At 07:11 AM 11/4/2004 -0800, Vishvesh Obla
“Eliot studied eastern religions.
Why did he choose a
millenarian faith and how is that reflected in the
poems? This sounds like a question set for an
examination. However I really do not know the answer
to this and am asking for information.”
I think Eliot didn’t want to give up his identity as a
Christian and a European, for it would be abandoning
his roots. That he was in the verge of abandoning it,
but didn’t is worth studying, for, I believe, it
throws light on many of his Christian beliefs.
The missing lynch pin in your speculation is Christ, i.e. in some
form or another, those of us who profess to be Christian profess belief
that Jesus is Christ. Paul Tillich, whose Systematic Theology, Vol I
Eliot read and pronounced profound, noted that one message of
Christianity is that ultimately Christianity is not important; Christ is.
Whether or not one is a professing Christian, it is incumbent upon one
to, at the very least, account for the central element of Christianity
when speculating on "motives" of someone like T. S. Eliot.
BTW, I never recovered from Tillich's metaphysical rendering of
"symbol," what it is and how it works. I understand that he
came in for much criticism from contemporary and succeeding philosophers
and theologians, but I've not come across anything to disabuse me of his
understanding of symbol as something that participates in the
reality it symbolizes. I don't think McLuhan much cared for Tillich (and
Saul Bellow called him Tillich the Toiler, an epithet I've always
enjoyed), but it seems to me that his understanding of the participatory
nature of symbolism works nicely with the balancing of oral/aural and
visually based thinking that MM called for. Just a
why he chose one form over
another, is something I cannot understand, for I am
not familiar with the belief systems. But I am not so
sure if Buddhism 'focuses on a preparation of another
world', nor about the Upanishadic Hindu
If one accepts that Jesus was/is the Christ, then these questions
are secondary, or, really, immaterial to choosing one's religion.
I do hope you'll note that this is presented strictly in terms of
logic, but certainly on a topic appropriate to an
understanding of TSE.