CR I cannot agree, nor does More, with the view that Christian aspiration is the same as that found in the Vedas and Upanishads. Eliot and More both read and commented on Paul Deussen's famous study titled The Philosphy of the Upanishads and the System of the Vedanta. Deussen describes the doctrine of Brahman as a path to realizing Brahman as the Self within themselves, not as a Godhead opposed to or exterior to themselves requiring pious meditation. In the realm of Brahman in the deep self, distinctions between God and man are abolished.

Deussen further explains that in Vedanta philosophers travel the lower or "exoteric" path because in Kearns' words, "the necessity for them to express themselves in words forced them constantly in the direction of exoteric or mythic expressions for difficult and esoteric truths."

Kearns writes: "Eliot found the distinction between exoteric and esoteric religious perspectives important, and he made use of it, in one form or another, both before and after his own acceptance of Christian faith. It can even be argued...that Eliot's conversion itself was based on his recognition of himself as a Devotee rather than as a Sage and that he accepted an exoteric world of myth, allegory, devotion, and religious observance instead of that (inner) recognition." Reilly, in The Cocktail Party, describes what amounts to these two paths to Celia."

Christianity has no equivalent to Tat Tvam Asi. No sane Christian nor any Christian mystic would make the statement I am Christ in the sense a Hindu who says "I am Brahman" means it. "Christ consciousness" is not the same, is it? If you see it as identical, I would love to know. Diana

From:  cr mittal <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:  "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
To:  [log in to unmask]
Subject:  Eliot and Divisions
Date:  Tue, 26 Sep 2006 08:54:18 -0700

>>Diana : More refers to "that viviid consciousness of
>>a dualism felt in the daily habit of humanity."
Diana, when the Vedas and the Upanishads speak of
"That art thou", they speak of the "ultimate reality of
a human being", i.e. his/her true essence, which
he/she should try to realize. That remains an object of
aspiration, as much as in Eliot's poetry, say
in Four Quartets. In "the daily habit of humanity",
man is as much divided from God in the Vedic
philosophy as in any other.

Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> wrote:  
Carrol I was not attempting to present a thesis on
Christianity via the TSE list. I cited the book T.S. Eliot and the Indic Traditions which outlines differences between Christianity and the religion of the Upanishads. Kearns quotes portions of Eliot's own writing on the subject and texts by Paul Elmer More whose view of religion Eliot said he supported which state clearly that a Christian cannot "amalgamate" the command Thou Shalt Love Thy Lord thy God with the Indic belief I am Brahma. More refers to "that viviid consciousness of a dualism felt in the daily habit of humanity." Religion for Eliot, Kearns says, "was the acceptance of this cleavage in our nature."
For further explication of Eliot's view of exoteric and esoteric religious perspectives, see Kearns, chapter 2, "Hindu Traditions."  Best, Diana
From:  Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:  "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
To:  [log in to unmask]
Subject:  English Vocabulary, was Re: Eliot and Divisions
Date:  Tue, 26 Sep 2006 10:03:05 -0500
Diana Manister wrote:
> Dear Carroll: Surely you are aware of the many commentaries on Eliot's
> work that interpret his narrators as expressing not only their divided
> selves, but severings and fragmentations in the environment?

But nowhere does any commentary suggest that the purpose of the poems is
to create enmity between God and humanity. As closely related as the
words "division" and "devisive" are, you simply cannot use the latter
word as you are using it and expect people to know what the hell you are
talking about. Try using the term "fragmentation"
instead, and not by
itself but, for example, "fragmented experience," "fragmented responses
to experience," etc.


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