I have been to Delphi three times, twice with other graduate students, faculty, and archaeologists, and again later with Dianne, my wife, who was then a graduate student herself. In 1986, Dianne and I visited Delphi so that we could share travel in Greece together. It was that third time that Delphi became a magical place for me, full of wonder and deep feeling. We spent three days there, enjoying great food and scenery, with Mount Parnassus majestic in the background. Yet it was during our visit to the archaeological site, with our Blue Guide (and other guide books), methodically going over as many stones in as much detail as we possibly could, when we encountered the sacred character of this site. Anybody who watched us would think we were somewhat compulsive, trying to figure out the location of as many details in the Blue Guide as we possibly could. We spent hours and hours identifying the monuments, thinking about their organization and layout, and reflecting on the religious nature of the place (including the Sybil who apparently ingested hallucinogenic gases to open her up to cosmic forces). Somehow, as we read painstakingly through this rather dry book, the Dephic energy arose almost out of the ground itself suffusing us. We did not go there looking for something, seeking some kind of mystic message, Rather, it was by studying and observing, and relating to each other that (even when we did not fully understand things) we unexpectedly felt what it was to be in a holy place.
Jacob’s Ladder: Dreams allow us to move from one dimension to another.
There are those moments–moments when you enter a gateway, and you feel the presence of God. I remember Erice in Sicily: eating a meal at a local restaurant, lingering, savoring the garlic, the olive oil and the pasta–and most of all the wine–cold, white, shimmering, crisp–Ambrosia, the best wine I ever tasted, the same for Dianne and for our friend Tony. Was it the wine, the town, the restaurant, or the moment with my wife and our friend? I don’t know, but it felt like heaven: like a dream in which my senses put me deep underwater, gliding effortlessly, with no particular goal, just living fully.
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