The Numinous


The word “Numinous” describes that which evokes a sense of the transcendent, the mystical, or the sublime. It kind of speaks of the mysterious “other” however we experience it. The fact that it’s not something manufactured and at our beck and call, is what makes it so undomesticated and mysterious. I know in my own experience of such moments, the one thing I’ve always sensed is an incredible feeling of unity and oneness with everything around me, as if my ego has given way to something far bigger than myself. Listening to others it seems this feeling of oneness and unity is universal and not simply the prerogative of any particular religion, belief, or system of spirituality.

Above is an image I took of a place which certainly moved something in me.


About Don

My name is Don Scrooby and I live in the United Kingdom. I have a deep love for nature and open spaces and one of my great loves in life is sketching, particularly in pen and water colour and occasionally in pencil. I’m quite new at the art and I sketch mainly from photographs I’ve taken, but also enjoy outdoor sketching. My sketchbooks, although no great shakes, are important to me and I decided to create my blog in order to share some of their contents with those who may be interested.
Image | This entry was posted in Beauty, Beyond the Rational, Contemplation, inspiration, Life, Photography, Religion, Spirituality, Transformation and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to The Numinous

  1. Kathy says:

    A deeply moving picture, Don, with an invitation to the inner beauty of the half hidden stained glass window. It really evokes the numinous experience. Being connected in this mysterious way is a heady experience for me. I’ve stopped rationalizing and have given myself over to this gift. I questioned my sanity for a while but the more I live it the more it teaches me and opens me to the reality that we are all part of Something our minds cannot fathom and it can be sensed in the ordinary, every day things. I’ve had a series of dreams that translate it for me and I continue to work with the message. As a Christian the numinous has a particular context for me, but I agree it is beyond context and can be known and recognized in the most inclusive way. Wish I could always remember this when I experience myself differently!! But, the learning continues, and that’s a mercy. Thanks for a wonderful post.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Don says:

      Thank you Cathy for your insightful personal reflection. Much appreciated. I sincerely grasp what you say, as something of your experience has also been mine. As you say, it is a profoundly inclusive experience, and, yes, the context through which we experience it is important. Personally I have found it to take me beyond that context and it is this that those around me have found difficult to understand. Again thank you for your depth of sharing.


      • Kathy says:

        I understand. I’m glad to have the opportunity to tell you that your inclusive thinking opened doors for me in my own, and as a result in significant choices I have made. I shall be forever grateful for this valuable contribution. Please keep sharing!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Don says:

        Thank you Kathy for your kind words and let me say that your example has been such an inspiration to many and to me. I have always recognised a beautiful spaciousness of soul in you and that’s such a gift.


  2. Dan Antion says:

    I can certainly see how being in that place would have moved you to these feelings, Don. It’s a beautiful photo and it makes me wonder.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hariod Brawn says:

    I agree with your take, Don, and for myself, then even as a sort of free-floating Buddhist, then that same sense often descends upon me in walking around nearby Wells Cathedral when very few are around. After Christmas, they remove all the seating entirely and there remains (sometimes) for me, a sense of the empty space and bare stone somehow holding that transcendent feeling that we’ve had glimpses of, and have had in that very building for over 900 years – or however long in the case of Rochester. Through all those centuries of change, nothing really changed. In that very changelessness, or nothingness we cannot name, we can at least say that it is something, pointing to ourselves and looking into the empty space, and recognising there is no difference, that we are, undefinably, one. I think of it as an awareness that rests outside of space and time; maybe others call it God’s presence?


    • Don says:

      Thank you for a wonderful comment Hariod. I can certainly identify with that experience of empty space and bare stone. I remember feeling that once in St John’s College Chapel in Cambridge. The space, the stone and the incredible stain-glass windows were overwhelmingly beautiful, and I stood in the midst of it all absolutely mesmerised. Your description of it as an awareness outside of space and time is one I warm to. Sadly, for me the term “God’s presence” has become so overworked and selfishly defined that it makes little sense to me now. So appreciate your input Hariod. Such a joy to read.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. nrhatch says:

    That sense of oneness and unity is a peaceful oasis. Thanks for sharing, Don.


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