There are "thin places" in the world, where connections are made and amazing flows occur. These are known in all cultures, but seldom discussed because we know so little. In some places the feeling is closer to the people, and the experiences more real, so that stories are told today, and visions are still present. The Gaelic name for the thin places is CAOL ÁIT*, and this is a living and natural part of life. The Gaelic expression was given to me by my friend Sean O'laire, who walks through the curtains, and brings back to us tales that we want and need to hear. He speaks of connections through the thin places which are important to remember, for they will be necessary if we are to live in health and peace on this ever-smaller globe. Looking for a prettier way to print CAOL ÁIT, I found this lovely Celtic cross. It shows the nature of interconnection in a beautiful symbolism that seems designed to help us or inspire us to touch other worlds which are but a whisper away.
Molly Wolf describes her experience and the richness of feeling engendered by CAOL ÁIT. She says, "The Celtic tradition had a phrase for it (Celtic tradition would, of course!): it calls places like this "thin places" or so I've been told. There are spots where this world and the realm of the spirit come close together, some claim. That may be; or it may be that there are some places, like some chords in music, that evoke something spiritual in people, as the smell of burning leaves can bring back childhood to many of us; and that some places have more of that power of evocation than others. Whatever. I don't know, and I'm not sure it's all that important anyway. Even if scientists could pin down the loci of the brain centers involved and isolate the requisite stimuli, would it really make any difference?"
As Molly says, whatever. Yet, the question of interconnection, with the world and with each other, is important. Are we beginning to see thin places in consciousness? It is time, for the future is bearing down on us, and we need to become more connected. The thin places, which are by no means only geographic but also show themselves in special moments, are precious, for they show us the larger world in which the mind and spirit dwell.
* A generic pronunciation would be something like "keel awtch" (rhymes with "veal watch") but really the 'c' and 'l' should be broadened, which effect you can approximate by closing up your throat as if to swallow as you begin and end the word.