Good afternoon, everyone, I woke in the middle of the night and realized I had neglected to mention another whole dimension of the off stage characters in Doorstep. The Numinous ones! Teresa had ecstatic visions with 3 of them, and a 4th, St. Francis of Assisi, she calls on, but receives no answer from. Later she thanks Saint Joseph for saving her and Alma and the Muleteer from the abyss.
There are many facets to these numinous entities:
1. Christ - she talks with him in the second scene, as if chatting to a dear friend or intimate. He ostensibly appears to tell her to fight to get Alma admitted to the Order. In Act Two, she sees him on the cross, just after learning that she has been excommunicated. "I have never seen him like this before," says Teresa. "You have never been crucified before," says Alma.
2. The angel, who penetrates her with his arrow, again and again. If you Google Teresa of Avila, Bernini sculpture, Rome, you will see images of this most gorgeous, and sensuous sculpture in a cathedral in Rome. Many have criticized it for its erotic implications. Some say this is pure Bernini and has nothing to do with the real Teresa of Avila. Worth noting that over 300 weddings a year are performed beneath that sculpture, which many feel captures the essence of divine, erotic love. In the play, Teresa is swept away by these angel raptures, and told to write them down. How are we to interpret this?
3. The Devil. When they are about to open the doors of the new barefoot Order, Teresa tries to back out of it for fear that the devil will burn her in hell for doing it. Alma points out, "What do you fear, your own might...?"Again, how are we to see this?
As we enter our final week of the book club, I wanted to toss out these notions for you to think about and meditate on. Are these numinous figures "real", or a facet of Teresa's psychological projections? This begs the question: what is the nature of reality, and how many "facets of the diamond" can we hold in our consciousness at once?
And, it fascinates me that, apart from Shekhinah, all the numinous figures are masculine. Why? How would the world consciousness be shifted, if we made room for more of the Feminine images of God?