The following is both literally true, and also a metaphor (or a direct corollary) to belief in God.
I am occasionally criticized for believing in the existence of Faeries. At best, people consider it kind of juvenile. At worst, they think I am in some kind of cult.
The truth is that believing in Faeries is neither necessarily non-Christian nor unscientific. There have been a lot of people in the past who were both devout Christians and also people who experienced the Faerie World. Many of them, such as George MacDonald (a renowned Christian minister, author, and mystic) came from Ireland. I daresay in the farms and villages of Ireland you can probably still find quite a few Christians who know about Faeries. I am an Irish-Cherokee-American. Perhaps that is why I am inclined to experience the Faerie World, also?
I also mentioned that believing in the Faeries is not necessarily unscientific. Since scientists believe that things have to be seen and physically verified before you can posit a positive belief in them, this seems to need some qualification. How can I say that belief in Faeries is not unscientific if I cannot verify their existence?
Quite simple. Even a scientist who studies panda bears would not be so bold as to say, "Just go on out in the Bamboo and you are bound to find one!" Finding a panda bear in the wild would be a very sensitive undertaking. The types of clothing one wore, the scents one gave off, the time of day one embarked, the location, everything.... all would need to be taken into account because the panda bear is elusive. Their population is in decline. You have to already know a great deal about panda bears in order to know where to look for one. And even then, a great deal of sheer luck is involved.
Faeries are even more elusive than panda bears. I do not believe they are very scarce. I am convinced that nearly every Woods on the Planet has hundreds of them. However, they aren't full-time inhabitants of the realm that we inhabit. To some extent, they exist in a parallel dimension just over us. Not over us, vertically - over us experientially. Within the fabric of the air there seems to be a whole other world present, clouded by the thinnest veil. Even if you have never experienced this veil, you would have to believe that hundreds of poets were complete liars to not believe that it exists. The existence of this veil is well attested to in human literature and religious experience.
To find a Faerie you must first go to a place where the veil between our worlds is at its thinnest.
The veil, ironically, used to be thin everywhere. It has thickened over the years, in response to man's neglect of nature. The Veil is meant to protect the Faerie World from the unchecked escalation of the consequences of disobedience in Man's Fallen World. When Adam fell, all Creation felt it. But every species found ways to withdraw from man. The Faerie World is no different.
Nowadays the veil is at its thinnest in places of Natural Beauty and Splendor. It is away from roads, away from houses, away from barking dogs or people. You must come upon a place where few others come, and you must come in reverent silence. If you do so, I guarantee: you will have the sensation that something invisible is inhabiting in that place.
At this point there are two responses. Fear, or Love. Nearly every human, myself included, feels a tremor of fear when they are absolutely alone in the Woods. Especially if you go at night, which is when the Veil is practically non-existent.
The problem is that most Animals can smell fear. The spiritual animals, like Faeries, smell it even more keenly than do the physical Animals, because Fear is a Spiritual Thing. Physical Animals only smell fear by smelling the physical reactions to it in your body... the subtle difference in sweat when your heart is palpitating, for example. But Faeries, a spiritual species... they smell the Thing Itself.
And they hate that stench. In the Faerie World, fear is scarce, and scary. They are not at all desensitized to it. If you are giving off a stench of Fear when you try to cross the Faerie World, the Faeries will panic and will re-direct your fear back on to you. This will only escalate your fear. You may get trapped in a fear bubble, for which the only relief may be getting out of the Woods.
But over time, a person who wishes to enter the Faerie World should come to cultivate a love for the Beauty, the Solitude, the abiding Presence, that exists in the Deep Woods. As this Love grows, some of it wafts through the Veil, and breaks part of the Veil down. The Faeries, rather than being repulsed by your aromas, begin to be attracted to them. They will begin to play on the borders of your awareness. They can incarnate into the physical world as rays of light, or beams. They can disguise themselves easily by blending in with sunlight on the leaves, masquerading as fireflies, glow-worms, or bits of moonlight.
At this point because you are somewhat overwhelmed, you might start to emit another emotion through the Veil. Doubt.
First, you were given a choice between Love and Fear. Over half of humans choose Fear. Then those who chose Love are given a choice between Doubt and Wonder. Most will choose Doubt.
If you choose Doubt, you will start explaining away the faint Faerie traces that they are allowing you. You will not flirt with the little sprites ducking behind the trees, so they get bored and go away.
But if you choose Wonder, you find out instantly that what Jesus said is true: "Believing is Seeing." The more you open your heart to the mysteries, the more the Faeries open the mysteries to your heart. And if you are every lucky enough to be able to cultivate complete Love, and complete Wonder, somewhere all by yourself where the Veil is very thin, you will then have the option to do what few people do in our times anymore, and cross directly over the moonlight path and into the Faerie World. At that point you will see the little men and women as clearly as you see People in our own World.
Entering the Faerie World and entering Eden sometimes go hand-in-hand.