A mystic in a crowd of sceptics

In this day and age, it’s easier to imagine a mystic in a crowd of sceptics than the other way around.

There’s always at least one in every crowd. They don’t usually get noticed right away, but they eventually do.

Peter Abelard was a mystic in a crowd of sceptics, or a sceptic in a crowd of mystics. He wasn’t taken seriously during his lifetime, but the future belonged to him. Culture was on his side, even if it didn’t seem so back then.

Dante Alighieri was exiled, misunderstood and then appreciated for the wrong reasons. 700 years later, we remember him and forget his detractors. We remember the mystic and forget the court of sceptics.

The right person in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The condition of the mystic in these circumstances is not a guarantee of cultural success. But history has taught us that the lonely voice has the last word. And the last word is never quite the last.

The mystic is looking out the Overton window. Her unthinkable, radical presence in the crowd is waiting for the right moment to become popular and established. And then she falls back into the crowd.

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