I came home from Portugal convinced that nothing is so important as making known what the Mother of God asked in those apparitions of 1917 . . . The future of our civilization, our liberties, our very existence may depend upon the acceptance of her commands.
This modernizing experiment seems to have something diabolic about it. Everything that was becomes rejected in the name of a modernity that assumes the nature of a fiction, an illusion, a devilish apparition. To a greater or lesser extent this applies to all the postcommunist countries.
Ghosts Take shape under moonlight, materialize in dreams. Shadows. Silhouettes of what is no more. But ghosts don't bother me. The day brings bigger things to worry about than flimsy remains of yesterday. No, spooks don't scare me. Gauzy apparitions might prank your psyche or agitate your nightmares, but lacking flesh and blood they are powerless to hurt you-cannot hope to inflict the kind of damage that real, live people do.
I cannot say my yes to legends that have been clearly and fancifully created. If I could not move my search beyond angelic messengers, empty tombs, and ghostlike apparitions, I could not say yes to Easter.
Starting with approaching the spot where the painting is to be done, meanwhile realising the emptiness of the mind, up to the method of 'the flying white', of the rule of the singular stroke of the brush... there is a proper tradition in which the artist is fully aware of the fact that only the pure and empty spontaneity enables him to embrace without hesitating all apparitions and to truly penetrate into the roots of things.
The apparition of an evil, sick unconscious wild city rose before me in visible semblance, and about the dead buildings in the barren air, the bodies of the soul that built the wonderland shuffled and stalked and stalked and lurched in attitudes of immemorial nightmare all around.
A famous anecdote concerning Cuvier involves the tale of his visitation from the devil—only it was not the devil but one of his students dressed up with horns on his head and shoes shaped like cloven hooves. This frightening apparition burst into Cuvier's bedroom when he was fast asleep and claimed: 'Wake up thou man of catastrophes. I am the Devil. I have come to devour you!' Cuvier studied the apparition carefully and critically said, 'I doubt whether you can. You have horns and hooves. You eat only plants.
She was a phantom of delight When first she gleamed upon my sight, A lovely apparition, sent To be a moment's ornament; Her eyes as stars of twilight fair, Like twilights too her dusky hair, But all things else about her drawn From May-time and the cheerful dawn.
...it was a huge creature, luminous, ghastly, and spectral. I have cross-examined these men, one of them a hard-headed countryman, one a farrier, and one a moorland farmer, who all tell the same story of this dreadful apparition, exactly corresponding to the hell-hound of the legend. I assure you that there is a reign of terror in the district, and that it is a hardy man who will cross the moor at night.