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Duvet Days And The Heavenly Vision: Evelyn Underhill

duvet dayOne Needful Thing

I read the other day the story of a brownie who lived in a wood. He had a little wheelbarrow, and passed his time in a very moral and useful manner picking up slugs and snails. Yet there was something lacking in his life.

The King of the world passed through that wood very early every morning, and made all things beautiful and new, but the brownie had never seen him. He longed to, but something prevented it. He had one cherished possession, a lovely little green blanket which had fallen out of the fairy queen’s chariot and which he had not been able to help keeping for himself. It was very cold in the wood at night, but the blanket kept him so warm and cosy that he never woke up to see the King of the world.

And one day there came to him a shepherd who looked deep into the soul of the brownie and said to him: ‘Haven’t you seen the King of the world?’ And the brownie said, ‘No – I do want to, but somehow I can’t manage it.’ Then the shepherd replied: ‘But I seem to see something in your soul that keeps you from the vision; something that looks rather like a blanket.’

And at that a terrible fight began in the heart of the brownie, a battle between wanting to go on being warm and comfortable in his blanket and longing to see the King of the world.

Perhaps…the ultimate choice which lies before us may turn out to be the brownie’s choice between the heavenly vision and the blanket.

OK, I cheated. Evelyn Underhill does not mention the word duvet, you are right. But if I put up a picture of a brownie and a blanket, would you have read the post? ;>)

The extract is from a conference paper delivered by her in about April 1924, and anthologised in ‘Invincible Spirits: A thousand years of spiritual writings‘ chosen by Felicity Leng.

3 comments on this post:

Robert Mitchell said...

Excellent — Evelyn Underhill was a fascinating figure, and “Mysticism” is one of my favorite books. On the main, did you find “Invincible Spirits” a good read? The lone Amazon review wasn’t particularly flattering…

Lay Anglicana said...

Thanks for commenting Robert. I certainly couldn’t claim that of itself ‘Invincible Spirits’ is a good read – it would be too indigestible. But I have found several nuggets by dipping into it occasionally, which is what I expect Felicity Leng intended us to do. So I would still recommend anyone to buy it – just don’t expect it to be a page-turner!

28 May 2014 18:43
28 May 2014 18:12
Robert Mitchell said...

Thanks L.A., I may check it out then. Be well!

28 May 2014 18:56

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