If the earth-defying pointillism of the distortions ever found corollary in this world, it may be in those quietists [and by this I mean the quiet in action, though I wouldn’t exclude the Miguel de Molinos or his Madame Guyon] who defied the dumb historical exercises of the alters to discover, in unseen latitudes, “a void place and a spacious nothing.”
Take for example the final and longwinded inaction of the anti-martyr Abiezer Coppe, whose humor and incessance of spirit led him to the sweeter void. He, who at the least threat of violence, wrote a recantation twice the length of his manifesto! Copps Return to the wayes of Truth … Like the story of the hunter who, in following the path too keenly, neglected the cliff, So found Coppe the illumed bareness that farce and charisma discover at their final word.
Was it for this reason that the alters revealed themselves to Coppe, did they have a dull intuition of a latent threat? No matter, for Coppe, in his mania, was unphased: the craft – a very black cube suspended in a translucent sphere, afar the tavern at Old Bailey on the eve of Candlemas, 1649, – was the least of the phantasmagoria his flaming eyes regarded. Now through paradoxical ways he shed illusion, inoculated by a kind of furious belief. Yeah, by unwitting means, he brought heaven up! Recanted, forswore, never again spoke a word…
February 1 1649