I think he meant he was not a "professional" mystic. Not a full-time
holy man or other-wordly. Mysticism as a concept was regarded as
exotic and esoteric at that time by most people, even intelligentsia
like the Bloomsberries. That's why Underhill was so important.
Sent from my iPod
On Mar 20, 2010, at 1:04 PM, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> The point I have made is that Eliot said he was not. He admired
> mystics and spoke of "hints and guesses," by which he may well have
> meant those occasional moments of experiencing what I would call
> insight, exaltation, transcendence or immanence, intimacy with the
> universe. But I am not at all presuming to know his private
> spiritual experiences; I am only assuming that he knew them and that
> if he said he was not one, he was not.
> >>> DIana Manister <[log in to unmask]> 03/20/10 10:50 AM >>>
> Dear Nancy and Peter,
> Religious orthodoxy presumably facilitates transcendence, samhadi,
> satori, epiphany or whatever name a particular religion gives to peak
> spiritual experience. Eliot I think writes about this experience even
> before 4 Qts. But it is beyond words in all belief systems, so
> language becomes mysterious and vague.
> Few mystics live in a peak state all the time (though I've been told
> wondrous accounts of some who did or do.) It's not a permanent state
> of mind usually. So to say Eliot was not a mystic presumes knowledge
> of all his private spiritual experiences, which no one can know.
> Sent from my iPod
> On Mar 19, 2010, at 1:03 AM, Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>
> > One need not be religious or even holy, to have mystical
> > Mystical experience does not necessarily lead to holiness.
> > Saints are not necessarily mystics. Mystics are not necessarily
> > saints.
> > Although the two are frequnently associated, they are by no means
> > synonymous.
> > Eliot may have claimed not to be a mystic, but that does not mean
> > he did not have mystical experience.
> > P.
> > ---- Original Message -----
> > From: Nancy Gish
> > But he was not a mystic himself. And when it became attractive and
> > possible, he remarried. So the point--while true--about language is
> > about
> > the result of mystic experience if it does come; it is not about any
> > claim
> > that the negative way is the only one.