was a place of an open heaven, a thin place.

In the Celtic world view the human heart can be the thinnest place of all.