The word, epiphany, also describes an experience of sudden, unexpected and striking revelation or realization, which often seems to come from outside ourselves. It is a moment when we are struck with a sudden recognition of truth, either about a problem, situation, circumstance, or even some truth about ourselves. An epiphany moment occurs when out of nowhere we gain a new and deeper perspective of what is real, or what is true. It is an eye opening, mind opening, spirit opening, and often a life changing experience. Epiphany moments come to us when least expected. We cannot make such moments happen--they just happen!
One such epiphany moment is found in this excerpt from Nikos Kazantzakis', Zorba the Greek.
"I dressed and went down to the water's edge. I walked quickly. I was gay, as if I had escaped from a danger or a sin. My indiscreet desire of that morning to pry into and know the future before it was born suddenly appeared to me a sacrilege.
I remembered one morning when I discovered a cocoon in the bark of a tree, just as the butterfly was making a hole in his case and preparing to come out. I waited a while, but it was too long appearing and I was impatient. I bent over it and breathed on it to warm it. I warmed it as quickly as I could and the miracle began to happen before my eyes, faster than life. The case opened, the butterfly started slowly crawling out and I shall never forget my horror when I saw how its wings were folded back and crumpled. The wretched butterfly tried with its whole trembling body to unfold them. Bending over it, I tried to help it with my breath. In vain. It needed to be hatched out patiently and the unfolding of the wings should be a gradual process in the sun. Now it was too late. My breath had forced the butterfly to appear, all crumpled before its time. It struggled desperately and, a few seconds later, died in the palm of my hand.
That little body is, I do believe, the greatest weight I have on my conscience. For I realize today that it is a mortal sin to violate the great laws of nature. We should not hurry, we should not be impatient, but we should confidently obey the eternal rhythm.
I sat on a rock to absorb this New Year's thought. Ah, if only that little butterfly could always flutter before me to show me the way."
Ah, if only we could have more epiphany moments.....