Richard Jeffries

Mystical Experience of Richard Jeffries

John Richard Jefferies (1848 – 1887) was an English novelist and essayist who wrote about nature, providing passionate, inspirational descriptions of the English countryside.  Jeffries’ 1883 autobiography, The Story of My Heart, describes his beliefs about the spiritual nature of man and the world.

Jeffries described his mystical experience, which some would deem to be an experience of “nature mysticism”, as follows:

“There came to me a delicate, but at the same time a deep, strong, and sensuous enjoyment of the beautiful green earth, the beautiful sky, and the sun; I felt them, they gave me an inexpressible delight, as if they embraced and poured out their love upon me.  It was I who loved them, for my heart was broader than the earth; it is broader now than even then, more thirsty and desirous.  After the sensuous enjoyment always came the thought, the desire:  That I might be like this; that I might have the inner meaning of the sun, the light, the earth, the trees and grass, translated into some growth of excellence in myself, both of body and of mind; greater perfection of physique, greater perfection of mind and soul:  that I might be higher in myself.”

Quoted from Jeffries’ The Story of My Heart: My Autobiography.

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