I write down snippets from the book:
"Could it be that everything is one divine 'I' -- that I carry in my soul a spark of the divine fire?(Sophie to herself)
"How can you be certain that your whole life is not a dream." (Rene Descartes)
"Two things fill me with awe -- the starry skies above me and the moral law within me." (Immanuel Kant)
Reading such as these, my faculty of wonder is fully awake. It is provoked by glimpses of the "splendor that I am because I am of God."
My favorite in Sophie's World is the chapter on mysticism.
I savored the idea of a mystical experience -- a sense of losing self to join with God and the universe. Like a drop of water disappearing into the ocean.
Since reading Gaarder, I asked and asked God for one -- just one -- mystical experience. I thought if I knew for a second just how it felt to be physically and in every way to be one with my creator, I can bear with anything this sometimes difficult life deals me.
I haven't been given this gift. But I got something close to it.
That was more than 20 years ago -- when I slept a drug-induced sleep in a hospital where I was about to give birth to one of my sons the "painless way."
One moment I was a throbbing mass of labor pain -- then came a prick -- and the pain was no more. All of a sudden, the world receded from me -- replaced by the dark. A dotted grayness.
The experience was a blur. All I remember was I felt part of the dotted dark -- like I was one of the dots. And there was this guide that was not really a guide but more of a voice inside me. It made me privy to a wondrous knowledge which "was for you to to savor while you can because you would forget about it the moment you woke."
That was all. And yes .. there was this idea that echoed through: "Nothing is important ... what you think to be important is not ...."
I woke up to an absolute sense of peace.
The peace pervaded me for weeks -- while I nursed my new baby. In time, it dulled and is all but forgotten except when I get nudged, for example, by re-reading Sophie's World.
Just now -- two awesome thoughts occurred to me.
One -- that months after that quasi-mystical experience, I was faced with the most excruciating crisis of my life (so far).
And two -- the baby I gave birth to that long-ago day turned out to be an extraordinary person.
I guess I won't sleep trying to fathom the connection.
(Note: Water image courtesy of stockxpert.)