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Dear CR: Yes I think you have it. You have done a better job of describing the difference than I could have done. There is a huge unavoidable problem with God and prepositions when Hindu beliefs are translated into English.

God "in" you I mean. I wonder how it is stated in the original. If everything is an attribute of Brahman, then Brahman is not "in" anything. See what I mean? To be in, around, before, behind, is to be separate, and Brahman is not an entity.

The Christian Incarnation seems to allow for God to be in man, since they are not identical. Speaking of which, I must say that Eliot's narrators do not enthusiastically celebrate the Incarnation of God in flesh, do they? Unless they accept that God only incarnated in the flesh of Jesus of Nazareth, but that seems a bit limited to say the least. As Flannery O'Conner said, if the eucharist is only a symbol, "to hell with it."  Best wishes, 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:  Re: Eliot and Divisions
Date:  Thu, 28 Sep 2006 09:30:28 -0700

  
Diana,
  
 
  
I'm humbled by your kind response.  In fact, you were
  
_earnest_  in your initial response to Eliot's position
  
as  _you_  saw it.
  
 
  
As for the "difference" you feel you're unable to
  
articulate -- let me share _my_  notion of the
  
"difference".
  
 
  
A Hindu devotee proceeds on the spiritual path,
  
all the time conscious of his innate divinity, despite
  
his painful consciousness of his imperfect state
  
(one may call it "fallen" in a broad sense).
  
 
  
A Christian pilgrim, on the other hand, proceeds
  
with the burdensome consciousness of his innate
  
"Fallen", sinful state. His task, therefore, is doubly
  
difficult. Or at least, that's how I see it.
  
 
Thus, for instance, the Bhagavad Gita admonishes
  
Arjuna (the Everyman) with these words [when Arjuna
  
expresses apprehensions about how he can overcome
  
"desires" which are so formidable that they sweep
  
even the most earnest of aspirants off his feet] :
  
 
  
[a rough version from memory only] O Arjuna,
  
at the base are our organs of sense perception --
  
the instruments of sense gratification -- above them
  
is the "heart", above that the "mind", and above
  
these all is the "soul".  So, realising the divine
  
nature and power of your soul -- which is God
  
in you -- and with the help of your "mind"
  
(the discriminating faculty), control your
  
senses.
  
 
  
Diana, you were right. Here is a "difference"
  
of the "paradigm" itself -- in one case you are
  
told to
be aware of your inherent spirituality --
  
your "innermost being" that is part of God and
  
as such untouched by the corruptions of the
  
world -- one is admonished to realize the
  
"true self" which is Godlike.
  
 
  
Now I do not blame TSE if he follows the tradition
  
in which he has grown and in which he has his being.
  
I can see that you have graciously forgiven me for
  
my different stance.
  
 
  
I must thank you again for your _kind appreciation_.
  
That is a rare gesture, indeed. I'm touched.
  
 
  
Best regards.
  
 
  
~ CR
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  


Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
  
  
  
  
Dear CR, thanks for collaborating in my effort to understand Hindu concepts. I find myself in the same state of "enlightened mystification" that Eliot described when he studied them. I am grateful to have such intelligent and informed collaborators! Going it alone, one makes unchallenged assumptions that may be dead wrong!
  
You wrote: "What I was stressing is that in one's ordinary state, one is as much fallen/imperfect as the other -- as far from God as the other."
  
Yes, but with a difference I cannot articulate but of which I have an intuition. 
  
 
  
//That is as far as I can go without making a statement I cannot defend. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable can clarify the difference if any. //
  
 
  
Diana
  


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