Diana Manister wrote:
> Dear Carrol,
> Anathematizing descriptions of mystical experience is at least as old
> as Lao-Tze, who wrote "Those who speak do not know; those who know do
> not speak." The Cloud of Unknowing takes this position too, as do many
> texts on the subject. Is it the Torah that forbids writing the name of
> Images representing God are proscribed by some religions too, aren't
> they? Buddhism allows representations of gurus and the Buddha, but
> they are not images of God.
> The discussion we had on the list about worship of the Virgin Mary as
> a deity being prohibited by the church might be informed by this
> "The Figure of Beatrice...is a deity of whom most human beings seldom
> see more than the shadow"
> Curioser and curioser.
> > Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2010 22:11:34 -0500
> > From: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: Re: Eliot on Charles Williams' mysticism
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > The debate gets confused because of confusion over the definition of
> > definition. In this discussion there are wild swings between
> > the _word_ "mysticism," a matter of linguistic history and of
> > differentiating among the various senses in which the word is or has
> > been used, and identifying what Eliot meant when he used the word
> > in what sense he used it). And confusion is confounded because some
> > participants are, some are not, making ontological claims as to the
> > existence of whatever it is they are using the word to identify.
> > will see it (in most of its senses) as pointing to a certain kind of
> > subjective experience, and so forth. I think it's worth noting that
> > the whole when the word itself appears in a literary text that is
> > presumptive evidence that the text does _not_ report a mystic
> > but is using some notion of mysticism as a metaphor for some
> > experience. See Whitman's "Vigil Strange I Kept in the Field One
> > He uses the word but clearly he is claiming that the experience was
> > _like_ what mystics speak of, not that it itslef was mystic.
> > Carrol
> > DIana Manister wrote:
> > >
> > > Dear Peter,
> > >
> > > What a curious variety of definitions of mysticism! They range
> > > spiritualism to divine Love. I'm puzzled.
> > >
> > > Diana
> > >
> > > Sent from my iPod
> > >
> > > On Mar 24, 2010, at 7:35 PM, Peter Montgomery
> <[log in to unmask]>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > "It would be easy, but not particularly profitable, to classify
> > > > Williams as
> > > > a "mystic." He knew, and could put into words, states of
> > > > consciousness of a
> > > > mystical kind. and the sort of elusive experience which many
> > > > have
> > > > once or twice in a life-time. (I am thinking of certain passages
> > > > The
> > > > Place of the Lion, but there is no novel without them.) And if
> > > > "mysticism"
> > > > means a belief in the supernatural, and in its operation in the
> > > > natural
> > > > world, then Williams was a mystic: but that is only belief in
> > > > adherents
> > > > of every religion in the world profess to believe. His is a
> > > > mysticism, not
> > > > of curiosity, or of the lust for power, but of Love; and Love,
> in the
> > > > meaning which it had for Williams-as readers of his study of
> > > > called
> > > > The Figure of Beatrice, will know-is a deity of whom most human
> > > > seldom see more than the shadow. But in his novels he is as much
> > > > concerned
> > > > with quite ordinary human beings, with their struggle among the
> > > > shadows,
> > > > their weaknesses and self-deceptions, their occasional moments
> > > > understanding, as with the Vision of Love towards which creation
> > > > strives. "
> > > >
> > > > Intro to ALL HALLOWS EVE, 1948.
> > > >
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