If law is anything today, it is dispirited. It lacks life, vitality, enchantment, vision. Neither law nor its practitioners sing—or even hum. My students tell me that they know this but want to hope for more. This article tries to suggest something more, which is already present in America's state constitutions if we can dare turn to hear it. It is the voice of the spirit of the laws of the land. It sings of a vision, and this article is an attempt to tell enough of the story of that vision so that you, too, may hear “an echo of the infinite, a glimpse of its unfathomable process, a hint of the universal law.”
To listen for the spirit, we can best attend to (in addition to the language of law texts) language of the spirit, language in which humankind has lived in hopes of relating to Ultimate Reality for millennia. The spirit we hope to tap is not necessarily theistic, but there is some correspondence among ideas of spirit, consciousness and God. As with the best of such language, we must speak not only of belief but also of doubt and mystery beyond necessary reason.