Interesting.  I'm mystified, indeed.
 
Cheers!
 
~ CR
 


Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Dear CR: Kearns says something to the effect that for Eliot the word is the thought's flesh, so one could think of him as celebrating incarnation in that manner, passionately and devotedly.
With reference to your writing
 
"In point of "revealed" fact, one should not say God is "in" us -- we should say, God "pervades" us -- and although the "five elements" of which our body is said to be made of are all part of God,our "soul" partakes of God by virtue of the "revealed" fact that its state of consciousness is far more evolved than that of the "elements" of which our body is made."
 
You see that "pervades" implies a relationship of subject and object, one who pervades the other. If we are all part OF God, then we are not identical, in the way that, in illumination, the Hindu experiences Brahman as identical to Atman (soul), not a part of Brahman. This is experienced in the state of enlightenment known as nirvana in Sanskrit (In Pali "nibbana"). Kearns describes this as a moment "in which the usual distinctions between subject and object seem to break down."
 
Theology is in the syntax of the sentence. I wish I knew Pali or Sanskrit so I could see if their language permits something other than nouns verbing objects. Edward Said in Orientalism cites Western blindness and the Western way of speaking that brings Imperialist ideology into its sentences. We are brainwashed by our culture to see distinctions, actors acting on others, where other cultures may not.
 
The Vedantic system describes a continuum from the worship of Brahman in popular ritual to the state of enlightenment in which the Sage possesses immediate consciousness of oneness with Brahman. No prepositions can intrude into this oneness.
 
Well this is a quest full of obstacles! But the grail is worth pursuing, even it is only a better understanding of Eliot's poetry and plays. Good wishes to you and all pilgrims in progress! 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 11:46:53 -0700

        
  
Thanks, Diana. I'm intrigued as well by your queries.
  
Let me try, as best I can, to explain the first one.
  
I'm afraid, though, it will only be my personal and
  
hence a limited view of things.
  
 
  
  
According to the Bhagavad Gita, deep is the mystery
  
that surrounds the "soul", explained by knowledgeable
  
people in different ways.
  
 
  
  
The soul, says the Gita, is imperishable, immortal,
  
It has all the divine (Godlike) attributes.
  
 
  
  
And now some (Indian) notions that I can't exactly
  
locate the
source of:
  
 
  
  
God pervades all. There is nothing apart from him.
  
  
BUT there are states of consciousness -- ranging
  
from the apparently completely inconscient to
  
the fully conscious -- one can begin with what
  
we call the inanimate world, and then proceed
  
(upward, so to say) through plants, trees, birds,
  
insects, animals and, finally, the human beings.
  
 
  
  
God "pervades" all in varying states of consciousness.
  
  
BUT a human being alone is endowed with a mind
  
capable of discriminating the good from the bad --
  
a subjective notion, indeed, but then the higher the
  
state of consciousness one develops, the more clearly
  
and objectively, it is said, one can "see".
  
 
  
  
Diana, your point about
the fallacious use of the
  
preposition "in" (God is "in" so and so) is a valid
  
one.
  
 
  
  
In point of "revealed" fact, one should not say
  
God is "in" us -- we should say, God "pervades"
  
us -- and although the "five elements" of which
  
our body is said to be made of are all part of God,
  
our "soul" partakes of God by virtue of the
  
"revealed" fact that its state of consciousness
  
is far more evolved than that of the "elements"
  
of which our body is made.
  
 
  
  
When a human being dies, the five elements
  
of which one is made merge into the five
  
elements in nature -- earth into earth, air into
  
air, water into water, fire into fire, and sky
  
(space) into sky. Nothing ceases to exist.
  
 
  
BUT as for the
soul, well, after the body "dies",
  
the soul either reincarnates itself into a new body,
  
and has a new birth, so to say, or if it has evolved
  
perfectly, it merges into its source of its
  
full-consciousness, i.e. God.
  
 
  
  
Well, this is how, I believe, the "soul" is viewed
  
by us in India.
  
 
  
  
------------
  
 
  
As regards your other query, Diana, about how
  
"incarnation" is viewed in Eliot's poetry,  it will take
  
some study. But there must be others at the List
  
who have a view on the subject.
  
 
  
Best,
  
CR
  


Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> wrote:  
  
  
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 

  
  
  
  

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