Peter Montgomery wrote:
> This is not meant as a challenge, but simply as a discussion
> point, to help Sara. It is a genuine question I have:
> How does one become conscious of something,
> if one does not perceive it?
I am aware right now of warmth in the air in Bloomington IL, though
since I'm sitting in an air-conditioned house I am certainly not
perceiving it. I am also aware and highly conscious of an indefinitely
many relationships (social and physical) which I have not perceived and
which neither I nor anyone else is ever going to perceive. There is an
extreme form of positivism which holds that one cannot have knowledge
(and certainly consciousness) of anything that one cannot perceive --
that was the basis on which the physicist Mach a century ago denied the
existence of atoms. The belt I am wearing is a token of a huge complex
of relationships including some rancher who raised the cattle, the iron
miner who mined the iron which went into the machines which processed
the bread which the ranchers employee's wore, and so on and so forth
through a nearly infinite web of such relations. We can be aware of them
without without either perceiving (which is impossible) any of them or
even knowing most of them.
I am aware that X and Y post to this list, though I never perceive any
of their posts since my filter sends them direct to the trash folder.
And Eliot might have at some time or another observed a woman leaning on
an area gate, but he certainly did not perceive a _housewife_ so leaning
because that is a relationship, not a physical fact, and so cannot be
observed. And there is no conceivable way he could have perceived that
(a) they had souls and (b) those souls were damp. As the old cliche
goes, none of us would recognize a damp soul if it bit us on the nose.
> is a close relationship between the two,
> and the correct choice of word for translation
> in any given situation might depend on the context.
> Saying "I am aware" can mean, "I am becoming aware"
> as in "I am suddenly aware of someone in the room."
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Nancy Gish
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Sent: 6/29/03 7:35 AM
> Subject: Re: Awareness
> Dear Sara,
> I would have to look at other examples, but in this one it does not mean
> either realize or perceive. It means simply "conscious of." If you
> an American dictionary, "conscious" and "cognizant" are given as
> synonyms. It does not involve the action of either realize or perceive;
> simply is cognizant of the presence of. . . . I cannot imagine a
> context in
> which it would require perceiving or realizing, except that one must be
> aware of something to do either or one must perceive to be aware of.
> are interconnected, but the consciousness is key.
> A person may be "aware" as an adjective in the sense of "alert" or
> "watchful," but that would not fit this context.
> Date sent: Sun, 29 Jun 2003 11:26:22 +0200
> Send reply to: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum."
> <[log in to unmask]>
> From: Sara Trevisan <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Awareness
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Hello --
> I've been wondering about Eliot's use of the expression 'I'm aware'. He
> used it very often, for instance in 'Morning at the Window'. In which
> sense is that 'aware' used? Does it mean something like 'realise' or
> like 'perceive'? (it's always about my Italian translations, so the
> meaning must be totally clear). Thanks to whoever can give advice --
> Cheers -- Sara