I came across this little gem of an essay and I wanted share it. It is attributed to Fiona MacLeod. “Fiona MacLeod” is a pseudonym of William Sharp (1855-1905). Sharp was a member of the Order of the Golden Dawn and an associate of Swinburne and of W. B. Yeats. Fiona, as it turns out, was more than a mere pseudonym for Sharp, and something close to an alternate personality.
MacLeod begins the essay:
“I know one who, asked by a friend desiring more intimate knowledge as to what influences had shaped her inward life, answered at once, with that sudden vision of insight which reveals more than the vision of thought, ‘The Wind, Silence, and Love.’”
She goes on:
“When we consider, could any influences be deeper than these three elemental powers, for ever young, yet older than age, beautiful immortalities that whisper continuously against our mortal ear. The Wind, Silence, and Love: yes, I think of them as comrades, nobly ministrant, priests of the hidden way.
“To go into the solitary places, or among trees which await dusk and storm, or by a dark shore: to be a nerve there, to listen to, inwardly to hear, to be at one with, to be as a grass filled with, or as reeds shaken by, as a wave lifted before, the wind: this is to know what cannot otherwise be known; […]
“is there any comrade that is as Silence is? Can she not whisper the white secrecies which words discolour? Can she not say, when we would forget, forget; when we would remember, remember? Is it not she also who says, Come unto me all ye who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest? Is it not she who has a lute into which all loveliness of sound has passed, so that when she breathes upon it life is audible? Is it not she who will close many doors, and shut away cries and tumults, and will lead you to a green garden and a fountain in it, and say, ‘This is your heart, and that is your soul: listen.‘ […]
“The Wind, Silence, and Love: […] they are near and intimate. Their life uplifts us. We cannot forget wholly, nor cease to dream, nor be left unhoping, nor be without rest, nor go darkly without torches and songs, if these accompany us; or we them, for they go one way.”
You can read the entire essay here.
Wind, Silence, and Love: it seems to me that these three correspond neatly to the three kindreds: the spirits of nature, the gods, and our ancestors — “external” nature, the “inner” unconscious, and our biological/genetic and cultural inheritance — these three shape our inner life.