finds _common grounds_ between different religious
and philosophic systems '
Why am I reminded here of Mathew Arnold ? :)
‘THE FUTURE of poetry is immense, because in poetry,
where it is worthy of its high destinies, our race, as
time goes on, will find an ever surer and surer stay.
There is not a creed which is not shaken, not an
accredited dogma which is not shown to be
questionable, not a received tradition which does not
threaten to dissolve. Our religion has materialised
itself in the fact, in the supposed fact; it has
attached its emotion to the fact, and now the fact is
failing it. But for poetry the idea is everything; the
rest is a world of illusion, of divine illusion.
Poetry attaches its emotion to the idea; the idea is
the fact. The strongest part of our religion to-day is
its unconscious poetry.’
- Arnold, 'Study of Poetry'
--- cr mittal <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Dear Listers,
> I do not intend to obliterate or minimise the
> basic difference
> between Vedantic/Upanishadic philosophy -- of the
> "oneness" of human soul and the Universal Spirit
> (call it God)
> -- and the Christian vision of God as the "Other".
> In the
> former case, one aspires to "be one" with God
> in Christianity, one may attain paradise but one
> not merge into God and be one with Him.
> to imagine this "duality" of God -- one Hindu, the
> Christian, and God knows how many more of Gods
> man is going to imagine -- all so different that
> followers uphold the superiority of one against
> -- what strife, what violence, what bloodshed, to
> their Gods from others' Gods!!! I'm glad Eliot did
> stress this "division" -- he did not stress what
> the Hindu philosophy "different" from the
> For, to me, his was not "a divisive imagination".
> Of course, there are other aspects as well that
> distinguish the Vedic/Upanishadic philosophy
> from the Christian. And Eliot was keenly aware
> of it -- he was so "mystified" by Patanjali's
> Yog Sutras that he chose to adhere to his
> Christian roots.
> But as TWL illustrates, Eliot's
> finds _common grounds_ between different
> and philosophic systems of the East and the West.
> Well, the proof of the pudding, as they say, lies
> in its eating. Let me briefly illustrate my point
> in the
> light of the three passages devoted to Da Da Da
> in What the Thunder Said in TWL.
> TWL depicts the wasteland condition of modern
> times but, simultaneously, it has the memory of
> other wastelands in human history and myth --
> the ancient Greek wasteland of King Oedipus,
> the medieval wasteland of Fisher King, and the
> Biblical wasteland. There are causes common
> to this affliction.
> The poet is reminded of Buddha's Fire Sermon
> (where the Buddha shares his vision of the whole
> world burning in the fire of lust and other such
> The poet has a memory of St Augustine being
> engulfed by the fires of lust in Carthage. The
> finds a similar affliction having devasted India
> of yore.
> Men, gods and demons approach Brahman
> who with his thunder gives the admonition
> of "Da" to each one of them. To the gods
> (the god in man) it meant "to give" -- for the
> Hindi word "Devta" means one who gives
> ("deta"); to the man it meant "to sympathise",
> to shed his ego/vanity and cultivate compassion;
> to the demons (demon in man) it meant "to control"
> one's demonic/ lower passions.
> Now look at Eliot's synthesising imagination
> at work:
> The second Da -- dayadhvam -- to sympathise --
> he expounds with images from Dante and
> This is just one instance of how Eliot's
> imagination draws upon human wisdom
> available to us from diverse sources --
> both in the East and the West.
> All of us know that the three virtues --
> [to give, to sympathise, to control --
> whose cultivation may dispel the drought
> (physical, mental and spiritual) and usher in
> a lasting "Peace"] are not unique to Eastern
> wisdom. They are taught by the Wise in the
> West as well. But Eliot, appreciably, broadbases
> his vision.
> Well, I find no grounds for dissension in his
> I find his imagination unifying and synthesizing
> what are apparently disperate.
> As for God being one with man or not,
> Eliot's "still point", his "fire and rose are one"
> come very close to the Eastern notion of being
> one with God.
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